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Ret- rieved from https: Some Homework to Do for the Sales and Marketing Departments Introduction Solvency II is to be considered a paradigm shift for the European insurance in- dustry and will lead to major changes in the process of asset and risk manage- ment. This new set of regulations is necessary. In fact, we believe that the cur- rent financial crisis has shown the importance of such advanced risk manage- ment processes in the financial services industry. The so-called subprime mort- gage crisis obviously did have massive negative effects on capital markets and global economic growth. As a consequence, not only the stocks of banks and in- surers dropped considerably; the equity market in general suffered huge losses. Finally, it was the unblamable general public to carry the burden. Stocks have recently been not the best investments compared to other asset classes, for ex- ample, German 10 year government bonds. Easily to understand, a reform of fi- nancial market regulation in general and insurance authority in special had to be undertaken. Taking into account Solvency II, which will require that equity in- vestments have to be underlain with an extra amount of solvency capital, it seems to be very probable that insurers will permanently reduce their equity ex- posure. As a matter of fact, insurance companies, especially Germans, are lack- ing equity capital anyway and have problems to fulfill upcoming Solvency II capi- tal requirements. However, having lately seen quite a recovery after the lows of March , there may still be some potential for further gains in stocks. This could become a problem for asset managers in the insurance industry. Low in- terest rates even seem to increase these difficulties because life insurers will have a hard time trying to produce attractive returns in a post Solvency II world — especially compared to mutual funds. Therefore, our objective is to show that life insurer will face a disadvantage in terms of return in comparison to mutual funds caused by Solvency II. Consequently, insurers especially have to do some rethinking of marketing strategies trying to sell endowment policies in the new regulatory environment. The organisation of the paper is as follows: Firstly we will examine some basic principles of Solvency II. Secondly we will briefly discuss asset pricing models focussing on stock markets and show that equity prices are closely related to economic fundamentals and identify stock crashes as rather seldom phenomena than normal events. This sheds light on future return expectations of mainly eq- uity investors mutual funds and investors under the Solvency II regime life in- surers. This in mind we will suggest appropriate financial services marketing strategies from a Solvency II perspective before concluding. Regulatory Way to Solvency II Almost at the end of the actual Solvency II implementing process, the subprime mortgage crisis shook the financial system. It became obvious, that rules were misused or at least extended to their limits into certain grey areas, and rethinking of applicable regulations had to be done. The crisis has shown the importance of rethinking risk management highlighting the importance of Solvency II. Romeike et al. Regard- ing Basse and Friedrich it is already foreseeable that capital require- ments will be tightened according to Solvency II, especially due to a very com- prehensive risk definition including underwriting and market risks. Even though a risk based approach was overdue and revised external or even internal models more state of the art, some experts doubt the necessity of Solvency II and call it a fatal error see Huerta de Soto Basse et al. More refined tools will be needed in this new regulatory framework to face interest rate risks on both sides of the balance sheet in an integrated asset- liability-approach. As a matter of fact, any effort undertaken by life insurers to encounter these risks could easily lead to a stronger demand for long term fixed income securities. Insurance companies lack of equity capital, so Reddemann et al. It is one of the major projects in the field of financial services regulation at the EU level. The goal is to introduce and establish for the first time economic risk-based solvency requirements across all 27 EU Member States. This new set of regulation will be more risk-sensitive and more accentu- ated than Solvency I, thus enabling a better coverage of the economic risks run by any particular insurer. In contrast, the previous set of regulations is known as Solvency I, which has specified the solvency margin in the s. Nevertheless, the focus thus far still lies on exactly this solvency margin, meaning the amount of regulatory capital an insurer is obligated to hold against unexpected events. These requirements have been in place since early 70s of the last century and were reviewed again during the s. A limited reform was agreed by the EU-Parliament as well as the Council in , leading to the well known reform, namely Solvency I. Nowadays, Solvency II is somewhat similar to the banking regulations of Basel II, this is why people tend to call it "Basel for insurers". Others, like Schubert et al. For example, the pro- posed framework has in both cases three main pillars or fields, namely pillars 1 to 3. The first one consists of quantitative requirements e. The second pillar sets out the necessity for the risk management as well as governance of insurers combined with rules for the effective supervision of insurers. Pillar 3 focuses on require- ments concerning disclosure issues and transparency. As already mentioned, the first pillar outlines quantitative issues. Rules to evalu- ate the balance sheet are mainly in the focus, especially technical provisions and own funds actually held. The regulatory Solvency Capital Requirement SCR can be calculated either by applying a compulsory standard formula or an developed internal model, which has to be accepted by the regulators. Addition- ally, the Minimum Capital Requirement MCR refers to the last threshold for the solvency capital that has to be held. Falling below this lower limit would result in intervention of the authority and may lead to the withdrawal of the undertaking's authorisation. Pillar 2 deals with qualitative requirements for all undertakings and regulatory authorities. Insurers must be able to state their positions concerning risk strategy, an appropriate organisational and operational structure, an internal management and control system as well as their audit function. Regarding the differences between small insurers and global players, the principle of dual pro- portionality applies accordingly: Additionally, the Supervisory Review Process SRP must also be in line with the so-called principle of proportionality as well. The third pillar deals with public and the su- pervisory disclosure requirements. Hard facts, like quantitative sol- vency capital requirements, must be published, too. Examples to point out the changes of solvency capital requirements might help to understand the new world order. Many European states e. This defi- nitely puts constraints on developing a standardized Europe-wide market. As a matter of fact, Solvency II is driven with the objective of developing and facilitat- ing a European Single Market in insurance services the EU legislation but not with the price of losing sight regarding consumer protection. To develop new rules of regulation, four quantitative impact studies QIS have already been undertaken, the fifth study will be run between August and mid-November Participation was voluntarily at all stages, each undertaking business — life, non- life and reinsurance — had to report to their national supervisors before the re- sults were consolidated and evaluated. Methodologies, simulation models and calculations were re-calibrated, developments were taken into account as well as solo results were considered differently as group results, etc. Nonetheless, the exception proves the rule. France has drawn particular atten- tion to the fact that their local insurance companies have a very different busi- ness model. Especially, the French government does not want to lose the insur- ance companies as investors at the Paris Stock Exchange Euronext. The com- panies have the allowance to smoothen their stock investments over several years rather than evaluate them year by year with the implications of deprecia- tions. Notwithstanding all major upheavals as well as paradigm shift for the insurance industry, Solvency II is useful and necessary together. Will insurance clients have the same product? As briefly outlined, insurers have to underlay risky investments with equity capital. This has to be done for both interest mismatch and shares. The problem for insurers will be their lack of equity capital, especially for non-life in- surers. Their actual option can only be, to reduce risky investments. Conse- quently, this implies that customers can only expect lower future returns, but with a higher security level. This fact necessitates an appropriate communication strategy to convince the customers to still sign insurance contracts with more safety but less expected return. Stock Markets: Risk, Return and Economic Fundamentals We will show by using different asset pricing models e. The low ex-post equity premium mainly seems to be a consequence of these shocks, which have been triggered by bursting asset bubbles. As already noted, the so-called subprime mortgage crisis has had massive negative effects on global economic growth and has simultaneously pushed down stock prices and government bond yields. Focussing on data from the European Monetary Union EMU investors had to witness that the Euro Stoxx 50 — a very popular benchmark for asset managers — fell below the mark of 2. After the bursting of the dot-com bubble this was the sec- ond stock market crash whilst one decade. Consequently, equity investors hop- ing for high returns have in general been disappointed since As a matter of fact, examining the data sample January to December the mean stock market return in the EMU was lower than the mean return on German government bonds - still bonds obviously were less risky figure 1. This period is very popular among financial econometricians in order to avoid possible struc- tural breaks due to the introduction of the Euro in January Our gauges of the per- formance of bond investments are the mean returns on the broad REXP and on the REXP 10 years which only includes German government bonds with a ma- turity of 10 years. Risk is measured by the standard deviation of returns. However, there is a simple explanation which already has been discussed: Two stock market crashes within the last decade figure 2 and figure 3. Figure 2: Figure 3: Crashes and Returns as measured by the Euro Stoxx 50 Economic theory does suggest that equity markets are highly volatile so that pronounced drops of share prices are always possible. Therefore, there should be a high risk premium. In fact, analysing long term trends does show that equity returns seem to be too high in order to be explained by some