Alaska emergency crews study up for nation’s first LNG by rail

first_imgAlaska’s Energy Desk | Energy & Mining | TransportationAlaska emergency crews study up for nation’s first LNG by railSeptember 19, 2016 by Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk Share:A cryogenic tank container used to carry liquefied natural gas by rail (photo by Elizabeth Harball).Standing next to a massive cylindrical rail car at the Anchorage Railroad Yard, Alaska Railroad Mechanical Supervisor Josh Cappel asked a fireman to test out the car’s hand-operated braking system.“Go ahead and fire that thing up tight. Come on, a little tighter than that — there you go!” Cappel joked, drawing laughs from the crowd of about 16 other members of the Anchorage Fire Department.Starting tomorrow, the Alaska Railroad will be the first in the nation to carry liquefied natural gas by rail. With the Federal Rail Administration’s blessing, LNG will travel the tracks from Anchorage to Fairbanks.As with any new venture, safety is always a topic of discussion. Cappel said he’s training the Anchorage Fire Department in case the worst happens.“It’s very important for everyone to understand how rail cars work, especially the fire department,” said Cappel. “If they are responding to any kind of disaster they need to know how these cars work so they don’t get hurt and the people they are rescuing don’t get hurt.”Over the next four weeks, the Alaska Railroad will complete eight round-trip test runs of liquefied natural gas shipments from Anchorage to Fairbanks. It’s a big first, for Alaska and the U.S. — LNG has never been shipped by rail before. Fairbanks Natural Gas hopes this will be a cheaper, safer way to move the fuel.Recent oil train explosions in the lower 48 have some people worried about moving train cars filled with fossil fuels through communities. Lois Epstein, an engineer who works for The Wilderness Society, says shipping LNG by rail is generally safer than carrying it in a truck, which is how the LNG is being shipped to Fairbanks now.“Where I would be concerned, however, is places where the railroad crosses the road because that’s where there are some very real safety issues,” said Epstein.Collisions with cars crossing the tracks is a concern, but Captain Jared Stiglich with the Anchorage Fire Department says big, fiery explosions aren’t something to worry about with LNG train cars. It’s the extreme cold that’s the problem.“The biggest concern with LNG is that it’s transported at minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit, so it would freeze-burn anything or anyone.” said Stiglich.The Alaska Railroad reports most of the LNG’s journey won’t be too close to communities and roadways. But just in case, they’re making sure emergency responders up and down the Railbelt are prepared to handle a new kind of cargo on the tracks.“For a goodly portion of what we do, we’re off the roadway and out of communities, so folks aren’t going to see us as much while we’re going through,” said Tim Sullivan, External Affairs Manager for the Alaska Railroad. “But it does behoove us to make sure that first responders in the area, even if it’s remote, know what it is we’ve got going on.” Share this story:last_img read more


News / Forwarders to negotiate rates with airlines in Unicef vaccine programme

first_img Six global forwarders will ultimately determine the rates paid to airlines by Unicef for vaccine distribution.Yesterday, 16 airlines announced they had signed MoUs with Unicef to support its global vaccination plan.The agreements, which last five years, do not include pricing, according to the UN children’s organisation.“Pricing is outside the scope of the MoU, but will remain subject to competitive bidding with the nominated forwarders,” said Mounir Bouazar, Covid-19 vaccine global logistics lead, Unicef Supply Division. “The terms of the agreement are confidential, but they cover commitments from airlines to work closely with Unicef and its respective forwarders to secure access, capacity, priority, schedule reliability, and cold chain monitoring.”Unicef will agree an overall rate for each country, per allocation, per round. Its contracts are not with the airlines but with the forwarders.“But the MoUs are tripartite agreements between Unicef, forwarders and airlines,” explained Mr Bouazar, adding that “we prefer not to share the pricing mechanisms, it’s an internal matter”.Airlines, which were chosen on the basis of the match between the vaccine routes and their networks, must prioritise vaccines and related equipment at the expense of other cargo, according to the MoU.However, it is not yet clear whether the programme will in reality affect other freight, a concern of air cargo customers for some time.A spokesperson for Air France-KLM Cargo said it was “very difficult to predict, as it will depend on how many vaccines will be available for distribution, compared with the capacity demand for other cargo”.“The amount of vaccines that have to be transported is considerable, but if you compare it to the total air cargo demand, it is not that much.“We expect we are able to accommodate all vaccine shipments within our existing capacity, and still have opportunities to increase capacity on lanes where this is needed, as not all our planes are yet in operation.”Unicef is one of the leading partners of the Global COVAX Facility, set up to ensure that the 190 participating countries have equitable access to two billion doses of vaccine by the end of the year.Based on the COVAX Facility’s indicative distribution and first-round allocation plan, 145 countries will receive doses to immunise about 3% of their population, on average, starting in the first half of this year.Mr Bouazar added that “vaccine shipments will follow the WHO allocation to serve countries in an equitable and fair manner, proportionally to the size of their population, at every round of allocation.”While competitive bidding from large forwarders may help keep airfreight prices as moderate as possible, the MoU will help Unicef secure sufficient capacity. The UN body struggled last year in the face of restricted capacity: in 2019, it distributed 2.43bn vaccines by air. Last year it managed to move just 1.8bn.But it is not just lack of capacity hampering the UN children’s aid organisation.Unicef noted in December that, although the air cargo market was still difficult, with longer transit times and no relief on jet fuel prices despite plunging rates, it had seen improvement since the brutal second quarter, when it faced up to 500% increases on charters.“In terms of cost, many airlines had suspended their contract rates, and confirmed all rates locally on an ad-hoc basis. The rates have increased substantially and rapidly, as the demand for aircraft charters has been high, with Unicef registering rate increases by as much as 100% to 500% per charter.”But, it added: “Recently, Unicef has been receiving rates from airlines, some are for short durations while others are for the whole winter period, reflecting some overall improvements since the second quarter 2020.“The limitations to airfreight presented Unicef with one of its single biggest challenge to its operations.”Africa, it said, was particularly challenging for air cargo capacity – and particularly worrying.“It has a limited capacity to cope with shock,” said Unicef. “Africa is the region currently only having an estimated 5% of the 22m [Covid cases] currently reported, which with the low levels of testing make it impossible to know the true scale of infection, which … could reach nearly 123m cases this year, causing 300,000 deaths – in which Africa may lose half of its GDP,” it warned.The 16 airlines working with Unicef are: AirBridgeCargo, AirFrance-KLM, Astral Aviation, Brussels Airlines, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Ethiopian, Etihad, IAG Cargo, Korean Air, Lufthansa Cargo, Qatar Airways, Saudia, Singapore Airlines and United. By Alex Lennane 17/02/2021last_img read more


