NHL: The Detroit Red Wings and the End of an Era – Sport

What does an octopus have to do with ice hockey? Not usually much, but it’s a little different in Detroit. When the Red Wings play in the National Hockey League (NHL) play-offs, it usually doesn’t take long for an octopus to be thrown onto the ice by the audience. Then ice master Al Sobotka makes his big appearance. Equipped with a shovel, he scrapes the animal off the playing surface and then lets it swirl over his head like a trophy. Then the fans in the Joe Louis Arena really go crazy. But everything is different this year. The octopus is no longer flying. Because for the first time since 1990, the Detroit Red Wings will miss the play-offs in the NHL – after 25 seasons, the third longest series of this kind in US sports ends.

In the past quarter of a century, no ice hockey team in North America has been as successful as the Red Wings. They were six times in the Stanley Cup final and four times they won the most important trophy in ice hockey. For many years they had an Allstar team at the start, with players like Steve Yzerman, Sergej Fjodorow, Brett Hull, Dominik Hasek or Nicklas Lidström – to name just a few. Owner Mike Ilitch invested a lot of money in his team, so titles were only logical. But then came the 2004/05 strike season – after that, a salary cap was introduced in the NHL. Money alone was no longer enough to be a championship candidate. Suddenly there was equal opportunity in the league. But Detroit kept on winning and reliably reached the play-offs year after year – the only one of 30 teams in the NHL.

After great victories, the gradual descent follows at some point

It went well for eleven years, but the last title was celebrated by the Red Wings in 2008. One season later, it was enough for the final series, but recently there was more and more trembling for play-off participation in the self-proclaimed “Hockeytown” . Now what has become inevitable in US sports has happened. After great victories, the gradual descent follows at some point. Because only the worst teams of a year have access to the best talent. Since 1990, Detroit has not been able to draw any young players from the top ten of the annual “draft”. In addition, the salary cap prevents large investments in expensive stars.

Even before the 2016/17 season, the signs in Detroit were not the best. A very special season was actually planned, in which farewell should be said from the time-honored Joe Louis Arena. But in the summer, top player Pavel Datsiuk decided to cancel his contract in Detroit and return to his Russian homeland. The Red Wings could not commit adequate replacements. Then club legend Gordie Howe died, and later in the season owner Ilitch also blessed the timing. In terms of sport, there was nothing left to save for Detroit. For the first time in a long time, good players were sold at the transfer closing to initiate the process of a new beginning.

Last Tuesday it was time. The Red Wings lost 1: 4 to the Carolina Hurricanes and were out of the play-off race seven games before the end of the main round. “It was a great run. Everyone who was there can be proud. But now it’s over, ”said captain Henrik Zetterberg. Expressions of respect came from across the NHL. “I don’t think we’ll see it again, a team that’s been elite for so many years,” said Stan Bowman, general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks. The 25 seasons in a row with even one participation in the finals is not even a record, the Boston Bruins hold it with 29 play-off seasons (1968 – 1996) in succession. But that was a different era with fewer teams in the league and rich owners who could spend as much money as they wanted.

In Detroit, they don’t want to spend much time rebuilding. “Our focus is 100 percent on making it a one-time experience, not a ten-time experience,” said Jeff Blashill, Red Wings coach. Especially since the team will play in the ultra-modern new Little Ceasars Arena from the coming season. Al Sobotka will also act as ice master there – and he would certainly not mind if he could swirl the octopus over his head again in spring 2018.

what are the house roots of the mother city of techno?

I-94 is the highway that connects Detroit and Chicago, but it’s much more than a road. It is a vital artery that carries music, culture and – increasingly – people between the two largest cities in the American Rust Belt.

By Terry Matthews

At first, the difference between the brutally cut techno of one and the house of the other was almost indistinguishable. The records of Mike Dearborn, DJ Skull, Rush or Armando could very well have been released on Transmat, Derrick May’s label, or KMS, that of Kevin Saunderson, by accident.

But it took the arrival of The Scene – Detroit’s television response to Soul Train – to demonstrate what DJ’s like Moodymann, Rick Wilhite, Kyle Hall, Mike Clark, Andrés and Rick Wade have been telling us for twenty years. Detroit may be a techno city for some, but it has always been a city that knew how to groove.

In the videos full of grain and distorted lines, we can see the “beautiful people” of which the producer Pirahnahead spoke, rows of couples dancing on a funky bass in a way now forgotten by their children. And it was in the 80s when the Detroit / Berlin axis made its first and wobbly revolution. House music – what we call house today – was at home in the heart of “Techno Town”

Among the DJ’s who played on the show’s set The Scene, we find Jeff Mills and Mike Grant (not yet at Moods & Grooves Records), who started around this time before being forced into a hiatus by enlisting in the army until his return in the 90’s.

