HPV vaccine debate heats up

first_imgNORTHRIDGE – The small vials filled with potentially life-saving vaccine sit in a refrigerator at the Cal State Northridge health center, available to some, unreachable for others. Ayu Nishikawa is debating whether she should get inoculated with Gardasil, which protects against certain strains of human papilloma virus, or HPV, that can cause cervical cancer. The disease kills 3,700 American women a year. “I don’t know how safe it is, or if it has side effects,” Nishikawa said of the $125-a-dose vaccine. “It’s about both cost and the questions. “It’s still a new thing and it seems lots of students don’t know about it all that well.” Most insurance plans cover the vaccine, and uninsured girls ages 9 to 18 years are able to get inoculated for free through the state’s Vaccines for Children program. But that leaves some younger women who have aged out of their parents’ health plans, or who can’t afford any insurance, out of the loop, including those who fall back on Family Pact. In fiscal 2004-05, nearly 1.6 million clients were served under Family Pact. Of those, 63 percent were ages 20-34, and 89 percent were women. State health officials said there are no plans to fund Gardasil through Family Pact because, they say, the vaccine is more effective in younger girls who are less likely to be sexually active and therefore have yet to contract any form of herpes. However, Merck, the company that makes Gardasil, said there has been some misinformation about who should and shouldn’t be vaccinated. Officials there say the vaccine can protect those 18 to 26, even those who have had one type of HPV. The vaccine protects against four strains. “We’ve tried to stress that the vaccine can be useful to women who already had one or more HPV types,” said Marc Boston, spokesman for Merck. “It’s important to know that if they have had HPV, this doesn’t mean they won’t benefit.” Current research is under way on a similar vaccine for boys and older women, Boston said. The company’s Web site, www.Merck.com, has information on a patient assistance program for those 19 and older who can’t afford the vaccine. “The assistance is highly applicable to California to those who just don’t have the means to receive vaccines,” Boston said. Meanwhile, local clinics and hospitals are seeing an increase in interest in the vaccine, which is good news to providers, even as the state Assembly’s Health Committee will debate Tuesday whether to make the vaccine mandatory for girls entering the seventh grade beginning in 2009. “We had 170 doses (for girls) and went through that in four days,” said Debra Rosen, director of public health and health education for the Northeast Valley Health Corp. “Our providers are very excited about the prospect of this vaccine,” Rosen said. “It will make a significant impact in reducing cervical cancer and genital warts.” And the current debate may actually be increasing interest, said Dr. Charlene E.L. Huang, who specializes in adolescent and pediatric medicine at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center. “Quite a few patients have brought the vaccine up,” Huang said. “I think it’s an indicator that the information is out there, that the population is becoming more aware of the issues.” However, Huang said, there is still some concern about inoculating girls as young as 9. “There’s more concern about its safety,” she said. “Some parents feel it’s too new. And those who take a more religious or moral standpoint express concern, because they feel their daughter would not be sexually active that soon.” susan.abram@dailynews.com (818) 713-3664 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Nishikawa, a 24-year-old women’s studies major and assistant director of the Women’s Center at CSUN, has health insurance through Family Pact, a state-funded plan. But Family Pact doesn’t cover Gardasil, even though it does provide for condoms and birth control pills. “We’ve had a lot of inquiries, but only three patients so far have gotten it,” said Kristal Gordon, a pharmacist for CSUN’s Klotz Student Health Center. “It has to do with the cost.” The rising interest in Gardasil and questions about affordability couldn’t be more timely. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report last month that found one in four U.S. women, ages 14 to 59, has some form of HPV. While the CDC recommends that girls ages 11 to 12 get inoculated, the study found the virus was most common in women ages 20 to 24. In Los Angeles County, an estimated 600 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, with incidence among Latinas over two times higher than the national rate, according to a University of Southern California cancer surveillance research report. African-American and Korean women also have higher risk for the disease, the study found. last_img read more

