APTN National NewsThe defrocked priest facing more than 70 sex related charges against Inuit children.APTN’s Kent Driscoll has been covering the trial.
APTN National News OTTAWA–The Federal Court of Appeal has upheld a Federal Court decision that found the Metis have the same rights as Status Indians under the Canadian Constitution.The appeal court, however, did not include non-status Indians in the decision, arguing it was a separate issue that needed to be dealt with on a case by case basis.The appeal court’s decision in the Daniels case, if it stands, means Ottawa now has a fiduciary responsibility to the Metis who can now access programs and services previously exclusively offered to status First Nations people and Inuit. At the core, the case hinged on whether Ottawa or the provinces had jurisdiction over the Metis and non-status Indians.“The Court declares that the Metis are included as ‘Indians’ within the meaning of section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867,” said the decision written by Justice Eleanor Dawson and concurred with by Justice Marc Noel and Justice Johanne Trudel.Clement Chartier, president of the Metis National Council, said he was “very pleased” with the ruling.“It is a significant victory and it is going to make it easier for us as we continue dealing with the federal government and continue our relationship building with the federal government,” said Chartier.There are about 350,000 Metis in Canada.Ottawa can still try to challenge the decision with the Supreme Court of Canada.“We are reviewing all elements of (Thursday’s) decision to determine next steps,” said Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt’s office in a statement.Valcourt’s office said it was “pleased” non-status Indian issue severed from the ruling on the Metis.The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, which represents Metis, non-status and off-reserve status people, said it was studying whether to appeal ruling to seek clarity on the non-status component.“It’s a new ear of collaboration,” said CAP National Chief Betty Ann Lavallee.Labrador’s NunatuKavut Community Council said it was “thrilled” with the decision.“This is a major step towards the recognition and equality that we deserve,” said NCC President Todd Russell. “The Daniels decision should help change that, Government needs to bite the bullet and move forward to negotiations with us, rather than continue to ignore our rights and their obligations.”The NCC, formerly the Labrador Metis Nation, has been trying to negotiate a land claim with Ottawa for 23 years.The Daniels case was started in 1999 by Harry Daniels, a Metis leader who was president of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, and Leah Gardner, a non-status Indian woman from northwestern Ontario. After Daniels died in 2004, his son Gabriel Daniels was added to the case along with Terry Joudrey, a non-status Mi’kmaq from Nova Scotia.Ottawa has long held the position that it was only responsible for status Indians registered under the Indian Act and the Inuit. The Inuit had to to also fight for that recognition in court and won it in 1939.The appeal court, however, excluded non-status Indians from its ruling.“The reasons for excluding people from Indian status are complex, far-ranging and often unrelated to one another,” the appeal court said. “To determine the limits of the word ‘Indian’ as it pertains to non-status Indians under the division of powers it is necessary to analyze the reason each class of individual was excluded from the Indian Act on a case-by-case basis.”firstname.lastname@example.org
Amsterdam – Former Dutch MP of Moroccan origin, Naima Azough, has recently been appointed as the new Special Rapporteur on radicalization and extremism in the Netherlands.Naima Azough will be asked to present by the end of the year a report on the strengths and shortcomings of the adopted approach to fight radicalization and extremism in the Netherlands, said Monday Dutch press agency (ANP).Azough, a member of the Green Party (GroenLinks), was appointed to this position at the request of the minister of culture, education and science and of the Secretary of State for public health and sport. Her main task will be to examine the approach taken by social workers, police, education professionals and families to counter youth isolation and radicalization.Born in 1972 in Asdif in Morocco, Naima Azough was a member of the Dutch House of Representatives from 2002 to 2010. She studied English and German at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) before joining the University of Amsterdam to specialize in international relations.
