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Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG president and CEO.Modern Times Group has delivered fourth quarter profits in line with analyst forecasts after a tough year that has seen the forced sale of its stake in Russian broadcaster CTC Media and the sale of its Russian and central and eastern European pay TV businesses.MTG posted net sales of SEK4.54 billion (€487 million) for the fourth quarter, up 4% at constant exchange rates. EBIT before non-recurring items was SEK434 million, down from SEK478 million, while net income was SEK375 million, down from SEK471 million.CTC, the sale of which has still to be finalised, was classified as a discontinued operation by the group with a net income of zero for the quarter. MTG said that the ‘fair value’ of its 38% holding in the company, the sale of its stake in which was forced by Russia’s new media laws severely restricting foreign ownership, was SEK1 billion as of December 31, reflecting its completed sale of a 75% to UTV Management for US$200 million.MTG said that the sale or termination of its holding in the group would result in a non-cash charge to net income of SEK1 billion.MTG’s emerging markets pay TV business saw fourth quarter sales drop by 40% to SEK212 million following the sale and deconsolidation of the Russian and international pay TV channel business in November. MTG said it “a solution is currently being finalized” regarding the future of its troubled Ukrainian pay TV platform, while youth-oriented channel business Trace saw sales grow in the quarter.MTG’s Nordic pay TV business saw sales rise by 3% at constant exchange rates to SEK1.5 billion, while EBIT fell from SEK184 million to SEK173 million. The total premium subscriber base grew by 24,000 quarter-on-quarter excluding the Viaplay subscription video-on-demand service.Nordic free TV activities saw sales rise at constant exchange rates thanks to a strong performance in Denmark and Norway. In emerging markets, Bulgaria the Baltic states and the Czech Republic all reported higher sales, while MTG’s Hungarian operations were deconsolidated in November.The relatively strong performance enabled the group to propose an increased dividend of SEK11.50 a share.“Our aim is to accelerate our sales growth and increase our operating profits in 2016, due to the positive effects of the transformation process; the high level of operational gearing in our emerging market free-TV operations; and the positive sales impact of the content investments that we have made. These benefits will gradually compensate during the year for the anticipated SEK250m of incremental adverse FX effects, and the additional costs for the new or extended sports rights that we have acquired,” said Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, president and CEO.
AddThis ShareCONTACT: Franz BrotzenPHONE: 713-348-6775E-MAIL: email@example.comBaker Institute forum to examine legal battle behind stem cell researchScientific research using human embryonic stem cells was thrown into turmoil in August when a federal judge ruled it violated a congressional amendment. An Oct. 4 presentation at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, “The Fate of Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Examining the Legal Battle Behind the Science,” will look at the impact of the ruling on scientists and stem cell research, future legal actions and how the Obama administration and Congress can address the issues created by the court’s decision. Speakers the will include Robert Riddle, a patent lawyer with the law firm of Baker Botts, and Richard Behringer, professor of genetics at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Neal Lane, senior fellow in science and technology policy at the Baker Institute and Rice’s Malcolm Gillis University Professor, will deliver the opening remarks.On Aug. 23, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ruled in the preliminary motions of Sherley v. Sebelius that funding human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research violated the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. The amendment prohibits the creation of hESC lines from destroyed embryos. The court issued an injunction blocking all National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for hESC research, which resulted in the NIH removing all hESC grants from review and blocking funding to newly awarded grants. Research at NIH’s Bethesda, Md., campus was halted as well. On Sept. 8, the Department of Justice appealed; in response, a federal appeals court temporarily suspended the injunction to hear arguments from both the plaintiffs in Sherley v. Sebelius and the Department of Justice. Though hESC research is permitted — pending the appeals court ruling — Lamberth’s decision could ultimately ban funding regardless of whether the appeals court permanently stays the injunction. These tumultuous court rulings have left scientists uncertain of the future of the $140 million in grants currently funded by the NIH. For more on the presentation, go to http://www.bakerinstitute.org/events/esc1010. Support for the Oct. 4 program has been provided by the State of Qatar Endowment for International Stem Cell Policy.The event begins at 4 p.m. in Baker Hall’s Kelly International Conference Center. For directions, go to http://bakerinstitute.org/contact_directions.cfm. Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Franz Brotzen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-348-6775.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 15 2018A research team has discovered that abnormal vision in childhood can affect the development of higher-level brain areas responsible for things such as attention.The researchers from the University of Waterloo, University of British Columbia, and the University of Auckland uncovered differences in how the brain processes visual information in patients with various types of lazy eye. In doing so, they are the first to demonstrate that the brain can divert attention away from a lazy eye when both eyes are open.”Current treatments for lazy eye primarily target the early stages of visual processing within the brain,” said Ben Thompson, a professor in Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science.”The results from this study show us that new treatments should also target higher-level processes such as attention.”Related StoriesResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustLazy eye, known as amblyopia, is a loss of vision that originates in the brain, typically when a child develops an eye turn (strabismic type) or a substantial difference in refractive error between the eyes (anisometropic type). The unequal input causes the brain to ignore information from the weaker eye during brain development. Conventionally, eyecare practitioners treated the different types of lazy eye similarly, primarily because the visual impairments experienced appeared to be the same.In this study lead researcher, Amy Chow, and her colleagues asked patients to pay attention to a specific set of dots among a group of distracting dots, all moving on a computer screen. However, the tracked dots were only visible in one eye (the weaker eye) while the distracting dots were visible only to the other eye (the stronger eye).For people with normal vision as well as those with anisometropic amblyopia, showing different images between the two eyes didn’t matter. Both groups were able to overcome the distracting interference and track the dots successfully. Patients with strabismic amblyopia, on the other hand, were unable to direct their attention to the target dots when they were visible to only the weaker eye.”One of the underlying reasons why some people with lazy eye have poor vision comes down to how the brain suppresses an eye,” said Chow, a PhD student at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at Waterloo. “The poorer-seeing eye is open, the retina is healthy and sending information through to the brain, yet that information does not reach conscious awareness as the brain chooses not to use it.”About thirty-five thousand Canadians – one per cent of the population – have strabismic amblyopia. The condition can be corrected in childhood, but treatment efficacy can be highly variable. These findings are a stepping stone in developing better treatments of lazy eye. Source:http://www.uwaterloo.ca/
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 22 2018Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited today announced that intracranial efficacy data from the Phase 3 ALTA-1L (ALK in Lung Cancer Trial of BrigAtinib in 1st Line) trial showed improved intracranial progression-free survival (PFS) and intracranial objective response rate (ORR) with ALUNBRIG (brigatinib) compared to crizotinib among anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive (ALK+) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Data for these secondary endpoints will be presented in a poster discussion at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress on Friday, October 19 at 2:00 p.m. CET in Munich, Germany. These results further support ALUNBRIG as a potential treatment for adults with ALK+ locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC who had not received a prior ALK inhibitor. ALUNBRIG is currently not approved as first-line therapy for advanced ALK+ NSCLC.”ALK+ NSCLC often spreads to the brain, so having options that can clearly demonstrate efficacy both in the brain and systemically is important for physicians and their patients,” said Sanjay Popat, PhD, FRCP, Medical Oncologist, Royal Marsden Hospital. “The ALTA-1L trial showed that treatment with brigatinib significantly delayed progression of disease in the brain compared to crizotinib, and we look forward to sharing the clinical evidence with the medical community at ESMO.”In the first interim analysis of the ALTA-1L trial, intracranial PFS was significantly improved with ALUNBRIG compared to crizotinib in the Intention to Treat population (ITT) (Hazard ratio [HR]: 0.42, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.24−0.70; log-rank P=0.0006) and the population with baseline brain metastases (HR: 0.27, 95% CI: 0.13−0.54; log-rank P<0.0001). Among patients with brain metastases at baseline, ALUNBRIG reduced the risk of progression in the brain or death by 73 percent. Intracranial PFS in patients without brain metastases at baseline is not yet mature as of this first interim analysis.Treatment with ALUNBRIG also demonstrated an improved intracranial ORR compared to crizotinib. For patients with measurable brain metastases at baseline, 78 percent achieved confirmed intracranial OR in the ALUNBRIG arm versus 29 percent in the crizotinib arm. For patients with non-measurable brain metastases at baseline, 67 percent achieved confirmed intracranial OR in the ALUNBRIG arm versus 17 percent in the crizotinib arm.