49ers aftermath: What we learned Monday at HQ

first_img(Click here, if you are unable to view this video on your mobile device.)SANTA CLARA — Take away running back Jerick McKinnon and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to knee injuries, then take away a few more offensive weapons to more injuries, and it’s no surprise the 49ers are mired in a three-game losing streak.Coach Kyle Shanahan insisted Monday the 49ers have “strong enough people” to reverse course, even if their daunting path next features the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field next Monday …last_img read more

NFL bumps 49ers visit to Seattle out of prime time

first_imgSANTA CLARA — Six years ago, the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks were the hot shots getting flexed into prime time, a season in which the 49ers opened seven games in prime time en route to Super Bowl XLVII.Wednesday’s reality check: the 49ers annual visit to the Seattle Seahawks got bumped up to a 1:25 p.m. kickoff on Dec. 2, ahead of NBC’s night game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers.The Raiders got bumped out of the NBC prime-time game the following week, a Dec. 14 home …last_img read more

Darwinian Phylogenists Do the Funky Chicken

first_imgAfter all this reluctant criticism, Ronquist manages to find something to compliment, in closing:Although it is easy to criticize a book that tries to cover so much, in this case doing so is like throwing stones in a glass house.  Every phylogeneticist can probably find some points they understand better than Felsenstein, but I can think of no one who could provide a better and more comprehensive summary of the current methods for building evolutionary trees.  It will be a long time before there will be a comparable book; perhaps the field is now growing too fast for there to ever be one.  The publication of Inferring Phylogenies is a milestone for evolutionary biology in general and phylogenetics in particular.1Fredrick Ronquist, “Phylogenetics: A Broad Look at Tree-Building,” Science Volume 303, Number 5659, Issue of 6 Feb 2004, pp. 767-768.Sometimes you have to just stand back and let the Darwin Party members do it to each other.  Does anyone have confidence in evolutionary tree-building after this indecent exposure?  When an expert in the field omits significant parts of the story (why? because he feels they are invalid?), characterizes it as a battle over the most prestigious authorities, and describes one of the chief methodologies to be as mystical as casting chicken bones and using magical incantations, what are we supposed to conclude?  Don’t they realize it’s confusing to the peasants when the shamans are exorcising one another?For more on phylogenetic tree-building, see 11/26/2002 and 06/13/2003 entries, and follow the Chain Links on “Genes and DNA.”(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Fredrik Ronquist is active in phylogenetic systematics, the art of drawing evolutionary trees from DNA comparisons.  And he admires Joseph Felsenstein, an “icon in the field.”  But when he reviewed Felsenstein’s new book, Inferring Phylogenies (Sinauer, 2004) in the Feb. 5 issue of Science,1 he had mixed feelings about the author’s biases and his choice of humor.    Ronquist has much to praise about the iconic master’s work, concluding “I can think of no one who could provide a better and more comprehensive summary of the current methods for building evolutionary trees.”  Nevertheless, his criticisms are revealing about the state of this art:What is it about, anyway?  