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News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: marketersmedia.com

LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / April 26, 2017 / Active Wall St. blog coverage looks at the headline from Hong Kong based Nord Anglia Education, Inc. (NYSE: NORD) as the Company announced on April 25, 2017, that it had signed an agreement to be acquired by Bach Finance Limited. Bach Finance is owned by a consortium of funds affiliated with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA). The transaction value of the deal is approximately $4.3 billion including debt. Register with us now for your free membership and blog access at: One of Nord Anglia Education's competitors within the Education & Training Services space, Capella Education Co. (NASDAQ: CPLA), announced on April 25, 2017, its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2017. AWS will be initiating a research report on Capella Education in the coming days. Today, AWS is promoting its blog coverage on NORD; touching on CPLA. Get all of our free blog coverage and more by clicking on the link below: Nord Anglia is the world's leading premium school organization. It runs a network of 43 international schools, boarding schools, and private schools located in 15 countries across the world including China, Europe, Middle East, North America, and South East Asia. It caters to the education needs of more than 37,000 students who are in the age group of 2 years to 18 years. Nord Anglia has also collaborated with iconic institutions like The Juilliard School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Kings College London for post-secondary education. Commenting on the acquisition, Deborah Orida, Managing Director, Head of Private Equity Asia, CPPIB said: "This investment in Nord Anglia is an excellent fit with our strategy to build a diversified portfolio capable of delivering strong, sustainable returns to the Canada Pension Plan Fund over the long term. This is CPPIB's first direct equity investment in private education and through Nord Anglia we are able to gain both asset and geographical diversification." "BPEA is passionate about making education of the highest quality available to children all over the world, and we believe Nord Anglia is the ideal partner to achieve that goal. After nine years, we have developed a thorough understanding of the business and have high conviction that Nord Anglia's future is even more promising than its past." As per the agreement, the consortium would acquire all the outstanding shares of Nord Anglia at $32.50 in cash. The offer price represents a 18% premium of Nord Anglia's closing price of $27.62 on April 24, 2017, a day before the deal was announced. Nord Anglia's Board of Directors have already approved this deal. The transaction has a provision for a 30-day "go-shop" period wherein Nord Anglia can explore offers from other potential suitors. A Special Committee has been formed which consists of independent directors who are not affiliated to CPPIB or BPEA. This Special Committee will study each offer received in detail and will be authorized to negotiate and even enter into agreements with them. CPPIB and BPEA will be financing the deal using cash available with them and debt from financial institutions. There are no other financing conditions for the closing of the deal. The transaction is expected to close before August 31, 2017, which is the last day of the fiscal year for Nord Anglia. The deal is subject to approval from Nord Anglia's shareholders, and other closing conditions. BPEA is a majority shareholder in Nord Anglia via its affiliate Premier Education Holdings Ltd who holds 67% stake and has agreed to vote in favor of the merger transaction. On completion of the merger, Nord Anglia will delist from New York Stock Exchange and become a fully privately held entity. The privatization of Nord Anglia will allow it to continue to grow in the premium education sector globally. Especially as demand for quality education, in the kindergarten to grade 12 segment, rises globally. Also with the exposure and support from CPPIB and BPEA, Nord Anglia will be able to grow geographically and at the same time attract the best teaching talents. The deal will also open opportunities for collaboration with other premium education institutions, which will benefit the students and the brand tremendously. The education sector consists mostly of single-site operators, which gives a brand like Nord Anglia major opportunities to grow. Hong Kong based BPEA was founded in 1997 and has a total committed capital of over $10 billion. BPEA works closely with the portfolio Companies that it has invested in and helps them grow their business in the long run by way of capital for expansion, recapitalization, or strategic alternatives like acquisitions. It has invested in more than 70 Companies since its formation. It is predominantly active in Asia with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Jakarta. It is supported by a global team of over 140 professionals. BPEA had already made significant investment in Nord Anglia in 2008 via its affiliates. Toronto, Canada based, CPPIB is a professional investment management organization that invests the funds not required for payment of benefits to the contributors of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). It also has offices at Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Mumbai, New York City, São Paulo and Sydney. It invests in public equities, private equities, real estate, infrastructure and fixed income instruments. CPP had a fund of $298.1 billion as of December 31, 2016. Nord Anglia is CPPIB's first direct equity investment in the private education sector. On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, the stock closed the trading session at $32.82, surging 18.83% from its previous closing price of $27.62. A total volume of 7.92 million shares have exchanged hands, which was higher than the 3-month average volume of 130.45 thousand shares. Nord Anglia Education's stock price advanced 47.11% in the last three months, 49.52% in the past six months, and 53.22% in the previous twelve months. Shares of the company have a PE ratio of 62.99. At Tuesday's closing price, the stock's net capitalization stands at $3.43 billion. Active Wall Street (AWS) produces regular sponsored and non-sponsored reports, articles, stock market blogs, and popular investment newsletters covering equities listed on NYSE and NASDAQ and micro-cap stocks. AWS has two distinct and independent departments. One department produces non-sponsored analyst certified content generally in the form of press releases, articles and reports covering equities listed on NYSE and NASDAQ and the other produces sponsored content (in most cases not reviewed by a registered analyst), which typically consists of compensated investment newsletters, articles and reports covering listed stocks and micro-caps. Such sponsored content is outside the scope of procedures detailed below. AWS has not been compensated; directly or indirectly; for producing or publishing this document. The non-sponsored content contained herein has been prepared by a writer (the "Author") and is fact checked and reviewed by a third party research service company (the "Reviewer") represented by a credentialed financial analyst, for further information on analyst credentials, please email info@activewallst.com. Rohit Tuli, a CFA® charterholder (the "Sponsor"), provides necessary guidance in preparing the document templates. The Reviewer has reviewed and revised the content, as necessary, based on publicly available information which is believed to be reliable. Content is researched, written and reviewed on a reasonable-effort basis. The Reviewer has not performed any independent investigations or forensic audits to validate the information herein. The Reviewer has only independently reviewed the information provided by the Author according to the procedures outlined by AWS. AWS is not entitled to veto or interfere in the application of such procedures by the third-party research service company to the articles, documents or reports, as the case may be. Unless otherwise noted, any content outside of this document has no association with the Author or the Reviewer in any way. AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer are not responsible for any error which may be occasioned at the time of printing of this document or any error, mistake or shortcoming. No liability is accepted whatsoever for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from the use of this document. AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer expressly disclaim any fiduciary responsibility or liability for any consequences, financial or otherwise arising from any reliance placed on the information in this document. Additionally, AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer do not (1) guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or correct sequencing of the information, or (2) warrant any results from use of the information. The included information is subject to change without notice. This document is not intended as an offering, recommendation, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell the securities mentioned or discussed, and is to be used for informational purposes only. Please read all associated disclosures and disclaimers in full before investing. Neither AWS nor any party affiliated with us is a registered investment adviser or broker-dealer with any agency or in any jurisdiction whatsoever. To download our report(s), read our disclosures, or for more information, visit http://www.activewallst.com/disclaimer/. For any questions, inquiries, or comments reach out to us directly. If you're a company we are covering and wish to no longer feature on our coverage list contact us via email and/or phone between 09:30 EDT to 16:00 EDT from Monday to Friday at: CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute. LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / April 26, 2017 / Active Wall St. blog coverage looks