Deutsche Bank scandal: Courts still chasing billions through tax scams and carbon credits

first_img Deutsche Bank settled in the UK in May last year, without admitting liability. It has refused to tell the Bureau how big the settlement was. Deutsche Bank told the Bureau it “exited carbon emissions trading in 2010 and reimbursed the German state”.The current civil cases involve RBS – now called Natwest Markets – and Citibank, who are being sued for £71.4m and £14m respectively by liquidators of a string of companies involved in the fraud. The firms that absconded with the VAT have gone into liquidation. Accountancy firm Grant Thornton is acting on behalf of the companies in an attempt to recover the money.Citibank said it considers the claim to be “fundamentally misconceived and entirely without merit”. It is “vigorously defending against the allegations”.Natwest Markets said it “denies the allegations and defended them in court in 2018. This is a long-running claim and we are expecting judgment to be handed down shortly.”Raids at Germany’s biggest bankIn April 2010 EU police and tax investigators raided hundreds of offices and homes across Germany, including those of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt. The bank was ordered to repay €145m (£124m) of lost VAT on trades between August 2009 until the raids in April 2010 that were connected to fraud. This pushed the fraud to the UK – where VAT was still charged on sales of carbon credits – and HMRC had been given only a day’s notice about the changes in France.An internal RBS email sent in early July said “it seems the UK’s carbon emissions market is rotten” and “is being targeted by carousel trading fraudsters”. RBS said this email reflects that individual’s opinion and not the wider team’s.A summer spreeShortly after the Bluenext Exchange reopened on 9 June 2009, court documents show an associate at Deutsche Bank London’s carbon trading desk, a trader, messaged a broker about the closure. “The whole carousel/VAT scam is a bit troubling,” they wrote, “maybe it really is a scam, and clearly illegal and clearly troubling”.In any case, the trader predicted a “summer slowdown” on trades “as we all take holiday”. But in reality, over the next seven weeks trading suddenly exploded as fraudsters cashed in on the UK carbon credit market.In mid-June Deutsche Bank was approached by SVS Securities, a broker with whom Deutsche had not dealt before. It had carbon credits to trade and expected to grow its business.SVS was soon providing Deutsche Bank with many more carbon credits than expected. On 2 July, SVS sold 842,000 credits to the bank, three times the amount it had initially estimated it could supply. In its defence SVS said this was because the initial volume was calculated by an intern. It said the sudden increase can only be said to “appear illegitimate with the benefit of hindsight”.The bank asked SVS for a reason behind the spike in carbon credits. SVS brokers met Deutsche Bank traders at a Corney & Barrow wine bar, and gave a plausible explanation for the uptick in business, according to Deutsche Bank.SVS said another broker, Tradition Financial Services (TFS), had approached it with an influx of clients from Eastern Europe wanting to sell carbon credits, and that SVS and TFS introduced them to Deutsche Bank and split the commission.SVS denies it ever gave the bank this explanation and said the meeting was simply a social occasion.SVS and TFS’s clients were not in fact genuine Eastern European suppliers. They were the “missing traders” who disappeared with the VAT once Deutsche Bank sent in a claims form to HMRC, according to a witness statement given by Rod Stone, a fraud investigator at HMRC, during the German authorities’ investigation.After the meeting trading resumed, and over the next 23 days Deutsche Bank bought more than 24m credits from SVS.The documents reveal that during this summer spree traders at SVS and TFS were raising their own concerns about the carbon credits they were selling on to the banks.Phone calls between Simon Fox, a trader at SVS, and Luca Bertali from TFS reveal they had never met anyone from one of the companies they were trading with and Bertali said one of them “could be an axe murderer”. Fox also questioned whether the company could “do a runner”.After hearing of a presentation by Barclays Bank about how to detect VAT fraud, Bertali phoned Fox and asked: “What are we going to do?… I hope to God they’re not all dodgy, I can’t imagine every single one of these people being fucking dodgy.”In another phone call between two unidentified SVS and TFS employees, the two agreed “the shit” will come down on carbon credit trading.The Bureau spoke to Bertali, who left TFS in 2014 and now owns a yoga studio in Shoreditch, east London. He said he believed the market for carbon credits was genuine, and that clients came to brokers like TFS who took less of a cut of profits than a bank.