Socialists in lead but without clear majority in Spain election

first_imgSpain`s prime minister Pedro Sanchez of the Socialist Workers` Party (PSOE) speaks to supporters while celebrating the result in Spain`s general election in Madrid, Spain on 28 April.Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez looks set to regain power after his Socialists overcame a historic challenge by right-wing nationalists in elections on Sunday, a result he portrayed as a morale booster for the European Union.The Socialists gained seats in one of Spain’s most hotly contested elections in decades, which featured the rise of far-right party Vox whose ultra-nationalist campaign echoed political trends across Europe where traditional parties have ceded to anti-immigration and eurosceptic forces.However, the rise of Vox also splintered the right-wing vote, further fragmenting Spain’s political landscape and playing into the hands of the Socialists which won an almost 50 per cent increase in seats.”The Socialists have won the general election,” Sanchez declared, smiling broadly as he addressed jubilant supporters at party headquarters in Madrid. Outside, hundreds celebrated in the street, waving red party flags and chanting ‘Long live Spain’ and ‘Long live Socialism’.”Social democracy has a great future because it has a great present and Spain is an example of that. We will form a pro-European government to strengthen and not weaken Europe,” he added.The result is likely to come as a relief for supporters of further European Union integration ahead of 26 May elections for European Parliament amid fears that Vox could have gained a share of power in Spain.Vox secured one in 10 votes and 24 seats, the first far-right party to get a sizeable presence in parliament since the country’s return to democracy in the late 1970s, but it did not get the kingmaker role it was looking for.Far left-wing party Podemos immediately offered to open coalition talks with Sanchez, though the two parties together cannot command a majority.”I have expressed to him … our willingness to work towards a coalition government,” Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias told supporters in Madrid. Forming such a coalition “will take much time and I would ask for your patience”, he added.The Socialists and Podemos are set to fall around 11 seats short of a parliamentary majority, but bridging the gap would require Sanchez to also rely on Basque nationalists and other small parties.It was unclear in the early hours of Monday if he would also require the support of separatist lawmakers from Catalonia, the country’s richest region where a push for independence flared into violence two years ago.”Pedro Sanchez is in a good position,” said Pablo Simon, a political science professor at Madrid’s Carlos III University.A government deal would be complicated and certainly not be clinched before next month’s European Parliament elections, he added.The Keys to PowerSanchez appears to have two options to put together a coalition.If he wants to rule with Podemos, near-final voting data showed he would need the support of smaller parties to at least abstain.According to Sunday night’s count, he would require one Catalan separatist lawmaker to abstain but some seats were too close to call. The picture may still change when the count is finalised in the first two weeks of May.If Sanchez does not need to rely on Catalan separatists, who brought down his minority government, he may have more political freedom to deal with the Catalan independence movement. The issue was at the heart of the election campaign and has at times unnerved euro zone investors and the rest of the EU.Alternatively, Sanchez could turn to center-right Ciudadanos. Together, the Socialists and Ciudadanos would have an outright majority.Though he and Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera have sharply different views on Catalonia and both ruled out forming an alliance during the campaign, speculation persists that the pair could yet strike a coalition deal. Rivera repeated after the election that he would be in the opposition.Spaniards cast their votes in numbers close to record highs with campaigning dominated by national identity and cultural values like women’s rights rather than the economy.This is the third national election in four years, after the first two eroded the decades-long dominance of the two biggest parties, the Socialists and the conservative Popular Party (PP).By party, Sanchez’s Socialists led with 123 seats in the 350-seat parliament. The PP stood at 66 seats, centre-right Ciudadanos (‘Citizens’) at 57 seats, Podemos at 42 and Vox at 24.The big loser was the PP, which lost more than half its seats in the lower house of parliament and also lost control of the senate to the Socialists.In Spain, issues like mass immigration or euroscepticism that have dominated political discourse elsewhere have been eclipsed by the question of national unity and the threat posed by the Catalan independence movement.The economy, one of the euro zone’s star performers, took a back seat in campaigning across the political parties.last_img

