Virtual events company Hopin raises £125m valuing it at £2bn

first_img Virtual events company Hopin raises £125m leading to £2bn valuation Boufarhat said he will only consider raising money again if Hopin decides to buy another company or invest in a new product. Reuters “Backing Hopin was a no-brainer – it was one of the quickest deals we’ve ever agreed,” said Paul Murphy, partner at Northzone. Virtual conferences and summits have become a mainstay of 2020 (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for Vox Media) Other investors include IVP, Coatue, DFJ Growth, Northzone, Salesforce Ventures and Seedcamp. As the new coronavirus kept people indoors to try to contain its spread, conferences moved online, benefiting Hopin, which has 3.5m users on its platform compared with 5,000 in February. whatsapp Virtual conferences and summits have become a mainstay of 2020 (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for Vox Media) Also Read: Virtual events company Hopin raises £125m leading to £2bn valuation Tuesday 10 November 2020 12:53 pm whatsapp Hopin, which counts the United Nations, Apple and Spotify amongst its customers, allows meeting participants to network online in new ways, exchange virtual business cards, and get a summary of their new connections after an event. Show Comments ▼ Virtual conferences and summits have become a mainstay of 2020 (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for Vox Media) Also Read: Virtual events company Hopin raises £125m leading to £2bn valuation Tags: venture capital “We are profitable now and if we can use this money and take us all the way to an IPO that would be fantastic,” he said.  Hopin, the UK virtual events provider, has raised $125m from venture capitalists, including Tiger Global and Accel, helping to drive a surge in its valuation to $2bn from $43m less than a year ago. ‘No-brainer’ “We started the year with six people at Hopin, and we are ending the year with close to 250,” chief executive Johnny Boufarhat told Reuters. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikePast Factory”Waltons” Actress Says Magazine Ended Her CareerPast FactoryDaily FunnyFemale Athlete Fails You Can’t Look Away FromDaily FunnyNoteableyJulia Robert’s Daughter Turns 16 And Looks Just Like Her MomNoteableybonvoyaged.comThese Celebs Are Complete Jerks In Real Life.bonvoyaged.comJustPerfact USAMan Decides to File for Divorce After Taking a Closer Look at This Photo!   JustPerfact USAZen HeraldEllen Got A Little Too Personal With Blake Shelton, So He Said ThisZen HeraldDefinitionThe 20 Worst Draft Picks Ever – Ryan Leaf Doesn’t Even Crack The Top 5DefinitionBeach RaiderMom Belly Keeps Growing, Doctor Sees Scan And Calls CopsBeach RaiderMisterStoryWoman files for divorce after seeing this photoMisterStory The company raised $6.5m in February and $40m in June. Sharelast_img read more

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The 2019 Arctic Report Card shows the impacts of a warming climate. Here are 4 key details.

first_imgArctic | Climate Change | Environment | Nation & World | Oceans | Science & Tech | SubsistenceThe 2019 Arctic Report Card shows the impacts of a warming climate. Here are 4 key details.December 11, 2019 by Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media Share:An iceberg floats off the western coast of Greenland. (Creative Commons photo by Greenland Travel)The Arctic is rapidly and dramatically changing, with continued warming of the air, land and sea.That’s the theme of the 2019 Arctic Report Card from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.The report card was released Tuesday at a conference in San Francisco. While the general message is not a surprise, some of the specifics are sobering. Here are four big takeaways.Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2019/12/10ClimateReport.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.1. Surface air temperature is rising.In 2019, the Arctic did not quite set a record, but look at the trend.“The average annual surface air temperature over land for 2019 was the second highest since 1900,” said Matthew Druckenmiller from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. “The six hottest years on record in the Arctic have all taken place in the last six years.”2. Change brings more change.Consider permafrost. As it thaws, it releases carbon to the atmosphere — as much as 600 million tons a year.“This thawing of permafrost may now be acting to accelerate global climate change,” Druckenmiller said.A warmer Arctic also means a greener Arctic, but those plants don’t suck up enough carbon to balance the increase.A warmer climate means permafrost emits carbon in winter, too. And a new study suggests the winter carbon release is two or three times higher than previously known.New study says global models sharply underestimate permafrost emissions3. The Bering Sea has now had two winters in a row that were almost ice-free.That’s part of a larger picture: Sea ice is in retreat across the whole Arctic.“The 13 lowest summer ice extents have been in the last 13 years,” said Donald Perovich, a Dartmouth College professor who studies sea ice.He said old ice is disappearing. Ice more than four years old is thicker and more resilient, he said, and young ice is more vulnerable to the elements. Back in the 1980s, Pervich said, about a third of the ice cover was made of that old, thick ice.“It covered an area roughly the same size as the United States east of the Mississippi,” he said. “Now, in March of 2019, it’s 1% of the ice cover, and all that’s left is an area the size of the state of Maine.”4. These changes cause direct harm to real people.Mellissa Johnson is Iñupiaq and lives in Nome. She was invited to speak at the report card rollout. She explained that her community depends on sea ice. It’s the platform they need to hunt marine mammals.Johnson said it used to be that hunters only had to travel 10 or 20 miles to reach the ice.“And now it’s, at minimum, 50 miles out, is where the sea ice is. And it’s having treacherous impacts to our hunters,” she said.The warmer environment is degrading their food sources, too, she said, and that leaves less to go around. Animals have a thinner fat layer. Sea birds are sick. Berries don’t ripen when they used to.And Johnson said they need snow cover and ice to travel between communities.“Without that, we become limited,” she said. “We become isolated. We become continuously sparse in our sharing.”This is the 14th annual Arctic Report Card. It’s a peer-reviewed document compiled by 81 scientists from a dozen countries.Melting ice is disrupting daily life in the Y-K Delta in the worst possible wayShare this story:last_img read more