“It’s very easy to say with hindsight. We were just doing what we thought was the right thing,” he said. “We weren’t the ones stealing the VAT.”A member of the emission trading desk at Deutsche Bank in London claims to have raised concerns about SVS’s trading, though it is unknown exactly when. The trader said she had queried the high volumes of credits coming from SVS.During the civil case in the UK the lawyers acting on behalf of SVS and TFS’ creditors, Grant Thornton, alleged Deutsche Bank should have questioned SVS’s purported business model as it “made no commercial sense”. No other financial institution experienced such a spike in trading.Deutsche Bank London bought increasing numbers of credits from SVS at favourable prices while knowingly failing to investigate SVS’s business properly as it was not in its financial interest to do so, the lawyers allege.They were “wilfully shutting their eyes to the obvious, which was that there was no legitimate explanation for the trades such that there was a significant and unexplored risk that they were connected with criminal activity and in particular VAT fraud,” the claimants allege.While Deutsche Bank settled, Grant Thornton lawyers are still seeking £50m from SVS, two of its former employees and TFS. The case will be heard in March next year.In its defence, SVS said it denies being a knowing party in the fraud and denies that its traders “deliberately closed their minds or failed to ask questions”. They are “not culpable” for any fraud against companies or HMRC, it added.TFS also denies assisting alleged VAT fraud but that if it did assist “it did so unwittingly and not dishonestly”.Suspicions about Deutsche Bank’s trading were later raised at HMRC when in September 2009 the bank submitted a VAT refund claim for £48m, while prior to January 2009, the London branch would normally have paid VAT to HMRC. On investigators’ instruction, HMRC withheld the claim.By this time, carbon credits were no longer charged VAT, putting an end to the fraud in the UK. RBS and Citibank stopped trading with SVS in July over concerns of fraud.Despite this, Deutsche Bank London carried on trading: it stopped buying carbon credits from SVS and started selling to them instead.These credits were coming from the bank’s Frankfurt branch and fraudsters were now stealing from German tax authorities, where VAT was still being charged. Deutsche Bank declined to comment further.Almost a decade after the first suspicions of fraud emerged at HMRC, it has still been unable to recoup the full amount stolen from British taxpayers, estimated to be up to £300m. Even if it wins in court, it’s likely HMRC will only get back around half of what it is owed.For Grand Theft Europe, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism teamed up with a network of 35 European media partners from every European country, coordinated by the German non-profit newsroom Correctiv, to investigate VAT carousels, the biggest ongoing tax fraud in the EU. Read more at whatsapp Tuesday 7 May 2019 12:01 am Traders in London facilitated the so-called “carousel” fraud by organised crime gangs in 2009, which involved the trading of carbon credits, permits which allow a country or organisation to emit greenhouse gases.The gangs imported millions of carbon credits from outside the UK before selling them on in Britain, charging VAT to the customer but disappearing with the money instead of passing it on to HMRC. These credits were eventually bought and sold by Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Citibank among others, a key step in the fraudsters’ plans, court documents show.To hide the scam, the fraudsters set up a chain or “carousel” of bogus companies which traded the carbon credits, before selling them on to major banks through brokers. The carousel allows criminals to recycle the carbon credits and then re-sell them, allowing the fraud to continue for longer.The fraudsters moved their operations from country to country. Now, German non-profit media organisation Correctiv has coordinated 28 newsrooms across Europe to put the jigsaw together. Teams of journalists including the Bureau have scoured thousands of newly obtained documents and talked to some of the participants as part of a project called Grand Theft Europe.The documents reveal in great detail the allegations made against Deutsche Bank, RBS and Citibank and the broker companies who sold them the carbon credits. It is alleged the banks and brokers did not do enough to ensure the credits they traded were not connected to fraud. Major banks enabled fraudsters to steal billions of pounds of public money through VAT scams, according to documents obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.A decade later, tax authorities are still chasing the money through the courts. Court documents reveal allegations that the fraud uncovered in Germany had its seeds in the UK in the months before the raids.Seven Deutsche Bank employees in Germany have been prosecuted to date. None of the traders in Deutsche Bank’s London office have faced criminal charges so far.The documents piece together how the carbon credit carousel fraud began in France, moved to the Netherlands and the UK, before migrating to Germany and Italy, in a pan-European fraud that is estimated to have cost EU governments €5bn.By early June 2009, a series of scandals meant it was widely known across Europe that the market for carbon credits was teeming with frauds. The Paris-based Bluenext Exchange, the main trading exchange for carbon emissions, closed for two days on 8 and 9 June as the French tax administration opted to charge a zero rate of VAT on carbon credits to prevent carousel fraud.A few days later, the Paris prosecutor’s office admitted it was investigating a multi-million-euro VAT fraud in the French carbon emissions market. Within a week, the Netherlands had also introduced a mechanism to combat the fraud.center_img Bureau of Investigative Journalism Deutsche Bank scandal: Courts still chasing billions through tax scams and carbon credits Share More From Our Partners Russell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgFort Bragg soldier accused of killing another servicewoman over exthegrio.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgFans call out hypocrisy as Tebow returns to NFL while Kaepernick is still outthegrio.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgLA news reporter doesn’t seem to recognize actor Mark Currythegrio.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks whatsapp Tags: Trading Archivelast_img read more

