5 questions for Brexit Britain

first_imgLet’s begin with British understatement: Brexit has been a source of some disagreement in recent months. But while it can sometimes seem like there are as many opinions about leaving the European Union as there are people in the United Kingdom, there’s one thing everybody agrees on: Brexit means change — and the country will have to make the best of it.It may feel like a political lifetime since Prime Minister Theresa May described “this moment of change” as an opportunity “to build a stronger economy and a fairer society by embracing genuine economic and social reform” in her Lancaster House speech in January. But the fundamental nature of Brexit remains the same: an opportunity to review the priorities of the British economy and — maybe — to rewrite them.The basics of the Brexit plan the prime minister set out that day also remain in place: leave the European single market and customs union and strike a free trade deal with the EU. In the coming weeks, we’ll explore the various economic avenues the U.K. might wish to pursue after Brexit. In this brainstorm white paper, we lay out the key questions facing policymakers and industry leaders as they adjust to Britain’s long-term, post-EU future.The problem: Brexit is a political certainty (more or less) but it’s fraught with economic risk. The government has to strike a withdrawal agreement and a trade deal with the EU that minimizes the economic damage of leaving the single market and customs union, while maximizing opportunities to restructure the economy and deepen trade partnerships.The question: What are the post-Brexit economic freedoms the U.K. should aim to exploit?The problem: After Brexit, the U.K. will be a free agent on the global trading stage. But free trade agreements are of limited use to an economy so heavily weighted toward services.The question: When striking trade agreements, how should the country balance its efforts between breaking new ground in global services trade and carving out new markets for its goods?The problem: The City of London and the U.K.’s world-leading financial services industry benefits hugely from having the EU as its “domestic” market. But leaving the single market throws the future of this relationship into doubt, potentially cutting London off from European clients.The question: What can the government and financial and related services firms do to minimize the damage and maximize the rewards of Brexit for this sector?The problem: Britain doesn’t make much anymore. The U.K.’s manufacturing base has long been in decline as a percentage of GDP, from 18 percent in 1990 to 10 percent today. Overseas competitors outgun the U.K. on price and on scale. Leaving the EU could exacerbate the problem by putting barriers between the U.K. and 450 million potential consumers of its goods.The question: Can the U.K. turn Brexit into a manufacturing opportunity? Can it and should it seek a mini-reindustrialization?The problem: The British government is proud of the country’s vibrant tech sector and has identified it as an industry with potential to grow whatever happens after Brexit. But changes to immigration law and the investment environment pose risks.The question: What policies should the U.K. put in place to protect and encourage this industry? The Global Policy Lab is a first-of-its-kind, collaborative editorial project, drawing on the smartest minds — POLITICO’s audience — to drive an informed conversation seeking solutions to challenging policy problems. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.Download a pdf version of this white paper.last_img read more

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Psilocybin combined with psychological support might correct pessimism biases in depression