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New guidelines simplify cholesterol tests: no fasting needed

first_img Please enter a valid email address. By Patrick Skerrett April 29, 2016 Reprints Rick Gershon/Getty Images One problem with fasting is that we spend most of the day in the nonfasting state, so the way cholesterol tests are currently done doesn’t necessarily give a clear picture of “normal” levels. Another is that fasting is a hassle for everyone concerned — patients, clinicians, and even lab workers.advertisement What’s behind the new recommendation?This change has been coming for some time. It is driven by data from a dozen-plus studies that include more than 300,000 people whose cholesterol and other lipids were measured when they hadn’t fasted. Their levels predicted cardiovascular risk, as well as, or possibly better than, fasting lipid levels.Nonfasting levels might be better?After you eat, your digestive system converts some of the carbohydrates and fats into triglycerides. Their level in the bloodstream rises, then gradually falls. If the triglyceride level rises too much, it’s a signal that the body has trouble metabolizing food. Think of eating as a stress test for metabolism. That’s something you can’t see if you’ve been fasting.What does this shift mean?Everyone wins with this change. People don’t like to fast overnight. Some find it difficult to do, others are even harmed by it, such as those who faint from fasting and people with diabetes who take medications to lower blood sugar. The new recommendation means you can have your blood drawn when it’s most convenient for you, rather than early in the day. What was the point of fasting before having a cholesterol test?Not eating for eight to 12 hours before having blood drawn for a cholesterol test was thought to give a more accurate assessment of total cholesterol, harmful LDL cholesterol, protective HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, a type of fat-carrying particle. We now know better. Expert view: New guidelines on cholesterol drugs are flawed About the Author Reprints [email protected] I’m supposed to have my cholesterol checked soon. It’s a simple test, but I’m not looking forward to it since it requires fasting overnight. And that means making a special early-morning trip to my doctor’s office.But new international guidelines say it’s OK — even preferred — to skip the overnight fast.To learn more about this small but oh-so-useful shift, I talked with cardiologist Dr. Samia Mora. She helped write the new guidelines, which were published this week in the European Heart Journal and summarized in JAMA Internal Medicine. Mora is director of the Center for Lipid Metabolomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.advertisement Leave this field empty if you’re human: Tags blood testscholesterolfastingcenter_img Cholesterol-lowering drugs may undermine effectiveness of flu vaccine, studies find Related: Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. Patrick Skerrett Related: First OpinionNew guidelines simplify cholesterol tests: no fasting needed Editor, First Opinion Patrick Skerrett is the editor of First Opinion, STAT’s platform for perspective and opinion on the life sciences writ large, and the host of the First Opinion Podcast. Privacy Policy @PJSkerrett It may even mean one-stop shopping — you can have your blood drawn and then see your doctor, all in the same visit. It’s easier for clinicians, who don’t have to keep track of patients’ special lab visits. Eliminating the fasting requirement will benefit labs, too, since they won’t have to deal with the daily crush of patients first thing in the morning needing blood draws for cholesterol checks.Does what you eat before the test matter?Consuming a double cheeseburger, fries, and a milk shake right before having your blood drawn for a cholesterol test may lead to a follow-up fasting test if the triglycerides are very high. But eating normally has little effect on your lipid levels, including triglycerides.Will this recommendation catch on in the United States?Health care providers often do what they are used to doing, so it may take a while for some to change to nonfasting cholesterol tests. But we also need to realize that there are advantages to this evidence-based change. Switching to nonfasting cholesterol testing is actually the path of least resistance for patients and clinicians. It also provides a more accurate lipid profile for individual patients.I believe that getting the word out to clinicians, lab directors, and patients will be enough to make the switch to nonfasting cholesterol tests in a fairly short time.last_img read more