at the headline from Hong Kong based Nord Anglia Education, Inc. (NYSE: NORD) as the Company announced on April 25, 2017, that it had signed an agreement to be acquired by Bach Finance Limited. Bach Finance is owned by a consortium of funds affiliated with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA). The transaction value of the deal is approximately $4.3 billion including debt. Register with us now for your free membership and blog access at: One of Nord Anglia Education's competitors within the Education & Training Services space, Capella Education Co. (NASDAQ: CPLA), announced on April 25, 2017, its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2017. AWS will be initiating a research report on Capella Education in the coming days. Today, AWS is promoting its blog coverage on NORD; touching on CPLA. Get all of our free blog coverage and more by clicking on the link below: Nord Anglia is the world's leading premium school organization. It runs a network of 43 international schools, boarding schools, and private schools located in 15 countries across the world including China, Europe, Middle East, North America, and South East Asia. It caters to the education needs of more than 37,000 students who are in the age group of 2 years to 18 years. Nord Anglia has also collaborated with iconic institutions like The Juilliard School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Kings College London for post-secondary education. Commenting on the acquisition, Deborah Orida, Managing Director, Head of Private Equity Asia, CPPIB said: "This investment in Nord Anglia is an excellent fit with our strategy to build a diversified portfolio capable of delivering strong, sustainable returns to the Canada Pension Plan Fund over the long term. This is CPPIB's first direct equity investment in private education and through Nord Anglia we are able to gain both asset and geographical diversification." "BPEA is passionate about making education of the highest quality available to children all over the world, and we believe Nord Anglia is the ideal partner to achieve that goal. After nine years, we have developed a thorough understanding of the business and have high conviction that Nord Anglia's future is even more promising than its past." As per the agreement, the consortium would acquire all the outstanding shares of Nord Anglia at $32.50 in cash. The offer price represents a 18% premium of Nord Anglia's closing price of $27.62 on April 24, 2017, a day before the deal was announced. Nord Anglia's Board of Directors have already approved this deal. The transaction has a provision for a 30-day "go-shop" period wherein Nord Anglia can explore offers from other potential suitors. A Special Committee has been formed which consists of independent directors who are not affiliated to CPPIB or BPEA. This Special Committee will study each offer received in detail and will be authorized to negotiate and even enter into agreements with them. CPPIB and BPEA will be financing the deal using cash available with them and debt from financial institutions. There are no other financing conditions for the closing of the deal. The transaction is expected to close before August 31, 2017, which is the last day of the fiscal year for Nord Anglia. The deal is subject to approval from Nord Anglia's shareholders, and other closing conditions. BPEA is a majority shareholder in Nord Anglia via its affiliate Premier Education Holdings Ltd who holds 67% stake and has agreed to vote in favor of the merger transaction. On completion of the merger, Nord Anglia will delist from New York Stock Exchange and become a fully privately held entity. The privatization of Nord Anglia will allow it to continue to grow in the premium education sector globally. Especially as demand for quality education, in the kindergarten to grade 12 segment, rises globally. Also with the exposure and support from CPPIB and BPEA, Nord Anglia will be able to grow geographically and at the same time attract the best teaching talents. The deal will also open opportunities for collaboration with other premium education institutions, which will benefit the students and the brand tremendously. The education sector consists mostly of single-site operators, which gives a brand like Nord Anglia major opportunities to grow. Hong Kong based BPEA was founded in 1997 and has a total committed capital of over $10 billion. BPEA works closely with the portfolio Companies that it has invested in and helps them grow their business in the long run by way of capital for expansion, recapitalization, or strategic alternatives like acquisitions. It has invested in more than 70 Companies since its formation. It is predominantly active in Asia with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Jakarta. It is supported by a global team of over 140 professionals. BPEA had already made significant investment in Nord Anglia in 2008 via its affiliates. Toronto, Canada based, CPPIB is a professional investment management organization that invests the funds not required for payment of benefits to the contributors of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). It also has offices at Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Mumbai, New York City, São Paulo and Sydney. It invests in public equities, private equities, real estate, infrastructure and fixed income instruments. CPP had a fund of $298.1 billion as of December 31, 2016. Nord Anglia is CPPIB's first direct equity investment in the private education sector. On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, the stock closed the trading session at $32.82, surging 18.83% from its previous closing price of $27.62. A total volume of 7.92 million shares have exchanged hands, which was higher than the 3-month average volume of 130.45 thousand shares. Nord Anglia Education's stock price advanced 47.11% in the last three months, 49.52% in the past six months, and 53.22% in the previous twelve months. Shares of the company have a PE ratio of 62.99. At Tuesday's closing price, the stock's net capitalization stands at $3.43 billion. Active Wall Street (AWS) produces regular sponsored and non-sponsored reports, articles, stock market blogs, and popular investment newsletters covering equities listed on NYSE and NASDAQ and micro-cap stocks. AWS has two distinct and independent departments. One department produces non-sponsored analyst certified content generally in the form of press releases, articles and reports covering equities listed on NYSE and NASDAQ and the other produces sponsored content (in most cases not reviewed by a registered analyst), which typically consists of compensated investment newsletters, articles and reports covering listed stocks and micro-caps. Such sponsored content is outside the scope of procedures detailed below. AWS has not been compensated; directly or indirectly; for producing or publishing this document. The non-sponsored content contained herein has been prepared by a writer (the "Author") and is fact checked and reviewed by a third party research service company (the "Reviewer") represented by a credentialed financial analyst, for further information on analyst credentials, please email info@activewallst.com. Rohit Tuli, a CFA® charterholder (the "Sponsor"), provides necessary guidance in preparing the document templates. The Reviewer has reviewed and revised the content, as necessary, based on publicly available information which is believed to be reliable. Content is researched, written and reviewed on a reasonable-effort basis. The Reviewer has not performed any independent investigations or forensic audits to validate the information herein. The Reviewer has only independently reviewed the information provided by the Author according to the procedures outlined by AWS. AWS is not entitled to veto or interfere in the application of such procedures by the third-party research service company to the articles, documents or reports, as the case may be. Unless otherwise noted, any content outside of this document has no association with the Author or the Reviewer in any way. AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer are not responsible for any error which may be occasioned at the time of printing of this document or any error, mistake or shortcoming. No liability is accepted whatsoever for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from the use of this document. AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer expressly disclaim any fiduciary responsibility or liability for any consequences, financial or otherwise arising from any reliance placed on the information in this document. Additionally, AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer do not (1) guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or correct sequencing of the information, or (2) warrant any results from use of the information. The included information is subject to change without notice. This document is not intended as an offering, recommendation, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell the securities mentioned or discussed, and is to be used for informational purposes only. Please read all associated disclosures and disclaimers in full before investing. Neither AWS nor any party affiliated with us is a registered investment adviser or broker-dealer with any agency or in any jurisdiction whatsoever. To download our report(s), read our disclosures, or for more information, visit http://www.activewallst.com/disclaimer/. For any questions, inquiries, or comments reach out to us directly. If you're a company we are covering and wish to no longer feature on our coverage list contact us via email and/or phone between 09:30 EDT to 16:00 EDT from Monday to Friday at: CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.accesswire.com

LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / April 26, 2017 / Active Wall St. blog coverage looks at the headline from Hong Kong based Nord Anglia Education, Inc. (NYSE: NORD) as the Company announced on April 25, 2017, that it had signed an agreement to be acquired by Bach Finance Limited. Bach Finance is owned by a consortium of funds affiliated with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA). The transaction value of the deal is approximately $4.3 billion including debt. Register with us now for your free membership and blog access at: One of Nord Anglia Education's competitors within the Education & Training Services space, Capella Education Co. (NASDAQ: CPLA), announced on April 25, 2017, its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2017. AWS will be initiating a research report on Capella Education in the coming days. Today, AWS is promoting its blog coverage on NORD; touching on CPLA. Get all of our free blog coverage and more by clicking on the link below: Nord Anglia is the world's leading premium school organization. It runs a network of 43 international schools, boarding schools, and private schools located in 15 countries across the world including China, Europe, Middle East, North America, and South East Asia. It caters to the education needs of more than 37,000 students who are in the age group of 2 years to 18 years. Nord Anglia has also collaborated with iconic institutions like The Juilliard School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Kings College London for post-secondary education. Commenting on the acquisition, Deborah Orida, Managing Director, Head of Private Equity Asia, CPPIB said: "This investment in Nord Anglia is an excellent fit with our strategy to build a diversified portfolio capable of delivering strong, sustainable returns to the Canada Pension Plan Fund over the long term. This is CPPIB's first direct equity investment in private education and through Nord Anglia we are able to gain both asset and geographical diversification." "BPEA is passionate about making education of the highest quality available to children all over the world, and we believe Nord Anglia is the ideal partner to achieve that goal. After nine years, we have developed a thorough understanding of the business and have high conviction that Nord Anglia's future is even more promising than its past." As per the agreement, the consortium would acquire all the outstanding shares of Nord Anglia at $32.50 in cash. The offer price represents a 18% premium of Nord Anglia's closing price of $27.62 on April 24, 2017, a day before the deal was announced. Nord Anglia's Board of Directors have already approved this deal. The transaction has a provision for a 30-day "go-shop" period wherein Nord Anglia can explore offers from other potential suitors. A Special Committee has been formed which consists of independent directors who are not affiliated to CPPIB or BPEA. This Special Committee will study each offer received in detail and will be authorized to negotiate and even enter into agreements with them. CPPIB and BPEA will be financing the deal using cash available with them and debt from financial institutions. There are no other financing conditions for the closing of the deal. The transaction is expected to close before August 31, 2017, which is the last day of the fiscal year for Nord Anglia. The deal is subject to approval from Nord Anglia's shareholders, and other closing conditions. BPEA is a majority shareholder in Nord Anglia via its affiliate Premier Education Holdings Ltd who holds 67% stake and has agreed to vote in favor of the merger transaction. On completion of the merger, Nord Anglia will delist from New York Stock Exchange and become a fully privately held entity. The privatization of Nord Anglia will allow it to continue to grow in the premium education sector globally. Especially as demand for quality education, in the kindergarten to grade 12 segment, rises globally. Also with the exposure and support from CPPIB and BPEA, Nord Anglia will be able to grow geographically and at the same time attract the best teaching talents. The deal will also open opportunities for collaboration with other premium education institutions, which will benefit the students and the brand tremendously. The education sector consists mostly of single-site operators, which gives a brand like Nord Anglia major opportunities to grow. Hong Kong based BPEA was founded in 1997 and has a total committed capital of over $10 billion. BPEA works closely with the portfolio Companies that it has invested in and helps them grow their business in the long run by way of capital for expansion, recapitalization, or strategic alternatives like acquisitions. It has invested in more than 70 Companies since its formation. It is predominantly active in Asia with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Jakarta. It is supported by a global team of over 140 professionals. BPEA had already made significant investment in Nord Anglia in 2008 via its affiliates. Toronto, Canada based, CPPIB is a professional investment management organization that invests the funds not required for payment of benefits to the contributors of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). It also has offices at Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Mumbai, New York City, São Paulo and Sydney. It invests in public equities, private equities, real estate, infrastructure and fixed income instruments. CPP had a fund of $298.1 billion as of December 31, 2016. Nord Anglia is CPPIB's first direct equity investment in the private education sector. On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, the stock closed the trading session at $32.82, surging 18.83% from its previous closing price of $27.62. A total volume of 7.92 million shares have exchanged hands, which was higher than the 3-month average volume of 130.45 thousand shares. Nord Anglia Education's stock price advanced 47.11% in the last three months, 49.52% in the past six months, and 53.22% in the previous twelve months. Shares of the company have a PE ratio of 62.99. At Tuesday's closing price, the stock's net capitalization stands at $3.43 billion. Active Wall Street (AWS) produces regular sponsored and non-sponsored reports, articles, stock market blogs, and popular investment newsletters covering equities listed on NYSE and NASDAQ and micro-cap stocks. AWS has two distinct and independent departments. One department produces non-sponsored analyst certified content generally in the form of press releases, articles and reports covering equities listed on NYSE and NASDAQ and the other produces sponsored content (in most cases not reviewed by a registered analyst), which typically consists of compensated investment newsletters, articles and reports covering listed stocks and micro-caps. Such sponsored content is outside the scope of procedures detailed below. AWS has not been compensated; directly or indirectly; for producing or publishing this document. The non-sponsored content contained herein has been prepared by a writer (the "Author") and is fact checked and reviewed by a third party research service company (the "Reviewer") represented by a credentialed financial analyst, for further information on analyst credentials, please email [email protected]. Rohit Tuli, a CFA® charterholder (the "Sponsor"), provides necessary guidance in preparing the document templates. The Reviewer has reviewed and revised the content, as necessary, based on publicly available information which is believed to be reliable. Content is researched, written and reviewed on a reasonable-effort basis. The Reviewer has not performed any independent investigations or forensic audits to validate the information herein. The Reviewer has only independently reviewed the information provided by the Author according to the procedures outlined by AWS. AWS is not entitled to veto or interfere in the application of such procedures by the third-party research service company to the articles, documents or reports, as the case may be. Unless otherwise noted, any content outside of this document has no association with the Author or the Reviewer in any way. AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer are not responsible for any error which may be occasioned at the time of printing of this document or any error, mistake or shortcoming. No liability is accepted whatsoever for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from the use of this document. AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer expressly disclaim any fiduciary responsibility or liability for any consequences, financial or otherwise arising from any reliance placed on the information in this document. Additionally, AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer do not (1) guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or correct sequencing of the information, or (2) warrant any results from use of the information. The included information is subject to change without notice. This document is not intended as an offering, recommendation, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell the securities mentioned or discussed, and is to be used for informational purposes only. Please read all associated disclosures and disclaimers in full before investing. Neither AWS nor any party affiliated with us is a registered investment adviser or broker-dealer with any agency or in any jurisdiction whatsoever. To download our report(s), read our disclosures, or for more information, visit http://www.activewallst.com/disclaimer/. For any questions, inquiries, or comments reach out to us directly. If you're a company we are covering and wish to no longer feature on our coverage list contact us via email and/or phone between 09:30 EDT to 16:00 EDT from Monday to Friday at: CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Every year, worldwide wine industry suffers losses of more than ten billion US dollars from damaged assets, production losses, and lost profits due to extreme weather events and natural disasters. A multidisciplinary European-Australian team of researchers led by Dr. James Daniell of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) examines the extent to which regions are affected by the risks and how climate change influences wine industry. At the 2017 Annual Conference of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) in Vienna, Daniell presented a global risk