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Small-cap managers on packaging stocks and other best bets

Stephen Arpin, vice-president at Beutel, Goodman & Co. Ltd. A value manager, Arpin is the lead manager of Beutel Goodman Small Cap Fund. Ted Whitehead, senior managing director and senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management. A growth manager, Whitehead uses both quantitative and fundamental analysis. His responsibilities include Manulife Canadian Opportunities and Manulife Growth Opportunities Fund. Martin Ferguson, director and portfolio manager at Calgary-based Mawer Investment Management Ltd. His mandates include Mawer New Canada Fund, which is closed to new investors, and BMO Guardian Enterprise Fund. His discipline is to buy wealth-creating companies at a discount to their intrinsic value. Q: Let’s focus on packaging companies, which you all favour. Arpin: Our biggest holdings are CCL Industries Inc. (TSX:CCL.B) and Winpak Ltd. (TSX:WPK). We’ve owned both these companies for years. Ferguson: We own Winpak. Whitehead: We own CCL. Arpin: CCL develops labels for global producers of consumer brands. Winpak specializes in food packaging. These are relatively slow growers, but the business generates good returns above the companies’ cost of capital. The two stocks are inexpensive both by historic standards and compared to the valuations at which these types of businesses have been acquired. Ferguson: I’ve held Winpak for a long time. It focuses on plastics, which is gaining market share against other forms of food packaging. Food is basically a non-cyclical business. Winpak has good corporate governance. Its majority shareholder is Wihuri Oy of Finland. Winpak is financially strong, operationally strong and attractively valued. Total % return 1Y* March 6 close Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Winpak Ltd. CCL Industries Inc. $7.24 12.3% 11.6% 14.4% Sonita Horvitch $65.21 $875 million 52-week high/low Will small-cap stocks lag in 2013? *As of March. 6, 2013 Note: All figures for Range Resources are reported in US$ Source: Morningstar In part 3 of the roundtable, the managers discuss their picks in various non-resources sectors. The panelists: $10.6 billion $77.24-$51.56 -1.0% Total % return 5Y* Energy-services companies find favour 8.3% -46.4% $14.23-$4.88 Market cap Keywords Fund managers,  Small-cap stocks,  Small-cap funds Related news Total % return 3Y* Whitehead: We’ve owned CCL for a long time. It’s in the throes of making an acquisition. This is accretive and earnings estimates are being guided up. Arpin: CCL is buying the label business of Avery Dennison. The acquisition price is attractive. CCL’s end market is more economically sensitive than that of Winpak. Whitehead: We’ve added some U.S. packaging-related names. They are Owens-Illinois Inc. (NYSE:OI) and Rock-Tenn Co. (NYSE:RKT) . Q: Let’s turn to industrials, which represented 10.9% of the BMO Small Cap Index at the end of January. Whitehead: We have a little over 15% in this sector. We have names in the aerospace area. We own Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B) , which is more of a mid-cap. We also own Triumph Group Inc. (NYSE:TGI) , a U.S.-based supplier to the aerospace industry. Black Diamond Group Ltd. (TSX:BDI) continues to be our biggest holding in the fund. It makes portable homes, camps, for the energy and mining industries. It recently expanded into Australia with an acquisition. Ferguson: We are overweight industrials at 22%, which is double that of the index. The three largest weightings are Stantec Inc. (TSX:STN), New Flyer Industries Inc. (TSX:NFI) and Newalta Corp. (TSX:NAL). The latter is a fairly recent addition to the portfolio. The company has facilities across Canada that process industrial and oilfield-generated wastes. Its growth area is Newalta’s Onsite division. We like these companies, as they are wealth creators and there are high barriers to entry. Arpin: We’re underweight industrial stocks. The largest holding is WestJet Airlines Ltd. (TSX:WJA). We’ve owned the stock for a long time. Whitehead: I own the stock. Q: The stock has done well. Arpin: Airlines are notorious for destroying value. The only way that they don’t is if they are low-cost. WestJet is low-cost. It has about a 30% cost advantage versus Air Canada. WestJet is starting a regional airline, which is a big opportunity for the company. It’s good at stimulating demand in new areas. The stock’s valuation has increased, but we haven’t trimmed it. The company generates a high return on capital. Whitehead: Going back to what we look for, WestJet has been able to beat analysts’ expectations. Ferguson: In summary, the Canadian small-cap industrial sector has a lot of niche wealth-creating companies that are generally more tied to the North American economy than the world economy. These stocks did well in 2012, with the U.S. economy showing signs of recovery. Whitehead: The industrial sector of the BMO Small Cap Index had a total return of 18.8% in 2012. Q: Time to look at the consumer-discretionary sector, which represented 11.8% of the BMO Small Cap Index at the end of January. This sector had a total return of 17.3% in 2012. Arpin: Beutel Goodman Small Cap has 18% in the sector. Our largest weighting continues to be Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.B) . It’s among the best cable operators anywhere in North America. Linamar Corp. (TSX:LNR) also continues to be another top 10 weighting. This automotive-parts manufacturer will benefit from the improved health of the Big Three automakers. This is a long-standing holding. Whitehead: We’ve owned Linamar for a long time too. We have just over 6% in this sector and half of that is Linamar. Arpin: Automotive-parts distributor Uni-Select Inc. (TSX:UNS) is also a top 10 holding in Beutel Goodman Small Cap. Ferguson: I have reduced my holding in Uni-Select. The company hasn’t been performing up to our expectations. It’s been losing a little market share and its fundamentals are deteriorating. It’s still a wealth-creating company, but we’ve found better opportunities elsewhere. Arpin: Uni-Select has historically been a well-run company. We haven’t reduced our position. We have concerns about its competitive position too. But, we’re looking to the company to deliver on cost improvements. Ferguson: We have a 4.4% weighting in consumer-discretionary stocks. Our largest holding is MTY Food Group Inc. (TSX:MTY) . This is a franchisor and operator of quick-service restaurants under some 30 banners. It’s an excellent business model. MTY is earning fees on every dollar of revenue that goes through the restaurants. Q: Finally, we should talk about your holdings in the financial sector. It produced a total return of 17.9% in 2012 and represented 12.8% of the BMO Small Cap Index at the end of January. The three of you have held onto your major holdings in this sector for some time and are all overweight financials. Whitehead: We are a little overweight. Our biggest holding is Morguard Corp. (TSX:MRC) , a real-estate company with properties in Canada and the United States. This stock has been a winner for us. We bought it many years ago. We also own Morguard Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:MRT.UN). Other holdings are Intact Financial Corp. (TSX:IFC), a property and casualty company, and Home Capital Group Inc. (TSX:HCG), an alternative mortgage provider. Ferguson: The financial sector is our largest sector weighting in the portfolio, at almost 27%. Our biggest holding is Home Capital Group, followed by Canadian Western Bank (TSX:CWB) and Equitable Group Inc. (TSX:ETC) , another alternative mortgage lender. Arpin: We have 16.8% in financials. Our largest holdings are Intact, Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. (TSX:IAG) and Equitable. Intact is the leader in Canada. It’s a well-run P&C company and has been successful in making acquisitions and consolidating the business. Industrial Alliance, a Quebec-based life insurer, has been under huge pressure because of low interest rates. The company operates in Canada only and it has been able to grow the business and take market share. Ferguson: The Canadian alternative mortgage lenders operate in an area that the big banks have largely left alone. These lenders are attractive because they have good capital ratios, stringent lending criteria, high returns on equity, and they trade at low price-earnings multiples. They are wealth-creating companies. Arpin: They’re also benefiting from the fact that a number of their competitors exited the business after the financial crisis in 2008. This concludes a three-part series that began on Monday. 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CI Financial appoints new president