Detroit house really took off around 1993, explains Grant. There were lots of little labels out there like Simply Soul, Serious Grooves, Dow and Trance Fusion, and artists like Rick Wade, Terrence Parker, Claude Young and Alton Miller. Not everyone was techno-savvy, and several artists listened to Chicago house and the same music that inspired Chicago producers. Even before that, there were house elements in what many consider to be techno tracks by Derrick May and particularly by MK. One of the oldest house labels was called Soiree, launched in 1990 by Derrick Thompson. Even at the time, the lines were blurred.

Intertwined scenes

Chez Damier and Alton Miller – two of the founders of the Detroit Music Institute club, where the different currents of the local scene finally met – were emblematic of the unity between the two cities of the Midwest. The career of Alton made him drift on a broad spectrum, between electro and pure soul, while Chez – backpacker passed by Chicago, Detroit and New York at the time when the most interesting things were happening in each of the cities – ended up coming back to Chicago to found with Ron Trent the biggest deep house label in history, Prescription.

These scenes were never isolated, no one saw concrete barriers between the genres. Before the era of The Scene, the legendary Ken Collier was on the same circuit as Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan – revolutionary DJs who traded gigs, rare maxis and canapes. This pre-house / post-disco network became a subject of fascination for Jeff Mills, who told me that he found himself sitting next to Frankie Knuckles on an airplane and that he talked to him for hours the way these DJs shared records while living in different cities.

Detroit has a different perspective on house music, explains Pirahnahead. We call it ‘progressive’, it was the music of beautiful people. Take Sharevari: some people will call it techno, but it is not necessarily. At the time, nobody knew what it was. This disc was inspired by the lifestyle that we saw in The Scene.

What is Detroit sound? “These are the Kool & The Gang strings used by Rick Wade, explains Mike Grant. These are those obscure samples from Kenny (Moodymann) and Theo (Parrish), and the intense productions from Alton Miller and Pirahnahead. You can’t define it with just one sound. It is the daily struggle and the unique aspects of the city that have influenced these artists. There are far too many imitators today, and mimicry is not worth mastering. You have to have grown up here to make authentic Detroit house.

This authenticity can be found in several rooms in the city. TV Lounge is one of these institutions. “I used to go when it was just a coffee“, Says Rick Wilhite. TV Lounge is a stronghold of good underground music. Hugh Cleal, of the duo who mounts Golf Clap, nods. A little north of Detroit, he has his own room, The Grasshopper Underground. “It’s smaller but we have the best sound system and good programming all the time. I often say this to passing DJs. If you can raise a crowd in Detroit, you can do it everywhere else. Here, people are expert and educated in music, gaining loyalty is not always easy.

Years later, electronic music was divided into many more genres than just techno and house. And yet, it’s always difficult to say when one ends and the other begins. Generation after generation, Detroit artists seem to have made it their specialty to annoy those who want to clearly separate techno and house. Robert Hood – who drew that line with Underground Resistance and Minimal Nation, and erased it with Floorplan – once said to me, with a shrug: “It’s all based on a disco groove, anyway.”Of which act.

This article was published in issue # 175 of Trax special Detroit (with Jeff Mills, Carl Craig, Juan Atkins…) in September 2014. Essential to know everything about the history of Detroit.

Boston, biotech capital of the world

It is a virus that is injected directly into the brain. It makes its way to the putamen, that area weakened by the onslaught of Parkinson’s disease. There, a gene, previously modified and introduced into the virus, will help synthesize dopamine, a major neurotransmitter, by capturing levodopa, the main drug today distributed to Parkinson’s patients.

“In the first clinical phase, we have already treated around ten patients. And the first tests are conclusive, marvels Steven Paul, the boss of Voyager Therapeutics. We will continue the tests. In the second half of the year, Sanofi will say whether it is supporting us ”, explains this 60-year-old brain specialist and entrepreneur. “It is never too late to launch a biotech”, he brags.

Steven Paul is the very prototype of the entrepreneurial researchers who inhabit Boston today. In the world capital of biotechs, these companies developing innovative biological treatments, he has had several lives: academic, research director in a pharmaceutical group, consultant but also partner of an investment fund. And now an entrepreneur.