index for wine regions. The wine regions of Mendoza and San Juan in Argentina are exposed to the highest risks due to extreme weather and natural hazards worldwide. Kakheti and Racha in Georgia come in at number 2, followed by Southern Cahul in Moldova (number 3), Northwest Slovenia (number 4), and Yaruqui in Ecuador and Nagano in Japan (number 5). These are the first results of a current worldwide study and the first release of the global risk index for wine regions presented by the head of the study, Dr. James Daniell, of the Geophysical Institute (GPI) and the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM) of KIT at the 2017 Annual Conference of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) in Vienna in the session of "Natural hazard event analyses for risk reduction and adaptation." The EGU honored Daniell by granting him the "Early Career Scientist Award in Natural Hazards for 2017." The study is carried out and the index is developed in cooperation with seismologists, meteorologists, and representatives of other disciplines from KIT, Australian National University, University of Adelaide, Griffith University, University of New South Wales, and University College London as well as Risklayer GmbH, a company located in Karlsruhe. The "WineRisk" website summarizes the results of the study and presents solutions for wine regions: http://www. The study covers more than 7,500 wine regions in 131 countries. There is no wine region in the world that is not exposed to extreme weather or natural disasters. Events, such as frost, hail, floods, heat, drought, forest fires, and bushfires as well as earthquakes make worldwide wine industry lose more than 10 billion US$ every year according to conservative estimations. These losses result from damaged assets, losses of production, and lost profit. "Cold waves and frost have a large impact," James Daniell says. In the last few days, much frost occurred across Europe, with Slovakia, Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, and Czech Republic having the worst impact. Hailstorms are one of the largest yearly natural threats to European winemakers. Traditional wine countries like France and Italy have seen huge losses in the past five years due to hail and frost, with many losses being recorded in the regions of Burgundy and Piedmont. The hail losses from 2012 to 2016 in some vineyards totaled 50 to 90 percent of the value of the crop and caused long-term damage to many old vines. It is not just Europe that is affected by hail. All over the world, winegrowing regions are affected by at least one hail event per year, which can cause damage to the single vintage or to multiple vintages depending on the growth phase of the vines. According to James Daniell, hail nets can save the crop in most cases, given a large hail event. "Cost-benefit analyses generally show that the premium wines should be the ones covered by hail nets, with insurance or other cheaper methods used for other wines." Earthquakes have the ability to knock out the infrastructure of entire wine regions for a number of years. In the past years, earthquakes struck Chile, New Zealand, and the USA, among other smaller events causing damage around the world. Over 125 million liters of wine were lost in Chile in 2010, mainly due to the failure of steel tanks. "Earthquake-resistant design could have saved many millions of liters," Daniell says. Earthquakes also cause large losses to buildings, tanks, barrels, equipment, and chemicals. Even small earthquakes do not only cause financial loss, but also historical loss by destroying tasting rooms and rare wine collections. A few dollars investment in stabilization mechanisms, such as quake wax, zip ties or bolts, can often save millions of dollars loss. In addition, natural disasters are associated with losses of jobs and tourism. Global climate change will have both positive and negative effects on wine industry, according to the study. Researchers expect a general shift of wine-growing regions southward and northward, while some wine regions closer to the equator may be lost. Many wines may indeed improve. "The English, Canadian, and Northern China wine regions will likely increase production markedly and continue to improve their market share and quality of production," predicts Dr. Daniell. The scientists expect that many wineries will master climate changes by changing grape varieties or harvest times. In addition, they will profit from new grape strains, innovative technologies to optimize production and reduce damage due to biological pathogens and insects, and new methods to overcome extreme weather events. The study also covers problems, such as bushfires causing smoke taint to vines. However, smaller-scale studies are required before the results can be included globally in the index. In addition, the effects of floods on vines are being explored. Nevertheless, a major volcanic eruption would likely cause the largest global impact to the wine industry, examples being the Laki eruption of 1783/84 or the Tambora eruption in 1815 which caused the famous "year without a summer" in 1816. Atmospheric changes, lack of sunlight, and global transport problems could cause major issues not only for the wine industry, other food security issues would likely be more important. Despite all these hazards, the wine industry continues to grow and diversify. "Through detailed natural hazard analysis, research can help winemakers and governments alike to prepare adequately for the natural hazards that they face and to reduce losses," Dr. James Daniell says. The geophysicist born in Australia also developed the CATDAT database covering socioeconomic data on natural disasters. Last year, he published CATDAT statistics, according to which 8 million people died and over 7 trillion US$ of loss were caused by natural disasters since 1900. The Biggest Wine Producers in the World and Their Main Threats: More about the KIT Climate and Environment Center: http://www. . Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) pools its three core tasks of research, higher education, and innovation in a mission. With about 9,300 employees and 25,000 students, KIT is one of the big institutions of research and higher education in natural sciences and engineering in Europe. KIT - The Research University in the Helmholtz Association Since 2010, the KIT has been certified as a family-friendly university. This press release is available on the internet at http://www. .


News Article | May 14, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

On 18 November 2015, the British press gathered in a hall in Westminster to witness the official launch of Leave.EU. Nigel Farage, the campaign’s figurehead, was banished to the back of the room and instead an American political strategist, Gerry Gunster, took centre stage and explained its strategy. “The one thing that I know is data,” he said. “Numbers do not lie. I’m going to follow the data.” Eighteen months on, it’s this same insight – to follow the data – that is the key to unlocking what really happened behind the scenes of the Leave campaign. On the surface, the two main campaigns, Leave.EU and Vote Leave, hated one other. Their leading lights, Farage and Boris Johnson, were sworn enemies for the duration of the referendum. The two campaigns bitterly refused even to share a platform. But the Observer has seen a confidential document that provides clear evidence of a link between the two campaigns. More precisely, evidence of a close working relationship between the two data analytics firms employed by the campaigns – AggregateIQ, which Vote Leave hired, and Cambridge Analytica, retained by Leave.EU. British electoral law is founded on the principle of a level playing field and controlling campaign spending is the key plank of that. The law states that different campaigns must not work together unless they declare their expenditure jointly. This controls spending limits so that no side can effectively “buy” an election. But this signed legal document – a document that was never meant to be made public and was leaked by a concerned source – connects both Vote Leave and Leave.EU’s data firms directly to Robert Mercer, the American billionaire who bankrolled Donald Trump. This is a deeply complex story. It has taken three months of investigation to unravel the web of connections – both human and contractual. But these connections and threads linking two separate foreign data analytics companies – one based in Canada and one based in London – raise profound and troubling questions about our democratic process. Because these intricate links lead, in not many steps, to Robert Mercer. This ordinary-looking document is at the heart of a web of relationships that link Mercer with the referendum to take Britain out of the EU. What impact did Mercer have on Brexit? Did the campaigns know of the link? Did they deliberately conceal it? Or could they, too, have been in the dark? Because, legally, these two companies – AggregateIQ in Canada and Cambridge Analytica, an American company based in London, have nothing to connect them publicly. But this intellectual property licence shown to the Observer tells a different story. This created a binding “exclusive” “worldwide” agreement “in perpetuity” for all of AggregateIQ’s intellectual property to be used by SCL Elections (a British firm that created Cambridge Analytica with Mercer). The companies may have had different owners but they were legally bound together. And, the Observer has learned, they were working together on a daily basis at the time of the referendum – both companies were being paid by Mercer-funded organisations to work on Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign in America. What is more, several anonymous sources reveal the two companies, working on two separate British Leave campaigns, actually shared the same database at the time. In fact AggregateIQ had a non-compete clause. Leave.EU announced in November 2015 it was working with Cambridge Analytica which means that AggregateIQ must have had explicit permission to work with Vote Leave. And yet none of this