Thursday, January 31, 2013

Take a sip of luxury aboard Palace on Wheels | Travel + Leisure ...

Have you ever experienced unparalleled and encouraging expedition which even cut through the boundaries of the expected? If ? ?NO?- then this is the time to plunge into the colors of Indian luxury aboard India?s first heritage luxury tourist train, Palace on Wheels. The train was introduced in the year 1982 by Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) along with Indian Railways to promote tourism in Rajasthan. Just after a few years of ? its inception the luxurious Palace on Wheels got PATA Gold Award and also caught the attention of major world media organizations including MTV, BBC, MDR of Germany, National Geographic and several others.

Palace on Wheels Exterior

Palace on Wheels Exterior

Unmatched hospitality and impeccable service makes the experience all the more rewarding. Journeys on the train are insight into India?s overwhelming history and vibrant culture. The Royal Forts & Palaces, the adventurous field, beautiful lakes surrounded by hills, vivacious Bazaars, traditional Rajasthani dinner offered during the train journey makes it the first choice of travelers in search of majestic experience in India. The train, which is an epitome of luxury blended with mesmerizing and charming beauty of Rajasthan justify, its title of 4th best luxury train in the World.

This is undoubtedly the exceptional rail ride that one can enjoy in India; but what makes this train stand at India?s No. 1 heritage luxury train? Let us have glimpse of some of the aspects of the train:

Cabins: With impeccable hospitality measures, the Palace on Wheels comes equipped with avant-garde amenities like central air conditioning, channel music, en-suite bathrooms with running hot & cold water, comfortable beds, writing desk and a chair to sit. Carpeted walls, royal furnished facilities, use of rich fabric & colorful paintings are most lucrative features of the deluxe abode onboard.

Palace on Wheels Cabins

Palace on Wheels Cabins

Facilities on board: Dining car, bar, Rejuvenation spa, lounge, khidmatgar (Personal Attendant), indoor games, newspaper/magazine, off train cultural events & onboard events compels every traveler to enjoy this ride of a lifetime. For on board amusement, guests can enjoy different indoor games like chess, cards, carom board and crossword puzzle in the lavishly appointed lounge car. Luxuriously appointed and gracefully adorned, train has a total of 14 fully air-conditioned sedans which can accommodate up to 88 passengers in a single journey.

Dining Car, Palace on Wheels

Dining Car, Palace on Wheels

Bar, Palace on Wheels

Bar, Palace on Wheels

Journey: The Itinerary in itself is a magic box which opens up new surprises day by day over 7 nights & 8 days of journey. During the journey the train chugs through some of the precisely chosen locales of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh including Delhi, Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur and Agra. Along with a stroll to the history lane of Rajasthan, guests aboard the train get a chance to explore its natural treasure trove with adventurous jungle safaris to Ranthambore and Keoladeo Chana National Park in Rajasthan.

Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj Mahal, Agra

Jeep Safari

Jeep Safari

Palace on wheels is synonym to ?Grand Luxury Voyage on Iron Wheels? It has left no stones unturned to relieve the pomp and pageantry of the bygone era when the Rajputs used to be the undefeated rulers of Rajasthan, the cultural heartland of India.


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Hundreds turn out for inaugural Dubai Outsource Zone Cricket Cup ...

The eagerly anticipated event took place at the Insportz Club in Dubai on 25th January and saw 20 teams comprising companies located in DOZ participate for a chance to win the tournament trophy.

The event and was attended by more than 500 spectators who turned out in force to cheer on participants and colleagues from some of DOZ's premium business partners, including Habib Bank Zurich, du, Royal Bank of Scotland, Mashreq Bank, Back Office, Cupola, IDAMA, AXA Insurance, First Data, Pamcal, ADCB, Dunia Finance, Serco, Gulf Outsourcing, Interglobe, Jumeirah Group and TECOM Investments.

The DOZ Cricket Cup was awarded to the team from Mashreq Bank following a close final match with runners up, du.

Speaking after the event, Ammar Malik, Director of Operations, Dubai Outsource Zone said: "In addition to providing world class services to DOZ's business partners, we strive to encourage a healthy work life balance across our community. The success of the DOZ Cricket Cup not only highlights the popularity of cricket in Dubai, but more significantly the potential of business zones to bring together members of the community. The establishment of the tournament falls in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai to promote sports and competition across Dubai, a vision that DOZ fully supports."

"We are delighted that the tournament attracted so many teams from across DOZ and hope to make the Cricket Cup an annual event.All teams put in their best efforts at the event and at the end of the day, the best side won the cup - congratulations to Team Mashreq."

Farhad Irani, Head of Retail Banking Group at Mashreq commented: "I would like to congratulate Team Mashreq for their spectacular performance and wining spirit throughout the tournament. This is a reflection of what teamwork really stands for. We are grateful to DOZ management for organising this community bonding event. Our players demonstrated pure talent, playing each game as if it were the final. They are worthy of being declared Champions of DOZ Cricket Cup 2013 and of bringing the trophy home."

DOZ was established in June 2004. Companies set up in the zone can expect to experience an environment that attracts different elements of the value chain from banking and finance, insurance, IT, legal to airlines and hospitality. Companies currently operating in DOZ include Genpact, Interglobe, Serco, Back Office, AXA Insurance, Du, Mashreq Bank, Arab Bank, First Data, Cupola, Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd, Al Futtaim Willis and Jumeirah Group.


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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Consulting Jobs Require You to Name Microsoft's Worst Product, Coffin Math

Finance jobs, banking jobs, recruitment in investment banking & in the financial markets
Post your resume


By Beecher Tuttle, 30 Jan 2013

How many people will buy coffins in a country with five million people? What?s Microsoft?s worst product? These are just a couple of the questions M.B.A. graduates and prospective interns from New York University?s Leonard N. Stern School of Business were asked by consulting companies in recent months.? If you can answer them and the others below, you may have a shot at a job with the likes of an IBM, Oracle or Bain.

