Cryptocurrency Market is now Worth More Than $600 Billion

Business

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

 

According to Coinmarketcap, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization reached $606 billion on Monday. There are now over 1,300 cryptocurrencies in the market. The market is growing rapidly due to the huge price rallies in cryptocurrencies this year. The top-five cryptocurrencies consist of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and Litecoin, all of which have seen significant gains in value. Peter Smith, CEO of Blockchain, said in a CNBC TV interview Monday: “I think that we’ll see the total market cap of digital assets hit a trillion dollars in 2018. I don’t know if it’ll hold a trillion dollars but I think we’ll see that milestone breached.” Mogo Finance Technology Inc (OTC: MOGOF), Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (OTC: MGTI), Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT)

According to CoinDesk, Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, traded at $18,622 on Monday. The price of bitcoin was up over 1,700 percent this year. On Sunday, CME Group Inc., the world’s largest futures exchange, start trading its first bitcoin futures contract under the ticker “BTC.” According to CNBC, independent research analyst Ronnie Moas said, “The end-game on bitcoin is that it will hit $300,000 to $400,000 in my opinion, and it will be the most valuable currency in the world.”

Mogo Finance Technology Inc (OTCQX: MOGOF) also listed on the TSX Exchange under the ticker symbol “MOGO”. On October 30th the company announced breaking news that, “it has added dedicated blockchain capabilities to accelerate its plans to integrate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into Mogo’s digital account as well as future new products and features based on blockchain technology.

“It’s hard to overstate how disruptive and transformative blockchain technology can be for banking, as it enables a faster, more secure and trusted way to transfer data. In fact, many believe that blockchain will be as disruptive to the financial system as the internet was to the media industry,” said David Feller, Founder and CEO of Mogo. “Developing new products and features based on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies is a natural extension for Mogo as we continue to build a digital banking experience for the next generation of consumers.”

“Canadians, especially tech savvy millennials, want a safe, trusted and easy way to own and ultimately use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” said Greg Feller, President and CFO of Mogo. “Mogo’s app was built to provide consumers with an easy way to manage their financial health. Adding these capabilities to our existing multi-product mobile account will provide a compelling value proposition that is unique in Canada. Perhaps most importantly, we plan to leverage the power of our technology platform to reduce transaction costs and make these products accessible to more Canadians.”

“We’ve invested more than $150 million building what we believe is the leading mobile-first digital account and banking experience in Canada. We have close to half a million members and one of the country’s largest dedicated and experienced fintech teams of over 250 people, including a technology and product development team of almost 100 people,” continued Greg Feller. “As a result, we believe Mogo is uniquely positioned to offer consumers the ability to own and use cryptocurrencies in a simple, transparent and trusted way.”

“We are pleased to welcome Wayne to the team as we continue to expand our capabilities in this area,” continued David Feller. “Blockchain technology will clearly have a profound impact on the next generation banking experience and we are excited to begin adding this into our product and platform roadmap. We’ve also formed a strong legal and compliance team to support our evolution as a digital platform, and we will continue to build out this competency as the regulation of blockchain further evolves.”

Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK) is an online retailer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Earlier this year, the company announced an integration with ShapeShift, the world’s leading instant digital asset exchange, that allows customers to use all the major cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, and the new Bitcoin Cash, to buy online from Overstock’s selection of nearly 4 million products, including, furniture, accessories, bedding, décor, rugs, DIY, and more. ShapeShift allows digital currencies to be easily converted between different coin types in a matter of seconds, all without any account setup or personal data required. Instead, the funds are sent to a specific address, with the blockchain record of the transaction acting as both the order and the receipt.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is the leader in open-source blockchain solutions built for the enterprise. On October 16, 2017, the company announced a new blockchain banking solution that will help financial institutions address the processes of universal cross-border payments, designed to reduce the settlement time and lower the cost of completing global payments for businesses and consumers. Using IBM Blockchain, and in collaboration with technology partners Stellar.org and KlickEx Group, the solution is intended to improve the speed in which banks both clear and settle payment transactions on a single network in near real time.

MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (OTCQB: MGTI) ranks as one of the largest U.S. based Bitcoin miners. Further, the Company continues to focus on an expansion model to grow its crypto assets materially. On December 6, 2017, the company announced that it has executed a new purchase order with Bitmain Technologies for an additional 500 S9 Antminer mining rigs, with shipment expected early in the first quarter of 2018. Following shipment and setup, and in conjunction with the Company’s current rigs in operation or in its possession, MGT’s Bitcoin mining operations will be comprised of over 5,000 Bitmain S9’s. These machines are expected to generate roughly 70 Ph/s of total hash power, and over $4.0 million in monthly revenue, assuming current Bitcoin pricing and Difficulty rates.

Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) is leveraging its expertise and a network of professional advisors to build and support blockchain technologies. It is establishing an Advisory Board with technical experience intending to become a leading authority and supporter of blockchain, while providing investment exposure to the rapidly growing Bitcoin and blockchain ecosystems. On December 11, 2017, the company announced that its majority owned Tess Inc. (“TessPay”) has entered into a non-binding letter of intent (“LOI”) to merge with Cresval Capital Corp. TessPay is a blockchain company developing a supply chain payment platform for businesses to attempt to guarantee payment on time and in full.

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Protein Levels in Spinal Fluid Correlate to Posture and Gait Difficulty in Parkinson’s Disease

Food, Health

— Study sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research found lower alpha-synuclein levels in spinal fluid associated with postural instability/gait difficulty phenotype.

— Beta-amyloid levels correlated with cognitive recall scores.

— These findings may point to symptom-specific biomarkers useful for pathological investigation and study subject stratification.