SANTA ANA, Calif. — Wells Fargo has agreed to pay at least $385 million to settle a California lawsuit alleging it signed up thousands of auto loan customers for costly car insurance without their consent, resulting in many having their vehicles repossessed.The bank filed the agreement Thursday in a federal court in Santa Ana. It still needs a judge’s approval.Another defendant, National General Insurance, agreed to pay $7.5 million.The lawsuit alleged that for years, Wells Fargo tacked on unneeded insurance to customers’ car loans. The suit says the additional cost led to some 25,000 car owners losing their vehicles.San Francisco-based Wells Fargo confirmed the agreement Friday and calls it “an important step in making things right.” The bank says it will be sending checks to affected customers.The Associated Press
An auto-driver in Tami Nadu set himself on fire this morning to protest against the visit of Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse, who will be in India later this week. Vijayraj, the driver, is in hospital in critical condition.The Sri Lankan president will inaugurate a Buddhist university in Madhya Pradesh. Parties in Tamil Nadu have described his visit as “unacceptable”. Opposition leader Vaiko from Tamil Nadu said he will lead a protest in Madhya Pradesh against the Sri Lankan president’s tour. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has appealed to him to re-consider, pointing out that the trip has no political agenda, and it should be seen as an endeavour to promote peace and harmony among Asian countries. In Puducherry today, a day-long bandh has been called by actor-director Seeman and his party to protest against Mr Rajapakse’s visit. Several shops and schools are closed.Political parties in Tamil Nadu have also expressed their opposition to the union government’s decision to allow the training of Sri Lanka defence officers in India. In July, nine air force officers were moved from an air base in Tamil Nadu to Bangalore after objections by Jayalalithaa. However, she came in for much criticism after she recently ordered school and college football teams from Sri Lanka to leave the state. (NDTV) Sri Lankan forces have been accused of violating the rights of thousands of Tamils in the final months of the island’s civil war, which ended in May 2009. The rebel LTTE tigers were defeated. Political parties in Tamil Nadu staunchly support the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils, who have for decades complained about persecution by the majority Sinhales.
Meanwhile 49 houses were fully damaged around the island and another 2907 partially damaged. Water levels in several reservoirs in the country had also overflowed after days of heavy rain.The Disaster Management Center said that four people were killed in Kalutara while 1 death each was reported from Jaffna and other parts of the country. The Disaster Management Center said that six people have been killed and 69,659 others displaced following the heavy rain and strong winds as of today.A DMC spokesman said that several roads in and around Colombo were also blocked by floods and uprooted trees while train services were also affected. He said that 1841 people were displaced in Mullaitivu and 1728 in Jaffna. Director of the center Pradeep Kodipilli said that the displaced people were housed in temporary shelters. A part of the southern expressway was also closed today as the exit was flooded.Cyclone ‘Nilam’ had struck Sri Lanka this week but it began to gradually move towards southern India today.Report by Easwaran Rutnam
According to reports, Parliamentary elections are likely to take place in January.The move to dissolve Parliament comes after the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) confirmed today it did not have the numbers to show majority in Parliament on November 14th. (Colombo Gazette) President Maithripala Sirisena has dissolved Parliament, cabinet co-spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said.He said that President Maithripala Sirisena has signed the Gazette notice.
Niagara Regional Police continue to search for a missing man from St. Catharines.18-year-old Quintin Bingley hasn’t been seen since Friday May 25 when walking into his home in the area of Parnell Rd. and Pearce Ave.Niagara Police say their marine unit was out again Monday morning and they are now working with Erie County to search areas along the shoreline.Bingley is described as 5’7″, slim, 140 lbs with short dirty blonde hair.He has an earring in his left ear and an arrow tattooed on his right forearm.Bingley was last seen wearing a light-coloured t-shirt with khaki shorts.Anyone with information of his whereabouts is asked to call police at 905-688-4111 x 4233.
by Lynn Elber, The Associated Press Posted Aug 11, 2015 2:01 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 11, 2015 at 2:42 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Malin Akerman participates in the “Billions” panel at the Showtime Summer TCA Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) Damian Lewis: Keep an open mind about hedge-fund manager in Showtime drama series ‘Billions’ BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Don’t expect to boo the scheming hedge-fund king in Showtime’s new drama series “Billions.”Andrew Ross Sorkin, a financial journalist and author (“Too Big to Fail”), told a TV critics’ meeting Tuesday that he’s aware of the negative perceptions surrounding high-flying moneymakers.“I cover this world,” and getting to know its inhabitants shows them to be layered and complex, said Sorkin, a producer of the series that debuts Jan. 17.They are competing as much for power and pride as the billions of dollars at stake, he said, adding, “the money piece of it is really just the scorecard.”Damian Lewis plays fund manager Bobby Axelrod opposite Paul Giamatti’s federal prosecutor Chuck Rhodes. The cast also includes Malin Akerman, David Costabile, Condola Rashad, Maggie Siff and Toby Leonard Moore.Might viewers end up rooting for Axelrod, as they did for meth-maker Walter White in “Breaking Bad,” a reporter asked the cast and producers and creators Sorkin, Brian Koppelman and David Levien.“We’re not moralizing,” said Koppelman.“Stay more open-minded, dude,” Lewis advised the questioner.The British-born actor played another powerful figure, King Henry VIII, in “Wolf Hall,” and acknowledged parallels between the two. But Axelrod was not born to wealth and influence in New York.“Bobby is a blue-collar guy, nouveau riche, new money,” living by street rules that mean those who fail to demonstrate loyalty are “ruthlessly dispatched,” Lewis said.Because he’s slipped easily into American accents in projects including “Homeland,” Lewis said he thought he’d have a “fantastic time pretending to be some gangster from the Bronx.”That was until the producers said the effort was “awful” and asked that he stop, he said.He reverted to a more neutral accent with a few tweaks to distinguish it from others he’s done. It was a “generic, Midwest nothing,” he said, then hastily added, “Anyone from the Midwest, I apologize.”
