Leveraging DVR Camera System Analytics Throughout the Organization

first_imgWhen Jen Richard was tasked with building a case for DVR camera system installations in Canadian retailer West 49 stores in 2010, she took the challenge and rallied the stores. This article illustrates how Richard was able to prove the ROI and tremendous benefits of the technology to senior management.When I first joined West 49, I was tasked with building a resource protection (RP) department from the ground up right out of the gate. In the first year, I started pulling together an RP team that would provide support to the stores and established the core department functions.Among the many issues that needed attention, following were some of the key initiatives we started with:- Sponsor – • Development of an RP reporting deck with our IT department • Launch of a whistleblower-type hotline in collaboration with human resources, • Update of the company policy-and-procedure manual, • Establishment of basic prevention training to be incorporated into the new-hire induction program, • Launch of a store audit and target store program for high-risk locations, and • Building a case for DVR camera system installations in stores across the country. While all of these initiatives were important, deployment of DVR camera systems was one of the most important and is the primary focus of this article.Establishing ROIIn the first year I was given capital to deploy five DVR camera system installations. This doesn’t sound like much, but it was my opportunity to show our company’s senior management the tremendous benefits of this technology.After the first year, leveraging the system for conducting internal investigations, having the public-view monitors as a shoplifting deterrent, and showing how dramatically the shrink results had improved got me a few more installations approved for the second year. Another successful year proved the return on investment (ROI), and it was at this point that I gained full buy-in from top executives, which meant DVR camera systems were incorporated as a “standard” in the construction model for every future new store, relocation, and renovation. This was a big win, and I was able to get continued funding for DVR deployment in the high-risk, target store locations.We rallied the stores to wage war against their shrink. We gave them a specific store strategy each year, and it worked. In 2010, we achieved the lowest shrink result in over seven years—36 percent lower than the reported average for the men’s and women’s apparel segments.Adding AnalyticsBetween 2009 and 2010, the company upgraded the merchandising and POS system to JDA software. This change triggered a shift in our organization because JDA immediately enhanced our data visibility and allowed us to optimize our business processes. The merchandise and planning side of our business was able to manage inventory more effectively and run more effective promotions. It was like the light was switched on for a lot of people, and we experienced a culture shift where information in real time became king. JDA created an opportunity for cross-functional teams to work together, and the value in that is truly appreciated. We have been working together to maximize every opportunity.Interdepartmental collaboration is key. You must build a business case that demonstrates ROI beyond the LP benefits. Any time technology spending can be leveraged for multiple areas of the business, it gets attention and support. My best tip for anyone trying to achieve buy-in for the technology you wish to implement is to provide an overview of the key business benefits to a wider audience. Provide operations, marketing and advertising, IT, and merchandise planning executives with specific examples that clearly demonstrate how the system can be used to impact sales, gross margin, and operational controls. Having the kind of headspace the new POS system provided meant the timing was right for our company to leverage video analytics. I knew that DVR camera systems went way beyond the benefits for theft prevention and investigation; that the system could provide valuable business insights to our organization. The goal became to update our DVR camera systems to include video analytics with the help of vendor-partner i3 International.When Bill Prentice from Checkpoint and Vy Hoang and Brent Humphrey from i3 International joined me to introduce the capabilities of DVR analytics to these other areas of the business, we didn’t talk about the LP benefits. Instead, LP was more like a footnote in that conversation. We discussed the sorts of information that these other business areas would be most interested in.Targeting the benefits of this system for multiple departments helps get the buy-in from executives, and also helps elevate the perception of LP within the organization by showing that LP is a business operations group that gives information that provides valuable insight into the business and helps make the company more profitable. By 