Month: July 2019

Download Android P Public Beta for these 11 phones

first_imgTo gain access to the Android P Public Beta, head over to Google Android Beta right now. There you’ll either have to join the Beta Program, or you’ll already be signed up and will have only to tap a few buttons. Users can download this system on a number of devices, including Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and a few more.Non-Pixel phones in Android Public Beta program:• Essential Phone PH-1• Nokia 7 Plus• Oppo R15 Pro• Sony Xperia XZ2• Vivo X21UD• Vivo X21• Xiaomi Mi Mix 2SThis extended list is made possible by Project TrebleDownloading this update will take you a while. Unless you’ve got a SUPER fast bit of internet, you might be waiting for a few minutes – staring at your phone’s screen, digging your fingernails into your kneecaps, you know the drill. This update is going to ring in at around 1,167.8 MB (that’s approximately 1.2 GB) – assuming you’ve got a Pixel 2 XL. Other devices may have updates that size in differently.For those that’ve never used a Beta release of Android before – beware! This isn’t the sort of update you should get on your single, primary smartphone device. There’s a significant chance that bugs might appear, and features might not work. You don’t want to be caught without some vital bit of your phone’s functionality just because Google offered you the ability to get some new features earlier than most other users, right?Have a peek at the timeline below for a few Feature Spotlights for Android P. We’ll be continuing to explore Android P throughout the day and the week – and well into the future as well, of course! Today we’re having a peek at the Android P Public Beta as it’s made available through Google. This system update installs a beta version of Android P (PPP2.180412.013 on your smartphone this afternoon. This update is a “pre-release” edition of Android P, and should be treated as such. Users must opt-in to the Android Beta program to be a part of this preview update. Story TimelineAndroid Digital Wellbeing is Google’s new biggest dealAndroid P feature: New UI and GesturesAndroid P spotlight: Adaptive Batterylast_img read more

2018 iPhones will trump Android in these two ways

first_imgNo Apple device so far has had dual SIM support despite the feature being available for years, especially on Android phones. Apple just didn’t see the need for it but the market has changed significantly over the years and dual SIM users will no longer be denied. Apple, however, might be doing things differently in a way that no Android phone has so far.According to Chinese media, Apple will take two approaches to dual SIM iPhones. In China, it will use a standard SIM tray with two card slots. In the US, however, it will utilize a single SIM tray paired with an Apple SIM. The latter has already been used in iPads as a rewritable virtual SIM solution. This lets Apple offer two SIMs while also giving users the flexibility of what network to use on the Apple SIM.Nothing’s set in stone yet but Apple’s divergent strategy is definitely unusual. Apple SIM isn’t supported in China, which is why Apple is forced to go the conventional route. However, rumors also say that only the 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus and the cheaper 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will get the dual SIM dual Standby feature, leaving the 2018 iPhone X out in the cold.All three iPhones, however, will share a similar bump in performance thanks to a new A12 chip and, more interestingly, an increased 4 GB of RAM. At least according to Geekbench (via VentureBeat). The one caveat being that the cheaper LCD iPhone might just have a modified set of last year’s specs. Either way, there could be as much a 10% increase in performance, which is already quite a lot for those specs. So while Android phones come with oodles of RAM and cores, the next iPhones will be able to do even more with less. The Android market has been pretty eventful these past months, with curious innovations like Vivo’s and Oppo’s elevating cameras and ASUS ROG’s gaming phone. That’s not to say, of course, that the iPhone is missing out on new features. It just so happens that Apple tends to focus more on practical innovation rather than fanciful ones. Take, for example, the upcoming iPhones which, based on new leaks, could one-up Android in two areas: dual SIM support and CPU performance.last_img read more

Galaxy S9 Android Pie One UI beta program has begun

first_imgInterest over this Samsung One UI isn’t all positive, of course. Even those on Samsung’s camp are curious how far the company will manage to mess up its Android interface. While it seemed that Samsung was finally falling in line for the past 2 years, it now has made a complete U-turn and will be striking its own path yet again.And it’s not just because its going overboard with the use of rounded corners that were perhaps inspired by Android Pie’s own design language. It will also be changing how some apps behave fundamentally, like moving important controls to the bottom of the screen for easier reach. While it will be argued that it could help usability, it definitely strays far from the Android standard.And it’s just the tip of the iceberg, as you can see from XDA’s screenshot above. There are more changes, those mostly confined to Samsung’s own apps. And it’s only just begun, as the next few weeks are expected to reveal more changes to Samsung’s UX. Maybe even some hints on how One UI will behave in foldable phones.The One UI beta program has now started but, as previously announced, it will be limited to a few countries. Currently only South Korea, Germany, and the US are known to get it. Plus, it’s only available on the Galaxy S9 and S9+, no Galaxy Note 9 yet. It might be too early to judge if this is Samsung’s final direction for One UI but, considering it’s in beta already, some things are probably already set in stone. It’s understandable that many are curious if not excited over Samsung’s Android 9 update. And it’s not just because of the Pie. Renamed as One UI, it exhibits Samsung’s biggest changes to its user interface that eclipses the mostly cosmetic ones it did in the Samsung Experience UX. Plus, it will be the UI that will run on its foldable phone next year. If that excitement turns into more than just mere curiosity, then you might want to try out Samsung’s One UI Android Pie beta. That is, if your Galaxy S9 or S9+ qualifies.last_img read more

Microsoft Hummingbird uses AI for smarter personalized news

first_imgNews feeds, a.k.a. RSS/Atom, have been said to have gone the way of the dodo. In its place has risen curated news services, initially like Flipboard. Pretty soon, however, that was no longer enough and companies, including Google, have started riding on the AI train to spread the news around. The latest to hop on board is Microsoft but not via its existing MSN News app. Instead, it has just silently released Hummingbird, offering “stories for you” as selected by AI. The idea behind these AI-driven news apps and services is that users probably don’t want to have to keep track of specific websites and sources. Unless those are very subject-specific, chances are they will have news and topics that may not appeal to you all the time. So instead of having to let you do the search, the AI will scour news sources for topics you might find interesting.Hummingbird isn’t really different in that regard. The initial setup requires you to select very broad topics but doesn’t let you drill into them. You will be able to fine-tune your selection later by showing disinterest in a story or even removing a source entirely. Over time, the AI will learn your preferences, or at least that the promise. Like many AI-based services, you can’t really tell how well it works until after you’ve used it regularly for some time. That’s fine for those who search through news as a pastime but probably not for those who rely on it for a living. So far, however, AI-curated news has yet to actually impress.Microsoft’s Hummingbird is currently only available on Android and only in the US (unless you download the APK). No word yet on an iOS version. It is definitely strange that Microsoft would put out yet another app when it already has one rather than integrate the AI features into MSN News. Then again, it might not matter because it will be heavily competing against Google News and Apple News on both platforms.last_img read more