first_img IE Staff Share this article and your comments with peers on social media TD getting new head of private wealth, financial planning He was named executive vice president and COO in 2018, and played a key role in CI’s acquisition of BBS Securities Inc., Virtual Brokers and WealthBar Financial Services Inc.“Darie brings a unique and essential combination of experience in management, technology and operations to his new role,” CI CEO Peter Anderson said in a release. “He has successfully led the transformation of key parts of our operations through technology and innovation.”Urbanky succeeds Sheila Murray as president. Murray retired in March and currently serves on the CI board of directors. CETFA elects new board leader Hand choosing employee group of businessmen new job appointment notice siraanamwong/123RF Related news Darie Urbanky has been appointed president of Toronto-based CI Financial Corp., effective immediately.Urbanky, who is also the firm’s chief operating officer, has 23 years of experience at CI, including roles in investment management, advisory and wealth management operations, sales and marketing, and corporate systems. Keywords AppointmentsCompanies CI Financial Corp. PenderFund names new SVP for investments Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Operation Jawline intercepts 19 illegal foreign fishing vessels

first_imgOperation Jawline intercepts 19 illegal foreign fishing vessels Coinciding with the United Nations’ International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, illegal foreign fishing vessels in Australia’s northern waters have been targeted in a two-week operation.Operation Jawline was coordinated by Maritime Border Command (MBC), a joint-agency taskforce within the Australian Border Force (ABF), with close involvement from Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).Three ABF Cape class patrol boats monitored an area in the vicinity of Ashmore Islands, Cartier Islet and Scott Reef, more than 800 kilometres west of Darwin, intercepting 19 Indonesian fishing vessels over the period in May.Approximately 860 kilograms of trepang (sea cucumber) was seized and 105 kilograms of fresh fish product. Also seized was fishing equipment, navigation aids and petrol.Three of the vessels were seized and disposed of at sea under Australian law, with their crew transferred to other vessels before being escorted outside of the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).MBC Commander, Rear Admiral Mark Hill, said that Australia strongly supported the UN day marking the issue of illegal fishing on 5 June, noting the significant toll this illegal activity has on economies and the marine environments.“It’s true that here in Australia, illegal foreign fishing attempts have decreased in recent years thanks to a strong presence and action from government agencies, however this operation proves the threat of illegal foreign fishing in Australian waters remains,” Rear Admiral Hill said.“Globally, Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing is a significant environmental issue. Our message to unauthorised foreign fishers in Australian waters is simple. We will target you, we will intercept you, you will lose your catch, your equipment and possibly even your vessel,” Rear Admiral Hill said.“We are committed to protecting Australia’s maritime domain from a range of potential threats, including illegal attempts to fish in our marine parks,” Rear Admiral Hill said. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, Australian, Australian Border Force, Darwin, Fisheries, Fisheries Management, fishing, Government, Indonesia, Indonesian, Intercept, maritime, operation, petrol, UN, United Nationslast_img read more