  • A coffin company in a little country called Moldavia makes budget-priced, machine-made coffins and hand-made, high-end coffins. The company?s craftsmen who make the hand-made coffins are slowly retiring and new people are harder to find. The company is thinking about revamping their factories to install machinery to manufacture high-end coffins. What issues would they have to think about to make this decision? How could we estimate the market size for coffins in Moldavia if there are 5 million residents, people only live to age 75 and coffins are sold at $1,000 each (you have to make your own assumptions)
  • How profitable would it be to serve a cup of coffee to a tourist on Alcatraz?
  • Should you get an offer from multiple consulting firms how will you decide which firm?
  • A private equity firm is looking to acquire a company that installs and operates independent banking machines/ATMs. It is looking to get a 25% return over the next five years. What factors should it be looking at when considering the acquisition?
  • How would you prepare a proposal for a client who is manufacturing a special cable which can be used in power lines and telephone lines? The client wants to evaluate the future of this product.
  • You?ve been hired by a PE firm to evaluate buying a dormant cell phone network in a city of 5 million people for $50 million. They plan on offering a $30 a month plan that offers free calls anywhere in the metro area but nowhere else. Market penetrations of cell phones is 40%, max is 60%. There are 3 players in the market. The average customer life is 3 years. Acquisition cost is $500 per customer, 20% of non-cell phone users would be interested in the plan, 10% of users would switch. Should they do it?
  • Tell me about a poorly marketed product. What do you think was the rationale behind this marketing?
  • Tell me a Microsoft product that you hate? How would you fix it?
  • The new CEO at Apple is asking you for help on continuing Steve Jobs? legacy through Apple?s products and services. Where do you begin?
  • You have a company that is the number one producer of baby nutritional products in Europe. You would like to launch your product in the U.S. What are the issues around launching that product? Given these issues, would you recommend launching the product?

(Note: Some questions were altered for grammar and readability purposes)
Check out our previous post on interview questions posed by asset managers, commercial banks, private wealth managers and other finance firms.

All of the content in the Career Center, including the news articles above, is provided by the partner network. does not guarantee accuracy, timeliness or usefulness of the information in the Career Center, nor do we accept responsibility for any damage whatsoever arising from the use of this service.


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The DG, WTO, Mr. Pascal Lamy meeting the Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Textiles, Shri Anand Sharma, in New Delhi on January 30, 2013.

Sorry, Readability was unable to parse this page for content.


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Excessive Alcohol Use When You?re Young Could Have Lasting Impacts on Your Brain

Jan. 30, 2013 ? There is growing evidence for the lasting impact of alcohol on the brain.? Excessive alcohol use accounts for 4% of the global burden of disease, and binge drinking particularly is becoming an increasing health issue. A new review article published in Cortex highlights the significant changes in brain function and structure that can be caused by alcohol misuse in young people.

Functional signs of brain damage from alcohol misuse in young people mainly include deficits in visual learning and memory as well as executive functions. These functions are controlled by the hippocampus and frontal structures of the brain, which are not fully mature until around 25 years of age. Structural signs of alcohol misuse in young people include shrinking of the brain and significant changes to white matter tracts.

Age of first use may be considered to trigger alcohol misuse. According to the researchers however, changing the legal drinking age is not the answer. In Australia the legal drinking age is 18, three years earlier than in the US. Despite the difference in legal drinking age, the age of first use (and associated problems) is the same between the two countries.

Instead, the authors stressed the need for early intervention, by identifying markers and thresholds of risky drinking behaviour at an early stage, while individuals are in vulnerable stages of brain development.

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Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Elsevier, via AlphaGalileo.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel F. Hermens, Jim Lagopoulos, Juliette Tobias-Webb, Tamara De Regt, Glenys Dore, Lisa Juckes, Noeline Latt, Ian B. Hickie. Pathways to alcohol-induced brain impairment in young people: A review. Cortex, 2013; 49 (1): 3 DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2012.05.021

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.


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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This Week In Small Business: 1,000 New Bankers -


A weekly roundup of small-business developments.

What?s affecting me, my clients and other small-business owners this week.

The Big Story: Four More Years

At his inauguration, President Obama delivers a rallying cry for active government. Rick Newman says the president has given a gift to the stock market. This blogger believes that the speech made things a lot more certain for small businesses. Here?s the whole speech in just three minutes. These are 22 of the most fabulous Beyonc? moments from the inauguration (and one that?s not-so-fabulous). The president?s daughters seemed to enjoy the day, too.

Finance: Bank of America Hires 1,000 Bankers

Investment professionals are anticipating an influx of income and growth-hungry mom-and-pop ?retail? investors. Bank of America reached its goal of hiring 1,000 small-business bankers and extended nearly $8.7 billion in new credit to small businesses in 2012. Companies are keeping stockpiles of foreign cash in the United States. Erik Sherman says you should be wary of any Web site that claims to enable crowdfunded public offerings.

The Economy: $1 Trillion In Profits

General Electric?s earnings rise and overall corporate profits are now projected to be $1 trillion this year. But how good can things be if Google?s co-founder is still taking the subway? Weekly jobless claims dropped to a five-year low. The architecture billings index went up for the fifth straight month, and truck tonnage jumped 2.8 percent in December. Existing home sales shrank, but Bill McBride says it?s a solid report. Manufacturing activity contracts again in Richmond and in Kansas City (pdf). Blockbuster plans to close 300 stores. A quarterly survey finds that small-business confidence continues to hold steady but a Chamber of Commerce survey finds 53 percent of small businesses have not hired in the past year and 64 percent plan to keep the same number of employees in 2013. The International Monetary Fund thinks the United States economy is slowing down.

Tweet of the Week

@michaelianblack: Blockbuster still has 300 stores?

The Budget: Cats!

The House votes to extend the debt ceiling to May 19. Larry Summers says the government should worry less about deficits and more about unemployment. Jeff Miller tells us how to spot pop economists. A New Zealand economist wants to eradicate the country?s cats.

On The Road: Dreamliner Nightmares

Boeing?s unions blame the 787 Dreamliner woes on outsourcing. Southwest Airlines introduces a $40 fee. Capital One introduces a LinkedIn group for business travelers. Chicago?s hotel occupancy rate is back to pre-recession levels. A former road warrior delivers tips on cutting business travel expenses (and this road warrior almost becomes a former road warrior).

Your Employees: As Happy As Google

Yahoo is trying to lure back some former employees (suggestion: hire these awesome people instead). A marketing and advertising firm embraces quirkiness and manages to increase its growth. This is how to let employees know they?re appreciated and how to make your office as happy as Google?s. Emmanuel Banks explains how to make your Mac work space more productive. Here are a few tips for your employees to be more productive when working from home. Cash appears to be leaking out of 401(k) plans at an alarming rate. An 11-year-old girl shatters climbing records.