Microsoft Pro IntelliMouse upgrades a legend

first_imgThere probably isn’t a mouse around as well known as Microsoft’s IntelliMouse. The line has been around since 1996 with Microsoft releasing a number of new iterations over the past 23 years, and the latest one was announced today. Say hello to the Pro IntelliMouse, a new device that stands alongside 2017’s Classic IntelliMouse. Despite the “Pro” moniker, this new IntelliMouse seems pretty content with sticking to basics. There are five buttons in all – a rarity among many modern mice, especially gaming mice that seem to pack as many buttons on their frames as possible. Three of those buttons are programmable through the Windows Mouse and Keyboard Center, which is also where you can customize the color of the taillight.Microsoft say that it has upgraded the tracking sensor for this release, allowing the Pro IntelliMouse to “capture everything from the smallest flicks to the largest gestures with greater speed.” It also took some inspiration from its Xbox One accessories in designing the Pro IntelliMouse, giving it the gradient color scheme that has proven to be popular on Xbox One controllers. In the end, we’re left with a multi-purpose mouse that will probably be a good choice for people who don’t need anything too extreme. The Pro IntelliMouse is outfitted with a braided cable and designed with ergonomics in mind, but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be an ambidextrous mouse like some of its predecessors have been.The Pro IntelliMouse is available now from the Microsoft Store and can be had in two colors: shadow black and shadow white. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to own one either, as the Pro IntelliMouse will only set you back $59.99.last_img read more

2019 BMW 330i and 2020 M340i First Drive

first_imgThrough the generations, the 3 Series has grown significantly in both size, available technology, and power. At the same time, the purists put the E46 on a pedestal against which any modern 3 series should be compared. They’re a tough audience, too: it’s fair to say that the sixth generation car never met with quite the reception BMW hoped it might.For this latest 3 Series, then, BMW’s designers have tipped their hat to the E46 even more consciously. It starts with the angular line leading from the lower grill to the shark-fin shaped intrusion into the G20 headlight, itself meant to mimic the lower shape of the old E46 headlights. Gone are any unnecessary cutouts in the bumper, to give the new 3 Series a cleaner old-school look. Still, it wasn’t just the designers who started looking back at 3 Series history. Story TimelineAll-new BMW 3 Series gets official, M Sport version is comingThe 2020 BMW M340i is a compelling return to form 15,543,000. That’s the number of 3 Series that BMW has produced over the past four decades – and now seven generations – of the iconic sports sedan. BMW enthusiasts often argue about which generation is best, the never-settled discussion generally focusing around the second generation E30 (1982–1994) and the fourth generation E46 (1998–2006). Both of these 3 Series would raise the benchmark of what a great sports sedan should be, with their precise steering, even weight distribution, power delivery, and sheer driving pleasure. 2019 BMW 330i and 2020 M340i Gallery Chassis and engine engineers also went to work to build a more dynamic 3 Series. The chassis is now 50-percent stiffer, the sedan is now back to a perfect 50/50 weight distribution, the center of gravity has been lowered by -10 mm, the overall weight is down -121 lbs, the front track has increased by +43 mm, and the rear track by +21 mm.To see first hand what BMW has accomplished, the automaker invited us the beautiful Algarve, Portugal a few hours south of Lisbon, to take a road trip not only through incredible scenery but through the new 3 Series line-up, too. We would start with the 2019 330i M Sport, as it will be the launch model when the car debuts from $41,000 in the US early next year, the car our host through a mixture of small towns and beautiful twisty mountain roads.Setting into the new 3 Series, the first thing that you notice is the lack of analog gauges. The cockpit is now comprised of two displays, a large screen right in front of the driver and a second in the middle atop the center console. BMW has played with the arrangement of the driver’s display, and have unwound the tach and speedometer to display them along the edges of the screen, instead of in the traditional circle. This allowed them to display more useful information in the center of the display. Also, all of the driver controls have been centralized around the shifter in a tidier layout.I started the drive with the 330i M Sport set to its default Comfort mode. The Driving Experience Control adjusts the steering, transmission, suspension, and xDrive bias. The first thing I noticed is that, even in Comfort, everything felt sharp. The best improvement comes in the steering feel as BMW has really fixed the responsiveness. In the last generation, it felt like there were some major dead spots where there was no response out of the steering input. After leaving the town and approaching the twisty roads, I switched into Sport mode and the engine revs jump as the transmission immediately jumped down a gear. I start pushing, and the car is not backing down; thanks to all of the new suspension magic that the BMW engineers have worked out, the whole thing feels stable and well planted.BMW for the first time has introduced lift-related dampers that are part of the car’s standard chassis. The newly developed suspension and damping system contributes to the well-balanced handling of the car. The dampers work to reduce body movements and even out vibrations caused by uneven pavement and when pushing the car through high-speed turns. Extra hydraulic damping at the front axle and a compression limiting system at the rear continuously adjust the overall firmness, according to the changing spring travel. Altogether it helps reduce that unsettling response that you often feel when driving over larger bumps, uneven surfaces, or twisty mountain roads.The 330i M Sport comes equipped with the optional M Sport suspension, helping tighten up the car even further with its rigid bearings and additional body struts, firmer springs and anti-roll bars, and an even higher degree of wheel camber. The damping forces are 20-percent greater than the standard suspension during high-speed, twisty road driving; the difference between the two suspension options is now twice as great as it was in the previous 3 Series. Both the xDrive all-wheel drive and sDrive rear-wheel drive models benefit from the M Sport suspension’s 10mm lower ride height, something previously absent on xDrive cars.So far I’m totally smitten with the 330i M Sport, and it’s not even the tip of the 3 Series spear. The engine’s power delivery is great, though I definitely felt some drop out at the higher rev range; that’s to be expected from a four-cylinder. Switching the transmission into Sport mode and letting it handle the gear changes itself, I was pleasantly surprised by how the car almost always seemed to be in the right gear. I experimented with using the paddle shifters, but almost always ended up back in Sport or Sport+ mode as it really allowed me to focus on the driving. There was really nothing I could do with the paddles that the car was not already doing itself.That instinctive, overall polish is the result of a huge amount of work in the car’s development. The engineers’ goal was to optimize BMW’s existing engines, keeping VANOS and Valvetronic, refining the twin-scroll turbochargers and the integrated manifold, and polishing up the engine pulses to better feed the turbos. In the four-cylinder 330i, this resulted in a gain of 7 horsepower and 37 lb-ft of torque, for a total of 255 HP and 295 lb-ft.The belt drive which integrates the oil pump with the timing chain has been simplified, and there’s a new cooling method for the cylinder head and crankcase. The cylinder head is cooled to start, and then once the engine warms up then both the cylinder head and crankcase are cooled. BMW also introduced shape honing within the cylinder walls to stop cylinder deformation. All of this is designed to remove complexity and help reduce fuel consumption. Official US EPA figures aren’t available yet, but even after all the Sport+ driving, we were still able to achieve close to 30 mpg.Using similar techniques for the M340i six-cylinder, the engineers were able to reduce the rotating assembly inertia by 25-percent compared to the previous generation. This leads to a 62 horsepower and 39 lb-ft torque increase, for a total of 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. This makes for the fastest 3 Series to-date, as I was to discover later.Both cars use a 3rd generation, 8-speed transmission, which features shorter gearing for lower ratios, shorter shift times, more precise shifts, improved shifting hydraulics, and gearshift optimizations. The engineers have also made improvements to the torsen damping system, to help remove vibrations and remove distractions from the driver.Pointing the kidney shaped grille west, toward the ocean, it was time to hit the highway to not only get a feel for the car where it will be used the most, but to also take in some spectacular views. The 330i is just as great on the highway as it is on the mountain roads. It accelerates to pass effortlessly, and the steering reacts just as well to lane changes as it does tight turns. Off the highway, the roads quickly turned into narrow twisty roads and eventually transitioned from pavement to dirt. Something you would expect for a small beachside community, slowing us down until we could pause to take in views that were absolutely stunning.2020 BMW M340i first driveThe next day would make for a totally different experience. Our destination would be the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve (Portimao). My drive partner and I decided to make our own route through Lagos, and stop and enjoy a cappuccino at a tiny cafe overlooking the ocean, BMW’s stunning blue paintwork holding its own against the natural beauty. Only a pitstop, of course, since there was a camouflage-clad prototype 2020 M340i awaiting us at the track.For all my enthusiasm about the 330i M Sport, the M340i was the car that I was really excited to drive. On paper, it reads like a detuned M3 with xDrive, and I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel and see if it could hold up to those expectations.We broke up into groups of three, and had an instructor leading the way. Mine would be former Formula 1 driver and current BMW DTM Driver Timo Glock. Getting into the M340i and starting it up, you are immediately greeted with a totally different sound. Again, we would start out in Comfort mode for the first lap, with traction control on. Timo started out at an easy pace, but on the next lap I switched to Sport as we started pushing the cars even harder, allowing them to slide out of the turns.The xDrive badge may be there, but it did not feel like these cars had all-wheel-drive – in the best possible, purist-pleasing way. In fact I was totally blown away by how much fun this car is. Switching to Sport+ allowed even more slip, and even drifting, with minimal effort. The suspension kept the car well settled, and the steering was so precise. It’s tough to believe that this is not a full M car.After crossing the start/finish line, I fell back and switched places with the car behind me. It was astonishing to watch the M340i keeping pace with the M2 Competition pace car; even Timo later admitted that he hasn’t been sure that it would be possible. The driver in front of me even managed to find his limit, and the car reacted much better than I expected. He was easily able to get it back under control and continue on.Final lap behind Timo, and I noticed that – even after four laps of very hard braking – there was no sign of any fade. The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S Tires seemed like the perfect match for the car. I walked away immediately thinking that if you are looking for a sports sedan, this is definitely the one to consider. With pricing starting at $54,995 for the sDrive, and $56,995 for the xDrive, there won’t be much in the category that can touch it – all the more impressive considering these are still prototype cars.VerdictIt’s not hard to get the impression that everyone involved with the new 3 Series set out with a goal of bringing it back to what BMW enthusiasts expect from the brand. There’s no shortage of technology here, too, such as a new BMW voice activated assistant that can control the temperature and help you navigate, along with motion-sensing radio controls and a really great sounding audio system.To me, though, all of that comes second to just how great the car drives. The purest of the 3 Series purists will likely complain that, when it arrives in America, it will be missing the manual transmission option. Still, that’s just about the only negative thing I could say about the car when I grudgingly handed the keys back. Welcome home, 3 Series, we’ve missed you.last_img read more