Netflix says that it is now streaming in Ultra HD

first_imgNetflix says that it is now streaming in Ultra HD 4K quality over the web, with the second season of its original drama House of Cards and several nature films available in the format.In an official blog post, Netflix said that though its catalogue of Ultra HD 4K movies is currently small, it expects to add more 4K content and increase the number of devices this can be accessed on later this year.Alongside House of Cards, Netflix viewers can also access a number of nature films in 4K from photographer and filmmaker Louie Schwarztberg. Later this year Netflix said it will add AMC drama Breaking Bad in 4K along with “more Netflix original productions.”The first TVs capable of streaming Netflix Ultra HD 4K include the Samsung UH8550 and UH9000. Netflix said more TVs that support Netflix in 4K will be in stores soon from Samsung, Sony, LG, and Vizio.“If you buy one of these new TVs, just connect it to a power outlet and the internet, turn it on and sign into Netflix. Ultra HD 4K streaming will work out of the box,” said Netflix.“Market researchers predict that consumers will buy a million Ultra HD 4K TVs this year and even more in subsequent years. We expect it will likely take up to 5 years before Ultra HD 4K becomes mainstream; when most of the TVs on store shelves are Ultra HD 4K.”last_img read more

You may have also noticed that both gold and silve

first_img You may have also noticed that both gold and silver rallied at the 8:20 a.m. EST Comex open in New York, but at 9:10 a.m., 50 minutes later, both rallies ran into the usual sellers of last resort. For the day, Kitco recorded the loses as follows: gold down 1.12%, silver down 1.85%, platinum down 1.95% and palladium down 2.19%. The dollar index opened at 80.84 on Sunday evening, and within a few hours had “rallied” to its 80.91 high of the day.  After that it was a long, slow slide into the 80.58 low which came at precisely 10 a.m. in New York, which just happened to coincide with the London p.m. gold fix.  The subsequent rally topped out at 80.79 around 12:40 p.m. in New York, and then chopped sideways into the close.  The index closed at 80.73, which was down 11 basis points from Friday’s close. The 12:40 p.m. high in the dollar coincided precisely with the low ticks in gold and silver during the Comex trading session. Not surprisingly, the gold stocks opened lower and continued to decline until their low tick, which came minutes after 3:30 p.m.  A smallish rally into the close cut the HUI’s loss to only  2.01%. And as you already know, JPMorgan et al didn’t spare platinum and palladium, either.  Here are the charts. This engineered price decline may not be done until December goes off the board Gold was under selling pressure right from the 6 p.m. EST New York open on Sunday night.  Ten bucks got sliced off the price between then and 11:30 a.m. EST on Monday morning.  Then the HFT boyz took another ten spot off the price in a bit over an hour. The low came around 12:35 p.m. in New York, the dollar index high, and the subsequent rally attempt gained back about six bucks or so. The CME recorded the low tick at $1,269.20 in the December contract.  The high was the Friday afternoon EST close. Gold finished the Monday trading session at $1,276.00 spot, down $14.40 on the day.  Net volume was not overly heavy at a hair under 99,000 contracts. The non-eventful November delivery month continues to live up to its advance billing, as zero gold and one lonely silver contract were posted for delivery tomorrow. There was another withdrawal from GLD, as an authorized participant withdrew 38,594 troy ounces.  And as of 10:04 p.m. yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. Since yesterday was Monday, there was a sales report from the U.S. Mint.  They sold 6,000 ounces of gold eagles; 1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes; and 361,000 silver eagles. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, they reported receiving 32,026 troy ounces, and shipped out a smallish 1,171 troy ounces.  The link to that activity is here. For a change, there was very little in/out activity in silver.  Nothing was reported received, and only 10,180 troy ounces were shipped out the door.  The link to that movement is here. I don’t have all that many stories today, and I hope you find some in here that interest you. I see little reason why silver and gold should move in constant lockstep. More individual patterns in silver and gold, from exchange warehouse stock levels and movements, to ETF inflows and outflows, to production and consumption statistics and to the fact that central banks own, buy and sell gold and not silver, argue that price action shouldn’t be joined at the hip. The question becomes what is causing gold and silver prices to move in tandem, or more broadly, causing most absolute price movement? The answer is almost undeniable – electronic trading on the Comex. Gold and silver prices rarely move on real world supply/demand considerations; prices usually move when the commercials are zooming the technical funds in some way; rigging prices to induce tech fund buying or selling.  Because I believe the price of silver is much more controlled and artificial than is the price of gold, when that artificial control is lifted, silver will climb much higher than gold on a percentage basis. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 16 November 2013 Despite, or maybe because of, the low volume, JPMorgan et al had their way with all four precious metals again yesterday, at it was another day where “da boyz” took a big slice out of the salami, as Ted Butler is wont to say from time to time. We hit new lows for this move down in silver, and platinum and palladium as well.  But not in gold.  Here are the six-month charts for all four precious metals. Celebrate Thanksgiving with Sprott Money’s Thanksgiving Sale! For 2 weeks only (November 15 – 28), enjoy FREE shipping & insurance when you buy $4,999 or more at Sprott Money! Owned and managed by Eric Sprott, Sprott Money Ltd. is a leading precious metals dealer selling gold, silver and platinum coins and bullion bars online and over the phone. Don’t miss your chance! Place your order now at http://store.sprottmoney.com/ or call us at 1-888-861-0775! No coupon code required. Since its inception, Sprott Money has prided itself on superior customer relations, providing its clients with only the highest quality bullion products in addition to delivering them discreetly and on time. Sprott Money also offers allocated, segregated, private and non-bank storage services in the US and in Canada. “In the sea of financial assets and currencies that are being decimated the world over, the one true safe haven continues to be gold.” – Eric Sprottcenter_img As I said sometime last week, this engineered price decline may not be done until December goes off the board at the end of this month.  But that’s just speculation on my part.  However, with December being a big delivery month in both gold and silver, it’s a good bet that this may be the final washout as the month winds down into First Notice Day. But it’s what happens after that, that really counts.  Once JPMorgan and the raptors have finished doing the dirty to the downside, will they go short/sell longs into the next rally?  That, and that alone, will determine how high we go in price, and how fast we get there.  Nothing else matters.  As you’ve seen over the years, and even the last six months, it’s always the same pattern, with JPMorgan and friends capping all rallies as short buyers/long sellers of last resort.  Will they be there this time when they allow the tide to turn? Since today is Tuesday, it’s also the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report.  Any and all volume/price data up until the 1:30 p.m. EST Comex close should be in that report, and I’m certainly interested in how the HFT boyz spin prices today. As I write this paragraph, London has been open about six minutes.  Gold hasn’t been doing much price wise, and no new lows were set in Far East trading.  The price is back to unchanged from Monday’s close, but the day is young.  I’m sure you’ve carefully noted the fact that silver set a new low price tick down about 11:30 a.m. Hong Kong time on their Tuesday, but is almost back to unchanged as well.  The same goes for platinum and palladium.  Gold volume is pretty light, and most of it is of the HFT variety.  But silver volume is much heavier, and a large chunk of that is roll-overs out of December.  And, not that it matters, but the dollar index is doing nothing. And as I hit the send button at 5:15 a.m. EST, the smallish rallies in all four precious metals got turned aside right at the London open, and all are trading at or below their respective Monday afternoon closes in New York.  Gold volume is a bit under “average”, but is still all HFT.  Silver’s volume is high, and although there was some decent roll-over volume earlier, most of the volume now is of the HFT variety as well.  The dollar index is still chopping sideways, and basically unchanged. That’s all I have for you today, and I’ll see you here tomorrow. Sponsor Advertisement Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index chart looks similar, except the silver equities closed down 2.62%. The silver price action was almost a carbon copy of what happened in gold, except the New York low came in a spike down just minutes after 3 p.m. in electronic trading.  The subsequent recovery off that low wasn’t allowed to amount to much. The CME high and lows ticks were recorded as $20.80 and $20.29 in the December contract. Silver closed on Monday at $20.395 spot, down 38.5 cents from Friday’s close.  Net volume was only 21,500 contracts, and over half of yesterday’s total volume was roll-overs out of the December delivery month.  In comparison, the roll-overs out of gold were only a small fraction of the total volume.last_img read more

