What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke The cornerback has heard the talk, and discussed the rumors on Philadelphia radio station WIP, which had quotes transcribed by AZCardinals.com“I’m waiting until it all plays out,” DRC said. “I ain’t getting too antsy yet.” Asked about his desire to play for the Eagles, DRC made clear he still had a fondness for the Cards because they were the team that drafted him and gave him his start. “But if they’re talking about trading me, I can’t do nothing about that, because it’s a business,” he added. This can’t really be easy for Rodgers-Cromartie, though he seems to be handling the speculation well, and was careful not to burn any bridges should a deal involving him not materialize. When Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s name was first brought up in trade rumors the idea seemed silly, at most. After all, why would the Cardinals trade a 25-year-old former Pro-Bowler who was expected to play a key role in the Cards’ revamped defense?But, if the saying is “where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” then the smoke from the DRC to Philadelphia for Kevin Kolb rumors are the equivalent of a massive forest fire. Comments Share Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
State Rep. Pamela Hornberger takes a ceremonial oath of office on the House floor with family members, from left, nephew Eric Allen; daughter Olivia Malburg; and father Robert Hornberger.State Rep. Pamela Hornberger today was joined by her family for the first session day of the Michigan House of Representatives in the 99th Michigan Legislature, which included taking ceremonial and official oaths, meeting Gov. Rick Snyder and selecting her House seat.“This is exciting, like the first day of school, and it’s such a joyous moment to be able to share it with my family by my side,” said Hornberger, R-Chesterfield Township. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to keep Michigan on the comeback trail, and I want to hear from area residents with ideas and suggestions we can address together for our state and our hometown.”Hornberger’s Lansing office can be contacted by addressing letters to the State Capitol, Lansing, MI 48909-7514; calling 517-373-8931; and by email, PamelaHornberger@house.mi.gov.She is assisted by her office staff, Mel “Sonny” Koch and Phil Kraft.Koch, a Macomb Township resident, has six years of experience as House legislative office staff. He earned a master’s degree in American history from Eastern Michigan University, a bachelor’s degree in history from Alma College and is a 2004 graduate of Chippewa Valley High School.Kraft, a Chesterfield resident and 2004 Anchor Bay High School graduate, previously served five years as constituent services representative for Congresswoman Candice Miller and is currently on the Macomb County Board of Commissioners. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Saginaw Valley State University.“The 32nd House District and I are extremely fortunate to have Sonny and Phil on our team working for us,” Hornberger said. “Their knowledge and experience of our community and the government process means we are hitting the ground running.”##### Categories: Hornberger News,Hornberger Photos 11Jan Rep. Hornberger takes House oath of office, announces office staff and contact info
Xavier Couture has been appointed deputy CEO in charge of communications and the France Telecom-Orange brand.Couture joined France Telecom-Orange in May 2008 as content director. He will be assisted by Béatrice Mandine who has been appointed deputy director in charge of external communications. She will be replaced as head of the press office by Jean-Bernard Orsoni, who was previously responsible for the consumer area of the press office. Mandine will also head the department responsible for individual shareholders relations as well as the digital, web and social media department.
For some older adults, private Medicare Advantage plans next year will include a host of new benefits, such as transportation to medical appointments, home-delivered meals, wheelchair ramps, bathroom grab bars, or air conditioners for asthma sufferers. But the new benefits will not be widely available, and they won’t be easy to find, during this fall’s enrollment period.Of the 3,700 plans across the country next year, only 273 in 21 states will offer at least one. About 7 percent of Advantage members — 1.5 million people — will have access, Medicare officials estimate. That means even for the savviest shoppers it will be a challenge to figure out which plans offer the new benefits and who qualifies for them. Medicare officials have touted the expansion as historic and an innovative way to keep seniors healthy and independent. Despite that enthusiasm, a full listing of the new services are not available on Medicare’s web-based “plan finder,” the government tool used by beneficiaries, counselors and insurance agents to sort through dozens of plan options. Medicare officials see the added benefits as a key to helping Advantage members prevent costly hospitalizations. Federal approval of new supplemental benefits is “one of the most significant changes made to the Medicare program,” said Seema Verma, the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, at an insurers’ meeting last month. She added that she expects plans to expand the number of services in coming years.Medicare Advantage plans, which are an alternative to traditional Medicare, serve 21 million beneficiaries and limit their out-of-pocket expenses. But they also restrict members to a network of doctors, hospitals and other medical providers. They often offer benefits not available in traditional Medicare, such as dental and vision care, hearing aids and gym memberships. The federal government pays the plans to help cover the cost of each member. Enrollment is underway now for choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, as well as for people in traditional Medicare who want to buy a policy for drug coverage. The deadline for both plans is Dec. 7.Among the new benefits that some Medicare Advantage plans said they will offer are:Trips to the pharmacy or fitness centerin addition