Story Timeline2019 iPhone 3D sensor tipped as Apple amps up ARYour iPhone X is about to wirelessly charge faster3 iPhone X facts that made me #TeamNotchThe secret iPhone X difference Apple isn’t talking about Currently, Apple has two different layouts for its batteries, though of course you wouldn’t know it from the outside of the phone. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus use a traditional, rectangular battery around which other components like the main circuit board wraps. In contrast, the iPhone X has an L-shaped battery structure, which runs along one edge of the phone and then extends sideways when it hits the corner.It’s the latter design which Apple is expected to adopt in its 2018 iPhone range. Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, 9to5Mac reports, made the prediction in a note to investors this week: according to his sources, the replacement to the current 5.8-inch iPhone X will shift to a battery between 2,900 mAh and 3,000 mAh.Currently, the iPhone X has a 2,716 mAh battery. Kuo credits battery technology refinements for Apple being able to fit roughly 10-percent more capacity into the same form-factor. There’ll be even more battery life from the expected larger iPhone, as part of Apple’s attempt to address lingering concerns from users that, while they might like their smartphone’s specifications, they wish they’d simply last longer.According to predictions, along with the new 5.8-inch iPhone there’ll also be a new 6.5-inch iPhone that also uses an OLED screen. That’s expected to be closer to the iPhone 8 Plus in overall dimensions, packing more display real-estate by slimming the bezels down and replacing the Touch ID home button with Face ID facial recognition and gesture controls. It, too, will get the L-shaped battery, Kuo says. As for what’s expected to be the third 2018 iPhone, that will likely stick with the old layout. Said to have a 6.1-inch screen, but use LCD rather than OLED technology, it’ll be Apple’s most affordable model. A rectangular power pack fits with that, but it’s still expected to benefit from advances in battery technology that will increase overall capacity versus previous generations of iPhone, in addition to including Face ID biometric security. Both the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch iPhones are almost certain to support wireless charging, which Apple introduced for the first time on its 2017 range. However, the 6.1-inch “budget” iPhone is tipped to switch from the glass back of the current design to a metal back instead, suggesting no wireless charging support will be included. 2018’s iPhone line-up will squeeze more battery into the same form-factor, it’s reported, leading to longer-lasting phones. The improvements will be based on a combination of broader adoption of Apple’s newest battery structure layout as seen in the iPhone X, and on new battery technology that will pack more mAh into each pack.
Google Photos users can make these themed movies by heading over to this link, opening the Google Photos mobile app, or using Google Assistant (the link is easiest if you’re already on a computer). Users will need to pick the theme and then the pets or people to be featured in the movie, after which point Google takes care of the rest. The system uses machine learning to choose a soundtrack, find the appropriate images, and more.Users have the ability to edit the themed movie Google generates, though, in case there’s something they don’t like or want to add. This is possible via the movie editor in Android and iOS. Most countries are getting access to this themed movies tool starting today, Google says, and it plans to offer additional themes in the future.Themed movies aside, Google is also introducing the option to directly purchase a photo book for users in Canada and the US. These photo books can be made on mobile or desktop and they start at $9.99 each. Customers in the US can get one of these books by Valentine’s Day if they order it by midnight tonight with priority shipping, Google notes.SOURCE: Google Blog Google has announced some new options for Google Photos users, one of which is designed specifically for Valentine’s Day. Google Photos will automatically create themed movies for users at times, but now anyone can create their own themed movie whenever they want using a bunch of different themes. Among those themes is a new one called “Valentine’s Day Movie.” The Valentine’s Day Movie theme will create a themed movie from the user’s photos, one featuring their significant other; it’ll be like the video shown below. Other themed movie options include things like “Father’s Day Movie,” “In Loving Memory,” “Selfie Movie,” “Smiles of 2017,” “Doggie Movie,” “Meow Movie,” “Mother’s Day Movie,” and more.
Story TimelineThis is Snapdragon 845: 2018’s AR, VR, and HDR super-chipQualcomm pushes Snapdragon 845 to steal Apple’s privacy crownWatch Qualcomm’s weird vision of what Snapdragon 845 life is likeWhat Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 could do for smart speakersSnapdragon 845 hands-on: The blueprint for 2018 Ever since Apple started designing its own mobile processors, it has become a force to be reckoned with in that market space. Sure, there have been a few missteps at first, but with the A11 Bionic in the iPhone X and iPhone 8 generation, Apple seems to really leave Android phones in its dust.The Snapdragon 845 might be narrowing the gap, that’s for sure. According to Tom’s Guide’s Geekbench 4 test, it outperformed not only last year’s Snapdragon 835 on the Galaxy Note 8 but also the Huawei Mate 10’s Kirin 970, one of the surprising upstarts in the mobile silicon market. As far as graphics performance is concerned, the Snapdragon 845 had the same impressive performance against its predecessor, scoring 5,964 against 4,912.However, it’s not all good news for Qualcomm. The Apple A11 Bionic still outperformed it by a wide margin. The Snapdragon 845 scored 8,409 on Geekbench 4’s multi-core test while the iPhone X got 10,357. In 3DMark’s Sling Shot Extreme test using OpenGL ES 3.1, the iPhone X scored 4,994 while the Snapdragon 845 only got 4,389. The one instance where the Snapdragon 845 did beat the A11 was on the Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 test, with 5,964 against 3,998.AdChoices广告These tests are, of course, not conclusive and not representative of actual device performance. They were done on Qualcomm’s reference device, which will definitely not be the same as any commercial product. And while the Apple A11 Bionic may indeed put the Snapdragon 845 to shame, Android users hardly switch camps simply based on that alone. They have other, bigger reasons for that. In just a few weeks, we’ll be getting a glimpse of the next generation of Android smartphones slated for this year. Arriving with them is Qualcomm’s next-generation mobile platform, the Snapdragon 845. But before that chip goes out to market, Tom’s Guide was able to put this year’s top mobile processor through a few stress tests. And while the numbers do look impressive on their own and compared to last year’s flagships, the Snapdragon 845 might still have a tough time standing head to head with Apple’s A11 Bionic.
Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ may not have even arrived in stores yet, but the Android smartphones have already seen their first firmware update. The new software was released this week – it popped up on our Galaxy S9 review device today – and focuses on two of the headline areas of the smartphone, its camera and its biometric security. Story TimelineSamsung Galaxy S9 ReviewGalaxy S9 camera teardown reveals a miniature DSLR The update is snappily titled “G960U1UEU1ARBG” and is a meaty 286.1 MB download, so you’re probably best to grab it over WiFi. If you happen to have a Galaxy S9 on hand now, you’ll be able to check for and install the new software manually through the smartphone’s settings. Alternatively, it should automatically update overnight while the phone isn’t being used. As for what it includes, Samsung says the new version is focused on two specific areas. First off, the stability of the Face Unlock feature has been improved. Biometric security has been one of Samsung’s headline features with the Galaxy S9, particularly the combination of its iris recognition and facial recognition. Samsung calls that Intelligent Scan, with the idea being that baking the two methods into one will deliver both more speed and more security. How true that is remains questionable, mind. Although we found Intelligent Scan to definitely be quicker than iris recognition alone, Samsung’s facial recognition remains less secure than, say, Face ID on the iPhone X.The second area of improvement in the Galaxy S9 update is around the camera, which Samsung says should now also be more stable. Exactly what that means in practice is unclear at this point: we haven’t been experiencing any crashing issues with the camera app on our Galaxy S9 review unit, for example. Still, it can be a little temperamental in terms of swiping between shooting modes when what you really want to do is set a focus and/or exposure point on-screen, or toggle between the camera apertures in Pro mode. Our lingering question, of course, is whether Samsung will do any better in 2018 with Android updates. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ come running Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, with Samsung Experience 9.0. Owners of earlier Galaxy phones, however, have voiced some dissatisfaction around how quickly Google’s OS updates get passed on to their devices. Samsung has, as you’d expect, made all the right noises about streamlining that process, but it’ll be whether it delivers on that in practice that really counts as the Galaxy S9 arrives in the wild.