was visible. Dominic Cummings, a former Tory special adviser who was Vote Leave’s chief strategist, was a vocal critic of Ukip, Farage, Leave.EU and its millionaire backer, Arron Banks. And the two campaigns followed different strategies – Leave.EU targeting Ukippers and disaffected working-class Labour voters with images of queues of refugees. Vote Leave targeted middle England with a message about returning £350m a week from Europe to the NHS. Follow the data, however, and another story is revealed, which leads directly to Mercer and his close associate, Steve Bannon, now Donald Trump’s chief strategist in the White House. Mercer was the owner of Cambridge Analytica, a firm which, as the Observer detailed last week, was spun out of a British firm with 30 years experience in working for governments and militaries around the world, specialising in “psychological operations”. At the time of the referendum, the Observer has learned, Bannon was the head of it. What was not known, until February, was the relationship between all these figures and the Leave campaign. That was when Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU’s communications director, revealed to this paper that Farage was a close friend of both Bannon and Mercer. He said that the Leave campaign was a “petri dish” for the Trump campaign. “We shared a lot of information because what they were trying to do and what we were trying to do had massive parallels.” Wigmore also said that Mercer had been “happy to help” and Cambridge Analytica had given its services to the campaign for free. It was the general secretary of Ukip, a British lawyer called Matthew Richardson, who effected Leave.eu’s introduction to Cambridge Analytica, Wigmore said. “We had a guy called Matthew Richardson who’d known Nigel for a long time and he’s always looked after the Mercers. The Mercers had said that here’s this company that we think might be useful.” He said that Mercer, Farage and co had all met at a conference in Washington. “The best dinner we ever went to. Around that table were all the rejects of the political world. And the rejects of the political world are now effectively in the White House. It’s extraordinary. Jeff Sessions. [Former national security adviser Michael] Flynn, the whole lot of them. They were all there.” When the Observer revealed Mercer’s “help” in February, a “gift” of services, it triggered two investigations. One by the Information Commissioner’s Office about possible illegal use of data. And another by the Electoral Commission. Cambridge Analytica is a US company and Mercer is a US citizen and British law, designed to protect its electoral system from outside influence, expressly forbids donations from foreign – or impermissible – donors. The commission is also looking into the “help” that Gunster gave the campaign. It was not declared in Leave.EU’s spending returns and if donated, it would also be impermissible. Gavin Millar QC, an expert in electoral law, says it raises questions of the utmost importance about the influence of an American citizen in a UK election. But the contents of this document raise even more significant and urgent questions. Coordination between campaigns destroys the “level playing field” on which UK electoral law is based. It creates an unfair advantage. Millar said that one of the significant and revealing aspects of the arrangement was that it was hidden. “It’s the covert nature of the relationship between these two companies and campaigns that I find particularly revealing and alarming. If there is covert cooperation via offshore entities, [it] is about as serious a breach of the funding rules as one can imagine in the 21st century.” Millar said that this case was without precedent. “To have a billionaire so directly buying influence in a British election is absolutely unheard of. This is completely out of the ordinary. And what’s clear is that our electoral laws are hopelessly inadequate. The only way we would be able to find the truth of what happened is through a public inquiry.” The link between Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ was never supposed to come to light. And it is still uncertain how Vote Leave came to work with AggregateIQ. There are several major Tory donors and pro-Brexit figures associated with Cambridge Analytica and SCL Elections, including Lord Marland, former treasurer of the Conservative party and head of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council. The pro-Brexit Tory donor Roger Gabb, the owner of South African wine company Kumala, is also a shareholder and was involved in one of the Leave campaigns. In a separate incident he was fined £1,000 by the Electoral Commission for failing to include “imprints” – or campaign branding – on newspaper ads. The Observer revealed last week that two core members of the Vote Leave team used to work with both Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ. Cummings said that he found the company – on which he spent by far the biggest chunk of his campaign budget – “on the internet”. He declined the opportunity to comment for this article. On Twitter, he accused the Observer of “bad journalism” and said the story was “an embarrassment to a national paper” but he did not comment further on how he found AggregateIQ, a firm with fewer than 10 employees based on an island off the west coast of Canada, on LinkedIn. Or if he knew of its relationship to Cambridge Analytica and Mercer. Though he has been a keen follower of Mercer’s dealings, tweeting several times about his company, Renaissance Technologies, which he describes as “the world’s most successful quant fund” [a hedge fund that uses automated trading]. Millar said: “It is appalling that Vote Leave, whose lead campaign status was authorised by the state (and whose campaign was partly funded by the state), does not feel an obligation to give … public answers to the questions you raise.” Leave.EU and Cambridge Analytica have responded by telling the Observer that they did no work with each other. Arron Banks, the head of Leave.EU, said it had talked to Cambridge Analytica about working with it “if we won the official designation – but we didn’t”. This directly contradicts his own memoir, The Bad Boys of Brexit. Under the entry for 22 October 2015, Banks writes: “We’ve hired Cambridge Analytica, an American company that uses ‘big data and advanced psychographics’ to influence people.” There are multiple further pieces of evidence. The YouTube video of Leave.EU’s launch event, the same event in which Gunster talks about data, shows Banks sitting next to a senior executive of Cambridge Analytica, Brittany Kaiser. She is described on Leave.EU’s Facebook pages as its director of programme development, and she told the British press about the “large-scale research” that would identify what people were really interested in and how this would “help inform our policy and our campaigns”. A now deleted post on Leave.EU’s website (but available via archive), entitled The Science Behind Our Strategy, details how Leave.EU was working with Cambridge Analytica, whose “psychographic methodology” is “on another level of sophistication”. In November, Kaiser told Bloomberg the first stage of the work involved interviewing “close to half a million Britons”. To put this in context, typical polling samples conducted by firms such as YouGov are of about 1,200 people. Research on this scale and magnitude would cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, say experts – though nothing has been declared or accounted for by any campaign. Any donation of services by Cambridge Analytica or Mercer would be “impermissible” under UK law. In February 2016, Cambridge Analytica’s CEO, Alexander Nix, told Campaign magazine: “Recently, Cambridge Analytica has teamed up with Leave.EU – the UK’s largest group advocating for a British exit (or ‘Brexit’) from the European Union – to help them better understand and communicate with UK voters. We have already helped supercharge Leave.EU’s social media campaign by ensuring the right messages are getting to the right voters online and the campaign’s Facebook page is growing in support to the tune of about 3,000 people per day.” On 2 February, Banks tweeted: “Our campaign is being run by Gerry Gunster (won 24 referendum in the USA and Cambridge analytica experts in SM”. (This post has since been deleted, though screenshots exist.) In March 2016, Kaiser gave an interviewer further details: “Well, actually right now we are working on the Brexit campaign so we are working with all three of the main parties. […] It’s a very exciting campaign because it has forced the British government to run their third ever national referendum.” In January 2017, Banks responded to a dismissive tweet about Cambridge Analytica, with: “Interesting, since we deployed this technology in leave.eu we got unprecedented levels of engagement. 