Weak economy threatens provinces’ deficit elimination plans

Keywords ProvincesCompanies Moody’s Investors Service Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Provincial bonds get record attention from foreign investors: StatsCan Provincial governments may be focused on eliminating their deficits and consolidating their finances, but subdued economic growth in 2012 and 2013 will test their ability to meet those goals, says Moody’s Investors Service in a new report. The rating agency’s report says that modest economic growth means that provinces generally won’t be able to grow their way out of budget gaps, and so fiscal consolidation will have to take place over many years. And, while revenues continue to grow at a moderate pace, provinces are facing expense pressures, particularly from priority programs in health and education, it notes. Provinces to feel the pandemic pinch in 2021: Moody’s James Langton Provincial finance ministers divided on top priority for meeting with Morneau Related news “The speed and scale of adjustment will vary by province, given the different magnitudes of deterioration and economic prospects,” the report says, noting that, while growth for Canada as a whole is expected to remain moderate, it will be uneven across the provinces. Resource-rich Alberta and Saskatchewan are expected to lead the way, but the growth prospects for most other provinces remain relatively subdued, Moody’s says. “The provinces have the fiscal flexibility to reverse the recent financial deterioration, but the task will be more challenging for some and provinces still need to clearly elaborate how they will achieve their medium-term targets,” said Jennifer Wong, associate vice president at Moody’s and author of the report. “A failure to communicate and implement clear, realistic and effective fiscal consolidation plans could lead to downward rating pressure for some of the provinces.” That said, the rating agency adds that it does not anticipate widespread rating adjustments in 2012 because the core factors underpinning provincial ratings — including the provinces’ strong shock-absorption capacity and solid institutional framework — will not be adversely affected in the year ahead. Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

After huge year, McIlroy hungry for more

first_imgRory McIlroy isn’t divulging what is on his list of seven goals for 2015 that he jotted down on the back of his boarding pass on a flight to Dubai last week. Completing a career Grand Slam at the Masters in April? Surely that was No. 1. A court case against his former management company, scheduled for February, is also a defining early year date for the world’s top-ranked player. Winning this week’s Abu Dhabi Championship may not have been on the list, but it would end years of frustration for McIlroy at what has become his traditional year-opening tournament. McIlroy has finished second at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in three of the last four years. On two of those occasions, he was hit with rule penalties that ultimately cost him victory. ”One of the goals this week is just to have no penalty shots when I don’t need them,” he said. ”And see where I end up at the end of the week.” Losing out to Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal in a thrilling end to last year’s tournament was one of the few regrets for McIlroy in a stunning 2014. He won the British Open and the PGA Championship to double his tally of major titles, returned to the top of the rankings, and was one of the stars of the European team that retained the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. McIlroy wants more. ”I didn’t achieve everything that I wanted to last year,” he said. It has become something of a ritual for him to write down his objectives for the season on his boarding pass on his flight out for his first tournament of the year. He puts the list in his wallet and memorizes it. ”I’ll take that boarding pass out at the end of the year and see how well I’ve done,” McIlroy said. ”I feel 2014 has really set me up for another great year. I’m coming in with a nice little bit of momentum, and (my) game is feeling good.” With McIlroy having had a month off, his rivals in Abu Dhabi will hope Boy Wonder is rusty. It is another strong field, with No. 2 Henrik Stenson, U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer, No. 6 Justin Rose and American star Rickie Fowler – making his debut in the desert – among the other entries. McIlroy and Fowler are in the same group for the first two days, marking the first time they have played together since the singles at the Ryder Cup. McIlroy put on an awesome performance that Sunday, winning 5 and 4. Kaymer is a three-time winner (2008, ’10 and ’11) in Abu Dhabi, and was one stroke off first place in 2009. The German is one of the few players to have a better record on the course than McIlroy, who was third in 2010 and tied for fifth in 2009 before his run of runner-up finishes. ”It’s a golf course I’ve always felt comfortable on, one that has suited me, and I have played well here,” McIlroy said. ”This is my eighth year in a row starting the season off here, so I’m pretty familiar with the place, and looking forward to another strong start to the season.”last_img read more