2011, 37 of our 134 stores had DVR camera systems, 20 of which were i3 systems.Key Business Benefits of Video AnalyticsThere are a number of important benefits that can be derived throughout the organization from implementing DVR camera system analytics. Following are some of the highlights by business area.Store Operations. The traffic-conversion aspect of DVR analytics was our initial focus because it is the quickest win; it is easy to support operations with the implementation and a clear ROI will be simple to calculate.In the long term and with POS integration, we had the opportunity to leverage the DVR camera system analytics as a multi-dimensional retail tool (MDRT). I borrowed this term from my colleague and friend, Andrew Buchanan at Mark’s Work Wearhouse. It’s been a great way to convey DVR benefits to all of the department silos within our retail team.People Counting. Store operations could leverage people count aspect of video analytics for traffic-conversion data. The data helped to identify, confirm, and improve what we know about proper sales floor coverage and employee productivity. A new metric could be added to our arsenal of sales KPIs thanks to this tool, which enabled the store operations team to drive sales and maximize their payroll budgets.In the past, we knew sales for each store, but we had no idea how many customers came in and did not make a purchase. With traffic conversion, we can challenge store performance levels and make necessary changes to improve sales-conversion percentages.One of the primary benefits of the analytics software is that it is smart enough to know the difference between harmless motion, such as a poster swaying, and threatening motions, such as a person approaching a secure area. From a traffic-counting standpoint, it distinguishes the direction of human movement, which allows us to have a clean customer traffic count of those who entered our store, without falsely including the exit of the customer to our count, which can happen with traditional beam-sensor technology.We can also use video to demonstrate the service behavior that works versus the behavior that shows opportunity for improvement. For days where conversion is low, we can spot-check customer service and provide JPEG photos or video segments to demonstrate that• Service was great, but the product didn’t compel the customer to buy today, or • Service was not optimal and therefore impacted the customer’s shopping experience at our store.These real store examples make a huge impact on building associate training, customer awareness, and positive selling behaviors.Dwell Time. With the POS integration, operations could leverage human recognition aspect of video analytics to assess customer dwell time and sales conversion by department. For example, in our shoe department, if we confirmed the number of customers visiting that section, how long the customers linger, and compare that to our shoe sales at the register, then we could confirm if our conversion rate was good, or if adding better sales coverage in the department would help increase shoe department sales at the register.In another example, we could leverage dwell-time information to determine how long customers had to wait in line before they were cashed out.We could also tie the DVR traffic information into our updated time-and-attendance system. With the completion of the HR system update, we had the ability to layer traffic count into its scheduling function. The traffic conversion data helps to define the store schedule, even to the level of identifying which departments require a focused coverage based on the dwell-time information.Marketing and Advertising. In the short term, marketing and advertising could leverage people count aspect of video analytics to confirm if their campaigns resulted in a lift in foot traffic. Marketing and advertising want to confirm if there was a spike in traffic and/or sales after an advertisement is run to determine whether or not a particular marketing campaign pays off.They are also interested in using basic traffic conversions to determine if television, radio, or billboard campaigns had any impact on the volume of customer traffic to a specific region or during a specific time period. Today, they can only rely on sales data to confirm if their campaign was a success. However, sales results alone are not a true or complete measurement for their success. They may have successfully increased foot traffic to the location; however, there may not have been a significant sales lift because allocation levels were poor or customer service was poor.These factors are a concern to our business, but the lift in traffic to the store tells us that a marketing campaign was actually a success. In the long term and with POS integration to our DVR software, marketing and advertising could leverage human recognition aspect of video analytics to assess customer dwell time and sales conversion by department. This enabled them to confirm that their marketing