PR Newswire

NEW YORKDec. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Fox Investigation for New Discovery of Biomarkers (BioFIND) — a cross-sectional, observational study sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) — has profiled Parkinson’s-associated protein levels and correlation to clinical experience in findings published online in Movement Disorders earlier this month. This analysis points to associations that could inform subject selection for clinical trials, speeding testing of symptomatic and disease-modifying therapies.

“This report is an important contribution in our efforts to understand and quantify Parkinson’s biology to accelerate drug development,” said MJFF Senior Vice President of Research Programs Mark Frasier, PhD, an author on the paper. “BioFIND is a partnership between our Foundation, academia, government and — most importantly — research volunteers to measure this disease and the impact of new treatments.”

BioFIND is supported in part by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, and led by principal investigator Un Jung Kang, MD, chief of the Division of Movement Disorders at Columbia University. The study collected data and samples from 120 people with moderately advanced Parkinson’s disease and 100 control volunteers across eight academic sites in the United States at two points over two weeks.

Study investigators report levels of the protein alpha-synuclein were lower in cerebrospinal fluid among participants with postural instability/gait difficulty phenotype. Levels of beta-amyloid protein — which accumulates into plaques in Alzheimer’s disease — were lower in the Parkinson’s cohort and correlated to scores on a cognitive recall test (Montreal Cognitive Assessment).

“These associations between protein levels and clinical symptoms can help us select participants for clinical trials. For example, people with lower beta-amyloid may be more likely to develop memory problems and therefore would benefit more from a cognitive therapy. Enrolling this population in trials can help us see a treatment effect more clearly than testing the therapy on people who will not have this symptom,” said lead author Jennifer G. Goldman, MD, MS, associate professor at Rush UniversityMedical Center in Chicago.

The study also showed alpha-synuclein levels in plasma and saliva did not differ between people with Parkinson’s and control volunteers, and alpha-synuclein did not significantly correlate among biofluids. These are important insights for the ongoing pursuit of accessible biomarker tests to diagnose and track the disease.

Next steps include validation of these findings in the MJFF-sponsored biomarkers study, the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), which is following more than 1,500 people with Parkinson’s or risk factors and control volunteers over at least five years. Additionally, trials ongoing or launching in the near future could use alpha-synuclein or beta-amyloid levels as exploratory biomarkers in motor symptom or cognition drug trials, respectively.

BioFIND and PPMI make de-identified data and biospecimens available to qualified researchers for additional discovery and validation work toward scientific breakthroughs (read more at michaeljfox.org/dataspecimens).

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
As the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson’s disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson’s patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $750 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson’s research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson’s disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson’s awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world.

For more information, visit us at michaeljfox.org, on Facebook or Twitter.

Fuel Marketers Embrace Ride Sharing and Carbon Neutral Transportation

World

SIGMA Members Take 350 Carbon Neutral Uber Rides and Help GreenPrint Hit 6 Billion Reduced Emission Miles

As GreenPrint’s reduced emissions retail fuel and fleet programs continue their success, the company has made it a priority to give back to the industry by offering carbon neutral Uber rides at SIGMA events. The idea was welcomed and embraced by industry executives and leaders who have taken over 350 Carbon Neutral Uber rides since 2016.  In fact, during the SIGMA Annual Meeting in Chicago in November one attendee drove the 6 billionth mile offset by GreenPrint in 2017.

In partnership with SIGMA, and in coordination with Uber, GreenPrint provided Carbon Neutral Uber transportation to and from the SIGMA Annual and Legislative Meetings in 2016 and 2017. In addition to providing the transportation, GreenPrint calculated and offset the tailpipe carbon emissions of each ride. Just under 10,000 miles were driven, including GreenPrint’s milestone of 6 billion miles driven this year, and an impressive 762,000 pounds of carbon were sequestered from the atmosphere on behalf of SIGMA attendees.

“SIGMA is an important organization and we truly value our relationship with them. Over the last 4 years fuel retailers, marketers, and suppliers have embraced our reduced emission fuel programs as clients in order to build loyalty and goodwill with their customers.  It’s exciting to see these same fuel executives that we work with as clients, actually embrace our program as consumers themselves to offset their own transportation,” says Pete Davis, CEO of GreenPrint.

“The work GreenPrint is doing to help fuel marketers differentiate themselves by reducing consumers tailpipe emissions is very exciting. Carbon Neutral Uber rides was a great way to promote the concept while also providing a safe, convenient, tangible, and eco-friendly service to the conference attendees,” said Douglas Haugh President of U.S. Fuels of Parkland Fuel Corporation.

About SIGMA
Founded in 1958 as the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), SIGMA has become a fixture in the motor fuel marketing industry. After more than fifty years of leadership, SIGMA is the national trade association representing the most successful, progressive, and innovative fuel marketers and chain retailers in the United States and Canada. From the outset, the association has served to further the interests of both the branded and unbranded segment of the industry while providing information and services to members.

About GreenPrint
Founded by a team of loyalty and rewards experts, GreenPrint created the first reduced fuel emissions program which it licenses to convenience store chains, energy companies, fuel marketers, and corporate fleets – enabling them to sell, or fill up with, more environmentally friendly fuel. Today the company reduces emissions on almost 500 million gallons annually across hundreds of retail locations and 50,000 corporate and municipal fleets in 12 countries.