The book seems to omit a rather important part of phylogenetic systematics:What I found most surprising about the book is that it is not at all about systematics.  Readers will find no coverage of many basic concepts in phylogenetic systematics–such as synapomorphy, symplesiomorphy, sistergroups, outgroups, and monophyly.While Felsenstein covers many subjects like “techniques for statistical testing of evolutionary trees,” uses of phylogenies, and “nearly every quantitative approach to tree-building that has been tried,” Ronquist is most surprised there is no coverage of these important terms and concepts in a 684-page definitive treatise by an expert in the field.No help on classification.Another topic that many phylogenetic systematists consider important but the book glosses over is how one should convert phylogenetic trees into classifications of organisms.  According to Felsenstein, “The delimitation of higher taxa is no longer a major task of systematics, as the availability of estimates of the phylogeny removes the need to use these classifications.”  Even a cursory look at the literature would prove that many active systematists disagree; indeed, the discussion of classification and naming principles seems to be as vigorous as ever.  This neglect of the classification issue is all the more remarkable because Felsenstein devotes an entire chapter–one of the more original and important contributions in the book–to the drawing of trees (specifically, to algorithms for drawing diagrams of trees).  After all, drawing trees is just another way of communicating the results of a phylogenetic analysis.  Often a diagram is better, but sometimes a name is necessary.  I do not think we will ever see papers with titles like “The biology of .”Controversy is bitter.In a field that has been plagued by outrageously bitter controversy, the book is remarkably balanced on the whole.  For example, consider Felsenstein’s summary of the debates on statistical inconsistency.  It reveals when parsimony is inconsistent and suffers from “long-branch attraction,” but it makes no secret of the fact that likelihood methods can also be misled by similar phenomena when the model used for inference is incorrect.  The attempt to provide balanced coverage probably will not stop ardent parsimony advocates from being disappointed.This is because Ronquist feels Fenselstein was unfair in his choice of algorithms to exalt, and ones to ignore.The Bayesian Funky Chicken.  “The book’s coverage of Bayesian inference of phylogenies is surprisingly short and critical,” Ronquist complains.  Bayesian inference is a fancy mathematical form of educated guessing by applying values to likely causes, but it suffers from GIGO: garbage in, garbage out.  Ronquist disagrees with the author’s criticisms, and is not amused by the joking description Fenselstein gives to this technique as applied to evolutionary tree-building:I find the author’s complaints about prior distributions partly misdirected.  For instance, Mau and Newton’s prior on clocklike trees is described as “technically inadmissible” and “an impossible distribution” because it is an improper probability distribution.  But improper priors are often unproblematic in Bayesian inference, and there is an entire school of “objective Bayesians” who routinely use them.  The comment on the choice of proposal distributions is more funny than helpful: “At the moment the choice of a good proposal distribution involves the burning of incense, casting of chicken bones, use of magical incantations, and invoking the opinions of more prestigious colleagues.”last_img read more