Hockinson School Board meets to consider options for faster reopening

first_imgHockinson School Board meets to consider options for faster reopeningPosted by John LeyDate: Thursday, January 14, 2021in: Newsshare 0 Student advisor feels older students have been neglectedThe Hockinson School Board met this week in their second special meeting. Following last week’s meeting, where the board members pushed for a faster reopening timeline, Superintendent Steve Marshall offered new options for the board to consider –.specifically reopening plans for secondary schools.Marshall noted that the norm for the past nine months has been to have three or four school board meetings per month, often lasting three and occasionally four hours. He applauded the commitment and leadership of the board in representing the students, families and staff of the Hockinson School District.“This reopening campaign is a K-12 campaign,” Marshall said. “It touches on every staff member positively and negatively, and everywhere in between. Ultimately, we hope that it benefits our students. They’re the reason we exist, to serve our students. Teaching and learning has to have a consumer and the 1,700-plus students we have are the reason we’re here.”Members of the Hockinson School Board met Monday evening to consider options for reopening schools sooner. This was their second special meeting this month on the topic of beginning in-classroom instruction sooner. Graphic from Zoom meeting by John LeyMembers of the Hockinson School Board met Monday evening to consider options for reopening schools sooner. This was their second special meeting this month on the topic of beginning in-classroom instruction sooner. Graphic from Zoom meeting by John LeyBoard member Greg Gospe reminded all the families watching that because it was a special meeting Monday, and with the agenda set, he didn’t expect any specific decision to be made. A vote would occur at a future date.Under citizen comments, parent AJ McKay praised board member Tim Hawkins for his leadership and remarks at the previous week’s special meeting. But he went on to say that last week’s proposal should have been done perhaps at the beginning of the school year. “It was way too little, way too late.”“You guys have buildings sitting empty,” McKay said. “You haven’t gotten even partial classes into them. Why can’t you have freshmen in there? Why can’t you have the younger grades in the younger schools? That makes zero sense to any of us. Why not have anything that can put those buildings to use, that can put kids in seats with teachers?”Caution and scientific approachParent Ryan Kramer expressed a different sentiment. He appreciates the caution and the scientific approach to reopening. “We are in a pandemic, it is incredibly serious,” he said.Kramer expressed concern for the teachers. He also mentioned a survey of first and second graders, where 75 percent were interested in coming back. “If you have 75 percent coming back, how are you going to limit class sizes? How are you going to implement social distancing? How are you going to keep someone that is infected from infecting all the other kids and from infecting my kids?”Providing information related to Kramer’s questions was at the heart of the school board’s deliberations. The meeting lasted three hours, and went into some very detailed discussions regarding the options to be considered.Marshall responded that there have been four different surveys taken since last summer. There has been a consistent result where 75 percent of parents want to see some kind of limited, in-person education.Gospe spoke to the increased interest in school board meetings. He mentioned there were almost 100 people online, viewing the meeting. Before the pandemic, they would have three or four people at a meeting. “I think that there is far greater visibility into what we do” with the online meetings.In addressing various options of choice, Marshall said they were exploring three options for some students. “We’re able to move forward offering Hockinson Virtual Academy (HVA) as option one, remote learning is option two, and option three would be in-person learning.”At the secondary level, he anticipates two options — remote HVA and in-person. “The matrix of a six-period day and certifications among teachers makes it too challenging to create that third option of remote,” he said.Kim Abegglen is an associate principal at Hockinson Middle School. She gave a very thorough presentation on what in-person education involves in terms of ensuring staff and students safety.Kim Abegglen explained to the board the process followed when an actual case of COVID was encountered by school staff. The detailed explanation received praise for the thoroughness and preparation of the staff. There has been no in-school transmission of the virus. Graphic from Zoom by John LeyKim Abegglen explained to the board the process followed when an actual case of COVID was encountered by school staff. The detailed explanation received praise for the thoroughness and preparation of the staff. There has been no in-school transmission of the virus. Graphic from Zoom by John LeyAbegglen emphasized that their short-term focus is ensuring the health and safety of students, staff, and families. She also mentioned continuity of learning. “In the long game, we are striving for that academic success for all of our Hockinson students.”Abegglen highlighted a real world scenario, where one student told their teacher they were experiencing chills. The student’s temperature had been taken as they entered the school and was normal. But with the student isolated, their temperature was 101.1, which triggered a whole series of procedures and protocols.Abegglen laid out an extensive flowchart, all part of a decision matrix the staff had created.The parents consulted their healthcare provider and ultimately had a COVID test administered. The student tested positive. This then triggered additional actions by the school staff. Ultimately, multiple staff members and two small pods of students had to be quarantined for safety reasons. Because of the lack of staff, school was forced to close down.Abegglen addressed scaling up, and bringing more students back to the classroom. “Our goal is always to do so in a manner that minimizes exposures and maximizes that continuous learning,” she said.  “Being able to staff our programs, to work through quarantines” is part of drafting options, said Abegglen. “We have to look at the way we structure; what does that mean if some pod is quarantined? What can still continue and how do we maximize that?”.Marshall mentioned that Abegglen had been quarantined twice, and was out of the school building for a total of four weeks.Brian Lehner, middle school principal, laid out the two options for resuming secondary education in person and how they might phase them into action. He referenced the new guidance from the state about how many kids we can have in a classroom. “We had been working under the model of five kids and two adults in a room as small groups.” “We have not had a transmission in school,” Lehner said and “that’s been good.” He said a few cases of the virus have come from outside the school. “When it got inside, we didn’t spread it.” Lehner noted there has been a small number of children with limited interaction between the students.Social, emotional and support modelThe first option was more of a social, emotional and support model. Mondays would offer periods one through three at the middle school. On Tuesdays, periods four, five and six. Students would work offline or online at home without a teacher on Wednesdays. However teachers would be available for students to contact for help. On Thursday and Friday, they would repeat the Monday, Tuesday sequence.The plan is based on a maximum of 15 students and one teacher in a classroom, per state guidance. “To do that we can’t have all of our kids in a class in our schedule come back at the same time,” he said. They created cohort A and B. About half the students study at home and half are in the classroom at the middle school. They reverse the next day.In designing the options, they decided that all lunches would be at home. “One of the concerns with lunchtime is putting a large number of kids without a mask in a space and then the contact tracing that will go from that if something happens,” Lehner explained.The staff proposal for high school students avoided having students eat lunches in school, in order to reduce risks. Two options were offered for half day instruction. Photo from Zoom by John Ley.The staff proposal for high school students avoided having students eat lunches in school, in order to reduce risks. Two options were offered for half day instruction. Photo from Zoom by John Ley.Lehner also mentioned that this model would allow them to use high risk staff, teaching the online classes. The next step would happen after they do an option where kids aren’t switching rooms. A significant difference between elementary and secondary school is keeping kids in one location. In elementary schools, the kids stay in one location with one teacher. Using the cohorting model at a secondary school, would you keep kids in one room and then maybe switch teachers around to those rooms, he asked. It could limit the number of electives and create other challenges for secondary school students.