Managing: Losing Your Passion?

Brian Lee explains why you should never give up on becoming an entrepreneur, and Brad Farris has some thoughts on what business owners should do when they lose their passion. Ken Gaebler believes that investing in public relations boosts a company?s chances of getting acquired: ?P.R. works because you?re not saying, ?I?m great?; instead, it?s a respected outsider saying, ?They are great,? which is much more convincing.? Here?s how to achieve business success based on the Martha Rules. A bunch of high-profile entrepreneurs reveal what?s in the refrigerator.

Start-Ups: Why M.B.A.?s Fail

When looking for people to join your start-up?s board of directors, Mahendra Ramsinghani says not to let laziness and bias trump diversity. These three start-ups are trying to help you sleep. A new venture will mine asteroids. John Greathouse says there are five reasons M.B.A.?s fail at start-up. Steve Woodruff recommends five books for business starters. This is how one start-up spends its money.

Social Media: Bait and Switch

The clients of this social media consultant can?t even log on to Facebook, and here are 26 tips for getting started with social media marketing. Deb Donston-Miller suggests five ways social media makes business-to-business sense. This is how Threadless, Home Depot, and Amex managed to get groups of fans talking. Twitter experiences technical problems and releases a video sharing app. Here?s how to track the most popular Twitter hashtags. Google plans improvements to its image searching, and Facebook?s first intern is leading a small-business revolution. Nothing makes Derek Johnson angrier than seeing a text-message marketing campaign pull the old bait-and-switch on consumers. These are the five biggest misconceptions about using Instagram for business (but be careful: restaurants are cracking down on Instagrammers). And for some reason, the Library of Congress is archiving America?s tweets. Owen gets on SportsCenter.

Marketing: After the Sale

Here?s why you need to make content marketing a priority, and Heidi Cohen suggests nine content-marketing tactics. A webinar will discuss the seven marketing habits of today?s highly successful small and midsize businesses. Here are four tricks to attract new clients with your business cards. J. David Green explains how technology on the trade show floor can help your sales team work smarter and sell more. Ken Sundheim explains how search engine optimization almost killed his business. Charlotte Varela asks if you are helping your customers after they buy from you.

Retail: ?Show-Rooming?

Target can teach you the benefits of introducing brands online instead of in stores. ?Show-rooming? shoppers have been a good thing for eBay. Yelp is adding health inspection grades to its site. A bear uses a washing machine. A new marketplace helps retailers find spaces offering short-term leases. This week retailers can start charging their customers for credit card fees. The Panera Bread Foundation opens a new community cafe with no cash registers or prices.

Around The Country: Sparking Entrepreneurs

A flexible work company plans to add more than 20 locations in the Los Angeles area in 2013. The owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars offers $1 million to ?spark? entrepreneurs. A new tech rap video promotes entrepreneurship. Small businesses are big in Montana. Startup Weekend is coming to Evansville, Ind.

Around The World: 3D Clothes

Spanish banks are facing big challenges. Coca-Cola pledges $100,000 for projects by young people. In the United Kingdom, the prime minister wants a global crackdown on corporate tax cheats, a record-breaking number of Britons are now at work, and Prince Harry abandons an interview for ice cream. A Dell executive says small businesses should consider exporting to Brazil. In Paris, 3D printed clothing hits Fashion Week, and a Dutch architecture firm plans to print a house. This is the world?s poorest president.

Red Tape: Five Legal Myths

A new e-guide from Microsoft demystifies the process of pursuing contracts with the government and other large enterprises. Pete Wise lists five legal myths small-business owners should avoid, including: ?I don?t need a lawyer.? Entrepreneurs plan a road trip to talk up immigration reform. Women entrepreneurs will have greater access to federal contracts. Bill Murphy Jr. lists four ways women in combat will change business. Michael Keating discusses the opportunities in the government market.

Technology: Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs

Microsoft considers taking a big stake in a Dell buyout. Chris Luo says big data and software as a service will become relevant for small businesses in 2013. Ashton Kutcher will appear at MacWorld as Steve Jobs (which may help him get an invite to one of these dinners). Apple takes a beating on Wall Street. Paul Greenberg announces the best customer relations management applications for 2013. Liquids bounce off this clothing material. Robert LeCount gives advice for picking the right technology for your business. A yearlong competition challenges the best technology minds to develop solutions that address issues in health care, education and sustainability. Brother introduces a contest aimed at small businesses.

The Week?s Bests

Freshdesk?s marketing and communications manager, Sairam Krishnan, explains how his company finds and keeps customer service representatives: ?Test their culture fit. Every company has a slightly different way of doing business. At Freshdesk, we frown upon bureaucracy and hierarchy. We put our customer service candidates in situations where they have to interact with a few senior employees of the company. These interactions, usually spontaneous and casual, help the team evaluate the candidate?s personality and fit with our customer service-centered culture.?

Megan Totka shares tips for building a socially conscious business: ?Set an example. While it is great to encourage employees to volunteer, and even provide incentives, the best way to get everyone in your company fired up for service is by getting out there and participating yourself. Do more than simply embrace the idea of service; make the service happen.?

This Week?s Question: Do you consider your business socially conscious?

Gene Marks owns the Marks Group, a Bala Cynwyd, Pa., consulting firm that helps clients with customer relationship management. You can follow him on Twitter.


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Obama on immigration overhaul: 'Now is the time'

President Barack Obama speaks about immigration reform Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

President Barack Obama speaks about immigration reform Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

President Barack Obama speaks about immigration reform Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

President Barack Obama turns to leave after shaking hands and speaking about immigration at Del Sol High School, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama points to someone in the crowd as he arrives to speak about immigration at Del Sol High School, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.. center, answers a reporter's question as he and a bipartisan group of leading senators announce that they have reached agreement on the principles of sweeping legislation to rewrite the nation's immigration laws, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. From left are Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J. The deal covers border security, guest workers and employer verification, as well as a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(AP) ? Declaring "now is the time" to fix the nation's broken immigration system, President Barack Obama on Tuesday outlined broad proposals for putting millions of illegal immigrants on a clear path to citizenship while cracking down on businesses that employ people illegally and tightening security at the borders. He hailed a bipartisan Senate group on a similar track but left unresolved key details that could derail the complex and emotional effort.