asset pricing mod- els. This is especially true for the consumption based capital asset pricing model CCAPM , which tries to explain stock returns by the consumption of economic agents. Assuming reasonable levels of risk aversion among economic agents consumption expenditures in the U. This is the so-called equity premium puzzle e. Stock market crashes have been suggested to solve this puzzle. However, dramatic events are needed to explain the high return on equities in the last 50 to years e. The two crashes to be observed in the last decade are quite clearly no sufficient solution to the equity premium puzzle. Taking an empirical perspective Campbell and Cochrane argued convin- cingly that the simple Capital Asset Pricing Model CAPM performs better than the more complex consumption based asset pricing model. According to the CAPM there is a strong relationship between risk and return. Therefore, inves- tors ought to expect that the ex ante equity premium will be positive. Similar discussions took place when the dot-com bubble was about to burst. Diamond , for example, discussed stock market return projections evaluating proposals to reform the U. While the recent historical experience quite clearly does suggest that stock mar- ket crashes are a phenomenon of economic relevance most financial economist seem to believe that stock prices in the long run are governed by economic fun- damentals. This assumption has recently been challenged by Boldrin and Peral- ta-Alva At this point, a model is needed to explain the fundamental value of equities. It is quite usual to note that the level of stock prices today is deter- mined by future expected dividend payouts e. More precisely, the present value model predicts that stock prices in period t SPt are given by: In order to use this model to predict stock prices assumptions about future dividend payouts and the required rate of return on equities have to be made. Most notably, Gordon suggested assuming that dividends grow at a constant rate g. Combined with the assumption that the required rate of return on equity is also time- invariant this leads to a very simple version of the model: Analyzing data from the U. Their methodology of just comparing the results of the present value of dividend payouts with the market value of equities is simple but very plausible. Noting that the model may miss some short term fluctuations of the stock market they have focused on low frequency movements of stock prices using the Hodrick-Prescott filter. Their results seem to imply that dividends cannot explain the movements of stock prices. This is especially true after In fact, they have shown that dividend growth did not have a specific trend in the period to while stock prices have increased sharply. Following their methodology we examine the European stock market focusing on the post experience. Our measure of stock market activity is the FTSE Eurotop index which is a modified capi- talization weighted index of the most actively traded and highly capitalized stocks in the European equity market. Stock prices and the data on dividends per index share are from Bloomberg. Our results figure 4 are by far less dis- couraging. Contrary to the U. Figure 4: The dividend time series is seasonally adjusted. According to ADF-tests not reported both variables seem to be non-stationary and integrated of order one. Given this result, we test for cointegration among dividends and stock prices. By definition, two time series integrated of order one are cointegrated when there is a linear combination of these variables that is stationary. The existence of a cointegration relationship between two time series indicates that the variables share a common stochastic trend and — as a consequence - that there is a close equilibrium relationship between them. In other words, finding empirical evidence for the existence of a cointegration relationship among dividends and stock prices would imply that the market value of equities in the long run is closely linked to the economic fundamentals. The procedure suggested by Johansen is used to test for cointegration among the variables examined here. This test is based on the econometric technique of vector autoregressions VAR. The error term ut is assumed to be a serially uncorrelated random variable. Re- arranging the equation yields: T is the number of observations. Including four lags and assuming that the data in levels and the cointegrating equations have linear deterministic trends there is clear evidence for cointegra- tion between the two variables table 1. We have used the critical values pro- vided by MacKinnon et al. Table 1: Linear deterministic trend restricted Lags interval in first differences: A Portmanteau test is not able to reject the null hypothesis of no residual autocorrelation up to 16 lags p-value 0. While there may be some criteria suggesting a higher number of time lags the residuals already seem to be random variables considering only four time lags. This result and the now popular tendency to parsimonious econometric model- ling quite clear speak for our model specification. Hargreaves , for exam- ple, performed Monte Carlo experiments indicating some difficulties with a small sample bias using the Johansen test procedure with less than data points. However, he has also noted that it is a common practice in applied econometrics to work with sample sizes of about 50 observations. Summing up, the empirical evidence reported in this section does indicate that stock prices, at least in the long run, are closely linked to the economic funda- mentals. This finding does imply that speculative bubbles are the exception rather than the rule. Therefore, past equity returns — which have been depressed by two stock market crashes in the last decade — are not necessarily a good guide to forecast future returns. Phrased somewhat differently, economic agents ought to expect a positive ex ante equity premium for the next ten years. This prediction is also supported by the simple CAPM which postulates the existence of a close relationship between risk and return. In the current market environ- ment — which is characterized by low interest rates — asset managers in the life insurance industry do face the problem that they will not be able to generate at- tractive returns. This will most probably especially be true in comparisons to fund managers at mutual funds because Solvency II will force life insurers to perma- nently reduce their exposure to equities. Mutual funds are less constrained. While low equity quotas recently have created no performance problems be- cause of the negative ex post equity premium this will not necessarily be the case in the coming years. In this case asset managers at life insurance companies will most probably not be able to produce as attractive returns as mutual funds. In other words, the characteristics of endowment policies will change in the post Solvency II world. As prescribed by the regulators this financial product will quite clearly generate lower returns — but will also be less risky. Asset managers in the life insurance industry most probably will not be able to solve this problem — so there is some homework to do for the sales and marketing departments! This process involves more or less the fol- lowing steps: Solvency II will cause life insurers to change their investment policies. This will affect the product endowment life insurance. Considering the situation for en- dowment policies in the post Solvency II world the situation obviously differs from the new product process discussed above, because steps 1 through 3 are distinct. Phrased somewhat differently, there is no new product but just a signifi- cant change to the regulatory environment governing existing life insurance poli- cies. Life insurers are in need to alter their asset allocation according to the new law. Describing the situation from a change perspective, the customers in the pre Solvency II world can be classified as in- vestors who want attractive returns at modest levels of risk. But this selection cri- teria cannot be offered sufficiently by the insurers in the post-Solvency II world By changing the product structure, customers will face a situation with lower re- turns and, of course, lower risk. Life insurers are consequently confronted with the situation that the product characteristics have changed but not the customer preferences. First, the shift of customer-preferences and second, target- ing right customers. The well known school of behaviourism e. This SR-Model describes a clear causal structure between the stimuli perceived and the action resulting in open behaviour. Following this, marketers make use of the so called S-O-R model to describe buying behaviour. The neo- behaviouristic S-O-R model is preferred to other buyer-behaviour models e. Elements are the stimulus S , the organism O and the response R of the buyer. The stimulus contains marketing e. Organism describes the influence within the indi- vidual human, and helps to explain different outcomes of the same stimuli. The individual preferences Figure 5: The response is again observable and describes, for example, buying a specific insurance, volume, or fee paid. Using only different advertising to make consumers buy the new insurance product will not be sufficient, because only those with suitable risk aversion and return expectations will match with the post Solvency II en- dowment policy. Not talking about ethics, a supplier wants to make consumers buy his product. Firefighters had to remove the railings before taking Miss Penniman to hospital where she is in a critical condition. Sealed off: A policeman guards the scene where blood is still visible on the pavement. The Brit Award-winning artist, who won the BBC's influential Sound of poll, comes from a family of five and also has a younger brother Fortune, younger sister Allegra and another sister, Yasmine. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Pop star Mika's sister fighting for her life after 50ft horror fall leaves her impaled on railings By Daily Mail Reporter Updated: Share or comment on this article: Mika's sister impaled on railings after 50ft window fall is critical in hospital. Most watched News videos Police dances with climate activists chanting 'we love you' Presenter blasts activist for telling people to miss work and protest Woman's hilarious reaction to 'tiny dress' online shopping fail Traveler pulled over by police taking pet horse for a walk Moment carjackers drag tourist from car by her hair in Johannesburg Convicted murderer sobs upon his arrest over girlfriend's death Speeding cyclist flips over garden wall after painful crash Qatari sociologist's guide on how Muslim men should beat wives Drunk man wakes up to confused couple after going into wrong house Treasures of Notre Dame to be moved to the Louvre after fire Police 'de-arrest' Extinction Rebels while protestors cheer Body Cam footage shows officer shoot a man who charged at him. Comments 66 Share what you think. View all. Bing Site Web Enter search term: Charlize Theron: My child I thought was a boy is Dancer beams as he meets fans How you can dress your whole brood on a budget, whatever the occasion Ad Feature Charlize Theron steps out make-up free with eldest child Jackson Chris Hemsworth takes time off promoting Avengers: End Game in China to ride roller coaster at Disneyland Shanghai Mickey Rourke, 66, shows off his smooth complexion as he larks around with his hairdresser outside their favourite pizza haunt Meghan in a sari: Today's headlines Most Read Charlize Theron: For the first time, the Hollywood actress Gjallarhorn also has an elite special forces unit known as Arianrhod , based on Luna, which is meant to react to any direct attacks against Earth. Befitting of its role as the Solar System's sole peacekeeper, it maintains a monopoly over Ahab Reactor production and possess countless mobile suits. Having maintained the peace unopposed for years, the group slowly suffers from corruption among workers and high executives, to the point of using dirty tactics such as sabotage and secretly interfering in internal affairs of other power blocs, as pointed out by Kudelia during the Dort Colony incidents. According to both McGillis and Nady, the Earth population's phobia towards humans with cybernetic implantation is actually due to a calculated effort by Gjallarhorn's propaganda in order to discourage the cybernetic technologies which gave Gjallarhorn the edge in winning the Calamity War from becoming popular enough to be used against Gjallarhorn itself in the future. With the fiasco over Gjallarhorn's meddling in Kudelia's trip and Arbrau's elections exposed, multiple political entities have lost trust in the organization and have begun building up their military forces in an unprecedented arms race. Sometime later, McGillis rallied a splinter faction, placing most of the executives under his captivity while declaring war towards Gjallarhorn in hopes of reforming the organization. Although gaining Tekkadan's cooperation, the rebellion failed but his ideals were ironically fulfilled by Rustal himself. More specifically, Gjallarhorn regained its reputation as an effective peacemaker due to their quick response to McGillis' rebellion. Meanwhile, the loss of the Issue, Kujan, and Fareed family's heads led to the disbandment of the Seven Stars' council system in favor of a democratic system. Last but not least, Rustal scaled back Gjallarhorn's presence on Mars, leading to Earth's economic blocs withdrawing control and enabling the Martian colonies to achieve independence as the Martian Union. Named after the Germanic Tiwaz rune , it is a business conglomerate that operates around Jupiter. It is rumored to be run like a mafia organization and has sufficient influence to smuggle anything to Earth without Gjallarhorn's direct interference, for a price. The group possess a number of mobile suits. Culturally, Teiwaz seems to be primarily Italian, but they practice several distinctly Japanese-styled customs, such as the Sakazuki blood oath , which involves two leaders of different factions sharing sake , symbolically binding them as "family. After the Turbines' dissolution, Tekkadan renounce their affiliation with McMurdo removed JPT Trust from its branch when its leader plot to overthrow his position. A branch of Teiwaz that is responsible for its parent organization's shipping and transportation duties, it was founded by maverick smuggler Naze Turbine and female mercenary Amida Arca. Founded to provide protection and secure work for runaway women who were forced to take cheap and suicidal jobs as long range transporters at the mercies of raiders, the organization eventually became a member of Teiwaz after Naze drank a sakazuki blood oath to McMurdo Barriston. Socially, Naze took in any exploited women he encountered as his nominal wives while providing them with steady work as crew members on his ship. The organization grew to have 50, members and stretched from Jupiter all the way to Mars. They later become a senior sibling affiliate with Tekkadan, vouching for them at Teiwaz's gatherings. With Teiwaz forced to disown the Turbines in all but name and with Tekkadan unable to help without being implicated, the Turbines are forced to strike out on their own as an underground organization. As the Arianrod fleet closes in on the Turbines, Naze announces the organization's disbandment and asks McMurdo to protect its women. While the Turbines were starting evacuation at their main base, Arianrhod's fleet arrives under Iok's command. Ignoring all signals for a ceasefire and surrender, he proceeds to have his forces target both the combatants and the civilians fleeing the scene. The main transports carrying the civilians were crippled before exploding, but the majority of the civilians survived and managed to evacuate on shuttle craft escorted by the Turbine's mobile suits and Tekkadan who were on a convenient "training exercise". A group of space pirates who operate between Earth and Mars, doing raids on cargo ships and abducting innocent children into Human Debris to be sold for labor or forcefully work for them as disposable mobile suit pilots. Like CGS, they are not above forcing their Human Debris pilots to undergo surgery for "Whisker" man-machine interface implants despite the operation's high failure rate. The group's treatment of the children is harsh, with physical and emotional abuse being commonplace. They are hired by Gjallarhorn to abduct one of the members of Tekkadan in exchange for Kudelia. They possess multiple Man Rodi mobile suits alongside the Gundam Gusion, two assault ships, and two cargo vessels. After their defeat by Tekkadan and the Turbines, their assets are reduced to one assault ship while their second vessel, the surviving Human Debris, and the remaining mobile suits are claimed by Tekkadan. The second vessel was later sacrificed as an unmanned decoy to slip through a blockade around Earth. The surviving Human Debris later join in the final battle under Tekkadan's command on Earth. One of the four economic and political power blocs on Earth alongside the African Union, the Strategic Alliance Union, and the Oceanian Federation, its territory consists of all non-European territories in the Arctic Circle. In a recent study entitled Myeloid Cells As Target Of Gilenya Action In Multiple Sclerosis, a team of scientists investigated the impact of MS treatment Gilenya on the reactivity of myeloid cells, a key group that comprises several immune cells that are activated in MS patients and the underlying cause of the condition. The study was published in the journal Neurology. Gilenya is an analogue of a cellular key protein called sphingosine. When added to cells, Gilenya binds sphingosinephosphate S1P receptors and promote their degradation. Researchers investigated how Gilenya influences the activation of myeloid cells from the periphery to the central nervous system. The team analysed how Gilenya interfered with the activation of immune cells in vitro and later performed further studies where administration of Gilenya during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis a disease model of human MS was used to assess its effects on the activation of splenic, central nervous system infiltrating, and central nervous system resident myeloid cells. Researchers found that in vitro exposure of human monocytes to Gilenya significantly inhibited the reactivity of the monocytes, and that oral administration of Gilenya to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mouse models impaired activation of myeloid cells in the spleen and central nervous system. The team then isolated cells from 11 Gilenya-treated patients, seven patients with untreated MS, and eight healthy participants and determined the activation profile of monocytes in each patient population. They observed that Gilenya-treated MS patients had lower activation of monocytes when compared with monocytes from control participants. The team highlighted that their findings show that Gilenya administration changes the reactivity profile of a wide range of myeloid cells, specifically circulating, central nervous system-infiltrating and central nervous system-resident cells in vitro, in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and in MS. Canadian scientists have made history with a world first, successfully using focused ultrasound to break through one of the human body's final frontiers - the blood-brain barrier. The researchers have unlocked a non-invasive way to deliver medication deep into the brain, opening the door to better treatments for brain tumours, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis. The blood-brain barrier has long been an obstacle for doctors trying to treat brain diseases. The barrier is a layer of tightly packed cells that act like plastic wrap, surrounding each of the brain's blood vessels, protecting them from infections and toxins. Because little can get through this barrier, it is frustratingly difficult for doctors to treat tumours and brain diseases because life-saving drugs can't enter brain cells. But neuroscientists at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre have found a non-invasive solution. They have devised a new technique involving microbubbles and focused ultrasound to get through the barrier. Bonny Hall is the first patient to undergo the technique. Hall is a mother, grandmother and business owner who recently learned that the benign brain tumour she has lived with for eight years had begun to grow quickly and was malignant. Though she was at first stunned by the news, she is now looking forward to being part of this new study. The type of tumour Hall has is a glioma. The tumours are often difficult to treat because spread out in a web, and can't be completely removed with surgery. Doctors can use chemotherapy to treat what is left behind after surgery, but only about 25 per cent of the drugs reach the brain, says Dr. Todd Mainprize, who is leading this new study. That is in part why brain cancer survival rates are so low, he says. This new approach involves three steps: First, the patient is given a dose of chemotherapy medication; in Bonny's case, that drug is doxorubicin. Then, harmless gas microbubbles are injected into the bloodstream. The third step uses a high-intensity ultrasound beam directed onto the tumour to cause the bubbles to vibrate and tear apart the proteins around capillaries, allowing the drug into brain tissue. Hall had the procedure performed earlier this week. To ensure it worked, the chemotherapy drug was marked with a chemical tag to make it visible on MRI scans. As the research team watched, the chemotherapy drug moved through Bonny's blood vessels into her tumour. Hall underwent surgery later in the day to have the bulk of her tumour removed. She will also likely receive radiation and chemotherapy as part of her follow-up care. Nine other brain cancer patients will soon be treated in the same way, and then researchers will publish the full results. Kullervo Hynynen, one of the scientists who has been working on this technique, says the animal tests went well and if the approach works in humans, it would be a game-changer. It will give hope to patients who have no hope," Hynynen says..