TOPS, a non-profit organization promoting healthy weight loss/maintenance and group support, is coming to Brock University.Meetings will be held Tuesdays at noon to 12:45 p.m. in Mackenzie Chown D350L and participants are welcome to bring a lunch.TOPS diet plan, based on sensible food choices, can be followed or you can follow your own plan. TOPS is a non-commercial network of weight-loss support groups and a wellness education organization. It offers tools and programs for healthy living and weight management, with group fellowship and recognition. Read more at: http://www.tops.org/tops/HomeCost: Annual membership of $36.Location: Mackenzie Chown D350LWant to learn more? Attend an information meeting on Sept. 13 at noon, and/or email at email@example.com
LUCY GAFFNEY, DENIS O’Brien’s right hand woman has said that she believed the O’Reilly business dynasty acted in a way they thought was right for Independent News and Media (INM) but said under the new board they were now refocusing the business.Gaffney is the Chairwoman of Communicorp and board member of INM and Digicel.She began working for Denis O’Brien in 98FM before he offered her the job as its sales and marketing director, just after the radio market became deregulated.Speaking with George Lee on RTE Radio 1′s The Business about the changes to the board at INM, she said that if there were any fights or battles “they were the right thing to battle for and fight for”.INMShe said that they were refocusing the business of INM stating that they had taken out a lot of the costs out of the model, they are refocusing the digital strategy, and are “focused on bringing the business back to where it should be from a media perspective”.When asked about the removal of Tony O’Reilly from the board she said “it has been a colourful past, but we are firmly focused on the future now”. She added:“I think they did what they thought was right for the business every time. They are part of an Irish business dynasty and every time I think they did something it was because they thought it was the right thing, that’s all I can say… ”She said that under the O’Reilly control:There was too much fat in the company, too many people doing the job that fewer people could have done. I think the level of debt they incurred was far too high and I think they didn’t see the writing on the wall quick enough in the way the market was going to turn in terms of digital, for example.I think that it swelled to a degree that was not going to be sustainable. The focus now is trimming it back… to where we become agile once again. Not a newspaper companyShe said: “INM does not see itself as a newspaper company but as a media company, whether that’s in print, whether that is on a mobile device, or tablet device, it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is how do people consume news now, and we have to stay relevant with that.”Speaking about the man that is Denis O’Brien, she said he is “very encouraging, he likes people, he likes to get a sense of their energy levels – he doesn’t put boundaries around people when he meets them, he doesn’t put them into a box”.Not a ruthless manShe said he was very demanding but she stopped short of saying that he is ruthless.He is a very compassionate man, a very fair man, a very tough man, a very demanding man – not ruthless. My understanding of ruthless is you try to get something at any cost, and that isn’t the way he works.When Lee asked her if issues around the Moriarty Tribunal continually cropped up she said “… there are a small amount of people in Ireland that are concerned about the Moriarty Tribunal,” but said “when you go outside a small amount of people, people talk about the Digicel Foundation, certainly around the Caribbean and the Pacific, so it is not an inhibitor in any way”.She said it is never raised at any share holders meeting she has attended, stating:I can honestly say there’s not been one question about the tribunal by a shareholder. It is one facet of a man and it’s not his story.Speaking about the new arrival of Pat Kenny to Newstalk she said “it is going great”. She said people were shouting at him “I’ve moved the dial Pat,” adding, “my own parents moved the dial, which was a big deal”.Global Irish Economic Forum to get underway at Dublin Castle>Pat Kenny on revealing his salary: ‘I don’t have to, I’m not going to, that’s the new world!’>
SINN FÉIN HAS confirmed that Peadar Tóibín’s suspension from the party has ended with the Meath West TD to be formally readmitted by the end of the month.Tóibín was suspended from Sinn Féin in July of last year after he voted against the party on the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill.A party spokesperson confirmed today his period of suspension has ended but the deputy said it would be a few days until he is readmitted.“I am looking forward to being back in the party by the end of the month. I genuinely want to get back in,” he told TheJournal.ie this evening.Tóibín is strongly pro-life and has previously said the abortion legislation passed last July is not based on medical evidence. He has also described the Supreme Court decision in the X case as “historic and archaic”.In the wake of Colm Keaveney’s recruitment by Fianna Fáil last month, Tóibín confirmed that he too had been the subject of a head-hunting approach by Micheál Martin’s party, but said that he refused the request.Peadar Tóibín: Fianna Fáil approached me, but I want to rejoin Sinn FéinPreviously: Gerry Adams issues discipline warning as one Sinn Féin TD rejects abortion law
Syngenta Agronomy Service Representative Mike Weiss is featured in this week’s ASA Educational Podcast, the latest in a series sponsored by Syngenta. Weiss talks about the benefits of triple pest protection during the critical early soybean growth stage.”A grower starts each season looking forward to high yields,” Weiss says. “But reaching the soybean’s yield potential requires several favorable conditions as the season begins. Agronomic practices such as choosing the right seed variety, planting early and properly spacing all lay the groundwork for effective growth. However, early-season insects and diseases, as well as nematodes, may impact plant establishment despite these efforts. Worse, these pests can harm developing plants without immediate symptoms, making lower-than-expected soybean yields come as a surprise when treatment is no longer an option.”Take a couple minutes to hear more from this Syngenta expert and listen to this week’s ASA Educational Podcast today!
Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. MIAMI (WSVN) – Rescue crews took three people to the hospital after, officials said, two vehicles collided at an intersection in Miami with downed traffic lights.Miami Fire Rescue responded to the scene of the rollover wreck near Northwest 50th Street and 12th Avenue, Sunday, just before 2 p.m.According to officials, the crash involved a Ford Escape and an Infiniti sedan. The force of the impact caused the SUV to roll over.There were two elderly women inside the Escape. The driver was able to get out on her own, but crews had to assist the passenger as well as the driver of the Infiniti.Paramedics transported all three victims to an area hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.Officials confirmed the traffic lights were not working at the time of the accident.City of Miami Police detectives are investigating.
00:00 /01:30 Listen Youth homelessness is a big problem in Texas. Sarah Narendorf, an assistant professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW), is the lead author of a study that aims to help Texas legislators find solutions.“You look on paper and you might think we have some good services and resources in Texas, but at the same time, it is failing to actually meet the needs and prevent homelessness in a lot of young people,” Narendorf said. X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share The UH GCSW was contracted by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to analyze data from three sources about homeless youth in Texas and present their findings to lawmakers during the 85th legislative session.“We tried to make the report have enough in it so that people could take the recommendations and translate that into legislation,” Narendorg said.The recommendations include: improving data sources for counting homeless youth, providing a full continuum of housing related supports, increasing support to youth identified through schools, addressing the needs of youth in foster care and juvenile justice, and removing barriers to exiting homelessness.“I think there is a wide range of things that our report speaks to. There are different areas where there might be actions for the legislature to take to improve services in different ways for this broad group of young people that are homeless,” Narendorf said.
Emree Weaver / The Texas TribuneSenate Education Committee Chariman and state Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, during a committee meeting on Mar. 5, 2019.The Senate Education Committee held a hastily arranged hearing Wednesday morning to vote out comprehensive school finance reform legislation — accelerating the bill’s journey to the Senate floor and eventual negotiations with the lower chamber.The fast-tracked revision and vote on House Bill 3 came the day after House lawmakers voted through a property tax reform bill, making it contingent on school finance reform passing this session. State Sen. Larry Taylor, the Senate Education Committee’s chair, had originally told The Texas Tribune on Tuesday he did not anticipate a committee vote on school finance until Thursday or next week.The full Senate is now expected to vote Friday on the legislation, which aims to increase the base funding for each Texas student, increase teacher pay, provide money for full-day preK for low-income students, and allow for long-term property tax relief.Many details of the bill still need to be ironed out, however, and committee members voted Wednesday without an official analysis of how their districts would fare financially. Still, the vote seemed to address concerns that the Senate was moving too slowly on school finance.“I know you’d rather not have to vote on this today. I certainly appreciate your help in moving this forward,” Taylor told the committee in the Senate chamber Wednesday. “This is a process. Frankly, what we pass off the floor on Friday is not the end of the day.”Many committee members expressed disappointment at having to take a vote without being prepared. Their offices received the newest version of the bill just after 8 p.m. Tuesday.With arms folded across his chest, State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, declined to vote for the bill, pointing out that there was no agreed-upon way to fund it long-term and that it still had “clear errors.” He marked himself as “present, not voting,” along with state Sens. Angela Paxton, R-McKinney, and Bob Hall, R-Edgewood.The vote brings the upper chamber one step closer to catching up with the lower chamber by passing three top legislative priorities: the budget, school finance, and tax reform bills.In a tweet Wednesday morning, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the Senate’s president, congratulated the House for passing property tax reform legislation, Senate Bill 2, and said it would go to a conference committee between the two chambers “ASAP.” And he noted that HB 3’s trajectory had been “expedited” so it could get to the Senate floor. (“Also ASAP.”)But some committee members expressed frustration that it was hard to get some constituents on board without reports detailing how each district would be affected.