The dire reality of “universal health care” in North Korea

first_img AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] News Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak It is time for “In-depth analysis,” wherewe discuss the status of the Korean Peninsula and related news with experts.Today we’re going to examine the North Korean medical system and disease controlpractices with Cho Su Ah, who worked as a surgeon in North Korea and ispreparing to become a certified healthcare professional here in South Korea. 1. Aswe mentioned earlier, recently there have been many articles promoting freemedical care in North Korea’s Party-run Rodong Sinmun. These stories are alongthe lines of “a fatally ill patient recovers as a result of the public healthcare” and “such health recovery is all thanks to socialist practices.” Can anyNorth Korean citizen, regardless of location and socioeconomic status, receivepublic health care benefits? Honestly, I am not convinced at this point.I came to South Korea 7 years ago and back when I was in North Korea, themedical conditions were so frail that you couldn’t receive medical treatmenteven if they were to be charged. In fact, public health care was a policyproposal during the 1970s, targeting children and pregnant women with actual implementation.  However, the system took effect for short five years then started to crumble [namely following the fall of the Soviet Union and a huge loss of cross-sector support needed to prop up the state].I believe stories that appear throughoutNorth Korean media are very special cases. Kim Jong Un would visit a specifichospital and order doctors to treat a certain illness. Then, the hospitalfollows the order because it would only dignify their reputation. From thepatient’s perspective, it is a true fortune. He or she was ill andhospitalized, and thanks to the General’s mercy, they’re cured! At this moment,it is practically impossible for North Korea to provide free medical care toits citizens. 2. Youmean, besides the fact that the public health care system does not reach everycitizen equally, it is highly poor in quality as well, correct? I swear, North Korea cannot even provide100g of corn as a meal to its citizens at this point. How does a public healthcare system make sense, then? 3. Howdo North Koreans treat a common cold or enteritis?When the government distributes rations, hospitalsare activated. The government even sends doctors to search for medicinal herbsin the mountains for forty days every spring and fall. The doctors used togather forty different kinds of herbs, pound them in a mortar and turn intomedicine, and hand them out to cold patients. But now, everyone is out inJangmadang [marketplace] because there isn’t enough food. So who’s going to goto the mountains and gather herbs? 4. Despite all the contradiction andcontroversy, North Korea continues to consistently promoting its public healthcare system. How would North Korean citizens who are not receiving any benefitsfrom the system react to such advertisements?When North Koreans see these articles, theyonly go so far as to say “People in Pyongyang receive all these benefitsfrom the General. When will those of us living in the country ever be treatedlike that?”And because hospitals are so frail, evenwhen people read such articles–honestly only 1-2% of North Koreans read the Rodong Sinmun. Myfather was a high-ranking official, so the paper was delivered to our homeevery day, but regular citizens don’t have access to the publication; theysimply don’t know about these issues.   So these people don’t really know how theNorth Korean society is functioning. Every now and then they would hear aboutKim Jong Un on the Nine O’ Clock Chosun Central News Agency broadcast, but this wouldmost like be something involving the leader making an onsite-visit somewhere.The mind and the heart are separate, you know? 5. The photos in Rodong Sinmun show very clean hospitals that look very up to date. For example, there’sPyongyang’s Taesongsan General Hospital, Ryukang Dental Hospital, and OkryuChildren’s Hospital. All of these facilities on the look sanitary, and you canalso spot modern equipment. What percentage of the North’s hospitals would yousay are like these? Only about 0.001 percent — a handful. Infact, only two or three. There is only one medical college hospital perprovince, and even for smaller hospitals, there are only one or two in eachcounty. The only reason why a number of moderndevices exist is because of wealthy foreigners who are curious about NorthKorea. As you know, there are many who wonder why North Korea does not collapsedespite being so isolated. It’s said that a lot of people like that want tovisit Pyongyang once in their lifetime, and when they come, they supply medicalequipment rather than cash or fertilizers. They send samples of medical devicesto a few hospitals in Pyongyang. Electricity is necessary to run these devices,but having lived there myself, I can tell you, it is not like you get a steadysupply of electricity. 6. So the medical equipment is uselesswithout power? Exactly. That is why at the most they canonly test-run them. The General (Kim Jong Un) has studied abroad and can speakEnglish, so he points to the machines and talks about them, but that’s aboutit. I think he’s just using them as props for his pictures. 7. Have you used any modern medical devicesas a doctor? No, because the foreign language we learnedwas Russian. We learned Russian from when we were young. We were told thatAmericans are foes that we need to kill, so why would we learn English? We learned all the medical terminology inRussian as well. But the machines are all in English. Learning English hasbecome a fad these days, and people are told that they must learn English inorder to drive out South Korea. I went to medical school in South Korea aswell, but learning English is not something you can do overnight. It’s no use bringing machines to NorthKorea. For instance, a pastor from a large South Korean church sent machines tobuild a heart center in the North, but they’re all just sitting there. Theycan’t use them. 8. Then what rate of the population wouldyou say receives free medical care from modern hospitals with proper equipment? Going to such hospitals would be expensivefor people from other areas, even if they are high-ranking officials. So Iwould think that even one percent is a generous estimate. 9. How about in other areas? If you look atphotos of hospitals in rural areas, they look so dilapidated and unsanitarythat it is hard to even call them hospitals. What was particularly shocking wasa photo of patients receiving IV fluids from a beer bottle. Is this a photo ofa current North Korean hospital in the countryside, or is this from decadesago? This is from when I was still in the North,during the period of 1995 to 2000, when the Arduous March [famine] took place.It’s still the same now though. If you took this photo to Pyongyang, they willdeny things like this exist in the country. But conditions are not much different inPyongyang either. North Korean doctors and nurses like receiving glass syringesfor wedding gifts. Because the system in the hospitals has collapsed, doctorssometimes purchase medicine on their own from markets, and treat patients withthat when making house calls. Glass syringes can be sterilized, whereas plasticones become discolored after a few uses. That is why glass syringes arepopular, and to be honest, there are still no proper IVs in the North even now. 10. South Korea and most other countriesuse disposable syringes, needles, and bandages because these items, whichdirectly touch or penetrate someone’s skin, can cross-contaminate. As you justsaid, if the North reuses equipment like this, aren’t there high dangers ofbecoming subject to contagions? Yes, that is why bacteria do not diequickly. North Korean antibiotics are very strong. Because North Koreans areinjected with such strong antibiotics, a lot of people have compromised livers.Once you’re infected with something, it lasts a long time as well. In fact, medicine there is just strong ingeneral. Being exposed to things like this is why the life span of NorthKoreans is so much shorter than South Koreans at large. 