campaign did impact customer traffic and flow to the area of promotional focus within the store and that the customers shopping in those areas converted to additional sales at the register.Merchandising and Planning. In the long term, planning and visual merchandising groups could leverage human recognition aspect of video analytics to see where customers are going in the store and how long they are staying in at fixtures, tables, and specific areas of the store. They can use dwell-time analytics to guide higher margin goods to the fixtures or areas of the store where customers spend the majority of their time.This benefit will take longer to coordinate and establish parameters for reporting so that decisions to remerchandise can be made quickly to impact sales. What may be the end result is a proven footprint of fixture placement for high-margin goods in our stores. This had a potential influence on the type of visual displays we created, could confirm if hanging or folding product is more effective in getting customers to linger longer, and could identify what is attracting them to the area. If we weren’t converting in certain areas, we could determine the reason why, such as price point, sizes, color options, customer service, or other issues.Resource Protection. In the short term, video analytics allowed us to identify and investigate issues quickly, which increased our recoveries and reduce ongoing loss. Another benefit is the ability to detect possible training deficiencies before the mistakes get out of hand. We could also use the missing-object capabilities of DVR analytics on our high-ticket items, such as watches, sunglasses, and headphones.In the long term and with POS integration to our DVR software, our resource protection organization could also leverage human recognition to set up specific areas for heat-mapping detection, which flags transactions where the customer is not present. We could also leverage POS text overlay to help identify issues with employee collusion, such as free-bagging, where more product is passed off to an accomplice than is rung through the register. This type of theft is a huge risk in our retail environment.Applying Traffic Counting AnalyticsThere are three key components in traffic intelligence:1. The number of customers who visit the store (TRAFFIC) 2. The number who buy (CONVERSION RATIO ) 3. The amount of money they spend (AVERAGE TRANSACTION VALUE).If looking for a total sales increase, one of these components must increase. We cannot change what we cannot measure, so leveraging traffic-count data means we can accurately measure what components increased and the size of the opportunity.Traffic counters and analytics alone do not increase sales. The information provided by DVR camera system analytics must drive strategic actions that result in increased sales. Our store operations group planned to take actions such as:• Incorporating the traffic-conversion data into the daily store sales reports to district managers, • Including the data into weekly store calls and executive summaries, • Tying traffic conversion KPIs into monthly management bonus program, and • Addressing poor conversion results and leveraging DVR camera system footage to identify performance issues at the specific time a dip in conversion occurred, such as observing employees tasking rather than approaching customers.In the one-store example above, 2 percent conversion lift means the potential top-line sales increase at this location is $250,826. That’s a potential 10.9 percent increase in sales. From a traffic-conversion standpoint, this works out to be approximately seven more customers serviced per day. To determine the net gain for this store location, we must take the gross profit increase to the bottom line and subtract the total incremental costs. The incremental costs would include:• Additional payroll due to sales increase, • Incentive payouts ($ for MAX payouts), • Cost of stock (% GM), and • Cost of DVR program for the location.When we started out with 37 of our stores, we estimated our potential net gain from this strategy to be $3.1 million in the first year of deployment. In a worse-case scenario, where we were only able to achieve a 1 percent lift in traffic conversion, it would still represent a $1.2 million net gain for our company.That’s an amazing prospect when you consider this value is coming from DVR camera system technology that is traditionally considered “loss prevention technology.” It totally changes the kind of value that loss prevention can bring to the entire organization. To me, it’s a no-brainer that this approach, with this technology, is a win-win.About West 49 Inc.West 49 Inc. is a Canadian multi-banner specialty retailer of apparel, footwear, accessories, and equipment related to skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing, as well as the music industry. The company’s stores, which are primarily mall-based, carry a variety of high-performance, premium brand name, and private-label