Workers take more hours as economy grows

first_img Share More From Our Partners A ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgColin Kaepernick to publish book on abolishing the policethegrio.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgMan on bail for murder arrested after pet tiger escapes Houston homethegrio.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgFans call out hypocrisy as Tebow returns to NFL while Kaepernick is still Tags: NULL Tuesday 25 November 2014 8:46 pm Workers take more hours as economy grows BRITAIN’S economic recovery is taking more workers out of under­employment in the latest sign that employees are bene­fiting from the rebound, official data showed yesterday.Unemployment has dived rapidly this year, and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has indicated the quality of that work is also improving.A worker is classed as under­employed if he or she works fewer than 48 hours per week, and wants to take more hours.The proportion who are under­employed fell to 9.9 per cent in the three months from April to June – down from 10.5 per cent in the previous three months, and the lowest level in three years.However, in the pre-crash years the underemployment rate stood below seven per cent, so the damage of the financial crisis has not been entirely unwound yet.The north east has the highest underemployment rate at 11.5 per cent, while the east of England has the lowest level at 9.2 per cent.London is in the middle at 10 per cent.Meanwhile, the ONS also found 9.9 per cent of workers are over­employed – that is, they would prefer to work fewer hours and take less money home. whatsapp whatsapp Show Comments ▼ Tim Wallace last_img read more

Can detox waters really flush your fat and toxins away?

first_img Water does help to keep your liver and kidneys in tip-top shape. The body relies on the liver to pick up toxins from the bloodstream and convert them into water-soluable substances that can be excreted in urine. The kidneys help out, too. That’s a natural, everyday process, essential for life. Plain, old-fashioned water is a crucial ingredient to keep the system working. But adding cucumbers or mint doesn’t give the water extra power. And scientists say they don’t understand what special toxins the specialty waters are supposed to be helping you flush.“Nobody has really explained to me what toxins they’re getting rid of,” said Dr. Donald Hensrud, a nutrition researcher at the Mayo Clinic. “People talk about it as if it’s some big compound of chemicals we need to get rid of, and I’m not sure what they’re talking about.”advertisement Related: That hasn’t stopped companies from selling detox pitchers and water bottles, or bloggers from touting lists like “20 Delicious Detox Waters to Cleanse Your Body and Burn Fat.” Health celebrities have jumped on the trend, too. Oz brought fitness personality Kim Lyons onto his show to whip up some fat-flushing water. Michaels, the trainer on the popular TV show “The Biggest Loser,” shares a recipe for detox water she claims can help you lose up to five pounds in a week.The Kardashians are also on the bandwagon, with Khloe sharing her favorite detox water recipe (lemons, cucumber, mint) with her millions of Instagram followers. News Editor Detox waters are promoted by celebrities in the health and fitness world. Alissa Ambrose/STAT Celebrity selfies, lax regulations drive booming supplement industry HealthCan detox waters really flush your fat and toxins away? By Megan Thielking Jan. 5, 2016 Reprints Megan Thielking [email protected] Experts debate: Do we need tougher regulation of dietary supplements? Supermodel Miranda Kerr swears by another Dr. Oz-touted hydration trick — drinking warm water with lemon in the morning. Kerr has said the infused water “really helps kick up the digestion and it also cleanses the body and boosts the immune system.”Others promoting the health benefits of detox water claim that the body absorbs all the good vitamins seeping into the water from those orange and lemon slices, without the calories that come with actually eating a piece of fruit. “Basically, it’s like making your own ‘vitamin water,’ but without the cost or hidden ingredients,” the FAQ page on reads.But experts say it’s unclear how much benefit you’d actually get from drinking infused water.“The calories in there are minimal, though I’m not sure the water has no calories,” Hensrud said, “and that suggests that the other substances in there provide health benefits that are probably minimal, too.”Though they’re skeptical of the big claims, nutrition experts say detox waters aren’t harmful. And they may even have one benefit — they just may be tasty enough to get you to drink more plain, old-fashioned water. Slice and dice a few cucumbers, peel a tangerine and a grapefruit, toss in a few sprigs of mint, and you’ve got yourself a bona fide detox water, able to flush fat and toxins out of the body. At least, that’s what TV health personalities like Dr. Mehmet Oz and trainer Jillian Michaels have been touting. So, what makes detox water so magical?Pretty much nothing, scientists say.“More water makes the body’s job of flushing toxins easier,” said Cornell nutrition and chemistry professor Thomas Brenna, “but I can get that water from my tap.”advertisement Related: @meggophone About the Author Reprints Tags dietary supplementsnutritionweight losslast_img read more