Last year, Samsung announced that it had struck a partnership with PayPal, one that would bring the latter service to its mobile payment platform. Samsung Pay users in the US have waited over the months since for the support to actually arrive, and that day has finally come. Many Samsung Pay users in the US are seeing PayPal listed as a supported option. READ: Samsung Pay rewards points slashed in halfSamsung Pay users had expected that PayPal support would be available last year when the announcement was made, but that wasn’t the case. Weeks turned into months without the support arriving, and Samsung remained quiet about the absence. In recent days, though, users have started receiving an update that adds the PayPal support.AdChoices广告Once it arrives, users can find the new support in the “Add” section of the Samsung Pay app. Within it, the “Add payment card” section includes a new link that reads “Add PayPal.” Tap that and the app will take you to PayPal, where you’ll have to log into your account. After the user adds their account, the PayPal balance will be available to pay for transactions. The account will be eligible for Samsung Rewards as with other payment cards. Samsung notes that it could take users a couple days to see the PayPal option show up after updating.SOURCE: 9to5Google
If you have never heard of the name Byton, you aren’t alone. The company is a new Chinese startup that wants to make electric vehicles. It’s very first EV is an electric SUV and that ride will be unveiled at CES 2018. SOURCE: Autoexpress Byton is a company led by an ex-BMW i division head Carsten Breitfeld acting as CEO. Byton also has former Nissan execs on its payroll. As yet the SUV has no name and the dark images you see here are all we really know about its style.One of the images shows what appears to be a camera for the autonomous capability. Inside the car has a gigantic display that runs the entire length of the dash. The car promises 5G connectivity for mobile internet and has facial recognition and can recognize voice and hand gestures.The vehicle is a mid-size SUV and the steering wheel appears to have its own display in the center. Byton does say the car will have autonomous drive functions and will use machine learning. That machine learning allows it to examine and remember surroundings and scenarios.Word is that the vehicle will have an electric driving range of over 300 miles. One other tidbit is that Byton promises the car can charge with a week’s worth of power in the time it takes to enjoy a cup of coffee. The official unveil will happen on January 7 at CES.
There, Musk and his autonomous driving team weren’t short on praise for the homegrown chip that they’ve cooked up. Tesla began work on the processor back in 2016, after realizing that – at the time – there was no dedicated chip on the market designed for neural nets. Each Full Self-Driving Computer has two of Tesla’s chips, intended for redundancy. The two chips each get a copy of the data from the car’s various sensors – including cameras, radar, ultrasonics, but not LIDAR which Musk believes is “a fool’s errand” – and independently work out how the vehicle should respond. Their conclusions are compared for safety, and then carried out. The computer, Tesla said, has 144 TOPs of performance, or trillion operations per second. In contrast, Musk said, NVIDIA’s Xavier would deliver just 21 TOPS. While praising the company, the Tesla CEO argued that because NVIDIA must make chipsets for a wide range of clients, that silicon can never be as focused as Tesla’s own chips that are intended for a single purpose. Problem is, NVIDIA counters today, Musk got both his calculations and his comparison wrong. The Xavier, for instance, clocks in at 30 TOPS not 21, the chip-maker points out. Meanwhile comparing a single Xavier to the two Tesla chips inside the EV’s Full Self-Driving Computer is incorrect. More accurate, NVIDIA suggests, would be to compare Tesla’s onboard computer with the DRIVE AGX Pegasus, its own version of such a system. That combines two Xavier chips each with a GPU, and comes in at 320 TOPS. Down the line, NVIDIA’s next-generation chip, Orin, will replace Xavier with even more performance. NVIDIA has pushed back against Tesla’s Full-Self Driving Computer claims, praising the upstart automaker for its chip handiwork, but denying that the EV-maker is ahead. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, revealed the latest iteration of the car company’s computer for assisted and – eventually, or at least so the promise goes – fully-autonomous driving yesterday, at an event in California. NVIDIA isn’t short on praise for the automaker. “Tesla is raising the bar for all other carmakers,” Rob Csongor, the company’s general manager of the automotive division, says. NVIDIA does “agree with [Musk] on the big picture – that this is a challenge that can only be tackled with supercomputer-class systems,” he continues. Only Tesla and NVIDIA are developing such systems, Csongor argues, and of those two, only one makes its chips available for any automaker working on driver-assistance and fully-autonomous vehicles. Whether NVIDIA shares Tesla’s aggressive expectations for when, exactly, driverless cars could launch is unclear, however. Story TimelineTesla just revealed its first Autopilot accident rate for 2019Tesla Autopilot is getting aggression settings
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. House Ways And Means Committee Chair Says ‘Doc Fix’ Is On His To-Do List And a Tuesday hearing of the House Ways and Means health subcommittee focused on options for finding cost savings in the traditional Medicare program. Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Ways & Means Chairman Hopes To Move Medicare ‘Doc Fix’ PlanThe chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee made clear Tuesday that finding a solution to the vexing issue of setting Medicare physician payment rates is on his to-do list this year, and he got some tepid support from a key Democrat. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., said that the effort could be helped by a recent reassessment of how much it would cost (Carey, 2/27).Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: House Panel Examines Nuts & Bolts Of Changing Traditional MedicareKaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey and Jackie Judd discuss a Tuesday Capitol Hill hearing during which House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Kevin Brady, began examining options for cost savings in traditional Medicare (2/26).