products that fulfill the lifestyle needs of identified target markets, primarily active tweens and teens.SIDEBAR: West 49 Resource Protection Department Core FunctionsTraining—Target store program; e-learning series on external theft, internal theft, and shrink management; WebEx-hosted employee training workshops; newsletters; recognition-rewards program; store audits; integrity shopping program.Investigation—Theft; refund fraud; discount abuse; misuse of petty cash; cash over or short; missing deposits; gift-card fraud; payroll fraud; sweethearting. Use of DVRs—Internal investigations; shoplifting and organized groups; video audit of bag check; fitting room control; customer service.Compliance—Store policy-and-procedure compliance; execution of store operational controls; ensuring legislative and legal compliance; privacy legislation; stewardship programs; PCI compliance.Store Services—Supporting stores with incidents that are reported; handling requests for RP systems and equipment; electronic article tagging systems; digital video recorders; fire inspections and prevention; alarm updates; keys; coordination of security requirements for new stores, relocations, and expansions. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Facebook lost 15 million users? Marketers remain unfazed

first_img HomeDigital MarketingFacebook lost 15 million users? Marketers remain unfazed Posted on 9th March 2019Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share Facebook lost 15 million users? Marketers remain unfazedYou are here: Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019 Source: Edison Research 2019Facebook has lost an estimated 15 million users in the U.S. during the last two years, according to a report from Edison Research. The firm’s “The Infinite Dial 2019,” surveyed 1,500 U.S. citizens age 12-years and older and found that Facebook usage overall has dropped from 67 percent to 61 percent in two year’s time, with the 12 to 34-years age segment down from 82 million in 2017 to 65 million this year.Twitter usage is also on a downward slope, going from 23 percent to 19 percent between 2017 and 2019. The report found, overall, social media use has stagnated since 2016, with the number of respondents claiming to be on social remaining around 77 to 80 percent for the past three years. But social media marketing experts said they’re not seeing any impact from declining social media use.People aren’t leaving social, just shifting platforms. While the report showed Facebook users numbers were dropping, Facebook-owned Instagram is experiencing a steady rise. Instagram’s audience reach is still much smaller than Facebook’s, but Edison’s survey found Instagram usage has climbed from 34 percent in 2017 to 39 percent.Steve Weiss, CEO of digital marketing agency MuteSix, said he doesn’t believe Facebook users are leaving, but instead the current user base is simply aging.“While the younger demographics may be shifting to Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook is also seeing increased gains from the 55+ segment. In other words, users aren’t exactly leaving, they are simply shifting,” said Weiss. According to Edison’s report, the 55+ age segment of respondents were the only group whose Facebook usage had increase since 2017.Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO of social media marketing platform Socialbakers, said his company doesn’t have any data indicating a drop in Facebook user numbers.“In Q4, Facebook reported an increase,” said Ben-Itzhak, “As for Twitter, they have stopped reporting on users which could mean users did not grow.”Ben Heiser, a content strategist for the Drum Agency, agrees with Weiss in terms of Facebook versus Instagram user numbers.“Everyone likes to take shots at Facebook usage being down as the end of social media as we know it, but social media is more of a media channel now than ever before. Facebook has global saturation at this point and active users are just switching over to Instagram, which Facebook owns,” said Heiser.“Here’s the thing – surveys are always skewing perception towards something. One survey cites the 15 million loss in young Facebook users as their rallying cry to jump to audio. However, if you look at the actual numbers, not survey results, Facebook reported that there were 1.52 billion daily active users in Q4, an increase of nine-percent year-over-year.”Facebook advertising still delivering. Weiss said his ad agency is not seeing an impact from any drops in usage. He believes the Facebook’s Stories ad product, which the company rolled out in the News Feed last year, will drive more advertising on the platform.“With Facebook’s continued investment in analytics across all its platforms, we also expect to see advanced engagement metrics for Stories, which will ultimately boost bottom-line revenue for Facebook,” said Weiss.He is confident Instagram advertising revenue will continue to climb, also spurred by Story ads.