“It’s really difficult for them to feel confident about what this looks like for them,” said Paxton, who declined to take a vote on the bill.Senate Education Committee members voted out a version of the school finance legislation that differs in many ways from the version the House voted out in early April. It includes a $5,000 across-the-board raise for full-time classroom teachers and librarians, funding for districts that want to pay higher-rated teachers more, money for districts with better student academic outcomes, and a few different long-term property tax relief proposals.The House’s version of the bill requires districts to use a portion of their additional base funding per student on raises for all school employees and designates extra money for raises to be given at districts’ discretion. It lowers school tax rates by 4 cents per $100 valuation — $100 off a tax bill for the owner of a $250,000 home — and lowers rates further for districts taxing higher. But it doesn’t include a proposal for long-term, ongoing tax relief.House members made it clear Tuesday they were happy with the property tax bill being yoked to school finance. An attempt to pry them apart during the hours-long floor debate failed by a large margin, with only five lawmakers on record supporting it.In the meantime, another time crunch looms. Taylor has indicated the Senate’s long-term school property tax relief proposals will only be viable if lawmakers also find a sufficient revenue source to make up for lost local tax revenue. Currently, there’s a blank space where the revenue source should be in the bill.State leaders, including Patrick, Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, have backed a proposal to increase the sales tax one percentage point and use that revenue for tax relief.Legislation that would do that, House Joint Resolution 3, was presented in the House Ways and Means Committee last month but has not yet been voted out. It would give Texans the chance to approve the sales tax swap.Time is running out for the House to move that forward. House bills and joint resolutions must get on the lower chamber’s calendar by the end of next Tuesday and must be voted out by the end of next Thursday.This piece was originally published in The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Share
DHF (Delhi Heritage Foundation) organised the first talk under the Delhi Heritage Lecture Series on ‘Establishment and Growth of Hindu College in the Walled City: Post 1857 Intellectual Hulchul’ by Kavita Sharma (Former Principal Hindu College), Director IIC at its headquarter on 13 August. The session was a part of elaborate initiatives planned to present the unexplored of Delhi for its own residents and spread awareness. DHF has been set up with a mission to preserve and promote heritage of one of the oldest cities in the country. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The key objectives of DHF are – to preserve and promote the heritage, culture, monuments and history of Delhi and to encourage public involvement in heritage preservation.DHF has signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Delhi Walks, a walking tour vertical founded by Sachin Bansal to connect and showcase both the historical and contemporary facets of Delhi as mélange of cultures. Another MOU has been signed with Shoobh Group Welfare Society under the banner of Bharat Gauba, a non-profit community based organisation, which has worked on different social issues and shall be taking Delhi heritage to schools and colleges through a wide array of specially designed programmes. It will soon be announcing a major initiative that includes lectures series, seminars, conferences, workshops and publications.
That place is precision medicine—using a person’s unique genetics to understand which drugs will work best for them. Cancer and heart patients, for example, are increasingly taking DNA tests to determine which treatment will have maximum effectiveness and minimal side effects. But the promise of precision medicine has yet to extend to women’s reproductive health. On a US Food and Drug Administration list of 232 drugs with a known genetic factor influencing how they work, there’s just one contraceptive. And the genetic marker identified doesn’t have anything to do with the drug’s active hormone ingredients. In effect, that means that scientists and doctors have no idea how different women’s bodies respond to the same one or two hormones that make up all birth control drugs. “To me it’s reprehensible that, once again, women’s health will be an afterthought, even as other fields go rip-roaring ahead of us with precision medicine,” says Christofield. “This is the one category of drugs used by hundreds of millions of people, and I just can’t stomach the idea that we’re continuing to place it on a back burner, saying we’ll come back to it once we’ve figured it out in these other spaces.”Lazorwitz is one of the few people trying to change that. He’s spent most of his career studying how contraceptives interact with other drugs, but a few years ago he started noticing the rise of pharmacogenomics research in cancer and heart drugs. He looked around and couldn’t find anything like that on birth control, despite the fact that nearly half of all US women of reproductive age use it. “We give the same hormones to every woman, but do they work the same in every woman?” he asked himself. No one had ever bothered to find out.So he and a few colleagues assembled a small study of 350 women who all took the most reliable form of hormonal birth control—an implant under the skin—and tested them for 120 genetic variations they suspected could play a role in hormone metabolism. They also measured the concentration of hormones in their blood. That’s how they found a gene called CYP3A7*1C, which is usually active in fetuses and then switches off sometime before birth. But women with this mutation continue to produce the CYP3A7 enzyme into adulthood, supercharging their body’s ability to break down the active ingredient in hormonal birth control. Instead of genetic tests to figure out which contraceptives would work best for them, women have whisper networks and trial-and-error. Sisters, friends, roommates, and coworkers often make recommendations, but their experiences are not universal. So it’s unsurprising that most American women will have bounced around between three different birth control methods by age 40.In the US, side effects such as headaches, depression, and unpredictable bleeding might be an inconvenience