Protein folding: Life’s vital origami

first_imgFold a napkin wrong, and you lose points with Miss Manners.Fold a protein wrong, and you could set off a chain of genetic malformations that can lead to disease, or (more happily) to evolutionary change.The way proteins fold, and the good and bad effects of this molecular phenomenon, are what keeps biologist Susan L. Lindquist busy.Lindquist Ph.D. ’76, a Radcliffe Fellow this year, is an award-winning professor and researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a former director of the Whitehead Institute. She shared her insights on protein folding with an audience of 70 last week (March 5) at the fellowship program’s 34 Concord Ave. headquarters.“Two-thirds of the people in this room think proteins are food,” said Lindquist, leading off her lively one-hour presentation spiced with movie clips, arresting charts, and jokes that even nonbiologists could laugh at. “But we’re mostly made of proteins.”Proteins constitute about 50 percent of the dry weight of animals and bacteria. They transport chemicals in and out of cells, speed up chemical reactions (as enzymes), and comprise the building blocks of cellular structure. They also only work the way they are supposed to when they fold properly, said Lindquist.Folded the right way, proteins “help an organism stay the same,” she said.Protein folding is normally kept in check by “chaperone” systems that clamp proteins in place during cellular transport. Lindquist said that “very specific degradation machinery” helps dispose of nonstandard — “misfolded” — proteins.But sometimes misfolded proteins overwhelm this protective system. To blame are inherited genetic mutations or environmental stressors like heat, oxygen deprivation, and aging.If proteins fold the wrong way, they can lead to disease states — cancer, cystic fibrosis, or neurological disorders like Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease. Lindquist and her research team (including 2005-06 Radcliffe Fellow Luke Whitesell) are using yeast-based models of protein-folding diseases to develop novel approaches to therapy. (Lindquist is also co-founder of the Cambridge-based FoldRx Pharmaceuticals.)“Misfolding is a big part of diseases,” said Lindquist of the side of her research looking into therapies. “[We] really want to make people who are sick better.”But misfolded proteins can also help organisms evolve — “reach new forms and functions,” as Lindquist put it. Organisms can store protein misfolding variations in a “silent form” until — awakened by environmental stressors — they may prompt evolutionary change.Most evolutionary change is slow, she said. But protein folding — “conformational change” — may be a new frontier in understanding some forms of rapid evolution.Lindquist showed a picture of two different-looking Rocky Mountain monkey flowers, one that has evolved to be pollinated by bumble bees and the other by hummingbirds. Their “massive changes” in appearance and function, she said, were the result of only a handful of major gene changes. (A gene is a unit of DNA that codes for a protein.)But saying that protein misfolding is an agent of change “is by no means completely accepted” among evolutionary biologists, she said of her controversial claim. “This is a work in progress.”As a graduate student in biology at Harvard in the 1970s, Lindquist didn’t mind a little controversy. She was already bucking the system by being where she was — a female in a department where female faculty members were outnumbered by males 65 to two.The disparity, she said in one interview, freed her to take risks. That included changing her laboratory work, before she had tenure, from fruit flies to yeasts.“Yeasts are our best friends,” said Lindquist. After all, they perform the chemistry responsible for making bread, beer, and wine.But in the lab, yeasts are also a handy means of studying protein mutations, and getting at the root of how those mutations contribute to disease.One mechanism Lindquist studies is heat shock proteins (Hsp), which help other proteins fold correctly and which buffer (i.e., hide) small mutations. In yeast, she’s investigating Hsp90. It’s an abundant type of heat shock protein that a normal, self-regulating cell only needs a little of — but which floods to rescue when protein misfolding occurs.Here’s the catch. Hsp90 rescues not only normal proteins, but also the unstable mutant proteins that cause cancer. “The cancer is actively subverting our protective activities,” said Lindquist.But the catch comes with a hope: that scientists can manipulate levels of Hsp90 as a clinical strategy. That takes care. Inhibiting levels of Hsp90 early may be good, said Lindquist; doing it later may unleash mutations.About 20 different clinical trials are currently under way, looking at how to use Hsp90 inhibitors against cancer.While at Radcliffe, Lindquist is one of 13 scientists this year who as fellows are actively pursuing research with Harvard entities. She’s working with the Broad Institute, the Harvard-MIT research collaboration that, along with the Whitehead Institute, investigates the connections between genomics and medicine.“Susan is an extraordinary scientist, teacher, and mentor — all of which are clearly reflected in her presentations,” said Barbara J. Grosz, interim dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. “Her cutting-edge research with Harvard scientists has greatly enriched Radcliffe and Harvard this year.” (In her earlier role as dean of science, Grosz undertook several initiatives to attract leading scientists like Lindquist to Radcliffe.)Lindquist has brought talent and insights to the fellows program, “including her penetrating questions at talks by fellows from all across academic fields and the arts,” said Grosz. “We are delighted to have her with us.”ANIMATED MINI-FEATURE: PROTEINS AT WORKWhy proteins misfold, for good or ill, is explained in part by the environment of the cell itself. Cells are always jam-packed with proteins, and very busy.“It’s not like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers,” said Lindquist, who showed a clip of the two graceful dancers gliding around on a big dance floor. “It’s more like a Marx Brothers movie.”Remember the crowded stateroom scene in “A Night at the Opera?” Lindquist showed that as an example of how crowded cells are. And crowded cells are an environment that makes protein misfolding more likely.Lindquist showed another video clip, a Harvard product called “The Inner Life of the Cell,” an animated rendering of a cell’s inner landscape. The cell’s protein workforce has been trimmed by 90 percent, said Lindquist, to allow enough room to show a little of what happens.You’ll see an aquarium-like hive of rolling leukocytes and lily-pad lipid rafts. Motor proteins cakewalk along wavering microtubules. Restless mitochondria bulge like fat worms just beneath the surface of glistening membranes.You won’t see this astonishing film at your local multiplex, but you will find all eight minutes of it, with narration, at the web site of Harvard’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (http://multimedia.mcb.harvard.edu/media.html)[email protected]last_img read more