“As a matter of fact, advertising revenues on Instagram’s Stories are projected to increase as early studies demonstrate brands can expect to see higher ad recall and click-through rates than from previous ads that were posted on the Instagram feed,” said Weiss.And then there’s WhatsApp. Edison Research’s survey did not include historical usage data on WhatsApp, the encrypted messaging app owned by platform, but did show 23 percent of the survey participants age 12 to 34 years old were using it this year.“While Facebook doesn’t report on individual app growth regularly, you can easily infer that the growth is happening on WhatsApp and Instagram, which cater and are heavily used by a younger target,” said Heiser.Facebook has been making subtle moves to get more people on WhatsApp — announcing in January that it plans to integrate its WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger platforms, making it possible for users to communicate between the three apps. Facebook also said it is planning to roll-out WhatsApp ads this year.Why you should care. While the Edison Research may show declining user numbers, a loss of 15 million users on Facebook may not amount to much for a platform that has 1.5 billion daily active users. And recent reports show advertisers are ahead of the curve with Instagram, with lifts in incremental ad spending from loyal advertisers driving ad spend growth on the platform — money that is still going into Facebook’s pocket.As Heiser noted, Facebook’s most recent earnings report isn’t showing any major impact from a drop in usage with ad revenue climbing to $16.6 billion during the fourth quarter of 2018. In fact, the company reported the average price of an ad decreased 2 percent, while ad impressions were up 34 percent. Twitter also saw increased ad revenue during the last quarter of 2018, up 23 percent year-over-year.Overall, marketers shouldn’t make any knee-jerk reactions when it comes to their social media strategy based on one survey, marketers say.“If you’re planning to use media, you shouldn’t be a fan of one or the other. The focus should be where your audience is most engaged: is it podcast? Instagram? Facebook? If so, that’s where you need to be,” said Heiser.The post Facebook lost 15 million users? Marketers remain unfazed appeared first on Marketing Land.From our sponsors: Facebook lost 15 million users? Marketers remain unfazedlast_img read more

Conservatives, liberals team up against animal research

first_img“Painful, bizarre, and wasteful experiments.” Buying dogs “just to cut them apart … and kill them.” These statements might sound like the rhetoric used by extreme animal rights groups, but they come from White Coat Waste—a new, unlikely coalition of fiscal conservatives and liberal activists that aims to end federal funding for research involving dogs and other animals by targeting people’s pocketbooks in addition to their heartstrings. Last week, the group made its first foray into the political arena, holding a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., for reporters and congressional staff. Speakers called on policymakers to launch an audit of the agencies that fund animal research, and depicted animal studies as another example of big government spending run amok. “I can’t think of any right-wing groups that have taken on animal research before,” says Tom Holder, the director of Speaking of Research, an international organization that supports the use of animals in scientific labs. “It’s a new way to crowbar off policymakers who might not otherwise support” efforts to end the use of animals in research.White Coat Waste, based in Washington, D.C., is the brainchild of Anthony Bellotti, a former Republican strategist who has consulted for campaigns against Obamacare and Planned Parenthood. His opposition to animal research began in 1995, when, in the summer between high school and college, he worked in a hospital laboratory that was conducting heart studies on pigs and witnessed experiments he saw as cruel. After he became a political consultant, he hit upon the idea of framing such research as a waste of taxpayer money. “That story was being told in the Planned Parenthood and Obamacare debates, but not in the anti–animal research movement,” he says. “I wanted to unite the animal lovers and the liberty lovers.” Red-blue allianceBellotti founded White Coat Waste in 2013, though he says the group has become active only since last year. That’s when it had its first big exposure in Socialized Science, a documentary executive produced by conservative political commentator Glenn Beck. Replete with images that wouldn’t be out of place in a video produced by an animal rights group—lab mice with blood coming out of their eyes, monkeys with metal screws in their heads—the program features comments from antitax conservatives, including Representative Tom Marino (R–PA), an early Donald Trump supporter who calls for more oversight of government agencies that fund animal studies.