2018 Remembered – Laois GAA club suffers sickening weekend attack by ‘idiots’

first_img WhatsApp Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’ WhatsApp Pinterest 2018 Remembered – Laois GAA club suffers sickening weekend attack by ‘idiots’ Council Community Twitter Facebook New Arles road opens but disquiet over who was invited to official opening Back in September, the Heath GAA club suffered an act of vandalism on their club grounds.It didn’t hold back the club however, as they had a successful year in all their club sports.The Heath GAA club grounds were vandalised over the weekend.Substantial damage was done to the outside of the club with several windows broken.The damage didn’t stop there as a number of doors were kicked in and lights were pulled down in different rooms.The Heath PRO Seamus Mulhare told LaoisToday how the club discovered the incident this morning.He said: “With the Electric Picnic on over the weekend, there wasn’t really anyone around the club grounds since Friday.“But we got a call about it this morning and the level of damage done is incredible.“Nothing appears to have been taken but the person or people who did this really did a lot of harm.“They kicked the locks off doors, broke several windows, pulled the lights out of the showers and did more damage to one of the dressing rooms.“Like all clubs, our club house is maintained by volunteerism and used by the local community.“If you know who did this please tell someone, so we can try talk sense into the idiot or idiots. Or contact Portlaoise Gardai on 0578674100.” Pinterestcenter_img Community SEE ALSO – The Clonaslee Show is back – and promises another great family day out Previous articleDowling and Gaughan lead Camross to U-21 hurling gloryNext articleWinner announced in brilliant Gerry Browne Jewellers/LaoisToday Competition LaoisToday Reporter By LaoisToday Reporter – 22nd December 2018 Home We Are Laois 2018 Remembered – Laois GAA club suffers sickening weekend attack by ‘idiots’ We Are Laois Facebook Twitter TAGS2018 RememberedLaois GAAThe Heath GAA RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Laois secondary school announces scholarship winners for new academic yearlast_img read more

Last Will of George William Gordon on Show

first_imgFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail A heritage exhibition, depicting Jamaican culture and history, was staged by the Registrar Generals Department (RGD), in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, on October 24.On show were the last will and testament of National Hero, The Right Excellent George William Gordon, a list of the first registered marriages in Jamaica, and the first locally recorded bill of sale. Also in the mix were sumptuous Jamaican fare – ackee and salt fish, roasted breadfruit, coconut drops, gizzada and duckunoo.Many customers visited the exhibition tent to peek, some watched from afar, while still others came forward and expressed themselves forthrightly.“Me want some of that ackee and salt fish,” one customer exclaimed, then blushed when she realised that she had spoken loud enough for all to hear. Later on in the proceedings she got her wish in the form of a generous helping of roasted breadfruit and well seasoned ackee and saltfish, as did all the persons who came out to view the exhibition in the early stages.On hand to serve visitors and customers at the exhibition were Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the RGD, Dr. Patricia Holness and staff members.Another customer, Merlene Davis, stood off at a distance, with her daughter held loosely on her side.Miss Davis told JIS News, that she was a very satisfied customer, and that she had come to look about her own birth certificate, as that had already been done for her child.“I don’t need to worry about her,” she said, pointing to her daughter. “She was registered in hospital by the RGD when she was born, and she got her birth certificate free of cost. I am very satisfied with the service,” she declared.Miss Davis was referring to the bedside registration service provided by the RGD in hospitals across the island, where representatives register all children at the time they are born.The exhibition also contained replicas of old Jamaican maps, showing names of places long forgotten, and even listing free villages sited all over the island. Last Will of George William Gordon on Show UncategorizedOctober 29, 2008 Advertisements RelatedLast Will of George William Gordon on Showcenter_img RelatedLast Will of George William Gordon on Show RelatedLast Will of George William Gordon on Showlast_img read more