First Edition November 21 2012

first_imgFirst Edition: November 21, 2012 Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including articles about regulations for the health law released by the administration Tuesday and the road ahead on implementing the law.Kaiser Health News: Administration Releases New Health Law Rules For Insurers, Employers Kaiser Health News staff writers Julie Appleby, Jay Hancock and Mary Agnes Carey report: “Long-awaited details on how insurers can structure health benefits and premiums for policies that will cover tens of millions of Americans starting in 2014 were released by the Obama administration Tuesday. The three proposed rules reaffirm key elements of the 2010 federal health law, including its requirement that insurers accept all applicants, even those with health conditions, and not charge higher rates based on health, gender or occupation” (Appleby, Hancock and Carey, 11/20).Kaiser Health News: Obama Administration Gives Smokers A Way Out Of Higher Insurance PremiumsKaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports: “The Obama administration on Tuesday effectively nullified a provision of the federal health law that would have allowed insurers in the small group market to charge smokers up to 50 percent more than nonsmokers. Under the proposed regulation, employees who use tobacco can avoid paying those higher premiums if they participate in a program to quit (Galewitz, 11/20).Kaiser Health News: Online Access To Docs Increases Office Visits, Study FindsColorado Public Radio’s Eric Whitney, working in partnership with Kaiser Health News and NPR, reports: “Uncle Sam wants you to e-mail your doctor. A federal law passed in 2009 says that physicians have to start offering their patients online communication, or Medicare will start docking how much it pays them in the future. Some patients hope that having online access to their doctors will mean they can cut down on how often they have to go to the doctor’s office. But new research suggests that patients with online access actually schedule more office visits” (Whitney, 11/21).The New York Times: Administration Defines Benefits That Must Be Offered Under The Health LawThe Obama administration took a big step on Tuesday to carry out the new health care law by defining “essential health benefits” that must be offered to most Americans and by allowing employers to offer much bigger financial rewards to employees who quit smoking or adopt other healthy behaviors. The proposed rules, issued more than two and a half years after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, had been delayed as the administration tried to avoid stirring criticism from lobbyists and interest groups in the final weeks of the presidential campaign (Pear, 11/20).Los Angeles Times: Administration Affirms Key Mandates Of Healthcare LawThe Obama administration reaffirmed key requirements of the new healthcare law Tuesday, setting out how insurance companies will cover nearly all Americans, even if they are already ill, and provide plans with minimum benefits. Consumer advocates, insurers and business groups were looking for signs the administration might try to modify some of the law’s requirements as the federal government races to implement the legislation by the end of next year. But the proposed rules issued Tuesday hew closely to the Affordable Care Act that President Obama signed in 2010 (Levey, 11/20).The Wall Street Journal: States Get A Say In Health LawThe Obama administration Tuesday issued new rules to implement several key provisions of the health-care-overhaul law, giving states some additional discretion over plans sold within their borders. The long-awaited rules underscore that the millions of customers who get new insurance through the law will see their plans vary from state to state. For example, the administration said it would let states choose whether to ban insurers from taking into account consumers’ tobacco use when setting prices for their policies (Radnofsky, 11/20).USA Today: Administration Unveils Health Care RegulationsThe Obama administration released new health care regulations Tuesday that preclude insurers from adjusting premiums based on pre-existing or chronic health conditions, tell states what benefits must be included in health exchange plans, and allow employers to reward employees who work to remain healthy (Kennedy, 11/20).NPR: Administration Lays Down Rules For Future Health InsuranceNow that the Supreme Court has found the Affordable Care Act constitutional and the president’s re-election made clear that big chunks of the law will take effect Jan. 1, 2014, the administration is finally releasing rules of the road that states and insurance companies have been clamoring for. The big one makes clear how companies will have to comply with anti-discrimination requirements starting in 2014. The law requires that health insurance be made available to everyone regardless of health status and that people with pre-existing conditions not be charged higher premiums (Rovner, 11/20).The Washington Post: Obama Administration Officials Propose Altered Rules For Health InsurersThe Obama administration proposed new rules Tuesday that would loosen some of the 2010 health-care law’s mandates on insurers while tightening others. Certain health plans, for instance, would be able to charge customers higher deductibles than originally allowed under the legislation. But all plans would be required to cover a larger selection of drugs than under an earlier approach outlined by the administration (Aizenman, 11/20).The Washington Post: Many Americans Unaware Of Health-Care Law ChangesAfter surviving a Supreme Court decision and a presidential election, the Obama administration’s health-care law faces another challenge: a public largely unaware of major changes that will roll out in the coming months. States are rushing to decide whether to build their own health exchanges and the administration is readying final regulations, but a growing body of research suggests that most low-income Americans who will become eligible for subsidized insurance have no idea what is coming (Kliff, 11/20).Politico: Next Up For Obamacare: Launching The Exchanges In 2014Now that the elections saved the health care law from the threat of repeal, the Obama administration and its backers are turning their attention toward getting the law right — before the next elections come around in 2014. All eyes are on January 2014, when the health insurance exchanges — online portals where individuals and small businesses can get their health coverage — are slated to start covering millions of people. Consumers will have access to tax subsidies, if they qualify, to help them buy coverage, and almost everyone will be subject to the mandate to have insurance. Each step holds the potential to reinforce — or change — public perception (Haberkorn, 11/20).Politico: HHS Looks To Step Up Role In Health ExchangesThe last thing the Obama administration wanted to do was come into a bunch of states and start running health insurance exchanges. But when the new insurance marketplaces open for business late next year, it’s clear that the Department of Health and Human Services will have a much bigger job than it wanted (Millman, 11/20).Politico: Rough Start For Fiscal Cliff TalksThe opening round of negotiations this week between White House and senior GOP congressional staffers left both sides pessimistic about their ability to reach a quick deal on averting the fiscal cliff, according to sources familiar with the talks. Hill Democrats say Republicans aren’t serious about crafting a deal that President Barack Obama can accept. The GOP’s opening offer, the sources said, would freeze the Bush-era tax rates, change the inflation calculator for entitlement programs, keep the estate tax at 2012 levels and authorize a major overhaul of the Tax Code — although they did not provide a revenue target. … For their part, Republicans remain unconvinced that Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will make the kind of significant concessions on entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid that would make them agree to tax rate hikes (Sherman, Bresnahan and Budoff Brown, 11/20).Politico: Medicare Cuts Give Health Providers JittersThe $716 billion in Medicare “cuts” that got so much attention in the presidential election have already begun sinking their teeth into health care providers. And there are widespread jitters that any further cuts as part of a year-end deal to stave off sequestration or strike a “grand bargain” for a long-term fiscal deal would deeply gouge some providers, if not put them out of business (Norman, 11/20).Los Angeles Times: Union Ads Take New Tack: Praising GOP MembersLabor unions seeking a fiscal solution that protects entitlement programs and raises taxes on the rich are trying the carrot approach before taking the stick to lawmakers. A new six-figure ad campaign backed by three major unions includes radio spots praising four Republican House members as “leaders willing to put people ahead of partisan politics.” … Union officials said the four GOP House members were selected because they were among those who signed a bipartisan letter this summer calling for a balanced budget deal that considers both cuts and new forms of revenue. … The commercials call on the lawmakers “to stand up for us by investing in job creation, extending the middle class tax cuts, and protecting Medicare, Medicaid and education from cuts.” The labor unions also released a poll showing that voters overwhelmingly oppose cuts to Social Security or Medicare (Gold, 11/20).The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Fake-Drug Probe Puts Spotlight On Role Of DoctorsA Tennessee cancer doctor has pleaded guilty to purchasing illegal foreign drugs, as part of a long-running investigation into overseas distributors that sold fake versions of the cancer drug Avastin and other unapproved medicines to U.S. clinics. The physician, William Kincaid of Johnson City, Tenn., who signed a plea agreement last week, is among the first to face charges in the probe. Dozens of doctors were warned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that they may have purchased the fake Avastin from distributors owned by Canada Drugs, a Winnipeg Internet pharmacy company (Weaver, 11/20).Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Retirement Of Baby Boomers To Spur Surge In Health Sector