11. I’m sure you’re well aware of thispractice, since you were a surgeon in the North. Many North Korean defectorssay it is common in North Korea to conduct surgery without anesthesia.I say this as a surgeon who has directlyled surgeries. If the country doesn’t even have basic IV fluid or saline, wherewould it get anesthetics from? Most of the women who had double-eyelid surgeryupon high school graduation or before getting married underwent the surgerywithout anesthesia. 12. So there are double-eyelid surgeries inNorth Korea too? Yes, the standard of beauty is pretty muchthe same between the two Koreas.   13. Is it still possible to do surgery likethat without medical equipment? A lot of people receive surgery at privatehomes. North Koreans are good at sewing, since they’re good at things likeembroidery. Some people illegally offer surgeries in exchange for things likecorn. But those often lead to side effects, so many prefer to receive safersurgeries from doctors. Doctors sometimes have to stick patients’ thighs withthings like sharp needles while they treat them for conditions like appendicitis,because they lack anesthetics.14. I can’t even imagine how painful thatmust be. The thing is, many North Koreans engage infarming, which entails digging the ground in order to plant corn or barley.There are also those who injure themselves while chopping down trees in theforest. So the most popular medical field was general surgery, because thereare many patients who get hurt. There are not that many doctors in otherfields, such as internal medicine. The second most popular medical field isobstetrics, because the state tells people to have more children and getting anabortion is illegal, so you would have to bribes for one. 15. You must have been surprised to witnessmedical treatment in the South that’s offered with proper anesthesia. Because there are so many anesthetics inthe South, I kind of thought South Koreans just really liked them. I’ve evenwished that we could ship one-third of them to North Korea. I think South Koreauses them too frequently.   16. I’d like to turn to the subject ofdisease treatment. Both South Korea and the broader international community arequite concerned with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis in the North. Doyou think you could say that medical authorities in North Korea have a systemor a policy for treating tuberculosis? No. They merely isolate those who wereexposed to the illness, and because most of the medicines are sold in themarkets, they “treat” patients by telling them to buy drugs at markets. There’snothing doctors can do about it. 17. Tuberculosis can be completely treatedwith modern medicine. But the disease remains a problem, but you’re saying it’sa problem in the North because they don’t know how to manage the disease? The more pressing issue is that conditionsare exacerbated due to the lack of food, which weakens the immune system.People have trouble getting enough food, clothes, and shelter for their dailylives. Also, hospitals lack medicine because, for example, drugs sent by theUnited Nations are sold by doctors to private market vendors. So the patientssuffer while the medicine keeps being circulated. 18. So shouldn’t the internationalcommunity actively monitor the use of medicine after sending supplies to NorthKorea to ensure aid is being transparently distributed? There are expiration dates for vaccinationmedicines. Because people sell these medicines to rake in profits, by the timethey reach people in rural areas, most of the drugs have expired the date by atleast a fortnight. We do still use the medicine though, since it was providedby the United Nations. Of course, the medicine is not sent toforeign countries such as China. It circulates within North Korea. But it doesnot immediately reach North Koreans upon arrival in the state, and instead isburied underground as war supplies. They are buried and swapped out every threeyears. So even if there is an influx of a lot of medicine, a lot of them arebought on markets by individuals as home emergency supplies. 19. North Korean authorities had regulatedthe border area and limited foreigners’ entry into the country from late lastyear to early this year in order to prevent the Ebola virus from entering thestate. I can’t help thinking that tuberculosis and malaria are bigger problemsin North Korea than Ebola. It’s hard to tell whether the North understands thegravity of infectious or contagious diseases.   I used to believe this too when I was inNorth Korea, but most North Koreans believe that the North is the wealthiestcountry in the world, since they do not have access to outside news. The stateissues booklets and material, which are used to educate people. For instance,the booklets will contain a message saying that people should boil water beforedrinking it in the summer because of cholera. The thing is, North Korea has hadthe experience of the entire country suffering from cholera and typhoid. I thinkKim Jong Un is putting on a show, to show the rest of the world that NorthKorea is taking care of people’s health. 20. When you attended medical school inNorth Korea, did you believe in the government’s claims that North Korea boastsan advanced medical system that the rest of the world envies? Yes, I actually believed that North Koreahad the best medical system in the world. Even if our x-rays did not functionand there was rust on devices, we were proud of merely having such equipment.We were proud because we thought that compared to South Koreans, who cannoteven go to hospitals because they can’t afford to, we are living happily. WhenI first came to Korea, I thought South Koreans were exhibiting the greatestmedical devices in the world to put on a charade in front of us. But as timepassed, I realized that the disparity between the North and South istremendous. 21. When you talk about the wide disparity,you’re referring not only to medical aid or medicine but the system itself,right? There must be various differences, but what is the biggest differencebetween the medical systems of the two Koreas? I would say medical appliances. They are soflashy in South Korea that it feels like it’s all part of a fantasy. I wouldthink, ‘I wish we had a device like that.’ But because the medical system inSouth Korea is quite developed, I think doctors can be less attentive andprovide mediocre service to their patients, since they have highly developedmedical equipment. But whereas there are no medical appliances in North Koreaand doctors have fewer patients, they can be more attentive to each patient. 22. Medical care is not free in SouthKorea. Of course, senior citizens and those of low-income families receive freehealthcare, but most citizens are provided with partial medical insurance andaid from the government, and they have to pay the rest with their own money.Was it hard to get adjusted to this system when you first arrived? Yes, that was quite hard to get used to.Even though the government is providing a lot of benefits, and I end up havingto pay only 10,000 KRW for what would have been 300,000 without government aid,that 10,000 KRW still felt like a hefty sum. But now when I think about it, thecost patients have to bear does not seem like much because medical expenses arecomputed based on one’s income in South Korea. I think it is actually betterbecause even though I am paying more, I am receiving better-quality service andliving a healthier life.23. I think you might be one of the first,if not the first person to have been a doctor in both Koreas. You must have avision about what the medical system should be like on the Korean Peninsulaafter reunification. We never learned of rare illnesses in NorthKorea, and people really don’t know what to do. When I dream about a unifiedmedical system for Korea, there are still some things that remain in NorthKorea, like home visits. I know it would be hard to change the medical systemall at once, but I think we can gradually supplement the system by introducingthe strengths of both countries. SHARE The dire reality of “universal health care” in North Korea News By Daily NK – 2015.06.02 10:43am center_img News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Twitter There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest News North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with Chinalast_img read more