Study: Psychopaths are attracted to other psychopaths

first_imgShare New psychology research suggests that most people do not view psychopathic personality traits as particularly desirable in a romantic partner. But the study also provides evidence that psychopaths are more attracted to other psychopaths.“To a large extent, our findings support a ‘like attracts like’ hypothesis for psychopathic traits,” wrote the authors of the study, which was published in the Journal of Personality.“Until recently there has been scant systematic evidence bearing on the question of whether people are especially attracted to psychopathic individuals, and if so, which personality traits may account for such attraction,” they said. Share on Facebook LinkedIn In the study, 696 participants were asked to imagine a good-looking young man or woman, and then construct his or her personality from a list of 70 traits.The researchers found that the participants preferred Factor 1 psychopathic traits (such as superficial charm, manipulativeness, and lack of empathy) over Factor 2 traits (such as impulsiveness and irresponsibility). But, overall, romantic interest in psychopathic traits was low on average.However, participants who themselves scored higher on a measure of psychopathy tended to prefer higher levels of psychopathic traits in their ideal romantic partner.In addition, male participants tended to express more interest in traits related to psychopathy and other personality disorders than female participants.The study includes some limitations. It is unclear, for example, if people’s choices in a hypothetical dating scenario reflect their actual dating choices in real-life situations.“Our findings suggest that although absolute preferences for psychopathic traits are low on average, individuals with marked psychopathic features and [personality disorders] features more generally are more inclined than others to endorse a romantic preference for psychopathic individuals, at least in the abstract,” the researchers said.The study, “Do Psychopathic Birds of a Feather Flock Together? Psychopathic Personality Traits and Romantic Preferences“, was authored by Ashley L. Watts, Jessica C. Rohr, Katherine L. McCauley, Sarah Francis Smith, Kristin Landfield Howe, and Scott O. Lilienfeld.center_img Share on Twitter Pinterest Emaillast_img read more

Zeebrugge to re-export LNG cargo to Brazil

first_imgBelgium’s Zeebrugge liquefied natural gas terminal is due to ship a re-export cargo on November 22.The destination of the cargo is Brazil’s Pecem terminal, operated by Petrobras, port data reveals.The Excelsior LNG tanker, with a capacity of 138,060 cbm, will reach Pecem on December 2, according to the data.[mappress mapid=”15958″]LNG World News Staff; Image: Excelerate Energylast_img

‘SNL’ enlists Woody Harrelson, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Billy Porter for CNN town hall spoof

first_imgNBC/Will Heath(NEW YORK) — Saturday Night Live spoofed last week CNN’s “Equality in America” campaign town hall that focused on LGBTQ issues, with a cold open sketch that featured cameo appearances by Pose‘s Billy Porter, Woody Harrelson and Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda.The bit kicked off with Alex Moffat’s Anderson Cooper introducing Porter, who delivered hilarious introductions for the candidates, including Chris Redd and Kate McKinon, reprising their impersonations of Senators Corey Booker and Elizabeth Warren, respectively.The sketch also featured “Weekend Update” anchor Colin Jost debuting his Pete Buttigieg, who, when asked by an audience member how he’d respond to those who say he’s not gay in the right way, replied, “I’ve heard that, but there’s no wrong way to be gay, unless you’re Ellen this week” — a jab at Ellen DeGeneres’ comments about being friendly with George W. Bush.In an apparent response to the backlash over Julián Castro’s exclusion from a debate sketch featuring nine other top Democratic hopefuls in its season opener, Miranda stepped in as the Latino presidential candidate.“As a Democrat. I want to apologize for not being gay,” Miranda’s Castro says. “But I promise to do better in the future.”“I’m young, I’m diverse, I’m latinobama,” he said. “Let’s get that hashtag going.”“There was once another man who left his mark on this nation’s history,” Miranda’s Castro continued, before getting interrupted by Moffat, just as a song from Hamilton started to play.“I was going to say Al Gore!” said Miranda.Finally, Harrelson, reprising his impersonation of former vice president Joe Biden from when he hosted the season opener, began his portion of the town hall by noting, “The vast majority of people in America are not homophobic. They’re just scared of gay people.”Stranger Things’ David Harbour guest hosted the show, with musical guest Camila Cabello.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Racing resumes Saturday at Springfield Quick Quarter