Scientists try to develop portable systems that can quickly produce biologics on

first_img Source:https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2018/acs-presspac-november-14-2018/on-demand-biologics.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 15 2018Many life-saving medicines, including insulin, antibodies and vaccines, are derived from living cells. These “biologics” can be difficult to obtain and store on the battlefield or in remote areas. That’s why scientists are trying to develop portable systems that can quickly manufacture small batches of protein therapeutics on demand, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairMother calls for protein shake regulation after daughter diesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchPharmaceutical companies manufacture large batches of biologics by growing cells that are genetically engineered to produce a therapeutic protein in huge bioreactors. Growing the cells and then purifying the proteins takes several days, and switching a system from making one molecule to another can require months, writes Senior Correspondent Celia Henry Arnaud. Once produced, many biologics must be refrigerated to remain active, which is often impractical in remote areas. To overcome these issues, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has challenged researchers to develop systems to manufacture biopharmaceuticals in less than 24 hours, so that the drugs can be produced onsite, as needed.A team of DARPA-funded researchers at MIT has designed a benchtop biologic manufacturing system called Integrated Scalable Cyto-Technology, or InSCyT, that can be easily reconfigured to produce different biologics using yeast. Another DARPA-funded team at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, has developed a system, called Biologically-derived Medicines on Demand (Bio-MOD), that fits inside a suitcase and uses freeze-dried cell extracts to make proteins. On-demand approaches like InSCyT and Bio-MOD could not only produce much-needed medicines in remote locations, but they also could reduce the need for drug stockpiling and enable personalized medicines, experts say.last_img read more