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Research using brains-in-a-dish forces a radical rethinking of Huntington’s disease

first_img @sxbegle One striking abnormality in the organoids is the oversized movement-controlling striatum. That’s also seen in children and adolescents who have the Huntington’s mutation but who won’t show symptoms for many years, scientists reported in September. The striatum’s size initially outstrips that in healthy young people, brain MRIs showed, but then begins a fast pullback between ages 10 and 14. That might be a harbinger of the eventual pathology that precipitates the involuntary writhing and jerking that characterizes Huntington’s. It was as if the structure overshot its goal and then overcompensated.One reason why brain development might go off course in Huntington’s is the effect of the mutant protein on cells’ life cycles. Healthy huntingtin gathers up molecules deep in the cell nucleus that are required for cell division, Pouladi explained; the mutant protein fumbles that task, hobbling the proliferation of progenitor cells.That keeps cellular structures that resemble starbursts from growing to normal size. The self-organizing starbursts, collections of neurons radiating out from a central point, differentiate into all of the brain’s specialized regions, Pouladi said. In normal brains and normal brain organoids, they exceed 400 microns in the earliest stages of development. But in his Huntington’s organoids, none did, and very few were larger than 200 microns. The starburst size gap was especially stark in the organoids’ forebrain, which in the full-size brain controls higher cognition such as problem solving, planning, and judgment.“There is accumulating evidence that neurodevelopment is altered” in Huntington’s, said neuroscientist Scott Zeitlin of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and an expert on the disease. “But we don’t know yet if this causes any clinically relevant symptoms in people” or if the altered neurodevelopment somehow sets the stage for eventual neurodegeneration.One reason early neurodevelopmental abnormalities do not necessarily cause symptoms is that one region of the brain can compensate for deficits in another. For instance, although the striatum loses volume during the tween years, the cerebellum (which also controls movement) compensates, said Dr. Peggy Nopoulos of the University of Iowa, who led the MRI study.If abnormal neurodevelopment does contribute to the devastating adult symptoms of Huntington’s, then efforts to prevent, treat, or even cure the disease will need to focus much earlier than they now do, she said. An experimental therapy now being tested in a clinical trial, for instance, silences the HTT gene. Only adults are in the study, which isn’t unusual. But the growing recognition that Huntington’s is also neurodevelopmental suggests that treating earlier (assuming the gene-silencing drug candidate works) would be necessary “to maximize preventive therapy,” Nopoulos said, preserving normal neurodevelopment and forestalling neurodegeneration. The 42-day-old brain organoids created from healthy stem cells (top) have (left to right) large neuron-making structures (pink), and large numbers of well-organized specialized neurons (red) in the forebrain and cortex, while the organoids from stem cells with Huntington’s mutations have smaller neuron-making structures and fewer specialized neurons. Mahmoud Pouladi/Agency for Science, Technology and Research , Singapore “It’s not conclusive, but there is suggestive evidence that neurodevelopment is altered in Huntington’s disease,” said neurobiologist Mahmoud Pouladi of the National University of Singapore, who led the organoid work. If so, then if scientists discover a way to repair the mutant gene or remove the aberrant molecules it makes, “the earlier you intervene the better it should be.” Comparing the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson Sharon Begley Senior Writer, Science and Discovery (1956-2021) Sharon covered science and discovery. Leave this field empty if you’re human: It’s another clue that “abnormal neurodevelopment may be a component of [Huntington’s disease] pathophysiology,” he and his colleagues wrote in a paper submitted to a journal.More research is needed to determine whether that affects Huntington’s carriers in measurable ways, including in their cognition, movement, or emotional regulation. But one consequence of too-early