women are expected to tolerate. But in developing parts of the world, where Christofield works, those side effects can have catastrophic effects on women’s ability to go to school, work, or even leave the house. And they’re often the reason women there stop using contraceptives altogether. Even rumors about side effects sometimes prevent women from accessing hormonal birth control, even if it’s not certain they’ll have the same negative reaction. Lazorwitz recognizes that their study was limited by only looking for gene-drug interactions that other people had looked for before. He says their next step is to repeat the experiment with a much larger cohort and with whole genome sequencing, so they can surface new genetic variants that could affect birth control efficacy. He also wants to investigate the links between DNA and side effects. But such studies are expensive and time-consuming. They aren’t a priority for federal biomedical funding institutions, and pharmaceutical companies have no financial incentives to invest in them. Hormonal contraceptives might be a blunt instrument, but they work—and they mint the companies that make them billions of dollars annually.“Am I grateful for the pill?” asks Piraye Beim, CEO of Celmatix, a company focused on reproductive health. “Yes. Absolutely. Do I deserve something better? Yes.” Celmatix is perhaps the only company in the world building a massive data engine explicitly to power precision reproductive medicine.Modeled on the National Institutes of Health’s cancer genome atlas, Beim’s company has spent 10 years building a private version for women’s health. With 850 terabytes of data—a mix of proprietary genetics studies of 7,000 women, fertility treatment outcomes for 500,000 patients, and data from public studies, including ones like Lazorwitz’s—Beim hopes to eliminate the guesswork. “We’ve got the playbook from oncology; we know how to decode these different genetic responses and then build DNA tests to help people make informed decisions,” says Beim. “But it’s still really, really early days.”The company is mining its database to investigate a range of women’s health questions. Last August, Celmatix teamed up with Ferring Pharmaceuticals, a Swiss maker of fertility drugs used during in vitro fertilization, to investigate how a woman’s DNA dictates how her body responds to such treatment. The hope is to identify genetic risks for some adverse IVF outcomes, such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which, though rare, can be fatal. Celmatix also hopes to discover new drug targets for diseases like endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome and, potentially, to identify next-generation contraceptives. That last project is just getting underway, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the long-term goal is to create completely new kinds of birth control that aren’t just reformulations of the same old hormones.“Hormones are a very powerful tool, but they’re the biggest hammer you could possibly use,” says Beim. New molecules might only target ovary cells, for example, instead of every cell in a woman’s body. And one day, that could mean women will have real choices when it comes to birth control, not just the illusion of choice. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another 60 years to get there. For nearly 60 years, hormonal contraceptives have freed women from their own biology, giving them autonomy over decisions about if, when, and how to start a family. But no form of hormonal birth control—pill, patch, ring, IUD—is 100 percent effective. Why that is, no one knows exactly. Now new research suggests that some of these mysterious failures might actually be due to differences in DNA.In a study published today in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine discovered that about 5 percent of women possess a genetic mutation that makes them produce an extra hormone-dismantling enzyme. This enzyme eats away at the ovulation-suppressing effects of hormonal birth control, lowering its effectiveness. They also found two much more common genes that had smaller but still noticeable effects.“The biggest takeaway is that we’ve assumed for so long that if a woman taking birth control gets pregnant, then she must have done something wrong,” says Aaron Lazorwitz, an ob-gyn and lead author on the study. “Instead, maybe we need to pay more attention as physicians to other things that might be going on, like genetics, so we can give better, more individualized treatment to women instead of just blindly adhering to the motto that if you just throw some hormones at it, that usually fixes the problem.”It’s the first time anyone has ever identified unique snippets of DNA associated with birth control performance. Indeed, when Lazorwitz presented his preliminary findings at the North American Forum on Family Planning last October, despite being a last-minute addition with a 7:30 am time slot, he was met with a packed room of doctors and researchers eager to see his results. “It was the only thing like it I’d ever seen,” says Megan Christofield, a family planning adviser at Jhpiego, a Johns Hopkins–affiliated global health NGO, who was in the audience that day. “There was so much energy in the room, everyone was like, ‘Yes! Bring us to this place in science!’” More Great WIRED StoriesTurn on auto-updates everywhere you canEven if you forgot about Foursquare, it didn’t forget youMy Jibo is dying and it’s breaking my heartMeet this super-smart film critic—and YouTube starSave the lemurs! Eat the crickets!👀 Looking for the latest gadgets? Check out our latest buying guides and best deals all year round📩 Get even more of our inside scoops with our weekly Backchannel newsletter