first_imgAs baby boomers retire, employment opportunities in the health care sector could be substantial. Meanwhile, doctors disagree over whether gynecologists should be able to treat men.USA Today: Health Care Workers Will Lead U.S. Job Gains To 2022The retirement of aging Baby Boomers will reshape the job market over the next decade, leading to the smallest portion of Americans employed or looking for work since the mid-1970s, barely six in 10, a new Labor Department forecast predicts. The result: slower economic growth but new employment opportunities in health care, where millions of new jobs are likely to be created (Davidson, 12/23).The New York Times: Gynecology’s Gender Question Should gynecologists be allowed to treat men? A medical specialty board stirred up a hornet’s nest in September when it said no and warned gynecologists that if they accepted male patients, they could lose their certification — something doctors need in order to work. Protests erupted from patients and doctors who said the policy, set by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, interfered with medical care and research. Since then, the board, based in Dallas, has backed off twice (Grady, 12/23).  Retirement Of Baby Boomers To Spur Surge In Health Sector This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Early Review Open Payments Database Not So Open

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Early Review: Open Payments Database Not So Open The new federal website, which was created to provide information about financial links between physicians and the drug industry, is not user-friendly, notes The Associated Press. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal digs into the data to see what it shows about the ties between medical professionals and the drug industry.The Associated Press: Gov’t Website For Doc Payments Not Up To Snuff Although it’s called “Open Payments,” the government’s new website doesn’t make it easy to find out whether your doctor is getting freebies, travel or other financial benefits from drug companies and medical device manufacturers. This should be a clue: The website lacks a “Find Your Doctor” button (Alonso-Zaldivar and Gillium, 10/2).The Wall Street Journal: Payments Reveal Range Of Doctors’ Ties With IndustrySome of the doctors who received the biggest payments last year from drug and medical-device companies got them for purposes that had nothing to do with patient care. An analysis of a government database released Tuesday, which disclosed some $3.5 billion in industry payments to physicians in the last five months of 2013, revealed that several doctors who no longer practice medicine earned large sums for serving on corporate boards or writing software used in laser-surgery machines. Companies continue to spend heavily in hopes of getting doctors to use more of their drugs and devices. But the data underscore the variety of ties industry has forged with physicians for purposes beyond influencing their prescribing habits (Whalen, Walker and Rockoff, 10/1).The Wall Street Journal’s Pharmalot: How Much? A Glaxo Goof Remains In The Sunshine DatabaseFile this under ‘Things are not always what they seem.’ The old adage seems to apply to the newly launched Open Payments database launched this week by the federal government. … the database lists two payments totaling nearly $2.9 million made in 2013 by GlaxoSmithKline to Stuart Winter, the vice chair for pediatric research at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Centers. … As it turns out, the listing is an error. How so? Glaxo goofed. A spokeswoman explains that Winter was the principal investigator for Arranon research, but the payment was sent to the National Cancer Institute, not Winter (Silverman, 10/1).last_img read more

Activist investor blasts Hudsons Bay Co chairmans offer to take retailer private

first_img 0 Comments Recommended For YouMarkets mostly recover from deep losses on Trump tweet about ChinaYields little changed by jump in U.S. consumer pricesPosthaste: The unsinkable Canadian dollar, Brexit risk rising and CannTrust’s stock meltdownTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permitsDavid Rosenberg: Deflation is still the No. 1 threat to global economic stability — and central banks know it Activist investor blasts Hudson’s Bay Co chairman’s offer to take retailer private as ‘woefully inadequate’ Buyout group and Ontario Teachers’ cancel deal to buy shares Email Comment Activist investor Land & Buildings Investment Management has often pushed for change at struggling Hudson’s Bay Co. But not just any change will do — especially not the chairman’s “woefully inadequate offer” to take the retailer private.The New York hedge fund, run by Jonathan Litt, came out swinging Tuesday against the $9.45-a-share bid announced last week by Richard Baker and other investors for the remaining stock of Hudson’s Bay. The shares fell 2.2 per cent to $10.03 at 9:40 a.m. in Toronto on Tuesday.“We want to be clear: this offer materially undervalues the exceptional assets the company owns,” Litt wrote in a letter to the special committee at HBC charged with evaluating the offer. Instead, Litt urged the company to hire “a truly independent investment bank” and consider other strategic alternatives for the company “given the iconic nature of HBC’s real estate that would attract a deep potential buyer pool.”A representative for HBC didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.Related Stories:Hudson’s Bay chairman’s buyout bid pits retail against real estateA sale — to Baker’s coalition or another buyer — could be a next step in chief executive Helena Foulkes’s everything-is-on-the-table approach to turning Hudson’s Bay around. The company has already divested flash-sale website Gilt, slashed costs by cutting jobs, unloaded a minority stake to Rhone Capital and sold its iconic Lord & Taylor building in Manhattan to WeWork for US$850 million. But it’s been to no avail — the stock has lost more than half its value since 2012.Litt also took issue with the buyout group’s planned purchase of 10 per cent of HBC’s common shares from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board for the same $9.45 price, announced in January. With that stake, Litt said Baker’s group’s total ownership of the company would have been 65 per cent, not the 58 per cent disclosed in filings, and that the deal would “likely be highly scrutinized by the Ontario Securities Commission.”About 30 minutes after Litt’s letter was published, Baker and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board announced in a statement plans to terminate their previous deal. The majority of the minority shareholders still need to approve the proposed transaction, and by ending the deal with Baker, Ontario Teachers would still be considered a minority holder and would have a vote.With assistance from Sandrine Rastello, Scott Deveau and Jonathan RoederBloomberg.com Bloomberg News June 18, 201910:07 AM EDT Filed under News Retail & Marketing Redditcenter_img A Hudson’s Bay Co. store stands in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.Ben Nelms/Bloomberg Facebook Share this storyActivist investor blasts Hudson’s Bay Co chairman’s offer to take retailer private as ‘woefully inadequate’ Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Join the conversation → Anne Riley Moffat More Twitterlast_img read more

