Since 2014, the Chalice Festival has celebrated music and marijuana in Southern California. In 2018, the gathering will become the first such festival to allow recreational marijuana to be purchased on site from legal vendors. Slated to take place at the San Bernadino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, CA, from July 13th to 15th, Chalice Festival will feature performances by Bassnectar, Ludacris, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Sizzla Kalonji, Curren$y, Cut Chemist, Pharcyde, and Thriftworks. While past events have catered to medical marijuana users and paraphernalia aficionados, this year’s event will allow on-site marijuana consumption and purchases for adults aged 21 and older. “On-site product vendors will be on hand to take advantage of the post-prohibition reality that legally mashes up recreational cannabis products with the large-scale music festival concept,” representatives from the festival reportedly said in a press release.Of course, the event will also showcase plenty glassblowers, hash makers, and street artists—just as it has since 2014. However, another thing that will set this year’s Chalice apart is the size. While the debut event drew 5,500 people to the fest, organizers are preparing for a crowd of at least 45,000 to show up in July.Voters in California approved a marijuana legalization initiative back in November of 2016, but the legal changes didn’t go into effect until January 1st, 2018. Once that happened, festival organizers around the state became eligible to apply for permits that allow them to host events where marijuana can be legally sold, smoked, and otherwise consumed, provided those events take place in one of 80 authorized county fair or district agricultural association properties in the state (such as the San Bernadino County Fairgrounds).Chalice has always been a marijuana-centric festival, so it’s no surprise that organizers have jumped at the chance to take advantage of California’s new approach to recreational marijuana. It’s a stark contrast with other Golden State festivals like Coachella, which won’t even allow attendees to bring their legally-acquired marijuana out to the festival grounds, let alone purchase it on site. “We’re expecting fifty to sixty thousand people this year, no exaggeration,” Chalice Founder Doug Dracup told Cannabis Now. “You know this isn’t just an opportunity for me, brands are bringing their A-game to really be seen and get put on the map. There are people coming from all over the world. For us, it’s just a crazy opportunity to show everybody what a legal cannabis festival looks like.”Tickets for the 2018 Chalice Festival are now on sale. Attendees must be 21 or older to enter the festival grounds.
Much is on the line, even beyond the potential for fraud.Governments and companies are relying on these tests to measure how widely the virus has spread as they rush to get their economies and employees back to work and avoid a second wave of infections, even if they do not prove immunity.False results could undermine that effort.Many people have also been using kits, also known as serological or blood tests, at home or for personal checks in clinics. Topics : Since April the number of antibody kits carrying the region’s CE mark of quality doubled to more than 200, according to a list compiled by the EU Commission, the EU executive.Some of these kits are unreliable, half a dozen national regulators and industry sources across Europe told Reuters. A dozen tests have been subject to regulators’ warnings for mis-selling, including in Spain and Sweden.At least nine of them are no longer allowed to be sold in the United States, according to a Reuters analysis of public data from the Food and Drug Administration, which clamped down on the sector last month.The EU Commission is now looking at changing the self-certification regime that allows test-makers to label their products with the CE mark themselves, an EU official and two European regulatory sources told Reuters, declining to be named as the plans have not been made public.Among changes being examined, companies could be required to have tests reviewed by independent watchdogs before placing the CE mark on them, the sources said.That would mark a significant toughening of the current regime, whereby makers merely self-certify compliance with EU safety rules and supervisors can subsequently penalize them if their claims turn out to be false.Guidance setting out minimum performance criteria for tests could also be adopted, the two regulatory sources told Reuters. Under current rules, kits can carry a CE mark regardless of their accuracy.When asked about the plans, a spokesman for the Commission, the EU executive, said it was “currently considering the best way forward”.”We are assessing a number of different instruments available together with member states to see which action is the most appropriate,” he added.’Spending lots of money’Scientists have not yet definitively proven whether or how long COVID-19 survivors are immune to new infections, even if they developed antibodies.Nevertheless, many people are willing to pay for the tests – and many don’t come cheap, selling for anything from a few euros to more than 150 euros in some private clinics in Europe.It’s a potentially lucrative business: testing about 450 million people in the EU would cost billions of euros based on such prices.”People might be spending lots of money for nothing,” said Pauline Constant of BEUC, a European consumer organization.Severin Schwan, CEO of Swiss drug giant Roche which has its own antibody test, sounded an alarm in late April, when he said some tests on the market were a “disaster”. The World Health Organization also warned that tests on the market were not sufficiently reliable and could not prove immunity.Such comments were backed up by a study conducted by the Dutch regulator who found in May that none of 16 reviewed tests were trustworthy.”The test results are not reliable. The percentage of false positive and false negative results is too high,” the study concluded, without naming the manufacturers.”Those tests are quite meaningless,” said a spokesman for the Dutch Health and Youth Care Inspectorate, a part of the health ministry that supervises public health.Despite the poor results, clinics and labs in the Netherlands are still allowed to offer these tests.Industry backs rule reviewIntroducing an independent review of products would bring forward an EU reform that had been agreed before the coronavirus crisis but was not due to take effect until 2022.In the absence of an EU performance standard for tests, France has already set its own thresholds. About 60 kits have met the country’s requirement of at least 90% of correct positive results, a measure known as sensitivity, and 98% of correct negative results, so-called specificity.Under current EU rules, overseen and enforced by national watchdogs, manufacturers must seek authorization before using the CE mark only for so-called home or self-tests, which are those who can be performed at home without professional advice.About a dozen antibody devices have been unlawfully marketed as CE-marked self-tests without prior authorization, according to the Spanish and Swedish regulators.Low performance is not in itself illegal and has been tolerated in Europe in the initial phase of the COVID-19 crisis because tests were rare. But companies cannot exaggerate the accuracy of their devices.An official at the Swedish regulator said the body had yet to start performance checks, while two pharmaceutical industry sources said such checks were rare in Europe.There is however a balance to be struck on regulation, according to industry experts who worry that if new rules are too strict or onerous they could delay the deployment of tests to conduct large-scale epidemiological surveys.But greater scrutiny could help improve the tarnished reputation of the sector.MedTechEurope, the trading body for medical technology firms including Abbott, Roche and Siemens Healthineers , backed plans to review industry regulations.”We support the intention of these plans, and would welcome the opportunity to provide the industry’s input into this debate on how to best ensure only well-performing tests are on the market,” it said. The market for COVID-19 antibody tests is red-hot. It has ballooned in a matter of months as hundreds of products flood the world for people who want to find out whether they’ve already had the virus.The problem is, some of them don’t work properly.As a result, European authorities aim to tighten regulation of the new sector, to weed out tests that give consistently inaccurate results and crack down on companies that make false claims, three sources familiar with the plans told Reuters.