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)But White Coat Waste made its biggest splash last week with its Capitol Hill briefing. The event was co-hosted by Representatives from both sides of the aisle—Ken Calvert (R–CA), a spending hawk, and Dina Titus (D–NV), who, in response to a campaign by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), helped end psychological experiments on baby monkeys at a National Institutes of Health (NIH) lab last year. She vowed to work with White Coat Waste and her congressional colleagues to bring more transparency to government research and help phase out wasteful and unnecessary experiments.Those were also the major themes of a report White Coat Waste released timed to the hearing, Spending to Death. The document, which mainly focuses on federally funded dog research, claims that more than 1100 canines are being subjected to cruel, unnecessary experiments in government labs. It also slams what it calls redundancy in such research, citing, for example, three separate NIH experiments on sepsis and hemorrhage in dogs.Holder questions those claims. For instance, “all sepsis studies aren’t the same,” he says. “They’re purposely trying to misinform the public.” Dog research alone, he says, has improved our understanding of diseases like cancer and hemophilia and helped develop pacemakers and organ transplants.But White Coat Waste also alleges that, aside from NIH, most federal agencies are opaque about how many dogs they use, the details of these experiments, and how much they cost. “There is a staggering lack of transparency and a lack of accountability,” Bellotti says.His group hopes to end most, if not all, of the dog experiments. Bellotti says his organization already has a mailing list of 350,000 names, which he’ll use to pressure Congress to require federal agencies to provide more details about the studies they conduct—and to defund labs or programs engaging in what the group considers wasteful and unnecessary research. It will also do more digging of its own, using records requests to shed more light on this research.The group hopes that publicity may be enough to shut down some of these studies, even without congressional action. Public opinion could help; according to a recent Pew Research Center poll, 50% of Americans now oppose animal research, and the government itself has ended its support of some animal studies, most notably biomedical research on chimpanzees.Past efforts to forge odd-couple alliances have produced mixed success, however. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, environmental groups joined with antispending conservatives to try to end funding for what they considered wasteful, environmentally damaging projects. Liberal and conservative coalitions have also tried to kill military projects, such as particular weapons systems. But partisan politics often overwhelmed the coalitions that could be built against particular projects. And the new White Coat Waste effort is likely to face substantial resistance from influential patient groups that are generally supportive of biomedical research, and have deep links to both Democrats and Republicans. Won’t tackle private researchBellotti admits his group is starting small—just focusing on dogs in government-run labs. But he says it will eventually target all animal studies supported by taxpayer dollars, including millions of mice, rats, and other animals. “Anything that’s getting federal funding is fair game for us,” says Justin Goodman, White Coat Waste’s vice president for advocacy and policy (and a former director of laboratory investigations at PETA). “We’re laying the foundation for bigger things.”Still, there are some animals the group won’t touch. The untold millions of mice, rats, and even dogs owned by pharmaceutical companies, biotech corporations, and other industry labs are off the table says Bellotti, noting the business interests of his more conservative allies. “If we start going after the private sector, some of our supporters may have a problem with that.”For its part, NIH says that animal research continues to inform both human and animal health. It also notes that funding agencies and institutional review boards evaluate all animal research, only approving what they consider necessary and humane studies. “All animals used in NIH-funded research are protected by laws, regulations, and policies that ensure the smallest number of subjects and the greatest commitment to their welfare,” the agency says in a statement to ScienceInsider.Holder also questions the group’s basic claim: that ending funding for animal research would save taxpayers money. “Addiction, diabetes, and other diseases cost the public millions of dollars a year,” he says. “If taxpayers don’t pay for this more basic research, they’ll pay for the effects of not doing it.”last_img read more

POLL-UP-SHOOTER 2LAST