“Rotating periods is still very concerning to be the starting point for us, if we’re going to do this and have kids rotate and right off the bat,” Lehner said. “This would not be our selection for first choice if we’re going to do the phasing in like the guidance says.”Lehner suggested this could be part of a phased-in approach, “after the first step, if our numbers stay below what the guides say,” he said. “And then we can bring larger amounts of kids back.”“What does that look like when the kids are transitioning between classrooms,” he asked. That potential of too many contacts and spreading the virus is their concern. Classrooms would also have to be disinfected everytime the kids change classes. Lehner mentioned one model for at-risk kids, using a sixth grade cohort, A and B plan. They would bring in 15 students per room on one day and have two rooms with an opening wall between them. The two rooms would have 15 children each, and then either two or three teachers can be in class, going back and forth between the rooms.Based on what students need, it provides an opportunity to have multiple subject matter teachers in a class instead of just one teacher, according to Lehner. This model would be for those students who are struggling. They could serve 30 children in each grade level. “So 90 kids on Monday and a different 90 kids on Tuesdays,” Lehner said. “That would get 180 out of 360 remote learning kids back into school.”Confidence moving forwardBoard member Tim Hawkins took the lead in responding to the presentations. He praised the attention to detail and how much rigor was put into the process. “It makes me feel much better about even moving ahead, as it relates to our staff and our students.”“That’s far more detail than I expected to get,” he said. “I really appreciate how deep you went, because it made it very clear how serious you are taking this and how it’s possible,” in reference to Abegglen’s presentation. He emphasized that it’s not easy, but possible to move forward.Hawkins noted that in the three different scenarios, the 15-person limit (by the governor) is the biggest barrier. Hawkins shared that he had spent a lot of time thinking about the process. “There are some schools that have gone back and are offering both in person and remote at the same time.” He suggested teachers should switch their teaching bias towards the camera, towards the remote students instead of the kids in the classroom. “The people in the room are benefiting from what you’re teaching remotely,” Hawkins said. “That’s where the biggest success has come from,” referencing schools already doing in-person instruction combined with remote learning. “I know it’s a script flip in terms of how those normally work. I’ve seen that work well.”Marshall reinforced the point Hawkins made about changing the mindset of the teacher. “My wife, who’s an educator, said the way they’re doing it at her school is ‘I teach to the camera.’” Hawkins asked Lehner which of the various options he preferred. Option one is Lehner’s preference because it has the most teachers involved. “It would have all teachers pretty much doing the same type of thing,” he said. “And it gets all kids here over two days.”Hawkins asked: “if option one goes well, can you scale that faster? Our goal is full (in-school) learning.” He noted the other options had scaling directions.The response was “that depends,” referencing many different factors including lunches at school or not, and how to combine asynchronous learning with in-classroom learning. Lehner also mentioned the challenges “if” they allowed kids to switch classes as a variable.Focus on struggling studentsWhen it came to high school options, Marshall spoke about trying to focus first on the students who are failing. He indicated that about 15 percent of the students are really struggling. “Our biggest concern right now is the amount of kids with multiple F’s.” He wants the first phase to be an intervention focused, targeting of students.“Math is our most difficult subject every year,” said high school Principal Andy Schoonover. He suggested focus days for each subject for the troubled kids. Moving to the rest of the high school students, all the options were tied to the 15-person limit from the governor. They proposed half-day instruction in the classroom. One was half the students on a morning schedule and the other half there in the afternoons, four days a week with Wednesday’s off. A different option was two cohorts where half attended Monday and Tuesday, and the other cohort attended Thursday and Friday. In both options, all remaining instruction would be asynchronous learning at home.The Mead School District in Spokane model was discussed. High school students can choose in-person or remote learning. Those who attend in person, change classes multiple times each day and eat lunch at school. Graphic from Zoom by John LeyThe Mead School District in Spokane model was discussed. High school students can choose in-person or remote learning. Those who attend in person, change classes multiple times each day and eat lunch at school. Graphic from Zoom by John LeyThe Mead School district in Spokane was discussed. That district offers students the choice to learn from home or in the classroom. They have students changing classrooms and eating lunch at school. That is a significant contrast from what was proposed by Marshall and his staff, who want to phase into classrooms, but not deal with lunch at school issues.Pearce Barrett is a junior at Hockinson high school and a student representative on the school board. “I think our school has done amazing with the situation we’ve been given, but the district is between a rock and a hard place.” “As a high school student, I have felt the struggle of the SAT is pressuring me,” he said. “I’ve got to take that at some point, and online learning just is not the same as in class learning.”“As an older student, I think there’s a feeling of neglect, versus the first and second grade,” he said. “First and second graders should be going back. But we focus a lot on the earlier grades, rather than the older students. High school is just a crucial time. I don’t remember first grade, but I definitely will remember my junior year, my senior year.”Barrett feels that attending school in the classroom should be viewed as a privilege, not a right. “If kids don’t want to wear the mask, they shouldn’t be putting other kids in danger,” he said. “They can learn from home.”“The reason that we’re in school is to teach, it’s to learn, and it’s not to appease the district or the state.” Barrett concluded by encouraging the school board and administration to “push as far forward as we can” to get kids back into classrooms. “I’ve seen a lot of friends in other states who have gone back to school,” he said. “It just feels like I’m missing out.”Near the end of the meeting, Superintendent Marshall shared he thought they could compress some of the intervention work for the transition grades of six, nine and 12. But he indicated a desire to continue to listen to guidance from Clark County Public Health. “They have given us good guidance. We want to stick really close to that threshold at the elementary school, which is 350 per 100,000 and 200 per 100,000 for high school.”Hawkins continued to push. “I think we need to win. I think we need to find a way to see (grades) nine through 12 back in school. If we stay at this pace, those kids won’t see school this year. And I think that that’s a tough run for our kids. I really feel like we owe those high school kids more.”No formal decision was made. The school board will meet in its third special meeting on Friday, where they hope to take formal action on a plan to accelerate the return to in-classroom instruction for all students.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTags:Clark CountyHockinsonLatestshare 0 Previous : State Education Association adds its voice to calls for accelerated COVID-19 vaccinations for teachers Next : State senate approves resolution to extend all of Gov. Jay Inslee’s emergency orders indefinitelyAdvertisementThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