Environmental and Resource Economics, 12 1 Improving environmental performance of small firms through joint action: Indian tannery clusters. Collective Impacts, Collective Ac- tion pp.

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Shoejob cumshot Watch Hairy pussy fat lips Video Pornhub c0. Sealed off: A policeman guards the scene where blood is still visible on the pavement. The Brit Award-winning artist, who won the BBC's influential Sound of poll, comes from a family of five and also has a younger brother Fortune, younger sister Allegra and another sister, Yasmine. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Pop star Mika's sister fighting for her life after 50ft horror fall leaves her impaled on railings By Daily Mail Reporter Updated: Share or comment on this article: Mika's sister impaled on railings after 50ft window fall is critical in hospital. 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Bing Site Web Enter search term: Charlize Theron: My child I thought was a boy is Dancer beams as he meets fans How you can dress your whole brood on a budget, whatever the occasion Ad Feature Charlize Theron steps out make-up free with eldest child Jackson Chris Hemsworth takes time off promoting Avengers: End Game in China to ride roller coaster at Disneyland Shanghai Mickey Rourke, 66, shows off his smooth complexion as he larks around with his hairdresser outside their favourite pizza haunt Meghan in a sari: Today's headlines Most Read Charlize Theron: For the first time, the Hollywood actress Female journalist, 29, shot dead 'in terrorist incident by dissident republicans' on a night of Examples to point out the changes of solvency capital requirements might help to understand the new world order. Many European states e. This defi- nitely puts constraints on developing a standardized Europe-wide market. As a matter of fact, Solvency II is driven with the objective of developing and facilitat- ing a European Single Market in insurance services the EU legislation but not with the price of losing sight regarding consumer protection. To develop new rules of regulation, four quantitative impact studies QIS have already been undertaken, the fifth study will be run between August and mid-November Participation was voluntarily at all stages, each undertaking business — life, non- life and reinsurance — had to report to their national supervisors before the re- sults were consolidated and evaluated. Methodologies, simulation models and calculations were re-calibrated, developments were taken into account as well as solo results were considered differently as group results, etc. Nonetheless, the exception proves the rule. France has drawn particular atten- tion to the fact that their local insurance companies have a very different busi- ness model. Especially, the French government does not want to lose the insur- ance companies as investors at the Paris Stock Exchange Euronext. The com- panies have the allowance to smoothen their stock investments over several years rather than evaluate them year by year with the implications of deprecia- tions. Notwithstanding all major upheavals as well as paradigm shift for the insurance industry, Solvency II is useful and necessary together. Will insurance clients have the same product? As briefly outlined, insurers have to underlay risky investments with equity capital. This has to be done for both interest mismatch and shares. The problem for insurers will be their lack of equity capital, especially for non-life in- surers. Their actual option can only be, to reduce risky investments. Conse- quently, this implies that customers can only expect lower future returns, but with a higher security level. This fact necessitates an appropriate communication strategy to convince the customers to still sign insurance contracts with more safety but less expected return. Stock Markets: Risk, Return and Economic Fundamentals We will show by using different asset pricing models e. The low ex-post equity premium mainly seems to be a consequence of these shocks, which have been triggered by bursting asset bubbles. As already noted, the so-called subprime mortgage crisis has had massive negative effects on global economic growth and has simultaneously pushed down stock prices and government bond yields. Focussing on data from the European Monetary Union EMU investors had to witness that the Euro Stoxx 50 — a very popular benchmark for asset managers — fell below the mark of 2. After the bursting of the dot-com bubble this was the sec- ond stock market crash whilst one decade. Consequently, equity investors hop- ing for high returns have in general been disappointed since As a matter of fact, examining the data sample January to December the mean stock market return in the EMU was lower than the mean return on German government bonds - still bonds obviously were less risky figure 1. This period is very popular among financial econometricians in order to avoid possible struc- tural breaks due to the introduction of the Euro in January Our gauges of the per- formance of bond investments are the mean returns on the broad REXP and on the REXP 10 years which only includes German government bonds with a ma- turity of 10 years. Risk is measured by the standard deviation of returns. However, there is a simple explanation which already has been discussed: Two stock market crashes within the last decade figure 2 and figure 3. Figure 2: Figure 3: Crashes and Returns as measured by the Euro Stoxx 50 Economic theory does suggest that equity markets are highly volatile so that pronounced drops of share prices are always possible. Therefore, there should be a high risk premium. In fact, analysing long term trends does show that equity returns seem to be too high in order to be explained by some asset pricing mod- els. This is especially true for the consumption based capital asset pricing model CCAPM , which tries to explain stock returns by the consumption of economic agents. Assuming reasonable levels of risk aversion among economic agents consumption expenditures in the U. This is the so-called equity premium puzzle e. Stock market crashes have been suggested to solve this puzzle. However, dramatic events are needed to explain the high return on equities in the last 50 to years e. The two crashes to be observed in the last decade are quite clearly no sufficient solution to the equity premium puzzle. Taking an empirical perspective Campbell and Cochrane argued convin- cingly that the simple Capital Asset Pricing Model CAPM performs better than the more complex consumption based asset pricing model. According to the CAPM there is a strong relationship between risk and return. Therefore, inves- tors ought to expect that the ex ante equity premium will be positive. Similar discussions took place when the dot-com bubble was about to burst. Diamond , for example, discussed stock market return projections evaluating proposals to reform the U. While the recent historical experience quite clearly does suggest that stock mar- ket crashes are a phenomenon of economic relevance most financial economist seem to believe that stock prices in the long run are governed by economic fun- damentals. This assumption has recently been challenged by Boldrin and Peral- ta-Alva At this point, a model is needed to explain the fundamental value of equities. It is quite usual to note that the level of stock prices today is deter- mined by future expected dividend payouts e. More precisely, the present value model predicts that stock prices in period t SPt are given by: In order to use this model to predict stock prices assumptions about future dividend payouts and the required rate of return on equities have to be made. Most notably, Gordon suggested assuming that dividends grow at a constant rate g. Combined with the assumption that the required rate of return on equity is also time- invariant this leads to a very simple version of the model: Analyzing data from the U. Their methodology of just comparing the results of the present value of dividend payouts with the market value of equities is simple but very plausible. Noting that the model may miss some short term fluctuations of the stock market they have focused on low frequency movements of stock prices using the Hodrick-Prescott filter. Their results seem to imply that dividends cannot explain the movements of stock prices. This is especially true after In fact, they have shown that dividend growth did not have a specific trend in the period to while stock prices have increased sharply. Following their methodology we examine the European stock market focusing on the post experience. Our measure of stock market activity is the FTSE Eurotop index which is a modified capi- talization weighted index of the most actively traded and highly capitalized stocks in the European equity market. Stock prices and the data on dividends per index share are from Bloomberg. Our results figure 4 are by far less dis- couraging. Contrary to the U. Figure 4: The dividend time series is seasonally adjusted. According to ADF-tests not reported both variables seem to be non-stationary and integrated of order one. Given this result, we test for cointegration among dividends and stock prices. By definition, two time series integrated of order one are cointegrated when there is a linear combination of these variables that is stationary. The existence of a cointegration relationship between two time series indicates that the variables share a common stochastic trend and — as a consequence - that there is a close equilibrium relationship between them. In other words, finding empirical evidence for the existence of a cointegration relationship among dividends and stock prices would imply that the market value of equities in the long run is closely linked to the economic fundamentals. The procedure suggested by Johansen is used to test for cointegration among the variables examined here. This test is based on the econometric technique of vector autoregressions VAR. The error term ut is assumed to be a serially