“You have to be here”

Large pharmaceutical groups in search of such original profiles are flocking to Massachusetts. After buying Genzyme, one of Boston’s pioneering biotechs, in 2011, Sanofi became, with 5,000 employees, the largest employer in the sector in this American state. The French intends to go further to complete its ranges of treatment, from oncology to neurodegenerative disorders including rare diseases. The Sanofi Genzyme division now distributes Dupixent, a biological treatment co-developed with biotech Regeneron to fight atopic dermatitis.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Dupixent, a new eczema drug, blockbuster announced by Sanofi

Sanofi is stepping up interactions with the local biotech scene. “We do everything here. We carry out basic research and we enter into partnerships with ecosystem players. To carry them out, we have many tools available. We can finance start-ups, through our Sunrise fund, or simply cooperate to co-develop treatments. We can also take options on new drugs. It’s very flexible ”, says Adam Keeney, Sanofi’s head of external innovation. “You have to be here”, assures Gary Nabel, the scientific director of the group, which has made Boston its second center of excellence for research and development, after France.

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Pharmacy: how Sanofi feeds on Boston’s scientific wealth

500, Kendall Square. Sanofi’s Massachusetts address is worth gold. In the pharmaceutical industry, “Kendall Square” has become synonymous with “life sciences”, just as “Wall Street” refers to finance. This Cambridge square, near the prestigious Harvard Universities and MIT, gave its name to a district that has become the Mecca of world biology. On a perimeter of one square kilometer, all the big names in pharmacy, 250 “biotechs” and the most powerful investment funds in the sector are concentrated. In what was only an industrial zone ten years ago mixing decrepit food factories and vacant lots, buildings have sprouted like mushrooms.

In the heart of this ecosystem, installed in a glass tower with a futuristic design, Sanofi is nourished by the incredible scientific ferment of the city. So much so that the connections established with the medical, scientific and financial community of Boston today constitute the main source of R&D for the French group.

Genzyme, the acquisition that changes everything

The presence of the French group in the United States is old, with a factory in New Jersey inherited by Aventis. But its roots in Cambridge date back to 2011: by buying the Genzyme laboratory for $ 20 billion, the largest employer in Massachusetts with its 5,000 employees, Sanofi has not only given itself an essential growth engine but also a prominent place in Cambridge. The French laboratory indirectly benefits from the aura enjoyed by Genzyme – a pioneer in the treatment of rare diseases – with the scientific community.

An acquisition that also accelerated the transformation of innovation at Sanofi. On his arrival in 2011, Elias Zerhouni, the head of research, completely restructured the R&D of the French laboratory and converted it to the model of “open innovation” – adopted today by the majority of large laboratories. A change dictated by the urgency to fill desperately empty pipes, at a time when Sanofi was suffering from the loss of several essential patents. By the idea, above all, that collective intelligence is infinitely more powerful than that of an industrial actor, even a world leader. Gone are the days when researchers jealously guard their secrets, making way for alliances and sharing of ideas.

Partners that have become essential

The first variation of this “open innovation”, Sanofi relies on partners who have become major suppliers of new products. In 2015, two-thirds of Sanofi’s new drugs came from outside – a proportion that the group now wants to rebalance in favor of “in-house” research.

This co-development model allows Sanofi to embark on very innovative or very risky fields where the laboratory has no expertise. Launched this week, Dupixent, the first treatment for atopic dermatitis (a serious skin disease), was born out of a collaboration – signed in 2007 – with the New York laboratory Regeneron. “This partnership put us in the field of antibodies”, where we had no expertise, underlines Gary Nabel, Scientific Director of Sanofi. When we work with partners, it is not only to take on the work of others “, he explains. Sanofi researchers have thus cooperated very early (from the first clinical trials) in the development of Dupixent.

In neurology, another sector outside its expertise, Sanofi has entered into a partnership with Voyager Therapeutics. In February 2015, the French laboratory injected 100 million into this small Boston biotech (70 employees), founded by neuroscience veteran Steven Paul. “I became an entrepreneur at the age of 60,” says the entrepreneur jokingly. Sanofi took part of the capital. Above all, he secured an exclusive investment option in three gene therapy programs targeting neurological diseases: Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, Friedreich’s ataxia. “I need money but also industrial and regulatory expertise. It is in the interest of a deal with a large laboratory”, stresses Steven Paul. Options on very risky programs but which could pay off big if successful. Voyager Therapeuthics has already tested its gene drug against Parkinson’s on fifteen patients, a disease affecting 4 million people worldwide according to the World Health Organization.

Sanofi Genzyme BioVentures and Sunrise, the researchers

In addition to these classic agreements with biotechs, Sanofi has two “research heads”. Led by Bernard Davitian, Sanofi Genzyme BioVentures operates as a venture capital fund: the team identifies innovative biotech projects, which it finances alongside pure financiers. 30 biotechs have been supported by Sanofi in 4 years, 9 of which have been listed on the stock market. Unlike the financiers with whom it joins in these entrepreneurial adventures, the laboratory also pursues extra-financial objectives: this pool of companies is likely to nurture the group’s innovation and lead to future collaboration agreements.