JIS Community Meeting Focuses on Healthy Lifestyle

first_imgRelatedJIS Community Meeting Focuses on Healthy Lifestyle FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The benefit of embracing healthy lifestyle was the focus of a community meeting sponsored by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) (Port Antonio Office) in collaboration with the Portland HeaLth Department, in Boston, Portland on Thursday (March 12).The meeting focused on the HIV/AIDS pandemic, bad eating habits and the lack of exercise, three of the major factors posing health risks to Jamaicans. Community members were provided with the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about their HIV status through testing, which was carried out by representatives of the Portland Health Department.Addressing the meeting , Peer Counsellor at the Portland Health Department, Laurel Morris, said that a total of 71 million people, worldwide, have been infected with HIV/AIDS since the disease was first diagnosed in 1982.She said that 42 million persons are currently living with the disease, while 29 million have died so far. She added that 45 million new cases are expected to be diagnosed by 2010.Noting that the Caribbean has the second highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the world, she said that rate was the highest in the Americas and is the leading cause of death among persons aged 15 to 44 years.She pointed out that there are an estimated 28,000 Jamaicans living with the disease and 8,097 reported cases in the country since the start of the epidemic.She also asserted that an average of 13 Jamaicans per week died of AIDS in 2002, while approximately 5,000 children, under the age of 15, have been orphaned by the disease.Declaring that there were numerous social factors driving the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Jamaica, Miss Morris said they included poverty, ignorance, cultural practices, sexual practices, gender inequalities and prostitution/sex work. She said those at high risk of contracting the disease included persons who have multiple sex partners, sexual intercourse without the use of a condom and who share IV drug needles that are not sterilized.Speaking on poor eating habits and the lack of proper exercise by Jamaicans, Health Educator and Nutritionist at the Portland Health Department, Claudia Panton, emphasised the importance of including lean meat, dry beans and peas as sources of protein in daily diet.She exhorted the audience to limit their intake of butter, margarine, shortening and oil, and urged them to become involved in daily exercise routines in order to lead healthier lives.Stressing that exercise promotes relaxation, reduces stress and increases energy, she also urged the audience to avoid the excessive use of sugar and eat more of the foods which are good sources of fibre and starch. RelatedJIS Community Meeting Focuses on Healthy Lifestyle JIS Community Meeting Focuses on Healthy Lifestyle Health & WellnessMarch 17, 2009center_img RelatedJIS Community Meeting Focuses on Healthy Lifestyle Advertisementslast_img read more

Ensuring fairer payment terms for small businesses

first_imgEnsuring fairer payment terms for small businesses Australia’s large businesses will have to report on their use of questionable practices to small business suppliers with the release of the Payment Times Reporting Scheme Rules and Guidance Material.Under the Morrison Government’s Payment Times Reporting Scheme large businesses with a total annual income of over $100 million will have to report publicly on how and when they pay their small business suppliers.The Rules will require large businesses to detail their small business supply chain financing arrangements, such as reverse factoring. This will ensure small businesses are fully informed about the large businesses that use these types of arrangements.Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said small businesses will for the first time have the opportunity to find out how large businesses pay their small business customers.“This will allow our small businesses to make informed decisions about who they do business with,” Minister Cash said.“Shining a light on large business payment performance will lead to fairer and faster payments for Australia’s 3.5 million small and family businesses.“I welcome the recent decision from major contractor CIMIC Group to move to 30-day payment terms for its small business suppliers next year when the Morrison Government’s Payment Times Reporting Scheme comes into effect.“This clearly demonstrates the role transparency and community expectation have in enforcing faster and fairer payment practices.”Minister Cash said that the Government recognises that supply chain financing can offer a real choice for small businesses but is concerned when these arrangements are used to push out payment times.After an initial 12-month transition period, civil penalties will apply to reporting businesses that fail to report or give the Payment Times Reporting Regulator a false or misleading report. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:AusPol, Australia, business, cash, community, Effect, employment, Family, Government, Minister, Morrison, Morrison Government, penalty, Skills, Small Business, supply chainlast_img read more