differentiation is that the genes in the cortical neurons in the Huntington’s brain organoids have a different on-off pattern. Overall, their DNA activation is that of less mature neuronal development compared to brain organoids created from healthy people, which may lay the foundation for eventual neurodegeneration.The organoids’ behavior might explain puzzling findings in people who have a Huntington mutation. As children, their head circumference, a measure of brain volume, is smaller than healthy children’s, yet they are decades from showing symptoms. As adults, also before symptoms, they have a larger cerebral cortex, smaller basal ganglia, and less white matter, which carries signals from one neuron to another and thereby creates functional brain circuits. Mutation carriers also have a larger striatum, the region most affected by Huntington’s. The organoids showed abnormalities that can cause all of these.Neurons created from the stem cells of juvenile-onset Huntington’s patients — but not coaxed to form 3-D organoids — also had developmental abnormalities, Mattis and her colleagues found in their experiments. The connecting filaments, or neurites, “were shorter and less mature,” she said. “By 40 days we could see a real difference in their neurons” compared to those from healthy people, they reported last year.Scientists at Cedars-Sinai are now moving beyond cells-in-dishes to three-dimensional cerebral organoids. Organoids “are better able to show the process of cerebral maturation,” Mattis said, especially spatial organization of brain cells. Privacy Policy In the LabResearch using brains-in-a-dish forces a radical rethinking of Huntington’s disease In contrast, today’s most-watched clinical trials in Huntington’s include only adults, often middle-aged ones, reflecting the belief that most mutation carriers can reach their 30s or beyond cerebrally unscathed. In fact, doctors and advocacy groups strongly discourage genetic testing for Huntington’s in anyone under 18, presuming there’s nothing to be gained. According to the genetic-testing guidelines from the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, “Predictive testing of minors currently has no medical benefits and the possibility for psychosocial harm and lowered self-esteem is high.”advertisement The new understanding is surprising because Huntington’s has long seemed like a prototypical neurodegenerative disease, one in which the brain’s circuits, especially those that control movement and cognition, begin to fall apart in early to middle adulthood. Exactly when that happens depends on the severity of the genetic mutation, which is a sort of DNA stutter — repeats of the nucleotide sequence CAG in a gene named HTT, which makes a protein called huntingtin.Three dozen repeats of the sequence are normal; 40 or more generally result in Huntington’s symptoms in the person’s 30s, including abnormal walking, involuntary movements, loss of coordination, memory loss, delusions, difficulty thinking and understanding, irritability, and compulsive behavior. All are due to neuronal death in the movement-controlling striatum as well as the cerebral cortex. More than 60 repeats bring symptoms by adolescence.If nothing else, the fact that people can live normal lives for decades without suspecting they have the Huntington’s mutation (unless they undergo genetic testing) seemed to confirm that, like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, the disease ravages once-healthy brains, but doesn’t strike before then. Huntington’s disease, explainedVolume 90%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard ShortcutsEnabledDisabledPlay/PauseSPACEIncrease Volume↑Decrease Volume↓Seek Forward→Seek Backward←Captions On/OffcFullscreen/Exit FullscreenfMute/UnmutemSeek %0-9SettingsOffSubtitles (English)Font ColorWhiteFont Opacity100%Font Size100%Font FamilyArialCharacter EdgeNoneBackground ColorBlackBackground Opacity50%Window ColorBlackWindow Opacity0%ResetWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyan100%75%25%200%175%150%125%100%75%50%ArialCourierGeorgiaImpactLucida ConsoleTahomaTimes New RomanTrebuchet MSVerdanaNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDrop ShadowWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyan100%75%50%25%0%WhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyan100%75%50%25%0% facebook twitter Email Linkhttps://www.statnews.com/2019/12/10/brains-in-a-dish-rethinking-huntingtons-disease/?jwsource=clCopied EmbedCopiedLive00:0001:3401:34  An animation explaining how Huntington’s disease works. Dom Smith/STAT Experiments with both simple collections of neurons growing in lab dishes as well as cerebral organoids grown from the stem cells of Huntington’s patients, and therefore harboring the DNA stutters, are now undermining that belief. Cerebral organoids in general reprise the development of the donor’s brain, growing from a few cells to a structure with millions, and dozens of cell types, circuits, and layers — a complex entity capable of spontaneously generating brain waves.