NEW YORK |
NEW YORK May 16 (Reuters) – Knight Capital Group is
close to a settlement with the top U.S. securities regulator on
a probe into the automated trading firm’s Aug. 1 software glitch
that disrupted the equity markets and led to Knight’s sale,
according to three sources.
NEW YORK May 16 (Reuters) – Knight Capital Group is
Knight and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have
been negotiating a settlement for around a month, and are close
to a deal, but the exact timing and the amount of the fine is
still not clear at this point, two of the sources said. Another
source pegged the settlement in the “low millions.”
THERE ARE VERY FEW foods that kill the flavor of wine. Strong spices inevitably lacerate the taste buds and are best avoided if you are thinking of opening that special bottle. So too are dishes that are overly acidic, bitter or sweet as, broadly speaking, they tend to clash with their respective partners in wine. Anyone who has tasted a glass of red wine after a mouthful of salad heavily seasoned with vinaigrette knows that the taste is mouth-puckering, whereas a protein-based dish, such as steak, usually marries well with the strong bitter flavors and wild fruit of young red and white wine.
With pairings in generalâas long as you avoid too much salt with white wine, and vinegar with redâmy advice has always been to trust your own palate. It is usually right. When wine is served with food, the objective isn’t to intimidate your guests with overly complicated rules and prescriptions, but to simply make sure the two complement each other.
Three wines to pair with a vegetarian meal.
But problems begin to arise when you leave the meat behind and go for the vegetarian option. It just so happens that most wine-and-food absolute write-offs are based around vegetables. Asparagus is a notoriously difficult customer, leaving white wine tasting a little metallic. A partially ripe tomato can strip a red wine of all its charm, while spinach, artichokes and even sweet carrots can cause problems. Nuts are generally good accompaniments to most aperitifs, but woe betide the wine lover who attempts to pair dry roasted peanuts with wine. Perhaps this is why wine lovers tend to approach the conundrum of matching wine with vegetarian dishes with such trepidation.
Difficult pairings aside, there are a few guidelines that will help you find a suitable partner for that truffle risotto or mushroom tart.
With any pairing, one is looking for harmony. The flavor of neither the wine nor the food should overpower one another. A useful trick is to try and think not just in terms of the smell or flavor of the wine but also its texture.
This is particularly important with vegetarian dishes, which are themselves texturally softer. Soft, light dishes tend to pair well with red wines that are low in tannin, less powerful and high in fruit. Generally, these are wines such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz and Zinfandel. In France, try red wines from the Loire, any Gamay-based wines from the southern RhÃ´ne or Languedoc and Beaujolais-Villages. Further afield, try Chianti and Barbera from Italy and Rioja from Spain.
The important point is to match the intensity of the wine with the intensity of the dish.
“The fresher the food, the lighter and fresher the wine. You do not want something heavily aromatic. You want something that is savory and understated.”
“For most vegetable dishes that are not heavily laden with spices, you want wine that is not challenging,” says Sriram Aylur, chef and proprietor at London’s Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Quilon, pointing to German Riesling. “The fresher the food, the lighter and fresher the wine. You do not want something heavily aromatic. You want something that is savory and understated.”
For risotto, one should opt for a dry, fairly neutral white wine, such as a Pinot Grigio, a Rueda from Spain, a Chenin Blanc from the Loire in France or a dry SÃ©millon. If you wanted to go red, I would opt for Italy and a Barolo. If the dish contains lots of raw vegetables, pair it with a light, fresh wine, such as an Old World Sauvignon Blanc, a white Burgundy or a Chablis.
For anything with a slightly spicy/Asian feel, I would look to Riesling, GewÃ¼rztraminer and Pinot Gris from Alsace and Viognier from the RhÃ´ne. Bone-dry pale rosÃ© wines from Provence in France and New World Chardonnay are a vegetarian’s friend, as they provide a good accompaniment to lighter, fresher ingredients.
And don’t forget sherry. One of my favorite snacks is roasted almonds with a chilled glass of Fino sherry.
To the newcomer, wine can be baffling. A subject of infinite complexities, it is little wonder most consumers approach the supermarket wine aisles with trepidation. A look at where to begin.
Story By: by Scott Hensley
A car driven by a 19-year-old man crashed into a tree in Bates Township, Mich., in April. The Iron County Sheriff’s Department said investigators believed the driver, who survived the crash, was drunk and speeding.