first_imgWhen asked about the “criminal background” of hisWhen asked about the “criminal background” of his father, Abbas defended him saying “a lot of his enigma is media generated. You ask people here, who know our family well. Over 90 per cent feel Mukhtar is a good man. There is no bigger certificate than this”.The merger of Ansaris Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED) had stirred a controversy in the Samajwadi Party last year with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav bitterly opposing the move.Founder of Qaumi Ekta Dal, Mukhtar recently merged his party the BSP last month.Mukhtar has over 40 criminal cases against him, including those related to murder and kidnapping. He is also the prime accused in the 2005 murder of BJP legislator Krishnanand Rai, for which he is lodged in Agra jail.He is contesting on a BSP ticket from Mau Cantonment seat, which he won in 2012.Unlike Mukhtar, his convent-educated son has no criminal record.”Wherever I go, I get the blessing of people who throng to meet me. I want to serve them with devotion,” he said.Abbas, who had achieved his biggest feat with a shotgun, says he fired his first shot at a national competition in 2011 and established himself as one the worlds top 10 skeet shooters in subsequent world cups in Germany and Finland.But his sporting career went into tailspin after he met with a road accident in 2014.On his sporting career, Abbas said he still has his eyes set on qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.advertisementOver four lakh voters in the Ghosi constituency include 75,000 Muslims and Dalits each, 70,000 from the upper caste, over 60,000 of backward Rajbhars and 45,000 backward Chauhan caste besides others.Abbas is banking heavily on Muslim-Dalit combination for his victory with the support of upper castes.BJP candidate Fagu Singh Chouhan is banking on core BJP votes besides his own Chauhan caste votes.Polling in Ghosi constituency, which has become high-profile and is hogging media limelight due to presence of Abbas, and his father in the adjacent Mau seat, will be held on March 4 in the penultimate round of UP polls. PTI ABN SMI ASVlast_img read more

10 months agoMan City boss Guardiola: We must finish better against Liverpool

first_imgMan City boss Guardiola: We must finish better against Liverpoolby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City boss Pep Guardiola has warned his players they must take their chances when they face Liverpool.Guardiola was speaking after victory at Southampton.”We missed a lot of chances. The game could’ve been six or seven. We have to score (more),” he said.”Liverpool are not going to give us this amount of chances. I’ve always had this feeling. We scored 106 goals last season – the best ever – but I thought we had to score more.”In every department I think we can improve. I said that two months ago when everybody said how beautiful and how handsome we were. There were many things I liked today.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Video: Tim Tebow Surprised A Young Florida Fan In The Hospital, And It Was Awesome

first_imgTim Tebow with a young Gator fan at the hospital.Tim TebowThis video is incredibly heartwarming, but you may need to view it with some tissues handy. Former Florida legend and Heisman-winning quarterback Tim Tebow visited Nathaniel, a patient at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville. Clearly, judging by his blanket, pillow and t-shirt, Nathaniel is a huge Gators fan. When Tebow walks in the room, the young boy’s reaction is immediate, and priceless. Watch for yourself.  So AWESOME to watch Tim Tebow surprise our new friend Nathaniel at Wolfson Children’s Hospital! What an incredible young man!Posted by Tim Tebow Foundation on Tuesday, September 29, 2015That’s just awesome stuff, and not a surprise coming from Tebow. [ USA Today ]last_img

Alan Cummings Asks Fans to Support Courage

first_img Fighting lies about Obamacare — when the right-wing front group, Generation Opportunity, launched a propaganda campaign — using free beer, pizza, models, and a creepy Uncle Sam to spread lies about health insurance and bribe college students into opting out of Obamacare — Courage launched the Obamacare Reality Response Team to educate the public and spread the truth about the Affordable Care Act.Courage Campaign Institute needs you to keep doing this work in 2014. Please make a tax-deductible contribution before the end of the year.Sincerely,Alan CummingSource:Courage Campaign Institute Actor Alan Cumming sent out an email in support of the Courage Campaign Institute yesterday, asking fans and supporters to make a last minute tax-deductible donation before the end of 2013.From the email:You probably know me as an actor/director/writer. Maybe you saw me recently on CBS’ The Good Wife, on Broadway, or in London’s West End, but I’m also a committed activist. And as you’re deciding where to make your tax-deductible contributions before midnight on December 31st, I wanted to give a plug for one of my favorite progressive organizations, the Courage Campaign Institute.Courage Campaign Institute exists because folks like us have the courage to