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. This Week Marked By Flurry Of Congressional Budget Activity House Republicans and Senate Democrats will release their budgets this week as President Barack Obama continues to work to find areas of fiscal compromise. The New York Times: House And Senate Work Simultaneously To Create Budgets, A RarityBut the fact that both houses of Congress are working on their budgets simultaneously after years of impasse raised some measure of hope — albeit slight — that Democrats and Republicans might be able to work out some sort of compromise. Compromise between the two parties, however, is only half of a more complicated bargain. Democrats also have to bridge the divide among a politically diverse group of Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee (Peters, 3/11).USA Today: Obama, Hill Leaders Knuckle Down On Budget TalksPresident Obama and a divided Congress kick off a week of jockeying over the federal budget as House Republicans and Senate Democrats unveil competing fiscal blueprints and the president heads to Capitol Hill to continue his personal campaign for compromise. The president spent part of Monday prepping for three trips to Capitol Hill over the next three days for closed-door meetings with House and Senate lawmakers in both parties. Obama is seeking an alternative to the sequestration, a $1.2 trillion, across-the-board spending cut over the next decade that kicked in March 1 after Congress failed to find a better alternative to cut spending (Davis and Jackson, 3/12).The New York Times: Obama’s GOP Outreach Hits BarriersWhat spurred Mr. Obama to reach out to rank-and-file Republicans with a flurry of phone calls, meals and now Capitol visits were the recent announcements by their leaders — Speaker John A. Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — that they will no longer negotiate with Mr. Obama on budget policy as long as he keeps demanding more tax revenues as the condition for Democrats’ support of reduced spending on Medicare and other entitlement programs. Both leaders face political risks from deal-making with the president — Mr. Boehner the potential loss of his leadership job; Mr. McConnell the danger of a Tea Party challenge as he faces re-election next year (Calmes, 3/11).CNN Money: How Obama Plans To Save MedicareThe White House often says President Obama has a plan for reforming entitlements, particularly Medicare. However, the specifics of that proposal don’t spring to mind as easily as the reforms being bandied about in Republican circles, such as providing seniors with vouchers to pay for premiums or raising the retirement age. That’s partly because Obama last laid out his reforms in February 2012 as part of his budget proposal. The president did little more than touch on these plans on the campaign trail last year and again in last month’s State of the Union address (Luhby, 3/11).The Senate Democrats’ budget is expected to be released Wednesday – The Washington Post: Senate Democrats Prepare To Roll Out Budget BlueprintMurray plans to unveil her budget proposal on Wednesday, marking the first time Senate Democrats have drafted a budget since 2009. Aides said Murray will not offer explicit policies for raising new revenue or trimming expensive health programs, but will instead leave those details to other committees, including the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee. The president’s budget request, meanwhile, is expected in early April — more than two months late (Montgomery, 3/11).
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Every week reporter Ankita Rao selects interesting reading from around the Web.National Journal: No, Oncologists Are Not Going BrokeWhen the automatic spending cuts kicked in for Medicare this month, every doctor saw a 2 percent reduction in reimbursement from the government insurance program. But cancer doctors have made the most noise. … Partly, this is political theater. While some oncologists warn that patients will lose access to lifesaving care, others admit they’ll simply absorb the cuts and keep treating their ailing charges. Their median compensation was $430,695 in 2011, according to the Medical Group Management Association. But the situation also highlights how problematic the business of oncology has become. Federal-payment policies have distorted the market and perverted incentives for providers (Margot Sanger-Katz, 4/18).Time: Diagnostic Errors Are The Most Common Type Of Medical MistakeWhen Dr. David Newman-Toker was a medical resident at a Boston hospital, he witnessed what he calls tragic cases in which otherwise healthy people suffered serious consequences from misdiagnoses that could have been prevented. Newman-Toker, now an associate professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, recalls an 18-year-old aspiring Olympic skater who fell on a ski slope and came to the hospital with weakness on one side of her body and a headache. She was told she had a migraine and was sent home. Six days later, she returned to the hospital after a stroke compromised the entire right side of her brain … Not every visit to the hospital has a happy ending, and neither does every misdiagnosis lead to severe harm, but Newman-Toker’s personal experiences motivated him to improve medical misdiagnoses, which he says are not only common, but preventable in most cases (Alexandra Sifferlin, 4/24).Forbes: A Former Google Exec Aims To Power A Patient RevolutionLast week I went to TedMed, the big medical innovation summit run by Priceline founder Jay Walker. The most important presentation I saw may have come from Roni Zeiger, who for six years ending in 2012 was the chief health strategist at Google. The Google Health application created on Zeiger’s watch, which was meant to allow patients to upload their medical records, ended in failure in 2011. But his new effort, a five-person outfit called Smart Patients, actually does look like something that could actually change the way patients, doctors, and industry interact. Its web site, envisioned as a kind of combination of clinical trials search engine and message board community, might further empower cancer patients whose relationship with their disease has already been changed fundamentally by the Internet (Matthew Herper, 4/24).The Atlantic: Medical Research Cuts Have Immediate Health EffectsI have always been an athlete. Running, swimming, and skiing give me mental clarity and a lot of joy. So it was shattering to get a diagnosis two months ago, at the age of 37, that meant my lungs were slowly being replaced by cysts. … Now, with research funding at an all time low, the odds of continued development are not in our favor. The sequester is essentially slowly killing me and millions of patients still looking for cures. This week my doctor, a lung disease specialist at Columbia University, marched on Washington in the Rally for Medical Research to protest the sequester-induced 5 percent budget cut to the NIH (Sarah Bacon, 4/17). Longer Looks: Plenty of Diagnostic Errors; A Patient Revolution
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. New Consumer Conundrum: To Buy Insurance Or Pay The Penalty Media outlets report on a range of health law implementation issues — including how medical homes might be helpful in treating the newly insured as well as an analysis of the whether the health law’s penalties for not buying insurance have enough bite.Marketplace: Will You Buy Into Obamacare Or Pay The Penalty? There’s a lot of concern about how much it will cost to buy health insurance on the new exchanges coming online later this year. Some states are predicting double digit increases in premiums. But beginning next year, if you don’t have coverage, you’ll pay a penalty. The individual penalty under the Affordable Care Act is $95 or one percent of your income, whichever is greater. So if you earn $40,000, you’d pay $400. That’s a fraction of what insurance will cost for most people (Gorenstein, 4/30). Kaiser Health News: Yes, Virginia, There Is A Medical HomeOne of the persistent questions about the Affordable Care Act is how are so many people, new to insurance, going to get quality health care when the system seems so strapped already. The law does have an answer to that: the medical home. But it is not a concept that is widely understood yet. St. Francis Family Medicine near Richmond, Virginia is, like many medical practices in America, evolving into a medical home, where health care services are coordinated to manage each patient’s care (Hausman, 5/1). Additionally, more reports on the revised application form for health law benefits – The Associated Press: Laying Bare Your Finances To Apply For Health CareAfter a storm of complaints, the Obama administration on Tuesday unveiled simplified forms to apply for insurance under the president’s new health care law. You won’t have to lay bare your medical history but you will have to detail your finances. An earlier version of the forms had provoked widespread griping that they were as bad as tax forms and might overwhelm uninsured people, causing them to give up in frustration (Alonso-Zaldivar, 4/30).Kaiser Health News: Capsules: A Shorter Exchange Application. But Is It Simpler?Consumer advocates have been complaining for months that the Obama administration’s 21-page application to sign up for health insurance in the exchanges is too long and complicated. The designers of the application estimated it would take 45 minutes to complete. The administration heeded the advocates’ pleas with the introduction Tuesday of a modified application of just 3 pages for individuals who are not offered health coverage from their employer (Gold, 4/30).And, in related developments from Capitol Hill – The Washington Post: GOP Bill Would Force Federal Workers Onto Health-Care ExchangesA new Republican House proposal would push federal workers off their employer-sponsored health plan and onto the insurance exchanges being established under the Affordable Care Act. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced the bill Friday after talk on the Hill that Democrats were trying to exempt members of Congress and their staffs from a provision in current law that requires them to enroll in the exchanges in 2014 (Hicks, 4/30).