“Since the mutation is with you from conception, it makes sense that there could be deleterious effects on the brain from the beginning,” said biologist Virginia Mattis, who led studies at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of lab-grown neurons produced from Huntington’s patients’ stem cells. But effects on the young brain are subtle, she cautioned, and “just because it is neurodevelopmental doesn’t mean that all hope is lost.”In one of the most detailed studies of brain development in Huntington’s, Pouladi and his colleagues produced cerebral organoids from two kinds of stem cells. One batch came from human embryonic stem cells, from donated IVF embryos that had the Huntington’s mutation and were otherwise going to be discarded. The others came from pluripotent stem cells derived from Huntington’s patients, through a Nobel-winning technique that reverts ordinary skin or other adult cells back to an embryonic state.In both cases, the genesis cells had mutations of different severity (45, 65, or 81 CAG repeats). After at least 21 days, the organoids reached the size of apple seeds, about 2 millimeters across, and were beginning to mimic the brain development of a 4-month fetus in terms of which structures are emerging.One of the more striking findings was the failure of progenitor cells to remain in the hollows where they originated and replicate with abandon. Instead, Huntington’s cerebral organoids showed “premature neurodifferentiation,” Pouladi said, migrating abnormally early to their ultimate homes in the brain organoid, giving birth to neurons (a process called neurogenesis), and differentiating into specialized cells. The more CAG repeats, the more significantly the progenitors abandoned proliferation too soon.Digging deeper, Pouladi and his colleagues found one reason for that: Progenitor cells’ timing was off. They lingered in the growth phase of their life cycle before getting on to the business of reproducing. That stole time from the reproduction phase. The segue to differentiation began immediately after the abbreviated period of cellular reproduction. More CAG repeats predicted more lingering in the first phase, less time for proliferating, and more premature differentiation.center_img Related: Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. Please enter a valid email address. Trending Now: About the Author Reprints By Sharon Begley Dec. 10, 2019 Reprints Even allowing for the fact that these were lilliputian brains, they were not behaving at all according to plan. From the first days of the tiny lab-grown organs’ development, primitive “progenitor cells” romped out of their birthplaces in the deep interior and quickly turned into neurons and glia, specialized cells that do the brain’s heavy lifting, from thinking and feeling and moving to boring old neurological housekeeping. But the cells were jumping the gun.In healthy developing human brains, progenitor cells spend a good chunk of prenatal existence simply reproducing, vastly increasing their numbers and postponing becoming other brain cells. The impatient progenitor cells, however, were in cerebral organoids — minuscule 3-D versions of the brain — created from the cells of people with Huntington’s disease in hopes of mimicking the patients’ actual brain development decades earlier.It was new evidence that, in their understanding of this devastating genetic illness, scientists know only half the story: In addition to being a neurodegenerative disease, it is also neurodevelopmental, starting in the womb. These recent findings and other research are spurring a radical rethinking of Huntington’s, with implications for the age when any potential cure is likely to be most effective.advertisement [email protected] A clinical trial for Huntington’s opens the door to hope for some patients. Only so many can get in Tags neurologyneurosciencelast_img read more