How a stress-busting device with little science behind it ended up in a trailer park

first_img By Megan Thielking Nov. 18, 2016 Reprints HealthHow a stress-busting device with little science behind it ended up in a trailer park Related: The science behind the infrared saunas sweeping Hollywood Its first wearable device, priced at $199, promised to energize you with a few zaps of electrical pulses to the neck.Now, the startup Thync is developing a new model aimed at reducing stress. After sinking $30 million into research and development at Thync, the team set out recently to test the second-generation model — in a trailer park in Warren, Mich.It’s collecting some positive reviews. But the science behind the buzzy new technology?advertisement Thync twice.The sleek device — which, like the company, is called Thync — fires off low-level electrical pulses known, of course, as “Thync vibes.” Those electrical signals are sent through wired strips placed on the neck. Users can control the intensity using a smartphone app, choosing from among mood settings like “Bliss” or “Holiday Lights.”advertisement Related: The top comment: “This is an expensive device with mildly noticeable effects at best and the considerable ongoing expenses are clandestine.” (Such expenses include buying new strips to place on the neck each time the device is used.) “This technology is a long way away from being worthwhile,” the user concluded.Others, however, seem to have found success: “[First] time I used Bliss mode I was amazed,” one buyer wrote. “I felt like I had glass of scotch.”And how about the residents of Twin Pines Mobile Home Park? Are they likely to buy the product when it hits the market? Rupard said she’d like to continue using it to alleviate neck pain, but can’t.“Most of the people here are on Social Security or disability,” Rupard said. “Their income, they wouldn’t buy it. I wouldn’t be able to afford it.” [email protected] Tags mental healthplacebostress Privacy Policy @meggophone Even before getting the user reviews, however, Thync was promoting the experiment, sending the press dramatic black-and-white photographs showing weary-looking residents testing the device.Among them: Twin Pines resident Melissa Rupard, 48, who has struggled with back and neck pain her entire life and recently applied for disability. She was excited to test the device after receiving training from Shuster and a Thync employee. She’s used it about three times a day for three days and said it seems to have helped with her neck pain — though the device is marketed as a stress-reduction tool.“I woke up and my neck isn’t as bad is it was,” Rupard said. “It felt like I was getting a nice massage.”Goosens, the neuroscientist, said that might well be the case. The device covers a wide enough part of the neck to potentially massage sore muscles a bit. And the instructions do recommend that you relax while wearing a Thync — which can also be a natural means of stress reduction.“I’m sure if you have your feet rubbed, it’s probably also going to reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety,” she said.But Goosens said there’s no data to suggest the device can alleviate our most intense stress responses — the ones that are the most detrimental to our health. “I don’t necessarily buy their explanation,” she said. The company claims its device can be as powerfully relaxing as two Xanaxes.“It’s a fundamentally new way to change how you feel,” said Isy Goldwasser, the founder and CEO of Thync. Though Thync has published a safety study to show that the product won’t harm users, the studies Thync cites as evidence it’ll actually work are thin. One experiment, published last year in Scientific Reports, gave 20 patients either a sham device or the Thync product. The researchers then snapped thermal pictures of participants’ faces and found that temperatures varied between the two groups. Patients using Thync had higher temperatures in some spots on the face. The authors concluded that those higher temperatures were a sign of “increased positive emotional states.”Ki Goosens, a neuroscientist who studies stress at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and who reviewed the study, called facial temperatures an “obscure” measure.