Second head of research, the “Sunrise” program is a biotech factory: Sanofi invests from the creation of a company, systematically in partnership with a venture capital fund. It is within this framework that the company Warp Drive Bio was created in 2012. Founded by Laurence Reid, the company, again based in Cambridge, has set itself the ambition of revisiting, with the instruments of genetics, a gigantic library of bacteria. The idea? Launch new antibiotics – a priority as antibiotic resistance becomes a threat to global public health – and anticancer drugs. “Sanofi owns half of the capital but we are encouraged to build an independent company, explains Ron Weiss. Some of our molecules could be developed with the support of Sanofi, others could be developed by competing laboratories”. In November 2016, Sanofi’s interest in the first discoveries of Warp Drive Bio materialized: the French laboratory will take care of the clinical trials of an antibiotic discovered by the American biotech.

Also coming from the Sunrise platform, the MyoKardia company was launched by Christine Seidman, cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, with capital from Sanofi and the Third Rock Ventures fund. Based on the discovery of genetic mutations responsible for hereditary heart disease, MyoKardia has identified – with the support of Sanofi – a chemical molecule capable of preventing the degradation of heart muscle. Hope for a cure for these rare and neglected heart diseases. And, ultimately, a drug that could enter the pipes …

Further upstream, the French laboratory is also forging links with young researchers working on very fundamental questions, still far removed from clinical applications. A doctor-researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the most prestigious American university hospitals, Michelle Conroy thus questions a scientific paradox still unexplored in the field of allergies. Laureate of the Sanofi Innovation Program – a grant to which a hundred young researchers claim, the young woman received funding of $ 100,000. One more seed in the breeding ground for innovation.

In addition to these established mechanisms (collaborations, funds, scholarships, etc.), there is participation in debates and think tanks that Boston abounds. Sanofi, for example, participates in the NewDigs think tank, an initiative launched by MIT to change the economic models of pharmacy.

What about the 5,000 French researchers?

On the other side of the Atlantic, what role do the 5,000 French researchers at Sanofi play – one third of the 16,000 researchers in the group? “The expertise of the French teams in virology and chemistry was very important, retorts Gary Nabel. We are now exploiting it in immunology (one of the priority therapeutic areas for Sanofi, editor’s note)”. Sanofi has also reconverted a good part of its French scientific teams to the “development” of drugs, that is to say to the management of clinical trials. In peripheral? Largest market capitalization of the Paris market, Sanofi remains financially anchored in France. But – should we deplore it? – its scientific center of gravity has obviously shifted to the west …

New report warns of anti-TB drug misuse

It is necessary to control more the way in which these drugs are prescribed and administered, under penalty of seeing “their effectiveness canceled quickly”, warns the report, published by The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

New treatments for resistant forms of tuberculosis could in turn become ineffective if misused, warns a report released Thursday, on the eve of World Tuberculosis Day.

In recent years, three antibiotics have appeared to treat tuberculosis: bedaquiline (marketed under the brand Sirturo by Janssen laboratories), delamanid (Deltyba, from the Otsuka laboratory) and linezolid (Zyvoxid, from Pfizer, and generics).

This is good news, because the arsenal available to fight this disease is under strain, as the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis develop new resistance. Especially since since the 1970s and the appearance of rifampicin, no new molecule had been put on the market.

According to preliminary studies, the new drugs “significantly improve the effectiveness of treatments and give hope to patients who would previously have been considered incurable”, welcomes the report.

“However, without significant investments in access to new treatments, especially shorter treatments with fewer side effects, effective drugs will become scarce again, as resistance to the latest treatments emerges,” he warns. .

A doctor examines the x-ray result of a patient with tuberculosis (archived).

Tuberculosis, a pathology caused by bacteria that mainly attacks the lungs, is the most deadly contagious disease, with 1.8 million victims in 2015 and 10.4 million people affected, 60% of whom live in six countries: India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.

20% of these cases were resistant to at least one antibiotic and 5% were multi-resistant, or 480,000 cases. Half have been identified in India, China and Russia, but migration and the development of tourism mean that “highly resistant strains of tuberculosis are present almost everywhere in the world”, underlines the report.

This resistance develops when the drug fails to kill the target bacteria, because it is not the right molecule, the wrong dose, or because the treatment is not being followed correctly. But resistant strains can also be transmitted directly from person to person.

However, multidrug-resistant forms of tuberculosis take much longer and more expensive to treat: while they represented only 5% of cases in 2015, they mobilized around a third of the resources available to fight the disease.