first_imgPinterest Share on Facebook Email Share LinkedIncenter_img The psychedelic drug psilocybin could help alleviate depression by causing people to have a less pessimistic outlook on life, according to preliminary research published in Frontiers in Psychology.Previous research has found that depression is associated with unrealistic negative predictions of future life events. Scientists from the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London were interested in whether psilocybin — the main psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms — could reduce these pessimism biases.In their study, 15 participants with treatment-resistant depression were administered psilocybin in two dosing sessions. Psychological support was provided before, during, and after each session. Share on Twitter The participants — along with group of matched, untreated non-depressed controls — completed measures of depression and predictions of future life events before and after the psilocybin sessions.Before the treatment, the depressed participants predicted they would experience an roughly equal number of undesirable events and desirable events in the future. The non-depressed participants, on the other hand, predicted they would experience more desirable events than undesirable events.But treatment with psilocybin appeared to alter the depressed participants’ predictions of future life events. After the psilocybin sessions, depressed participants expected more desirable than undesirable life events to occur, which was in turn associated with a reduction in depressive symptoms.“Before treatment with psilocybin, patients were excessively and unrealistically pessimistic when predicting the occurrence of future life events — and this pessimism was significantly correlated with the severity of their depressive symptoms. One week after treatment, the patients’ pessimism was alleviated and their depressive symptoms greatly improved; moreover, the magnitude of change in both variables was related – such that as their depression improved, so did their ability to accurately forecast their future,” the researchers explained.“No such bias nor change in forecasting was seen in a matched control group assessed over an equivalent time period. Taken together, these findings indicate that the psychologically supportive administration of psilocybin remediates negative cognitive biases characteristic of severe depression – enabling individuals to forecast their futures more accurately, unfettered by unrealistic pessimism.”The findings are promising, but need to be replicated with a larger sample of participants, the researchers noted.The study, “More Realistic Forecasting of Future Life Events After Psilocybin for Treatment-Resistant Depression“, was authored by Taylor Lyons and Robin Lester Carhart-Harris.last_img read more

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Letters to the Editor for Sunday, March 1