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Laois TD urges cross party support for Bill ‘to protect student renters and their parents’

first_imgHome News Community Laois TD urges cross party support for Bill ‘to protect student renters… NewsCommunity WhatsApp Facebook Council TAGSBrian StanleySinn FeinstudentsUSI Electric Picnic Twitter Brian Stanley Laois TD Brian Stanley has called for cross party support for a Sinn Fein Bill that will come before the Dail on Wednesday.The party has teamed up with the University of Students of Ireland to draft legislation aimed at providing greater protections for student renters and their parents.Speaking ahead of the Dail debate, Deputy Stanley outlined the reasons for the Bill.He said: “The Residential Tenancies (Student Rents and Other Protections) (Covid-19) Bill 2021, drafted by the USI alongside Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin and spokesperson on Higher Education Rose Conway-Walsh, will provide greatly improved protections for student renters and their parents. The bill has been signed by 56 opposition TDs.“Many students renting student accommodation currently pay a term in advance, which usually runs from September to May, and can cost from on average €5,000 in Galway to an average €9000 for UCD per year.“Students and their parents paying for this accommodation are generally from outside Dublin or Galway and from counties like Laois and Offaly with no universities and in many cases, parents are paying costs for more than one student at a time.“This is a huge outlay for many families, especially middle-income households who cannot access SUSI grants.’’Deputy Stanley also set out what this Bill aims to do.He said: “The bill would prevent providers of student specific accommodation from charging more than one month’s rent in advance.“Crucially, the bill also addresses concerns raised by the USI about students and their parents not being able to access refunds when they had to leave, or could not take up, student accommodation due to Covid-19 restrictions.“This was a real problem for people in this constituency who are attending Waterford Institute of Technology & University of Limerick. I have made representations on many of these cases.“In the past year, many students have found themselves unable to access their accommodation due to public health measures, and were denied rent refunds for unused accommodation.“This bill allows for the prompt refunds in such instances. This bill would also enable a student to end a tenancy in student-specific accommodation by serving the landlord with a notice of termination of 28 days.“I call on all TDs to support this bill to provide students, and their parents, the protections they require.”SEE ALSO – Gardai forced to shut road to Laois tourist attraction as parking issues persist Electric Picnic Previous articleGardai called to Portlaoise Leisure Centre following ‘littering’ and trespassing issuesNext articleLaois County Council sell land worth €30,000 for new home with plans for more Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Pinterest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest By Alan Hartnett – 27th April 2021 WhatsApp Facebook Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date Mary Sweeney elected Cathaoirleach of Portlaoise Municipal District for next 12 months Laois TD urges cross party support for Bill ‘to protect student renters and their parents’ Electric Picnic apply to Laois County Council for new date for this year’s festival Twitterlast_img read more

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OBSI supports recommendation to make binding compensation decisions

first_img Related news FCAC to probe banks’ complaints handling processes OBSI plans to improve resolution process OBSI, the investment industry’s dispute-resolution service, published its response on Tuesday to the recommendations of an independent reviewer, former New Zealand Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell, which was published in June. Overall, the organization says it supports most of the review’s 19 reform recommendations. Specifically, OBSI endorses the recommendation that it should have the ability to secure redress for customer, rather than simply recommending investor compensation, with no real power to enforce its decisions. The review called for OBSI to be empowered to order binding awards. “OBSI supports this recommendation, which is consistent with the recommendations of previous external reviews and with our organization’s public position for many years,” the dispute-resolution service’s response says. Yet, OBSI also notes that it does not have the power to decide to adopt binding compensation decisions. That power resides with the policymakers that oversee the dispute-resolution service, and OBSI says that intends to raise the idea with them. “Determining an appropriate mechanism by which OBSI’s ability to secure redress for consumers could be increased is a matter we intend to discuss with securities regulators and stakeholders in the months to come, with a view to finding a solution that meets the needs of consumers, regulators and participating firms,” OBSI’s response says. OBSI also indicates in its response that it supports the reviewer’s recommendations to “adopt a strategic approach to ombudsmanship”; that the organization should improve its transparency; that it should seek a more formal relationship with its Consumer Investor Advisory Council; and that it should enhance communications with the investment industry. In addition, OBSI says it will be following the recommendation that it should gather information to help understand the impact of any potential change to its limitation period: “We intend to begin gathering this information with a view to potentially revisiting our limitation period in the future.” In addition, OBSI says it supports proposed improvements to its operational and case management practices: “We will be implementing programs and pilot projects in the coming months intended to streamline case handling, particularly for low complexity matters and to decrease our delay experience.” The dispute-resolution service also pledges to follow the recommendation for an early advice service for firms, saying that it will implement a pilot project to test this initiative in 2017. However, OBSI is pushing back against a couple of the review’s recommendations: namely, that the dispute-resolution service should consider increasing its compensation limit and that it should add a consumer advocate to its board. On the question of compensation limits, OBSI says its current compensation limit “is appropriate for our current mandate and allows us to assist the overwhelming majority of consumers who approach us for assistance.” In terms of the board’s makeup, OBSI says its existing governance structure was created after a review and “extensive public consultation” in 2012. “In our view, the interests of consumers and the Canadian public in general are well represented by our community directors and independent chair.” photo copyright: leeavison/123RF Insurance OmbudService makes western expansion a priority Keywords Dispute resolutionCompanies Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) agrees with an independent reviewer’s recommendation that it should have the power to make binding compensation decisions, but rejects the idea of raising compensation limits and altering its board. Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Share this article and your comments with peers on social media James Langton OBSI updates terms of referencelast_img read more