Fluorescing Lab Worms Signal Longer Life Spans, Reports CU-Boulder Team

first_imgNote to Editors: Contents embargoed until 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 24. University of Colorado at Boulder scientists have used a fluorescent marker to predict the individual life spans of identical worms that were genetically engineered to illuminate stress levels, implying living organisms have “hidden physiological states” that dictate their ability to deal with the rigors of life. According to CU-Boulder Research Associate Shane Rea, the genetically identical nematodes were engineered with a green fluorescent “reporter” protein coupled to a stress protein that is present in most multicellular organisms as a monitor of cellular health. The eyelash-sized, translucent worms that fluoresced the brightest after being subjected to high temperatures as young adults had significantly longer life expectancies than those that were less bright, the team reported. “We have shown it’s possible to predict the life span in an organism on the first day of adult life based on how it responds to stress,” said CU-Boulder Professor Thomas Johnson. “This is something that has not been done before, and has implications for human longevity and health.” A paper on the subject by co-first authors Rea and Deqing Wu, in addition to James Cypser and Johnson of CU-Boulder’s Institute for Behavioral Genetics and James Vaupel of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany was published in the July 17 advance online issue of Nature Genetics. “We have engineered a single gene to monitor the health of an organism, which is a first,” said Johnson. Funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, the effort began about eight years ago when Cypser, then a CU-Boulder graduate student, began testing a new idea of Johnson’s in the university laboratory. Most scientists believe the life span of humans and other living creatures is determined by a combination of genetic, environmental and chance factors. Twin studies in humans have suggested that genes are only about 15 percent to 30 percent responsible for a person’s age at death, Rea said. The CU-Boulder researchers attribute the life span variation observed in the genetically identical worms in the study to chance metabolic processes that involve an array of biochemical and kinetic reactions, said Rea. “This work starts to address the question of why genetically identical organisms raised in identical environments still age at different rates,” said Rea. “It suggests that chance alterations in how stress-response mechanisms are maintained dictate how individual organisms respond to specific environmental insults.” Carried out using about 100,000 popular laboratory nematodes known as C. elegans, the study indicated the brightness level triggered by the reporter protein could predict up to a four-fold variation in the life expectancy of a worm. In a typical experiment, the brightest worms had life expectancies of about 16 days, compared to about three days for those with the lowest expressed levels of fluorescent protein. The brightest worms also had the highest tolerance to extended exposure to heat. “The ability to predict differences in longevity of this magnitude have never before been reported, especially given that the predictions are made on the first day of adult life,” Johnson said. Obtained from jellyfish and widely used in genetic experiments, the green fluorescent protein was attached to a heat-shock protein in the worms called HSP-16. “HSP-16 alone is probably not responsible for observed differences in survival, but instead is likely reflective of a hidden, heterogeneous, but now quantifiable state that dictates the ability of an organism to deal with the rigors of living,” the team wrote in Nature Genetics. An automated “worm sorter” equipped with a laser scanner to swiftly detect fluorescence levels in the nematodes and a pneumatic device that separates them into groups with short pulses of air was used during the study. One of only six such instruments in the United States, the machine can sort about 30 worms per second, Johnson said. Genetic testing on both the bright and dim worms revealed that the levels of the green fluorescent protein expressed by parent worms were not passed down to offspring and therefore not heritable, said Rea. Research suggests that humans possess several similar types of “stress-response” systems tuned to counter environmental insults like oxidative stress, pathogens, alcohol and heat, said Rea. Some of the stress-response systems appear to overlap with each other, while others operate completely independently, he said. “We suspect several different biomarkers exist that represent the many different stress-response systems present in an organism,” Rea said. “By finding them, we should ultimately be able to find what makes an animal robust to many different insults.” Johnson authored a milestone paper in 1988 showing that mutating a single gene in roundworms could double their life span — the first evidence that the lifespan of an animal could be increased by genetic alteration. Since then, researchers around the world have been tinkering with proteins and genes of C. elegans in attempts to understand more about how life span can be increased. Although interventions involving pharmaceuticals and other treatments clearly have a substantial effect on human longevity, many believe that the primary key to longer and healthier lives may involve genetic manipulation, said Rea. “But genes and environment are not the entire answer,” he said. “Clearly, there is a large component of chance.” In the future, scientists could conceivably analyze human fluid samples for a variety of biomarkers similar to HSP-16 in order to determine a person’s life span, said Rea. “They might even be able to tweak each stress-response system and set them for maximum longevity, which is believed to be about 120 years.” Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Published: July 21, 2005 last_img read more