Afternoon Brief, January 28

first_imgSubscribe to the Afternoon BriefAdvertisement Advertisement Home Afternoon Brief Afternoon Brief, January 28Afternoon BriefAfternoon Brief, January 28By Editor – January 28, 2020 105 0 TAGSAustraliaBerlin PackaginChinaCooperages 1912Double Zero WinesEmetryHuyshe BowerJordan WineryMarlborough WineryMike SinorMiner Family WineryNiven Family Wine EstatesPortugulScotlandWashingtonWine CompetitionsWX Brands Twitter Linkedin Subscribe to the Afternoon Brief ReddItcenter_img Email Trending Story:Stock-Picking Wisdom Could Save a Quarter of the World’s VineyardsWine and agriculture researchers studying the effects of climate change in vineyards have come to the same conclusion as decades of investors: diversify …Today’s News:Genetic Marking Discovery Improves Fruit QualityTransferring genetic markers in plant breeding is a challenge, but a team of grapevine breeders and scientists at Cornell University have come up with a powerful new method that improves fruit quality and acts as a key defense against pests and a changing climate …First-Ever Study Estimates Cost of Spotted LanternflyIf not contained, the spotted lanternfly could potentially cost Pennsylvania’s economy at least $324 million a year and cause the loss of about 2,800 jobs, according to a study carried by economists at Penn States College of Agricultural Sciences …WX Brands Acquires Portfolio of Wines from Niven Family Wine EstatesToday, WX Brands, a top 20 wine company, announces the acquisition of the 100,000+ case portfolio of wines from the Niven family, widely considered as the pioneers of the Edna Valley AVA, for an undisclosed sum …Washington State Winery Sues Lafitte Cork and Capsule, Alleging Faulty Corks Ruined WineRegistration Now Open for 2020 Sonoma County Barrel Auction Presented by American AgCreditCalifornia Wine Festival Announces 2020 Event DatesTreasury Sees “Challenging U.S. Market Conditions” in Fiscal First HalfSuntory Holdings Takes 10% Stake in Edrington for Undisclosed SumWine, Beer and Spirits Groups Plan to Use Age-Restriction LabelsMoët Alters the Balance in ChampagneAustralian Government Helps Adelaide Hills and KI Growers with Smoke Taint Tests‘Appellation Not Grape Variety’ Is the Way Forward for Portuguese WineScottish Alcohol Sales Fall in First Year of MUP, but Fortified Wine Sales RiseCoronavirus and China’s Wine MarketBlogs:Best Practices for Collecting Data in the Tasting RoomOrigin, Timing, Provenance and Quality: Is Data the New Wine?How to Decipher the Often Confusing World of Wine JargonA [NEW] New York State of WineThe Differences Between Estate, Estate-Bottled and Single Vineyard WinesUnified Symposium Featured Trade Show Guide:Software for Everything Your Winery Needs to Make, Manage and Sell WineThe Highest Quality Cork with a Consistent Sensory PerformanceGain Productivity and Labor Efficiency Through WECO’s Wine Grape SorterWater Solutions for Fire Protection and IrrigationSpeak to a Representative to Address Your Winery Construction NeedsWineIndustry.Jobs:California Sales DirectorA Toast to You – Santa Rosa, CA, USAContent DeveloperZinfandel Advocates & Producers – USADirector of Membership and ExperiencesPhifer Pavitt Wine – Calistoga, CA, USAMore Wine Industry Jobs…Feature Your Job Listing in the Afternoon BriefPeople:Huyshe Bower of Fladgate Partnership DiesCraig Root, Wine Industry Veteran, Shares Tasting Room Secrets at UC Davis ClassA Conversation with Winemaker Mike SinorNapa Valley Wine Guru Makes This Triple Threat Restaurant a Must-VisitSilicon Valley Entrepreneur to Double Capacity at Burgundy’s Largest MonopoleSupplier News:Ardagh Group Introduces New Sophisticated Glass Wine Bottle DesignsWorld Cooperage Expands Infrared Profile Offerings with New Impression BarrelEast Meets West International Wine Competition. Entry Extended to January 30th. Don’t Miss These Judges!Berlin Packaging’s Southern California Capabilities Grow with Opening of New Ontario Mega-WarehouseMore Supplier News…Vineyard & Winery:Forty-Eight Bottles of Ultra-Rare Domaine Serene Wine Raise $180,000 at the Naples Winter Wine FestivalJordan Winery Announces 2020 Events CalendarDouble Zero Wines Launches “Very Good Wine Club” for Serious Collectors and Enthusiasts of Rare and Distinctive Chardonnay and Pinot NoirMiner Family Winery Celebrates the Completion of Interior Tasting Room UpgradesMarlborough Winery Commits to 80 Percent Reduction in Carbon Emissions Pinterest Facebook Share Previous articleRegistration Now Open for 2020 Sonoma County Barrel Auction Presented by American AgCreditNext articleLibDib and Edge Beverage Partner to Bring Chain Store Access to Emerging Brands Editorlast_img read more

Two studies find probiotic therapy ineffective against stomach flu, diarrhoea