Vinpak; Wine Packager Hires Sales and Marketing Manager To Accommodate Increased…

first_imgTwitter Email ReddIt Previous articleVin65 adds iPhone to its POS suite for a more compact and portable optionNext articleEmmeti Introduces “The Turtle” a Semi-Automatic Depalletizer Press Release Facebook Home Industry News Releases Vinpak; Wine Packager Hires Sales and Marketing Manager To Accommodate Increased Business…Industry News ReleasesVinpak; Wine Packager Hires Sales and Marketing Manager To Accommodate Increased Business GrowthBy Press Release – July 26, 2013 81 0 AdvertisementJuly 26, 2013 – Vinpak, headquartered in American Canyon’s Valley Wine Warehouse facility, today announced the hiring of Lynne Weaver to oversee the sales and marketing operations for the growing company. Ms. Weaver brings a wealth of strategic marketing and sales management expertise to the company and will be responsible for building the company’s direct sales program targeting both Sonoma and Napa Valley wine operations.Owners Keith and La Rae Kaarup, Jr. felt the time had come in the company’s development to focus more consistently on bringing Vinpak’s products and services for custom packaging, labeling, waxing and staffing to the many wineries which stand to benefit from the quality and expertise that is a hallmark of the company’s continued success. “We are very excited to have Lynne join Vinpak. We feel that this addition to our management team will boost our client base at a critical time in our company’s development as she brings a strong background in strategic marketing and sales planning to the mix,” states Mr. Kaarup.Ms. Weaver has held both marketing communications and sales management jobs across several business-to-business industries during her career, most recently in the financial services sector. She holds a bachelor’s in biology from the University of California Santa Cruz and a master’s in integrated marketing communications from Golden Gate University, San Francisco.* * *In business since 2003, Vinpak is a privately held, bonded and temperature-controlled custom wine packaging and staffing company committed to providing superior service through stringent quality control methods, trained on-site staffing, prompt turnaround on time-sensitive projects and client specific custom labeling, re-labeling and packaging programs. For more information on Vinpak or its sister company Vinstaff, please visit vinpak.com or call 707-255-2511.Advertisement Pinterest Share TAGSVinpakWine Packaging Linkedinlast_img read more