Published on March 22, 2018 at 6:49 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 OMAHA, Neb. — One day before 11th-seeded Syracuse (23-13, 8-10 Atlantic Coast) faces No. 2 seed Duke (28-7, 13-5), Orange head coach Jim Boeheim discussed the Sweet 16 matchup from the CenturyLink Center. Here are three notable things he said.Down-low duoDuke’s Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter, Jr. are leading the show. The freshmen clean up boards inside, collecting easy put-back points. They back down fellow bigs. And they dunk. Bagley III, a probable lottery pick in June, averages a team-high 21.2 points and 11.3 boards per game. Carter Jr. averages 13.6 points and 9.2 boards per game. Against Syracuse on Feb. 24, a 60-44 Duke win, Bagley III had a game-high 19 points. Carter Jr. added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Whether SU can prevent both from similar production on Friday night could dictate who goes home and who keeps dancing. “They’re a problem inside for everybody,” Boeheim said. “They’ve averaged right around that for the year. What they did against us wasn’t unusual. I think they averaged pretty close to that, 34, someplace in that area.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Our center got in foul trouble down there. We did a good job on the perimeter shooters. That’s important. But we played against three pretty good man-to-man defensive teams, and seeing that Duke does play some man-to-man, it wouldn’t surprise me if they played man-to-man in some cases against us. I think we’ve overall played pretty well against zones this year.”The beauty in low-scoring, defensive battlesSyracuse arguably is playing the best defense in the country right now, holding three-straight opponents who averaged 80-plus points per game to under 60. First was Arizona State last Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio, for the Sun Devils were once ranked in the AP Top 5 and proved capable of efficient offense. Then SU held TCU to just 52 points, and only 24 in the second half. On Sunday, Syracuse played perhaps its best defense all season. The Michigan State Spartans boasted a deep, high-powered offense that had powered them to 30 wins and only four losses. Yet SU held them to 53 points in front of a mostly MSU-backed crowd in Detroit. “Everybody says defense wins games, but then when they see it they don’t like it,” Boeheim said. “I think there’s a beauty in that or 90 to 95 or 100. And you can do that; you can watch the NBA and see that anytime you want to. College basketball is different. It’s always been different. You can control the game a little bit more with your defense and with your offense a little bit, too.“We just aren’t good on that end (offense) of the court,” he added. “Where we struggle is on that end. On defense, if you like defense, it’s good to watch. But our offense has struggled and that gets difficult sometimes. I don’t like to watch it sometimes.”Appreciating Big Dance expansionBoeheim said he’s an advocate of an expanded NCAA Tournament. For years, the field consisted of 64 teams. But in 2011, the NCAA expanded that number to 68, including four additional teams that would compete in “play-in games,” such as the game in which Syracuse played last week against Arizona State. The First Four is a series of play-in games contested between teams holding the four lowest-seeded automatic bids and the four lowest-seeded at-large bids. In 2011, VCU most famously made a run from the First Four as a No. 11 seed out to the Final Four. La Salle (2013) and Tennessee (2014) each made the Sweet 16 as First Four teams, and Syracuse has this March. For that reason, Boeheim said, more bubble teams should be allowed in. “It used to be, if you were on a bubble, you probably couldn’t win anyway,” Boeheim said. “But now those teams can win. And there’s more than a couple of teams that are on the bubble. But I’ve always advocated for more teams from when it was 64 to 68. And the playoff system that we have this year, when we go and play, I think you could duplicate that in another regional and get a couple more teams in or four more teams in, whatever the number is.“And I just think that when you give fan bases and players that opportunity to go play, even if you don’t win, you had that opportunity,” he added. “And I just think it’s a great thing, because if it hadn’t gone from 64 to 68 we wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t be here now.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
Los Angeles, Jul 22 (PTI) A wax statue of Beyonce at Madame Tussauds in New York has been given a makeover after fans of the pop diva complained that the figure was too white.The wax Beyonce sported wavy blonde hair and appeared to be thinner and lighter-skinned than the “Lemonade” singer in real life.Fans complained on Twitter that the figure looked more like Mariah Carey or Shakira than Beyonce, according to The Hollywood Reporter.Madame Tussauds said that the wax model, which was briefly taken down on Thursday amid criticism, is back on display following adjustments to “the styling and lighting of her figure.” PTI SHD SHD