first_img Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025 By Sanjiv Das on November 23, 2018 Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” Gastroenteritis is a huge problem for young children, especially in poor countries where it is the second leading cause of death worldwide among children under age fiveA widely-used probiotic therapy is ineffective against the diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain of gastroenteritis, two large studies in the US and Canada have concluded. Five days of treatment with a key ingredient in many products, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, was no better at stopping symptoms than placebo among children ages three months to four years.In the Canadian study, a second probiotic added to the mix also showed no benefit.“Taken together, neither of these large, well-done trials provides support for the use of probiotics containing L. rhamnosus to treat moderate-to-severe gastroenteritis in children,” Dr J Thomas LaMont of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston writes in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, where the two studies appear.The human gut is packed with thousands of types of bacteria, many of which are believed to help the intestines do their job. Although doctors are just starting to understand the interplay of those bacteria, probiotics are sold based on the idea that an illness such as gastroenteritis may be cured by introducing more helpful bacteria into the body.Gastroenteritis is a huge problem for young children, especially in poor countries where it is the second leading cause of death worldwide among children under age five. In the US, the illness generates about 1.7 million emergency room visits each year. There is no effective treatment and doctors mostly try to keep the child hydrated and prevent the disease from spreading until the illness runs its course.The results of some small, poorly-controlled trials have convinced many hospitals and some medical societies to embrace probiotic therapy, now a $47 billion industry.“My institution does use probiotics. It’s part of their guidelines on treating diarrhea in kids,” Dr David Schnadower, coauthor of the US study, told Reuters Health. “It will be pretty easy to convince them to stop doing that here” based on the new results.Whether other hospitals will abandon the practice is unclear.“The problem is, it’s a negative study and it’s tough for doctors to stop doing things they’re accustomed to doing. It’s going to be an uphill battle. But the results here are clear,” said Schnadower, Academic Director in the Division of Emergency Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio.In the US test, done at 10 paediatric emergency departments and involving 971 children, the duration of diarrhoea was 49.7 hours with the probiotic formula and 50.9 hours with placebo.The illness spread to another member of the household in 11 per cent of the cases where the probiotic was used, versus 14 per cent when the placebo was given, a difference that wasn’t statistically meaningful.Similarly, in the Canadian study, the duration of diarrhoea and vomiting was the same regardless of treatment for the 886 children, although the number of episodes of vomiting was higher in the probiotic group.It’s not clear if the results will affect the sale of probiotics.Using probiotics for gastroenteritis “has been the number one target of probiotic marketing,” Dr Stephen Freedman, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary who led the Canadian study, told Reuters Health by phone.Both Freedman and Schnadower said the findings don’t mean probiotics are bad – and the new studies uncovered no evidence that they are harmful.Whether probiotics other than L rhamnosus might be effective against infectious diarrhoea in children remains to be seen, LaMont said.But the research shows that such claims of benefit need to be rigorously tested before being embraced.The probiotic used in the US study, made by Culturelle and regarded as a high-quality product, “can cost up to $60 for a five-day treatment,” Schnadower said. But if it doesn’t work, “do you spend $60 on that or $60 on good food for your kids?”“The bad news is, we don’t have a magic pill that will make the diarrhea and vomiting go away sooner,” Freedman said. “The good news is, hopefully consumers are now informed and healthcare professionals can focus on therapies that have evidence of benefit.” Related Posts News Heartfulness group of organisations launches ‘Healthcare by Heartfulness’ COVID care app Read Articlecenter_img The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story Two studies find probiotic therapy ineffective against stomach flu, diarrhoea Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” Sharelast_img read more