1 video 13m views. AI won it for leave.” All this has taken so long to come to light because the spending returns for the different campaigns were published only in February. Martin Moore, director of the Study of Communication, Media and Power at King’s College London described how he began to investigate the returns back then. “I went through the invoices when the Electoral Commission uploaded them to its site. And I kept on discovering all these huge amounts going to a company that not only had I never heard of but that there was practically nothing at all about on the internet. More money was spent with AggregateIQ than with any other company in any other campaign in the entire referendum. All I found, at that time, was a one-page website and that was it. It was an absolute mystery.” Other outlets found discrepancies. Buzzfeed published a story about how Vote Leave had given a 23-year-old fashion student, Darren Grimes, a gift of £625,000 in the week before the election, – which was spent on the BeLeave social media campaign – as well as a further £50,000 from another third party donor. Vote Leave and Grimes both claimed there was no coordination between campaigns. Grimes, the Observer has learned, had previously worked with Chris Wylie, a Canadian political strategist, who introduced AggregateIQ to Cambridge Analytica. The returns showed that Vote Leave donated a further £100,000 to Veterans for Britain – which then spent exactly that amount of money with AggregateIQ. Both campaigns denied any “coordination”. Nor was there coordination, Vote Leave said, with the Democratic Unionist Party, which spent a further £32,750 with AggregateIQ. Leaked emails published in February last year appeared to reveal a plan to break spending laws by creating different campaigns and covertly coordinating them. Steve Baker, Conservative MP for Wycombe, wrote to colleagues: “It is open to the Vote Leave family to create separate legal entities each of which could spend £700k: Vote Leave will be able to spend as much money as is necessary to win the referendum.” But if coordination did occur, it is unclear which parties knew what. A spokesman for Veterans for Britain told the Observer that AggregateIQ approached it. “I didn’t find AggregateIQ. They found us. They rang us up and pitched us.” However lawyers for Cambridge Analytica say that neither it nor SCL Elections has had any contractual or other link with AggregateIQ for 12 months, when it was retained to provide some software development and digital marketing support. They add that neither SCL Elections nor Cambridge Analytica was involved in AggregateIQ’s alleged involvement in the Vote Leave campaign. A number of individuals, including Stephen Kinnock, MP for Aberavon, have sent a file of evidence to the Electoral Commission, the Committee on Standards in Public Life, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan police pointing out a catalogue of issues. They all referred it back to the Electoral Commission, saying it was the body with jurisdiction over the matter. The commission announced it was going to pursue an investigation of Leave.EU. Publicly, it has made no statement about Vote Leave. Sources have told the Observer that it is unable to pursue a proper investigation because AggregateIQ is outside British jurisdiction. The Observer has learned that the Information Commissioner’s Office is actively investigating BeLeave, Vote Leave, Veterans for Britain and the DUP for potential offences, including illegal sharing of data, but it is believed to have the same problem: the evidence is offshore. Kinnock said: “It’s clear the Electoral Commission, the body which is meant to uphold it, is completely toothless … That’s the heart of the problem. Even if it finds a problem, it can only impose a fine which is just the cost of doing business. There’s clear evidence of channelling funding through third parties, including DUP and BeLeave as front organisations to circumvent the rules. And there is no way of properly holding anyone to account. What you’ve shown is that there is a much bigger story here that I believe needs a full public inquiry. There are so many issues. Thousands of pounds of work apparently unaccounted for. Evidence of coordination between multiple campaigns. Multiple breaches of data protection. And this question of foreign influence, of a foreign billionaire buying influence in a British election, goes right to the heart of our entire democratic process.” The Observer asked Cambridge Analytica for comment on the financial and business links between Cambridge Analytica, Mercer, Bannon, AggregateIQ, Leave.EU and the Vote Leave campaigns. We asked about an apparently coordinated campaign strategy between Leave.EU, Vote Leave, BeLeave, Veterans for Britain and the DUP “in part funded and enabled by Robert Mercer”. A Cambridge Analytica spokesman said: “Cambridge Analytica did no paid or unpaid work for Leave.EU.” Lawyers for Cambridge Analytica and SCL Elections wrote to the Observer on Saturday to complain about our previous stories, which they said contained significant inaccuracies and amounted to a sustained campaign of vilification designed to paint a false and misleading picture of their clients. They said we were conducting a concerted campaign to undermine their clients and cause them damage. They said their clients have done no wrong, broken no laws and breached no one’s rights and had not been part of a “shadowy” or unlawful campaign to subvert British democracy or dupe the British public.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Brain scans have traditionally proven difficult if not impossible to obtain for babies and particularly for fetuses. There was also the concern of keeping infants safe within an MRI scanner. But the seeds of development and disease may yet be found in those earliest stages of growth. Now a massive trove of MRI scans of babies during pregnancy and in the first weeks of life are being shared online by a British team. The undertaking is called the Developing Human Connectome Project, and involves scientists from King’s College London, Imperial College London, and Oxford University. “The Developing Human Connectome Project is a major advance in understanding human brain development,” said David Edwards, of King’s College London, the lead investigator and a neonatologist. “It will provide the first map of how the brain’s connections develop, and how this goes wrong in disease.” The range of age would be from 20 weeks to 44 after conception, potentially from the second trimester through the first month of life, according to the project. The images will be the traditional array of MRI images, from white matter and cortical surfaces, to myelin maps and viewpoints. The project touts its ambitious scope with making future breakthroughs possible, they said in a statement. “Our goal is to create a dynamic map of human brain connectivity… which will link together imaging, clinical, behavioral, and genetic information. This unique setting, with imaging and collateral data in an expandable open-source informatics structure, will permit wide use by the scientific community.” The project is backed by a €15 million grant from the European Research Council, with the understanding that the images would be shared as widely as possible.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.greencarcongress.com

« DOE: gasoline direct injection engine technology showing very rapid adoption; 48.5% market share after 9 years | Main | Echodyne raises $29M Series B to bring “radar vision” to autonomous vehicles, drones and machines » Researchers at Imperial College London, working with colleagues from King’s College London and University of British Columbia, have demonstrated a mechanism by which diesel exhaust particles directly affect the lungs to initiate symptoms such as a tightening of the airways and cough. These triggered respiratory reflexes can potentially worsen underlying conditions, such as asthma. Previous research has shown a strong association between urban air pollution and respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, but the underlying mechanism has been unclear. In the study, published as an open-access paper in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the team showed that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the exhaust particles directly stimulate nerves in the lungs, causing a reflex response in the airways. The findings may provide a key link between exposure to air pollution on city streets and respiratory symptoms which can lead to hospitalisation for people at higher risk, such as the very young, the elderly, and those with respiratory diseases. Previously, scientists showed that the effects of air pollution on the lungs of asthmatics correlated with the concentration of small, ultrafine particles inhaled, although the exact mechanism was unclear. These tiny particles (less than 100nm in diameter), can get deep into lungs and are so small that cells recognize them as biological molecules which can be absorbed and processed, possibly accounting for their adverse health effects. However, the new findings suggest a more complicated mechanism. When the particles in diesel exhaust were processed to separate the insoluble carbon core from the soluble, outer organic fraction, the researchers found that it was chemicals on their surface (the PAHs) which directly stimulated nerves, while the central carbon particles did not. The researchers say that the small size of the particles helps the chemicals to reach deep into the lungs, and cross membranes, where they can activate the nerves. The team tested the effects of exposure in a guinea pig model and animal nerve tissue. The effects were also tested on human tissue, using sections of vagus nerve from donor lung tissue that was surplus to transplant requirement. The researchers found that when the tissue had been exposed to PAHs, sensory nerves responsible for the reflex events and initiating common respiratory symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing, were stimulated. The evidence suggests that when these organic compounds are inhaled, they interact with receptors in the airways to cause oxidative stress. This stress then cascades and opens ion channels, tipping the electrochemical balance and causing the nerves to ‘fire’. These findings were further supported using nerve tissue from mice lacking the functioning ion channel (called TRPA1), in which this change to the electrochemical balance in the nerves, and subsequent symptoms, was not seen. In a previous study in 2013, a group including researchers at Imperial showed that high levels of air pollution on London’s busy Oxford Street had a measurable effect on the lungs of people with asthma, compared with exposure in less polluted areas of the city. The results showed a link between the levels of ultrafine particles (including diesel exhaust particles) at street level and reductions in lung function. Professor Belvisi explained the latest work adds to a growing body of evidence demonstrating the direct effects of air pollution on public health. Combined with previous clinical exposure studies, in which people were exposed to real world levels of diesel exhaust particles in the lab, the mechanism illustrates the effects of typical exposure for people living and working in an urban environment.