 

Nonprofits Making a Bigger, Better Difference with NetSuite

Technology

FH Canada, the Caring and Sharing Exchange, and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester, NY Streamline Processes to Do More Good with NetSuite Social Impact

Oracle NetSuite, one of the world’s leading providers of cloud-based financials / ERPHRProfessional Services Automation (PSA) and omnichannel commerce software suites, today announced three nonprofit customers that are leveraging the NetSuite platform to create efficiencies, raise additional funds and further their mission. Charitable organizations and social enterprises are abandoning entry-level desktop applications, disparate systems and manual work for more effective and streamlined operations in the cloud. Nonprofits such as FH Canada (Canadian Food for the Hungry), the Caring and Sharing Exchange, and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester are effectively tackling key challenges in program management, regulatory reporting, fundraising, and tracking donors and beneficiaries with NetSuite. These organizations are realizing sizable cost savings and operational efficiencies that they can channel into social impact programs for education, healthcare, clean water, sustainable agriculture, legal aid and other support for populations in need – whether in a nonprofit’s home city or halfway around the world.

Traditionally, nonprofits have been slower than other industries in adopting technology to improve their performance. Limitations in funding, working capital and IT resources create a barrier to entry that can be difficult to overcome. As a result, many nonprofits struggle with standalone Excel spreadsheets, Access databases and server-based applications to manage financials and constituents, driving up administrative costs. That also hurts a nonprofit’s accountability and transparency ratings on sites like Charity Navigator, which individual, corporate and philanthropic donors use when evaluating prospective beneficiaries. Ultimately, outdated technology and labor-intensive manual work can undermine a nonprofit’s fundraising and ability to fully achieve its mission.

Founded in 2006, the NetSuite Social Impact group is empowering nonprofits to use NetSuite to further their mission, regardless of their ability to pay. More than 1,000 nonprofits and social enterprises around the world are supported by NetSuite Social Impact, which makes available free and discounted software licensing to qualified organizations. The program also includes Suite Pro Bono, under which NetSuite employees provide their expertise to help nonprofits with training and customizations to make the most of the platform. To learn more about NetSuite Social Impact, please visit www.netsuite.com/socialimpact.

Nonprofits using NetSuite for such functions as fund accounting, grants management, FASB reporting, fundraising, constituent management, and program management are gaining greater efficiencies and visibility into operations. FH Canada, the Caring and Sharing Exchange and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester are among the many nonprofits to improve efficiency and heighten their social impact with NetSuite’s unified cloud business management platform.

Food for the Hungry Canada (FH Canada) (www.fhcanada.org), part of the global Food for the Hungry (FH) organization, works with communities in AfricaAsia and Latin America who end poverty and become self-sustaining through leadership training and programs to improve healthcare, education, clean water, agriculture and more. Since 1994, the Christian nonprofit has “graduated” 63 communities after 10 years of collaboration to address the root causes of poverty. Today, Food for the Hungry staff, the vast majority of whom are hired from local countries, work with communities in BurundiEthiopiaRwandaUgandaCambodiaBangladeshHaiti and Guatemala. FH Canada relies heavily on individual donors, who may sponsor a child or purchase a gift such as school supplies, gardening tools or livestock for recipients through FH Canada’s online store.

Live in 2005, NetSuite has given FH Canada a unified system for all key processes, including its ecommerce web store. Fundraising income has grown by over 20 percent annually in recent years as the nonprofit utilizes a central donor database for personalized communications. Reallocation of savings on IT personnel has allowed FH Canada to funnel resources into fulfilling its mission, while real-time data has markedly improved insights and collaboration across the 20-person organization. “Having everything integrated in a single system lets us re-purpose resources to our mission in supporting programs and fundraising,” said Mark Petzold, Director of Communications and Technology, FH Canada. “NetSuite makes it so much easier to maintain and build donor relationships with one snapshot across all interactions.”

The Caring and Sharing Exchange (www.caringandsharing.ca) since 1915 has made a big difference for needy people in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Its flagship Christmas Exchange program helps about 20,000 people each holiday season with food hampers or vouchers. Since 2011, a program called Sharing in Student Success has equipped thousands of students with backpacks full of school supplies — more than 2,500 students in 2016. Importantly, the nonprofit serves as a data repository to identify duplicate recipients across 350 partner agencies to prevent recipient duplication – saving the community $600,000 a year and ensuring equitable distribution. With NetSuite live in 2013, Caring and Sharing is more effective than ever as need continues to grow. The nonprofit is saving $50,000 a year in bookkeeping and administrative staff, freeing funds for program work and fundraising. It estimates eliminating 1,000 hours a year in manual data entry. And fundraising income is up 20 percent a year with NetSuite supplying a unified donor database that supports more personalized outreach, while duplication checks are done faster and easier for both Caring and Sharing and partner agencies.

“To have everything in one place helps us run more efficiently and puts more resources where they are needed,” said Cindy Smith, Caring and Sharing Executive Director. “Because we’re able to spend more time on programs and fundraising, we’re able to make more of a difference where it really counts.”

The Legal Aid Society of Rochester, NY (LASROC) (www.lasroc.org), incorporated in 1921, provides pro bono and low-cost legal services in such areas as domestic violence, child support, housing and immigration for about 10,000 individuals a year in a nine-county region of Western New York. Like dozens of other Legal Aid chapters across the U.S., LASROC continuously juggles a rising caseload against limited resources and funding uncertainty. A staff of more than 80 committed legal and administrative professionals, as well as volunteers, are essential to LASROC’s success. So is identifying time and cost savings that enable LASROC to focus resources on social impact. NetSuite plays a key role, enabling LASROC to avoid about $50,000 a year in licensing, hardware and maintenance costs — nearly the salary of a full-time starting attorney who can handle up to 400 cases a year. Those savings are in addition to better efficiency and visibility across the organization. LASROC managers have real-time insights into costs vs. revenue, while accounting is far faster. For instance, payroll journal entries that previously took hours are complete in five minutes with NetSuite, giving finance personnel flexibility to contribute elsewhere across the organization.