The problem is growing in Eastern Europe, Russia and Kazakhstan, where thousands of migrant workers arrive each year, especially from Central Asia, sometimes carriers of undiagnosed or untreated tuberculosis, underlines Michel Kazatchkine, United Nations Special Envoy for HIV / AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, who also takes a keen interest in tuberculosis, the leading killer of people with HIV.

To stop the spread of the disease, countries must stop deporting sick migrants, a practice “ineffective in terms of public health” and which can promote “types of infection resistant to treatment,” he said. .

David Moore, an infectious disease specialist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, insists on the need to test all patients who are diagnosed with tuberculosis to see if it is a resistant form or not.

He brushes aside the argument of too high a cost for such a generalization of testing: “The truth is, you can’t afford not to do it.”

With AFP


“Anti-pollution” cosmetics, a cloudless future?

What do former Cuban leader Fidel Castro have in common with Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island of Puerto Rico in 2017? Everyone is brandished like a scarecrow by Donald Trump and Joe Biden when they come to hunt down Latino voters in Florida.

In this state where previous presidential elections were played out – and where that of November 3 could well play out – the electoral weight of voters of Cuban origin has been known for decades: convinced anti-Castroists, they are mainly Republicans.

But the local map of the Hispanic vote may not have much to do with 2020 compared to 2016.

In the wake of a deep financial crisis that brought it to its knees economically, Puerto Rico was ravaged by Maria, pushing tens of thousands of its inhabitants to leave the island and join the ranks of the Spanish speaking population of Florida. .

This is the case of Taileen Nieves, 42 years old. This woman endured the terrible blows of the hurricane on September 20, 2017, and witnessed first-hand the vast destruction caused.

Influx of Puerto Rican disaster victims

Two months later, exhausted by the living conditions and the lack of electricity, the Puerto Rican took her 3-year-old son under her arm and resolved to find refuge in Florida.

“It was really difficult, me alone with my child. And very dangerous”, she sums up.

She now lives in Auburndale, in the center of the peninsula located in the South-East of the United States. After ten months of unemployment, she found a job with a podiatrist.

According to Jorge Duany, director of research on Cuban issues at Florida International University, “There are currently around a million registered Puerto Rican voters, more or less the same amount as Cubans.”

And so, in the November 3 election, the behavior of Latino voters will depend on a new but crucial piece of information: their judgment on Donald Trump’s management of the hurricane.

Maria caused some 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico, a heavy toll that will permanently mark the collective memory of the victims.

Many remember the president’s post-hurricane lightning visit to the territory, whose nearly 4 million people are U.S. citizens.

Donald Trump had been filmed throwing rolls of paper towels in the direction of supposed disaster victims, in a nonchalant or even degrading manner according to the president’s critics, and in any case without the expected gravity given the scale of the disaster. disaster.

Three years later, the Democrats intend to keep this memory alive and exploit it.

Joe Biden’s campaign team released a music video compiling the footage of the devastation caused by Maria, to music by famous Puerto Rican reggaeton singer Bad Bunny.

On Tuesday, the Democratic candidate traveled to Kissimmee, a Puerto Rican stronghold near the large city of Orlando. He expressed his support for the island territory to become the 51st state of the union.

A huge sign showed Donald Trump and his aerial distribution of paper towel rolls, with the following caption: “No forgetting”.

However, uncertainty hangs over the ability of this electorate to mobilize.

Venezuelans “new Cubans”

In contrast, support for Donald Trump from voters of Cuban origin seems to have strengthened since 2016.

According to an NBC News / Marist poll: the president is ahead of his Democratic rival by four points (50-46) in voting intentions among Latinos, the two men being tied in Florida by counting all voters.

Mr. Trump was able to rally voters of Venezuelan origin by adopting a fiercely anti-Maduro posture, the president of Venezuela, even if the latter is still in power in Caracas.

“Republicans have a clever strategy to turn Venezuelans into new Cubans,” summarizes Randy Pestana, an expert in political science.

On Sunday, Trump paid tribute to veterans of the Bay of Pigs landings, an attempted military invasion of Cuba by US-backed Cuban exiles in April 1961.

In the rest of the country, Hispanic voters are predominantly from Mexico and Central American countries. For them, the migration issue is essential to determine their vote, a theme on which Donald Trump has always shown his firmness.

As a result, nationally, 66% of Hispanics say they have an unfavorable opinion of the president, according to the Latino Decisions Institute. And in November they will represent for the first time the largest group of voters among ethnic minorities, with 13% of the electorate, the Pew Institute calculated.

But it is the Florida Latinos who will be the most likely to change the outcome of the poll.