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Sterling Mutuals unveils portfolio rebalancing service

first_img Windsor, Ont.-based Sterling Mutuals Inc. has launched a portfolio rebalancing service that provides the benefit of automatic rebalancing on an investor’s preferred portfolio of funds.“Automatic rebalancing programs are currently limited to operating within a specific mutual fund company lineup of funds,” explains Michael Stanley, president Sterling Mutuals, in a statement. Canoe to acquire Fiera’s retail mutual funds and fund dealer Firms face barriers to ETF market Offering ETFs will mean new requirements for mutual fund dealers Also watchTheory, mechanics of rebalancing portfoliosWorking with an advisor, investors select a preferred investment mix of funds and then decide on the maximum range the funds are permitted to fluctuate within the portfolio. A portfolio can then be automatically rebalanced on a quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis.The rebalancing service is also available to other mutual fund dealers through either a technology licensing or carrying dealer arrangement. Related news digital tablet hands graph planning economic business success armpannawat/123RFcenter_img IE Staff Keywords Mutual fund dealersCompanies Sterling Mutuals Inc. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media “The Sterling rebalancing service allows investors to maintain a desired portfolio mix of funds created from multiple fund company offerings.”The program is designed to ease the administrative burden advisors face through manual portfolio rebalancing, Sterling says in a news release.Also readPortfolio rebalancing: A vital source of incremental return Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

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Victorian Chamber celebrates return of office workers, hospitality cap increases and return of events

first_imgVictorian Chamber celebrates return of office workers, hospitality cap increases and return of events Victorian Chamber of Commerce and IndustryVictoria’s largest peak business association is today celebrating our state’s progression from the third step to the last step in Victoria’s Roadmap to Reopening on behalf of our 40,000 plus members. The Victorian Chamber has had three major wins in today’s announcement on issues that we have been publicly and privately advocating on for weeks: the return of office workers at 25 per cent capacity, hospitality cap increases to 150 inside and the return of events.From Monday, 30 November, private sector office workers can return at 25 per cent capacity this should see the CBD come back to life with some much needed foot traffic just in time for December. The further increase in hospitality caps from Monday, 23 November, is another injection to business and one for which the Chamber has been a major advocate.The return of events, to the cultural capital of Australia, is most welcome and is another shot of confidence to many businesses. This has been a priority for the Chamber and we have been leading the way in negotiation with Government that events should be classified based on their size. It is pleasing to know that the Government has taken our recommendations on board.The main changes relating to business from 11.59pm tonight include:Hospitality patron caps increased to 150 people indoors for larger venues with one person per four square metres but the density limit decreases to one person per two square metres for smaller venues up to a maximum of 50 people Events permitted with up to 500 people and subject to a permit system beyond that Indoor food court limits boosted to 50 per cent capacity Workforce caps removed from abattoirs, meat, poultry and seafood processing Masks can now be removed for personal services such as facials, waxing and beard trimming Capacity at cinemas and theatres increased to 150 with a maximum 25 per cent capacity (up from 100 in the original roadmap) Casino and gaming venues open with density limits, including one person per four square metres Number of guests permitted at weddings and funerals increased to 150 Gyms and indoor recreation classes or groups sizes increased to 20 with a venue cap of 100 Indoor pools patron cap increased to 50 Indoor auctions permitted for up to 20 people and 50 people if held outdoors. The State Government has also amended the last step to remove the mandatory wearing of face masks outside while distanced from others.To be attributed to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra:“The Victorian Chamber is celebrating three major advocacy wins today in the announcements around office workers getting the green light to return, the increase on indoor hospitality caps which will mean that most can now operate at full capacity and the welcome return of our renowned events.“We have been campaigning strongly on these three issues in particular in recent weeks, in daily contact with Ministers and Departments, and are pleased that the Government has listened and acted to go beyond the original roadmap steps in the interests of Victorian businesses and the Victorian economy.“With 23 consecutive days of zero infections and zero deaths, today’s announcement will further add to the strong sense of optimism and positivity which will guide us on the path to restore our status as the economic powerhouse of Australia. The challenge now is to continue to be vigilant, follow your COVID Safe plans and focus on long term strategies for growth.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, business, Casino, Chamber of Commerce, commerce, court, Economy, face masks, food, Government, industry, optimism, seafood, Victoria, workforcelast_img read more