Are options the answer?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The market is unsure if bean tariffs will mean anything. Even if China starts buying all of their beans from South America, the rest of the world could still buy U.S. beans. This week the Brazil bean cash offers skyrocketed off the tariff news, but when the futures came down 50 cents other world buyers started buying U.S. beans, as they were the cheapest globally. This is likely why the markets dipped and then recovered shortly after.Reduced Argentina production is bullish, while U.S. bean stock levels are bearish. It’s still uncertain how many acres U.S. farmers will plant. I expect a roller coaster ride ahead for the bean market.If corn demand continues to stay steady or increase, prices likely will be strong and have upside potential. If demand were to decrease, so will prices. Weather will start to be an issue in three weeks and could help determine if additional acres will be planted from the USDA estimates. Are options the answer?Last year caught many farmers off guard, because it was the first time in a while that average farmers didn’t have an opportunity to sell an average crop at profitable levels. Many farmers are fearing 2018 will be the same. Therefore, some farmers want to consider alternative solutions (like options) to increase their profit potential, but don’t know how. While I don’t think options are a cure all strategy, if used in moderation and as long as farmers understand all of the risks, they can help farmers take advantage of more opportunities and increase flexibility in their marketing plans.For the first time in the last 10 years I had more than 35% of my production tied up in options trades in 2017. But, 2017 was also the first time in 10 years that corn didn’t trade over $4.30 before harvest. Sometimes market conditions force me to consider alternative strategies to maintain profitability for my farm operationGrain marketing with good risk management practices is a very complex process. The best marketing plans need to constantly adapt to market variances. With more flexibility and trade choices (including options), farmers can maximize profit potential. Conditions affecting prices change every year, so marketing plans need to adjust too.Too often farmers have the market strategy “I want to get the most I can.” This “plan” isn’t a plan. It assumes one can predict the top of the market every year, which is impossible. Instead, I prefer setting price goals I’m willing to accept that meet my farm operation’s profitability objectives.Below I’ve provided some examples of different options that I’ve used or considered in the past and the pros/cons of implementing them into my marketing plan. Selling call optionsSelling calls gives the right to someone else to buy my grain from me at a certain price. When selling calls I get a premium regardless of how the trade turns out. If the price at expiration is the same or higher than the strike price of the call, I have to sell grain for the strike price, but I also keep the premium. If the price is below the strike price at expiration, no sale is made, but I get to keep the premium to add to a later trade.Since grain producers ALWAYS have more grain to sell, selling calls is a natural hedge trade for farmers. It doesn’t allow for much upside price potential and provides limited downside protection, but it can be very useful during sideways markets. In the last year selling calls has allowed me to pick up added premium on some of my grain, while prices remained at unprofitable levels. Selling put optionsSelling puts gives away the right to someone else to give me grain at a certain price.This type of trade is extremely risky for grain producers because it places them in a position of potentially being forced to buy grain at higher prices when they always need to be selling their grain. There are few cases where this type of trade by itself would make sense for a grain producer and I think should be avoided. Selling straddle optionsSelling straddles are when I sell both a call and a put at the same strike price and collect both premiums. Generally, this type of trade is most profitable in sustained sideways markets. While I usually avoid selling puts, the one exception is when I sell a call at the same price (i.e. selling a straddle).While I have had considerable success with straddles over the last 16 months, I had never even placed a straddle in the previous 8 years. Back then I couldn’t justify the potential risk of having to buy grain back if the market fell far enough for the potential premium I would get if the market remained stagnant.To sell a straddle, I select a price I think corn will be at on a specific date in the future. If futures prices are at that price on the selected date, I keep the total premium generated from the trade. The further the actual futures price is from the strike price I picked on the last trading day of the straddle, the less premium I collect until it the straddle hits certain price points in either direction. Those points are derived from the strike price and the total amount collected for selling the straddle. From there, I’ll either have to remove a sale (i.e. buy grain back) or make an additional grain sale.In the last year I could justify this trade to myself and my banker because I first sold some grain at levels that were below the cost of production, so not very good sales to begin with. I didn’t think prices would likely go much lower and there was a reasonably high chance prices would go nowhere, or maybe higher. That initial grain sale provided a “security blanket” to place the straddle trade. If I didn’t really want to make a sale in the first place at the price I did, then the straddle would enable me to buy back the grain at lower prices. If I was going to sit with unpriced grain in the bin anyway, why not be willing to make money regardless of what happens. I discussed the trade with my banker prior to placing it, and he could also see the reason why I would do this type of trade on a few bushels.While there are some advantages to straddles, there are some disadvantages. I wouldn’t commit a large percent of my production to this strategy because it first requires selling some bushels at unattractive prices to minimize my risk exposure. That means if the market ultimately rallies significantly, I