“Because NetSuite is so efficient, we spend a lot less time on administration and put those savings directly into client services,” said Kathia Casion, Civil Division Director at LASROC. “If we don’t have to spend as much time on record-keeping, we’re able to help more clients.”

About Oracle NetSuite 
Oracle NetSuite pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet. Today, it provides a suite of cloud-based financials / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries.

Follow NetSuite’s Cloud blogFacebook page and @NetSuite Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle
The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com.

Trademarks
Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

 

The Truth About Holiday Spirits: How to Celebrate Safely This Season

Safety, Society

We all want to celebrate during the holidays, and more people are likely to drink beyond their limits during this season than at other times of the year. Some will suffer adverse consequences that range from fights to falls to traffic crashes. Sadly, we often put ourselves and others at risk because we don’t understand how alcohol affects us during an evening of celebratory drinking.

Myths Persist

Despite the potential dangers, myths about drinking persist, which—for some—can prove fatal. Scientific studies supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism provide important information that challenges these widespread, yet incorrect, beliefs about how quickly alcohol affects the body and how long the effects of drinking last.

Alcohol’s Effects Begin Quickly

Holiday revelers may not recognize that critical decision-making abilities and driving-related skills are already diminished long before a person shows physical signs of intoxication.

Initially, alcohol acts as a stimulant, so people who drink may feel upbeat and excited. But don’t be fooled. Alcohol soon decreases inhibitions and judgment, and can lead to reckless decisions. As we consume more alcohol, reaction time suffers and behavior becomes poorly controlled and sometimes even aggressive—leading to fights and other types of violence. Continued drinking causes the slurred speech and loss of balance that we typically associate with being drunk. At higher levels, alcohol acts as a depressant, which causes the drinker to become sleepy and in some cases pass out. At these levels, alcohol can also cause blackouts—which are when a person does not remember what happened while he or she was intoxicated. At even higher levels, drinkers face the danger of life-threatening alcohol overdose due to the suppression of vital life functions.

Even When Drinking Stops—Alcohol’s Effects Do Not

During an evening of drinking, it’s also easy to misjudge how long alcohol’s effects last. For example, many people believe that they will begin to sober up—and be able to drive safely—once they stop drinking and have a cup of coffee. The truth is that alcohol continues to affect the brain and body long after the last drink has been finished. Even after someone stops drinking, alcohol in the stomach and intestine continues to enter the bloodstream, impairing judgment and coordination for hours.

Before You Celebrate—Plan Ahead

Of course, we don’t intend to harm anyone when we celebrate during the holiday season. Yet, violence and traffic fatalities persist, and myths about drinking live on—even though scientific studies have documented how alcohol affects the brain and body.

Because individuals are so different, it is difficult to give specific advice about drinking. But certain facts are clear—there’s no way to sober up faster and no way to make good decisions when you are drinking too much, too fast.

So, this holiday season, do not underestimate the effects of alcohol. Don’t believe you can beat them, or they may beat you.

Here are some tips to keep in mind if you host a holiday gathering:

  • Offer a variety of nonalcoholic drinks—water, juices, sparkling sodas. Nonalcoholic drinks help counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol. Also, the other fluids may slow the rate of alcohol absorption into the body and reduce the peak alcohol concentration in the blood.
  • Provide a variety of healthy foods and snacks. Food can slow the absorption of alcohol and reduce the peak level of alcohol in the body by about one-third. It can also minimize stomach irritation and gastrointestinal distress the following day.
  • Help your guests get home safely—use designated drivers and taxis. Anyone getting behind the wheel of a car should not have any alcohol.
  • If you are a parent, understand the underage drinking laws—and set a good example.

Sobering Up––Myths and Facts

Myth: You can drive as long as you are not slurring your words or acting erratically.

Fact: The coordination needed for driving is compromised long before you show signs of intoxication and your reaction time is slowed. Plus, the sedative effects of alcohol increase your risk of nodding off or losing attention behind the wheel.

Myth: Drink coffee. Caffeine will sober you up.

Fact: Caffeine may help with drowsiness but not with the effects of alcohol on decision-making or coordination. The body needs time to metabolize (break down) alcohol and then to return to normal. Also, when caffeine wears off, your body will need to deal with post-caffeine sleepiness. There are no quick cures—only time will help.

Myth: The warm feeling you get from drinking alcohol insulates you from the cold of winter. When you’re drinking, there’s no need to wear a coat when it’s cold outside.

Fact: Alcohol widens the tiny blood vessels right under the skin, so they quickly fill with warm blood. This makes you feel warm or hot, and can cause your skin to flush and perspire. But your body temperature is actually dropping, because while alcohol is pulling warmth from your core to the skin surface, it is also depressing the area of your brain that controls temperature regulation. In cold environments, this can lead to hypothermia. So, wear a coat when it’s cold outside, particularly if you are drinking alcohol.

Have a safe holiday season!

For more information on celebrating your holidays safely and tips for cutting back, visit https://www.RethinkingDrinking.niaaa.nih.gov.

Ashish Soni Celebrates 25 Years in the Fashion Industry With Honor 7X

Business, Telecom & Internet

Held a celebration themed ‘Welcome to my World’

Famous designer Ashish N Soni ringed in his 25 years in the fashion industry in an evening titled ‘Welcome to my World’ in a stylish retrospective amalgamated with technology in association with Honor 7X. Honor, Huawei’s e-brand for digital natives, associated with Ashish N Soni to celebrate his 25 glorious year and its own anniversary.