Study Stress experienced by premature infants can carry on throughout their adult

first_imgThat stress can increase the allostatic load — a measure of the wear and tear on a body’s systems — which can manifest in the form of a variety of health issues, including high blood pressure, diabetes, cognitive and mental health disorders including anxiety and depression, and cardio-vascular problems. Among the results at age 23, was a disruption in the premature group’s stress response system, prompting the new study at age 30. It can also throw off the body’s epigenetic clock, causing the body to age faster than its chronological age.Related StoriesOU Health Sciences Center awarded federal grant to enhance dementia care across OklahomaNursing home care prices rise faster than other medical care and consumer pricesStudy examines potential advantages and disadvantages of blister packaging for nursing homesFor the latest study, Sullivan’s team includes Dr. Charles Eaton at Brown University’s Center for Primary Care and Prevention, and scientists at other institutions including the University of California-Irvine, University of Chicago, UCLA, and Northwestern University. Together, they will study the participants in a lab, conducting blood work, body composition analysis and a physical assessment, among other tests. Participants will then collect their own saliva samples over a period of time to measure levels of cortisol, the primary hormone associated with a stress response. Similar to previous times, the investigators will visit the participants in the home to learn about their home and work life. They also plan to explore epigenetics as a way to take a deeper look at the molecular processes associated with pathologic aging.Cortisol is one key indicator researchers will examine. For the typical person, cortisol levels are low first thing in the morning, then spike about 45 minutes after waking, before gradually decreasing throughout the day. In the 23-year version of the study, researchers found that system was off kilter in the pre-term study group.”What we found with some who were born preterm, particularly those who were very sick, is that they did not necessarily have that awakening response; their cortisol level started higher and they had a higher level throughout the day,” Sullivan said. “Some people call this a blunted response, so what we think is happening is that the baseline for their cortisol is higher. Perhaps there’s something about the premature experience that affects this stress response system.”In addition, a person’s environment can continue to affect their stress responses throughout life, prompting that part of the 30-year study. At 23, many of the participants were doing well. Some were in graduate school, others in the military or beginning careers in the private sector.”But at age 23 not everybody had been launched as an adult so we want to see where they are now. This is a new developmental stage for adults called emerging adulthood,” Sullivan said. “We’re interested in how did they manage the everyday things and that’s some of the other assessment we will be doing. I want to make it clear, however, that there’s a lot of good news on how these former preemies are doing.”Ultimately, Sullivan’s study aims to understand how to limit NICU stress in order to mitigate the impact it may have throughout the lifespan. “It is important to understand that the adult stress response we are seeing likely relates back to preterm birth and experiences in infancy, which we should consider when providing care,” Sullivan said. “Mine is one study identifying these outcomes, but there are other studies, too, and if there are some commonalities, I think that means that we have to pay attention.” Source:University of Rhode Island When we’re under stress, we have a system that kicks in. Our heart starts beating faster; our pupils dilate; it helps us run and get away from the stressor. So if you think about a premature infant, they are born early, their body systems are not mature, and they’re in this Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where there’s bright lights and painful procedures designed to help them survive. They are not with their nurturing parent in the same way as a full-term infant. So this stress response system gets activated again and again. When these babies get older, the stress system isn’t regulated like a full-term infant. So over time, when you have all this activation, there is stress on body tissues and organs.”Professor Mary Sullivan, University of Rhode Island College of Nursing Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 26 2019The stress premature infants experience can carry on throughout their adult life, causing cognitive limitations, social struggles at work or in school, and a greater risk of health ailments, including cardiac conditions, one of the longest-running U.S. studies of premature infants has shown.University of Rhode Island College of Nursing Professor Mary Sullivan will continue the now 30-year-long study for another five years, thanks to a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The project has so far garnered more than $10 million in grant funding.The study — “Allostatic Load & Epigenetic Mechanisms in Lifecourse Trajectories of Preterm Infants at Age 30” — continues the work that began in the 1980s with a group of babies born prematurely at Women & Infants Hospital. Involving 215 people born 30 years ago — including a control group of full-term babies, and premature babies born at 22 to 36 weeks — the study tracks the successes and difficulties premature babies continue to face into adulthood, and compares them to the group of full-term babies.Sullivan, the principal researcher who in 1990 joined the study originally begun at Women & Infants and Brown University, has found the stress of being born prematurely continues to impact the body even after preterm babies catch up developmentally to their full-term peers. In the last round of studies — when the study participants reached their 23rd birthdays — researchers found dysregulation in their neuroendocrine function, the stress response system.last_img read more

