Empire - Red Cross

RED CROSS ISSUES EMERGENCY CALL

By STANLEY JORDAN

The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelets, urging all eligible donors to give now to replenish an extremely low summer blood supply.

Blood donations have fallen short of hospital needs for the past few months, resulting in about 39,000 fewer donations than what’s needed, as well as a significant draw down of the overall Red Cross blood supply. In addition, the Independence Day holiday may have caused many regular donors to postpone donations due to vacation plans. A recent Red Cross poll revealed that more than 75 percent of donors surveyed indicated vacation plans this summer, many of them occurring the weeks before and after July 4.

“Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which is why we are making this emergency request for donations,” said Patty Corvaia, communications manager of the New York-Penn Blood Services Region. “Donations are urgently needed now to meet the needs of hospital patients in the coming days and weeks. If you’ve thought about giving blood and helping to save lives, now is the time to do it. It’s the blood donations on the shelves that help save lives when an emergency occurs.”

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites to allow for more donors to make an appointment to give. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to avoid longer wait times. Donors with all blood types are needed.

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Empire - pic - Interpol

VALUE OF ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME UP 26%

By MARK WOODSON

The value of environmental crime is 26 per cent larger than previous estimates, at $91-258 billion today compared to $70-213 billion in 2014, according to a rapid response report published today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL. The Rise of Environmental Crime, released on the eve of World Environment Day (WED), finds that weak laws and poorly funded security forces are enabling international criminal networks and armed rebels to profit from a trade that fuels conflicts, devastates ecosystems and is threatening species with extinction.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “Interpol and UNEP have joined forces to bring to the attention of the world the sheer scale of environmental crime. The vast sums of money generated from these crimes keep sophisticated international criminal gangs in business, and fuel insecurity around the world.

Environmental crime dwarfs the illegal trade in small arms, which is valued at about $3 billion. It is the world’s fourth-largest criminal enterprise after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking. The amount of money lost due to environmental crime is 10,000 times greater than the amount of money spent by international agencies on combatting it – just $20-30 million.

The last decade has seen environmental crime rise by at least 5-7 per cent per year. This means that environmental crime – which includes the illegal trade in wildlife, corporate crime in the forestry sector, the illegal exploitation and sale of gold and other minerals, illegal fisheries, the trafficking of hazardous waste and carbon credit fraud – is growing two to three times faster than global GDP.

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Empire - pic - Malware

CYBERCRIMINAL SENTENCED FOR INFECTING 4 MILLION COMPUTER

By STANLEY JORDAN

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that VLADIMIR TSASTSIN was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to more than seven years in prison for perpetrating a massive internet fraud scheme by infecting more than four million computers in over 100 countries with malware. The malware secretly altered the settings on infected computers, enabling TSASTSIN and his co-conspirators to digitally hijack users’ Internet searches and re-route their computers to certain websites and advertisements. As a result, the defendants received millions of dollars in fees from advertisers who paid the defendants to bring customers to their websites or ads, but were unaware that the defendants did so by digitally hijacking victims’ computers.

The malware also prevented the installation of anti-virus software and operating system updates on millions of infected computers, leaving those computers and their users unable to detect or stop the malware, and exposing them to attacks by other malware. On July 8, 2015, TSASTSIN pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan sentenced TSASTSIN earlier today.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Vladimir Tsastin was sentenced today to 87 months in prison for his role in a massive fraud scheme, which victimized more than four million Internet users in 100 countries. By falsely collecting advertising fees for every ‘click’ their victims made, Tsastsin and his co-conspirators collected over $14 million. Together with our law enforcement partners all over the globe, this Office will continue to investigate and prosecute sophisticated cyber frauds.”