Bringing together the two global bestsellers at one platform, the evening saw a display of Honor 7X’s camera capability by powering the first of its kind 360 degree red carpet. The evening saw a compilation of the designer’s popular runway shows which helped in popularising the brand to its name today, there were also three focused exhibits revolving around Ashish’s personal favourites from his creations over the years.

Ashish’s friends and family from the industry were present to mark this huge milestone with him and were seen celebrating with him. Some of the guests were JJ Valaya, Rohit BalSuneet VarmaNikhil MehraRajesh PratapPayal PratapVikram ChandraYuvraj SinghRenuka Chowdhury, Robert Vadra, Bindu Vadera to name a few and they were seen clicking at the 360 degree red carpet created using 32 Honor 7X smartphones.

Taking inspiration from the technologically driven dynamic world that one lives in, the evening was created to represent Ashihs’s presentation of his world as futuristic as possible yet at the same time maintaining strong key sensibilities of his label. The venue looked spectacular with the massive domes that were mounted and each of them had an installations and story intertwined for the guests to witness. For the evening each domes were specifically assigned to cater to different segments. One of the domes which showcased artificial intelligence was curated by Rajiv Makhni.

Speaking about the association, Peter Zhai, President, Huawei India Consumer Business Group, said, “We would like to congratulate Ashish N Soni for his 25 years in the fashion industry and wish him many more such glorious years. This association has brought together two world best sellers, Ashish N Soni and Honor 7X at one platform. Our Honor 7X, the best dual camera big screen smartphone helps capture memories on-the-go coupled with impressive premium looks, ergonomic design, and stutter-free performance. The polished and premium metal body of Honor 7X with its rounded edges and thin bezel design makes it your lifestyle companion.”

Honor recently launched the Honor 7X, the max-ed bezel-less screen smartphone, equipped with a dual-lens 16MP + 2MP rear camera. The Honor 7X is focused on enhancing the power and style quotient of its consumers. The Honor 7X, touted as the best dual camera, full view display smartphone, helps capture memories on-the-go, coupled with impressive premium looks, ergonomic design, and stutter-free performance. The polished and premium metal body of Honor 7X with its rounded edges and thin bezel design making it a lifestyle companion. The smartphone will be available in a flash sale at Amazon.in on 21 December, 2017 starting 12PM.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.in/honor-7x/b?ie=UTF8&node=14314977031

About Honor:

Honor is Huawei’s Smartphone e-brand which is also Worlds leading smartphone e-brand. The target consumers of Honor are digital native generation, a group that live in the internet, spending more than one-third of their time online for social and entertainment, shopping, studying or simply staying connected. Honor customers are young, vibrant and driven by passion. Honor brand has clocked sales of over 20 million Honor phones in 2014, accounting for a global revenue of about 2.4 billion USD with a 24 times increase and closed 2015 with 6Bn global sales. Honor has been expanding aggressively in global markets and has successfully launched in 74 global markets, entering the bestselling charts in most of the European countries Honor launched. Accordingly, Honor obtains a huge user base which has yielded powerful mouth-spreading asset. Honor products also enjoy global aesthetics, super processing technology and massive patent support. The three basic characteristics of Honor products: best signals, long battery life and remarkable quality. Honor is born for ultimate tech innovation.

Ugly Indians Spruce up a Government School Along With Embassy and WeWork

Society

The Ugly Indians, as a part of the larger Domlur tech-hub transformation initiative, have taken on the significant transformation of Government Kannada Model Primary School in Challaghatta, Bengaluru. The Ugly Indians have been successfully mobilizing various corporates and residents in the area to carry out the cleaning up and beautification of the area, having widened their impact to over 58 ugly spots in Domlur alone.

(Logo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/603684/Embassy_Logo.jpg )
(Photo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/622123/Ugly_Indians_spruce_up_a_Government_School_along_with_Embassy_and_WeWork.jpg )

A group of motivated volunteers, The Ugly Indians have been working selflessly to transform unhygienic and derelict areas around the city. They noted that the surroundings of the school were in extremely poor and unhygienic conditions – the water and sewage lines were leaking and the open field near the school was being used as a garbage dump. To provide the students a better and healthy school infrastructure, the Ugly Indians approached the GEMS team (Golf Links Embassy Management Services) to enlist their help in clearing garbage near the school and providing alternative and sustainable methods for waste collection. They requested BWSSB to begin civil work in fixing the leaking pipes. With the Embassy Group’s assistance, they have begun the civil work to fix the boundary walls.

Long-term sustainability plans have also been put into place to maintain the area and the site has stayed clean due to the various initiatives taken up by the Ugly Indians, supported by the Embassy Group. Plans are underway to install a proper garbage system in the area to prevent garbage dumping and securing the school with a secure entrance wall. Five working toilets will also be available for students and staff.

Successful partnerships and collaborations with the Ugly Indians and its partners, WeWork and the Embassy Group have enabled significant change in the area. Embassy Group has been actively planning various community outreach programs where occupiers of office parks around Bangalore, get an opportunity to partner and support the economically weaker sections of the society. To encourage occupiers of Embassy Golf Links to participate in ensuring the areas around which they work are in good shape, they had WeWork volunteer with them in cleaning, repainting and beautifying the compound walls of the school.

Commenting on the project, Shaina Ganapathy, Head of Community Outreach at Embassy, said, “We have a strong vision to build a fine social infrastructure and sustainable ecosystem in and around the communities we serve. Embassy actively reaches out to corporates to collaborate in undertaking various transformative community service initiatives. We are very delighted that WeWork employees and the Ugly Indians have come forward to help us in transforming this Government school and providing the students a better environment.”