Canada Pension Plans investment board racks up 89 return more than enough

first_imgCanada Pension Plan’s investment board racks up 8.9% return, more than enough to sustain fund until 2090 CPPIB adds $35.9 billion to assets CPPIB’s fiscal fourth quarter showed a recovery from a weak return of 1.1 per cent in the third quarter that was affected by a general downturn in stock markets in December.Getty Images 18 Comments The Canadian Press advertisement Reddit Facebook Sponsored By: Recommended For YouIBM Reports 2019 Second-Quarter ResultsTrade, earnings worry drag on stocks; U.S. Treasury yields fallSonos announces date for fiscal third quarter 2019 financial results and conference callWall Street falls on fears of trade war earnings impactStephanie Ferris Joins lululemon Board of Directors Share this storyCanada Pension Plan’s investment board racks up 8.9% return, more than enough to sustain fund until 2090 Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn May 15, 201912:40 PM EDT Filed under News FP Street center_img Email ← Previous Next → Twitter Comment More What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Join the conversation → Featured Stories TORONTO — Canada Pension Plan Investment Board recovered from a weak quarter in late 2018 to produce a solid 8.9 per cent net return for its most recent financial year.The Toronto-based investment manager for the Canada Pension Plan said its CPP Fund had $392.0 billion of net assets as of March 31, up $35.9 billion from the end of the 2018 financial year after all costs.The fiscal fourth quarter also showed a recovery from a weak return of 1.1 per cent in the third quarter that was affected by a general downturn in stock markets in December.CPPIB’s five-year real rate of return, which adjusts for inflation, was 8.9 per cent as of March 31 while the 10-year real rate of return was 9.2 per cent.Those returns are well ahead of what the Chief Actuary of Canada has determined to be necessary to sustain the Canada Pension Plan to at least 2090.Related Stories:Cintas Corporation Announces Record Fiscal 2019 Results last_img read more

BCs money laundering problem may involve billions of dollars documents say

first_img Reddit Dirk Meissner VICTORIA — Documents that say money laundering in British Columbia now reaches into the billions of dollars are startling to the province’s attorney general who says the figures have finally drawn the attention of the federal government.David Eby said he’s shocked and frustrated because the higher dollar estimates appear to have been known by the federal government and the RCMP, but weren’t provided to the B.C. government.He said he recently spoke to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale about information gaps concerning cash being laundered in B.C. and he’ll be meeting next week with Minister of Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair. One of the biggest money laundering probes in Canadian history has collapsed B.C. to probe money laundering ‘red flags’ in real estate, horse racing Metro Vancouver casinos gang destinations for money laundering: report “I’ve been startled initially by the lack of response nationally to what appeared to me to be a very profound issue in B.C. that was of national concern,” said Eby in an interview.Last June, former Mountie Peter German estimated money laundering in B.C. amounted to more than $100 million in his government-commissioned Dirty Money report into activities at provincial casinos.Eby said that number now appears low, especially after the release of an international report that pegs money laundering in B.C. at more than $1 billion annually, although a time period wasn’t mentioned in the report. A second report by the RCMP estimates $1 billion worth of property transactions in Vancouver were tied to the proceeds of crime, the attorney general said.The government had estimated that it was a $200-million a year operation, instead the federal Ministry of Finance has provided estimates that pegs the problem at $1 billion annually, Eby said.The provincial government only learned about the reports through media leaks or their public release and it wasn’t consulted about the reports, Eby said.“The question I ask myself is why am I reading about this in an international report instead of receiving the information government to government,” he said. “It’s those information gaps that organized crime thrives in and we need to do a better job between our governments.”A report issued last July by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, a body of G7 member countries fighting money laundering, terrorist financing and threats to the international financial system, highlighted B.C. money laundering activities.Eby said the report includes details about a clandestine banking operation laundering money in B.C. that was not fully known by the provincial government.“It is estimated that they laundered over $1 billion (Canadian) per year through an underground banking network, involving legal and illegal casinos, money value transfer services and asset procurement,” stated the report. “One portion of the money laundering network’s illegal activities was the use of drug money, illegal gambling money and money derived from extortion to supply cash to Chinese gamblers in Canada.”The report stated the gamblers would call contacts who would make cash deliveries in casino parking lots and use the money to buy casino chips, cash them in and deposit the proceeds into a Canadian bank.“Some of these funds were used for real estate purchases,” the report stated. “Surveillance identified links to 40 different organizations, including organized groups in Asia that dealt with cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.”Eby said the G7 task force report included information the province didn’t have about money laundering in B.C. from the federal government via the RCMP.He said the B.C. government also confirmed the RCMP compiled an intelligence report about proceeds of crime connections to luxury real estate property sales in Vancouver, but his ministry doesn’t have the report.“We still don’t have a copy of it,” Eby said.Blair could not be reached for comment but in a statement said the federal government takes the threat posed by money laundering and organized crime seriously and is collaborating with the B.C. government and German.“We are taking action to combat this by enhancing the RCMP’s investigative and intelligence capabilities both in Canada and abroad, and our Financial Intelligence Unit further helps protect Canadians and our financial system,” said the statement.German’s report to the provincial government last June concluded B.C.’s gaming industry was not prepared for the onslaught of illegal cash at the casinos and estimated more than $100 million was funnelled through the casinos.He was appointed last fall to conduct a second review identifying the scale and scope of illegal activity in the real estate market and whether money laundering is linked to horse racing and the sale of luxury vehicles.“We’re having some difficulty getting the information we need for Dr. German to make a true assessment of the extent of the problem facing B.C.,” said Eby.Maureen Maloney, a former B.C. deputy attorney general, was also appointed last fall to lead an expert panel on money laundering in real estate and report to the government in March.“We do realize there is a lot of anecdotal evidence on the extent of money laundering in real estate, but we really don’t have a good handle on that,” said Maloney. “We’re looking at whether or not we can produce some good evidence of that. We’re looking at do we have that data available in B.C. or indeed Canada.”Confidential provincial government documents dated April 2017 and released through Freedom of Information requests show the government was tracking suspicious currency transactions at B.C. casinos, especially in $20 bills, for years. The high-point of these transactions was more than $176 million in 2014-2015.Documents dated August 2016, show the government’s Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch observed so-called “high roller” patrons at a Metro Vancouver casino for a year starting in January 2015 and concluded people connected to real estate were the top buy-in gamblers at $53.1 million.A spokesman for B.C.’s gaming industry said reports from the gaming operators about cash transactions flagged concerns of money laundering.Peter Goudron, B.C. Gaming Industry Association executive director, said casinos implemented measures to combat potential money laundering, including placing cash restrictions on players in 2015.“This had the effect of reducing the value of suspicious transactions by more than 60 per cent over the next two years,” he said. “More recently, operators implemented Dr. Peter German’s interim recommendation requiring additional scrutiny of large cash buy-ins in January 2018 and this has further driven down the number of suspicious transactions.” The Canadian Press Join the conversation → 12 Comments Facebook B.C.’s money laundering problem may involve billions of dollars, documents say One report by the RCMP estimates $1 billion worth of property transactions in Vancouver were tied to the proceeds of crime Comment Share this storyB.C.’s money laundering problem may involve billions of dollars, documents say Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generationcenter_img Attorney General David Eby says information gaps between governments are allowing organized crime to thrive.Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press More Email advertisement Sponsored By: January 18, 201910:22 AM ESTLast UpdatedJanuary 18, 201910:24 AM EST Filed under News FP Street Twitter Featured Stories ← Previous Next →last_img read more