Potential Senate roadblocks center on how to structure the avenue to citizenship and on whether legislation would cover same-sex couples ? and that's all before a Senate measure could be debated, approved and sent to the Republican-controlled House where opposition is sure to be stronger.

Obama, who carried Nevada in the November election with heavy Hispanic support, praised the Senate push, saying Congress is showing "a genuine desire to get this done soon." But mindful of previous immigrations efforts that have failed, he warned that the debate would be difficult and vowed to send his own legislation to Capitol Hill if lawmakers don't act quickly.

"The question now is simple," Obama said during a campaign-style event in Las Vegas, one week after being sworn in for a second term in the White House. "Do we have the resolve as a people, as a country, as a government to finally put this issue behind us? I believe that we do."

Shortly after Obama finished speaking, cracks emerged between the White House and the group of eight senators, which put out their proposals one day ahead of the president. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, faulted Obama for not making a citizenship pathway contingent on tighter border security, a central tenet of the lawmakers' proposals.

"The president's speech left the impression that he believes reforming immigration quickly is more important than reforming immigration right," Rubio said in a statement.

House Speaker John Boehner also responded coolly, with spokesman Brendan Buck saying the Ohio Republican hoped the president would be "careful not to drag the debate to the left and ultimately disrupt the difficult work that is ahead in the House and Senate."

Despite possible obstacles to come, the broad agreement between the White House and bipartisan lawmakers in the Senate represents a drastic shift in Washington's willingness to tackle immigration, an issue that has languished for years. Much of that shift is politically motivated, due to the growing influence of Hispanics in presidential and other elections and their overwhelming support for Obama in November.

The separate White House and Senate proposals focus on the same principles: providing a way for most of the estimated 11 million people already in the U.S. illegally to become citizens, strengthening border security, cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants and streamlining the legal immigration system.

A consensus around the question of citizenship could help lawmakers clear one major hurdle that has blocked previous immigration efforts. Many Republicans have opposed allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens, saying that would be an unfair reward for people who have broken the law.

Details on how to achieve a pathway to citizenship still could prove to be a major sticking point between the White House and the Senate group.

Obama and the Senate lawmakers all want to require people here illegally to register with the government, pass criminal and national security background checks, pay fees and penalties as well as back taxes and wait until existing immigration backlogs are cleared before getting in line for green cards. Neither proposal backs up those requirements with specifics.

After achieving legal status, U.S. law says people can become citizens after five years.

The Senate proposal says that entire process couldn't start until the borders were fully secure and tracking of people in the U.S. on visas had improved. Those vague requirements would almost certainly make the timeline for achieving citizenship longer than what the White House is proposing.

The president urged lawmakers to avoid making the citizenship pathway so difficult that it would appear out of reach for many illegal immigrants.

"We all agree that these men and women have to earn their way to citizenship," he said. "But for comprehensive immigration reform to work, it must make clear from the outset that there is a pathway to citizenship."

"It won't be a quick process, but it will be a fair process," Obama added.

Another key difference between the White House and Senate proposals is the administration's plan to allow same-sex partners to seek visas under the same rules that govern other family immigration. The Senate principles do not recognize same-sex partners, though Democratic lawmakers have told gay rights groups that they could seek to include that in a final bill.

John McCain of Arizona, who is part of the Senate immigration group, called the issue a "red flag" in an interview Tuesday on "CBS This Morning."

Washington last took up immigration changes in a serious way in 2007, when then-President George W. Bush pressed for an overhaul. The initial efforts had bipartisan support but eventually collapsed in the Senate because of a lack of GOP support.

Cognizant of that failed effort, the White House has readied its own immigration legislation. But officials said Obama will send it to the Hill only if the Senate process stalls.

Most of the recommendations Obama made Tuesday were not new. They were included in the immigration blueprint he released in 2011, but he exerted little political capital to get it passed by Congress, to the disappointment of many Hispanics.

Some of the recommendations in the Senate plan are also pulled from past immigration efforts. The senators involved in formulating the latest proposals, in addition to McCain and Rubio, are Democrats Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado, and Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Jeff Flake of Arizona.

Also Tuesday, in another sign of Congress' increased attention to immigration issues, a group of four senators introduced legislation aimed at allowing more high-tech workers into the country, a longtime priority of technology businesses. The bill by Republicans Rubio and Orrin Hatch and Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Chris Coons would increase the number of visas available for high-tech workers, make it easier for them to change jobs once here and for their spouses to work and aim to make it easier for foreigners at U.S. universities to remain here upon graduation.


Julie Pace reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Erica Werner contributed to this report.

Associated Press


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Evolution of Business Presentation Technology: Conversation with ...

Jim ConfaloneJim Confalone is a partner and creative director with ProPoint Graphics and is responsible for production operations. With a background in fine arts, he got his start as a designer leading the graphics department at a boutique management consulting firm in Boston, Massachussetts. Prior to ProPoint, he also worked as a web, Flash, and graphic designer in the New York area. Mr. Confalone holds an MFA with Honors in Painting and Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BA Summa Cum Laude in Fine Arts from Amherst College.

In this conversation, Jim talks about ProPoint's Evolution of Business Presentation Technology graphic.

Geetesh: Your Evolution of Business Presentation Technology infographic goes back 2 centuries ? how has presenting been the same during these two hundred years, and how has it been different?

Jim: The purpose of presentations hasn't changed -- they are still intended to inform, educate and persuade. What also hasn't changed is presenters' recognition of the importance of visuals to help them deliver powerful, engaging presentation, and also to help them communicate their message effectively.

Full graphic can be seen here.

Whether using a blackboard, magic lantern, or transparency projector, until recently the purpose of the delivery method has generally been to illustrate on large scale the core message of a presentation. What's really fascinating are the new opportunities afforded by the growth of multimedia, online and interactive tools. Instead of just throwing something on the wall, you can now directly involve your audience on a whole new level with things like supporting video or animation, online links to external sources, or real-time interactive polling. And whenever you can make a direct connection to your audience your job becomes a whole lot easier.

Geetesh: Tell us about this infographic ? why you created this, and was it fun creating this graphic?

Jim: Our interest in creating this infographic spawned from our desire to explore how we have arrived to where we are today. Presentations have become such an important business communication tool, we have so many options now, and have easier tools to use and access to them. We wanted to have a look back to see how our predecessors achieved their presentation goals.

Full graphic can be seen here.