To curb drunken driving, the federal National Transportation Safety Board has voted to recommend that states tighten the legal limit for drivers’ blood alcohol.
The threshold now for drunken driving is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08. (The BAC equals alcohol divided by the volume of blood it’s in.)
The NTSB would push for it to be lowered to 0.05, in line with the limits in countries such as Denmark, the Philippines and Switzerland.
How many drinks would it take to run afoul of the new limit? The answer depends on weight, gender and how long a person has been drinking.
A man weighing 180 pounds who drank three beers in an hour would have a BAC of 0.052, according to a calculator on the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation website. A 120-pound woman would hit the same level drinking two beers over 60 minutes.
At 0.05 BAC, drivers have worse coordination and can’t keep track of moving objects all that well, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says.
“We need as much attention today on impaired driving as we saw in the early 1980s when organizations like MADD were founded and the drinking age became 21,” said the text of a speech to be given by Deborah A.P. Hersman, chairman of the NTSB, at the start of a two-day meeting on impaired driving. “Over that decade, real progress was achieved in the United States.”
More than 10,000 highway deaths in 2010 involved an alcohol-impaired driver, according to the NTSB. While that’s down from more than 18,000 in 1988, the NTSB says it could be reduced further still with strichter alcohol limits.
But it looks like a tough sell. “When the limit was .10, it was very difficult to get it lowered to .08,” Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for Governors Highway Safety Association told USA Today. “We don’t expect any state to go to .05.”
LONDON (Reuters) – Is nanomedicine the next big thing? A growing number of top drug companies seem to think so.
LONDON (Reuters) – Is nanomedicine the next big thing? A growing number of top drug companies seem to think so.
The ability to encapsulate potent drugs in tiny particles measuring billionths of a meter in diameter is opening up new options for super-accurate drug delivery, increasing precision hits at the site of disease with, hopefully, fewer side effects.
Three deals struck this year by privately held Bind Therapeutics, together worth nearly $1 billion if experiments are successful, highlight a new interest in using such tiny carriers to deliver drug payloads to specific locations in the body.
U.S.-based Bind is one of several biotechnology firms that are luring large pharmaceutical makers with a range of smart drug nanotechnologies, notably against cancer.
And nanomedicine is also being put to work in diagnosis, with tiny particles used to improve imaging in scanners, as well as rapidly detecting some serious infections.
In future, researchers hope to combine both treatment and diagnostics in a new approach dubbed “theranostics” that would allow doctors to monitor patients via their medicines.
After much hype but limited clinical success, scientists in the nanotechnology field finally see a turning point.
“We have been hearing about the promise of nanomedicine for a long time, but it is now really starting to move,” said Dan Peer, who runs a nanomedicine laboratory at Tel Aviv University.
“There is a new level of confidence in this approach among the big pharmaceutical companies … We will see more and more products in clinical testing over the next few years and I think that is very exciting.”
Nanoparticles made of polymers, gold and even graphene – a newly-discovered form of carbon – are now in various stages of development. In cancer alone, 117 drugs are being assessed using nanoparticle formulations, though most have yet to be tried on patients, according to Thomson Reuters Pharma data.
Other potential applications include treatments for inflammatory disorders, heart and brain diseases, and pain.
Companies are increasingly focused on better drug targeting to increase efficacy and lessen the collateral damage caused by medicinal “carpet bombing” – a particular problem in cancer, where toxic compounds are needed to kill tumors.
The work on drug-carrying nanoparticles parallels advances in using so-called “armed antibodies” to deliver drugs direct to cancer cells – an approach championed by Roche.
The Swiss group won U.S. approval in February for Kadcyla, its first such antibody-drug conjugate, which treats breast cancer with fewer side effects like hair loss.
“All these developments have prompted companies to look at new avenues because the older ways of using drugs haven’t worked so well,” said Robert Langer, a pioneer of nanomedicine who runs the world’s largest biomedical engineering laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Having worked on drug delivery since the 1970s, Langer has seen plenty of ups and downs.
The world’s first nanomedicine was actually approved back in 1995 when U.S. regulators gave a green light to Doxil for treating Kaposi’s sarcoma, a cancer often associated with AIDS.
Doxil – a hollow fatty ball known as a liposome with a cancer-killing drug inside it – was a breakthrough. Yet few other nanomedicines have followed.