El Paseo Unlocks the “Secrets of the Old World” Wine Program

first_imgLinkedin AdvertisementOwner Sammy Hagar opens the cellar door to present a new flight each week El Paseo, Mill Valley’s dining destination from Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Sammy Hagar, offers Classic Californian cuisine with Spanish flair featuring fresh ingredients sourced from Marin County farmers and ranchers.   Served in an intimate space reflective of the neighborhood’s European charm, El Paseo offers an eclectic wine list to perfectly supplement their locally inspired menu.Sammy and the talented team at El Paseo are thrilled to launch their brand new “Secrets of the Old World” wine program beginning October 18, 2016.  Available every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4pm until close, each week will feature a flight of three different wines from El Paseo’s high-caliber wine cellar.  These one-of-a-kind flights will showcase both rare and old vintage bottles from some of the most renowned producers in France, Italy and other regions throughout Europe.  This program offers guests a unique opportunity to taste some of Sammy’s favorite wines and discover the true beauties of the Old World.“Secrets of the Old World” Week One: October 18, 19, 20Premier Cru White Burgundy of Domaine Latour-Giraud – $45Domaine Latour-Giraud – Meursault-Genevrieres – 2013Domaine Latour-Giraud – Champs Canet – Puligny-Montrachet – 2013Domaine Latour-Giraud – Perrieres – Meursault – 2013Week Two: October 25, 26, 27Chablis Flight – $25Jean Marc Brocard – Saint Claire – Vielles Vignes – 2014Domaine Daniel Dampt et Fils – Fourchaume – 1er Cru – 2014Domaine Pattes Loup – Butteaux – 1er Cru – 2013Week Three: November 1, 2, 3Red Burgundies of Vosne-Romanée region – $35Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret – Beaune – 1er Cru  Les Avaux – 2013Domaine Frédéric Esmonin – Gevrey-Chambertin AC –  2014Domaine D’Eugénie – Vosne-Romanée – Aux Brûlées – 1er Cru – 2010Where: 17 Throckmorton AvenueMill Valley, CA 94941When:Every Tuesday – Thursday4:00pm – 9:00pmContact: (415) 388-0741 or www.elpaseomillvalley.comAdvertisement ReddIt Twitter Previous articleAfternoon Brief, October 19Next articlePreiss Imports Announce Newest Additions to Its Portfolio: ‘By the Dutch’ Batavia Arrack and Old Genever Press Release TAGSConsumerEl Paseo Facebook Pinterest Email Share Home Industry News Releases El Paseo Unlocks the “Secrets of the Old World” Wine ProgramIndustry News ReleasesWine BusinessEl Paseo Unlocks the “Secrets of the Old World” Wine ProgramBy Press Release – October 19, 2016 40 0 last_img read more


GSMA urges EU Council to back 25-year licences

first_img Tags Previous ArticleVerizon already plotting AOL, Yahoo job cutsNext ArticleEC aims to simplify law agencies data access Home GSMA urges EU Council to back 25-year licences Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved… Read more GSMA seeks 6GHz boost for 5G The GSMA called on members of the European Council to back proposed spectrum reforms to encourage operator investment ahead of a crunch meeting on the new legislation.Representatives from EU member states, which comprise the bulk of the policy agenda-setting European Council, are set to discuss the European Commission’s (EC) proposed European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) at a meeting on 9 June.Among the items up for discussion are controversial proposals for 25-year minimum spectrum licences, and other changes to communication laws – some of which the GSMA said would increase the regulatory burden on operators.Following the publication of the draft EECC in September 2016, reports emerged 15 member states were against the award of 25-year licences. According to a document leaked to Reuters, the members – including the UK and Germany – said the proposed law would limit national regulators’ ability to respond to market developments.In a statement, the GSMA argued 25-year minimum spectrum licences, with a “strong presumption” of renewal, were a crucial element of the proposed legislation, which would provide an incentive for operators to invest at the levels needed for 5G.The association also urged council members to adopt other measures which would create a regulatory framework to encourage investment and innovation by the sector.These included greater coordination of spectrum resources across member states, avoiding “overly burdensome regulation” and adopting rules designed to foster successful and secure IoT development and deployment.“As the EU’s Telecoms Ministers prepare for tomorrow’s meeting, we encourage them to carefully consider the impact of regulation, and particularly the long-term effect it will have on innovation and investment in Europe,” Afke Schaart, VP Europe at GSMA, said.“We have one opportunity to get this right – the right regulation can propel Europe into the future, whilst protecting consumers and encouraging innovation in this sector – the ideal outcome for all,” Schaart added. EUEuropean CouncilGSMA Related La GSMA reclama el uso de la banda de 6 GHz para la 5G Author Chris Donkin GSMA lays out plan for MWC21 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 08 JUN 2017 last_img read more