Viewpoints: VA Controversy Showcases Problems With Government Health Care; Location Matters For Transplants The Wall Street Journal: The Government Health-Care Model President Obama addressed the Veterans Affairs scandal on Wednesday, saying he’s waiting for an Inspector General “audit” of what went wrong. And the press corps is debating whether VA Secretary Eric Shinseki should be fired. These are sideshows. The real story of the VA scandal is the failure of what liberals have long hailed as the model of government health care (5/22). The Washington Post: The VA Scandal Will Stick With The Obama Administration President Obama’s VA scandal is the most serious and damaging of his presidency. It is the Obama administration in sum and in miniature: incompetent management of a health system, defended by crude media manipulation. Each of these elements deserves some unpacking. The incompetence comes in the aftermath of HealthCare.gov — the Technicolor failure of technocratic liberalism. Again, the White House is shocked, saddened and angered by the management fiasco of a manager under its direct control. In both cases, a presidential priority was badly mishandled over a period of years, and the president seems to have learned about it on cable news. Obama has defended himself by assuming the role of an outraged bystander — which, when it comes to leadership, is more of a self-indictment than a defense (Michael Gerson, 5/22). Bloomberg: Trust The Data? Not When It’s The VA’s People may have died while on secret waiting lists for care at VA hospitals, which is why President Barack Obama was forced to address the allegations yesterday — and why they may yet claim the job of Eric Shinseki, secretary of Veterans Affairs. Shinseki is an honorable public servant, and calls for his resignation are premature. It’s the VA’s data that can no longer be trusted (5/22). The Washington Post: How VA Scandals Have Made The VA Better Throughout its history, the VA’s very public failures have shaped its development as profoundly as its successes. If there is any silver lining to our current outrage, it is that in the past, acts of negligence or corruption have led to dramatic improvements in the care veterans receive (Colin Moore, 5/22). Los Angeles Times: Another Week, Another Administration Fix For Obamacare Would the Obama administration please pick its poison? The Times’ Noam Levey reported Wednesday that the administration has quietly solidified Obamacare’s guarantee against excessive health insurer losses, drawing a new round of complaints from critics about a potential taxpayer bailout. It was yet another example of how the administration’s efforts over the last two years to soften the law’s impact have caused other problems to ripple through the system, leading to more short-term fixes that trigger yet more challenges. The latest issue concerns “risk corridors,” a mechanism that Congress used to help insurers manage some of the uncertainty created by the Affordable Care Act’s reforms (Jon Healey, 5/22). The New York Times: Where You Live Matters for Lifesaving Liver Transplants Following the age-old adage that practice makes perfect, such policies limit where patients can undergo certain complex treatments or procedures to the centers that have the expertise to do them most efficiently. Patients end up being channeled to those centers, which in turn helps the clinicians there become even more adept and swift, thus ensuring quality of care and, potentially, significant cost savings as well. It appears to be a winning situation for both doctors and patients. … There have been critics, however. They contend that patients who live far away from these so-called centers of excellence might not be as likely to get the care they need and, as a result, could fare worse than patients who live close by (Dr. Pauline Chen, 5/22).The Wall Street Journal: Mammograms Save Lives There is a disconcerting effort afoot to reduce a woman’s access to mammography screening for breast cancer by making it seem useless or even harmful. The movement dates to November 2009, during the debate over the Affordable Care Act, when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which reports to Congress, dropped its recommendation for mammography screening for women in their 40s and instead recommended screening starting at age 50. … Remarkably, this new recommendation came even though the task force’s own computer models showed that as many as 100,000 women then in their 30s, whose lives could be saved by annual screening starting at 40, would eventually die from breast cancer as a result of waiting until 50 (Daniel B. Kopans, 5/22). The New York Times: The Politics Of Breastfeeding Some parents swear by it, while others feel defeated by it. But breastfeeding is always creating controversy, whether it’s dividing passengers on airplanes, attracting male fans, or bringing a community together. That said, a recent report questions the efficacy of the practice, fueling the ongoing tension between breastfeeding advocates and parents who are more comfortable with or prefer formula. Why does this debate incite so much anxiety and competition? (5/22). The New York Times: You’re Never Too Old To Be Studied When older patients seek health care, they are unwittingly enrolling in an experiment: Will medical procedures that have been proved effective mainly on the young also help the elderly? Doctors are often in the dark about whether certain drugs, procedures and tests will benefit older adults, because these patients are routinely excluded from medical research. A systematic review in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2007 looked at randomized controlled trials published in high-impact medical journals between 1994 and 2006, and found that close to 40 percent excluded individuals over the age of 65 (Donna Zulman and Keith Humphreys, 5/22). The Washington Post: How Many Patients Should Your Doctor See Each Day? In light of the allegations that some Veterans Affairs Department health clinics used elaborate schemes to hide the records of patients who had waited months for care, I began to wonder what a normal caseload would look like for an average physician outside the VA system. And if your doctor has a larger-than-average caseload, is he or she able to give you the attention you need? The numbers are pretty stunning. A 2012 article in the Annals of Family Medicine noted that the average primary-care physician has about 2,300 patients on his “panel”— that is, the total under his or her care. Worse, it said that each physician would have to “spend 21.7 hours per day to provide all recommended acute, chronic and preventive care for a panel of 2,500 patients” (Lenny Bernstein, 5/22). Los Angeles Times: This Bill Isn’t The Way To Help Immigrants Afford Healthcare The 2010 healthcare reform law sought to extend coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, not just to improve their care but also to promote a more efficient healthcare system. The law left out one large group of uninsured people, however: those who were living in the country illegally. State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) wants to rectify that omission by providing subsidized insurance policies for noncitizen Californians with low incomes. Bringing everyone under the insurance umbrella is the right long-term goal, but Lara’s bill isn’t the right way to achieve it (5/22). Los Angeles Times: Soda Warning Labels: The Cons Outweigh The Pros Now the question is whether this is enough reason to pass a bill — SB 1000, to be exact — that would require warning labels on sodas akin to those that have been required for 50 years on cigarette packages. This is a sensitive issue legally as well as nutritionally. It’s one thing to require nutrition and ingredients information on food so that consumers can make wise decisions, and sodas already provide clear information about their sugar calories and, in most cases, long list of artificial ingredients. But demanding that a company use its own container to advertise against itself goes a step further, into dicey territory. We do that with cigarettes, but their danger could not have been clearer. And cigarettes never did contain ingredients lists, not that most consumers would have known what to make of such a list (Karen Klein, 5/22). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Boston Globe: Mass. ‘Not Immune’ To Ripple Effect Of Health Care Law Ruling Kaiser Health News: What Just Happened To The ACA And What Happens Now? A Special Bonus Edition Although the effective elimination of the individual mandate penalty starts Jan. 1—before the filing deadline—HHS and the White House say the law will remain in place since O’Connor did not grant an injunction. “This decision does not require that HHS make any changes to any of the ACA programs it administers or its enforcement of any portion of the ACA at this time,” HHS said Monday. (Luthi, 12/17) Boston Globe: 18 States, Including Massachusetts, File Motion To Challenge Ruling Striking Down Affordable Care Act The Baltimore Sun: Here’s How Many People Enrolled In Health Insurance Through Maryland’s Marketplace Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, vowed Monday to hold oversight hearings “right away” on the Trump administration’s involvement in a court case over the weekend that ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often called ObamaCare, was unconstitutional. Pallone will take over the chairmanship of the panel when Democrats assume the House majority next year. He said they will “get to the bottom” of the administration’s decision not to defend the health-care law against a lawsuit filed by Republican attorneys general. (Hellmann, 12/17) New Orleans Times-Picayune: After Obamacare Ruling, Louisiana Officials Want Pre-Existing Health Conditions Covered The Hill: Incoming Dem Chairman Vows Hearings On ObamaCare Lawsuit ‘Right Away’ The state officials noted in their filing Monday that O’Connor’s opinion created confusion about whether ObamaCare will be unenforceable once the repeal of the individual mandate takes effect Jan. 1. They also asked that he certify his opinion so it can be appealed to the Fifth Circuit. They asked for a response by Friday. “The district court’s ruling poses a dangerous threat to the healthcare of millions of Americans. We’re asking the court to make clear that the ACA is still the law and ensure that all Americans can continue to access affordable healthcare under it,” Becerra said in a statement. (Hellmann, 12/17) Kaiser Health News: Watch And Listen: Court Decision Rocks ACA Federal District Judge Reed O’Connor again thrust the Affordable Care Act into uncertainty with his ruling Friday that eliminating the tax penalty for not having insurance renders the entire law unconstitutional. The panelists for this special bonus episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal and Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post. (12/17) The states filed a motion that asks U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas to either clarify his ruling or grant a stay of his decision during litigation. The states also asked for permission to appeal it right away. The judge cast a cloud over the ACA’s future in a sweeping ruling that declared the ACA unconstitutional without a penalty on people forgoing health coverage. Congressional Republicans have eliminated the penalty starting for next year. Because the insurance mandate was central to the law, the whole law must be invalidated, the judge ruled. (Armour, 12/17) California and 15 other states asked a federal judge on Monday to protect current health care coverage for millions of Americans while courts sort out the implications of his ruling that the Affordable Care Act was invalid in its entirety. The states, which support the health care law, said the ruling on Friday, by Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort Worth, had caused immense confusion about whether the law was still in effect, and whether consumers were still entitled to its benefits and protections. The states asked Judge O’Connor to clarify whether he meant his decision to have “any immediate legal effect.” (Pear, 12/17) Nearly 157,000 Marylanders enrolled in health insurance through the state’s insurance marketplace for 2019, according to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. During the open enrollment period from Nov. 1-Dec. 15, 156,963 Marylanders enrolled in health insurance through Maryland Health Connection, marking a 2 percent increase from the 153,571 people that signed up for health insurance through the state’s exchange last year. (Meehan, 12/17) Three days after a Texas judge ruled President Barack Obama’s signature federal health care law unconstitutional, state leaders are assessing their next move pending the likely appeal of the decision. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, one of 20 attorneys general seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act, reiterated that he will back state legislation requiring health insurance companies cover people with pre-existing medical conditions if a lawsuit that he’s bringing strikes down the law’s current mandate for such coverage. (O’Donoghue, 12/17) Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and her counterparts in 17 other states filed a motion Monday challenging a Texas federal judge’s ruling last week that struck down the Affordable Care Act. … “Millions of Americans who rely on the protections of the Affordable Care Act have been left confused and uncertain about the future of their health care coverage,” Healey said. “We are urging the court to clarify its ruling to avoid massive disruption in the healthcare market.” (Cote, 12/18) ‘In Light Of Ambiguity,’ States Want Judge To Clarify Whether Health Law Ruling Has Any Immediate Legal Effect In their filing to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and other Democratic attorneys general also asked for permission to immediately appeal’s his decision that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. For its part, HHS says that since O’Connor had not issued a final judgment or an injunction, the department “will continue administering and enforcing all aspects of the ACA as it had before the court issued its decision.” Meanwhile, Democrats prepare to act to protect the law as soon as they take the majority in the House next month. A Texas judge’s ruling late last week to throw out the Affordable Care Act could have far-reaching consequences, threatening health coverage for millions and insurance markets nationwide — even in Massachusetts, which has its own universal health care law. The Massachusetts law, which went into effect more than a decade ago, has bipartisan support and was the model for the sweeping federal health care overhaul approved under President Obama in 2010. (Dayal McCluskey, 12/18) The Wall Street Journal: States Ask For Clarity On Judge’s Ruling On Affordable Care Act Julie Rovner, KHN’s chief Washington correspondent, was featured on NPR’s “Up First” podcast Monday morning to discuss a federal judge’s ruling late Friday invalidating the Affordable Care Act. She also joined NPR’s Michel Martin on Saturday on “All Things Considered” to talk about the case. (12/17) The New York Times: States Ask Judge To Declare Health Law Still In Effect While Ruling Is Appealed In the 2018 election, polls showed health care ranked as the single most important issue to voters. Democrats across the country highlighted the GOP’s attempts to do away with Obamacare’s consumer protections, and it paid dividends as the party won 40 House seats. It wouldn’t be the first time the House has gotten formally involved in a lawsuit or other legal action involving Obamacare. Republicans previously used their majority control to make legal attacks on aspects of the 2010 health-care law. (House, 12/17) Modern Healthcare: Obamacare’s Uncertain Fate Leaves Congress, Industry Lying In Wait The Hill: Dem AGs Begin Process Of Appealing Court Ruling That Struck Down ObamaCare This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Bloomberg: House Democrats Are Said To Plan Joining Obamacare Legal Fight
May 30, 20196:07 PM EDT Filed under News Economy Sponsored By: Pence and Trudeau also touched on each country’s diplomatic issues with China and the potential security threat posed by Huawei Technologies Co.“We consider Huawei incompatible with the security interests of the United States of America or our allies in freedom-loving nations across the world,” Pence said.He also voiced support for the two Canadian men detained in China in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, on an extradition request from the U.S.The Trump administration “has spoken out strongly about the arrest and detention of two Canadian citizens in China,” Pence said. “Just know that we stand with you.”Pence’s comments seemed designed to strike a new tone in Washington’s relationship with Ottawa, following 17 months of often rocky negotiations on the new NAFTA and a fraught Group of Seven Summit that ended with Trump labelling Trudeau “weak” and “dishonest.”“President Trump and I believe the relationship between the United States and Canada has never been stronger and that is a reflection of his leadership and your leadership,” Pence told Trudeau. Email Reddit Naomi Powell advertisement ← Previous Next → Pence brushed off questions about the dispute during a press conference, saying his administration was making “significant progress” and remained determined to work with both the Democrat leadership and the “rank and file” in advancing the deal.“We remain confident the USMCA will receive broad based support in Congress if it gets to a vote,” he said.The Trump administration needs to get the new NAFTA passed by summer or risk the deal being pushed onto the back burner when the U.S. presidential election season ramps up in the fall. The Trump-Pelosi fight, combined with ongoing disputes over former U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign, make a summer ratification “very unlikely,” said Todd Tucker, a fellow at the New York-based Roosevelt Institute.