“It looks to me like they don’t even have a stress response,” Goosens added. “The classic measure of stress, cortisol levels, had no effect.”The paper also includes data from 45 participants who used either the device or a sham product for one session. Those who used Thync reported slightly lower levels of anxiety and tension. There wasn’t any difference in the other five categories measured, including fatigue and depression.Goosens said the device most likely works through the placebo effect. “People who buy this would buy it expecting it to alleviate stress. Placebo effects against pain and stress are quite significant in human subjects,” she said.A test run in a trailer parkDetroit has a reputation as a stressful city, so Thync decided to test its new device, which is expected to hit the market next summer, somewhere in the area.The company sent Darren Shuster, a representative for Los Angeles-based Pop Culture PR, to find a good spot. Shuster hauled the prototypes to a dozen trailer parks looking for takers to participate in a weeklong test run. (Why trailer parks? Thync representatives reasoned that they would be among the more stressful places to live in an already stressed-out part of the country.)“We wanted real feedback and real experiences, not the stress of ‘The traffic is really bad today’ or ‘I’m having a bad hair day,’” Shuster said.Many people were skeptical — Shuster said he was chased out of one trailer park by a dog. He finally found a receptive crowd in Twin Pines Mobile Home Park in Warren. Shuster handed out Thyncs and iPods to about 30 residents. Those devices will be collected in a week’s time, once Thync has received feedback. Residents were paid $25 to come hear about the devices, and will receive another $75 when they turn the Thync prototypes back in. About the Author Reprints Related: Please enter a valid email address. Megan Thielking Can detox waters really flush your fat and toxins away? Will Whoopi Goldberg’s pot-infused bath soak ease menstrual cramps? News Editor Leave this field empty if you’re human: Mixed reviews onlineThere are implantable devices now on the market that stimulate the nerves directly to treat chronic pain. Thync, by contrast, isn’t approved to treat any actual medical condition. It’s regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as a non-invasive, battery-powered stimulator — solely for recreational use.“The way these devices work isn’t really well-understood,” said Jason Moehringer, a Maryland-based psychologist who conducted a literature review of the data on Thync and two similar devices.Thync’s product page on Amazon. Screen capture via Amazon.comThe initial product, which went on the market last year, has received mixed reviews. Goldwasser, the Thync CEO, said there’s an inherent variability in how such devices work for different people.“It’s like caffeine. If you take 10 people in your office, a few are going to be really sensitive and can’t have it past 2 p.m.,” he explained, “while a few can have it at any time.”Goldwasser estimated that the product is effective in 80 percent of users who pay close attention to the instructions and play around to get the placing and levels just right. But for the regular shopper who gives it a go just once to see if their stress is lessened, Goldwasser estimated efficacy falls to about 50 percent. He pointed to the product’s mixed Amazon reviews, some of which were written by individuals who received a free Thync to try in exchange for posting feedback. A man wears a Thync devices on his neck at the Twin Pines Mobile Home Park in Warren, Mich. Darren Shuster for Thync Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day.last_img read more