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerIn addition, ALUNBRIG significantly delayed both central nervous system (CNS) progression (without prior systemic progression) and systemic progression (without prior CNS progression) compared to crizotinib. Baseline factors related to the CNS, such as the proportion of patients with baseline brain metastases, mean number of brain metastases, and prior brain radiotherapy, including type, were balanced among patients in the two study arms. The safety profile associated with ALUNBRIG in the ALTA-1L trial was generally consistent with the existing U.S. prescribing information."CNS disease presents a significant burden for patients with ALK+ NSCLC," said David Kerstein, MD, Global Clinical Lead for Brigatinib and Lung Cancer Clinical Portfolio Strategy Lead, Takeda. "These additional intracranial efficacy results from the ALTA-1L trial build upon activity previously reported with ALUNBRIG in patients with brain metastases in the post-crizotinib setting and demonstrate Takeda's dedication to research that aims to improve outcomes for those living with this serious disease."These data build on results recently presented during the Presidential Symposium at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC), which showed that treatment with ALUNBRIG resulted in superior PFS compared to crizotinib as assessed by a blinded independent review committee, corresponding to a 51 percent reduction in the risk of disease progression or death (HR: 0.49, 95% CI: 0.33−0.74]; log-rank P=0.0007).Grade 3 to 5 treatment-emergent adverse events occurred in 61% of the patients in the brigatinib arm and 55% of the patients in the crizotinib arm. Most common grade 3 or greater treatment-emergent adverse events for brigatinib were increased blood creatine phosphokinase (16%), increased lipase (13%), hypertension (10%), and increased amylase (5%); and for crizotinib were increased alanine aminotransferase (9%), increased aspartate aminotransferase (6%), and increased lipase (5%). Source:https://www.takeda.com/newsroom/newsreleases/2018/takeda-to-present-results-from-phase-3-alta-1l-trial-highlighting-intracranial-efficacy-of-alunbrig-brigatinib-versus-crizotinib-in-first-line-advanced-alk-non-small-cell-lung-cancer/
Eating leafy green vegetables like spinach could help maintain muscle strength into old age.Researchers from Edith Cowan University tracked the diets of 1420 West Australian women aged over 70 and found that those who ate more nitrate-rich vegetables like spinach, rocket and lettuce had significantly better muscle strength and physical function.Measuring musclesMuscle strength was assessed by measuring participant’s grip strength. Physical function was quantified using the timed-up-and-go (TUG) test, which measures how long it takes to rise from a chair, walk three meters then return to the chair to sit down.Related StoriesNew drug provides hope for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy’Text neck’ may be causing bone spurs in young peopleStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskLead researcher Dr Marc Sim from ECU’s School of Medical and Health Sciences said a decline in muscle strength and physical function are associated with greater risk of disability and even premature death.He says previous research in older populations has shown that a 1 kg decline over 12 months in grip strength is associated with a 33 per cent increased mortality risk. Every one second slower TUG time increases mortality risk by eight per cent over three years.“Poor strength and function are also associated with other adverse outcomes such as falls and fractures, which substantially compromise an individual’s independence,” he said.“In our study we found that eating one cup of spinach, rocket or lettuce a day may increase grip strength by up to 2 kg and improve TUG time by up to 1.6 seconds.”Nitrate and blood flowDr Sim said while it was unclear exactly how nitrate positively influences muscle function, one possible mechanism could be improved vascular function and blood flow.“We know from previous research that nitric oxide is a vasodilator, which means that it widens your blood vessels, potentially allowing greater blood flow to your muscles. In fact, nitrate supplements are used by athletes to improve endurance and performance.“It could be that higher daily nitrate intake consistently increases muscle blood flow, thereby facilitating musculoskeletal health,” he said.The study follows on from previous ECU research that found a link between eating nitrate-rich vegetables and a lower risk of death from stroke and heart disease.Where to next?Dr Sim said the next step would be to conduct an intervention study to test precisely how nitrate-rich vegetable consumption influences muscle function.Confirmation of the health benefits of dietary nitrate would be used to inform future dietary recommendations. Mar 25 2019Popeye was on to something. Eating just one cup of leafy green vegetables like spinach each day may help maintain muscle strength and mobility into old age. Source:https://www.ecu.edu.au/features/postgraduate/leafy-greens-key-to-maintaining-muscles