US Health Care Reform – West Virginia Reportage – Politics

Nowhere else do Americans need as much help with health insurance as in West Virginia, but they still want to get rid of Obamacare. A visit.

At first Mina Schultz only hurt her knee. That was six years ago, Schultz was 25. When the pain didn’t go away, she went to the clinic. “I remember when I was done with the X-ray I asked the doctor for fun if he found anything bad. He said: Be glad you came here.” It was bone cancer. But the disease was curable. Today Mina is 31 and only needs to be checked once a year.

Schultz was lucky. She went to the doctor early, the cancer was discovered and treated in time. Most of all, she had health insurance. If Mina Schultz, who had German ancestors, lived in Altötting or Vechta, it would not be worth mentioning. But she lives in Fairmont, a small, run-down industrial town on the Monongahela River in West Virginia. Many people here are unemployed and poor. And even if they have work, they just make ends meet.

The median household income in West Virginia is $ 42,000 a year, gross. Of this, a family has to pay for food and the installments for the house and gasoline and new tires for the car, because you can’t get to work without a car, and then it looks bad. Who can afford health insurance that eats away half a thousand or more every month?

OP costs as much as a house

At least, that was before President Barack Obama pushed through the health care reform that he named in 2010. Obamacare The aim was to provide people who could not take out health insurance on their own because they were too poor or sick to get affordable, sensible policies with the help of the state. You can see what a blessing the reform was from Mina Schultz. “My knee surgery cost as much as my parents’ house is worth, my first chemotherapy as much as my mother’s annual salary,” she says. Thanks to Obamacare, the family was able to pay for the treatment without going bankrupt.

According to the will of the Republicans and President Donald Trump, Obamacare should not be around for long. Trump failed on Friday with his plans. He has not been able to gather enough Republicans behind his replacement law. The planned vote was canceled.

According to a serious forecast, 24 million people could lose their health insurance in the next ten years – four million people morethan received insurance from Obamacare. The rate of uninsured people in America, which has fallen from 16 to 8 percent as a result of Obamacare in the past six years, would rise again dramatically.

West Virginia would need good health care

West Virginia is one of the US states that would be particularly hard hit. He is bitterly poor, the coal mining jobs that used to bring money and a good middle-class life have disappeared. People suffer from typical poverty diseases – rotten teeth, overweight, diabetes, depression. “Suffering from despair” is said, and that sounds much more poetic than it is.

For several years now, the opioid epidemic has devastated entire areas. AIDS and hepatitis spread quickly. Many former miners have broken bones or dust. Almost everywhere in America, people are becoming healthier and living longer. Only in West Virginia do they get sicker and die earlier.

So if there is one state that needs good health care, it is West Virginia. And Obamacare has significantly improved the situation. Nearly 200,000 people in West Virginia currently have Obamacare health insurance – either because the US government subsidizes their premiums, or because they join existing state insurance for the poor (Medicaid) were recorded. That is a good ten percent of the population. Most of these people were previously uninsured or had ineligible policies. “Obamacare was a real godsend for us,” says social worker Stacy North. “If we lost Obamacare, it would be an incredible disaster.”


Being overweight is less risky for your health than 30 years ago

Being overweight seems less risky for your health today than it did thirty years ago, according to a study carried out in Denmark published in the United States.

The researchers did not find a real explanation, but they found that the body mass index (BMI) linked to a lower risk of mortality had increased over the past 30 years, from 23.7 for the period 1976- 1978 to 27 for the period 2003-2013.

BMI is calculated by taking weight divided by height squared.

These results have been observed in all age groups, in men and women taking into account different risk factors such as smoking, note the researchers whose study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). .

Previous work already indicated that despite an increase in the average BMI in recent decades in most countries, the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors appeared to decrease among obese people.

For this study, these researchers followed three representative groups of the population recruited at different times.

These are the 13,704 people in the Copenhagen Cardiovascular Study from 1976-1978, the 9,482 participants in the 1991-1994 study, and the 97,362 people in the Copenhagen General Population Study from 2003 to 2013.

The participants were followed until November 2014.

The results observed in all samples from these different groups indicate that an optimal BMI of 27 corresponds to the lowest risk of mortality.

If these results are confirmed by further research, they could indicate the need to revise the World Health Organization criteria for defining overweight. These are based on data prior to the 1990s, according to these researchers.

The latter, however, underline the need for additional studies to clarify the reasons for this change in the optimum BMI for the risk of mortality, and to see the implications thereof.

For Professor Naveed Sattar, from the University of Glasgow, who did not participate in this study, these results “admittedly interesting, do not change the advice on obesity, its treatment and prevention”.

“In recent years, as populations have grown larger, access to inexpensive treatments to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol and adult diabetes has helped reduce the risk of death,” he points out. he.