get to double my sale at better portions because of the sold call portion of the straddle trade, but I still have the unattractive sale that minimized my risk exposure. Even if I wait to make the first sale at an attractive price level then I open myself up to potential downside in the market should the market drop significantly So, straddles have some draw backs and are certainly not a perfect trade.While straddles can be profitable in certain market conditions, I need to be very cautious when placing them. Following are some best practices that I personally use when placing straddles to limit my risk exposure.I never place a straddle trade without knowing every possible outcome that could happen and be willing to accept any potential scenario.I almost never buy back either side of the straddle before they are within days of expiring. I have a strategy/plan in place and I was willing to accept all possible scenarios when I initially placed the trade, so changing in the middle could affect my profits and the outcome of other trades I have built around them.Since these types of trades are generally more profitable in a sideways market, I go into the mindset of each trade hoping I made the wrong choice and prices go up, so I can sell more grain at higher prices.I always have a sale already in place to protect me from the market dropping and having to reown some of my grain. This is why in the past I haven’t put straddle trades on because I don’t want to buy back profitable sales. Straddles, to this point, have only been a strategy I have used when prices were below the cost of production. Buying putsBuying puts means buying the right to sell grain at a specific price. I’m usually not a fan unless the strike price, less the cost of the put, is still above my breakeven costs. Even then it usually makes more sense to me to just sell the futures outright and guarantee my profit instead of hoping for higher futures prices.For example, let’s say I buy a $4 put for 20 cents. This would mean my true floor price is $3.80. If my production cost is $4.20, then this trade guarantees I won’t be breaking even unless corn trades above $4.40. So, why even buy the put in the first place? I could just sell corn if it is anywhere above $4.20 and guarantee I’m going to have a profit.Now, some would suggest rolling the puts up in a rally and back down in a decline to minimize this issue and add profits to the trade. But that adds costs on rallies, making break evens higher. Plus, if the market drops and farmers roll down the puts, it exposes farmers to more downside loss potential too. In theory these trades can be successful, but in sideways markets they tend to miss opportunity or lose money. Buying puts worked best during extreme volatility like 2010, 2011 and 2012. Over the past five years buying puts has provided a producer a floor price, but that doesn’t mean that the farmer was still profitable with the trade. Buying callsBuying calls means buying the right to buy grain at a specified price. I’ve never been a fan. Whenever I’ve done the math on buying call options, I find they are rarely, if ever, profitable for me. For buying calls to be profitable, it requires a lot of market movement to the upside. The thing is, I ALWAYS need the market to go higher for any unpriced grain I have left for this year or the next year’s crop, so I don’t need to double down on what I need the market to do anyway. This type of trade is too speculative for me when I’m trying to limit my risk exposure.There are some who like to sell futures and buy calls. This is really just buying a synthetic put option, which I just described above.Buying calls tends to sound best to those fearing they will miss out on a big futures rally. This type of trade is basically betting on a long shot. Yes, it has occasionally worked well like 2010, 2011 and 2012, but since 2013 it likely hasn’t been profitable. What about options in the bean market?I usually just focus my option strategy on the corn market and not beans, for the following reasons:Beans have a lot of market volatility and uncertainty with South America growing 60% of the world’s beans. This means potentially two or three weather scares per year that can dramatically affect the market. Comparatively, about 75% of the world’s corn is grown in the northern hemisphere once per year (which greatly reduces market volatility potential).Buying bean options, puts or calls, usually involves a large upfront fee. If I’m already profitable, I don’t see a reason to risk taking a loss hoping for better values. If the market does nothing but go down after buying the option I’m going to miss some opportunity as well.Selling bean call options exposes me to huge price swings and doesn’t allow for me to sell if the market does rally even if I think the market is likely to fall down the road. Which means I don’t get much coverage to the downside.I probably would rather buy beans options over selling them. The reason is because each crop trades differently. What works for corn doesn’t usually work for beans and vice versa. It’s incredibly hard to predict bean market movements and selling option strategies are usually less effective because of market inverses, while the initial upfront cost to purchase them can be a deterrent.I also tend to use my bean crop as a hedge against my corn crop. If I can sell my beans for a guaranteed profit then all I have to worry about is weather my corn will make money. I want to know exactly where I am with my beans instead of wondering or hoping. A balanced approachI strive for a balanced marketing strategy that takes into consideration the market could go up, down or sideways. I want to take advantage of all opportunities available regardless of where the market goes, because it doesn’t always go up. I don’t fear missing out on a rally, because hitting the top isn’t my marketing goal. The fear of striking out and losses motivates me more than the thrill of hitting the very top of the market. I want to be in the upper end of the market trading range, but I need my farm operation to consistently be profitable and I’ll consider any opportunity that allows me to maximize profit potential while minimizing my risk. Using options prudently is one of many ways I can do this. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at jon@superiorfeed.com.last_img read more