Recent scientific advances have changed the game, however. Bind’s nanoparticles, for example, are programmed to reach the right spot using targeting molecules that recognize specific proteins linked to disease on the surface of cells.
They also have a stealth covering that shields them from the immune system, in order to minimize adverse reactions.
Since January, Amgen, Pfizer and AstraZeneca have all signed up to use Bind’s technology, which comes from work originally carried out in Langer’s lab.
And Bind is not the only game in town. Another approach, using tiny particles of gold as drug carriers, is being explored in a deal that AstraZeneca signed in December with CytImmune.
“Anything you can do to improve targeting of tumors rather than normal tissue – whether that is through an armed antibody or nanoparticle approach – increases the chance of success,” said Susan Galbraith, who leads AstraZeneca’s oncology research.
The work remains early stage and Peer of Tel Aviv University says all the novel carriers will have to be studied closely for potential toxicity. However, experience with liposomes is good and versions of gold nanoparticles have also been used safely for many years to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Injecting patients with gold may sound like a pricey option but with thousands of nanoparticles fitting into the width of a human hair, the amount of metal used is tiny. Gold, unlike some other metals, is not toxic and has been used in various medical treatments for many years without harmful effects.
Bind CEO Scott Minick also thinks his polymer technology will have cost advantages over expensive antibody drugs.
Further out, Kostas Kostarelos, professor of nanomedicine at University College London, has high hopes for graphene – a one-atom-thick form of carbon. His team is currently working with graphene nanomaterials in pre-clinical experiments.
“We will see parallel development of different materials, each offering something different therapeutically,” he said.
Other venture-backed nanomedicine firms include Cerulean Pharma, whose technology has made a highly potent cancer drug tolerable but which recently had disappointing results in a clinical study, and two companies looking at new vaccines.
Selecta Biosciences has a deal on food allergy vaccines with Sanofi, while Liquidia Technologies is allied with GlaxoSmithKline on vaccines and inhaled products.
MIT’s Langer is convinced more Big Pharma companies will think small in future.
“You can be sure others will jump on the bandwagon sooner or later. That doesn’t mean they might not jump off for a little bit too – but they will jump back on. These technologies are here to stay,” he said.
(Editing by Peter Graff)
Long known for its pyramids and ancient civilisation, Egypt is the largest Arab country and has played a central role in Middle Eastern politics in modern times.
Encouraged by the protests that overthrew the long-term leader of Tunisia, mounting popular anger burst to the surface in huge anti-government demonstrations in January 2011, which eventually led President Mubarak to step aside. He was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment over deaths during the demonstrations.
The road towards democracy proved rocky, however, and post-revolutionary politics have become increasingly polarised between the newly ascendant Islamists on the one hand and liberal and secular forces on the other.
After the interim military administration's promised rapid transition ended up lasting more than a year, parliamentary elections finally held in December 2011 and January 2012 produced large majorities for Islamist parties.
Similarly, a presidential poll in May and June 2012 was won Islamist Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi, prompting fears among liberal activists about the prospects for democratic gains and women's and minority rights.
After his election, Mr Morsi quickly swept aside the army's attempt to hold on to extensive political powers, but a new dispute flared at the end of 2012, when the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly signed off on a constitution which the president put to a referendum on 15 December.
The move infuriated secular, Christian and women's groups and the liberal opposition, especially when the referendum approved the constitution. They say the constitution does not provide sufficient guarantees for freedom of expression and women's rights.
Egypt's teeming cities – and almost all agricultural activity – are concentrated along the banks of the Nile, and on the river's delta. Deserts occupy most of the country.
The economy depends heavily on agriculture, tourism and cash remittances from Egyptians working abroad, mainly in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries.
However, rapid population growth and the limited amount of arable land are straining the country's resources and economy, and continuing political turmoil has paralysed government efforts to address the problems.
Editor’s note: Paul Butler is a law professor at Georgetown University. He is the author of “Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice.”
That is how President Obama should begin one of the most significant speeches of his presidency: the commencement address at Morehouse College this Sunday. Addressing the historically black all male institution gives Obama an opportunity to rectify his strategic neglect of African-Americans. In this high-profile talk to his own demographic, the president has some explaining to do.