We had a great time researching and putting the infographic together, especially for those of us who have actually had experience with some of these technologies that could easily be considered antiques. It's always fun to look back and appreciate how far we've come.

Geetesh: Although presentation technology has evolved to such a large extent, memory retention and concentration from the audience has reduced. What can presenters do to involve their audiences more?

Jim: Use engaging visuals that holds the interest of the audience and helps you communicate your message. Avoid using too much text -- if the audience has to read your presentation they will become bored and distracted. Limiting text on your slides will prevent you from using them as your script -- reading slides disengages you from the audience. Consider using multimedia to break up your presentation and show the audience something fresh to re-spark interest. Also, consider making your presentation interactive by having asking questions, using props (professional and relevant) and surveys.

See Also: ProPoint Graphics: Conversation with Jim Confalone

Categories: graphics, interviews, powerpoint

Labels: graphics, interviews, powerpoint


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Australia Day message from the Samuel Griffith Society - Michael ...



President?s Australia Day Message
Hon Ian Callinan AC

26th January, 2013



It seems as if each year the Constitution and the cohesion of our Australian community are put at some new and entirely unnecessary risk.? The dangers of the current one, of the introduction of a new law to criminalize speech which might cause offence to anyone, should not be underestimated.? Even the imaginative powers of George Orwell would not have conceived of an administration that would dare to try to forbid every member of society from passing adverse comment upon any other member of it.? The proposed law is such a silly one that it will turn everyone into offenders.? A law of this kind fails the elementary test of rational, consistent, and worse,?undiscriminating application.? In consequence, the cases selected for prosecution will be exactly that, ?selected?, that is to say, carefully chosen, under the influence or pressure of the most vociferous pressure groups.? Every Australian with an ideal of democracy - and I hope that means most Australians - should do everything they lawfully can to oppose the introduction of this outrageous law.? I remain optimistic however that if good political sense does not prevail, and the law is enacted, it will not survive the scrutiny of the courts.


I wish all Australians a happy and prosperous 2013, after the difficult years that we have experienced, since the GFC.


The Hon I D F Callinan AC



The Samuel Griffith society website is here.


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Monday, January 28, 2013

James William Golbeck - Estes-Leadley Funeral Home

Jim Golbeck, 82, was born in Chicago, IL, to Elizabeth and George Golbeck, and passed away Saturday, January 26, 2013.? He is survived by:? his loving wife, Mary; son, Mark; daughters, Kim (Stephen) Allie, Stacie (Joe) Niedzwiecki and Kerry (Mark) Kowalczyk; grandchildren, Steve, Nicole, Cameron, Mark, Brock, Nick and Conor; great grandchild, Evelyn; 3 sisters and 2 brothers.

Jim served as a medic in the U.S. Army, graduated from M.S.U. and was a true Spartan fan.? He served on the Delhi Township Planning Commission, was a scout leader, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish and worked for Pageant Homes for over 40 years.? Jim loved his family and friends, golf, woodworking, books, travel and fishing at Higgins Lake.

The Funeral Mass will be held at 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 29, 2013, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 3815 S. Cedar St., Lansing, with The Rev. Fr. John A. Byers as celebrant.? The family will receive friends at the church from 11:00 a.m. until service time on Tuesday.? Interment will take place in Ft. Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, at a later date.? In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Holt Food Bank, or St. Vincent de Paul Society at his church.? Arrangements by the Estes-Leadley Holt/Delhi Chapel.


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Businesses plan to boost spending, gauge shows

4 hrs.

A gauge of business investment improved in December, a sign that worries over tighter fiscal policy may not have held back capital spending plans as much as feared at the end of 2012.?

The Commerce Department said on Monday that non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for investment plans, edged up 0.2 percent last month.?

Many economists had expected businesses to be more timid with spending late last year because of uncertainty over government spending cuts and tax increases, which had been scheduled to kick in this month. Congress struck a last-minute deal in early January to avoid or postpone most of the austerity measures.?

Monday's data showed companies were still planning to expand their businesses.?

"There's a lot more confidence," said Wayne Kaufman, an analyst at John Thomas Financial in New York.?

The data pushed down prices for U.S. government debt, while giving the dollar a lift against the yen. But stock prices opened little changed.?

The report showed new orders for overall durable goods - long lasting factory goods from toasters to automobiles - jumped 4.6 percent in December, beating economists expectations of a 1.8 percent gain.?

Gains were broad based, with new orders for machinery, cars and primary metals all increasing. Orders of civilian aircraft, a volatile category, jumped 10.1 percent.?

Economists still think economic growth cooled in the fourth quarter as companies slowed the pace at which they re-stocked their shelves.?

But Monday's report suggested businesses expect demand in the U.S. economy to improve.?

In a further sign firms were betting their business will grow, the investment plans proxy for November was revised higher to show a 3 percent gain.?

"It certainly seems to us that companies are slowly but surely expanding," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.?

Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters.


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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Report: Japan to air ultra-high-def TV in 2014

7 hrs.

TOKYO???The Japanese government is set to launch the world's first 4K TV broadcast in July 2014, roughly two years ahead of schedule, to help stir demand for ultra high-definition televisions, the Asahi newspaper reported on Sunday without citing sources.

The service will begin from communications satellites, followed by satellite broadcasting and ground digital broadcasting, the report said.

The 4K TVs, which boast four times the resolution of current high-definition TVs, are now on sale by Japanese makers including Sony, Panasonic and Sharp. Other manufacturers include South Korea's LG Electronics.

Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications had aimed to kick-start the 4K TV service in 2016. That has been brought forward to July 2014, when the final match of the 2014 football World Cup is set to take place in Brazil, the Asahi report said.

In Japan, the development of super high-definition 8K TVs is in progress, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications plans to launch the test 8K TV broadcast in 2016, two years ahead of schedule, it said.

Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters.