New study involving CU-Boulder tells the tale of a kangaroo’s tail

first_imgShare Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Published: July 2, 2014 Kangaroos may be nature’s best hoppers. But when they are grazing on all fours, which is most of the time, their tail becomes a powerful fifth leg, says a new study.Involving researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder, Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada, and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, the study illuminates the seemingly mundane task of foraging by red kangaroos. While such activity appears awkward, it turns out their tails provide as much propulsive force as their front and hind legs combined as they eat their way across the landscape.“We found that when a kangaroo is walking, it uses its tail just like a leg,” said Associate Professor Maxwell Donelan of Simon Fraser University, corresponding author for the study. “They use it to support, propel and power their motion. In fact, they perform as much mechanical work with their tails as we do with one of our legs.” “We went into this thinking the tail was primarily used like a strut, a balancing pole, or a one-legged milking stool,” said Associate Professor Rodger Kram of CU-Boulder’s Department of Integrative Physiology, a study co-author. “What we didn’t expect to find was how much power the tails of the kangaroos were producing. It was pretty darn surprising.”Red kangaroos are the largest of the kangaroo species in Australia. When grazing on grasses, they move both hind feet forward “paired limb” style while using their tails and front limbs together to support their bodies. “They appear to be awkward and ungainly walkers when one watches them moseying around in their mobs looking for something to eat,” said Kram. “But it turns out it is not really that awkward, just weird.”In human locomotion, the back foot acts as the gas pedal and the front foot acts as a brake, which is not especially efficient, said Kram. But he likens a walking kangaroo to a skateboarder who has one foot on the board and uses the other foot  — in this case a tail — to push backward off the pavement, increasing the forward motion.A paper on the subject was published online today in Biology Letters. In addition to Kram and Donelan, the paper was co-authored by Postdoctoral Fellow Shawn O’Connor of Simon Fraser and Emeritus Professor Terence Dawson of the University of New South Wales. The study was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Australian Research Council, and traveling fellowships from the International Society for Biomechanics and the Journal of Experimental Biology.Donelan, a former graduate student under Kram, said no animal other than the kangaroo uses its tail like a leg.  “Their tails have more than 20 vertebrae, taking on the role of our foot, calf, and thigh bones.”The research project had its beginnings in 1973, when Dawson, a visiting professor at Harvard University, was working with Harvard Professor Richard Taylor, who later became Kram’s advisor. Dawson coaxed a small group of kangaroos to hop and walk on a large motorized treadmill, with a goal of measuring the energy costs of locomotion at varying speeds. Dawson and Kram eventually showed that a kangaroo can increase its metabolism by 50 times during exercise.“Kangaroos are really special mammals,” said Dawson. “Work over the past half century has turned the notion that they belong to an inefficient, primitive group of mammals totally on its head.”The kangaroo tail also acts as a dynamic, springy counterbalance during hopping and boosts balance when male kangaroos grab each other by the chests or shoulders, then rear back and kick each other in the stomach in an attempt to assert dominance for the purpose of reproduction.For the study the team videotaped five red kangaroos in Dawson’s Sydney lab that had been trained to walk forward on a force-measuring platform with Plexiglas sides. The platform’s sensors measured vertical, backward and forward forces from the legs and tails of the animals. The kangaroos had been taught that walking forward on the platform resulted in being rewarded with sweet treats, said Kram.Over his career Kram and his students have studied the locomotion of a number of creatures, from elephants, tortoises and llamas to ostriches and beetles.Although much of the data for the new study was collected years ago, other research efforts by the team members slowly pushed some of the key kangaroo locomotion data to the back burner. “But this was a study we just could not let go of,” said Kram. “It was just too much fun. It’s a real wonder of nature, how these kangaroos move about and what they are able to do.”Kram calls the evolution of the kangaroo tail, which is thought to have been prehensile when opossum-like kangaroo ancestors were living in trees, an “exaptation” — a shift in the function of a biological trait over time. He likened it to a roll of duct tape in the back of a truck. “You know you are going to use it, you just don’t know when,” he said.“I’m envious of kangaroos,” said Kram, a competitive master runner in the mile and 1,500 meters. “When they hop faster, they don’t use energy at a faster rate. The have the ability to move faster and not get tired, the ultimate goal of a runner.” Contact:Rodger Kram, [email protected] Jim Scott, CU-Boulder media relations, [email protected]center_img Categories:AcademicsScience & TechnologyCampus CommunityNews Headlineslast_img read more