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Leader of failed MH370 wreckage hunt hopes to search again The Malaysia Airlines jet vanished in March 2014 with 239 people—mostly from China—on board, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.No sign of it was found in a 120,000-square kilometre (46,000-square mile) Indian Ocean search zone and the Australian-led hunt, the largest in aviation history, was suspended in January 2017.US exploration firm Ocean Infinity mounted a fresh hunt on a “no find, no fee basis” last year for several months, using hi-tech drones to scour the seabed, but did not locate the plane. Hundreds of people, including some of the relatives of those onboard, gathered at a Kuala Lumpur shopping mall Sunday to mark the anniversary of the jet’s disappearance. Only a few fragments of MH370 have been found, all of them on western Indian Ocean shores. Two of those pieces were put on display Sunday for the first time at the memorial. There is no new search planned, but Transport Minister Anthony Loke said at the event that the government was open to hearing proposals to resume the hunt.”If there are any credible leads and any specific proposals, especially from Ocean Infinity, we are more than willing to look at it,” he said. Jacquita Gonzales, whose husband Patrick Gomes was a crew member on the flight, said there was “no closure until the plane is found, until we exactly know what happened to the aircraft and our loved ones on board.”It gets tougher every year, because we are all expecting some answers.”In a long-awaited final report into the tragedy released in July last year, the official investigation team pointed to failings by air traffic control and said the course of the plane was changed manually. But they failed to come up with any firm conclusions, leaving families of those onboard angry and disappointed. Explore further Grace Subathirai Nathan, daughter of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 passenger Anne Daisy, shows debris believed to be from the ill-fated flight at a November 2018 press conference in Putrajaya Malaysia is open to restarting the hunt for Flight MH370 if firms come forward with credible leads and concrete proposals, the transport minister said Sunday, five years on from the plane’s disappearance. © 2019 AFP Citation: Malaysia open to proposals to revive MH370 hunt (2019, March 3) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-malaysia-revive-mh370.html Hundreds of people, including some of the relatives of those onboard, gathered at a Kuala Lumpur shopping mall Sunday to mark the anniversary of the jet’s disappearance
Provided by The Conversation Global airplane fatalities averaged 840 a year from 2010 to 2018, compared with almost 2,000 in the 1990s. In fact, this decade is on pace to see the fewest casualties since the dawn of jet travel in the 1930s. Yet the March 10 crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 serves as a stark reminder that despite the significant safety gains in commercial aviation, accidents are still possible. And when they occur, the number of fatalities is often large.What makes the most recent crash particularly concerning is that the airplane design may have played a significant contributing role. Perhaps even worse, there are early indications that regulators at the Federal Aviation Administration – the agency that oversees the development and certification of all U.S. airplanes – may have been more concerned about bringing the Boeing 737 Max to market than about consumer safety.As a result, observers have accused the FAA of being too cozy with Boeing. And transportation officials in both the U.S. and Canada plan to review how the plane got certified to fly by the FAA.As experts on the regulatory process, we see this as a tragic example of what happens when an agency must balance competing goals. The FAA was supposed to protect air travelers and regulate aircraft makers. At the same time, it doesn’t want to make it harder for companies like Boeing to make money in a very competitive global market. Explore further Recent incidents aside, air travel is incredibly safe these days. And a heated rivalry is exactly where Boeing’s current troubles began.Competing in a global marketThe global market for jetliners has been dominated by two major competitors: Boeing and Airbus. Since the 1990s, they’ve been in a bruising battle over market share. Competition has been particularly fierce in the narrow-body or single-aisle aircraft market. This segment historically has made up about two-thirds of deliveries for both Airbus and Boeing. It also holds significant growth potential in the future. Altogether, they have sold and delivered almost 20,000 aircraft from the A320 or 737 families since their respective launches in the 1970s and 1980s.When