“I think they are very much stuck here at home with House Democrats who do not want to cooperate and they are very much slowing next steps,” said Tucker. “So if you’re running a campaign with targets who won’t talk to you, what do you do? You go to Ottawa, fill the time. There’s also a sense that if Mexico and Canada ratify it’ll give the deal some momentum with the Democrats.”So if (the Republicans are) running a campaign with targets who won’t talk to you, what do you do? You go to Ottawa, fill the time.Todd Tucker, fellow, Roosevelt Institute Comment Featured Stories Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens as U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence makes opening remarks at the Canadian Council for the USMCA on Parliament Hill.Adrian Wyld / Canadian Press More Share this storyBrushing off doubts, Pence says U.S. will approve USMCA ‘by summer’ Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation 1 Comments Join the conversation → Recommended For YouBritain’s easyJet hires Ryanair’s operations chiefToshiba Memory to Rebrand as “Kioxia” in OctoberIron ore market regains composure, futures curve may be too pricey: RussellYuan eases as trade tensions, economic worries weighChina sees H2 cross-border capital flows basically stable despite trade, global growth risks Brushing off doubts, Pence says U.S. will approve USMCA ‘by summer’ Removal of tariffs helped, but plenty of hurdles stand in the way, not the least of which is the Trump-Pelosi dispute Facebook U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has pledged to win Congressional approval for the new North American free trade agreement “by the summer,” even as a heated public fight between U.S. President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi adds a new hurdle to the deal’s passage.Touting the revamped trade pact as a “win-win-win” agreement, Pence downplayed the impact of the Trump-Pelosi feud during a visit to Ottawa Thursday, suggesting the deal represented a historic opportunity to strengthen ties between Canada and the U.S.“Our administration is working earnestly in the Congress of the United States to approve the USMCA this summer,” Pence said. “The people of Canada and the United States know this agreement is superior to its predecessor in every way in the interests of jobs and growth and working people and investment and all the things that can improve the economies of our country and yours.”The ongoing softwood lumber dispute, the detention of two Canadians in China and continued Canadian access to the U.S. market for uranium — currently the subject of a U.S. Commerce Department national security investigation — were also discussed during Pence’s meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump drops steel and aluminum tariffs, clearing path for USMCA Half of Canadian executives say old NAFTA better for our economy than USMCA U.S. ‘not ready’ to make a trade deal with China, Trump says But staking out a route to ratification for the new North American free trade agreement was at the top of the agenda. The Liberals took key procedural steps this week to set the stage for ratification – including presenting implementing legislation for the deal – after U.S. tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum imports were dropped on May 21.Related Stories:Mexico and U.S. try new trade fix to win over Democrats -officialUPDATE 1-Trump, Xi set for high-stakes trade war talks in JapanUPDATE 4-Trump says trade deal ‘possible’ with China’s Xi, tariffs could be lowerMexico, which had joined Canada in refusing to ratify the new NAFTA while the levies remained, was to send the pact on Thursday to the Senate, where it should be ratified “soon,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said.Even so, ratification by a Democrat-controlled Congress remains far from certain, analysts say. Those lawmakers still want changes to the deal’s provisions on pharmaceuticals, labour and the environment. And the spat between Pelosi and Trump — which surfaced after a White House infrastructure meeting ended in an exchange of insults with Trump suggesting the trade deal was too complicated for Pelosi to understand — only adds to those challenges.As House Leader, Pelosi will decide if and when the new NAFTA advances to a vote in Congress and could do much to delay its progress.“One of the obstacles was removed when Trump lifted the tariffs,” said Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “But now there’s a new one. There are all these medium-sized to big issues where Democrats want to see changes and there have to be negotiations before they can get a vote in Congress. So Pence is trying to get Canada to ratify as a way of getting some momentum going. If Canada ratifies, it’ll be viewed as a milestone.”There’s also a sense that if Mexico and Canada ratify it’ll give the deal some momentum with the Democrats.Todd Tucker, fellow, Roosevelt Institute Twitter
Source: Electric, Hybrid, Clean Diesel & High-MPG Vehicles Kia’s Compact Crossover: A Lot to LikeClean Fleet Report spent a week in the 2018 Kia Sportage SX AWD and came away impressed with its exterior design, interior comfort and convenience. What we were not so impressed with was the EPA fuel economy rating. But if you read reviews on Clean Fleet Report, you already know that the EPA rating is only a challenge for us to see what numbers we can get. We took the challenge and the Sportage came out just fine.DrivetrainThe 2018 Kia Sportage SX AWD is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 237 horsepower (hp) and 260 pounds-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission has a Sportmatic feature where you can manually go up through the gears (+) or down (-) using the console-mounted shift lever. Otherwise, leave it in drive and the engine, running on regular 87 octane unleaded, is smooth and the transmission seamless, both in town and freeway driving. The base Sportage engine is a 2.0L non-turbo putting out 181 hp and 175 lb.-ft. of torque.Chalk up another 30 MPG AWDEPA rates the fuel economy at 20 city/23 highway/21 combined miles per gallon. In 303 miles of freeway and city driving, we averaged 24.6 mpg, but on a 200-mile open freeway run, using cruise control set to 65 mph, we averaged a much better 30.8 mpg. The EPA fuel economy numbers for the Sportage 2.0L turbo are low, which is surprising for Kia as they have stellar fuel economy numbers across much of their line-up.It is important to note that fuel economy reported by Clean Fleet Report is non-scientific and represents the reviewer’s driving experience. If you live in cold weather, high in the mountains or spend time in the city or stuck in rush hour traffic, then your numbers may differ.Driving Experience: On the RoadThe 2018 Kia Sportage AWD, weighing in at 3,765 pounds, uses Kia’s Dynamax Intelligent AWD, where the fully automatic torque distribution provides improved traction during acceleration, cornering and low traction conditions. Clean Fleet Report felt the well-distributed weight, along with the front MacPherson struts with gas shocks plus the rear multi-link suspension with gas shocks, delivered a smooth and stable ride.The SX model gives you a turbo engine and stiffer suspensionWith the 19-inch alloy wheels and 245/45R Kumho Crugen tires, handling was direct with little body roll. Cornering was confident as the SX Turbo offers firmer springs, tuned dampers and tweaked steering settings that gave the Sportage AWD a planted, if not full-on sporty feel. Remember, this is a compact crossover, so even Kia’s small upgrades to the suspension make a noticeable difference to the ride and handling.The stops were straight and true, with no brake fade. Aiding the four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), was electronic stability and traction control.Driving Experience: ExteriorThe 2018 Kia Sportage SX AWD looks different from its compact crossover competitors. The combination of the short overhangs, curves and its smooth body panels give it a more European look than others in the group. Coming out of the same design studio that brought us the 2018 Kia Stinger, Peter Schreyer, Kia’s chief design officer, has delivered a stylish, compelling crossover.A design that punches above its price classThe Sportage was completely redesigned for the 2017 model year and carries the look into 2018. Kia’s signature “tiger nose” grill, in gloss black with chrome trim, runs edge-to-edge on the front end, leading to the swept back projector beam headlights. LED daytime running lights and the quad LED fog lights, located in the bottom fascia, complete the front end design and look very appealing. The SX trim level gets Bi-xenon headlights with Dynamic Bending Light, which rotates the headlights in the direction you are turning.The side profile, especially with the 19-inch wheels, is sharp. The swept back line from the A-pillar leads to a near flat roofline with rack rails, a shark fin antenna and an integrated spoiler over the rear hatch window. Our SX also had a panoramic sunroof. The horizontal LED taillights wrap the fenders and are connected by a slim reflector across the sculpted surfaced hatch. The rear, with a hands-free power lift gate, is finished off by twin chrome exhaust tips. The badging on the Sportage AWD SX is subtle and minimal.Driving Experience: InteriorThe 2018 Kia Sportage, even in the entry model, offers many basic amenities. Clean Fleet Report tested the Sportage SX AWD trim level and were comfortable the first moment we climbed aboard. The standard high quality, 10-way power adjustable (with lumbar) for the driver and eight-way for the front passenger leather seats were heated and ventilated. The two-toned tan and black seats were comfortable and never allowed any back or thigh fatigue to set in. The leather-covered, heated tilt and telescoping steering wheel was squared-off at the bottom–a feature we are seeing more frequently on crossovers.Roomy, well-designed