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OKAY, there, Ive said it. If you are an Internet manager you want visitors to arrive at your site to see what you?ve or even to fund the method at companies. You want to produce a comprehensive opt-in ezine that provides persuasive information that subsequently results in income from the best customer base if you are a web business. When an ezine founder pushes? The principal reason for an electric newspaper (ezine) is always to market a product or service. OKAY, there, Ive said it. You want visitors to come to your website to see what you have or even to account the method at advertisers if you are an Internet publisher. If you?re an online business you desire to produce a comprehensive opt-in ezine that gift suggestions convincing data that in turn results in revenue from an educated client base. When an ezine manager presses too hard or explores procedures that are significantly less than dependable the result is a standing of being fully a spammer. One of the first questions any web business should ask themselves is Why should I develop a business ezine? You may want to rethink your answer you want to provide it a whirl and if the answer is merely because its a tool. Building an ezine can be labor-intensive correlate with a distinct purpose. You need to know what the intent of the ezine is likely to be before you can definitely get things rolling. You?ll probably find it better acquired among your opt-in number if you can form a plan for your ezine. Business owners could mistakenly believe that they ought to create an ezine for marketing purposes and only send whatever data moves them at any given moment. You?ll likely find consumers that opt-in will opt-out in short order if that is your method. It is equally important to respect the value of the time your client-base might spend with your ezine since you comprehend the value of time. The more planning and point to the ezine the higher it?ll be obtained. Look at it in this manner, if you have 1,000 motivated customers on a list that has 5,000 and each individual spends 5 minutes reading the material you send, the accumulated time your customers spend with your ezine is simply over 83 hours or around 3 (24 hour) times. If you send a regular ezine your customers will be likely found by you spending almost half of the season reading your material. To put that in perspective your young ones won?t take school as long as it requires determined clients to collectively read your material. You can do at least ensure it is worth reading if your customers will spend that much time reading your ezine. Develop your own personal material, but dont hesitate to utilize material from other professionals. These details can be obtained through your suppliers and can also be obtained through the use of free-to-use articles available on multiple sites. advanced web ranking review


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Video: Custody battle over Obie the Dachshund settled

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bankruptcy Guidance You Can Place To Use - Finance

If you have had any of your possessions repossessed by the IRS, personal bankruptcy may be an option for you. Although bankruptcy tends to destroy a person?s credit, it?s occasionally the only available option. To find out more about bankruptcy and what it entails, view the following article.

Keep in mind that there is the possibility that your bankruptcy could be denied so you should have an alternative plan in mind. You can determine what you will do about your mortgage and car payment in advance, if you are prepared for possible rejection.

Before you decide to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should consider what your bankruptcy might have on others, as your family and friends may be affected. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will relieve you of your legal responsibility to pay any joint debts. Sadly, this will not be the case for your co debtor. Your creditors may simply turn their attention to your hapless acquaintance.

Be sure to hire an attorney before you embark upon filing for personal bankruptcy. There are many different aspects to filing bankruptcy, and you may not understand everything there is to know. A specialized bankruptcy lawyer can ensure that you are handling your bankruptcy filing the right way.

Determine which assets won?t be seized before filing for bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Code contains a list of various assets that are excluded from bankruptcy. Be well prepared for bankruptcy by reviewing this list. It will tell you whether are not the things you value most are subject to seizure. If you don?t heed that advice, you might find yourself getting surprised when your favorite things are repossessed.

After going through bankruptcy, a lot of people think they are being financially responsible if they shun all forms of credit. This is actually a poor idea because credit helps to build good credit. If you don?t ever use credit, your credit history will not improve, and you may not be able to purchase important things like a home and car. One credit card is adequate to begin rebuilding your credit rating.

You must be entirely candid when it comes to declaring assets and obligations in your bankruptcy petition. All of your financial information, be it positive or negative, must be disclosed to those in charge of filing your case. They need to know it all. Being honest is both the right thing to do and, moreover, it is required by law.

You should never feel shame for needing to file for bankruptcy. Often, with bankruptcy, come feelings of guilt, shame and worthlessness. But, there is nothing positive about feeling this way and it can actually affect your mental state. Keeping an optimistic view as you deal with your financial woes is the most productive way of dealing with a bankruptcy.

Avoid paying for a consultation with the bankruptcy attorney, but do ask many questions. Most attorneys offer free initial consultations, and you should take advantage of the chance to interview multiple practitioners. Make a choice only if you have received good answers to all the questions and concerns you brought to the table. You don?t have to make your decision right after this consultation. Take your time, and schedule consultations with more than one lawyer.

As you can see, filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision that must be considered carefully before you make it. If it seems to make sense in light of your financial problems, you should seek an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can guide you toward a fresh, clean start!

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AP Interview: Ohio's Kasich enthuses over Davos

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) ? Embarking on what he called a reluctant trade mission, Ohio Governor John Kasich said Friday that his state's economic comeback was generating interest ? and potential new business opportunities ? on the world stage in Switzerland.

Ohio's blue-collar voters have made it arguably the most important swing state in recent U.S. presidential elections, and President Barack Obama won the state in November by focusing on the controversial auto industry bailout. Kasich, who explored a presidential bid in the run-up to the 2000 election, also confirmed he would seek re-election in 2014.

The Republican governor, a former congressman who rose to House Budget Committee chairman before working as a Lehman Brothers investment banker and commentator on Fox News Channel, told The Associated Press that he was initially "very reluctant" to make the trip to the annual World Economic Forum in Davos.

He decided to go, he said, after he realized that this week's gathering offered a valuable chance to court business and provide a global perspective. Davos is awash with top business leaders from around the world as well as many other high-profile people from the worlds of politics, academics and commerce.

"It's like a trade mission in one small little area," he said. "We focused almost exclusively on CEOs."

Kasich was involved in a number of panel discussions and held private meetings with about 15 executives from big companies to pitch ideas on investing in Ohio.

"The thing that I have been surprised by is that the people around have heard that things are getting better in Ohio," he said. "I've been shocked."

When talking with international leaders, Kasich said he emphasizes his willingness to work closely with business ? a fact he credits for helping turn Ohio's $8 billion budget deficit into what he says will be a $1 billion surplus.

Among those he held business discussions were U.S.-based Dow Chemical Co. and Philips Healthcare, which announced thousands of layoffs last year and is a part of Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics.

His message: "We're open for business .... If you've got a big idea, come to Ohio."


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Friday, January 25, 2013

Attempt These Colin Kaepernick Jersey Solutions To Increase Your ...

Assisting on your own can be a major converting level for obtaining your daily life Colin Kaepernick Jersey on the right course. This kind of help is not so difficult, however it does need some expertise so you make whilst keeping enforcing beneficial alterations for your existence. This listing of tips need to help you become more mindful of how to become an improved individual.