Obama’s identity as a black man is usually communicated subliminally, with the swag in his walk, the basketball court on the East Lawn, the sexy glances at the first lady, his overall cool. Now, however, comes the time to be explicit: to speak out loud his affiliation, his fraternal pride and concern. That’s the good work that calling us “brothers” would do.
In appearances before African-American audiences, the president sometimes sounds like he’s saying the wrong thing. He told the Congressional Black Caucus to “stop grumbling, stop complaining, stop crying.” In a Father’s Day talk at a black church in Chicago, he criticized “too many fathers” for “acting like boys not men.”
African-American men certainly could use an intervention from the most successful African-American man in history. They are on the bottom of many indicators of achievement. They suffer the highest level of incarceration, and the largest homicide rates, of any Americans. In urban areas, fewer than half graduate from high school. Their unemployment is among the highest in the country.
“I’m sorry I haven’t done more.”
The president has not spoken out forcefully against racial profiling and mass incarceration. He has not memorialized the mainly African-American victims of gun violence in Chicago the way he has memorialized the mainly white victims of gun violence in Newtown and Columbine. Asked why he hadn’t done more to remedy the catastrophic rate of African-American unemployment, Obama said, “I can’t pass laws that say I’m just helping black folks. I’m president of the entire United States.”
“Thank you for your support.”
Nobody understands, like this audience will, the contortions a successful African-American man has to make to fit in but stand out, to be strong but not intimidate or frighten, to be black enough but not too black.
But in some ways the African-American community has been too understanding. Emanuel Cleaver, while chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said “the president knows we are going to act in deference to him in a way we wouldn’t to someone white.” Politically it was not the smartest thing to say (the LGBT community didn’t turn Obama into the most gay friendly president in U.S. history by going easy on him) but any black man could understand the sentiment. That’s why the African-American turnout for the president’s re-election was higher than the white turnout.
Now blacks who supported the president are doing exactly what other groups responsible for his victory are doing: waiting for him to return the favor.
“We’ve all got to do better.”
The president isn’t the only black man who needs to step up support of his brothers. My friend runs a mentoring organization for black boys in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the nation’s most affluent black community. There is a long waiting list of boys, mostly without dads in the home, and only about 10 active African-American male mentors.
President Obama provides, for Morehouse men and everyone else, a 21st century model of African-American masculinity. His oft stated support for women’s rights is a crucial component. The casual misogyny of some black popular culture, especially hip-hop music and videos, is a disgrace. It’s OK for the president to note that not every aspect of black male culture is praiseworthy.
“That includes me.”
The government’s primary intervention for black men is to lock them up. President Obama cannot, on his own, reverse this course, but he can do much more than he has to disrupt the flow of the one in three young black men who are headed to prison. One example would be to speak in favor of decriminalizing marijuana, as have other politicians like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Black men are selectively arrested for marijuana crimes, and these arrests have a stigmatizing effect on future employment and earnings that redounds to the detriment of African-American families. Barack Obama was once a young black man who smoked pot, and it would be surprising if he actually believes that it’s fair for other young black men to be selectively prosecuted for that.
“I am the most powerful man in the world, and I’ve got your back.”
Those are words profound enough to make a black man cry. I believe them to be true, but hearing them proclaimed out loud would be incredibly meaningful. African-American men feel a special kinship with this president. How inspiring it would be for the president to acknowledge this connection, in his words and in his actions. What a difference it might make for the millions of black boys who now are headed to destinies very different from graduating from Morehouse College or becoming president of the United States.
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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul Butler.
Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt has been allowed to take a mattress, pillow, fan, toiletries and mosquito repellent to jail with him.
The court also allowed the actor access to medicines and food from home during his stay in the prison.
On Thursday, the actor returned to jail to finish his sentence for firearms offences linked to blasts which killed 257 people in Mumbai in 1993.
He has already served 18 months of his five-year term.
He was convicted for illegally possessing a rifle and a pistol which he bought from the bombers.
He had sought to delay his return to prison to finish a number of films, but the court rejected his appeal.
On Thursday night, the actor was sent to Mumbai's Arthur Road prison and Indian media reports say he is expected to be soon moved to Pune's Yerwada prison where he will spend the rest of his sentence.
The court allowed the 53-year-old actor to take with him copies of the Bhagvad Gita, Ramayan and Hanuman Chalisa – all Hindu religious texts – in addition to toiletries, including toothpaste, shampoo, slippers and clothes.