‘Brain Drain Through Deportation’ the subject of panel discussion

first_imgEconomic development is focus of expert panel discussion The event, titled “The Opportunities and Challenges of Economic Development,” features three experts and is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 23, at noon in Old Main Chapel on the CU Boulder campus. Read more Tags:Center to Advance Research in the Social SciencesEconomicsEthnic StudiesSocial Sciences Today Taxes, tariffs and trade Taxes, tariffs and trade, three things frequently in the headlines now, are the focus of the next Social Sciences Today Forum at the University of Colorado Boulder. Read more Antman, Chapin and SepúlvedaThe event—titled “Brain Drain Through Deportation? The Consequences of DACA”—features three experts and is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7, at noon in Old Main Chapel on the CU Boulder campus. Each faculty member will speak for about 15 minutes and then answer questions. The event is free and open to the public. The panelists are:Francisca Antman, associate professor of economicsVioleta Chapin, clinical professor of lawEnrique Sepúlveda, assistant professor of ethnic studiesAntman will summarize results from her research on the impacts of DACA on the schooling and labor-market outcomes of likely beneficiaries. The DACA program covers undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children; these immigrants are sometimes called “dreamers.”Chapin will discuss undocumented/DACA students in American colleges today, how DACA helped raise those numbers, and some of the history of state bills to allow undocumented students to get in-state tuition.Sepúlveda will speak about “how DACA is part of a larger set of issues impacting Latinx students/youth, immigrant or not, and what this means for my work as an educational anthropologist and ethnic studies professor.”The event is sponsored by the Center to Advance Research and Teaching in the Social Sciences (CARTSS) and the College of Arts and Sciences. The Social Sciences Today Forum, a series during the school year, is designed to help the public gain broader perspectives and deeper understanding of human society and how individuals relate to the community and one another. This forum brings the knowledge and expertise of social-sciences faculty to the greater community and allows the community to ask questions of leading scholars.  Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mailcenter_img CU Boulder experts discuss disaster preparedness Disaster preparedness is the focus of the next Social Sciences Today Forum at CUBoulder. The event, titled “Disasters: Can We Be Prepared?” features three experts and is scheduled for Sept. 26, at noon in Old Main Chapel. Read more Related Articles Published: Feb. 26, 2018 The consequences of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—and its uncertain future—is the subject of the next Social Sciences Today Forum at the University of Colorado Boulder.last_img read more

Consumer watchdogs warn on Google, Fitbit deal

first_img Chris Donkin Tags Related AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 02 JUL 2020 Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved… Read more Google pulls plug on Android Things Google refreshes Nest Hub A group of 20 consumer interest organisations covering Europe, Australia, the US, Canada and Latin America urged regulators to thoroughly scrutinise Google’s proposed buy of Fitbit, warning it could increase the acquirer’s already immense power.In a joint statement, the groups said there were “serious concerns” around the potential for the exploitation of data collected by Fitbit to strengthen Google’s already dominant position in various digital sectors.They also highlighted risks to consumer welfare, data privacy and competition in the digital health markets.The statement was signed by a range of groups including The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), Australian Privacy Foundation, Consumer Federation of America, Brazilian Institute of Consumer Defense and Mexican group Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales.“Wearable devices could replace smartphones as the main gateway to the internet, just as smartphones replaced personal computers. Google’s expansion into this market, edging out other competitors would thus be significant,” the bodies noted. “Wearables like Fitbit’s could in future give companies details of essentially everything consumers do 24/7 and allow them to feed digital services back to consumers.”TrialThough stopping short of calling for regulators to block the deal outright, the statement urged careful analysis on the implications for consumers and consideration of the “potential for far reaching and dynamic effects on digital and health markets”.“This will be a test case for how regulators address the immense power the tech giants exert over the digital economy and their ability to expand their ecosystems unchecked,” it added.The statement comes as the European Commission continues to probe the $2.1 billion deal alongside regulators in various other markets including the US and Australia.Google announced the acquisition subject to approvals in November 2019.In statements at the time, Fitbit was adamant its health and wellness data would not be used for Google advertisements following completion. Subscribe to our daily newsletter Backcenter_img Author Devices Google taps retail with NYC store HomeDevicesNews Consumer watchdogs warn on Google, Fitbit deal Previous ArticleGTI summit pushes global 5G collaborationNext ArticleO-RAN Alliance expands operator list FitbitGooglelast_img read more