Video: Indiana Signee Ogugua Anunoby Throws Down A Sick Between-The-Legs Dunk

first_imgIndiana Signee Ogugua Aunoby dunks after going between the legs.Indiana Signee Ogugua AunobyWith the returns of James Blackmon and Yogi Ferrell, as well as the addition of five-star big man Thomas Bryant, Indiana projects as a top-20 team next season. Bryant and four-star Juwan Morgan are the big names of the Hoosiers’ incoming freshman class, but a third frontcourt player, Ogugua Anunoby, has some talent of his own. Anunoby, a 6-foot-8 three-star small forward from Jefferson City (Mo.), posted this video to his Instagram tonight. It was re-posted by the Indiana men’s basketball program’s official Instagram, and it features Anunoby throwing down an impressive, 180-degree between-the-legs dunk. Pretty good. We’re sure Hoosier fans will be salivating once they see this.last_img read more

NPTC plans 5000mw ultramega solar plant worth Rs 20000 crore

first_imgMumbai: National energy major NTPC is planning to set up an ultra-mega solar park in the Kutch region of Gujarat that will produce up to 5,000 mega watts and involve an investment of Rs 20,000 crore or more. “We are looking at setting up an ultra-mega solar park in the Kutch and also one in Rajasthan. In the Kutch, we are planning to produce 5,000 mw at an investment of around Rs 4 crore per mw, taking the total investment to Rs 20,000 crore. We are looking at two-three locations in the Kutch. We will invite others to invest as well,” NTPC chairman and managing director Gurdeep Singh told reporters here Monday. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalHe said, the company is also looking at Rajasthan for setting up an ultra mega solar park. “But the amount of energy that will be produced and the quantum of investment required will be decided after the location is finalised,” he added. Further, he said NTPC is also planning to tie up with municipalities to produce electricity from solid waste. “Since last year we have been running a pilot project in Banaras in UP that converts bio-waste into electricity. Now we are planning to do a similar project with the East Delhi Municipal Corporation to produce 20 mw a day and we will float the tender over the next 30 months. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”However we are in more advanced stages of talks with the Surat civic body as we have available land and we are planning to award the contract soon,” he said. The company has a similar plan for Ladakh as well, Singh added. “We are keen to partner with more municipal bodies for waste management. Our only demand is that they must deliver waste to the plant,” he added. NTPC is also looking at good projects to acquire through the bankruptcy process. “At present there are not many good projects in NCLTs, we are looking at three projects, one hydro asset of 100 mw and two coal-based assets of 600 mw each. We are open to projects in hydro, coal and renewal as well,” he added.last_img read more

Morgan Freeman Joins Stand Up To Cancer And Genentech In New PSA

first_imgStand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, have collaborated on a new public service announcement (PSA) featuring Academy Award-winning actor and SU2C Ambassador Morgan Freeman, who also is an executive producer of The C Word, a powerful new cancer documentary.Video: :60 TV PSA – SUC2-Be The Breakthrough – Morgan FreemanThe PSA is part of a collaboration between SU2C and Genentech called Be The Breakthrough, a multi-faceted effort that celebrates the people behind progress in cancer: the patients who participate in clinical trials, the scientists and doctors who make medical advances and improve care, and the people who provide support to those living with cancer.While we have made significant progress, there is much left to do to fight cancer. The disease still affects 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women in the U.S. in their lifetime. The Be The Breakthrough PSA is designed to increase awareness of and educate about the critical importance of individual contributions, such as getting screened regularly and participating in clinical trials, to continue advancing progress against cancer.“I am honored to join Stand Up To Cancer and Genentech in this extremely important PSA campaign,” said Academy Award-winning actor Freeman. “As the executive producer of The C Word documentary, it’s important to me to help raise awareness of this disease and the progress being made. I hope through this PSA and also through The C Word that I can help change the way people view cancer.”The PSA will begin airing December 2016 and encourages the public to visit SU2C.org/breakthrough. The website will provide resources and tools for people who want to learn about screening tests and clinical trials that may be right for them.Freeman adds: “Even the smallest steps against cancer are breakthroughs and can lead to something extraordinary. Getting screened, participating in a clinical trial, caring for patients, teaching prevention or pursuing an uncharted area of research — these are all breakthroughs. Defeating cancer takes breakthroughs, and together we can all be the breakthrough.”In the PSA, Freeman, standing on a dramatically lit stage alongside cancer survivor Tonya Peat, delivers an inspiring and poetic monologue about what it means to “be the breakthrough.” Tonya represents all the brave survivors who fight tirelessly.The PSA was developed by the Creative Direction team of Nate Naylor and Chris Maiorino, and produced by the teams at Blacklist and Tendril, and Executive Produced by Madeline Marotto.In addition to Be The Breakthrough, Genentech is also a collaborator in Catalyst, a program that will use funding and materials from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostic and medical devices industries to accelerate research on cancer prevention, detection and treatment.“We are grateful to Genentech for their continued dedication to Stand Up To Cancer’s research and their commitment to discovering science breakthroughs to help saves lives,” said Stand Up To Cancer Co-Founder Lisa Paulsen. “We are also grateful to Morgan Freeman for lending his voice to this campaign. His dedication to raising awareness for this disease through his participation in this PSA and through his documentary The C Word, makes him such a powerful ambassador.”“SU2C has made great progress against cancer by combining awareness, public education and cutting-edge research, which is why we’ve deepened our collaboration with them to include ‘Be The Breakthrough,’” said Troy Cox, Senior Vice President of BioOncology at Genentech. “We are excited to have Morgan Freeman bring his voice and advocacy to this public health initiative that empowers everyone to play a role in the fight against cancer.”last_img read more