Sprint names new CFO

first_img CFOSprint AT&T CFO plans retirement Related Sunrise lanza un smartphone seguro para niños Sprint tapped former Veon and Verizon CFO Andrew Davies to oversee its financial strategy and operation, filling a role left vacant following Michel Combes’ promotion to CEO in May.Davies (pictured, left) will assume the role of CFO on 2 July, reporting to Combes. Davies most recently worked as CFO at Netherlands-based operator Veon from November 2013 until November 2017. He was credited as a key driving force behind the company’s turnaround effort, leading more than $50 billion in corporate finance transactions and achieving improvements in free cash flow.Prior to Veon, Davies served as CFO at Verizon from 2010 to 2013, and held various financial leadership positions with Vodafone Group in the UK, Japan, Turkey and India between 2003 and 2010.In a statement, Combes said Davies’ experience made him an “invaluable addition” and “the perfect fit to strengthen our leadership team for the next phase of our transformation” as the company proceeds with a plan to merge with T-Mobile US.Combes was appointed Sprint CFO in January 2018, but stepped into the role of CEO in May after former company head Marcelo Claure backed away from the position to focus on securing regulatory approval for the proposed merger. Claure remains executive chairman at Sprint. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 29 JUN 2018 Diana is Mobile World Live’s US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only… Read more T-Mobile challenges California merger terms Previous ArticleContactless hits the target for football fansNext ArticleReliance boosts software capabilities with Radisys buy Home Sprint names new CFO Author Diana Goovaerts Tags last_img read more