Through such community outreach activities, Embassy Group aims to leverage their relationship with the local schools and build connections between different parts of society and communities they operate in. Earlier this year, Embassy collaborated with NVIDIA and the Ugly Indians for an Employee Engagement Activity at the Hegdenagar Higher Primary Urdu and Kannada Medium Government Schools. They were involved in deep cleaning, painting, murals, making benches, repairing the fence, landscaping, etc. The community project was set to not only repair and renovate the old buildings but also get the whole premises deep-cleaned and tidy with a complete transformation.

Ugly Indians follow the principle of Kaam Chalu Mooh Bandh (Only Work No Talk) and work with all stakeholders (government, corporates, residents) to solve common civic problems in the public space. This was a particularly challenging project as it had remained unsolved for several years and was directly affecting the health and well-being of hundreds of school children, apart from local residents. What is most satisfying is the collaborative nature of the solution, as it involved the entire community through silent direct action.

About Embassy

Embassy is one of the leading property developers in India with a track record of over three decades in real estate development. Embassy has an extensive land bank across the country and has developed over 40 million sq. ft. of prime commercial, residential and retail space in India as well as Malaysia and Serbia. Embassy’s portfolio of real estate developments spans the commercial, residential, industrial & warehousing, retail and hospitality segments of the real estate industry. The commercial real estate business includes the development of business parks, and ten SEZ across South India including India’sfirst and only IGBC Platinum Certified Business Park Campus. Embassy Office Parks are estimated to have generated over $20bn in exports under the STPI and SEZ schemes, since inception. Embassy’s ongoing residential projects include luxury apartments, villas and integrated townships. Embassy’s residential projects are also designed to obtain IGBC Green Homes gold ratings as part of the efforts towards creating sustainable developments. More information at http://www.embassyindia.com.

About WeWork

WeWork is a global network of workspaces where companies and people grow together. We transform buildings into dynamic environments for creativity, focus, and connection. WeWork has 175,000+ members globally in 200 physical locations, present in 64 cities in 19 countries. This month, we added more than 7,000 desks to our portfolio. More than just the best place to work, though, this is a movement toward revolutionizing work. WeWork believes that creating spaces where people can connect and create meaning together – all the while using space more effectively and efficiently – we are better equipped to face the challenges of today and tomorrow.

America’s Road Team Provides Holiday Safety Tips for Winter Conditions

Society

Truck Drivers are Santa’s Other Helpers – Help Them by Making Safe Driving Decisions

Today, American Trucking Associations and America’s Road Team Captains are spreading holiday cheeralong with critical safety tips for traveling through adverse weather conditions.

“Inclement weather conditions on the road create driving hazards that require extra attention during the winter months,” said America’s Road Team Captain Rhonda Hartmanof Old Dominion Freight Lines. “When traffic volumes increase around some of the major travel holidays, it makes driving safely even more difficult. So, as professional truck drivers, we have some tips for you and your family.”

ATA’s Our Roads, Our Safety coalition partners at AAA project more than 107 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles this holiday season, making this year a 3% increase from 2016. High traffic volume can contribute to increased risk for congestion and accidents. Winter weather amplifies the danger of being stranded, broken down or involved in an accident, and not being properly prepared with basic travel needs like food, blankets and water can lead to life-threatening scenarios.

“As a truck driver, I am one of the last people out on the road helping Santa with his presents during the holiday season,” said America’s Road Team Captain Tim Melodyof ABF Freight Systems Inc. “Having an informed motoring public that understands and adjusts to the hazards of winter driving makes my job easier.”

Snow and ice pose unique challenges for drivers. Being acutely aware of the weather conditions and forecast can prevent unexpected circumstances and make for a safer trip. Practicing caution at all times, even when traveling at low speeds on city streets, can prevent property damage and injury.

Impaired driving also puts the general motoring public at risk, including the professionals tasked with delivering holiday gifts, decorations and foods. Arranging safe methods of transportation this holiday season is very important.

“As a truck driver from the chilly state of Minnesota, I have to be prepared to make quick decisions when confronted with snow, ice and other forms of wintery weather, and I count on the people around me to make quick, safe decisions as well,” said America’s Road Team Captain Bill Krouseof YRC Freight. “It’s important to be constantly aware of your surroundings, the weather and the flow of traffic. We all share the road with families, neighbors, friends and colleagues who are trying to celebrate 2017 and the coming new year, and it is irresponsible to put other people in danger by being neglectful of your duties as a driver.”

  • Remove ice and snow from your vehicle: Clear your windows and roof of snow to ensure you have maximum visibility and avoid creating a hazard for the vehicle behind you. Do not allow ice and snow to create additional blind spots on your vehicle.
  • Slow Down: Chances of a crash nearly triple when driving faster than surrounding traffic. Skidding becomes more likely at increased speeds, especially on icy roads, or if you are driving a sleigh like Santa.
  • Buckle Up: A safety belt will not prevent a collision, but it will save a life.
  • Do not drive impaired: Driving is a great responsibility and your fellow travelers are relying on safe, attentive drivers to respectfully share the road and make good decisions. Lay off the egg nog if you plan to drive.
  • Avoid impaired drivers: Report drunk drivers to 911 – after safely pulling over – and stay on the line to help locate the suspected vehicle. A call can save lives. Erratic breaking, weaving between lanes, straddling the center line or taking excessively wide turns can all be signs of impaired driving.
  • Be aware of truck blind spots: Trucks deliver all of your favorite holiday traditions. Pass on the left where the truck’s blind spot is much smaller.
  • Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents and one of the leading causes of death amongst teenagers. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident. Use your cell phone when stopped and never text while driving. Technology gifts are popular during the holiday season, but should not be operated while driving.
  • Do not cut in front of large trucks: Remember trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them. Consider this while watching the bowl games: fully loaded tractor-trailers can take the length of a football field plus both end zones to make a complete stop. ATA partnered with AAA, the American Bus Association and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on this recently released video about stopping distances.
  • Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel: Before you head out to see your aunts, uncles and cousins, check your wipers and fluids and have your radiator and cooling system serviced. Simple maintenance before you leave your home can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road.
  • Prepare yourself for long distance travel: The vehicle needs maintenance and the driver needs plenty of rest and hydration to function at his or her best. If you feel drowsy, pull over and wait until you are more alert.
  • Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early to reduce anxiety about arriving late. Road conditions may change due to inclement weather or traffic congestion.
  • Be aware of the vehicle in front of you: Leave extra room between you and the vehicle ahead.