uncorrelated random variable. Re- arranging the equation yields: T is the number of observations. Including four lags and assuming that the data in levels and the cointegrating equations have linear deterministic trends there is clear evidence for cointegra- tion between the two variables table 1. We have used the critical values pro- vided by MacKinnon et al. Table 1: Linear deterministic trend restricted Lags interval in first differences: A Portmanteau test is not able to reject the null hypothesis of no residual autocorrelation up to 16 lags p-value 0. While there may be some criteria suggesting a higher number of time lags the residuals already seem to be random variables considering only four time lags. This result and the now popular tendency to parsimonious econometric model- ling quite clear speak for our model specification. Hargreaves , for exam- ple, performed Monte Carlo experiments indicating some difficulties with a small sample bias using the Johansen test procedure with less than data points. However, he has also noted that it is a common practice in applied econometrics to work with sample sizes of about 50 observations. Summing up, the empirical evidence reported in this section does indicate that stock prices, at least in the long run, are closely linked to the economic funda- mentals. This finding does imply that speculative bubbles are the exception rather than the rule. Therefore, past equity returns — which have been depressed by two stock market crashes in the last decade — are not necessarily a good guide to forecast future returns. Phrased somewhat differently, economic agents ought to expect a positive ex ante equity premium for the next ten years. This prediction is also supported by the simple CAPM which postulates the existence of a close relationship between risk and return. In the current market environ- ment — which is characterized by low interest rates — asset managers in the life insurance industry do face the problem that they will not be able to generate at- tractive returns. This will most probably especially be true in comparisons to fund managers at mutual funds because Solvency II will force life insurers to perma- nently reduce their exposure to equities. Mutual funds are less constrained. While low equity quotas recently have created no performance problems be- cause of the negative ex post equity premium this will not necessarily be the case in the coming years. In this case asset managers at life insurance companies will most probably not be able to produce as attractive returns as mutual funds. In other words, the characteristics of endowment policies will change in the post Solvency II world. As prescribed by the regulators this financial product will quite clearly generate lower returns — but will also be less risky. Asset managers in the life insurance industry most probably will not be able to solve this problem — so there is some homework to do for the sales and marketing departments! This process involves more or less the fol- lowing steps: Solvency II will cause life insurers to change their investment policies. This will affect the product endowment life insurance. Considering the situation for en- dowment policies in the post Solvency II world the situation obviously differs from the new product process discussed above, because steps 1 through 3 are distinct. Phrased somewhat differently, there is no new product but just a signifi- cant change to the regulatory environment governing existing life insurance poli- cies. Life insurers are in need to alter their asset allocation according to the new law. Describing the situation from a change perspective, the customers in the pre Solvency II world can be classified as in- vestors who want attractive returns at modest levels of risk. But this selection cri- teria cannot be offered sufficiently by the insurers in the post-Solvency II world By changing the product structure, customers will face a situation with lower re- turns and, of course, lower risk. Life insurers are consequently confronted with the situation that the product characteristics have changed but not the customer preferences. First, the shift of customer-preferences and second, target- ing right customers. The well known school of behaviourism e. This SR-Model describes a clear causal structure between the stimuli perceived and the action resulting in open behaviour. Following this, marketers make use of the so called S-O-R model to describe buying behaviour. The neo- behaviouristic S-O-R model is preferred to other buyer-behaviour models e. Elements are the stimulus S , the organism O and the response R of the buyer. The stimulus contains marketing e. Organism describes the influence within the indi- vidual human, and helps to explain different outcomes of the same stimuli. The individual preferences Figure 5: The response is again observable and describes, for example, buying a specific insurance, volume, or fee paid. Using only different advertising to make consumers buy the new insurance product will not be sufficient, because only those with suitable risk aversion and return expectations will match with the post Solvency II en- dowment policy. Not talking about ethics, a supplier wants to make consumers buy his product. Therefore a shift in consumer preferences, inherent in the or- ganism, is necessary. Figure 6 describes this task by showing the needed shift of prefer- ences from a pre Solvency II world to b post Solvency II world. Figure 6: Shift of Preferences Considering the atmosphere after the peak of the financial crisis, the image of speculative investments is badly damaged and trust seems to be lost see Gounaris and Prout On this basis the insurance industry might find a way to change the preferences of the individual organism. Prospect theory shows that the human inherent risk adversity and the predominate insecure economic environment will also support the switch to a more security-wishing investor e. This will be done by using advisements which focus on invest- ment risk vs. But is this strategy made for long term success? Finally the insurance industry could again damage its reputation, pushing the post Solvency II product whether it really fits the customer or not, by using manipulative advertising strategies. To avoid this, a second approach will be out- lined now. As the first approach does not pay attention to customer heterogene- ity, as all investors are receivers of the marketing campaign, the second ap- proach focuses on targeting the right customers. It is characterized by paying attention to the individual preference orientation and works on the investment level of the individual subject, whereas the former approach deals on an aggre- gated crowd level. Market segmentation is seen as method for identifying differ- ent customers groups. Several methods have appeared to build these seg- ments, which require to have intra-segment homogeneity and inter-segment heterogeneity, and will not further be discussed here see Wedel and Kamakura The main task is to identify the individual preference structure, classify the customer and consequently find the right product that matches his prefer- ences. But acting like this, only the customers with preferences b in figure 6 will be addressee of the selling campaign, leaving out customer a. This can be a selling opportunity for other products. But there is already a way out of the di- lemma, not having the right product for specific customers. Making use of the Markowitz Model on individual basis financial counsellors can identify the indi- vidual risk return preference see Markowitz By doing so, the post Sol- vency II endowment policies can also be sold to customers with a differing risk return preference. The Individual Investment Portfolio This of course requires investment in the individual customer relationship, in- creases counselling effort and needs the generation and provision of individual customer data. The usage of data-mining tools for analysing customer invest- ments can be seen as a good starting point. Adaption of conjoint measurement methods during individual guidance can be used to iden- tify customer preferences not only for developing new products, but also for segmentation purpose within a financial service setting DeSarbo et al. This preferences can then be utilized to cross check with the actual investment strategies followed by the customer thereby opening opportunities to sell post Solvency II world endowment policies even if they on there own do not fit the customer preferences. Conclusion Solvency II will change the paradigms of risk and asset management in the European insurance industry. We believe that the new set of regulations will force life insurers to reduce their exposure to equities. We think that the life insurance industry will be forced to reposition the product endowment life insurance. This will mainly be the task of the sales and marketing departments. Quite clearly, the European life insurance industry will have to explain to customers that the characteristics of one of its most impor- tant products is about to change by deemphasising the factor attractive return and focusing more strongly on the factor low risk. Future studies might have a closer look into customer preferences con- sidering the attributes of post Solvency II products. Further on the comparison between low risk Solvency II insurance products and alternative investment products like investment funds or other capital market oriented offers from a cus- tomer viewpoint might give valuable insights to market the new insurance prod- ucts. Conjoint-based preferential segmentation in the design of a new finan- cial service International Journal of Bank Marketing, 14 , 3, pp. Basse, T. Solvency II — wirklich ein fataler Irrtum? Blackwell, R. Consumer behaviour, Fort Worth Boldrin, M. What Happened to the U. Stock Market? Louis Review, 91, , pp. Campbell, J. Cooper, R. DeSarbo, W. Representing heterogeneity in consumer response models, Marketing Letters, 8 , pp. Diamond, P. Gordon, M. Gounaris, K. Hargreaves, C.: Hargreaves, Oxford, Oxford University Press, , pp. The theory of buyer behaviour, New York Huerta de Soto, J.: Johansen, S.: Kahneman, D. Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk, Econometrica, 47 , pp. Kocherlakota, N. The equity premium: Mackinnon, J. Markotwitz, H.: Portfolio Selection, The Journal of Finance, 7, , pp. Meffert, H.: Mehra, R. The Equity Premium: A Puzzle, Journal of Monetary Economics, 15, , pp. M Constantinides, M. Harris and R. Stulz, North Holland, Amsterdam, , pp. Reddemann, S. Rietz, T. The equity risk premium: Romeike, F. Skinner, B. Beyond freedom and dignity, New York Teas, K. Conjoint measurement of consumer's preferences for multiattribute financial services, Journal of Bank Research, , 15, pp. Tversky, A. Advances in prospect theory: Watson, J. Psychology from the standpoint of a behaviourist, Philadelphia Wedel, M. Market segmentation. Conceptual and methodo- logical foundations, Boston Woodworth, R. A study of mental life, New York Zimbardo, P. The objective of this article is to identify the strategic positioning of the footwear manufacturers located in the Vale do Sinos according to the typology described on the literature. This is a descriptive and qualitative study. In-depth interviews were carried out with specialists in the leather goods and footwear industry. Starting from an industrial profile focused on low costs, these companies have realigned themselves to a more market- oriented profile, offering elements of differentiation. The footwear industry is no exception. The chain of production of leather goods and footwear has undergone significant changes in terms of its operational methods, which in turn demands that organi- zations in the sector take a fresh look at their strategic positioning. The footwear industry is characterized by a relatively simple production process made up of distinct stages, and by non-intensive use of technology and a low-skilled work- force, meaning that mobility barriers are relatively easy to overcome and there are few obstacles to new companies entering the industry. In this industry, large companies per- form the sales and distribution roles and coordinate the global production chains, specifying the attributes required of the footwear that is to be produced, such as materials, quantities, models, delivery deadlines, prices and other details. Brazil is the third-largest producer and the fifth-largest exporter of footwear in the world. The Vale do Rio dos Sinos region, which is in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, is one of the most important production centers in Brazil and one of the largest footwear manufacture clusters in the world and the production of foot- wear is responsible a significant source of income for the valley. China has very much lower production costs than Brazil and, taking advantage of the characteristics of the footwear industry described above, it has taken the number one position worldwide in the industry, producing nine billion pairs of shoes in , in comparison to the million pairs produced in Brazil in the same year. Businesses from many different countries have relocated their manufacture to China, in order to take advantage of the economic benefits it of- fers. Faced with these questions, the dynamics of competition merit constant analysis in the search for new opportunities and emerging threats. The strategic choices that companies make have a significant impact on their results. Even when a company is not more efficient operationally, by adopting a strategic position that differentiates it within its market sector, in such a way as to minimize the impact of competition on its demand, that company can survive. Taking these approaches as a starting point, the question arises as to how well the footwear companies in the Vale do Sinos are positioned strategically in order to deal with the new scenario. The remainder of this article has the following structure: Strategy typologies Structural changes within an industry, in this case the footwear industry, force companies to review their strategies and adopt new market positions. The ability to identify new opportunities and to develop and coordinate a new configuration of supplementary internal activities to support them, should be the guiding prin- ciple behind the new position adopted Porter, Defining strategy typologies reduces the complexity of analysis of strategies and synthe- sizes them to point that they support the creation of new contextual dimension Hambrick, It is beyond the scope of this paper to go into greater detail about the Porter or Barney typologies, since they have been ade- quately explored in the academic and business literature and in the specialist press. However, a brief description will be given in order to ground the reader in the subject. Porter suggested that businesses that achieve above-average profits adopt one, and only one, of three generic strategies: According to his theory, cost leadership would be achieved by companies that manage to set their total costs below those of their competition, which would enable them to accumulate financial reserves to absorb the effects of possible price wars, defend against new entrants to the industry or to offer lower prices to the customer. This strategy results in greater customer loyalty and reduced price-sensitivity, distancing the company from its competitors. Mintzberg has pointed out that, when a business achieves lower total costs than its competition and passes these on in the form of lower prices for the customer, this itself is actually a type of differentiation. Finally, a company that follows a focus strategy elects a very specific target market, which translates to a finer granularity in terms of market sectors, distri- bution channels, product attributes or geographical areas. Porter even claimed that businesses that follow more than one generic strategy, or do not successfully implement their chosen strategy, will not achieve returns that are above the industry average. Mintzberg adopts a different point of view regarding differentiation, pro- posing more specific criteria within which companies differentiate their products and services: Differentiation by price consists of offering lower prices than the competition; differentiation by image consists of presenting products in a different manner, such as through distinctive packaging, marketing and other forms of promotional presentation; differentia- tion by support, according to this author, consists of offering products or services that serve to support customers, such as, for example, operating manuals, credit services, customer service and others; differentiation by quality consists of changing the characteristics of the product supplied, such as offering improved performance, durability or other attributes; differentiation on the basis of design implies that the product itself will have a design that sets it apart from the com- petition. Finally, Mintzberg points out that non-differentiation, i. In a more internal view of companies, Barney suggests that an organization's resources are the principal factor leading to competitive advantages. This Resource-Based View RBV , is grounded on the assump- tion that if a firm adequately exploits resources that are valuable, rare, imperfect- ly imitable and non-substitutable,8 it will generate sustainable competitive advan- tages. Empirical evidence on RBV in Brazil was provided by Moraes , who per- formed a study of data from more than fourteen thousand Brazilian companies in different business sectors. The study indicated that organizational internal factors were more strongly correlated with performance than were economic ex- ternal factors. Despite the growing academic and professional interest in RBT, due to the ab- stract nature of the definition of organizational resources adopted, being those factors under the control of a business that offer the potential for strategic ac- tions, creates difficulties for empirical definition. This can be observed in the great diversity of results found Newbert, Methods This study can be described as qualitative, cross-sectional research. An inter- view protocol comprising open questions was administered to ten professionals who had been selected by the following criteria: The results suggest that genetically testing for the three transcription factors may open the door to earlier detection and prevention of multiple sclerosis, hay fever, and potentially other T cell—driven diseases. In a recent study entitled Myeloid Cells As Target Of Gilenya Action In Multiple Sclerosis, a team of scientists investigated the impact of MS treatment Gilenya on the reactivity of myeloid cells, a key group that comprises several immune cells that are activated in MS patients and the underlying cause of the condition. The study was published in the journal Neurology. Gilenya is an analogue of a cellular key protein called sphingosine. When added to cells, Gilenya binds sphingosinephosphate S1P receptors and promote their degradation. Researchers investigated how Gilenya influences the activation of myeloid cells from the periphery to the central nervous system. The team analysed how Gilenya interfered with the activation of immune cells in vitro and later performed further studies where administration of Gilenya during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis a disease model of human MS was used to assess its effects on the activation of splenic, central nervous system infiltrating, and central nervous system resident myeloid cells. Researchers found that in vitro exposure of human monocytes to Gilenya significantly inhibited the reactivity of the monocytes, and that oral administration of Gilenya to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mouse models impaired activation of myeloid cells in the spleen and central nervous system. The team then isolated cells from 11 Gilenya-treated patients, seven patients with untreated MS, and eight healthy participants and determined the activation profile of monocytes in