With Chattanooga VW Will Have 8 Plants For EVs Based On MEB

first_imgThe first all-electric, MEB-based model in the U.S. is to be Volkswagen I.D. CROZZ in 2020. We guess that Chattanooga will produce several EV models, including the Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ.Through the investment of almost $50 billion (44 billion euros) on EVs and digital services through 2023, Volkswagen Group hopes to produce 150,000 BEVs annually by 2020, and 1 million by 2025. For comparison, in 2018 it was 50,000 for the VW brand (including plug-in hybrids)..embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Source: Electric Vehicle News VW Turns To Tennessee For U.S. Electric Car Production Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 16, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Volkswagen MEB platform to be utilized all over the worldVolkswagen announced an investment of $800 million in its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant to make it ready for all-electric car production from 2022. The plant will be supplied with battery cells from the new battery plant in Georgia, announced by SK Innovation. The production in Chattanooga will concern vehicles, electric motors and battery packs.With the Chattanooga plant, German manufacturer intends to produce all-electric cars, based on MEB platform in 8 places around the world and we expect that more will be announced in the future:Zwickau, Germany – from 2019, Volkswagen I.D.Anting, China from 2020Foshan, China from 2020Dresden, GermanyMlada Boleslav, Czech RepublicEmden, Germany from 2022Hanover, Germany from 2022Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S. from 2022center_img VW Unveils New 360-kWh Mobile Charging Station VW Considering Electric Land Rover Rival Volkswagen newslast_img read more

OpelVauxhall Teases AllNew Corsa EV Version Coming

first_img Vauxhall Confirms eCorsa Name For Upcoming Electric Hatch Source: Electric Vehicle News “Opel will this year launch the sixth generation of the Corsa. Starting with the first model in 1982, the Corsa has now recorded sales of more than 13.5 million units. The next generation will bring a revolution in lighting to small cars: the multiple award-winning IntelliLux LED® matrix lighting technology. The newly developed Corsa will feature for the first time the adaptive, glare-free full-LED headlight system that has impressed experts and customers since its introduction on the current Opel Astra (European Car Of The Year 2016). Following their arrival in the compact class, matrix headlights (which are usually found only on expensive premium cars) will therefore appear for the first time in the very popular mainstream B market segment – the biggest in Europe. Another demonstration of the democratisation of technology from Opel – the exciting, approachable, German brand.“We are celebrating 120 years of automobile production this year and therefore 120 years full of innovations for everyone”, said Opel CEO, Michael Lohscheller. “We have always made top technologies accessible to all. That is our mission and our motivation and it applies especially to a model that is as popular as the Opel Corsa. We will therefore equip the next generation of our bestseller with the best lighting technology – IntelliLux LED® matrix headlights.”Customers and experts are already enthusiastic about the IntelliLux LED® matrix lighting technology in the Opel Insignia flagship and Astra compact cars: in Europe, 20 per cent of Astra drivers and 60 per cent of Insignia customers order this innovative system. Around 90,000 new Opel cars equipped with matrix technology thus enter the European market per year. The glare-free matrix headlights automatically and continuously adapt to the prevailing traffic situation and surroundings. Approaching traffic and preceding vehicles are simply “cut out” of the illuminated area. Glare is minimised and drivers enjoy optimum visibility – as will soon be the case with the new-generation Opel Corsa.” Opel said that by 2024 all offered passenger models will have some kind of an electrified version. The first four new plug-ins (under PSA Group ownership) are to be introduced by 2020.By the first half of this year, Opel will open the order books for the electric Corsa and Grandland X PHEV. The German manufacturer said that the pricing will be competitive.“Opel will already open the order books for two new electrified models in the first half of 2019 – for the battery electric version of the next Corsa, and for the Grandland X SUV as plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. “Opel is going electric!” said Opel CEO, Michael Lohscheller. “That is what we announced at the presentation of our PACE! strategic plan in November 2017, and now we are delivering.”The Corsa in particular will give Opel additional impetus this year. The bestseller, the first generation of which made its world premiere 37 years ago, will be available for the first time with a purely electric variant. Lohscheller promises that the pricing will be competitive: “With the new Corsa we will make electric mobility accessible to many customers – it will be a real electric car for the people.””More about the 6th generation Corsa: Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 11, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newscenter_img Opel: New Corsa will be real people‘s electric carOpel and its British subsidiary Vauxhall (all part of the PSA Group) released today a teaser image of the all-new Corsa subcompact, which in Europe has been available since 1982. So far, more than 13.5 million Corsa were sold.Soon, Opel will introduce the 6th generation of the model (4th generation in the case of Vauxhall), which will be available for the very first time in an all-electric version.The teaser present IntelliLux LED matrix headlights (more on that in the press release below).Opel/Vauxhall news Opel Is On Track To Be Sustainably Profitable, Electric & Global From 2019 On, Each New PSA Model Will Be Offered In Electrified Versionlast_img read more

In January PlugIn EV Car Sales In China Almost Tripled

first_imgPlug-in electric car sales in China – January 2019The five best selling models for the month includes three BYD, which achieved 22% share in the plug-in car segment:BYD Yuan BEV – 10,093SAIC Baojun E100 – 8,312BYD Tang PHEV – 6,908BYD e5 – 3,968BAIC EU-Series – 3,895January was a slower month for many models, which enabled BYD to shine with over 10,000 Yuan BEV sales. The second best Baojun E100 is a joint project of SAIC and General Motors. Hopefully, GM will take a lesson from over 8,000 sales and try to repeat the volume with some EVs in North America.Source: EV Sales Blog Source: Electric Vehicle News The Reality About Chinese Electric Cars Could Surprise You Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 25, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Over 1,600 Tesla Model 3 Roll Off Ship In China: Video Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Invests In PowerShare While car sales decreased, plug-ins are conquering the marketThere is no slowdown of plug-in car sales in China, despite the general car market plummeting down 18% year-over-year in January!EV Sales Blog estimates 96,000 plug-in electric car sales in January at a growth rate of 175% and an amazing 4.8% market share. That’s almost 1 per 20 cars sold.If that just the beginning, maybe we will see 2 million plug-in sales for the year? In 2018 it was about 1.1 million.Chinalast_img read more