The America’s Road Team, sponsored by Volvo Trucks, is a national public outreach program led by a small group of professional truck drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway. Follow America’s Road Team on Facebook or Twitter.

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on FacebookTrucking Moves America Forward.

Prominent Israeli philanthropist Morris Kahn contributes $1 million to the Genesis Prize-Natalie Portman initiative to empower women

Society

Funds available for programs focusing on women’s equality now total $2m

NEW YORKDec. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Genesis Prize Foundation announced today that Israeli philanthropist and humanitarian Morris Kahn has made a $1 million gift to the Genesis Prize Foundation in honor of 2018 Laureate Natalie Portman.

Morris Kahn’s gift doubles the 2018 Genesis Prize Award Fund to $2 million.

World-renowned actress, director and social activist Natalie Portman became the 5th Genesis Prize Laureate in November 2017. In keeping with tradition established by the previous Laureates who have “re-gifted” their awards, Natalie Portman announced that award funds would be granted to programs focusing on advancing women’s equality in all aspects of human endeavor.  A significant portion of the funds will go to support NGOs working in the field of women’s rights in Israel.

“I would like to express my gratitude and admiration to Morris Kahn for his incredible support of the 2018 Genesis Prize theme,” said Portman. “Morris’ generosity once again reinforces how relevant and important the issue of women’s equality is today – in Israel, in the US and beyond.”

Morris Kahn is a South African-born businessman and philanthropist who moved to Israel in 1956. He is the founder of companies such as Amdocs, the Coral World Underwater Observatory in Eilat and others. An active humanitarian, in recent years he has increasingly focused his attention on philanthropy and venture philanthropy.

Mr. Kahn supports a wide range of initiatives that are close to his heart, including the promotion of successful, ethical and challenge-seeking youth leadership; making cataract and trachoma surgery accessible to Ethiopian villagers; running a summer camp for children with terminal diseases; operating a therapeutic riding center for the disabled.

He funds Save a Child’s Heart, a non-profit that provides life-saving cardiac surgery for children from developing countries. To date it has saved more than 4,000 lives. He supports cutting-edge cancer stem cell research and fertility preservation among women cancer patients.  Mr. Kahn’s latest initiative involves the founding of the Morris Kahn & Maccabi Health Data Institution. The organization will provide a technological platform to support medical breakthroughs in the fields of predictive analysis and precision medicine.

For his contribution to Israel and the Jewish people, Morris Kahn has been named honorary president of the Maccabiah Games (also known as “Jewish Olympics”) in 2016.

“It is a privilege to join forces with Morris Kahn, who is widely admired for his thoughtful and innovative philanthropy,” said Co-founder and Chairman of the Genesis Prize Foundation Stan Polovets. “This gift doubles the 2018 Genesis Prize Award to $2 million, which will significantly enhance the reach and impact of Genesis Prize programs focused on advancing women’s equality.”

Earlier this year, Kahn made a gift in support of the 2017 Genesis Prize Laureate Anish Kapoor, whose Genesis Prize theme focused on alleviating the plight of refugees, and raising awareness in the Jewish community of the urgent need to support refugees. Morris Kahn’s gift financed treatment of hearing loss among Syrian children from conflict areas that were brought to the Ziv Medical Center in Israel for diagnostic examination, clinical treatment, surgery and rehabilitation.

“I am pleased to have this opportunity to support the 2018 Genesis Prize Laureate Natalie Portman in her noble undertaking,” said Morris Kahn. “The Genesis Prize is known for focusing its philanthropy on issues that are both relevant and timely; the issue of women’s equality and empowerment is, without a doubt, one of them. I believe that the outstanding Jewish role model Ms. Portman and the Genesis Prize Foundation together are well positioned to make a difference and drive meaningful change. It is an honor to be a part of this effort.”

Ms. Portman’s award money will be used for grants to organizations involved in promoting women’s educational opportunities, economic advancement, health and safety, and full participation in policy formulation and political activity. Details of how organizations may apply for funding will be announced in early 2018.

Natalie Portman will be honored at the Genesis Prize Ceremony in Jerusalem on June 28, 2018.

BACKGROUND

About the Genesis Prize
The Genesis Prize honors extraordinary individuals who serve as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through their outstanding professional achievement, commitment to Jewish values and the Jewish people.

The Genesis Prize is a global award created to celebrate Jewish achievement and contribution to humanity.  Launched in 2013, the Prize is financed through a permanent endowment of $100 millionestablished by the Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF). The Prize operates as a partnership among The Genesis Prize Foundation, the Prime Minister’s Office of the State of Israel, and The Office of the Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI).