one company gains even a slight edge by offering a more efficient product, the implications can be massive. This occurred with the highly successful launch of the Airbus 320neo in 2010. The cost savings from reduced fuel consumption proved so significant that even American Airlines, an exclusive Boeing customer at the time, ordered several hundred 320neos. Fuel is the second-highest expense for airlines after labor.Boeing playing catch-upFalling behind its rival, Boeing felt the need to update its 737 family. And it had to do it fast, particularly with regard to fuel efficiency.So Boeing decided to alter the position of the plane’s engines. But doing so changed the plane’s aerodynamics in a way that could cause the plane’s nose to tip upward into a stall, which is what appears to have happened repeatedly before the recent crashes. Boeing sought to solve this engineering problem using an automated correction system known as MCAS. A malfunction of this system may have contributed to the crashes of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610 in October – although investigations are ongoing.Boeing has put out a statement saying that it working with investigators to determine the cause of the crash. The FAA and the Boeing 737 Max 8Even before these incidents, there were concerns that the FAA was delegating too much safety oversight to Boeing itself.The FAA allowed Boeing to handle much of the safety certification process, and Congress supported doing so – though recent events may be prompting lawmakers to change their tune. Reports have suggested that Boeing even excluded FAA technical experts from some of those decisions. In addition, recent analyses suggest that Boeing made several misjudgments when it designed MCAS and hasn’t been fully forthcoming with both the FAA and airlines about how it worked. The airline has also been accused of providing inadequate training for pilots. ‘Regulatory capture’ at the FAA?This has led critics to argue that the FAA has gotten too close to the entity it was supposed to oversee. This situation – when regulatory agencies created to protect the public interest become overly entangled with commercial and special interests – is known as “regulatory capture.” Many see this as corrosive for society. The 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil explosion, the largest marine spill in history, is considered an example of this.Yet, capture is difficult to prove, especially in an era when businesses must work closely with government to ensure that agency officials have the best and latest technical information to develop and issue appropriate regulations. During this process, public regulators are supposed to act in the “public interest.” However, the term is inherently vague and open to a multitude of competing interpretations. Unless it involves outright bribes or other corrupt activities, business influence on regulators fails to amount to criminal conduct.To us, it seems that the FAA was simply caught in an impossible position between the competing goals of protecting consumers and protecting American business interests. In this case, the pendulum may have swung too far to the side of the latter.Unquestionably, we want our airplanes to be safe. And, to be clear, we believe Boeing does as well. Yet we also want American companies to be successful, and regulations are inherently costly and time-consuming for businesses, many of which are competing with companies worldwide.It is not surprising that Boeing was eager to move forward with the 737 Max as fast as possible. Nor is it surprising that the FAA and other regulatory bodies are hesitant to impose excessive burdens on American companies – particularly on one of the nation’s premier exporters. And generally, business interests tend to be much more successful in obtaining their preferred regulatory outcomes than public interest groups. Our own recent work shows that the White House – regardless which party controls it – is more likely to interfere with regulations coming out of more liberal and arguably pro-regulatory agencies. The pendulum keeps swingingThe existence of competing incentives confronting regulatory agencies is nothing new. Public agencies must serve a multitude of goals and objectives and somehow find an appropriate balance.Yet, at times, the balancing act by public agencies may tilt too far in one direction. And unfortunately, when the imbalance occurs at agencies tasked with protecting public safety, the consequences can be exceedingly dire. It seems likely that increased public scrutiny in the wake of the two crashes may force the FAA to take a more aggressive stance on the side of consumer safety in the future. Eventually, however, business interests are likely to begin pushing back, and once again the pendulum will swing the other way. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Boeing: 737 MAX certification followed US rules This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Boeing 737 Max: The FAA wanted a safe plane – but didn’t want to hurt America’s biggest exporter either (2019, March 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-boeing-max-faa-safe-plane.html This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.