Ottawas mishandling of Jordans Principle means gaps delays and denials for First

first_imgTrina Roache APTN National NewsThe Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ordered for the full implementation of Jordan’s Principle to ensure equal healthcare for Indigenous children in a decision released Tuesday.The order was part of the long-awaited ruling released Tuesday that detailed how Canada discriminates against Indigenous people in its policies and funding of child welfare on-reserve.The goal of Jordan’s Principle is to ensure Indigenous children on-reserve have equal access to healthcare.“(Indigenous Affairs) is also ordered to cease applying its narrow definition of Jordan’s Principle and to take measures to immediately implement the full meaning and scope of Jordan’s principle,” the tribunal said in its 182-page. “More than just funding, there is a need to refocus the policy of the program to respect human rights principles and sound social work practice.”Who pays for health services on-reserve – the province, Indigenous and Northern Affairs, or Health Canada – can be complicated. Jordan’s Principle dictates care for the child first and fight over who pays later.Despite the House of Commons unanimously adopting Jordan’s Principle in 2007, Indigenous Affairs went on to define the principle so narrowly, that it said no cases existed.‎The human rights tribunal didn’t agree.“Such an approach defeats the purpose of Jordan’s Principle and results in service gaps, delays and denials for First Nations children on reserve,” the decision said.Jordan’s Principle is named after Jordan River Anderson, a young boy with severe special needs from Manitoba’s remote Norway House Cree Nation. He died in hospital while the province and federal government fought over his care. He never got to see his home.Ottawa came up with a complicated definition. It only applied the principle to situations in which there was a dispute between the federal government and the province over who should pay for a service needed by a child on-reserve with multiple disabilities requiring multiple health services.“It is Health Canada’s and AANDC’s narrow interpretation of Jordan’s Principle that results in there being no cases meeting the criteria for Jordan’s Principle,” the tribunal ruled. “Jordan’s Principle is meant to apply to all First Nations children. There are many other First Nations children without multiple disabilities who require services, including child and family services. Having to put a child in care in order to access those services, when those services are available to all other Canadians is one of the main reasons this Complaint was made.”Tribunal panel members heard hundreds of hours of testimony over 76 days of hearings. Thousands of documents were submitted in a fight that began in 2007 when Cindy Blackstock, a First Nations’ child welfare advocate along with Assembly of First Nations, filed a human rights complaint.The panel found Canada’s position “unreasonable, unconvincing and not supported by the preponderance of evidence in this case.”In an interview last December, Blackstock said documents show a federal bureaucracy working to protect politicians over the needs of Indigenous children.“It’s very clear to me they completely didn’t get it,” Blackstock said at the time. “Or even if they did get it, they felt the moral course was to deny children services and I think that’s unconscionable. There shouldn’t be more red tape for them to jump, there shouldn’t be longer waits. They shouldn’t be denied services because they’re First Nations’ children.”Three years ago, Mi’kmaw woman Maurina Beadle, took the federal government to court for not providing equal healthcare services for her son Jeremy Meawasige, who has special needs.When Beadle had a stroke in 2010, her band the Pictou Landing First Nation in Nova Scotia, picked up the tab for Jeremy’s extra home care. But argued that it was a cost Ottawa should cover. And not doing so made it a case of Jordan’s Principle.The courts agreed. Beadle won her case.A year later, Ottawa appealed. And an internal federal document puts that decision squarely at the feet of then Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt, who was defeated in October’s election.