Testing Scientific Hypotheses Using Specified Complexity

first_imgRequesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Recommended Tags“fair lottery” modelAleksandar Milosavljevićalgorithmic significance methodBIO-Complexitycookie jarextremenessGeorge D. Montañezhypotheseskardis valuemodelsp-valuespermutationspecification functionsspecification massspecified complexitystatistical hypothesis testingtail probabilitiesWilliam Dembski,Trending Editor’s note: We have been reviewing and explaining a new article in the journal BIO-Complexity, “A Unified Model of Complex Specified Information,” by George D. Montañez. For earlier posts, see:“BIO-Complexity Article Offers an Objective Method for Weighing Darwinian Explanations”“Measuring Surprise — A Frontier of Design Theory”“Unifying Specified Complexity: Rediscovering Ancient Technology”How can one decide among competing explanations? In everyday life, we use an assortment of techniques to weigh and reject explanations for the phenomena we observe. For example, when walking into the kitchen and observing a trail of crumbs and an opened cookie jar, we can often infer that a child has enjoyed a before-dinner treat. When confronted, the child’s explanation that cookie monsters ate the missing treat is rejected without much reflection, given our knowledge of the world and its regularities.Science requires us to be more precise when rejecting explanations. We aspire to quantify how plausible or implausible explanations are before rejecting them. For probabilistic explanations (namely those that propose some probabilistic process as an explanation for the event observed), we can precisely characterize how likely or unlikely an observation is under the proposed process, and we can reject the processes put forward as explanations (called hypotheses or models) which do not make the observation likely. Doing so rigorously is what we call statistical hypothesis testing.Rejecting Explanations and Low-Probability EventsWhen we observe an event we often seek to understand by what process it occurred. Given enough observations, we can formulate a model of the process, which for randomized events will typically be a probabilistic model. This model, created to explain what we observe, should render the observations reasonably likely (this, of course, is why the model was proposed in the first place). When a model proposed to explain our observations does not render the type of events we observe likely, we tend to reject that model as a plausible explanation of the events observed.Consider a state lottery where someone related to a lottery official wins six jackpot lotteries in a single year. Under a “fair lottery” model, a past lottery winner is extremely unlikely to win another jackpot in the same year, let alone five more. Such an unexpected event will send us (and state regulators) looking for alternative explanations to this rare event, rejecting the “lucky fair lottery” model as a plausible explanation.However, low probability alone cannot be used to reject models. Take, for example, a deck of 52 distinguishable playing cards, randomly shuffled and placed on a table in a row. Any particular random sequence of cards (called a permutation) has a probability of roughly 10 − 80 of occurring, which is about the same probability of taking a random electron from the known universe (somewhere from a gas cloud thousands of light years away, for example) and having someone else randomly choose the same exact electron out of all the possible electrons they could have chosen in the universe. If any probability can be considered small, surely this probability qualifies. This means the specific sequence of cards observed was extremely unlikely under the random shuffle model, even though that was the true explanation for the event.This seeming paradox disappears when we ask “what is the probability of the event observed or any more extreme occurring?” This is a better question. Once we ask that question, we see that the probability that we would observe a sequence with a probability of 10 − 80 or smaller under the random shuffle model is actually 1! It is guaranteed to occur, since every permutation has the same small probability of occurring. Counter-intuitively, a set of enough small-probability events can add up to one large-probability event. So our observed event wasn’t actually surprising at all, when describing the event as “a low-probability sequence is observed.” This tells us that we should consider classes of surprising events when deciding whether or not to reject models as explanations.Grouping Surprising Events: P-ValuesScientists often make use of p-values (sometimes viewed as tail probabilities) in determining when models are poor explanations for observed events. The p-value is the probability of observing an event at least as extreme as the one actually observed, under the proposed model. When an event has very small p-value, this can be used as evidence against the proposed explanation.P-values avoid the low-probability “paradox” we encountered earlier by considering not just the observed event but also any that is at least as extreme as the one observed. By doing this, when all events are low-probability events under a model (such as for a uniform probability distribution on a very large space), we will not reject the proposed model simply because we observe a low-probability event occurring: the p-value in that case will be large. However, if not all events are equally low-probability, yet we observe one (leading to an extremely small p-value under that definition of extreme), we would have evidence against the model in question.We see that mere improbability of a particular outcome isn’t enough to justify rejecting a model. However, small tail probability is. P-values use “extremeness” of test statistics as a threshold to compute tail probabilities.There are other ways to compute tail probabilities, using different functions to measure extremity. Specified complexity provides an alternative way of computing tail probabilities which can be used to reject proposed explanations of events.Specified Complexity and Hypothesis TestingA recently published paper in BIO-Complexity (Montañez 2018) by machine learning researcher and computer science professor George D. Montañez makes the connection between specified complexity and statistical hypothesis testing explicit. This connection was independently discovered by Aleksander Milosavljević (Milosavljević 1993) and William Dembski (Dembski 2005), who both showed (to varying degrees) that specified complexity models can be viewed as hypothesis test statistics, similar to p-values. Montañez fleshes out this relation, demonstrating that every p-value hypothesis test has an equivalent specified complexity hypothesis test, and every canonical specified complexity model can be used to bound tail probabilities in a way similar to p-values. Remarkably, specified complexity hypothesis tests can also be used in some situations where p-values cannot be computed, such as when the likelihood of a particular observation is known but nothing else about the distribution outside of that value (whereas analytic p-values will typically require knowing something about the form or shape of the distribution).This property of specified complexity models is not just of academic interest. The paper gives a table with computed cutoff values for specified complexity hypothesis tests, allowing applied researchers to make use of the computed values directly as they do with other statistical hypothesis test tables. This could allow specified complexity models to be used in fields other than intelligent design (as they have been with Milosavljević’s algorithmic significance method (Milosavljević 1993, 1995)), and to be used by those without advanced mathematical training.Bounding Tail Probability Using Specification FunctionsAs we saw, low probability is not enough to rule out explanations, but the combination of low probability and high specification is. The paper explains:The addition of specification is what allows us to control these probabilities. Considering probabilities in isolation is not enough. While unlikely events can happen often (given enough elements with low probability), specified unlikely events rarely occur. This explains why even though every sequence of one thousand coin flips is equally likely given a fair coin, the sequence of all [tails] is a surprising and unexpected outcome whereas an equally long random sequence of heads and tails is not. Specification provides the key to unlocking this riddle.What is it about observing large specification values (in conjunction with low probability of the observation) that produces small tail probabilities as a result? Montanez continues:…[S]ince the specification values are normalized, few elements can have large values. Although many elements can have low probability values (thus making the occurrence of observing any such a low-probability event probable, given enough of them), few can have low probability while being highly specified.Thus, we can think of specification functions as placing a form of “specification mass” over a space of possible outcomes, where this mass is conserved (as is real mass). We can concentrate the mass in one area of the space only by decreasing it in other areas. This implies that we cannot place large amounts of specification mass on many outcomes simultaneously. Thus, observing concentrated specification mass (i.e., a large specification value) on a single outcome makes it special and surprising: not every outcome can be like that. This not-every-outcome-can-be-like-that-ness is exactly what p-values and small tail probabilities are meant to capture. And because the outcome in question has low probability, we are assured the hypothesized process doesn’t favor it, making it occur often. This combination of low probability and high specification is what powers specified complexity hypothesis tests.Blindly Choosing Special SequencesHaving obtained a specification value for your recently discovered numeric sequence of prime numbers and learning that specified complexity models can be used as hypothesis test statistics, you decide that you’d like to rule out the hypothesis that the sequence was blindly chosen at random from among the space of all possible sequences of the first thirty-one positive integers. Of those, there are 31-11 possible sequences of the same length as your observed sequence. Under a blind uniform probability each of these has the probability 31-11 of individually occurring. Therefore, your probability estimate p(x) under the proposed model is 31-11. You combine this with your previous estimates of r and ν(x), to obtain a kardis value of  κ(x) = r [p(x) / ν(x)] = 600000·(31-11/1) ≈ 2.36 × 10-11.Taking the negative log base-2 of this number, you obtain a specified complexity value of roughly 35 bits, which according to the table of test-statistic cutoff values given in the Montañez paper would allow you to reject the blind chance hypothesis at a significance level smaller than 0.0001 (actually, much smaller). Given that significance levels of 0.01 are often cited as grounds for rejection of a hypothesized model, you confidently reject the uniform chance hypothesis as an explanation for the sequence observed.But what about other random and semi-random processes? Just because you were able to reject a uniform chance model for the sequence does not necessarily mean that some other randomized process, one that is not uniform, couldn’t be responsible. What would such an explanation need to look like to avoid rejection under such hypothesis tests? You remember a section in the paper dealing with minimum plausibility baselines that may be relevant, but before continuing on, a warm nuzzle from Bertrand your dog reminds you that it is time to call it a night. A new day will bring new opportunities for investigation, with the added benefit of having a well-rested mind and body.BibliographyDembski, William A. 2005. “Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence.” Philosophia Christi 7 (2): 299–343. https://doi.org/10.5840/pc20057230.Milosavljević, Aleksandar. 1993. “Discovering Sequence Similarity by the Algorithmic Significance Method.” Proc Int Conf Intell Syst Mol Biol 1: 284–91.———. 1995. “Discovering Dependencies via Algorithmic Mutual Information: A Case Study in DNA Sequence Comparisons.” Machine Learning 21 (1-2): 35–50. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00993378.Montañez, George D. 2018. “A Unified Model of Complex Specified Information.” BIO-Complexity 2018 (4). http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2018.4.Photo credit: Personal Creations, via Flickr (cropped). Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Evolution NewsEvolution News & Science Today (EN) provides original reporting and analysis about evolution, neuroscience, bioethics, intelligent design and other science-related issues, including breaking news about scientific research. It also covers the impact of science on culture and conflicts over free speech and academic freedom in science. Finally, it fact-checks and critiques media coverage of scientific issues. Share Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Intelligent Design Testing Scientific Hypotheses Using Specified ComplexityEvolution News @DiscoveryCSCFebruary 5, 2019, 4:03 AM Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to Alllast_img read more