Preliminary Work Commences on Major Broadband Project

first_imgRelatedPreliminary Work Commences on Major Broadband Project Advertisements Preliminary Work Commences on Major Broadband Project TechnologyJune 28, 2011 RelatedPreliminary Work Commences on Major Broadband Project RelatedPreliminary Work Commences on Major Broadband Project By DOUGLAS McINTOSH, JIS Reporter FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail KINGSTON — Preliminary work has commenced on the implementation of a major islandwide broadband network project, at a cost of just over $500 million, over a five-year period. Managing Director of the Universal Access Fund Company Limited (UAF), Hugh Cross tells JIS News that the project’s infrastructure, which is slated to be constructed over an 18-month period, was approved by Cabinet in March. He explains that the undertaking will include access to a central server facility, which will host a wide range of educational material. He adds that persons will be able to access these educational materials from local area networks (LAN), which have been established in public high schools throughout the country.  The initiative will also provide internet access to the connected schools, post offices and libraries, and will facilitate interconnectivity among the institutions. The project is being funded through an allocation from the levy on incoming international telephone calls terminating in Jamaica, to both landline and cellular telephones. The island’s four main terminating carriers, Digicel, LIME, Claro, and Columbus Communication (Flow), collect the levy on behalf of the UAF. Mr. Cross tells JIS News that more than $7.8 billion has been collected, since the UAF commenced operations in 2005. An agency of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the UAF has responsibility for collecting the levy from the call terminating carriers, which are required to make monthly remittances to the entity. The revenue generated is used to discharge the government’s universal service obligation by financing the implementation of projects to increase access to internet services islandwide. The national e-learning project, which is designed to enhance the educational process in high schools, through greater use of  Information Communication Technologies (ICT), is the largest project funded by the UAF, thus far. Mr. Cross tells JIS News that contracts amounting to $543 million have been awarded to LIME and Flow to implement, manage, maintain and monitor the broadband facility over an initial five-year period.  He also informs that field work to assess the engineering requirements to establish the required ports at each institution, is in progress, and institutions will be connected to the network over the 18-month construction period. “The service will provide high speed access to selected schools, post offices and libraries. Students at the connected schools will be able to access the data bank hosted on the servers, and review pre-recorded lectures and take on-line examinations, at their leisure. It (network platform) will also extend broadband services into some communities that do not now have this level of access, so that they can be served,” he explains. “This network is designed to be highly reliable, and if there is any degradation or failure (in the system), it will be immediately identified and rectified by the telecommunication firms,” he assures, adding that the objective is to achieve a 99.9 per cent availability of the service. Approximately 283 terminating ports will be established islandwide in the initial phase, incorporating schools, libraries and post offices. Mr. Cross says 165 will be situated in schools; 78 in post offices; and 40 in libraries, while pointing out those additional schools will be connected during the initial 18-month construction phase. He cites the collaboration between the UAF and the relevant stakeholder organisations which are facilitating the project’s execution. “We have worked very closely with the leadership of the Jamaica Library Service, and the Postal Corporation of Jamaica, and will continue to do so throughout the installation and operational phases of the project. We have worked with the schools’ administrations through the e-Learning Jamaica Company, and this relationship will be strengthened throughout the construction and operational phases,” Mr. Cross says. While the UAF partners with a number of governmental and non-governmental organisations to carry out activities, consistent with its mandate, he says its associate company, the e-Learning Jamaica Company, has responsibility for executing the National e-Learning Project. This project includes, among other things, a technology infrastructure component, which entails interventions into high schools, special education institutions, and teacher training colleges, which are outfitted with the requisite equipment, technological infrastructure and training, to facilitate establishment of a modern ICT framework. “Their intervention is to ensure that modern tools  are made available to enhance  the teaching and learning experiences which, ultimately, will improve results, enabling us to have a better educated population,” the Managing Director points out, adding that to date, the UAF has allocated over $2.4 billion to the e-Learning Jamaica Company to undertake the project. Other elements of the project include: an instructional materials component for teachers and students in a range of subject areas; and a teacher training component, which sees the HEART Trust/National Training Agency (NTA) providing training and certification in the use of ICT in education. To date, over 11,000 teachers and lecturers have been certified. Other provisions include: a remedial and continuous assessment component; school implementation support; project evaluation; implementation management; project control, and sustainability components. A status report from the e-Learning Jamaica Company Limited regarding the technology infrastructure component, shows that as at December 2010, some 166 public high schools, 16 independent, eight teacher’s colleges, five community colleges, and six special schools (institutions for students with learning and physical disabilities) received audiovisual equipment; and approximately 162 public high schools and eight teacher’s colleges had computers and networks installed. Also achieved were an interim repository that was established on the e-Learning Jamaica website; technical specifications for Central Repository for Educational Material (CREM) finalised for hosting by the Ministry of Education; equipment delivered; and  building and electrical infrastructure being finalised by the Ministry. The company is also awaiting approval and funding for the development and implementation of a focused enrichment intervention for 30 low-performing schools, and implementation of Phase II of the e-learning project in primary and all-age schools.last_img read more