Previous Laureates of the Award, dubbed “the Jewish Nobel” by Time Magazine, are former New YorkMayor Michael Bloomberg (2014), actor and peace activist Michael Douglas (2015), virtuoso violinist and advocate for people with disabilities Itzhak Perlman (2016) and prominent sculptor and activist for the rights of refugees Sir Anish Kapoor (2017).

EEOC Complaint Filed On Behalf Of Sexually Harassed Construction Workers

Society

Complaint Cites Systemic Harassment On Tradeoff/Gilbane/Related Jobsites

Attorney Jason Solotaroff, today announced the filing of a Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint on behalf of two female construction workers who were subjected to constant sexual harassment while working for Tradeoff Construction LLC on various construction sites throughout New York City.

Jason Solotaroff, partner in the law firm Giskan Solotaroff & Anderson -LLP, said:

“In the last few months, many famous and powerful men have been called to account for their egregious sexual harassment and sexual assault.  But sexual harassment and assault does not happen only among the rich and powerful.  If anything, mistreatment of women is far more prevalent when the victims/survivors are not famous, are low paid and unrepresented.  Nowhere is this more true than in the construction industry where sexual harassment of women is so prevalent that perpetrators have no fear of consequences and victims/survivors having no hope of redress.”

One of the women, Ashley Foster, on whose behalf the EEOC complaint has been filed, said:

“Every morning I get up and go to work in order to support and provide for myself and my family.  I’m not rich or famous.  While working for Tradeoff Construction I was constantly subjected to sexual harassment, ranging from demeaning comments, to inappropriate propostions for sex.  It was common knowledge that in order to secure pay increases, steady work hours and future work, women were expected to sleep with their supervisors.”

Solotaroff added:

Ashley Foster’s experience is common — with her workdays consisting of routine and constant offensive comments and gestures along with periodic episodes of even more egregious acts of sexual misconduct and quid pro quo harassment. By speaking out and filing her complaint against not only Tradeoff, her direct employer, but also contractors like Gilbane and developers like Related that control the jobsites, Ms. Foster hopes to ensure a safe and dignified work experience for her and the other women employed in construction.”

Foster added:

“The harassment I experienced while working at 55 Hudson Yards was the worst.  In addition to the constant verbal harassment, one day a deputy foreman actually texted me an unsolicited picture of his penis.  There was no one to turn to for help.”

Charlene Obernauer, executive director of New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH) said:

The United States is facing an epidemic of sexual harassment against women in all industries, and construction is no exception, with the second-highest rate of sexual harassment complaints among all jobs.  Sexual harassment on non-union job sites in particular is rampant, because women are less likely to report when they’re harassed on the job and often fear retaliation by their employer.   We need to stand with the brave women who have come forward today and demand that these companies are held accountable – and we need to pass proactive legislation that will increase oversight in this industry.”

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said:

“Construction jobs are crucial to the continued success of New York and an important path to the middle class, and everyone who can do the work should have the opportunity they deserve for a career in this field just like any other, regardless of gender.  Our national reckoning over sexual harassment is beginning to awaken more people to a reality too many women have known for ages: workplace inequality doesn’t end with pay discrimination or hiring discrimination. Harassment isn’t a mere interpersonal problem, it’s an unfair barrier creating hostile, untenable work environments and keeping women from the jobs, promotions, and careers they deserve.”

New York City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca said:

“Sexual harassment is as unacceptable in the construction industry as it is in Hollywood or the halls of Congress. No one should ever be subject to inappropriate sexualized behavior, harassment or assault in the workplace. Mutual respect and decency require special vigilance for workers who lack the means to seek help. I commend the brave women who have brought legal action to fight construction industry sexual harassment.”

Kathleen Culhane, president of NEW- Nontraditional Employment for Women said:

“At Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW), our mission is to transform the lives of women through a union construction career.  We, along with our partners in the union construction trades, are committed to ensuring that tradeswomen are successful and treated with respect. We believe in the power of women to change not only their own lives, but the lives of their families and future generations.  We know the benefit of a union construction career for women, and we are here to help make that a reality.”

New York City Councilmember Laurie Cumbo said:

“As chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues and co-chair of the Women’s Caucus, I am proud of our city’s progress to increase the number of women in nontraditional careers within the construction industry. Job security and promotions should be based on merit and not coerced acts. In the aftermath of the #metoo movement, we stand in solidarity with the courageous women who came forward and reaffirm our commitment to end gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace, which is bad business that affects our city’s workforce and bottom line.”

Giskan Solotaroff & Anderson -LLP (GSA) has filed separate complaints at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) for Ms. Foster and another woman employed by Tradeoff, Tierra Williams.  Ms. Foster’s complaint names as respondents Tradeoff and its affiliated entities as well as Gilbane Building Company and the Related Companies, the general contractor and developer, respectively, of the Hudson Yards project.  Both Gilbane and Related exercised control over employees at Hudson Yards and should be held responsible for sexual harassment that occurred there.  The complaint for Ms. Williams, who worked on another Related project identifies as Respondents Tradeoff and its affiliated entities and Related.  GSA is confident that the EEOC investigation will result in findings of discrimination and harassment and legal action against Tradeoff, Gilbane and Related.

Solotaroff concluded:

“Every day we hear that our country may be at a turning point in our society and culture as it relates to women and sexual harassment in the workplace.  But we will never truly reach that turning point and begin to make progress to an equal, harassment-free work place until we recognize the true extent of the problem and make a social commitment that every woman, no matter her social, economic or political standing can get up every day and go to work and be assured of a safe, respectful work environment.  Today we take that first step in that long overdue journey. ”

Copies of the signed EEOC complaints:  http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/620250/Giskan_Solotaroff_EEOC_Complaint.pdf