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first_imgPurple Hatter’s Ball has released the daily schedule for their 9th annual event at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. Going down June 17-19 weekend, PHB will utilize four stages in the park, including the famed Amphitheater Stage, surrounded by live oak trees and Spanish moss, a Beach Stage located along the wild black water Suwannee River, and a Campground Stage, which will morph into the Silent Disco late night, keeping the party going until the wee hours of the morning.Closing out each night on the Amphitheatre Stage will be headlining sets from Papadosio on Friday, The Polish Ambassador followed by The Floozies on Saturday, and Melvin Seals and JGB on Sunday. Each night will bring a spectacular close to a fun-filled day of music, yoga, arts, and community.The Thursday Pre-Party, featuring a closing late-night set from Sunsquabi, will take place in the Spirit of Suwannee Music Hall right after the Action Day with The Polish Ambassador, where PHB attendees are invited to unite in action with their choice of community-building, and environment-sustaining activities, suited with tangibly regenerative projects that will make SOSMP a better place for everyone. Participants of the Action Day are invited to attend the Thursday Night Pre-Party for free. More information about the projects can be found here; and you can sign up here!The full schedule can be found on the festival’s website and in the graphics below:The Yoga & Art Village Program will offer 25 fun, informative, healthy living activities and classes that will include: Kirtan Morningstar; BoomYoga Spiritual Warrior with Joaquin Antonio; Sound Healing Meditation; West African Drumming with Luke Quaranta; Live Music Vinyasa Flow; Creative Expressions Drawing; AcroYoga; Contact Hooping and many more. Make the most out of your weekend of music and be sure to make your way over to the Yoga & Arts Village for some life-changing experiences. The full schedule can be found on the festival’s website.Buy your tickets today and get excited with this video:More information and tickets can be found on the festival’s website. As always, Purple Hatter’s Ball benefits The Rachel Morningstar Foundation (a non-profit 501c3 organization) in honor of longtime SOSMP friend and music festival lover Rachel Morningstar Hoffman, who lost her life in a tragic turn of events when she was arrested, strong-armed into a role as a confidential informant to the police, and ultimately murdered at the hands of drug dealers. You can learn more about the horrific story of her loss in this interview with her mother, Mama Margie, who will lead an emotional ceremony celebrating her daughter’s memory.last_img read more

first_img Antibiotics not the solution for STD that affects 250 million people When parasites catch viruses Pioneered, along with two others from MIT, use of field experiments to determine effectiveness of world poverty programs Michael Kremer wins Nobel in economics Children who receive sustained treatment against common parasitic infections grow up to achieve a higher standard of living, with long-lasting health and economic benefits that extend to their communities, according to new findings from an international research team.The pioneering 20-year study of Kenyan schoolchildren led by Edward Miguel, an economist at UC Berkeley, and co-authored by Michael Kremer, the Gates Professor of Developing Societies and winner of the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, found that youngsters who received a few extra years of deworming treatment — costing as little as 50 cents a child per year — eventually achieved better jobs and attained higher incomes than those who got less treatment.“We found that, in Kenya, this modest investment led to significant improvements in the lives of infected individuals and for whole communities, and the benefits are long-lasting,” said Miguel, a development economist. “But parasitic infections remain prevalent in many low-income countries, and there’s a resurgence in some poor, rural low-income areas of the United States. Clearly, this research can serve as a guide to policymakers in much of the world.”Kremer, whose Nobel Prize recognized his development of novel ways to study poverty, said the research also provides an unanticipated warning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic: Students who lose a year or more of school — and school-based social services — may likewise risk suffering lasting negative impact on their work and earning power.,“In the current context of Kenya and many other countries, many investments in health and education have been interrupted by COVID-19,” said Kremer. “Finding a way to resume them will be critical for the next generation of children.”The new research was published today as a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Miguel is the Oxfam Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley and faculty director of the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), a hub for research on global development. Joan Hamory Hicks at the University of Oklahoma; Michael Walker, a postdoctoral scholar at CEGA; and Sarah Baird at George Washington University are the study’s other co-authors.According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.5 billion people — nearly 24 percent of the global population — are infected with parasitic worms such as hookworm, roundworm, whipworm, and flatworm. These parasites infect the intestines, and in some cases, the urinary tract. Globally, more than 868 million children are at risk.These problems tend to be concentrated in warm, damp climates where low-income communities have poor sanitation. When infected people defecate in the open, the parasites’ eggs contaminate the soil or fresh water; tiny worms can penetrate the feet of passersby and work their way up to the hosts’ intestines.The health impact can range from mild to severe, depending on the degree of infection. Children may experience stomach ailments and fatigue. Infections also have been linked to impaired physical and mental development.In 1998, an NGO started the Primary School Deworming Project, using the schools in the Busia District (now Busia County) of Western Kenya as a focus of treatment efforts. Preliminary research found that infection rates were over 90 percent — in effect, virtually every student in the district was infected. Because of the NGO’s financial and administrative constraints, a decision was made to phase in treatment: Students at 50 schools were selected to begin health education and deworming treatment in 1998 or 1999, while those at 25 others started the regimen in 2001.Miguel and Kremer evaluated the Kenyan program in 2004 and found a clear positive impact: School absenteeism was cut by at least 25 percent, with the greatest improvements among younger students. Deworming “substantially improved” attendance even among untreated students, they found, because treatment reduced the prevalence of worm eggs in the area.The 2004 study led to the founding of Deworm the World, and Kenya and many other nations adopted ambitious anti-worm programs, dramatically improving life for hundreds of millions of children. Today’s research is based on outcomes for participants after 20 years, one of the longest study periods ever achieved for parasitic worm infections and interventions. The researchers tracked the former students as they transitioned to adult life, even those who moved within Kenya or migrated to other countries. “We’re showing that even 20 years later, there are measurable, meaningful improvements in the quality of life for these individuals.” — Edward Miguel, economist UC Berkeleycenter_img They found that students who received two or three years of extra treatment in the early years of the program reported significant benefits as mature adults:Hourly earnings were higher by 13 percent.Consumer spending was 14 percent higher.Work hours in non-agricultural jobs, which usually pay more, were 9 percent higher.Overall, the small investment in deworming treatment produced an annualized 37 percent rate of return.