first_imgSPRINGFIELD, Mo. – After taking the weekend off for the July 4th holiday, the Quick Quarter of Springfield Raceway will be back in action this Saturday, July 11 with Bad Boy Mowers IMCA Modified action.  The race for the track championship has so far been tight as there has yet to have a repeat winner on the high-banked ¼-mile dirt oval. So far in 2020, Ken Schrader, James Thompson, Trevor Drake, Steven Bowers Jr. and Jody Tillman have claimed feature wins. Racing starts at 7:30 p.m.center_img For more information on Springfield Raceway visit and like the Facebook page or visit the website at www.SpringfieldRaceway.Com. last_img read more

United they’ll stand

first_imgBy JARROD POTTER ONE club, one vision, and most importantly, one collective goal. After years of separation in Pakenham and…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Winless in three, Leafs host Murdoch-leading Beaver Valley Nitehawks

first_imgNelson, 12-10 on the season and tied for third in the division with Grand Forks, out shot the Border Bruins in both games, including a 42-27 advantage Tuesday in the Boundary City, but could not find that go-ahead goal.Saturday was the same as Nelson dominated the Bruins in the third period, only to see team captain Rayce Miller hit the bottom of the post with the goalie out of position with the Leafs trailing 2-1.“Maybe it’s confidence . . . I’m not really sure what it is right now,” Andrews lamented.“I think if we get a couple of goals here and there in a game might change things around.”“But overall we’re a team and we’re going to stick together to get through this,” Andrew adds.Beaver Valley, 16-4-1-0-1, enters the contest winners of two straight after sweeping a Murdoch home-and-home series against rival Castlegar Rebels.The sweep comes after Grand Forks pulled off a sweep of the Hawks the week before.Friday’s contest is the lone game of the weekend for Nelson.The Leafs return to action Wednesday when Castlegar visits the NDCC Arena for a 7 p.m. puck drop. When it rains, it generally pours.Just ask the Nelson Leafs hockey club.Currently riding a three-game losing streak and losing twice to a team the Leafs usually beat on a consistent basis— new-and-improved Grand Forks Border Bruins — the Green and White face the unenviable task of hosting the Murdoch Division leading Beaver Valley Nitehawks Friday at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.Add into the equation, the Leafs have yet to defeat the Hawks in two home meetings, losing by a combined score of 13-7.“I’m confident in the boys that we’re going to figure this out and get back on track,” said Leaf forward Blair Andrews when asked about the recent string of games that has Nelson winning twice in the past seven games.One frightening stat is the Leafs frustration with scoring at key times of the game.last_img read more

GALWAY TRIATHLON CLUB BEGINNERS MORNING NEW MEMBERS OPEN DAY

first_imgIf you would like to find out more about triathlon, take up the challenge of becoming a Triathlete in 2017 or maybe you are keen on taking your running, swimming or cycling interests to another level. This is the perfect opportunity to find out how you can take on the sport of Triathlon with Galway Triathlon Club, get fit, have fun and make new friends! Galway Triathlon Club is delighted to announce the return of the Beginners Morning to its calendar for 2017, taking place in the Salthill Hotel and Ocean Fitness on Saturday 28th January from 9am – 1pm. The Beginners Event and New Members Day is open to all GTC members and the general public with an interest in dipping their toes into multisport endurance racing. The Club caters for athletes of all abilities who have an interest in Triathlon racing whether you come from a single sport as a seasoned runner, swimmer or cyclist to those who have never participated in any sports.The club has a wide range of accomplished athletes and members who took up the challenge originally to get fit and complete a sprint triathlon but have since completed a long distance triathlon or indeed raced at the World Championships in their chosen distance.  There is something for everyone so if it’s a sprint triathlon, the opportunity to learn how to swim or you dream of racing for your country or completing an IRONMAN we can help you achieve your goals.Admission to this event is free and will include a general triathlon information session for the aspiring triathlete, triathlon training tips, demonstrations on transitions in Triathlon racing, information on nutrition, stretching and an opportunity to meet and chat with many members of Galway Triathlon Club.For more information and to register to attend please email [email protected] or check out our Facebook pageMake 2017 your year to TRI something new! You never know where it may lead you!print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more