Gov’t Must Stand Firm on Free Movement for Artistes

first_imgRelatedGov’t Must Stand Firm on Free Movement for Artistes Gov’t Must Stand Firm on Free Movement for Artistes ParliamentJuly 18, 2012 RelatedPrime Minister Golding Announces Cabinet Changes RelatedGov’t Must Stand Firm on Free Movement for Artistes FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of State for Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Damion Crawford, is urging Government to stand firm on the issue of free movement within CARICOM for all professionals, including dancers, singers and artists. “We must stand against the arbitrary banning of our entertainers from performing on shows in some of these countries,” Mr. Crawford said on July 17, in his contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives. Mr. Crawford stated that over the years, treaties have been enforced almost solely for tangible goods, while adding that “we police the blocking of patties, beer and other manufactured items while seemingly ignoring the enforcement of these treaties for services.” “I encourage the continued efforts for our tangible goods, but remind this honourable house that Jamaica is a net exporter of services and, therefore, increased effort must be placed on the protection of the service sectors,” he stated. He also argued that one of the few ways Jamaica will benefit, even from the Economic Partnership Agreement, is through services in general and entertainment in particular. By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter Advertisementslast_img read more

Apple going big ahead of iPhone launch – report

Apple faces 5G modem wait Author AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 22 JUL 2014 Previous ArticleInterview: Todd Sizer, Bell LabsNext ArticleTake 2: LTE Broadcast learns from mobile TV missteps Tags KT makes LG Electronics trade-in move Google taps retail with NYC store Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist…More Read more Apple is reported to have placed orders for between 70 million and 80 million of its next-generation iPhone devices, against a backdrop of speculation that the company is set to offer its first device in the family with a large screen.According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), this compares with 50 million to 60 million orders for the iPhone 5s/iPhone 5c launch last year, indicating that Apple sees the introduction of its new devices driving customer demand to higher levels.Initial deliveries will be focused on an iPhone with a 4.7-inch screen, which will form the replacement for the current iPhone 5s. Shipments of a bigger device will begin in September.It was suggested that one “possible hiccup” the company is facing is that display makers are struggling with the production of 5.5-inch iPhone screens, which feature touch sensors integrated into the display in order to reduce thickness.It was also mooted that it will feature a sapphire crystal covering, “a more durable but costly alternative to glass”.With these new production methods taken into account, WSJ said that Apple has asked component manufacturers to provide additional parts in order to take into account the potential for a higher failure rate.A recent research note from RBC Capital Partners suggested that a large-screen iPhone would provide Apple with a boost in its home market.Large screen smartphones, or phablets, are also making up an increasing share of smartphone shipments in Asia, which is becoming an increasingly important region for Apple. AppleiPhone HomeDevicesNews Apple going big ahead of iPhone launch – report Related Devices Steve Costello read more

Jaeger wins rain-shortened BMW Charity Pro-Am

first_imgGREENVILLE, S.C. – Stephan Jaeger won the BMW Charity Pro-Am on Sunday for his second Web.com Tour victory when heavy rain washed out the final round. The 27-year-old German player shot a 7-under 65 on Saturday to reach 19-under 195. Tyler Duncan, Xinjun Zhang and Andrew Yun finished a shot back. “I didn’t miss a shot today, which was cool,” Jaeger joked. “It’s unfortunate. I was ready to play, I was ready to compete today, but the rain was not letting up and the golf course can only take so much.” A year after falling $3,243 short of earning a PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour’s regular-season money list, Jaeger earned $126,000 to jump from 103rd to sixth with $138,234. The top 25 at the end of the regular season will earn PGA Tour cards.last_img read more