Hispano Suiza Carmen Electric Comes Packing 1005 HP

first_img Mark Zero Electric Sports Car Revealed Ahead Of Geneva Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 4, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News The fully electric grand tourer will be limited to just 19 cars.Wait, didn’t Hispano Suiza just introduce the Maguari HS1 GTC? Yes, but that Lamborghini-powered supercar comes from a company called Hispano Suiza Automobilmanufaktur AG whereas the Carmen teased here is being developed by Hispano Suiza Cars, originating from Spanish conglomerate Grup Peralada. Confused? So are we. Plot twist: both of them will attend the 2019 Geneva Motor Show beginning next Wednesday, March 5. Nissan Teases IMQ Electric Crossover Concept Ahead Of Geneva We’ll have to wait a few more days to see the Carmen in full, but at least we know now all of the juicy technical specifications. At the heart of the GT are dual electric motors, one for each 20-inch rear wheel, providing a massive combined output of 1,005 horsepower. That’s enough to enable some serious performance levels, with the sprint from a standstill to 62 mph (100 kph) taking less than three seconds before the vehicle hits a top speed electronically governed at 155 mph (250 kph).The two-seater, two-door grand tourer tips the scales at 1,690 kg (3,726 lbs) and uses a large lithium-ion polymer battery pack with a capacity of 80 kWh. Interestingly, Hispano Suiza Cars points out the carbon fiber battery housing has been developed in such a way as to enable the possibility of upgrading the battery pack. The company estimates it will be able to squeeze in a larger 105-kWh battery as early as next year, which will boost range between charges beyond the 400+ kilometers (249+ miles) of the base battery pack. Bear in mind mileage is based on the overly optimistic NEDC, so in the more realistic WLTP, the range will probably be smaller.With a design influenced by the one-off 1938 Hispano Suiza H6C Dubonnet Xenia, the retro-flavored body has a drag coefficient of 0.325 and was developed and tested through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and virtual wind tunnel simulation software.Following its Geneva Motor Show premiere, the Hispano Suiza Carmen will commence road testing by the middle of the year and will be in the hands of customers in June 2020. Production will be strictly limited to just 19 examples, each carrying an eye-watering price tag of €1.5 million (plus taxes), which works out to about $1.7M at current exchange rates. Seat To Reveal First Electric Car In Geneva More Geneva News The car teased here takes the shape of a “next-generation electric hyperlux grand tourer” as described by the people behind the project. We’ve already seen its 195-kilogram (430-pound) carbon fiber monocoque and a dark silhouette, while this new teaser image is a bit more revealing as it shows an aerial view of the car in question with its bulging fenders. Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Trump Tariff War May Block Polestar 2 From US

first_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 6, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Financial Times Polestar 2: Diving Into The Electric Car’s Details Source: Electric Vehicle News UPDATE: How Polestar 2 Compares With Tesla Model 3 See Polestar 2 Electric Car Live In Geneva: Video According to the Financial Times, there is a chance the Tesla Model 3 competitor won’t make it to our shores at all. Polestar, you see, is a subbrand of Volvo which, in turn, is owned by Geely Though the new brand is headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, its car manufacturing site is in China. As you may be aware, the U.S. government, at the direction of President Trump, has put a number of tariffs in place for on goods coming from that country. These, then, raise the price of goods manufactured there and sold on these shores. Worries about an escalation of this trade war — there have been tit-for-tat tariffs from China — have raised the possibility of a strategy change.Speaking to the Financial Times, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said the current price tag includes the 27.5-percent penalty for Chinese-built vehicles, and explained the situation thusly:The business case for bringing the car to the US is highly dependent on the type of tariffs we have. It wouldn’t make sense to offer the car for a ridiculous price.The tariffs are not permanent, of course, and there have been a number of changes to them as the two countries continue trade-centered talks. Meant to reduce a large trade deficit, new numbers just released seem to suggest the measures have been ineffective as that metric has gotten worse over the past two years.It remains to be seen whether this new information will cause a tariff re-think anytime soon. Still, there is time for the things to change before the car’s original U.S. delivery timeframe of July 2020. There is even a chance the existing penalties could be reduced or removed, which would help Polestar better position its offerings in our market. Fingers crossed that this is the way forward.Polestar 2 7 photos There’s still hope, however.When the Polestar 2 launched last week, it was quite clear that it would be sold in the U.S. There was a U.S. price ($63,000 for the high-spec Launch Edition), it was noted that the trick pixel LED headlights would not be available here because they the don’t conform to our outdated codes, and our country was mentioned as one of the regions a promotional tour would pass through. Now comes news of a possible problem with that plan.More on the Polestar 2last_img read more

Lynk Co To Unveil 02 03 PlugIn Hybrids At Auto Shangai

first_imgThe interior of the 02 PHEV is rarely changed compared to the fuel-powered version. Occupants can see a center console leaning towards the driver’s position and a large-sized touch screen inside the vehicle. Under the hood is a turbocharged plug-in hybrid powertrain that is comprised of a 179hp 1.5-litre engine and an electric motor, the same as the Lynk & Co 01. The fuel consumption reported to the MIIT is 1.7L per 100km.The Lynk & Co 03 PHEV also largely retains the exterior design of its fuel-burning version. As to the side profile, it features a style of hatchback which is characterized by the C-pillar’s radian. The L-shaped taillights are still used at the rear end, giving the PHEV its distinct profile. It packs an exhaust layout with single pipe on each side.The 03 PHEV’s interior presents an iconic design of Lynk & Co family as well. Above the center console display are two rectangular air-conditioning outlets adorned with chrome elements. It will possess such facilities as electronic parking brake and “AUTOHOLD” automatic parking system.The new PHEV measures 4,657mm long, 1,840mm wide and 1,460mm tall with a wheelbase spanning 2,730mm. The powertrain of the 03 PHEV is as same as the 02 PHEV.The automaker previously disclosed that two Lynk & Co 03-based performance models dubbed “PERFORMANCE” and “HALO” will be released in the future. The “PERFORMANCE”, carrying a 254hp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, is likely to be the one that heads to the Auto Shanghai.Source: Gasgoo Lynk & Co PHEV Versions Of 02, 03 Coming In 2019 More plug-in debuts set for Auto Shanghai.Lynk & Co, a Chinese-Swedish automotive brand owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, prepares to unveil the Lynk & Co 02 PHEV, 03 PHEV and 03 Performance at the Auto Shanghai 2019 next month, according to a China’s media outlet.The patent images exposed before show that the Lynk & Co 02 PHEV displays a striking resemblance to the fuel-burning version, but adds a charging port on the left fender. Such facilities as front- & rear-view radars, adaptive cruise control system and optional types of sunroof will be offered based on different variants.More From Lynk & Co Lynk & Co. Electric Coupe Concept Looks Quite Funky Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 17, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News Lynk & Co 4 Plug-In Hybrid Spied Testinglast_img read more