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | July 03, 2017 First New York Metropolitan Hospital Treats Cancer Patients With Accuray Radixact System Accuray Inc. and Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECCC), part of the Montefiore Health System (MHS),… read more News | Radiation Oncology | February 01, 2018 ITN Celebrates World Cancer Day 2018 World Cancer Day takes place annually on Feb. read more News | Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) | October 25, 2017 UZ Leuven Treats First European Patient on Varian Halcyon Cancer Treatment System Varian recently announced an 80-year-old male with head and neck cancer became the first patient in Europe to be… read more August 29, 2008 – CMS Inc., an Elekta Co., reported today that three sites have delivered clinical treatments utilizing its Monaco next-generation intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) treatment planning system. Allegheny General Hospital (Pittsburgh, PA), Erasmus Medical Center (Rotterdam, Netherlands) and Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital (Milwaukee, WI) have all begun producing treatment plans with the application.Monaco reportedly represents a fundamentally new approach to IMRT planning featuring biological modeling, constrained optimization and Monte Carlo dose calculation algorithms, and includes a unique and sophisticated set of tools to make the radiotherapy planning process easier, more straightforward and clinically reliable. “The biologically-based Monaco IMRT treatment planning system produces clinically relevant plans, which are dosimetrically superior to plans from dose-based IMRT treatment planning systems, feature shorter plan delivery times, and can be easily verified with normal QA procedures,” said Moyed Miften, Ph.D., DABR, and Allegheny General Hospital’s chief of medical physics. “The multi-criteria optimization and the sensitivity analysis tools in the Monaco system also help reduce the time needed to optimize IMRT plans.”Monaco’s features, designed to improve IMRT planning, include: – Sensitivity Analysis tool that minimizes trial-and-error by guiding the decision-making process – Smart Sequencing, a constrained aperture optimization that produces efficient step-and-shoot segments – Biological models, voxel definition controls and multi-criterial goals that provide more intuitive and direct control over the optimization processFor more information: www.cmsrtp.com, www.elekta.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Proton Therapy | July 30, 2018 IBA Completes Installation of Two Proteus One Proton Therapy Systems in Japan IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) announced that they completed the first two installations of the Proteus One proton… read more News | Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) | June 20, 2017 IUCT Oncopole Installs First Radixact Radiotherapy System in France Accuray Inc. announced that the University Cancer Institute of Toulouse Oncopole (IUCT Oncopole) in Toulouse, France,… read more Technology | Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) | July 05, 2017 Varian Receives FDA 510k Clearance for Halcyon Treatment System Varian Medical Systems has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance for the Halcyon system,… read more Technology | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | April 24, 2019 Accuray Launches Synchrony Motion Tracking and Correction Technology for Radixact System Accuray announced the launch of its Synchrony motion tracking and correction technology to be used with the Radixact… read more News | Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) | October 31, 2018 Hypofractionated Radiation Provides Same Prostate Cancer Outcomes as Conventional Radiation An analysis led by researchers at Philadelphia’s Fox Chase Cancer Center found treating localized prostate cancer with… read more Related Content News | August 28, 2008 First Cancer Patients Treated With Monaco Radiation Treatment Planning System News | Radiation Therapy | March 26, 2018 Women Report Fewer Adverse Side Effects From Partial or Reduced Breast Radiotherapy March 26, 2018 — Radiotherapy treatment… read more News | Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) | September 29, 2016 Cervical and Endometrial Cancer Patients Report Fewer Side Effects with IMRT Patients with cervical and endometrial cancer have fewer gastrointestinal and genitourinary side effects and experience… read more
A new study by researchers from Princeton University and the University of Chicago suggests that shopping websites are abundant with dark patterns that rely on consumer deception. The researchers conducted a large-scale study, analyzing almost 53K product pages from 11K shopping websites to characterize and quantify the prevalence of dark patterns. They discovered 1,841 instances of dark patterns on shopping websites, which together represent 15 types of dark patterns. Note: All images in the article are taken from the research paper. What are dark patterns Dark patterns are generally used by shopping websites as a part of their user interface design choices. These dark patterns coerce, steer, or deceive users into making unintended and potentially harmful decisions, benefiting an online service. Shopping websites trick users into signing up for recurring subscriptions and making unwanted purchases, resulting in concrete financial loss. These patterns are not just limited to shopping websites, and find common applications on digital platforms including social media, mobile apps, and video games as well. At extreme levels, dark patterns can lead to financial loss, tricking users into giving up vast amounts of personal data, or inducing compulsive and addictive behavior in adults and children. Researchers used a web crawler to identify text-based dark patterns The paper uses an automated approach that enables researchers to identify dark patterns at scale on the web. The