Drug ‘rebate walls’ should be dismantled by the FTC’s antitrust arm

first_imgLeave this field empty if you’re human: We need tangible action to avert such mischief designed to protect monopoly positions by drug companies that provide no benefit to patients but serve only to increase profits for drug companies and payers alike.The FTC is uniquely equipped to investigate, demand answers, and push for change to stop contracting practices that increase the cost of care and reduce access to more affordable and effective treatments. Given the competitive risks posed by rebate walls, the FTC should immediately address this suspect contracting practice by opening investigations into exclusionary rebates, multi-product and indication rebates, and conditional pricing discounts. Doing so can help tear down the rebate wall and allow new drugs open and fair access to the market and consumer access to cost saving treatments. If the FTC discovers that the alleged pricing practices are having an anticompetitive, exclusionary effect, it should bring its own enforcement actions.Appropriately targeted investigations by the FTC are essential to protecting competition in prescription drug markets.David Balto is a public interest and antitrust lawyer who served as the policy director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition in the late 1990s, where he helped design and implement the commission’s pharmaceutical enforcement program. He now advocates for consumer groups on health care competition issues. By David Balto Dec. 4, 2018 Reprints Rebate walls distort the workings of the free market, result in higher drug prices, and reduce patients’ access to affordable branded drugs.Rebate walls are particularly insidious because incumbent drug manufacturers — those that have dominant positions with a drug that has been in the market for years — enter into exclusionary contracts and structure rebates among a wide set of their products or indications to limit competition from new rival branded drug manufacturers that cannot provide the same range of products or indications in a bundled rebate.By extending rebates to several products or indications, a firm is effectively penalizing a payer that chooses an alternative innovative branded drug. In other words, when a rebate wall is erected, payers simply do not have the economic incentive or ability to switch to a new and improved rival drug that provides a more cost-effective treatment. Why not? Because the monetary penalty for doing so — losing their rebates not only on the incumbent branded drug but on all the products or indications with which the rebates are bundled — is too high.Some payers have claimed that the rival branded drug could be provided for free and the numbers still would not justify switching. Ultimately, rebate walls tie payers’ hands so they cannot choose a less expensive or more effective product. In addition to hurting patients directly, rebate walls raise the cost of health care. Related: Newsletters Sign up for First Opinion A weekly digest of our opinion column, with insight from industry experts. First OpinionDrug ‘rebate walls’ should be dismantled by the FTC’s antitrust arm [email protected] Naturally, the payers pocket the rebates in an effort to maximize revenue streams without passing all of the discounts they receive on to consumers. As Nicholas Florko and Ed Silverman noted in their recent STAT article on biosimilars, conditional discounts to a payer on a portfolio of drugs creates a rebate trap because if the payer was to purchase a competing drug, it would lose its discounts on the entire portfolio of drugs.advertisement Adobe Both the Trump administration and the industry recognize this practice as anticompetitive. Earlier this year, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, “I am very much aware that these rebate walls can prevent competition and new entrants into the system. … I do not like that practice. I think it’s using their market power in ways that are not appropriate. I want to make sure we are looking at that. I think Congress could look at that question as part of this whole initiative.”Vas Narasimhan, chief executive officer of Novartis, has called for action, stating that “we need to tear down the rebate wall and create better contracting models that help patients access” cost-saving treatments. Several major drug manufacturers, including Pfizer and Shire, have filed antitrust suits challenging rebate walls as antitrust violations.The rebate wall practice relates to how branded drug manufacturers get on payers’ preferred drug formularies. In theory, these rebates could have a positive impact if they benefited consumers through lower prices. But in practice this is simply isn’t the case. These deals are often structured in ways that handcuff payers so they can’t choose a lower-cost drug or a better one.This is illustrated by the Pfizer and Shire cases. Because of rebate walls, Pfizer was unsuccessful in marketing Inflectra, a lower-cost immunosuppressive biosimilar used to treat Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions. It was in competition with Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade. The rebates for Remicade were allegedly bundled with other Johnson & Johnson products, which disincentivized insurers from reimbursing for Inflectra and providers from purchasing Inflectra or other biosimilars. Shire was unsuccessful in penetrating the Medicare Part D market with Xiidra, used to treat dry-eye disease, which by all accounts is a better alternative than Allergan’s Restasis. Allergan’s rebates on Restasis were bundled with a broader portfolio of drugs so Medicare Part D plans lacked the financial incentives to purchase Xiidra instead of Restasis. While policymakers are giving considerable attention to escalating drug prices and ways to rein them in, the Federal Trade Commission needs to use its muscle by opening antitrust investigations and bringing enforcement actions against pharmaceutical manufacturers where necessary.It can start by addressing a questionable contracting practice in the pharmaceutical industry known as a rebate wall or rebate trap. Although “rebate” sounds like something that should benefit consumers and result in lower prices, there is increasing evidence that rebates from pharmaceutical manufacturers to pharmacy benefit managers and others have actually inflated the price of drugs and stifled the ability to compete by rival manufacturers of less expensive drugs to compete.As Robin Feldman wrote in the Washington Post last week, “the system contains odd and perverse incentives, with the result that higher–priced drugs can receive more favorable health-plan coverage, channeling patients toward more expensive drugs.”advertisementcenter_img Related: Rebate walls work like this: A drug manufacturer that has established a dominant position in the market, say with a blockbuster drug, provides to payers (pharmacy benefit managers, health insurers, and providers) conditional rebates and discounts off the list price for a multi-product bundle of drugs or indications. The drug manufacturer uses the bundled rebate to protect its already established position with the payers. As Feldman put it, “the name of the game is volume. The more volume a drug company has with a particular PBM or hospital, the better deal it can offer as a temptation to exclude rival drugs.” David Balto About the Author Reprints Rush to end drug rebates may be bad for patients, payers, and pharma Please enter a valid email address. You have questions on biosimilars. We have answers Privacy Policy Tags drug pricinggovernment agenciesinsurancelast_img read more