each patient population. They observed that Gilenya-treated MS patients had lower activation of monocytes when compared with monocytes from control participants. The team highlighted that their findings show that Gilenya administration changes the reactivity profile of a wide range of myeloid cells, specifically circulating, central nervous system-infiltrating and central nervous system-resident cells in vitro, in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and in MS. Canadian scientists have made history with a world first, successfully using focused ultrasound to break through one of the human body's final frontiers - the blood-brain barrier. The researchers have unlocked a non-invasive way to deliver medication deep into the brain, opening the door to better treatments for brain tumours, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis. The blood-brain barrier has long been an obstacle for doctors trying to treat brain diseases. The barrier is a layer of tightly packed cells that act like plastic wrap, surrounding each of the brain's blood vessels, protecting them from infections and toxins. Because little can get through this barrier, it is frustratingly difficult for doctors to treat tumours and brain diseases because life-saving drugs can't enter brain cells. But neuroscientists at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre have found a non-invasive solution. They have devised a new technique involving microbubbles and focused ultrasound to get through the barrier. Bonny Hall is the first patient to undergo the technique. Hall is a mother, grandmother and business owner who recently learned that the benign brain tumour she has lived with for eight years had begun to grow quickly and was malignant. Though she was at first stunned by the news, she is now looking forward to being part of this new study. The type of tumour Hall has is a glioma. The tumours are often difficult to treat because spread out in a web, and can't be completely removed with surgery. Doctors can use chemotherapy to treat what is left behind after surgery, but only about 25 per cent of the drugs reach the brain, says Dr. Todd Mainprize, who is leading this new study. That is in part why brain cancer survival rates are so low, he says. This new approach involves three steps: First, the patient is given a dose of chemotherapy medication; in Bonny's case, that drug is doxorubicin. Then, harmless gas microbubbles are injected into the bloodstream. The third step uses a high-intensity ultrasound beam directed onto the tumour to cause the bubbles to vibrate and tear apart the proteins around capillaries, allowing the drug into brain tissue. Hall had the procedure performed earlier this week. To ensure it worked, the chemotherapy drug was marked with a chemical tag to make it visible on MRI scans. As the research team watched, the chemotherapy drug moved through Bonny's blood vessels into her tumour. Hall underwent surgery later in the day to have the bulk of her tumour removed. She will also likely receive radiation and chemotherapy as part of her follow-up care. Nine other brain cancer patients will soon be treated in the same way, and then researchers will publish the full results. Kullervo Hynynen, one of the scientists who has been working on this technique, says the animal tests went well and if the approach works in humans, it would be a game-changer. The end of the war was marked by a shift to a new calendar system, becoming the first year of the "Post-Disaster" era. Some time before the Calamity War, Mars has been terraformed to the extent that it has a breathable atmosphere. With the cooperation of remaining leaders from each surviving faction, Gjallarhorn reorganized Earth's political landscape into four powerful economic blocs. Meanwhile, each of the four power blocks was assigned a sector of Mars to rebuild and build up the Martian governmental structure from scratch. Gjallarhorn itself remained as a peacekeeping force, officially neutral, but ruthlessly crushing any who might threaten international stability again. It achieved this by maintaining a firm monopoly on Ahab Reactor production, though after the Calamity War itself production of new Gundam Frames which were difficult to manufacture was phased out - instead, subsequent generations shifted to using scaled-down, mass-produced versions of the concurrent and simpler Valkyrie Frame. To highlight the discrepancy, records show that the Gundams produced measured in the dozens, but the mass-produced models number in the hundreds. The mainstay of Gjallarhorn's forces are the Graze type Mobile Suit Frames, which utterly dominate the battlefield through superior technology and numbers. Having established stable political relations between these four economic blocs in the Inner Sphere of the Solar System also known as the Earth Sphere , Gjallarhorn also set about ordering the Outer Sphere - primarily consisting of Mars and the Jupiter system and possibly other settlements. Gjallarhorn evenly divided the territories of Mars and the rest of the Outer Sphere between the four different economic blocks for them to rebuild, so that each of the four control different locations on Mars, i. In the subsequent three centuries, Gjallarhorn became increasingly ruthless and corrupt, and meddling in the internal politics of the four economic blocs. Power within Gjallarhorn also became dominated by seven major political dynasties technically not holding official power, but almost like Zaibatsu. Meanwhile, Mars and the rest of the Outer Sphere became the literal Third World for Earth, their resources and raw materials feeding the wealth of the mother planet even as they struggled to survive. Serious economic disparity remained a major problem on Mars, where child labor, human trafficking in the form of child soldiers known as Human Debris, and ordinary child soldiers became commonplace. This in turn has led to civil unrest, but Gjallarhorn and major Earth-based companies keep the locals in line by hiring private military contractors as crowd control- the soldiers in many of which are child soldiers themselves. The heavy use of locally recruited mercenary companies allows the Earth power blocs to fight unrest by proxy, instead of having to spill their own blood for their economic interests on the planet. Over time the economic blocs from Earth have given at least some limited autonomy to their Mars colonies, but this largely exists on paper as neocolonialism through economic domination remains. By the beginning of the TV series in P. Maps even show that a large circle of land in southeastern Australia is missing as a result of the Calamity War - matching how the same region of Australia was devastated by a colony drop in the Universal Century. Orga chose the name "Iron Flower" for them using the metaphor that despite their downtrodden status as child soldiers, like an iron flower, they can't be destroyed no matter how much people seek to crush them. Their current mission is to protect and escort Kudelia Aina Bernstein as she heads to Earth for secret negotiations. Arriving on Earth, Makanai also hires them to send him to the parliament as well with Kudelia. Following the completion of their job, Arbrau hires them as their military advisors. With a massive influx of funding from Teiwaz and eager recruits, they are able to create an Earth branch to advise Arbaur's military and as a whole they became a burgeoning company that is envied by all in their field of work. Befitting of their origin as abused child soldiers, the members who are formerly Human Debris have discarded their red-lined clothing and are treated equally by their leaders. Following the successive plots against them and their allies, orchestrated by Rustal Elion and Iok Kujan of Gjallarhorn, and Jasley Donomikols of Teiwaz, Tekkadan breaks ties with Teiwaz and the Admoss Company to join McGillis Fareed in his war to remove Rustal from power, with the promise of gaining the sovereignty over Mars once McGillis obtains full control over Gjallarhorn at the cost of being Arianrhod's scapegoats. With all their communications to the outside cut off and with Gjallarhorn's manipulation of the media making it seem they would not surrender, Tekkadan was forced to stage a final stand while secretly evacuating as many members as it could through a secret tunnel recently discovered. The group was believed to be eradicated once its base was completely destroyed by a rail gun barrage from orbit. With Orga's death and many of the combatants killed while the none-combatants evacuated, the organization has been disbanded while the survivors lived on under new identities crafted by Makanai in gratitude for their past assistance. With their base having been demolished by a rail gun barrage from orbit, all that remains as a tangible mark of their presence is a memorial stone covered with the names of their fallen near Sakura's farm. It was disbanded and reformed into Tekkadan. A Martian city that has long been governed by Arbrau, one of Earth's four major powers. Its people demand independence from Earth's corrupt and arbitrary rule. While on paper it is an autonomous city, like the rest of Mars, it is actually economically dependent on Earth and so, many of its inhabitants are impoverished..

Human Communication Research, 28 4 The whole relationship between environmental variables and firm performance: Competitive advantage and firm resources as mediator variables. Journal of En- vironmental Management, 90 Ms mika chocolate models Lu, C. Rigor and flexibility in computer-based qua- litative research: Introducing the Coding Analysis Toolkit.

International Journal of Ms mika chocolate models Research Approaches, 2 1 Moreno Mantilla, C. Morgenstern, R. Awe Eds. Banco Mundial and Mayol Ediciones. Organiza- tional learning as a determining factor in business performance. The Learning Organization, 12 3 Palmer, K. Tightening environmental standards: The benefit-cost or the no-cost paradigm? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9 4 Popp, D.