News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: www.ictsd.org

25 May, Washington, US, and online. TRADE, SECURITY, AND THE U.S.-MEXICO RELATIONSHIP. This event is being organised by the Brookings Institution’s Mexico Initiative and will feature a series of panel discussions that will explore the various dimensions of the US-Mexico relationship, including on trade. Please note that the event will also be webcast live. To learn more and to register, please visit the Brookings website. 25 May, Geneva, Switzerland. GLOBAL HEALTH R&D: HOW CAN WE BEST SET PRIORITIES BASED ON EVIDENCE? This event is being organised by the governments of Switzerland and South Africa, as well as the European Commission, and will be hosted by the Global Health Centre. The meeting will examine research and development (R&D) activities within the context of global health, examining different initiatives that are currently in place to help in setting priorities for future R&D financing. To learn more and to register, please visit the event website. 29-31 May, Dakar, Senegal. PRACTICAL WORKSHOP ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND TRADITIONAL CULTURAL EXPRESSIONS. This workshop is being organised by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and will focus on building knowledge and exchanging views on the subjects of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. To learn more, visit the WIPO website. 31 May-1 June, Almaty, Kazakhstan. WORKSHOP: EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT OF STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES. This workshop is being organised by the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and will examine the challenges and prospects for reforming state-owned enterprises in Asia. The event will bring together government representatives from various countries in the region. Please note that attendance is by invitation only. For more information, please visit the ADBI website. An updated list of forthcoming WTO meetings is posted here. Please bear in mind that dates and times of WTO meetings are often changed, and that the WTO does not always announce the important informal meetings of the different bodies. Unless otherwise indicated, all WTO meetings are held at the WTO, Centre William Rappard, rue de Lausanne 154, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland, and are open to WTO members and accredited observers only. 30 May: Workshop on Aid for Trade 31 May: Committee on Trade and Development – Session on Aid for Trade 1 June: Working Party on the Accession of Comoros 2 June, Washington, US. INDIA’S SEARCH FOR PROSPERITY. This event is being organised by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and will feature economist Vijay Joshi as the guest speaker. Joshi will lead a discussion based on his book, India’s Long Road: The Search for Prosperity, which examines the evolution of the Indian economy and the roles of different actors in this context. Joshi will be part of a panel featuring speakers from the International Monetary Fund and the Carnegie Endowment. To learn more and to register, please visit the Carnegie website. 12 June, Geneva, Switzerland. DISCIPLINING FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES: A CONTRIBUTION OF THE TRADE SYSTEM TO CLIMATE MITIGATION AND SDGS. This roundtable is being organised by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) as part of the E15 Initiative, which is jointly implemented with the World Economic Forum. The focus of this event will be looking at trade tools and how these can be used to help discipline subsidies for fossil fuels. The meeting will include both WTO negotiators and experts in the field. Please note that attendance is by invitation only. To learn more, visit the ICTSD website. 14 June, London, UK. BREXIT, TRUMP AND THE FUTURE OF THE TRANSATLANTIC ALLIANCE. This Chatham House event will examine the implications of Brexit and the election of US President Donald Trump for the bilateral relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. The event’s guest speaker will be Sir Nigel Sheinwald GCMG, who is a Visiting Professor at King’s College London Department of War Studies, and was previously the UK’s ambassador to the United States and the UK’s permanent representative to the European Union. Please note that attendance is by invitation only. To learn more, visit the Chatham House website. 20 June, Brussels, Belgium. INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON WOMEN AND TRADE. This event is being hosted jointly by the European Commission and the International Trade Centre, bringing together stakeholders from a range of backgrounds with the goal of building support for empowering women through trade. A full event agenda is available online. To learn more and the register, please visit the European Commission website. 30 June – 2 July, Geneva, Switzerland. FIFTH GLOBAL REVIEW OF AID FOR TRADE: “REDUCING TRADE COSTS FOR INCLUSIVE, SUSTAINABLE GROWTH.” This biennial WTO event will feature over 50 sessions focusing on the Aid for Trade Initiative, as well as how to address the issue of trade costs in the context of the UN’s Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Please note that registration closes on 26 June. To learn more, please visit the WTO website. 26-28 September, Geneva, Switzerland. WTO PUBLIC FORUM 2017. This year’s edition of the WTO’s outreach event will have as its theme “Trade: Behind the Headlines.” The meeting will aim to look at the real-life implications of trade, as opposed to rhetoric, and will also look at how trade can support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related issues. A call for proposals is currently open for those who wish to organise sessions at this year’s forum, with a due date of 4 June 2017. To learn more, please visit the WTO website.


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: www.sciencenews.org

One of the most pressing and perplexing questions parents have to answer is what to do about screen time for little ones. Even scientists and doctors are stumped. That’s because no one knows how digital media such as smartphones, iPads and other screens affect children.   The American Academy of Pediatrics recently put out guidelines, but that advice was based on a frustratingly slim body of scientific evidence, as I’ve covered. Scientists are just scratching the surface of how screen time might influence growing bodies and minds. Two recent studies point out how hard these answers are to get. But the studies also hint that the answers might be important. In the first study, Julia Ma at the University of Toronto and colleagues found that, in children younger than 2, the more time spent with a handheld screen, such as a smartphone or tablet, the more likely the child was to show signs of a speech delay. Ma presented the work May 6 at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in San Francisco. The team used information gleaned from nearly 900 children’s 18-month checkups. Parents answered a questionnaire about their child’s mobile media use and then filled out a checklist designed to identify heightened risk of speech problems. This checklist is a screening tool that picks up potential signs of trouble; it doesn’t offer a diagnosis of a language delay, points out study coauthor Catherine Birken, a pediatrician at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Going into the study, the researchers didn’t have expectations about how many of these toddlers were using handheld screens. “We had very little clues, because there is almost no literature on the topic,” Birken says. “There’s just really not a lot there.” It turns out that about 1 in 5 of the toddlers used handheld screens, and those kids had an average daily usage of about a half hour. Handheld screen time was associated with potential delays in expressive language, the team found. For every half hour of mobile media use, a child’s risk of language delay increased by about 50 percent. “The relationship is not that strong,” Birken says, and those numbers come with big variations. Still, a link exists. And finding that association means there’s a lot more work to do, Birken says. In this study, researchers looked only at time spent with handheld screens. Future studies could investigate whether parents watching along with a child, the type of content or even time of day might change the calculation. A different study, published April 13 in Scientific Reports, looked at handheld digital device use among young children and its relationship to sleep. As a group, kids from ages 6 months to 3 years who spent more time using mobile touch screen devices got less sleep at night. Parent surveys filled out online indicated that each hour of touch screen use was linked to 26.4 fewer minutes of night sleep and 10.8 minutes more sleep during the day. Extra napping time “may go some way to offset the disturbed nighttime sleep, but the total sleep time of high users is still less than low users,” says study coauthor Tim Smith, a cognitive psychologist at Birkbeck, University of London. Each additional hour of touch screen use is linked to about 15 minutes less sleep over 24 hours. By analyzing 20 independent studies, an earlier study found a similar link between portable screen use and less sleep among older children. The new results offer “a consistent message that the findings from older children translate into those younger,” says Ben Carter of King’s College London, who was a coauthor on the study of older children. So the numbers are in. Daily doses of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on a mobile device equals 7.5 minutes less sleep and a 50 percent greater risk of expressive language delay for your toddler, right? Well, no. It’s tempting to grab onto these numbers, but the science is too preliminary. In both cases, the results show that the two things go together, not that one caused the other. It may be a long time before scientists have answers about how digital technology affects children. In the meantime, you can follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recently updated guidelines, which discourage screens (except for video chatting) before 18 months of age and for all children during meals or in bedrooms. We now live in a world where smartphones are ever-present companions, a saturation that normalizes the sight of small screens in tiny hands. But I think we should give that new norm some extra scrutiny. The role of mobile devices in our kids’ lives — and our own — is something worth thinking about, hard.