researchers crawled 11K shopping websites using a web crawler, built on top of OpenWPM, which is a web privacy measurement platform. The web crawler was used to simulate a user browsing experience and identify user interface elements. The researchers used text clustering to extract recurring user interface designs from the resulting data and then inspected the resulting clusters for instances of dark patterns. The researchers also developed a novel taxonomy of dark pattern characteristics to understand how dark patterns influence user decision-making. Based on the taxonomy, the dark patterns were classified basis whether they lead to an asymmetry of choice, are covert in their effect, are deceptive in nature, hide information from users, and restrict choice. The researchers also mapped the dark patterns in their data set to the cognitive biases they exploit. These biases collectively described the consumer psychology underpinnings of the dark patterns identified. They also determine that many instances of dark patterns are enabled by third-party entities, which provide shopping websites with scripts and plugins to easily implement these patterns on their websites. Key stats from the research There are 1,841 instances of dark patterns on shopping websites, which together represent 15 types of dark patterns and 7 broad categories. These 1,841 dark patterns were present on 1,267 of the 11K shopping websites (∼11.2%) in their data set. Shopping websites that were more popular, according to Alexa rankings, were more likely to feature dark patterns. 234 instances of deceptive dark patterns were uncovered across 183 websites 22 third-party entities were identified that provide shopping websites with the ability to create dark patterns on their sites. Dark pattern categories Sneaking Attempting to misrepresent user actions. Delaying information that users would most likely object to once made available. Sneak into Basket: The “Sneak into Basket” dark pattern adds additional products to users’ shopping carts without their consent Hidden Subscription: Dark pattern charges users a recurring fee under the pretense of a one-time fee or a free trial Hidden Costs: Reveals new, additional, and often unusually high charges to users just before they are about to complete a purchase. Urgency Imposing a deadline on a sale or deal, thereby accelerating user decision-making and purchases. Countdown Timers: Dynamic indicator of a deadline counting down until the deadline expires. Limited-time Messages: Static urgency message without an accompanying deadline Misdirection Using visuals, language, or emotion to direct users toward or away from making a particular choice. Confirmshaming: It uses language and emotion to steer users away from making a certain choice. Trick Questions: It uses confusing language to steer users into making certain choices. Visual Interference: It uses style and visual presentation to steer users into making certain choices over others. Pressured Selling: It refers to defaults or often high-pressure tactics that steer users into purchasing a more expensive version of a product (upselling) or into purchasing related products (cross-selling). Social proof Influencing users’ behavior by describing the experiences and behavior of other users. Activity Notification: Recurring attention grabbing message that appears on product pages indicating the activity of other users. Testimonials of Uncertain Origin: The use of customer testimonials whose origin or how they were sourced and created is not clearly specified. Scarcity Signalling that a product is likely to become unavailable, thereby increasing its desirability to users. Examples such as Low-stock Messages and High-demand Messages come under this category. Low-stock Messages: It signals to users about limited quantities of a product High-demand Messages: It signals to users that a product is in high demand, implying that it is likely to sell out soon. Obstruction Making it easy for the user to get into one situation but hard to get out of it. The researchers observed one type of the Obstruction dark pattern: “Hard to Cancel”. The Hard to Cancel dark pattern is restrictive (it limits the choices users can exercise to cancel their services). In cases where websites do not disclose their cancellation policies upfront, Hard to Cancel also becomes information hiding (it fails to inform users about how cancellation is harder than signing up). Forced Action Forcing the user to do something tangential in order to complete their task. The researchers observed one type of the Forced Action dark pattern: “Forced Enrollment” on 6 websites. Limitations of the research The researchers have acknowledged that their study has certain limitations. Only text-based dark patterns are taken into account for this study. There is still work needed to be done for inherently visual patterns (e.g., a change of font size or color to emphasize one part of the text more than another from an otherwise seemingly harmless pattern). The web crawling lead to a fraction of Selenium crashes, which did not allow researchers to either retrieve product pages or complete data collection on certain websites. The crawler failed to completely simulate the product purchase flow on some websites. They only crawled product pages and checkout pages, missing out on dark patterns present in other common pages such as the homepage of websites, product search pages, and account creation pages. The list of dark patterns can be downloaded as a CSV file. For more details, we recommend you to read the research paper. Read Next U.S. senators introduce a bipartisan bill that bans social media platforms from using ‘dark patterns’ to trick its users. How social media enabled and amplified the Christchurch terrorist attack Can an Open Web Index break Google’s stranglehold over the search engine market?