FCPA Enforcement Critic And Reform Advocate Selected As New DOJ Fraud Section

first_imgLast week, the DOJ announced Andrew Weissmann has been selected as the Chief of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.In recent years, Weissmann has been a vocal advocate of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act reform and more broadly, reforming corporate criminal liability principles.In October 2010, Weissmann was the lead author of “Restoring Balance:  Proposed Amendments to the FCPA.”  Written on behalf of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, “Restoring Balance,” lead to a Senate FCPA reform hearing in November 2010, and thereafter, a House FCPA reform hearing in June 2011.Here is what Weissmann wrote in “Restoring Balance”.“In spite of this rise in enforcement and investigatory action, judicial oversight and rulings on the meaning of the provisions of the FCPA is still minimal. Commercial organizations are rarely positioned to litigate an FCPA enforcement action to its conclusion, and the risk of serious jail time for individual defendants has led most to seek favorable terms from the government rather than face the expense and uncertainty of a trial. Thus, the primary statutory interpretive function is still being performed almost exclusively by the DOJ Fraud Section and the SEC. Notably, these enforcement agencies have been increasingly aggressive in their reading of the law. The DOJ has expressed its approach primarily through its opinion releases, but also in its decisions as to what FCPA enforcement actions to pursue. Many commentators have expressed concern that the DOJ effectively serves as both prosecutor and judge in the FCPA context, because it both brings FCPA charges and effectively controls the disposition of the FCPA cases it initiates.”Using phrases such as “how far the DOJ has pressed the limits of enforcement,” “DOJ’s aggressive pursuit” of companies as “indication of how far the DOJ is willing to expand the scope of FCPA enforcement,” and “the highly aggressive stance the DOJ is taking to expand the FCPA net beyond its borders,” Weissmann stated:“The current FCPA enforcement environment has been costly to business. Businesses enmeshed in a fullblown FCPA investigation conducted by the U.S. government have and will continue to spend enormous sums on legal fees, forensic accounting, and other investigative costs before they are even confronted with a fine or penalty, which, as noted, can range into the tens or hundreds of millions. In fact, one noteworthy innovation in FCPA enforcement policy has been the effective outsourcing of investigations by the government to the private sector, by having companies suspected of FCPA violations shoulder the cost of uncovering such violations themselves through extensive internal investigations.From the government’s standpoint, it is the best of both worlds. The costs of investigating FCPA violations are borne by the company and any resulting fines or penalties accrue entirely to the government. For businesses, this arrangement means having to expend significant sums on an investigation based solely on allegations of wrongdoing and, if violations are found, without any guarantee that the business will receive cooperation credit for conducting an investigation.”Elsewhere in “Restoring Balance,” Weissmann wrote:“[T]he FCPA should be modified to make clear what is and what is not a violation. The statute should take into account the realities that confront businesses that operate in countries with endemic corruption (e.g., Russia, which is consistently ranked by Transparency International as among the most corrupt in the world) or in countries where many companies are state-owned (e.g., China) and it therefore may not be immediately apparent whether an individual is considered a “foreign official” within the meaning of the act. As the U.S. government has not prohibited U.S. companies from engaging in business in such countries, a company that chooses to engage in such business faces unique hurdles. The FCPA should incentivize the company to establish compliance systems that will actively discourage and detect bribery, but should also permit companies that maintain such effective systems to avail themselves of an affirmative defense to charges of FCPA violations. This is so because in such countries even if companies have strong compliance systems in place, a third-party vendor or errant employee may be tempted to engage in acts that violate the business’s explicit anti-bribery policies. It is unfair to hold a business criminally liable for behavior that was neither sanctioned by or known to the business.The imposition of criminal liability in such a situation does nothing to further the goals of the FCPA; it merely creates the illusion that the problem of bribery is being addressed, while the parties that actually engaged in bribery often continue on, undeterred and unpunished. The FCPA should instead encourage businesses to be vigilant and compliant. For this reason, and given the current state of enforcement, the FCPA is ripe for much needed clarification and reform through improvements to the existing statute. Such improvements, which are best suited for Congressional action, are aimed at providing more certainty to the business community when trying to comply with the FCPA, while promoting efficiency and enhancing public confidence in the integrity of the free market system as well as the underlying principles of our criminal justice system.”Weissmann also testified, on behalf of the U.S. Chamber, at the November 2010 Senate hearing.  In his written testimony, Weissmann stated:“The FCPA had been tailored to balance various competing interests, but that balance has been altered, at times, by aggressive application and interpretations of the statute by the government. Instead of serving the original intent of the statute, which was to punish companies that participate in foreign bribery, actions taken under more expansive interpretations of the statute may ultimately punish corporations whose connection to improper acts is attenuated at best and nonexistent at worst.The result is that the FCPA, as it currently written and implemented, leaves corporations vulnerable to civil and criminal penalties for a wide variety of conduct that is in many cases beyond their control and sometimes even their knowledge. It also exposes businesses to predatory follow-on civil suits that often get filed in the wake of a FCPA enforcement action. In fact, there is reason to believe that the FCPA has made U.S. businesses less competitive than their foreign counterparts who do not have significant FCPA exposure.”In concluding his written testimony, Weissmann stated:“The recent dramatic increase in FCPA enforcement, coupled with the lack of judicial oversight, has created significant uncertainty among the American business community about the scope of the statute. In addition, some of the enforcement actions brought by the SEC and DOJ are not commensurate with the original goals of the FCPA, in that they fail to reach the true bad actors and instead assign criminal liability to corporate entities with attenuated or non-existent connections to potential FCPA violations.”As reflected in this transcript, during the hearing Weissmann stated:“One of the reasons it is important to have a clearer statute, particularly in the FCPA arena, is that corporations cannot typically take the risk of going to trial and, thus, there is a dearth of legal rulings on the provisions of the FCPA as it applies to organizations. Thus, the government’s interpretation can be the first and the last word on the scope of the statute as it applies to a company. The lack of judicial oversight, expansive government interpretation of the FCPA, and the increased enforcement that you heard about from [the DOJ witness] have led to considerable concern and uncertainty about how and when the FCPA applies to overseas business activities.”During the hearing, Senator Arlen Specter asked: “overall, do you think that the act is fairly well balanced and fairly well enforced or too tough?”Weissmann responded:“I think there is no question that many of the cases that were brought up today, such as Siemens, fall far, far, far into the—that it is amply warranted for the application of the statute. The problem is that every company in America and many companies overseas worry about the statute daily. And so regardless of what the Department of Justice is doing, people think about the statute and could their conduct fall on one side of it versus the other and will they be subject to an investigation. So it is a difficult question to answer, because I have seen many prosecutions where you say, of course, that seems like a just result and should have been warranted, but there are many companies that are hurt by the ambiguities in the statute and what I think is the over-breadth of some of its provisions on a daily basis.”Beyond the FCPA, Weissmann has also been a vocal advocate of reforming corporate criminal liability principles.In “Rethinking Corporate Criminal Liability,” 82 IND. L.J. 411, 414 (2007), Weissmann challenged traditional notions of corporate criminal liability and argued that when the DOJ “seeks to charge a corporation as a defendant, the government should bear the burden of establishing as an additional element that the corporation failed to have reasonably effective policies and procedures to prevent the conduct.”last_img read more

Okanogan County Commissioners SuedMassive I90 Mountain Project Still Several Years From CompletionChelan

first_imgThe Okanogan County Superior Court and Juvenile Administrator are suing County Commissioners.  The suit filed Monday claims commissioners violated the separation of powers and interfered with the court’s authority.  Gay Northrup of the group Represent Okanogan County thinks commissioners misrepresented the public by moving the juvenile detention center out of the region.  “There’s not one person that is for moving the juvy out of Okanogan County, and yet they push, and push, and push” said Northrup.  “I wish they would speak up and tell why theu think it’s a good idea.”  Northrup’s group is fighting to throw out Okanogan Commissioners, and have printed signs which have been circulated around the county which read “Wanted: New County Commissioners”.  Commissioner Ray Campbell claims commissioners represent the preferences of constituents.  He said “I know the ideas of the people that put me in office originally.  I’m following that line.”last_img read more