“Minister Valcourt, the federal lead for Jordan’s Principle, decided to have the Crown appeal the decision on May 6, 2013, on the principle that the Judge erred in his interpretation of JP,” noted a memo labelled “secret.”Ottawa had consistently argued no cases of Jordan’s Principle existed.Emails between federal officials at Health Canada paint a different picture.“There will likely be more cases coming forward so we will definitely need a good tracking system,” the documents said.Blackstock pointed to a April 15, 2013 document, which summarizes a call between officials with Health Canada and Aboriginal and Northern Affairs discussing how to narrow the impact of Beadle’s court victory.The memo detailed how two bureaucrats decided the Pictou Landing case “will be labelled as a JP case, that way it can be treated as an isolated case and the interim remedy can be limited to this case alone.”Blackstock said that document showed how the Harper government saw Jordan’s Principle as a way of limiting the services for kids.A lot has changed since these emails and briefing notes were volleyed back and forth between bureaucrats. The Liberals now form a majority government.The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has issued its report. Recommendation Number 3: “We call upon all levels of government to fully implement Jordan’s Principle.”In its decision, the tribunal left the remedies – how government should fix this problem – for a later date. Reaction from the Liberal Government is still to come.Blackstock and the Assembly of First Nations will hold a press conference later Tuesday.Back in December, when Blackstock still had her fingers crossed over the tribunal decision, she said whatever changes happen, it’s not just about more money for child welfare and health services for First Nations.“The bureaucracy is still in place,” said Blackstock. “And their particular goal appears to be to have protected the minister and they didn’t make the effort to really ensure that children were the focal point of benefitting from federal services. I’m hoping we see that change.For Blackstock, it’s a matter of making sure that memo makes it through the red tape.“I’m hoping the federal government immediately instructs the bureaucrats to make sure these changes reach down into the levels of kids,” she said.troache@aptn.calast_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,039.26, down 42.83 points)Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Up 60 cents, or 14.85 per cent, to $4.64 on 39.02 million shares.Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED). Healthcare. Up 63 cents, or 3.26 per cent, to $19.98 on 9.3 million shares.Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM). Loyalty programs. Up 41 cents, or 14.64 per cent, to $3.21 on 6.04 million shares.Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE). Oil and gas. Down 16 cents, 1.11 per cent, to $14.28 on 5.4 million shares.Obsidian Energy Ltd. (TSX:OBE). Oil and gas. Up two cents, 1.32 per cent, to $1.53 on 3.9 million shares.NexGen Energy Ltd. (TSX:NXE). Miner. Down 11 cents, or 3.62 per cent, to $2.93 on 3.8 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ). Oil and gas. Up 11 cents, or 0.24 per cent, to $46.30 on 1.9 million shares. The company is considering adding a 30,000- to 40,000-barrel-per-day bitumen-only project to its Horizon oilsands mine to take advantage of excess ore production and pipeline capacity. The proposed project could be approved as early as 2019 and would continue a trend in the sector to bolt on brownfield production to avoid the high costs and risks of building new mines from scratch.Hydro One Ltd. (TSX:H). Utilities. Down 27 cents, or 1.17 per cent, to $22.71 on 444,246 shares. Ontario’s largest electricity distributor says its third-quarter profit was down six per cent from last year as a result of costs associated with the proposed $6.7-billion acquisition of Avista Corp., a U.S. utility company based in Spokane, Wash. Profit attributable to common shareholders was $219 million (37 cents per share), down from $233 million (40 cents per share) last year. Excluding the costs associated with Avista, Hydro One’s adjusted profit was up two per cent at $237 million.last_img read more