Doctors Without Borders blasts coalition working on vaccine development

first_imgPharmalot Ed Silverman By Ed Silverman March 15, 2019 Reprints Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the pharma industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED [email protected] @Pharmalot Log In | Learn More Doctors Without Borders blasts coalition working on vaccine development A feud has broken out between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Doctors Without Borders, which accused the public-private coalition devoted to vaccine development of watering down a policy for equitable access to any treatments.Despite several pleas by Doctors Without Borders, CEPI declined to reinstate portions of its original access policy. The guidelines were adopted at the time the coalition was created in 2017 in the wake of the Ebola virus, with backing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and several governments, among others. What is it?center_img Carolyn Kaster/AP Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. GET STARTED STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. About the Author Reprints Tags public healthSTAT+Vaccines Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. What’s included?last_img read more

Roche drug approval offers a glimpse at the future of cancer treatment

first_img What’s included? GET STARTED Log In | Learn More SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images About the Author Reprints @matthewherper Tags biotechnologycancerSTAT+ What is it? Roche drug approval offers a glimpse at the future of cancer treatment STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.center_img Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the biotech sector — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Biotech Senior Writer, Medicine, Editorial Director of Events Matthew covers medical innovation — both its promise and its perils. [email protected] Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved Roche’s cancer drug Rozlytrek for patients with any kind of tumor that tests positive for one kind of genetic alteration, known as NTRK, and for non-small cell lung cancer that tests positive for another genetic alteration, ROS1.It’s the third time that the FDA has approved a cancer drug not based on where the tumor showed up in the body but on its genetic makeup. It’s part of an emerging picture of the future of cancer treatment — one that has been long imagined. By Matthew Herper Aug. 15, 2019 Reprints Matthew Herperlast_img read more