From 2007 until October 2011, TSASTSIN and co-defendants Andrey Taame, Timur Gerassimenko, Dmitri Jegorov, Valeri Aleksejev, Konstantin Poltev, and Anton Ivanov controlled and operated various companies that masqueraded as legitimate publisher networks (the “Publisher Networks”) in the Internet advertising industry. The Publisher Networks entered into agreements with ad brokers under which they were paid based on the number of times Internet users clicked on the links for certain websites or advertisements, or based on the number of times certain advertisements were displayed on certain websites. Thus, the more traffic that went to the advertisers’ websites and display ads, the more money the defendants earned under their agreements with the ad brokers. The defendants fraudulently increased the traffic to the websites and advertisements that would earn them money and made it appear to advertisers that the Internet traffic came from legitimate “clicks” and ad displays on the defendants’ Publisher Networks when, in actuality, it had not.

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Empire - pic - Junk Food

WEBSITE FIGHTS AGAINST UNHEALTHY SCHOOLS

By MARK WOODSON

The Fundraising Group challenges the junk-food culture of school fundraising and provides ideas for schools to get much-needed funds on board. Schools often need to raise money for items such as computers, books, and sporting equipment that they might otherwise not be able to access.

The website relaunch aims to help schools find inspiration and gain information about healthy ways to raise money. The Fundraising Group is hoping to eliminate the presence of junk food in schools altogether.

“The new website reflects our focus, which is to eliminate the need for junk food fundraising at schools. Fundraising can be done with healthy alternatives to achieve much better results,” says Dean Newcombe, Customer Service Manager at The Fundraising Group. He continues, “We had one school with 47 students raise $24,500. To achieve that result with chocolate, each student would need to sell 521 candy bars.”

The Fundraising Group promotes fun-runs and read-a-thons as healthier alternatives to school fundraising. Past fundraising at schools has often consisted of selling junk food such as chocolate, cakes, or sausage sizzles. The Fundraising Group is also utilizing a new system to allow donations to be made to schools online.

The figure of 14-million Australians overweight or obese is on the rise with 80% of adults and one third of children expected to suffer by 2025, according to research by Monash University.

Whilst schools don’t sell chocolates at canteens anymore in Australia, fundraising has remained the loophole for these unhealthy treats to find their way into schools under the premise of raising money. With The Fundraising Group, healthy fundraising options are proving to be an alternative for schools.

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Empire - pic - Invest Spend

SHAREHOLDER DEMANDS DISGRUNTLE CEO

By RYAN WICKER

Insatiable shareholder demands and expectations are leaving a foul taste in the mouths of leading CEOs. If shareholder demands and expectations shared greater alignment with economic, political, and market realities, 82% of CEOs would lead their organisations differently. This is just one of several findings revealed in the latest Derwent Scotch “A Seat at the Helm” CEO survey series publication.

“Fulfilling their commitment to their shareholder value mandate, our findings reveal CEOs are torn between two worlds,” says Gianni Fracchia, Founder and Principal of Derwent Scotch. “As capital ruthlessly flows to the most attractive investment, CEOs are adopting myopic shareholder value-driven tactics to pacify shareholders at the expense of long-term growth and sustainability.”

“Where the Money Flows” the third publication in the “A Seat at the Helm” CEO survey series, explores the external environment CEOs operate within verbatim. Findings encompass: changes in leadership if shareholder demands shared greater alignment, hurdles to captivating target markets and leading competitive landscapes, preferred government effort concentrations, and obstacles to establishing strategic partner and supplier relationships.

Continuing the “A Seat at the Helm” CEO survey series journey, “Where the Money Flows” invites its audience to once again join this captivating journey. Contrasting the external environments CEOs operate within against the high degree of autonomy and control they are privileged to within their internal environments, survey findings reveal external environments are truly no holds barred playing fields.

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040421-N-8090G-001 
Atlantic Ocean (Apr. 21, 2004) - Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Flowers administers chest compressions to a simulated cardiac arrest victim during drills aboard the conventional powered aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67). Kennedy is completing final Carrier Qualifications (CQ) prior to her upcoming scheduled deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Apprentice Nicholas Garrett. (RELEASED)

SAVE THOSE SUFFERING FROM LEADING US KILLER

By MARK WOODSON

Cardiac arrest leads to death in 9 out of 10 cases for the person affected. For medical doctor and CEO of Neurescue Habib Frost, this is an area ready for profound innovation.