to doctor’s appointments for plan members, depending on where they live or their health conditions.A monthly or quarterly allowance for over-the-counter pharmacy products such as cold and allergy medications, eye drops, vitamins, supplements and compression stockings. Doctors or other health care providers who make housecalls, under certain conditions.A home health care aide for a limited number of hours to help with dressing, eating and other daily activities, sometimes including household chores and light housekeeping.However, plans offering these services will likely have only some of the options and will have different eligibility criteria and other limitations. Advantage members will need a recommendation or referral from a health care provider in the plan’s network. Then they may need to have a certain chronic health problem, a recent hospitalization or meet other eligibility requirements.Also, the same services likely won’t be available in every county the plan serves. For example, next year Humana Medicare Advantage members in Texas and South Florida in just two of the 43 states Humana serves will be able to get a free in-home personal care aide for up to 42 hours a year if they can’t be left alone at home. And more than half of the members in Cigna-HealthSpring Advantage plans will have access to free transportation services in all but five of the 16 states and the District of Columbia where the company sells coverage. To find these supplemental benefits, seniors can go to the online plan finder. After they enter their Zip code and get a list of plans available locally, they can click on a plan name. That will take them to another page that offers more details about coverage, including a tab for health and drug plan benefits. That page might say whether the new services are offered. But often the website will simply say that some benefits are available and advise consumers to contact the plan for more information.”There is a lot of information on the plan finder, but there is a lot of information missing that requires beneficiaries to do more research,” says Deb McFarland, Medicare services program supervisor at the Southern Maine Agency on Aging.There are also other variables to be considered when choosing an Advantage plan, such as which health care providers and pharmacies participate in a plan’s network, what drugs are covered and costs. Where available, however, several insurers say the services will be free with no increase in monthly premiums. “We certainly believe that all of the ancillary benefits we provide will help keep our members healthy which is good for them and it’s good for us in the long run,” said Steve Warner, head of the Medicare Advantage product team at UnitedHealthcare, which insures about 5 million seniors or one out of every four Medicare Advantage members.Insurers are betting that services will eventually pay for themselves.Dawn Maroney, consumer president at Alignment Healthcare, which serves eight counties in Southern California, says it’s much cheaper to give an air conditioner to someone with congestive heart failure to keep that patient healthy than to pay for expensive medical treatment. But if the new benefits are such a good idea, they should be available to the majority of older adults in traditional Medicare, says David Lipschutz, a senior policy attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy. Medicare Advantage plans have extra money to spend on benefits next year because the federal government increased its payments an average of 3.4 percent, seven times more than the rate of increase in 2018. For free help with Medicare Advantage and drug plan enrollment, contact the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (www.shiptacenter.org) or the Medicare Rights Center (800-333-4114 or www.medicareinteractive.org). Find Medicare’s Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx or call 800-633-4227.Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.
It’s a brand new ranking.Called the Sustainable Development Goals Gender Index, it gives 129 countries a score for progress on achieving gender equality by 2030.Here’s the quick summary: Things are “good” in much of Europe and North America.And “very poor” in much of sub-Saharan Africa.In fact, that’s the way it looks in many international rankings, which tackle everything from the worst places to be a child to the most corrupt countries to world happiness.And there are a lot of rankings. Alexander Cooley, a professor of political science at Barnard College and the author of Ranking the World: Grading States as a Tool of Global Governance, used to keep track but stopped counting.”It’s so hard to keep up. I’ve just sort of given up,” he says. In 2015, he counted 95 different indexes, with over two-thirds launched after 2001.”Countries can get index fatigue, not know where to prioritize, become complacent and refuse to pay attention to them,” notes Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa, an international lawyer based in East Africa.And you do have to wonder: What’s the value of creating so many indexes to measure human and economic development when they usually come to the same predictable conclusions?Why we love to rankIt’s easy to understand why groups like to rank. “Rankings appeal to our notion of who’s on top, who’s below. And they generate competition,” says Cooley.Even though the top and bottom countries are often markedly similar, international groups believe that there are benefits to the sorting and ordering.For starters, a ranking can “name and shame” countries into trying to do better, says Cooley.Consider the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, which measures how easy it is for a company to set up shop in a given country. It looks at everything from construction permits to access to electricity. It’s not a ranking that the general public has likely heard of. But it’s a big deal in the world of economic development.In fact, it’s so influential that Vladimir Putin in 2012 vowed publicly to move Russia up from 120th place in the Doing Business index to 50th by 2015.Russia did not quite succeed (it landed in 62nd place that year). But the index has spurred real-life