SpaceX secures $2.89 billion NASA contract for lunar spacecraft

first_imgAdvertisement Senate confirms former Florida Sen. Bill Nelson as next NASA administrator May 1, 2021 RELATEDTOPICS New NASA photo shows our galaxy’s ‘violent energy’ June 1, 2021 AdvertisementLast year, NASA announced three different contracts for lunar lander development, which were awarded to SpaceX and Blue Origin’s “National Team,” with the expectation that the companies would each work to bring operational vehicles to fruition and compete with each other on price and technology.Lisa Watson-Morgan, NASA’s Human Landing System or HLS program manager, said during a press call Friday that NASA had “supported each partner, providing design support analysis, subject matter experts and testing” to all those contractors during that phase.Watson-Morgan added that NASA will continue to provide close oversight as SpaceX continues its development, “ensuring that this system will be safe for our astronauts.” AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments SpaceX secured a $2.89 billion NASA contract to build spacecraft that will land astronauts on the moon for the first time in five decades.The fixed-price contract is a major vote of confidence for Elon Musk’s rocket company, as the space agency is placing a large amount of responsibility for its cornerstone human spaceflight program, known as Artemis, on SpaceX.Friday’s announcement is a blow to Blue Origin, the rocket company founded by Jeff Bezos, which had proposed working as a “National Team” alongside corporate behemoths such as Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin to design and build a lunar lander, and to Alabama-based Dynetics, which had put in its own bid. But ultimately, SpaceX won with its bid to use of a spacecraft the company is already developing on its own in South Texas, CNN reports.That vehicle, called Starship, is also the linchpin of Musk’s personal goal of landing the first humans on Mars. Test flights of early Starship prototypes have all ended in explosions thus far, but the company is rapidly building new test vehicles. Michael Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut, dies at 90 April 29, 2021 4 astronauts returned to Earth in rare SpaceX night splashdown May 3, 2021 AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments Boeing is building another key element for the Artemis program: The Space Launch System or SLS, a gargantuan rocket designed to carry the Orion crew capsule to the moon.That’s the rocket that will carry astronauts to the moon’s orbit, and then the crew will transfer to the Gateway space station, and from there, Starship will carry the astronauts to the moon’s surface, according to Watson-Morgan.Many in the space community have expressed their frustration that NASA has stuck by the SLS program, considering that SpaceX’s Starship would theoretically be capable of completing the entire mission. The SLS development program has also been billions over budget and years behind schedule, according to CNN.NASA said SpaceX will also be required to conduct an uncrewed demonstration mission, landing Starship on the moon, before astronauts will fly onboard.Friday’s surprise announcement that SpaceX would be the sole awardee comes after the space agency struggled for two years to convince Congress to adequately fund the lunar lander development program.The space agency confirmed price was a major factor in its decision to move forward with one contractor.The Artemis contract announcement signals that NASA is willing to put immense trust in SpaceX, which had an early history of butting heads with the space agency for its move-fast-and-break-things approach to rocket development.But in recent years, the company has worked hand-in-hand with NASA on historic accomplishments, most notably crewed spaceflights on SpaceX’s Dragon vehicles, which began last year and have carried astronauts on two flights to the International Space Station, with a third planned for next week. The Crew Dragon ushered in the return of human spaceflight from US soil for the first time since 2011, CNN confirms.SpaceX was also previously selected to build another version of Dragon to carry cargo to Gateway, the space station NASA plans to put in orbit around the moon to support a future moon base where astronauts can live and work for extended periods of time.The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved. AdvertisementTags: moon landingNASAspacex Advertisementlast_img read more