and full of techWe were impressed with its roomy cabin as well as the fit and finish, which included an attractive gloss black center fascia. The 6.8-inch ground clearance is not as high as an SUV, but provides excellent road vision and is a nice height for ingress and egress. The rear 60/40 split-folding rear seat can fit three adults, but it is best suited for two. The seat has a center armrest with cup holders and a 17-step recline. This means those sitting out back can relax just a bit better than if they were sitting upright. Rear storage is average for crossovers, but increases considerably when the seat is folded flat. The Sportage also has a nifty dual-levelEverything in its place–and in reachcargo floor for stashing away the more valuable items you’re hauling around.The stitching on the soft-touch dash was the real thing. The great sounding Harman Kardon 320-watt sound system with eight speakers and 8.0-inch touchscreen resided there. The command center for Kia’s UVO eServices telematics and the infotainment system included Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The system comes with AM/FM/CD/MP3/AUX and Sirius/XM, with a 90-day introductory subscription. The Bluetooth worked very well for voice recognition, with most of the entertainment controlled by the steering wheel-mounted switches. Big thanks to Kia designers for the knobs and wheels to control the radio and dual-zone automatic climate control.SafetyThe Sportage comes with an extensive list of standard and optional safety features. Since some of the features are available on higher trim levels and through packages, we advise getting your car with as many advanced driver technology and safety features as possible.Features available on the 2018 Kia Sportage include eight airbags, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, cruise control, blind spot monitoring, park assist, traction control, hill launch assist, a tire pressure monitoring system, engine immobilizer, lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert.In testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the 2018 Sportage received five stars (five stars is their highest rating), while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the Sportage its top safety pick, for overall crash protection.Pricing and WarrantiesPlenty of room in backThe 2018 Kia Sportage ranges in base price from $23,600 to $34,400. Clean Fleet Report’s Sportage SX AWD with the 2.0L Turbo had an MSRP of $35,195, which included $735 in options. All prices are before the $990 freight and handling fee.The 2018 Sportage comes with these warranties:Powertrain 10 years/100,000 milesBasic Five years/60,000 miles Roadside Assistance Five years/60,000 milesCorrosion 10 years/Unlimited milesObservations: 2018 Kia Sportage SX AWDThe 2018 Kia Sportage SX AWD is the real deal. This clean, classic-looking crossover has design touches of the Porsche Macan, which is a good thing. Plus, the Sportage comes with the best warranty on the market.A range of prices, but value and style throughoutWhile Clean Fleet Report’s Sportage AWD SX was highly optioned and the price reflected the equipment level, you should start by shopping the entry-level LX model and see for yourself how much you can get for under $24,000.Whatever you buy, Happy Driving! [See image gallery at www.cleanfleetreport.com] Make sure to opt-in to the Clean Fleet Report newsletter (top right of page) to be notified of all new stories.Related Stories You Might Enjoy—Compact Crossover Competition (Oh, the choices you have!)Road Test: 2018 Honda CR-VRoad Test: 2018 Toyota RAV4Road Test: 2018 Toyota RAV4 HybridRoad Test: 2016 Nissan RogueRoad Test: 2017 Nissan Rogue HybridRoad Test: 2017 Ford EscapeRoad Test: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox DieselRoad Test: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox GasFlash Drive: 2018 GMC TerrainFlash Drive: 2019 Jeep CherokeeRoad Test: 2018 Mazda CX-5Road Test: 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVRoad Test: 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse CrossRoad Test: 2014 Subaru ForesterRoad Test: 2017 Hyundai Tucson FCEVRoad Test: 2018 Volkswagen TiguanDisclosure:Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class, which leads us to emphasize electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We also feature those efficient gas-powered vehicles that are among the top mpg vehicles in their class. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at firstname.lastname@example.org.The post Road Test: 2018 Kia Sportage SX AWD appeared first on Clean Fleet Report.
Audi e-tron delays and production constraints are now affecting customers. They can not cancel orders without a fine.Source: Electric Vehicle News
This post is short, but to the point.According to the DOJ, its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act “pilot program” “is intended to encourage companies to disclose FCPA misconduct to permit the prosecution of individuals whose criminal wrongdoing might otherwise never be uncovered by or disclosed to law enforcement.”The above objective suffers from an obvious logical gap in that for years the DOJ has had the opportunity to do just what the “pilot program” seeks to accomplish.Indeed, since 2011 19 corporate DOJ FCPA enforcement actions originated with voluntary disclosures. However, in only five of those instances (26%) was there a related DOJ prosecution of individuals.If the goal of the FCPA “pilot program” is to encourage voluntary disclosures to permit the DOJ to prosecute individuals” then why have 74% of corporate DOJ FCPA enforcement actions over the past five years that originated with a voluntary disclosure not resulted in any related DOJ prosecution of individuals?
Affirmed, very distressing, scrutiny updates, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.AffirmedAs highlighted in this previous post, in July 2017 Dmitrij Harder was sentenced to 60 months (5 years) in federal prison and also ordered to forfeit $1.9 million after pleading guilty to two counts of violating the FCPA for “bribing an official at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).”As highlighted in this previous post, in October 2017 Harder appealed his sentence on two issues: (i) that the trial court judge erred in declaring that the absence of loss to any victim from the defendant’s criminal conduct, coupled with exceptionally positive economic results flowing from the defendant’s nevertheless criminal conduct, was not a potentially mitigating factor for sentencing in a bribery case; and (ii) that the trial court judge erred in not granting a downward variance to avoid unwarranted disparities among offenders convicted of similar conduct.Yesterday in this opinion, the Third Circuit rejected Harder’s arguments and affirmed his sentence. The decision makes generic reference to a law professor who provided data regarding FCPA sentences. I am that law professor and I provided services to defense counsel in connection with sentencing issues.As highlighted in this prior post, in the Gerald & Patricia Green FCPA sentencing, the judge did seem persuaded by argument (1) highlighted above.“Very Distressing’In case you are wondering, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon finds it “very distressing to see two former Goldman Sachs employees went so blatantly around our policies and so blatantly broke the law.” (See here for the video; see here and here for prior posts on the recent enforcement action against individuals associated with Goldman).I find this FCPA Blog headline “Goldman Sachs: Our Sick Business Culture, Weak Controls Allowed 1MDB Abuses” very distressing. The post states: “Perhaps previewing the basis for an eventual FCPA settlement with the feds, Goldman describes among other things its own weak internal controls and sick business culture.”This is a 100% false and misleading statement and inaccurate summary of Goldman’s disclosure. (See here for the prior post).Scrutiny UpdatesAs highlighted here, Cognizant Technology Solutions has been under FCPA scrutiny since September 2016.The company recently disclosed:“We have substantially completed our internal investigation focused on whether certain payments relating to Company-owned facilities in India were made improperly and in possible violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, and other applicable laws. The investigation, which began in 2016, has also examined various other payments made in small amounts in India that may not have complied with Company policy or applicable law. In September 2016, we voluntarily notified the U.S. Department of Justice, or DOJ, and Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, and are cooperating fully with both agencies. The investigation has been conducted under the oversight of the Audit Committee, with the assistance of outside counsel. In connection with the investigation, during the year ended December 31, 2016, we recorded out-of-period corrections related to $4 million of potentially improper payments between 2009 and 2016 that had been previously capitalized when they should have been expensed. These out-of-period corrections were not material to any previously issued financial statements. There were no adjustments recorded during 2018 and 2017 related to the amounts under investigation. The Company’s discussions