OXFORD, England & BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Blue Earth Diagnostics, a molecular imaging diagnostics company, announced that the Trial Steering Committee recommended that further recruitment be stopped in the FALCON clinical study of fluciclovine (18F) PET/CT imaging, based on successful results of a pre-planned interim analysis. The FALCON trial, announced in March 2016, is a UK-based, open-label study (NCT02578940) to evaluate the clinical impact of fluciclovine (18F) PET/CT imaging on patient management decisions in men with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer. In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Axumin™ (fluciclovine F 18), a novel molecular imaging agent for use in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in men with suspected prostate cancer recurrence based on elevated blood levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) following prior treatment. The primary endpoint of the FALCON study examines the percentage of men who have their management plan changed after a fluciclovine (18F) scan. The single, pre-planned interim analysis of the primary endpoint was performed based on the first 85 evaluable patients. Based on the interim analysis results, recruitment in the trial was to be stopped due to efficacy. The efficacy and safety of fluciclovine (18F) to impact patient management decisions is currently under clinical investigation. Blue Earth Diagnostics plans to present results of this interim analysis of the FALCON trial at an upcoming medical congress and subsequently publish full results in a peer-reviewed publication. “The primary aim of the UK multi-center FALCON trial of fluciclovine (18F) PET/CT imaging was to assess its clinical impact on treatment decisions in men with recurrent prostate cancer being considered for radical potentially curative treatment,” said Dr Fergus Gleeson, Professor of Radiology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, and Chief Investigator on the study. “Study recruitment has been stopped because of the significant numbers of changes to treatment made following the scan. In addition, we want to evaluate other criteria such as its diagnostic performance and the effect that PSA level may have on the probability of lesion detection by fluciclovine (18F). “We are pleased at the Trial Steering Committee’s recommendation for the FALCON trial, and we look forward to sharing the results with the medical community at an upcoming scientific congress,” said Jonathan Allis, D. Phil., CEO of Blue Earth Diagnostics. “Axumin can provide actionable information for physicians treating patients with suspected recurrent prostate cancer, and Blue Earth is committed to continuing efforts that may benefit men with recurrent disease.” “Biochemically recurrent prostate cancer poses an important medical challenge, as it occurs in up to one third of men who have been previously treated, and current commercially available anatomical imaging techniques are limited in the amount of information they provide,” said Judd Moul, M.D., Professor of Surgery, Urology, at Duke University. “Information provided by an Axumin PET scan provides useful information about the location and extent of suspected recurrent disease and has the potential to provide information to facilitate the appropriate care of men with recurrent prostate cancer.” Blue Earth Diagnostics also announced that the LOCATE study (“The Impact of 18F Fluciclovine (FACBC) PET/CT (Positron Emission Computed Tomography) on Management of Patients With Rising PSA (Prostate-specific Antigen) After Initial Prostate Cancer Treatment”), has completed patient enrollment earlier than anticipated. The LOCATE trial is a U.S. multi-center study designed to assess the impact on patient management of 18F fluciclovine PET imaging in patients with rising PSA after initial prostate cancer treatment. The clinical utility of 18F fluciclovine PET/CT imaging will be assessed by the change from initial to revised treatment plan. Additional information about the LOCATE trial is available at: www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02680041). The FALCON trial, “Fluciclovine (18F) PET/CT in biochemicAL reCurrence Of prostate caNcer (FALCON),” is an open-label multi-center study in the U.K. designed to assess the clinical utility of fluciclovine (18F) PET imaging in the management of patients with prostate cancer with biochemical recurrence after initial treatment. The primary endpoint is to evaluate the clinical impact of fluciclovine (18F) in affecting treatment decision and is assessed by comparing records of the patient’s treatment plan after a fluciclovine (18F) PET scan with the treatment plan prior to the scan. Secondary endpoints include evaluation of the effect of treatment change in patients with positive fluciclovone (18F) PET imaging findings who had a treatment change involving radical salvage therapy; diagnostic performance; PSA threshold; safety assessment and comparison with choline PET (if performed). As stated in the protocol, a single, pre-planned interim analysis of the primary endpoint was to be performed based on the first 85 evaluable patients. If the number of treatment changes is greater than 45, the trial will stop recruitment early due to efficacy. If the number of treatment changes is 8 or fewer, the trial will stop recruitment early due to futility. The FALCON trial is jointly funded by Innovate UK and Blue Earth Diagnostics and is being conducted at six leading institutions in the UK: Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University College London, Kings College London, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust and Greater Glasgow Health Board. Additional information about the FALCON trial is available at: www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02578940). U.S. Indication and Important Safety Information About Axumin Axumin™ (fluciclovine F 18) injection is indicated for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in men with suspected prostate cancer recurrence based on elevated blood prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels following prior treatment. To report suspected adverse reactions to Axumin, call 1-855-AXUMIN1 (1-855-298-6461) or contact FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. Full Axumin prescribing information is available at www.axumin.com. Axumin (fluciclovine F 18) injection is a novel product indicated for use in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to identify suspected sites of prostate cancer recurrence in men. Recurrence of prostate cancer is suspected by an increase in prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels following prior treatment. PET imaging with Axumin may identify the location and extent of such recurrence. Axumin was developed to enable visualization of the increased amino acid transport that occurs in many cancers, including prostate cancer. It consists of a synthetic amino acid that is preferentially taken up by prostate cancer cells compared with surrounding normal tissues, and is labeled with the radioisotope F 18 for PET imaging. Fluciclovine F 18 was invented at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., with much of the fundamental clinical development work carried out by physicians at Emory University’s Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences. Axumin was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May 2016, following Priority Review, and is the first product commercialized by Blue Earth Diagnostics, which licensed the product from GE Healthcare. The molecule is being investigated by Blue Earth Diagnostics for other potential cancer indications, such as glioma. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States. While most primary prostate cancer can be successfully treated, the disease recurs in approximately one-third of patients. In some patients recurrent disease is detectable only by a rise in prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, yet the location of the recurrence cannot consistently be located by conventional imaging, potentially impacting subsequent management of these patients. Blue Earth Diagnostics is a molecular imaging diagnostics company focused on the development and commercialization of novel PET imaging agents to inform clinical management and guide care for cancer patients in areas of unmet medical need. Formed in 2014, Blue Earth Diagnostics is led by recognized experts in the clinical development and commercialization of innovative nuclear medicine products. The company’s first approved and commercially available product is AxuminTM (fluciclovine F 18), a novel molecular imaging agent for use in PET imaging to detect and localize prostate cancer in men experiencing suspected biochemical recurrence. Blue Earth Diagnostics is funded by Syncona Limited, an investment company listed on the London Stock Exchange (LON: SYNC). For more information, visit www.blueearthdiagnostics.com.

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