Darwin Day Is Here! Discover the Cell’s Secrets with Michael Behe

first_imgJane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man TagsatheistsbiologistscellCharles DarwinDarwin DayDarwin DevolvesDarwinistsDiscovery InstituteevolutionEvolution Newsevolutionary biologyintelligent designLehigh UniversitymaterialistsMichael BeheMichael Dentonmicrobiologypeer-reviewSecrets of the Cell with Michael Behesocial mediavideo,Trending “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Don’t look there too closely. Don’t worry, it all came together by chance. Show us your PhD in evolutionary biology. Don’t you trust the scientists? What right do you have to an opinion of your own?These are, in effect, the response from Darwinian evolutionists to doubts from the public that the wonders of the living cell evolved without intelligent guidance. Those doubts, though, are not unreasonable.A Beautiful, Accessible VideoToday, for the birthday of Charles Darwin, celebrated around the world as Darwin Day, Discovery Institute is proud to launch a new, five-part video series. It’s Secrets of the Cell with Michael Behe. You can see Episode 1 here:center_img Has there ever been a more beautifully produced or more accessible video about the intelligent design of life? If so, I’m not aware of it.Your affable host is Lehigh University microbiologist Michael Behe, a prominent intelligent design proponent and author most recently of Darwin Devolves.“Welcome to the unseen world of organic micromachines,” says Professor Behe. It’s a world of “unbelievable efficiency,” that “would put any modern high-tech factory to shame.” We live in a “golden age of discovery for microbiology.” So it is time to ask, “Exactly how did the cell get to be so complex?” That’s a question Behe began wondering about when he first encountered and was “flabbergasted” by the work of another ID advocate, geneticist Michael Denton. You will be flabbergasted, too.A Fire-Tested Case for DesignWatch and enjoy, and then take a look at Dr. Behe’s website, which we recently expanded. It looks great! The site includes books, news, videos, articles, a 41-part online course on evolution and ID, and more. Of special interest may be the extensive responses to critics. Behe has stood up to years of hostile peer-review from biologists, looking to trip him up. There’s no significant criticism he hasn’t answered. His arguments for ID are truly fire-tested, and he is firmly ensconced in the scientific literature.So yes, Secrets of the Cell is intended for a general audience, but viewers can be sure that in weighing Mike Behe’s case for design, they are considering an idea that has withstood the most determined, sometimes furious criticism from Darwinists, atheists, materialists, and others.Please consider sharing Secrets of the Cell widely with your social media network, and join us again here at Evolution News when we release Episode 2 next week. Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Intelligent Design Darwin Day Is Here! Discover the Cell’s Secrets with Michael BeheDavid KlinghofferFebruary 12, 2020, 9:40 AM David KlinghofferSenior Fellow and Editor, Evolution NewsDavid Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.Follow DavidProfileTwitter Share Recommended Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogoslast_img read more


MEP calls for a special transport subsidy as fodder crisis looms

first_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Facebook Twitter By News Highland – December 21, 2017 News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Facebook Google+ MEP calls for a special transport subsidy as fodder crisis looms Google+ Pinterestcenter_img A Midlands North West MEP is backing calls for a special transport subsidy to cover haulage costs as more and more farmers are forced to bring fodder in to the region from elsewhere in the country.Luke Ming Flanagan says August’s flooding in Donegal and elsewhere on the western seaboard created a serious problem, and that’s been exacerbated by continued wet weather which prevented farmers from bringing in a late harvest of hay or silage in September.Luke Ming Flanagan believes farmers in the southern part of the country are selling at a very fair price, but the transport costs are a serious problem………..Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/lukeming.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Homepage BannerNews Twitter Previous articleDonegal woman convicted for failing to adequately feed ‘Misty’Next articlePSNI investigate Derry fire News Highland Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty Harps come back to win in Waterford DL Debate – 24/05/21 Pinterest WhatsApplast_img read more