“You might assume that in a program like this, for children, you would get some transient gain but that people would eventually go back to the way they were,” Miguel said. “But we’re showing that even 20 years later, there are measurable, meaningful improvements in the quality of life for these individuals.”“The research is important because it lays bare the advantages of the deworming program both in the short term, including increased cognitive abilities [and] reduced school absenteeism amongst our school-going children, as well as long-term effects, such as increased wages,” said Nereah A. Olick, director of primary education for the Ministry of Education in Kenya. “The research findings informed the establishment of the very successful Kenya national school-based deworming program, which currently is on its eighth year of implementation and has become a globally recognized, high-impact model for successful cross-sectoral partnership. Other countries keep learning from this flagship program.”One of the primary accomplishments of the research has been its pioneering use of randomized controlled trials. While a variety of factors might ultimately contribute to an individual’s health and success in adulthood, such trials allow the researchers to isolate the impact of a single factor. In effect, they can put parental support or educational success aside, and look only at the effect of the deworming program. Related The Nobel committee cited Kremer’s development of research techniques in awarding him the economics prize last year, and specifically noted the team’s work on deworming in Kenya. The researchers are now moving toward new questions. They want to see whether the benefits achieved by one generation in Kenya carry over to their children, and why men seem to benefit economically more than women.While deworming research has helped countries such as Kenya and India achieve great human benefit, the research evidence still must be carried to policymakers, medical workers, and the public in many other low- and middle-income countries, particularly during the present pandemic. Schools, which are currently suspended in Kenya and many other nations, are often a place where students receive some meals and medical care, including deworming medication.“For these kids, losing a couple of years of schooling can have really bad consequences,” Miguel said. “They need a response right now to find a way to deliver at least some of those services.”The research project has received sustained support from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and was funded in part by GiveWell.last_img read more

first_imgThe UK regulator has introduced a workaround for the country’s local government pension scheme (LGPS) to avoid European rules that could have forced some funds into a potential fire sale of assets.The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) yesterday published a 1,068-page policy document regarding the implementation of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II). In it, the watchdog added wording to the rules making it easier for LGPS schemes to be “opted up” to professional investor status. MiFID II requires all local authorities to be treated as retail clients by their asset managers, which would severely restrict their ability to invest in illiquid asset classes. While it was introduced to protect the treasury management functions of local governments across Europe, it raised concerns within the LGPS that it would hamper efforts to pool assets and boost infrastructure spending.After lobbying from the LGPS Advisory Board, the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Investment Association, the FCA made changes to the “quantitative” and “qualitative” tests for clients to be classified as professional. On the quantitative test, the FCA introduced a criterion allowing all LGPS administering authorities to be opted up if they run at least £10m (€11.4m) – even the smallest LGPS funds have more than £200m in assets.Asset managers must also assess the “expertise, experience, and knowledge” of their clients in order to opt them up to professional status. MiFID II refers to an individual person, but the FCA’s policy statement made it clear that “firms may take a collective view of the expertise, experience and knowledge of committee members, taking into account any assistance from authority officers and external advisers where it contributes to the expertise, experience and knowledge of those making the decisions”.The regulator added: “Given different governance arrangements, we cannot be prescriptive, but we would stress the importance of firms exercising judgement and ensuring that they understand the arrangements of the local authority and the clear purpose of this test. It remains a test of the individual, or respectively the individuals who are ultimately making the investment decisions, but governance and advice arrangements supporting those individuals can inform and contribute to the firm’s assessment.”The implementation phaseThe LGPS Advisory Board welcomed the FCA’s decisions as a “significant step in the right direction”.Despite the concessions to LGPS funds, there remains a significant administration burden for the pension funds and asset managers in the coming months before MiFID II is implemented on 1 January.“We are less than six months away from these changes coming into force and we need to make sure we are focused.”Joe Dabrowski, PLSAJeff Houston, the LGA’s head of pensions, told IPE the focus of the various parties involved would immediately switch to implementation. The LGPS and LGA have already begun working with the Investment Association and other bodies, including representatives of the private equity and infrastructure sectors, to put together a questionnaire for asset managers to use when opting out LGPS clients.Houston said that, while the FCA’s change to the quantitative test had essentially made it a “tick box” exercise, asset managers still needed to be satisfied that each local authority client had the necessary collective expertise to be a professional client, and understood the implications of such a move.Nick Buckland, senior investment consultant in JLT Employee Benefits’ LGPS team, said: “What we are conscious of is there is still a significant amount of administration involved, especially for pension funds with lots of alternatives managers.”Traditional managers were looking at the assessment framework, Buckland added, but there were “some concerns” about smaller, boutique managers keeping a consistent approach.Joe Dabrowski, head of investment and governance at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), said: “The LGA has done a really good job of explaining the way the LGPS is set up and run, and the FCA has listened. The concessions and adjustments they’ve made will go quite a long way making the problems we had go away.”The PLSA will feed in to the questionnaire discussions, Dabrowski said. He added: “We are less than six months away from these changes coming into force and we need to make sure we are focused. Six months for pension funds is not very long – time is of the essence.”last_img read more