When interacting with men and women, you ought to be delicate but know the best time to be solid. Do your best to take care of people beautifully each and every day to make buddies and make up a good surroundings. When someone becomes when it comes to your desired goals, cause them to fully grasp completely that you disagree along with them.

If you are sensing form of downward and out, try and add more proteins for your diet regime. It is an excellent self help hint that may enhance your amount of alertness without needing to Colin Kaepernick Jersey consider any kind of drugs. Incorporate these fatty acids to get a normal defense from not warn when you have to be.

Probably the most important matters to remember really emanates from a Christian prayer. Accept the things you are not able to transform, and change precisely what is in your own strength. These two methods may be an easy task to incorporate, but the third, knowing the distinction between these situations, may be a little more tough.

For anyone trying to accomplish self improvement on a religious stage, consider using a speedy in order to connect to the system plus your Colin Kaepernick Jersey interior mind-set. This helps you conquer bodily vices and convey you closer to your bodily personal. Providing you have no medical conditions (and make sure to get a doctor counsel first), fasting is the best way to read more about yourself.

Use good visualization in your daily existence. Photo yourself getting the targets you want. Photo your life to be greater than it is right now. Achieving this routinely sets your mind over a course for good results. Beneficial visualization is clinically confirmed to work for most individuals.

Take control of your entire body. When you need something, consider if Colin Kaepernick Jersey this really is a thing that could make you more happy or something that is that your system needs. As an example, cigarette smokers often experience the need to smoke cigarettes a tobacco cigarette however they generally do not truly feel any better while they are done. These desires are controlled by the physique: learn how to acknowledge them.

Determine what you wish to do with yourself. This doesn?t imply you need to map your complete lifestyle ahead of time. Consider the after that 5 years. Exactly where do you need to be? What does your way of life look like? When you evaluate this perspective you are able to pull apart the levels and figure out the ideal Colin Kaepernick Jersey plan of action to have where by you ought to be.

As you can see, there is a lot much more to self-help than the majority of people consider. It requires a lot of organizing, operate, and persistence, but it will probably be worth it eventually to aid stay a healthier and happier style of living. By using the aforementioned ideas, you are well on your way to lifestyle the life that you desire.

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Spotify's Top 10 most viral tracks

FILE - This May 7, 2012 file photo shows singer-actor Justin Timberlake at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala benefit in New York. Timberlake has concentrated almost exclusively on his acting career over the last few years. But on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, he posted a video on his that showed him walking into a studio, putting on headphones and saying: ?I'm ready.? He hasn't made an album since 2006's Grammy-winning ?FutureSex/LoveSounds.? (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, file)

FILE - This May 7, 2012 file photo shows singer-actor Justin Timberlake at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala benefit in New York. Timberlake has concentrated almost exclusively on his acting career over the last few years. But on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, he posted a video on his that showed him walking into a studio, putting on headphones and saying: ?I'm ready.? He hasn't made an album since 2006's Grammy-winning ?FutureSex/LoveSounds.? (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, file)

The following list represents the most viral tracks on Spotify, based on the number of people who shared it divided by the number who listened to it, from Monday, Jan. 14, to Sunday, Jan. 20, via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify.


1. Justin Timberlake, "Suit & Tie," featuring Jay-Z (RCA Records)

2. The Neighbourhood, "Sweater Weather" (The (r)evolve Group)

3. A$AP Rocky, "Wild For The Night" (A$AP Worldwide/Polo Grounds Music/RCA Records)

4. Darius Rucker, "Wagon Wheel" (Capitol Nashville)

5. Robert DeLong, "Global Concepts" (Glassnote)

6. Black Veil Brides, "In The End" (Universal Republic Records)

7. Hardwell, "Apollo (Radio Edit)" (Revealed Recordings)

8. Datsik & Excision, "Vindicate" (Firepower Records)

9. Blake Shelton, "Sure Be Cool If You Did" (Warner Bros.)

10. Archive, "Bullets" (Hangman Records)


1. Bring Me The Horizon, "Shadow Moses" (RCA Records)

2. The Family Rain, "Trust Me ... I'm a Genius" (bigger SPLASH Records)

3. Justin Timberlake, "Suit & Tie," featuring Jay-Z (RCA Records)

4. Peace, "Wraith" (Columbia)

5. Burial, "Truant" (Hyperdub)

6. Matthew E. White, "Big Love" (Domino Recording Co.)

7. One Pound Fish Man, "One Pound Fish (Radio Mix)" (Warner Bros.)

8. Everything Everything, "Kemosabe" (RCA Records)

9. Clean Bandit, "A+E" (Atlantic Records UK)

10. A$AP Rocky, "Wild For The Night" (A$AP Worldwide/Polo Grounds Music/RCA Records)

Associated Press


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What To Do When Denied Auto Insurance - Business Insider

Question: My mom bought a 1996 vehicle that?s worth $3,800.

She wants to put full coverage on it, but her insurance broker said her insurer won?t allow it because of some scratches and dents on the car.

I never had this problem with my insurance company, and I?ve fully insured older vehicles.? What should she do??

Answer:?If your mother wants collision and comprehensive coverage (often referred as full coverage) on her vehicle and her current car insurance company refuses her request, she should comparison shop and purchase her auto insurance policy elsewhere.

Coverage offerings and rates vary greatly from one insurance company to the next, and this allows for motorists to find an affordable auto insurance policy that includes coverages they want.? Underwriting rules and guidelines also differ insurer to insurer.

For instance, some car insurance companies limit how old a vehicle they will cover with comprehensive and collision.? If your vehicle is beyond their limit, such as 20 years, you will be offered only liability coverages.? (See ?Insure your car from showroom to junkyard?)

Some auto insurance providers will offer car owners full coverage if their vehicle has dents and scratches or other minor damage, as long as it is documented and the policyholder understands he or she cannot claim for this pre-existing damage.?

Other car insurance carriers will at first refuse your request for comprehensive and collision coverage if your vehicle has existing damage, but will allow you to add full coverage once documentation and an inspection show that necessary repairs were made.?

And still other auto insurance companies won?t offer you full coverage period if a vehicle has existing coverage, or existing damage that is over a certain monetary amount, such as $500.

When an insurance company won?t insure a vehicle due to damage, it?s not trying to criticize a person?s choice in an older car that shows its age. It?s a business decision.? If the car were in an accident it would be difficult to discern old damage from new, thus causing issues with claims.