But Judge GA Sanap rejected Dutt's request to take an electronic cigarette with him, Press Trust of India reported. Instead, the judge advised him to quit smoking, it said.
Dutt was convicted in 2006 of buying arms from the bombers but cleared of conspiracy. The attacks left 713 others injured.
The son of a Hindu father and a Muslim mother, Dutt said the weapons were necessary in order to defend his family during the Hindu-Muslim rioting of 1993 which followed the destruction by Hindu zealots of the Babri mosque in the northern town of Ayodhya.
Dutt, one of Bollywood's most bankable stars, is hugely popular for his role as a lovable gangster in the Munnabhai movies. He has also dabbled in politics.
In 2006, a special anti-terror court convicted 100 people for the blasts. Twelve were given the death penalty and 20 others sentenced to life imprisonment.
Dutt, the most high-profile among the convicts, was originally charged with five offences, including criminal conspiracy and possession of illegal weapons.
In March 2013, India's Supreme Court upheld his conviction, but reduced his sentence from six to five years.
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To activate the service, the customer sends the code 144 to 902 and he will receive a text message showing how to subscribe and recharge as well as the service features. It is to be noted that messages to 902 are free and without any charges even if the customer is outside the kingdom.
Op-Ed: Why The Underwear-Bomber Leak Infuriated The Obama Administration
Story By: by Emily Harris
The webpage Google.ps used to read “Google: Palestinian Territories.” On May 1, the company quietly changed that regional search page to say “Google: Palestine.”
Google didn’t announce the name change, but it didn’t have to. In a place where small gestures can carry great symbolism, Palestinians noticed right away.
“Everybody knows about it and they screenshot [and] post on Facebook: ‘Yay Google, thank you,’ ” says Mohammad Kumboz, a 22-year-old graphic designer and computer programmer who lives in the Gaza Strip.
Kumboz knows having Google call Gaza and the West Bank Palestine isn’t as official as the United Nations perhaps.
The U.N, over Israeli and U.S. objections, upgraded the Palestinians to a non-member observer state last fall. But Kumboz says that to him, Google’s move is more meaningful.
“Google means a lot to us,” he says. “[No day passes] without using Google.”
That might be especially true for Kumboz.
He is part of Gaza Sky Geeks, an incubator for nascent IT businesses. It was started by Mercy Corps and is funded by a $900,000 grant from Google’s charitable arm. So far, Kumboz has developed a game, called Mighty Cow, in which players help save a rather sweet-looking cow from the butcher’s knife.
Google started funding the IT training program in Gaza a couple years ago after a chance meeting with Andy Dwonch. Dwonch is Mercy Corps’ director of social innovations and previously ran Mercy Corps’ work in the West Bank and Gaza.
“From the very beginning I thought there could be some potential partnership, but I really frankly didn’t understand what made Google tick,” Dwonch says. “I didn’t necessarily understand what they were interested in.”
Ultimately, Google’s foundation funded a two-year program of training and support for Palestinians in Gaza who wanted to start their own Web businesses or learn skills to hire themselves out as programmers to companies anywhere.
Google has offices in a Tel Aviv skyscraper and just off the beach in the northern Israeli city of Haifa. Google employs a couple hundred Israeli engineers and looks for Israeli companies to buy. Google knows the territory, but Israel’s Foreign Ministry thinks the company is misguided in its latest move.
“Google can do anything they want. They’re not a diplomatic entity so they can do Google La-la Land if they want to and that’s fine,” says Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. “Still, the question remains, this is a highly sensitive international politics issue, so what made Google decide they wanted to take a position on this?”
Google wouldn’t talk about this, but the company put out a statement saying it was following the lead of the United Nations and other international organizations. It also provided several examples of other name changes.
Israel’s deputy foreign minister sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page, saying Google’s move could hurt peace negotiations.
“I can tell you that it has no diplomatic meaning, and it hasn’t,” says Palmor. “But if people on the Palestinian side believe that they can get anything they want through unilateral steps by international bodies, well in that case they will be more reluctant to talk to Israel.”
Ordinary Palestinians don’t get to make that call. But as boys laugh and play online shooter games in an Internet cafÃ© in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in the West Bank, cafÃ© owner Johnnie Skafi says Google pulled his “would-be nation” one more step up the ladder.
“Palestinian Territories means under the occupation,” Skafi says. “Palestine [means] without occupation. That’s what I think is the difference.”