first_imgWhen I have a bad year at work no one bails me out. When the CEO of my company does stupid stuff like start a trade war and mess with tariffs, the company doesn’t give every employee a check for $100,000.Our national deficit is now at record levels and the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the national debt will surpass the size of our economy in 13 years. Will I get my Medicaid? My Social Security?I want to know what you did with our money, farmers of America. Maybe most of it went to corporate factory farms? If it went to large corporate factory farms, isn’t that just stealing from the poor and giving to the rich? We just don’t know, there needs to be an accounting. I’m looking forward to hearing from farmers, so we know where the money went and how you are going to pay the rest of us back.MICHAEL WINNSaratoga SpringsPence not fit for czar positionAh, so VP Pence, another science-denier, is now in charge of handling the Covid-19 virus and possible pandemic. After all, he did such a bang-up job on healthcare in Indiana allowing HIV to become an epidemic due to his ideological blindness.He was also a proponent of gay conversion “therapy,” since debunked, and also stated that cigarettes don’t kill, a half-century after the Surgeon General placed warnings on cigarette packages. What a guy.This just makes me feel so much better, knowing that incompetent, ignorant and unqualified fools are in charge, which pretty much describes this entire administration. More retail tax breaks neededAs a life-long resident of Schenectady, I would like to thank the Metroplex board, Mayor and City/County Council, past and present for doing a great job at bringing back Downtown Schenectady. Downtown has not looked this good for the past 30 to 40 years. There are now many great eateries and luxury apartments. The streets and walkways are nice, clean, and well maintained.I think moving forward, to keep a growing momentum, and increase positive cash flow, we need higher end retail stores. Why can’t the Metroplex, along with city and county officials, give a tax break to all retail business and outlet companies to move into the nice new retail store fronts?I’m sure that with all the new businesses and people coming into town, the retailers moving into the new spaces with the incentive of tax breaks, would pay off in the long run.Again, thank you for a job well done on all improvements to downtown Schenectady.JOHN PUGLISISchenectadyStefanik unclear on health careI have just visited Representative Elise Stefanik’s office with several other people to discuss Health Care. Despite having supplied the meeting agenda one month previous for review, the office was unable to provide much information on Representative Stefanik’s positions. I had a follow up with a legislative aide in Washington and again Congresswoman Stefanik’s positions were not clear. At what point do we conclude that whether it is Medicare, Medicare for all, The Chips Program or The High Cost of Prescription Drugs, that Congresswoman Stefanik has little or no concern for the health care needs of the seniors, adults and children of the NY21 Congressional District? We as people can no longer send a person to Washington who does not see Health Care as an important issue.JIM NOVOTNYGloversville Hatred manifests from ignorance‘Supremacy’ as defined in Webster’s dictionary is a condition of power above all.It is quite a contradiction then that any person/s claiming supremacy would display such a cowardly act as to make terrorist threats against Jewish community centers across New York State. This anti-Semitic act, as well as any racist, cultural actions will not be tolerated. It is a hatred which manifested from some very ignorant people and perpetuates itself through ignorance, fear and hatred. As usual, the cowards hide behind masks, emails, phones or hoards and spreads its tentacles as far as they can reach.It is my hope that these persons will soon come to learn that they destroy any or all of the ideals one may strive to impose to better serve mankind.MARY ANN BRUNOSchenectadyGOP needs to stand up to TrumpThe impeachment trial and fall out since is complete and utter truth that the Republican Party has failed in their one true job of protecting the Constitution of the United States. Only one Republican, Romney, after undisputed evidence and getting worse every day, with more and more evidence of an assault of the Laws of the Constitution, voted to impeach. Here are the choices we are left. Stop and limit this president’s power or impeach. The last is that since the king reigns we no longer need the Senate, or House, or Justice Departments. We can save a lot of money in paychecks and benefits. Mrs. Stefanik and all who chose to turn their backs and destroy our Constitution that all others fought the Revolutionary War for in Saratoga, New York, and turned the war for freedom. As your King Trump said in his only money-making job he had “You’re fired.”DAVID KEENANSchenectady Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionWhat happened to farmers’ $25B?This is an open letter to American farmers; I want to know what you did with the $25 billion plus of U.S. taxpayer’s money that President Trump stole from us through an obscure 1940’s law without congressional approval? Sure must be nice. Surgical center closure a travestyHaving just begun my twenty-fourth year as a weekly volunteer at the McClellan Campus at Ellis Hospital, I must speak out. I have walked alongside the most caring, dedicated, and professional employees during my time there. The closure of this surgical center at McClellan Campus is such a travesty. These people have provided our community with much needed services in a most caring manner. The loss of their retirement benefits is devastating and disgraceful. Their daily quality of life is affected in a very serious manner. The state of New York and the Albany Catholic diocese must step up and do the right and honest thing for these fine people.KITTY FAVATARotterdam Please pay attention to the genuine professionals from the CDC and other doctors and scientists who know whereof they speak. And, wash your hands.CYNTHIA SWANSONNiskayunaTonko was wrong to vote for ERACongressman Paul Tonko betrayed women when he voted for the Equality Act allowing biological males access to women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, dorm rooms, women’s shelters, as well as the right to compete against women in women’s sports.A recent case illustrates how Tonko’s policy violates women: At Crossgates, a man stalked and imprisoned women inside the woman’s bathroom. The man was charged with stalking and unlawful imprisonment and was released without bail. He was not charged with entering the woman’s bathroom, because that’s legal thanks to Democrats like Paul Tonko. Because of laws supported by Tonko, the predator legally entered the woman’s bathroom with intent to harm women. Tonko’s policy gives men the right to enter private spaces previously reserved for women. Women are most vulnerable and least capable of defending themselves in public bathrooms and locker rooms. Tonko’s policy empowers predators and victimizes women.While all people deserve to be treated with respect, that respect should not come at the expense of respect for women, and their rights to safety, privacy, and livelihood. We need a woman in Congress who will truly protect women, and that’s Liz Lemery-Joy.JENNIFER RICHARDSBurnt Hills More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: No more extensions on vehicle inspectionsHIGH NOTES: PPEs, fighting hunger, backpacks and supplies for kidsEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Make a game plan for voting. Do it now.Foss: Schenectady Clergy Against Hate brings people togetherlast_img read more

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Djuric Goal To Be Reviewed By EFL

first_imgThe goal, scored six minutes into added time in City’s 2-1 defeat at Elland Road, was initially credited to Milan Djuric after the striker met David Cotterill’s left-wing corner with a powerful near-post header.However, Matty Taylor may have claimed the final touch before the ball found the bottom corner.The EFL will confirm the identity of the scorer in due course.last_img