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Deloitte report confirms Tasmania’s economic recovery is well underway

first_imgDeloitte report confirms Tasmania’s economic recovery is well underway Peter Gutwein,Premier & TreasurerThe Deloitte Access Economics Business Outlook Report for December 2020 confirms that our Plan to Rebuild a Stronger Tasmania is working.The report estimates strong economic growth for Tasmania of 3.4 per cent in the 2021 calendar year, which is commensurate with or higher than four other jurisdictions, while also estimating employment growth of 0.6 per cent in 2020-21.The report notes the improved outlook has been driven through the strong and early measures we implemented to control the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the record State and Federal Government stimulus measures, which have generated relative strength in the housing market, strong retail trade rebounds, and public spending on infrastructure.Importantly, the report again confirms that Tasmania’s economy came into COVID at a time when it was firing on all cylinders, and the measures we took to control the virus have been a clear success story that has allowed our State to rebound and recover. Indeed the report noted our success allowed our: “retail sector hit the ground running, outpacing the national economy as Tasmanians eagerly hit the shops.”The report also mentions our recent achievements on the renewables front, including becoming 100% self-sufficient in late 2020 and progressing the Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link projects, both of which will generate large amounts of economic activity for the State.And, the report notes that “Tassie’s housing market is looking remarkably good – helped along by record low interest rates and government stimulus measures that have supported elevated residential construction activity”Importantly, the report also endorses the strong measures we have taken in the 2020-21 Budget to help our State recover, saying:“The State Government has also shown that it will do everything in its power to get the economy moving again producing a gangbuster state budget. The centrepiece is a $5 billion infrastructure program – investing in roads, essential services (such as education and training, health and housing) and tourism. The State Government is moving fast on procurement to get major projects (such as the new Bridgewater Bridge) going as soon as possible – keeping construction activity afloat in the state.”While this is good news that confirms our economy is heading in the right direction, we know there is more to do, which is why we will continue to support investment and jobs, getting Tasmanians back into work, and rebuilding Tasmania to be the economic powerhouse it was before the COVID-19 pandemic /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:AusPol, Australia, Bridgewater, business, Deloitte, education, employment, Federal, federal government, Government, infrastructure, Investment, pandemic, record low, retail sector, spending, TAS, Tasmania, Tassielast_img read more

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Volkswagen Arteon debuts with handsome looks, lavish interior

first_img ‹ Previous Next › Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.22018 Volkswagen ArteonGraeme Fletcher, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.22018 Volkswagen ArteonGraeme Fletcher, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.22018 Volkswagen ArteonGraeme Fletcher, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.22018 Volkswagen ArteonGraeme Fletcher, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.22018 Volkswagen ArteonGraeme Fletcher, Driving Should you buy it? Look at the specs and it is not difficult to see VW is pushing upmarket with the Arteon. It has the right style, the right content and just enough Audi-ness – it certainly resembles the A5 Sportback – to potentially attract a new crop of customers. Trending in Canada When will Canada get it? No word on when it will hit Canadian roads, but the consensus was as a 2018 model to arrive early 2018. RELATED TAGSVolkswagenGenevaGeneva Motor ShowNewsAudi A5Audi AGCanadaCars and Car DesignCulture and LifestyleEuropeGeneva (Switzerland)Passenger CarsVolkswagen AG COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTScenter_img advertisement Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. What is it?Volkswagen‘s new Arteon looks very much like the Sport Coupe Concept GTE shown last year in Geneva. In fact, it retains nearly all the key styling cues and arrives as a four-door hatchback. As with much of VW’s stable, the Arteon employs the company’s MQB platform and many of the mechanicals. Beyond the sharp exterior style, the cabin says luxury — the quality materials and a large central touchscreen that looks after the infotainment system dominate the lavishly equipped cockpit.Why does it matter? In Europe, the Arteon will arrive with six four-cylinder gasoline and turbodiesel engines. For Canada, it will likely arrive with VW’s 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder, but with 276 hp. It will drive all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Given the three diesel options are highly unlikely to arrive in Canada, the optional engine could very well be the company’s 3.6L V6. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 2018 Volkswagen Arteon last_img read more

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