care and to fight. Courage brings us together. The voices of many become one, speaking truth to power and demanding bold leadership to solve our nation’s challenges. Your contribution will sustain public education on critical issues, move public opinion, and help organize and train local leaders.Hopefully, you’ve seen Courage’s recent emails and are aware of much of the great work accomplished in 2013 thanks to your help. Here are some highlights: Stopping the Koch Brothers from purchasing the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and eight other major newspapers — when others said it was impossible, Courage launched an innovative, ferocious campaign that torpedoed the deal. Ending Prop 8 and DOMA — the product of YEARS of work by Courage Campaign Institute to educate the public and move public opinion, which led to the Supreme Court made historic rulings in June. With 33 states still restricting marriage equality, our work is far from over.last_img read more

Disney says no merit to Malaysia resort company lawsuit

first_imgKUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Resort developer Genting Malaysia’s lawsuit seeking $1 billion in damages from Walt Disney Co. and Fox Entertainment Group for alleged breach of contract related to a theme park, is “without merit,” Disney said Tuesday.The lawsuit filed Monday in the Central California District Court cites damages from Fox’s withdrawal from an agreement set in 2013 to license its intellectual property for a Fox World theme park in Resort World Genting, a sprawling facility perched on a mountain in Malaysia.The theme park would have been Fox’s first. According to Genting’s complaint, Fox issued a “notice of default” aimed at ending the agreement.Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox apparently raised issues because Genting’s resort includes a casino, which conflicts with Disney’s stance against gambling.“The claims made against Disney in this matter are utterly without merit,” Disney said in an emailed statement.Despite disagreements over the specific terms of the deal, Genting said Fox had no grounds to pull out. The complaint also alleges that Disney and 21st Century Fox interfered with the contract and caused Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising, part of Fox Entertainment, to breach it.Genting says it has invested nearly $180 million in the Fox project. Its most recent quarterly report said the group was focused on developing its resort and on preparing to roll out the “highly anticipated 20th Century Fox World Theme Park” as well as another attraction, the Skytropolis indoor theme park.The opening of the Fox themed park had been planned for the first half of 2019.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Provincial government provides funds to northwestern municipalities seeking revenuesharing agreement

first_imgVICTORIA, B.C. — Premier John Horgan’s officer says the provincial government will be providing funding for a group of municipalities looking to get its own version of the Peace River Agreement signed with the Province.Premier Horgan said that the government will provide $300,000 to the Northwest B.C. Resource Benefits Alliance in support of its communities’ continued efforts to strengthen economic development in the region. “We believe that people should benefit from the prosperity generated by their hard work, and the resources of the regions where they live. I applaud the efforts of the RBA to strengthen their local economies,” said Horgan. “We are committed to working with Northwest communities as they work to help stabilize their economy over the long term.”  The Resource Benefits Alliance, representing 21 local governments from Vanderhoof to Masset, was formed in 2014 to advocate for the infrastructure needs of their communities. During the provincial election last year, Horgan stated that the NDP would negotiate with the RBA in September of 2017 if it were to form government. Then-Premier Christy Clark declined to make a similar commitment, saying at a separate campaign event that the Province had been providing the region with funding through the rural dividend fund. “Building a strong, sustainable, innovative economy is a priority for this government,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This funding is expected to help the RBA build relationships with First Nations, labour, major project proponents, local business and the non-profit sector.” “The RBA shares the government’s vision of economic development that creates good local jobs and sustainable communities,” said RBA chair Bill Miller. “We thank the Premier and minister for recognizing that liveable, well-serviced communities are essential for economic development.”Leaders from the RBA met with Premier Horgan in late September last year, saying that negotiations had begun. On September 29th, the RBA said in a release that it hoped to reach a revenue-sharing agreement with the provincial government within six months.last_img read more