Invesco announces changes to three ETFs, one mutual fund

first_imgIE Staff Toronto-based Invesco Canada Ltd. Monday announced changes to the investment strategy of PowerShares Canadian Preferred Share Index Class and PowerShares Canadian Preferred Share Index ETF (PPS). In 2013, The Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. acquired the index business of Mergent, Inc., including Indxis, which created and maintained the underlying index for both PowerShares Canadian Preferred Share Index Class and PPS. Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Following the acquisition, Nasdaq reviewed its indices, and has announced enhancements to its Nasdaq Select Canadian Preferred Share Index, which is the underlying index of both PPS and PowerShares Canadian Preferred Share Index Class. “We are updating the methodology with a focus on index size and selection, and believe the resulting index with high-yield and low-volatility screens will serve as a better benchmark for the Canadian market,” said Dave Gedeon, managing director, Nasdaq OMX Global Indexes, in a release. The previous index methodology had applied liquidity and market-capitalization screens to narrow the investible universe, from which the 50 most liquid securities were selected for index inclusion. Effective Thursday, May 1, the index will include 100 securities, with selection based on the highest combined weight of high yield and low volatility. The new methodology maintains the liquidity screen and continues to weight by market capitalization. Lower management fee on PXU Invesco Canada also announced that it has reduced the management fee on PowerShares FTSE RAFI U.S. Fundamental (CAD Hedged) Index ETF (PXU). Effective March 28, the management fee will be reduced from 60 basis points (bps) to 55 bps. The effective management fee for PXU has been 55 bps since its inception on Jan. 26, 2012, when an ongoing discretionary waiver of five bps was implemented. To provide investors with more clarity, that waiver has been cancelled and the fee reduced permanently. New name for PGL In a related announcement, Invesco Canada will rename PowerShares Ultra DLUX Long Term Government Bond Index ETF (PGL) as PowerShares Ultra Liquid Long Term Government Bond Index ETF (PGL) effective April 15,=. The name change reflects the new name of its underlying index; however, the index methodology is unchanged. The DEX Ultra DLUX Long Government Bond Index was renamed FTSE TMX Canada Ultra Liquid Long Term Government Bond Index. That name change resulted from the merger of the fixed-income index businesses of TMX Datalinx and FTSE Group. Share this article and your comments with peers on social medialast_img read more

Mutual fund sales rebound, despite retreat in AUM, IFIC reports

first_img Mutual funds returned to positive sales territory in May, but continue to lag exchange-traded fund (ETF) sales, according to the latest data from the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC).The industry trade group reported that mutual funds generated $719 million in positive net sales during May, reversing the $1 billion in net outflows experienced in April. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media James Langton Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Mutual fund sales dipped, but still outpaced ETF sales in April Thematic funds thrived during pandemic, but watch long-term performance: report Related news $4.7B flowed into Canadian ETFs in March Business economic graph and chart digital illustration 123RF Keywords Mutual funds,  ETFsCompanies Investment Funds Institute of Canada Long-term funds only produced $300 million in monthly net sales, while money markets contributed $419 million.Equity funds still had almost $2 billion in net redemptions in May, representing a modest improvement from $2.15 billion in April.Balanced funds also had $236 million in monthly net redemptions, compared with $922 million in the previous month.Yet, bond funds produced $1.84 billion in positive net sales during the month, up from $1.46 billion in April. Specialty fund sales ticked up from $673 million to $700 million.While mutual fund sales improved in May, they were still far behind ETFs, which generated $4.0 billion in monthly net sales, IFIC reported.This is up notably from $2.4 billion in April, and ETF sales of $1.1 billion in May 2018.Equity ETFs led the improvement in ETF sales, jumping sharply from $782 million in April to $2.4 billion in May.Notwithstanding the sales improvement among both mutual funds and ETFs, assets under management declined on both sides of the industry.Mutual fund assets dropped by 2.0%, $31.4 billion, to $1.53 trillion in May, and ETF assets declined by 0.5% to $177.8 billion during the month, IFIC reported.last_img read more