policy change.From June 2017 to May 2018, for example, the World Bank found that 128 governments “introduced a record 314 reforms” to benefit small- and medium- business entrepreneurs, enable job creation and spur private investment. Another index that has moved countries to action is the African Development Bank’s Africa Visa Openness Index. It shows which African countries are making improvements that support free movement of people across the continent.”Since this index has been in place, several countries, including Ghana and Ethiopia, now allow Africans to get visas on arrival at a border post,” says lawyer Musiitwa.The researchers with Equal Measures 2030, the new gender index, hope their new index can also inspire change: positive steps for laws and policies that benefit girls and women.Sarah Hendriks, director of gender equality at the Gates Foundation (a funder of this blog and NPR), worked on the index. She says the goal was to “put data in the hand of gender advocates” so they can inform their government ministers “where their country is doing well, where they are falling behind and how the country is performing in meeting [women’s] needs.”To ensure that the index reflects the priorities of those advocates, the researchers teamed up with local organizations in countries like El Salvador, India, Indonesia and Tanzania, and drew from surveys from nearly 600 policymakers and gender advocates.And that’s the way things should go, says Dapo Oyewole, an Aspen New Voices fellow working within the Nigerian government. He says that rankings are only useful if there’s local buy-in. “The rankings are only relevant if there’s a local champion willing to drive the local changes — and an appetite from the government itself,” says Oyewole.The rankings gameOf course, there is a potential risk when countries try to move up. They can game the rankings.Cooley cites an example in a 2015 piece for Foreign Affairs. In 2006, Georgia was in 112th place in the World Bank’s Doing Business index. The country put together a working group to “rapidly pass laws and promulgate administrative rules” to shoot the country to 37th place in 2007.”The evidence suggests that the change was more cosmetic than structural,” Cooley wrote of Georgia’s rise up the index. He found that the country’s ranking had not improved on “comparable” indexes, nor did Georgia produce “a sustained increase in foreign investment.”In response to this criticism, World Bank spokesperson Chisako Fukuda told NPR: “To improve their scores, substantive legislative changes need to be made, which require a strong commitment by governments to improve their business environment.”Squishy dataOther rankings come in for criticism of another type: They’re just kind of vague.Consider Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, which attempts to rank the world’s countries by how corrupt their public sectors are. “A fuzzy concept like corruption isn’t amenable to unpacking,” says Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and the author of Results Not Receipts: Counting The Right Things In Corruption.A long-standing criticism from the international community is that the index relies on the perception of corruption to create its rankings.The rankings are based on questionnaires with “experts and business leaders,” according to the group. They’re asked about a wide range of factors, from evidence of bribery to protections for whistleblowers.That vagueness can make it difficult for local anti-corruption advocates and nonprofits to figure out what they need to do to fight the scourge in their countries: “Should I try to make the police less corrupt or should I join a government partnership to reduce corruption?” says Kenny.When NPR asked Transparency International if it has seen any direct links to reform, spokesperson Ferenc Gaál responded: “It is difficult to draw clear causal links between the Index and concrete impact in the form of improvements of the corruption situation in any one country’s public sector.”The group, however, has seen its index make an impression. Advocates against corruption in Nigeria, for example, have cited the country’s poor ranking (144th place out of 180 in 2018) in op-eds calling for government reform.Same old stories — but some surprisesAs for the fact that many rankings look the same at the top and bottom, one reason has to do with money. Many indexes are correlated with GDP per capita, a measure of a country’s prosperity, says Kenny. That includes the World Bank’s Human Capital Index, which measures the economic productivity of a country’s young people; and Freedom House’s Freedom in the World index, which ranks the world by its level of democracy, including economic freedom.And countries that have more money can spend more money on health, education and infrastructure.Musiitwa says it “annoys” her when countries in Africa get poor ratings. It can have a negative effect on a country’s financial opportunities, she says.”I know that when investors are looking to do business in Africa, they look at indexes,” she says, citing the Doing Business index and the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. “The rankings provide some kind of guide to show that a country is well-placed to receive an investment, to figure out how stable the environment is.”But what is more frustrating, she says, is “when these countries and others that have been good performers slide back.”Perhaps the true value of the rankings, says Kenny, lies in the outliers: The surprising stories of countries that “demonstrate that there’s space to do better.”Rwanda, for example, is often at the bottom of economic rankings. But in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report in 2018, which ranked countries by how equal its men and women are, the country was in the top 10.Even for wealthy countries, there are lessons to be learned about what they need to address.Consider the U.S. in Equal Measures 2030’s new gender equality index.Although the U.S. is one of the world’s wealthiest nations, when it comes to creating fair policies for women and girls, the country is nowhere near the top. The U.S. comes in at 28th place, in between Bulgaria and Greece. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Apple Urges Government to Form Commission on Encryption Issues Apple Next Article Apple Inc., fighting a demand by the U.S. government that it unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, has called for the creation of a government commission or panel of experts to discuss the implications of the demand on issues such as national security and personal freedoms.”Apple would gladly participate in such an effort,” the company wrote in a post on its website entitled “Answers to your questions about Apple and security.”Apple said “the best way forward would be for the government to withdraw its demands” to unlock the phone.The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking the company’s help to access shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s phone by disabling some of its passcode protections.Farook and Tashfeen Malik attacked a holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif., on Dec. 2, killing 14 people and injuring 22. The pair were killed later in a shootout with police.Apple argues that while it is technically possible to bypass the security features of the iPhone by building a new operating system, such a move would set a dangerous precedent.The company said it has not unlocked iPhones for law enforcement in the past but has extracted data from an iPhone running older operating systems under a “lawful court order.”The U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion on Friday seeking to compel Apple to comply with a judge’s order to unlock Farook’s iPhone.”We’ve handed over all the data we have, including a backup of the iPhone in question,” Apple said in the blog post. “But now they have asked us for information we simply do not have.”Representative Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, said last week that the complex issues raised by the Apple case “will ultimately need to be resolved by Congress, the administration and industry, rather than the courts alone.”Some victims of the attack will file a legal brief in support of the U.S. government’s attempt, a lawyer representing the victims told Reuters on Sunday.Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.(Reporting by Abhirup Roy and Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr) February 22, 2016 Image credit: Pres Panayotov / Shutterstock Enroll Now for $5 Add to Queue 2 min read Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Reuters –shares Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand This story originally appeared on Reuters
V12, a leading provider of customer acquisition solutions, announced the launch of its digital data licensing solution to provide brands with unlimited access to high quality, privacy compliant data assets. V12’s data licensing is available with zero restrictions on data usage at flat fee pricing.Powered by AudienceLink, V12’s digital data asset is a multi-verified data source built using high quality data products that deliver both depth and breadth covering consumer and business audiences. V12 houses 215+ million consumer contacts with full address, 186+ million VINs, 208 million consumer emails and 300 million monthly cookies.“In today’s heightened privacy environment, brands must be more diligent than ever by only sourcing data from vendors who continually invest in the quality of their data and who adhere to privacy standards,” said Andy Frawley, CEO of V12. “Working in the data industry for over thirty years, V12 takes strict measures to offer marketers a high quality and broad data catalog of foundational and purchase intender data assets to optimize media spend.”Marketing Technology News: STOMP Out Bullying™ Launches Emma, the First AI Platform Designed to Process and Respond to CyberbullyingSample audiences include:Purchase Intender Audiences, Powered by V12 Signals: Audiences include consumers who are expressing active buying indicators based on store visits or online browsing behaviors. Clients using V12 Signals intender audiences experience 4x the sales conversion rates and 3x the engagement rates of other audience data sets.Automotive Audiences: Powered by V12’s leading VIN dataset with 186+ million VINs, audiences are available for all 50 states, including privacy states and include in-market vehicle shoppers and aftermarket shoppers.Consumer Audiences: ConsumerLink, a proprietary consumer data source, offers access to data on 215+ million consumers, including 50 million individuals with shopping behavior and lifestyle categories and 130 million identified mail order buyers and responders.CPG Audiences: Built from a proprietary algorithm, V12 finds high-indexing “look-a-like” buyers for 70 CPG segments, allowing marketers to target a larger pool of consumers who are 5x more likely to make a purchase.Custom Audiences: V12 employs digital profiling techniques to analyze aggregated customer attributes to form a detailed composite of a brand’s “ideal” buyer. V12’s analytics capabilities provide insights into purchasing behaviors, unique segments and modeling applications.Marketing Technology News: Uber Versus Lyft: The Game of Ride Sharing and Pricing Data Gets Hotter“As data about consumers continues to grow exponentially, brands are increasing their use of both first and third party data in order to better understand their customers’ purchase intentions, shopping habits and media preferences,” said Anders Ekman, President of V12. “Our offering provides advertisers with an award-winning solution to build unlimited audiences and deliver campaigns at scale through the channels of their choosing.”Marketing Technology News: LINK Mobility to Integrate With Oracle Responsys AcquisitionAndy FrawleyAudienceLinkdata licensing solutionMarketing Technology NewsNewsV12 Previous ArticleAccenture to Expand Industry X.0 Capabilities with Acquisition of Zielpuls to Create Smart Products and Services for CarmakersNext ArticleMarchex Launches Marchex Stream, Unlocking Transformative Conversational Analytics Capabilities for Businesses V12 Launches Digital Data Licensing to Provide Brands with Unlimited Access to Privacy-Compliant, High Quality Audience Data PRNewswireMay 2, 2019, 4:02 pmMay 2, 2019