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ONSTAGE REVIEW: “Christmas Spirit” a darkly charming alternative to standard holiday…

first_img“The Christmas Spirit” runs through Dec. 21, the John Hand Theatre, Colorado Free University, 7653 E. 1st Place, Lowry. Tickets start at $20. Information: 303-562-3232 or firehousetheatercompany.com. Tinsel, egg nog and fancy gifts have a way of warming the hearts of even the most bitter and disagreeable Scrooges at Christmas time.In Frederick Stroppel’s dark comedy “The Christmas Spirit,” even the Grim Reaper can’t escape the lure and promise of the holiday season. The Dickensian ideal of family, friends and a big roast goose has charmed Death to the point that he’s distracted from his job. The quaint ideal of a perfect Christmas makes the Grim Reaper forget his duty as the collector of souls and focus instead on wearing the rind kind of sweater and bringing the right kind of gifts to a holiday party.The premise is admittedly macabre and surreal, and the current production of “The Christmas Spirit” at the John Hand Theatre faces plenty of challenges in realizing the comedy’s full potential. A dark piece about Death coming to dinner poses technical challenges, and the tiny theater’s tight confines could easily turn into a roadblock.But the intimate scope of the place never gets in the way of finding the heart of this charming show. Considering the admirable track record of the John Hand’s home troupes, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that director Clint Heyn and a strong cast bring Stroppel’s twisted holiday cheer to life in a venue of less than 80 seats.Even so, the professionalism and vibrancy of this show is impressive from the very start. Strong and subtle performances carry the show through an unlikely premise, and the Firehouse Theatre Company shows once again that the small size of the theater is no limitation. In a theater scene crowded with typical holiday fare, “The Christmas Spirit” stands out as truly unique and unexpected storytelling.The intrigue kicks off when Julia Dowling (Emma Messenger) wakes up late at night on Christmas Eve to find an uninvited Visitor (Jeff Jesmer) prowling around her living room. The Visitor, it turns out, is Death. He’s come for Julia’s soul. There’s no talking him out of his mission.Except, there is. Julia’s pleas for a literal stay of execution starts carrying weight when the talk turns to Christmas. Dowling promises a Christmas feast for the next night. She insists that the celebration will include roast goose, gifts, family and all of the staples of greeting card celebration.That wins over the visitor. He’s heard about the charm of a traditional Christmas from Charles Dickens himself. He’s always wanted to take part in a true Christmas celebration. He leaves and promises to return for Christmas dinner the following evening.Julia finds herself pressed to organize a Christmas celebration straight out of “It’s A Wonderful Life.” She makes hasty invitations to her sister and her brother-in-law (Sarah MacMillan and Greg West), as well as her closeted son Paul(Doug Tisdale) and a priest, Father John Brennan (Jim Landis). She makes her daughter Beth (Jean Schuman) hunt down a goose and other staples for the perfect meal.When Death arrives the next night with a guest in tow (a recent suicide victim played by Kristjan Jesmer), Julia’s made every effort to recreate the ideal holiday and stave off her doom.Emma Messenger and Jeff Jesmer are the highlights of the comedy here, and they take on the demands of their roles with a compelling energy. Jesmer manages to balance the duties of being a wide-eyed innocent and the grim harbinger of doom; Dowling’s frenzied attempts to avoid death are hilarious at first, and moving by the end of the show. The two leads find support in an able ensemble. MacMillan and West offer hilarious moments as old grumps, Schuman is endearing as Julia’s daughter and Father Brennan’s unwitting discussions with the Grim Reaper are magical.The plot may be a very transparent take on the “Death Takes a Holiday” motif, but Stroppel’s approach to the idea of Death taking human form is plenty original. That originality depends a lot on timing and nuance, and the Firehouse production has plenty, despite the small scale of the space. THREE STARS OUT OF FOURlast_img read more

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