with the DOJ and SEC have progressed to a point where the Company can now reasonably estimate a probable loss and has recorded an accrual of $28 million, or FCPA Accrual, in the caption “Accrued expenses and other current liabilities” in our consolidated statements of financial position. There can be no assurance as to the timing of a final resolution of these matters with the DOJ and SEC.”In addition, for the quarter ended September 30, 2017 Cognizant disclosed $5 million “in costs related to the FCPA investigation and related lawsuits.”Vantage Drilling has been under FCPA scrutiny since Summer 2015 (see here for the prior post).Here is what a company executive stated on a recent investor conference call:“There are no updates regarding the investigation of the company by the SEC concerning possible violations of the FCPA Act with connection with the contracting the Titanium Explorer Drillship to Petrobras. As previously reported, we have reached an agreement in principle with the staff relating to terms of an offer of settlement, which is being presented to the commission for approval. While there can be no assurance that the offer settlement will be accepted by the commission, the company continues to believe the proposed resolution will become final in 2018. In connection with the offer of settlement, we have accrued a liability in the amount of $5 million. If the commission does not accept the offer of settlement, and the SEC determines the violations — that violations of the FCPA have occurred, the company could be subject to civil and criminal sanctions, including monetary penalties as well as additional requirements or changes to our business practices and compliance programs, any or all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.”For the Reading StackThe most recent edition of the always informative FCPA Update from Debevoise & Plimpton is here with articles concerning the recent Petrobras enforcement action and the U.K. SFO’s extraterritorial powers.See here for Miller & Chevalier’s FCPA Autumn Review. (Note though that the firm’s FCPA enforcement statistics are a bit wacky). FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. 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The team has developed a “scaffold” that can hold the ova in their early stages and help them develop into the ovarian follicles that are fully functional small sacs filled with fluid containing the eggs. According to author Dr. Susanne Pors, postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Reproductive Biology at the University Hospital of Copenhagen Rigshospitalet this is a newly made bioengineered scaffold and the follicles for the ova that is biological. This scaffold she explained originates from the woman’s own tissues or from donated tissues. She will present the findings of this latest study today (2nd of July 2018) at the 34th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona, Spain.The authors explain that for most women who undergo cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy preservation of the fertility is a challenge. These intense therapies damage and destroy the ovarian tissues. One of the options of preserving fertility is freezing the eggs after their removal prior to cancer therapy. When she is ready for pregnancy, she can opt for in vitro fertilization methods, they explain. The second method is to remove part of the ovarian tissues before commencement of cancer therapy and freezing it. This stored tissue can later be reimplanted into the body after treatment. This also protects the ovaries from the cancer therapy damage and preserves fertility. This second method is seldom used because of the fear that the removed ovarian tissues might contain cancer cells which may be reintroduced into the patient’s body when the tissues are reimplanted. This new study attempts to use the ovarian tissues outside of the body in the labs rather than risk reintroducing the tissues along with the cancer.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskAccording to Pors and her team, if the ovarian tissues can be bioengineered onto a scaffold and seeded with previously frozen early-stage follicles, these could go on to develop naturally and could help in bringing the fertility back in the patient without the risk of her getting possible cancer cells reintroduced within her body.As a first step, the team used donated ovarian tissues to remove all the possible cancer cells from within them using a three-day chemical treatment. The follicles that remain said Pors are non-cancerous and this is because they develop during fetal live of a woman. The follicles, she said are covered with a basal membrane that does not allow the cancer cells to enter. What remained after the three day period was a “decellularized scaffold”. It contained proteins and collagens that can hold up the cells. This scaffold was then seeded with early-stage follicles. When provided with nutrients and appropriate atmosphere, these follicles began to grow and mature into fully developed ovarian follicles.In the next step of the experiment, the team implanted this decellularized and seeded scaffold into 20 experimental mice. This too helped in the development of the follicles. A quarter of the follicles survived for up to three weeks within the mice, the authors write. Pors and her co-authors concluded, “This is the first time that isolated human follicles have survived in a decellularized human scaffold.”Researchers are hopeful that this could be a new avenue in fertility prevention and there would be no risk of cancer recurrence with this method. More studies are however necessary to establish this experimental procedure, they add. Image Credit Sciencepics / Shutterstock By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJul 2 2018Ovaries are female reproductive organs that are responsible for the production of ova or eggs. These are necessary for normal fertilization and development of the fetus. Fertility of a woman can be jeopardized when the ovaries do not function normally. Danish researchers have now successfully engineered artificial ovaries that could help millions of women with infertility related to ovarian disease and cancer therapy.
Vomiting or emesis as it is medically known, is same in children as well as in adults say medical experts. There may be triggers such as motion sickness, certain medications, unpleasant sights or smells, viruses that may irritate the inside walls of the stomach, overfeeding etc. In children the sensitivity of the vomiting centre in the brain is higher than in adults that results in frequent vomiting.The stomach nerves are called afferent nerves. When these are stimulated, they send signals to the brain telling it to start a vomiting reaction to expel what has been ingested. Once triggered, the opening of the lungs and airways or the larynx shuts off after a deep breath and the upper palate rises while the glottis folds back. The diaphragm pushes the contents of the abdomen by pushing down. This creates a negative pressure that opens up the esophagus or the food pipe. The food from the stomach heaves back via the esophagus outside the body in a forceful flow of vomit as the abdominal walls tighten to provide additional force. Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionIn children the triggers are much more innocuous than in adults. This includes a fever, a viral infection or even a painful stimuli or an emotional upset. Paediatricians like pediatric gastroenterologist Katja Kovacic explains that for children the causes can be numerous. Stomach flu or food poisoning could be one of the commonest causes but there may be harmless causes of vomiting in children as well.According to paediatricians the best thing to do when a child vomits is to clean up and make the child comfortable. Fluid intake is vital to prevent dehydration. IF there are certain warning signs such as excessive drowsiness, lethargy, distended abdomen, abdmoninal pain that is severe, any other severe pain etc., the parents and caregivers should seek medical attention says Kovacic. Vomiting that is excessively forceful or very frequent and does not seem to ease within a day is also a red flag says Koacic because it may have an underlying surgical cause and also lead to dehydration. Other experts warn that blood in the vomit, dark green bile, or fecal matter in the vomit may indicate an obstructed bowel and needs immediate medical attention.Kovacic says that frequent vomiting could also indicate a condition called cyclic vomiting syndrome where there are repeated bouts of vomiting that can last for several hours at a time. The cause is not known but some children may benefit from anti-migraine drugs says Kovacic. Migraine in adults could manifest as repeated vomiting episodes in children say experts. Image Credit: Plantic / Shutterstock By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDSep 11 2018Most kids vomit easily and often copiously and frequently. This is a global phenomenon most parents have resigned themselves to. Researchers have now tried to understand why kids vomit so commonly and if there is actually any reason for parents to panic. An article by Erin Blakemore for NPR looks to answer the question. Source:https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/09/10/645723728/the-queasy-truth-about-why-kids-are-so-prone-to-vomiting