In other words, “the results of this study do not mean that being overweight reduces the risk of death,” insists Professor Sattar.

With AFP


Calle Ocho in Miami – Cuban Life in Florida (Archive)

Music can be heard everywhere on Calle Ocho in Miami: it comes through loudspeakers from record stores, galleries, souvenir shops, restaurants.

In front of the Casa Panza restaurant there is a human-sized sculpture of a rooster – brightly painted, made of fiberglass. There are around 20 of them in Little Havana, in front of galleries, restaurants or shops. In the early 2000s, a Cuban artist set them up, all of them painted differently. The rooster at this crossroads has blue, yellow, red plumage. His yellow scarf with the inscription Calle Ocho is currently being refreshed with a brush and paint. The artist Eva Ruiz is sitting on an upturned bucket in front of the tap. The taps are a good symbol for the district. Eva Ruiz:

“In Latin American culture, cockfighting plays a big role, especially in the Caribbean. The roosters symbolize this part of life in Latin America – and also farm life. When people in Latin America want a break from city life, they go to the countryside to relax among the cows and chickens. “

For years, more and more visitors have come from all over the world

Ruiz grew up in Little Havana, a few streets down from Calle Ocho. Her parents moved to Miami from Colombia a decade ago. Little Havana was cheap and convenient for them back then: shops, neighbors – all in Spanish. For years, more and more visitors have come from all over the world, tour buses stopped. In everyday life, that’s too much hype, says Eva Ruiz. That’s why she moved from Little Havana a few years ago – with a heavy heart:

“Here on Calle Ocho you feel like you are in a different country. The people here are more outside, they talk to each other. The people in the USA don’t do that. When you are here, you feel like someone from Latin America will be home soon. And everyone will start a conversation with you here – over a cup of coffee. “

A few hundred meters further the dominoes clatter – a dispute breaks out, a mediator has to intervene with a whistle: dozens of retirees, most of them Cubans in exile, are sitting at fixed domino tables in the covered Maximo-Gomez Park.

In Cuba, playing dominoes is probably the favorite pastime for the elderly: For the US Cubans, the domino park in Miami is a piece of everyday life from their lost home. But there are rules: the game is only played under supervision, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. And: You are not allowed to gamble for money – but there are always rumors that debts will then be paid outside the park. 67 year old Manuelo came to Miami from Cuba more than 40 years ago and spends a lot of time in the domino park:

“The whole world can play here. You just have to be over 50 years old – if you are, then you can play here, no matter which country you are from. It doesn’t matter whether you’re American or Cuban. And everyone is allowed to watch us anyway : Everyone who comes to Miami wants to see Calle Ocho. It’s the heart of Miami. “

The “Paseo de las Estrellas” – “The Way of the Stars” – a Latin American version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame begins right next to the Domino Park. The first pink stars were poured into the concrete at the end of the 1980s. Latin American stars, many from Cuba, will be honored. A few hundred meters further: the Yisselle bakery with a brightly painted facade.

Specialty pastelitos – puff pastries with various fillings

Inside, the refrigerated counter and fans roar. The bakery is popular with locals and tourists. Colorful, sweet holiday cakes are made to order, but Yiselle is best known for her pastelitos: These are a kind of puff pastry with various fillings, explains saleswoman Namir. She doesn’t want to say her last name:

“Those who come to us are looking for the taste of Cuba and they will find it here too. We have a lot of sweet pastries here, just like they do in Cuba – and also in other Latin American countries. And so many people here speak Spanish, that here you often feel more in Latin America than in the United States. “

Namir is from Venezuela and has been working at Yiselle Bakery for more than 10 years. People from all over Latin and Central America have long since moved to Miami’s Little Havana. Many of the wealthy Cubans in exile now live in other parts of the city. But Little Havana continues to be of great importance to people with Cuban roots: on Calle Ocho there is a memorial for those who fell in the fight against Fidel Castro and also one for national poet José Marti.

Wall painting on a restaurant on Calle Ocho in Miami (Mareike Aden / Deutschlandradio)

Young US Cubans are taking advantage of the growing awareness of the district: a few years ago a young US Cuban woman opened the Azucar Ice Cream Company on Calle Ocho: a huge ice cream cone towers over the entrance to the ice cream shop, which often has long lines. The ice cream here is homemade, the types tropical – typically Cuba. The 24-year-old Bianca Gomez, whose parents came to the USA from Cuba, is the managing director. It was her cousin who started the Azucar Ice Cream Company. Bianca Gomez:

“My cousin and I have never been to Cuba, like most of our family – that is a sensitive issue for us. But we also know that nothing works in Cuba without ice cream! In our family there was always ice cream on the bedside table, every evening. In a climate as hot as Cuba, you need something to cool off. ”

Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Count Basie

Next door is the Ball & Chain club – one of the most popular clubs in Miami since it opened in fall 2014. There is live music here several times a week: mainly jazz. Before the street became Calle Ocho and the district became Little Havana, there was a club called Ball & Chain here between 1935 and 1957. Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and Count Basie were on stage here, says Chad Love, one of the managing directors. The old Ball & Chain owed these star appearances to the racial segregation that applied at the time:

“At that time the segregation was still very strict. Many of the Afro-American artists were booked to perform in South Beach in the hotels on the beach, but they weren’t allowed to spend the night there. So they had to stay somewhere else: there was one on the street next door the Tower Hotel and then they performed here in the Ball & Chain. “

Jazz legend Chet Baker also gave concerts at Ball and Chain – and sued the owner at the time after a dispute. It went bankrupt, the club had to close. When the new owners of the rooms wanted to bring the Ball & Chain back to life a few years ago, they first had a scientist research the history of the club. Everything should be as authentic as possible. Concert flyers of the past have become templates for wall decoration. Chad Love:

“This is our idea of ​​what it was like back then. For example, we have hand-made tiles on the floor. Everything is new, but looks like it used to be.”

And because the district had become Little Havana since the first Ball & Chain, there was also a pinch of Cuba. In addition to jazz, Ball & Chain mainly features live Cuban music and the bar menu includes Cuban snacks and cocktails. A bit of Latin America – you’ll find that almost everywhere in Miami. But Calle Ocho is the Latin American heart of the city, between tradition and change.

Stigmas of Nazism in a Viennese psychiatric hospital

Some complain about joggers, others wonder if the people they see pass really have “essential” jobs. Since the start of covid-19, neighborhood networks in the United States, formerly dedicated to recipes and tips, have become the place where neighbors watch each other.

And experts are worried about the trivialization of a practice that could infringe on everyone’s rights.

“It pains me a great deal to see dodgers disregarding the rules that were imposed so that we could all overcome this horrible situation,” says a member of the mailing list of a wealthy suburb of Washington, where many people complained of neighbors not respecting social distancing.

“I suggest something – if you see such behavior, why not take pictures or videos of the offenders? It could discourage their dangerous behavior,” wrote another.

Monitoring the actions of neighbors, nailing people on social media is certainly not new.

But today, “there is the feeling that if we do, we can save lives … With the Covid-19, we are afraid and there is an urgent need to apply the rules of social distancing. Shame on folks, it’s really one of the only tools we have, “said Emily Laidlaw, associate professor at the University of Calgary, who studies privacy laws in particular.

Examples abound on platforms like Nextdoor, an ultra-local social network which requires that its users use their real name, and checks their location.

“My neighbors are all drunk and there is an evening at their place. One of them launched into a rant near my door saying that an additional month of quarantine was stupid and that he was not going not comply, “recently lamented a resident of a neighborhood in Los Angeles.

“We have to denounce them when that happens because that means another month for us between four walls,” replied another user.

Overwhelming a person in public contravenes network rules, depending on the application, which warns that comments of this type will be deleted. Nextdoor has also modified certain language elements of its charter to adapt them to the Covid-19.

– “Stop judging” –

“There is clearly a social pillory. And that helps keep people at home,” said Divya Sonti, an employee at IQ Solutions, who specializes in public health communication.

Emily Laidlaw also believes that such measures can be effective.

But “there is a cost that should be recognized – victims unjustly demolished, the trivialization of surveillance by neighbors,” she said.

Concerns shared by a user of a neighborhood mailing list in Washington.

“I sympathize with the concerns (on the Covid) but to become a community that resembles a police state is not healthy,” she wrote.

“It is not acceptable to take photos of people and publish them,” said another person after the publication, on a Nextdoor group in Los Angeles, of people walking side by side. “What’s next? A train for Dachau?”.

Emily Laidlaw explains that, of course, the practice of humiliating someone in public is not new. But so far, she believes, they have also been strongly condemned.

“I fear that once all of this has passed, what was controversial will become normal,” she said.

However, in online publications, the context is sorely lacking, and the condemnations, sometimes without justification, spread like wildfire.

In Brooklyn, a neighbor complained on Nextdoor about seeing a group on the street, before another user explained that it was probably a meeting of people fighting against addiction to alcohol or drugs.

Hence the calls for a little more compassion.

“Did it cross your mind that this guy who’s buying paint knows he has to deal with it because laziness in the past made him relapse and to use in this case of beers? “, says a Facebook publication that has gone viral.

“I know we are all tense, but please stop judging others so much.”