Question time: climate crisis and our pacific neighbours

first_imgQuestion time: climate crisis and our pacific neighbours The Australian Greens MPsSenator FARUQI (New South Wales) (14:14): My question without notice is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Birmingham, representing the Prime Minister. Today, the former President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, has written in The Sydney Morning Herald highlighting that climate change remains the single most pressing security threat to their region. He says that, without radical action, deadly disasters will become more intense and severe, Kiribati will become uninhabitable and there will be a wider global apocalyptic disaster. He calls for serious action on climate, including moratoriums on coal and gas. In this piece, Mr Tong asked our Prime Minister if he is now willing to listen to his Pacific family and take steps to protect all of us and said courage and leadership are what’s needed here. Will the Prime Minister have the courage to listen and act on the climate crisis? Senator BIRMINGHAM (South Australia-Minister for Finance, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:15): I thank Senator Faruqi for her question regarding the media comments of the former President of Kiribati. I note the comments. I haven’t read the opinion piece in full, but I have heard some commentary in relation to it, and obviously, Senator Faruqi, you have quoted from it to a degree.What I would say in that regard is that our government certainly takes our engagement with the Pacific island family of nations very, very carefully and importantly in terms of the approach we take, including on issues of climate change that we know are of very real and genuine concern to our Pacific island family. It is why we have taken every possible step to ensure that, time and time again, when we as a country make commitments in relation to emissions reductions, we meet those commitments and exceed those commitments. It’s why, unlike some other nations, we haven’t sought to outsource activities in relation to the meeting of those commitments either. Indeed, yesterday I gave some figures to Senator Waters about Australia’s rate of emissions reduction relative to other countries that have not achieved comparable rates. Those countries, generally speaking, when it comes to meeting their Kyoto 1 or Kyoto 2 obligations, rely upon international credits purchased elsewhere to be able to offset the emissions within their own country. In Australia, through our work over many years and through the technological change and investments that have occurred across the Australian economy, we have been able to meet and exceed the targets that we have set. And it’s through that continued investment in relation to technology that we will continue to meet and exceed our targets, and build upon those targets in a way that also protects Australian jobs and, indeed, job opportunities for the many Pacific island workers who come and enjoy opportunities in Australia too.The PRESIDENT: Senator Faruqi, a supplementary question? Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (14:17): Minister, in an open letter to the Prime Minister published today, 15 Pacific leaders, including Mr Tong, described their homelands and cultures as facing certain devastation from climate change. Does the government acknowledge that the worst impacts of climate change are being felt, and will continue to be felt, in poorer countries, including many in the Pacific region? Senator BIRMINGHAM (South Australia-Minister for Finance, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:18): The government does certainly acknowledge the severity that Pacific islanders see in relation to climate change issues. It’s why we engage very seriously and thoughtfully with them on those issues. It’s also why we believe that the first responsibility for a country like Australia, in making commitments as we have done in relation to emissions reduction, is to meet those commitments, and, indeed, to strive to exceed those commitments. It’s why we are pleased that Australia has consistently done that, unlike some others. We also acknowledge that it is, therefore, a global responsibility-you don’t get outcomes in terms of the emissions reduction that Pacific island leaders may wish to see unless other nations not only make commitments but also deliver on those commitments. The delivery is a key part that seems often to be put aside in the virtue-signalling aspects of this debate. For our government, we see delivery as essential, and that’s where our focus is when it comes to emissions reduction.The PRESIDENT: Senator Faruqi, a final supplementary question? Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (14:19): Minister, in this open letter is a call for new and additional funding beyond the current aid budget to finance climate mitigation and adaptation under the Paris Agreement, including contributing to the Green Climate Fund. Will the government commit to this? If not, why not? Senator BIRMINGHAM (South Australia-Minister for Finance, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:19): Our government has made delivering specific assistance and support to Pacific island nations a great priority, and we see that as important across a range of different areas of policy import. Climate change adaptation and resilience is one of those, and we support work with our Pacific island family in that regard.Equally, we have scaled up support for Pacific island nations in response to COVID and we’ve delivered additional support focused very directly on Pacific island countries. And there, in building on that COVID support in a financial sense, has also been our acknowledgement of our responsibility in working with those less developed nations, those smaller micronations within our region, for their access to vaccines and to ensure their safety and their economic wellbeing. We take the responsibility of working with those nations across all of those areas, and in other development considerations, very, very seriously.HANSARD LINK /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:agreement, AusPol, Australia, Australian, Australian Greens, building, climate change, disaster, Government, Investment, Minister, outcomes, President, Prime Minister, resilience, security, Sydney, technologylast_img read more