Opposition attacks Governor for dissolving JK House

first_imgstate politics Jammu and Kashmir SHARE SHARE EMAIL Governor’s premise unconstitutional, should be challenged in court, says Cong National Conference Vice -President Omar Abdullah addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Thursday Nissar Ahmad   –  NISSAR AHMAD SHARE Opposition parties on Thursday lashed out at Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satyapal Malik’s decision to dissolve the State Assembly after the National Conference, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress decided to stake claim for government formation on Wednesday.The Congress said that the Governor’s premise that “opposing ideologies” cannot form a suitable government is unconstitutional and ought to be challenged in the court.There was a simultaneous outrage against BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav’s comment that that the PDP and the NC were tying up to form government in J&K at Pakistan’s behest. “The INC, National Conference (NC), PDP are terror-friendly and the BJP is anti-terrorist? (I) challenge BJP to name even one leader of consequence martyred in fight against terror anywhere in India and I can name 500 Congress leaders of standing,” said Congress leader Manish Tiwari.War of wordsMadhav backtracked on social media after his comment that PDP and NC had acted on “instructions from across the border” provoked anger from all the political players. A furious NC leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah challenged the BJP leader, “I dare you Ram Madhavji to prove your allegation. You have RAW, NIA and IB at your command (CBI too is your parrot), so have the guts to place evidence in the public domain. Either prove this or be man enough to apologise…” tweeted Abdullah.Madhav advised Abdullah to “take it in your stride” and that he was not “questioning your patriotism at all. But the sudden love between NC and PDP and the hurry to form government leads to many suspicions and political comment. Not to offend you.”Abdullah, however, was not amused. “No. Misplaced attempts at humour won’t work. You have claimed my party has been acting at the behest of Pakistan. I dare you to prove it…”Political valuesMeanwhile, the Governor, who had dissolved the Assembly after PDP leader and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti sent him a fax on Wednesday— a claim that left most political observers incredulous— defended his decision. He said he dissolved the Assembly because he had been getting reports of “horse-trading” and he did not want an “opportunistic government” to be formed in the State which had been ruled by the ideologically different BJP and PDP till June, this year.“The value system of politics would have been destroyed as it is happening in other States. I could not afford that,” said Malik.“An opportunist government would have been the outcome of this process. We never wanted instability in a sensitive State,” said Malik, adding that the NC, the PDP and the Congress would have fought with each other.Taking on the Governor, NC leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that if Malik admits that MLAs were being bought over and money was changing hands, then people should know who was doing it. “ It was the Governor who said horse trading was happening and money was changing hands. We want to know where this money came from? We want to know at whose behest this money was being given and who was being bought.”The former chief minister also questioned Malik’s decision of ignoring a letter written by his arch-rival and PDP leader Mehbooba, staking claim to form government in the State with the help of the Congress and the NC. “The Governor gave reasons for not accepting the claim by PDP. He said parties of different political ideologies were coming together. Did you ask this question in 2015 when BJP and PDP tied up?” he asked.“That time, it was dubbed as the coming together of the north pole and the south pole… Today, you are telling other parties that you cannot come together even though the difference on some important issues between PDP, the NC and the Congress are small compared to the BJP and the PDP”, he added.The Congress and the CPI(M) said that the Governor’s decision was “illegal and unconstitutional”. “The Governor has no business to decide that parties with “opposing ideologies” cannot form a suitable government. By this yardstick, the PDP-BJP government should not have been allowed to be formed after the elections. All that he can do is to ask the leader who is staking claim with majority support to prove that majority on the floor of the House,” said a CPI(M) politburo statement.Former Home Minister P. Chidambaram tweeted, “As long as no one staked a claim to form government, J&K governor was happy to keep Assembly under suspension. The moment someone staked a claim, he dissolved the Assembly!” Published on November 22, 2018 COMMENT COMMENTSlast_img read more