Thomas notches career night; Bishop Kearney rallies to defeat East

first_img Follow on Facebook East’s Windell Lucas (1) cuts through the lane with Bishop Kearney’s Nahziah Carter (1) defending. Patrick Thomas (3) looks on.By PAUL GOTHAMROCHESTER, N.Y. — It took a career night, a pair of double-doubles, a highlight reel dunk and a defensive adjustment. Added up it equalled a dramatic come-from-behind victory.Patrick Thomas netted a career-high 21 points to go with 15 rebounds and five assists as the Bishop Kearney Kings erased a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter on their way to a 69-63 victory over the ninth-ranked (NYS Class A) East High Eagles in non-league action Saturday evening.Thomas connected on all 10 of his shots from the floor including three field goals during the fourth quarter when Bishop Kearney outscored East, 31-14.“I was just trying to do whatever my team needed of me,” Thomas said. “We had no doubt that we were going to win the game. We supported one another.”Bishop Kearney, which committed 12 turnovers through the first three quarters of play, finished the fourth quarter without a miscue. At the same time, the Kings forced five mishandles and connected on 11 of 14 shots as a team over the final eight minutes of play.“That was the execution of everything we planned,” Bishop Kearney coach Kevin Goode, Sr. said. “There weren’t any plays being run.  It was execution. Everybody being in the right spot where they’re supposed to be. Pass, pass, pass layup. That’s everything that we worked on.”Trailing by eleven to start the final stanza, Thomas converted one of two free throws and on the next possession the sophomore forward fed front-court mate Jamal Fennell for two of his 13 points on the night.“Between Patrick and Jamal cleaning up the rebounds, sharing the ball with each other and making the right passes so each other can get wide open layups that’s says a lot,” Goode stated. “They’re willing to work hard and sacrifice points for their teammates, so we can be successful.”Kevin Goode, Jr. gave Kearney its first lead since 2-0 when he hit a pair of free throws with 3:37 remaining in the game. Thomas scored underneath for a 56-55 edge, and Nahziah Carter completed a traditional three-point play for a lead the Kings did not surrender at 59-57.After accounting for just two points over the first three quarters of play, Carter scored 11 in the final eight minutes while dishing five dimes.“At the beginning of the game I wasn’t getting too many touches,” said the University of Dayton commit. “They were doubling and tripling me, trapping me in the corners. I wasn’t getting touches at the guard position.”Carter’s basket the next trip down the floor gave BK a two-possession advantage at 61-57.“That’s what we need to see,” Goode remarked. “When he’s active, we’re dangerous. As soon as he started catching the basketball and moving or moving without the basketball, we were finding him and getting him to the basket.”Sheldon Adams pushed the lead to six with an emphatic tomahawk dunk.“‘KG’ (Goode Jr.) found me from the middle,” Adams explained. “When I turned around nobody was on me, so I just knew to attack. It was the adrenaline.”Adams rose up between three East Eagles for a slam that caused a brief stoppage in play when fans spilled on to the East High court.East High was up 11 points after 3Q. This slam by 6-0 @shellz_thegreat put @BkSportss up by 6 points w/ 1:26 left. @PickinSplinters #SCTop10— Matt Trabold (@TrabsMatt) February 5, 2017“He attacked the basket and I tell you right now that’s one of the strongest finishes I’ve seen,” Goode Sr. noted. “His three wasn’t falling in the first half, and he wouldn’t move. If your shot’s not falling, you to attack the basket and I had been yelling at him. I had him on the bench for a while to learn that I wanted him attacking the basket.”To East’s credit they rallied. Zion Morrison hit one of his three treys of the fourth quarter to make it 63-60 game with 1:14 remaining.Kearney converted four of six free throws, and Thomas scored on a run out to ice the victory.East used a 2-2-1 press to build an 18-9 lead after the first quarter and a 27-21 margin going into the locker room at halftime. Morrison netted six of his game-high 24 points in the first half. Windell Lucas added eight of his 17.But the Kings eventually solved East’s press.“We went into a 1-3-1,” Adams explained. “Since they had a two-man front, we had to go one-man front. We really made the adjustment in the first half, but we weren’t running how we were supposed to. Second half we were running like coach told us to.”At the same time, Kearney made a change on the defensive end.“We went zone starting the second half,” Goode said. “First half they were getting a lot of baskets at the rim. We just had to focus on making sure we stopped them from driving and being able to get outside and contest the three-point shot.”Fennell finished with 12 rebounds and six assists. Adams had 11 points. Carter grabbed four boards. Kearney was 18 of 25 from the floor in the second half.East’s Lucas had four rebounds and three blocks. The senior guard was 5-of-10 from the floor.Cypher Campbell-Boller chipped in eight for East.Kearney improved to 11-5 on the season. The Kings host UPrep on Tuesday. The Griffins are ranked No. NYS Class AA.East fell to 12-5. The Eagles host Monroe on Tuesday.  Bishop Kearney Kings, Patrick Thomas, Rochester Share on Facebook Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published. 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