There is also the issue of insurance fraud.? Dishonest individuals sometimes buy a beat-up older vehicle for a song and then put comprehensive and collision on it and later try to make a claim for pre-existing damage.? Fraud like this can end up costing honest auto insurance policyholders, like you and your mother, more in premiums.

By comparison shopping for a full coverage policy with multiple auto insurance companies at once, like offers here, your mother ?should easily be able to find a provider that is pricing competitively for her particular set of rating factors, including her older vehicle.?

I'd advise your mother to also review ?Is it time to drop comp and collision? to help her decide just how long she needs full coverage on her older vehicle.


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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Massive melting of Andes glaciers

Glaciers in the tropical Andes have shrunk by an average of 30-50% since the 1970s, according to a study.

The glaciers, which provide fresh water for tens of millions in South America, are retreating at their fastest rate in the past 300 years.

The study included data on about half of all Andean glaciers and blamed the melting on an average temperature rise of 0.7C from 1950-1994.

Details appear in the academic journal Cryosphere.

The authors report that glaciers are retreating everywhere in the tropical Andes, but the melting is more pronounced for small glaciers at low altitudes.

Glaciers at altitudes below 5,400m have lost about 1.35m in ice thickness per year since the late 1970s, twice the rate of the larger, high-altitude glaciers.

"Because the maximum thickness of these small, low-altitude glaciers rarely exceeds 40 metres, with such an annual loss they will probably completely disappear within the coming decades," said lead author Antoine Rabatel, from the Laboratory for Glaciology and Environmental Geophysics in Grenoble, France.

Water shortages

The researchers also say there was little change in the amount of rainfall in the region over the last few decades and so could not account for changes in glacier retreat.

Without changes in rainfall, the region could face water shortages in the future, the scientists say.

The Santa River valley in Peru could be most affected; its hundreds of thousands of inhabitants rely heavily on glacier water for agriculture, domestic consumption, and hydropower.

Large cities, such as La Paz in Bolivia, could also face problems. "Glaciers provide about 15% of the La Paz water supply throughout the year, increasing to about 27% during the dry season," said co-author Alvaro Soruco from the Institute of Geological and Environmental Investigations in Bolivia.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has pointed to the importance of mountain glaciers as sensitive indicators of climate change.

Globally, glaciers have been retreating since the early 20th Century, with a few exceptions. Himalayan glaciers are relatively poorly studied and there are suggestions that some are actually putting on mass.

Some scientists say the Chacaltaya glacier in Bolivia, which used to be the world's highest ski run, has already nearly disappeared.


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Viral reactivation a likely link between stress and heart disease

Jan. 22, 2013 ? A new study could provide the link that scientists have been looking for to confirm that reactivation of a latent herpes virus is a cause of some heart problems.

Looking at blood samples from 299 heart patients, researchers at Ohio State University found that those who had suffered a heart attack were the most likely to have inflammatory proteins circulating in their blood compared to patients with less acute symptoms. And having more of one of these proteins in the blood was linked to the presence of antibodies that signal a latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) reactivation.

To date, these relationships have been hard to find because scientists have been unable to detect evidence of a virus in diseased areas of the cardiovascular system.

In this study, however, the researchers instead looked for antibodies against a protein that can be produced even when only partial or incomplete reactivation of Epstein-Barr EBV occurs. And when this antibody was detected, it was associated with immune system malfunctions connected to inflammation -- a known risk factor for heart disease.

Identifying a solid link between a reactivated virus and heart disease is important because of the prevalence of EBV, a human herpes virus that causes infectious mononucleosis and several different types of tumors. An estimated 95 percent of Americans have been infected with the virus by adulthood, and once a person is infected, the virus remains dormant in the body. It can be reactivated without causing symptoms of illness, but reactivation has potential to create chaos in the immune system.

Stress is a known predictor of reactivation of EBV, meaning virus reactivation could be a mechanism by which stress leads to chronic inflammation and eventually cardiovascular diseases.

"In the big picture, this may help clarify the role these viruses play in heart disease," said co-author Ron Glaser, director of Ohio State's Institute for Behavioral Medicine Institute (IBMR) and professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics. "And it makes sense, because we know that some viral proteins can induce inflammation, affecting the lining of blood vessels, so that inflammation is in the right place to function as a significant risk factor for heart disease."

The research is published in the online journal PLOS ONE.

The patients whose blood was sampled for the study were undergoing angioplasty to clear narrow arteries. Researchers tested their blood for the presence of numerous cytokines -- proteins that signal the presence of inflammation -- as well as for antibody to an EBV encoded viral protein called dUTPase. This protein is produced early in the process of viral reactivation, and may be present even if signs of the virus itself cannot be detected.

Co-author Marshall Williams, professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics, uses a highly sensitive method to detect these antibodies, and hopes to develop an equally effective technique that could be put to use in clinical laboratories.

Patients who had had acute myocardial infarction -- a heart attack -- were the most likely to have the highest measures of two cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) in their blood compared to patients whose main symptom was chest pain.

Researchers also identified a strong relationship between circulating concentrations of ICAM-1 and detectable antibodies to EBV dUTPase. In fact, the highest values of ICAM-1 were found in patients who had had a heart attack and were positive for the dUTPase protein. A similar trend was seen with IL-6, but the finding could have been attributed to chance.

"This study provides the essential clinical corroboration of this mechanism showing enhanced levels of proinflammatory proteins in the blood of patients with acute coronary events and detectable levels of the EBV-related protein," said Philip Binkley, professor of cardiovascular medicine and epidemiology at Ohio State and a lead author of the study.

Additional co-authors on this work include Glen Cooke and Amanda Lesinski of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; Min Chen and Bryon Laskowski of the IBMR; James Waldman of the Department of Pathology; and Maria-Eugenia Ariza and Deborah Knight of the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics. Co-author Mackenzie Taylor, Binkley and Cooke also are investigators in the Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute.

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The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Ohio State University. The original article was written by Emily Caldwell.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

  1. Philip F. Binkley, Glen E. Cooke, Amanda Lesinski, Mackenzie Taylor, Min Chen, Bryon Laskowski, W. James Waldman, Maria E. Ariza, Marshall V. Williams, Deborah A. Knight, Ronald Glaser. Evidence for the Role of Epstein Barr Virus Infections in the Pathogenesis of Acute Coronary Events. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (1): e54008 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054008

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.


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