When Habib participated in the Emergency Services during his training, he was shocked to experience how few survived: “A little girl just four months old, and a young woman in her 30s were some of the people I saw die. It was experiences that compelled me to approach cardiac arrest in a new way.”

Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death worldwide, and costs the lives of more than 1 million U.S. citizens annually, and between 350,000 – 700,000 lives annually in the EU. The cases are equally distributed between cardiac arrests inside hospitals and outside in everyday life.

The current treatment of cardiac arrest consists of chest compressions and defibrillation, despite the minority of patients being shockable when currently treated and thus able to respond to defibrillation.

The Neurescue device is a small, computer-controlled balloon catheter that is inserted into a blood vessel in the leg, the femoral artery, and occludes the aorta in order to redistribute the blood flow generated by chest compressions to the two most sensitive organs; the heart and brain.

“The increase in blood supply to the heart ensures that many more hearts can be resuscitated early. And if that fails, the increased blood supply to the brain protects against brain damage, allowing for more time to treat the underlying cause of the cardiac arrest. This approach can greatly improve the current low survival,” said Habib Frost.

The effective combination of software, sensors and automation, known from e.g. Internet of Things, enables entirely new medical procedures, where Neurescue has developed a new procedure for cardiac arrest. 40% of people aged 25 – 74 years die prematurely as a result of heart disease, according to Medinfo.

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Empire - pic - Petland

PETLAND CONTINUES INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION

By JASON GREENBERG

Chillicothe-based Petland Inc. announced Monday that it is expanding its international reach into the Middle East North Africa region.
In the last two years Petland has opened more than 20 new locations into international markets. The pet store chain has stores set to open in the next year in Saudi Arabia and has signed a master franchise agreement to develop stores in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Lebanon, Kuwait and Bahrain.

“Finding the right partner takes time. We spent more than two years working with a family to determine the Petland Master Franchise was the right fit for a partnership,” Petland Vice President of Business Development and International Relations Steve Huggins said. “Our new partners plan to develop many Petland locations. They believe this will improve the lives of their people and their pets.”

“We are pleased with the opportunity to expand our international family,” Petland President and CEO Joe Watson said. “Petland stores in Middle East will make a positive, consistent impact on overall pet retail and will provide a unique, convenient pet shopping experience for families looking for a new pet or buying supplies for their current pets.”

Various members of the Petland team will be visiting Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where they will be planning the launch of the first Petland pilot store in the MENA region. They will assist with site location, pet selection, merchandise and training.

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Empire - pic - Soccer Ball

MONDOGOAL AND SPORTS INTERACTIVE ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP

By JASON GREENBERG

Sports Interactive Ltd., the creative studio behind the Football Manager series of games and Mondogoal Trading Ltd., the leader in global daily fantasy football for free and for cash formats, today announced a major exclusive partnership. As part of the partnership, Sports Interactive will now offer its loyal customer base the chance to play Mondogoal daily Fantasy Football and Mondogoal will be featured on pitchside advertising hoardings within Football Manager 2016.

Mondogoal CEO and Founder Shergul Arshad states, “We are excited to be involved with Football Manager, their fans are among the most passionate and sophisticated football fans in the world. With the introduction of ‘Fantasy Draft Mode’ into this year’s version of the game it seemed like the perfect time to get involved and integrate two top products in the world of football gaming.”

“Our fans are famously knowledgeable about football and this partnership with Mondogoal will allow them an opportunity to test that knowledge against their fellow supporters,” says Miles Jacobson, Studio Director of Sports Interactive. “In addition to offering our fans a series of exclusive offers, we will also work closely with the Mondogoal team to promote both Football Manager and daily fantasy football to the widest possible audience.”

Mondogoal, with gaming licenses in the Isle of Man and United Kingdom, already partners with some of the world’s leading teams, including the reigning EPL champions, Chelsea FC and the La Liga champions, FC Barcelona. Mondogoal also works closely with West Ham United FC, Tottenham Hotspur, Valencia C.F., and AS Roma. With Mondogoal, simply login or create an account, add funds, and every matchday there is the chance to win money by building a formidable starting 11 and competing in a Head-to-Head battle or Multi-User-Tournaments.

Empire - pic - Chinese Students

US CREATIVITY PROGRAM LAUNCHED IN CHINA

By RYAN WICKER

Joseph S. Renzulli, a leading authority in the field of Gifted and Talented Education launched Renzulli Creativity Programs at a meeting of the Society For Cultivating Innovators conference in Shenzhen, China on January 15th. The Society, a division of the Chinese Ministry of Education is charged with increasing innovation and creativity among Chinese students. The event was attended by hundreds of China’s leading educators.

Renzulli’s philosophy is based upon more than 40 years of academic research. As opposed to an exam performance curriculum focus, he believes the highest levels of creativity and overall academic performance, are achieved by tapping into students personal interests, which allow them to leverage individualized motivation and curiosity to solve problems.

Renzulli encouraged China’s leading educators to provide students with opportunities to support creativity. “Student enjoyment, engagement and enthusiasm directed toward learning projects they are passionate about increases creativity, test scores and overall academic performance,” stated Renzulli. To achieve this goal, Renzulli Creativity Programs will be offered to partner schools in China.

The program enables students to increase levels of independence and maturity, while working on stimulating projects in select areas of study with peers from around the world who share the same passions and interests.

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Empire - Pic - Heart animation

Are You at Risk for Heart Failure? 5 Need-to-Know Facts

From casual conversation to pop culture, the heart is the organ we love to talk about. We reminisce about our high school heartthrobs, center our hearts in yoga class and cry over our last heartbreaks.
The human heart is important — essential, actually — but not infallible. Heart failure is the cause for over a million hospital visits in the U.S. annually and an unimaginable $31 billion dollars of health care expenses. It is a chronic, progressively worsening disease with high mortality that affects more than 5.1 million Americans. Is your heart at risk? Here are five facts about heart failure that you need to know:

1: Heart failure occurs from an overworking heart.
Heart failure occurs when the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. Initially, in patients with heart damage from problems such as coronary artery disease, heart attack or chronic high blood pressure, the heart will work harder to provide the body an appropriate blood supply. As the heart becomes overworked, the heart muscle gradually weakens. Over time, the heart will fail to pump appropriately, generating a condition commonly known as heart failure.

2: Identifying heart failure is tricky.
Most people don’t discover they have heart failure until after they have experienced a heart attack or stroke. The leading causes of heart failure are diseases that damage the heart.

3: Heart failure is common.
Every 30 seconds, someone in America is hospitalized due to heart failure. In the United States, 550,000 people are diagnosed with this disease each year, and 30 percent of these individuals will pass away within six to 12 months.
Certain groups are at an increased risk. African-Americans are 20 times more likely to have heart failure before the age of 40. People over age 65 are at the greatest susceptibility.

4: There is hope.
New treatments and innovative monitoring tools are now available for people with heart failure. These include the CardioMEMS HF System, a first-of-its-kind remote monitoring device for Class III heart failure patients. The device, developed by St. Jude Medical, creates a monitoring bridge between a patients home and care team by remotely sending vital information to the physician’s office on a regular basis.

5: Stay in control.
If at risk for heart failure, manage your health by scheduling a checkup with your physician. If you have heart failure, talk to your physician about your options, including remote monitoring tools like the CardioMEMS HF System.

The human heart has earned a spot in our everyday conversation for a reason. Don’t take this organ for granted. Find more information about St. Jude Medical and its commitment to healthy hearts at www.heartfailureanswers.com.

The CardioMEMS HF System is indicated for wirelessly measuring and monitoring pulmonary artery (PA) pressure and heart rate in New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III heart failure patients who have been hospitalized for heart failure in the previous year. The hemodynamic data are used by physicians for heart failure management with the goal of reducing heart failure hospitalizations.
The CardioMEMS HF System is contraindicated for patients with an inability to take dual antiplatelet or anticoagulants for one month post-implant.

Potential adverse events associated with the implantation procedure include, but are not limited to, the following: infection, arrhythmias, bleeding, hematoma, thrombus, myocardial infarction, transient ischemic attack, stroke, death, and device embolization. Refer to the user’s manual for detailed indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions and potential adverse events.

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