Nude lsdies Watch 1hour xxx move Video Xxxporan Sexcom. As the research team watched, the chemotherapy drug moved through Bonny's blood vessels into her tumour. Hall underwent surgery later in the day to have the bulk of her tumour removed. She will also likely receive radiation and chemotherapy as part of her follow-up care. Nine other brain cancer patients will soon be treated in the same way, and then researchers will publish the full results. Kullervo Hynynen, one of the scientists who has been working on this technique, says the animal tests went well and if the approach works in humans, it would be a game-changer. It will give hope to patients who have no hope," Hynynen says. Sunnybrook cancer specialist Dr. Maureen Trudeau is already planning her own study to see if the therapy can deliver more of the drug Herceptin into the brain tumours of HER2-positive breast cancer patients who have had their disease spread to the brain. A new study claims an abnormality in blood drainage from the brain, known as chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency CCSVI , is not associated with multiple sclerosis MS. Paolo Zamboni, from the University of Ferrar in Italy, first suggested abnormalities in the way blood is drained from the brain and spinal cord may cause damage to the nervous system characterised by MS. In turn, nerves would get damaged, and MS would develop, he claimed. During his study, he reportedly found per cent of the MS patients had CCSVI, and subsequently developed a procedure to restore normal blood flow. Meanwhile, another study found that a treatment for CCSVI, called a liberation procedure, in which the veins are widened, did nothing to relieve symptoms of MS. The current study also used a form of venous imaging called gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance venography, along with extracranial Doppler ultrasound, to compare blood flow out of the brain between MS patients and 60 healthy controls. Costello and her team also questioned whether CCSVI diagnoses were really doing a service to patients. A new study links higher vitamin D levels to possible neuroprotection for individuals with multiple sclerosis. The study, published last Saturday in the European Journal of Neurology, draws a connection between higher vitamin D levels in the blood and higher grey matter levels in the brain. For individuals with MS, low vitamin D levels are linked to relapses and lesions in the brain, wrote principal investigator Ellen Mowry, neurology professor at Johns Hopkins University. MS occurs less frequently in regions closer to the equator, where the exposure to sunlight and to vitamin D is higher, Mowry said. She added that her study aims to further validate that connection between vitamin D levels and MS. The research was conducted using data from a study for which Zamvil was the principle investigator. The MRI data for those individuals was analyzed to measure gray matter volume in the brain and brain atrophy — the loss of brain tissue over time. The researchers looked at new lesions in the brain, which indicate relapses, and measures of atrophy in the brain. The strongest correlation was drawn between lower vitamin D levels and high levels of brain atrophy, Waubant said, though she added that this does not confirm causality, since there may be another factor that leads to both low vitamin D levels and high brain atrophy. The study is one of many looking at the role of vitamin D in MS, and has implications for both the understanding of the causes of the disease and the value of vitamin D supplements in treating it, Waubant said. Vitamin D supplements are already used for MS patients with unusually low vitamin D levels, but there are currently trials ongoing to see how those supplements in different forms can be used to treat the disease overall, Waubant added. Over time, the resulting bouts of inflammation permanently damage the myelin sheath and the nerve fibers it protects, disrupting nerve signals traveling to and from the brain. But the molecular cues that enable autoimmune T cells, which are usually kept at bay by the blood-brain barrier, to slip into the central nervous system had remained unclear. In their latest study, published in Nature Immunology, researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology report these disease-causing autoimmune T cells are lured into the nervous system by monocytes and macrophages, a subset of immune cells better known as the immune system's clean-up crew. By revealing the molecular mechanisms that control neuroinflammation, these findings add a new layer of complexity to our understanding of multiple sclerosis and support the growing appreciation of the significance of the crosstalk between the peripheral immune system and the brain. They also open up new avenues for potential multiple sclerosis therapies via manipulating the levels of immune regulators that contribute to inflammation in the central nervous system. Stress can worsen symptoms of inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis but the molecular mechanisms linking cellular stress signalling and neuroinflammation had remained unclear. A chance encounter between Shaked and co-first author Richard Hanna, Ph. Hanna studies a protein known as Nr4a1, which responds to both inflammatory and stress signals and the researchers hypothesized that it may be a key factor in the prevention of autoimmunity affecting the central nervous system. To address the importance of Nr4a1 in brain autoimmunity, the researchers induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis EAE , a model of multiple sclerosis, in mice with and without Nr4a1. In the absence of Nr4a1, auto-reactive T cells infiltrated the central nervous system much earlier and in greater numbers exacerbating the progression and severity of the disease when compared to the control group. When Shaked and Hanna dug deeper, they discovered that Nr4a1 represses the production of norepinephrine, a major mediator of the body's response to physiological and psychological stressors. How you can dress your whole brood on a budget, whatever the occasion Ad Feature Charlize Theron steps out make-up free with eldest child Jackson Chris Hemsworth takes time off promoting Avengers: End Game in China to ride roller coaster at Disneyland Shanghai Mickey Rourke, 66, shows off his smooth complexion as he larks around with his hairdresser outside their favourite pizza haunt Meghan in a sari: Today's headlines Most Read Charlize Theron: For the first time, the Hollywood actress Female journalist, 29, shot dead 'in terrorist incident by dissident republicans' on a night of Move over Black Friday! Femail reveals the best bank holiday deals on the high street on everything from Flight attendant reveals the tell-tale sign passengers are joining the mile high club Two die after being pulled from the sea off Aberdeen beach in the early hours of Good Friday The brutal realities of childbirth: Viral image shows what 10 centimeters of dilation really looks like Dame Emma jets 5, miles to show how green she is! Actress issues call-to-arms for climate activists to Skateboarding plod? No, send in the riot squad Eco-mob plot to ruin Easter: Climate protesters vow to bring Heathrow to its knees on Good Friday The Cotswold Conspirators: How four key players in the Extinction Rebellion eco-mob plotted chaos in London Hey you pagan eco pixies, here are ten things you SHOULD protest about 'I live in a family of 15 people and my parents are abusive - my sisters are chained up': Chilling call The stability of the cluster solu- tion was assessed by sorting the observations in a different order and then per- forming the analysis repeatedly Hair et al. Discussion, conclusions and implications for future research Two decades ago, the main preoccupation of Colombian firms in connection with the natural environment was to respond to the body of regulations by then just enacted. Today, van Hoof and Herrera state, the environmental context of industry in Colombia shows a more complex panorama, where environmental management influences more directly the commercial and competitive strategies of firms. On the one hand, our research findings provide support to this claim by typifying firms according to their environmental practices in three groups. Solely based in our findings, we are not able to check for the influ- ences of the changing institutional environment on the differentiated degrees of proactivity exhibited by sample firms. However, we explore rigorously the asso- ciation between endogenous capabilities and environmental strategy, which constitutes one of the core tenets of the Natural-Resource-Based View of the firm. As Hart suggested in his seminal work, these are strategic resources capabilities that enable organizations to implement pollution-prevention and product-stewardship strategies, respectively, which in turn could be associated to eco-advantage via reduced costs improved productivity and preemption of competitors. In fact, we find that more proactive firms tend to perceive a slightly favorable to favorable impact of environmental management activities EMA on costs and market opportunities, relative to a basically neutral effect of EMA on cost and marketability perceived by reactive firms. We find that the more a firm perceives favorably the policy style of the regulator, the likelier will be for that firm to deploy a continuous improvement capability to develop an eco-efficiency environmental strategy. Our interview data and findings from previous work Mo- reno suggest that the regulator is increasingly embodying new responsibil- ities that span beyond the traditional enforcement role. Some of these responsi- bilities are captured by specific dimensions of the policy style as we operationa- lized it: References Acedo, F. The resource-based theory: Dissemination and main trends. Strategic Management Journal, 27 7 , Ahmed, K. Using supply-chain networks to help small and medium-sized enterprises adopt environmental management systems: The Guadalajara envi- ronmental management Pilot. Blackman Ed. Collective impacts, collective action pp. Washington, D. Resources for the Future. Amit, R. Strategic assets and organizational rent. Strategic Management Journal, 14 1 , A contingent resource-based view of proactive corporate environmental strategy. The Academy of Management Re- view, 28 1 , Environmental strategy and performance in small firms: A resource- based perspective. Journal of Environmental Management, 86 1 , Argyris, C. Organizational Learning. Bansal, P. Why companies go green: A model of ecological responsiveness. Academy of Management Journal, 43 4 , Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17 1 , Biondi, V. Achieving sustainability through environmental in- novation: The role of SMEs. Blackman, A. Small firms and the environment in developing countries: Col- lective impacts, collective action. Buysse, K. Proactive environmental strategies: Strategic Management Journal, 24 5 , Unpublished document. Christmann, P. Effects of "best practices" of environmental management on cost advantage: The role of complementary assets. Academy of Manage- ment Journal, 43 4 , Coronado, H. Creswell, J. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed approaches 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks: Cruz, G. Desarrollo y Sociedad, 54, Green to gold: How smart companies use envi- ronmental strategy to innovate, create value, and build competitive advantage. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. Etzion, D. Research on organizations and the natural environment, present: A review. Journal of Management, 33 4 , Hair, J. Multivariate data analysis 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Hansen, O. Environmental innova- tions in small and medium sized enterprises. Hart, S. A natural-resource-based view of the firm. The Academy of Management Review, 20 4 , Hayes, A. Answering the call for a standard reliability measure for coding data. Communication Methods and Measures, 1 1 , El Medio Ambiente en Colombia. Environmental policy and innovation: An international comparison of policy frameworks and innova- tion effects. Hemmelskamp, K. Leone Eds. Heidelberg-New York: Kagan, R. Nash Eds. Karagozoglu, N. Environmental management: Testing the win—win model. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 43 6 , Kemp, R. The diffusion of biological waste water treatment plants in the Dutch food and beverage industry. Environmental and Resource Economics, 12 1 , Improving environmental performance of small firms through joint action: Indian tannery clusters. Collective Impacts, Collective Ac- tion pp. Klassen, R. The impact of environmental man- agement on firm performance. Management Science, 42 8 , The Academy of Management Journal, 42 6 , Krippendorff, K. Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. Lombard, M. Content anal- ysis in mass communication: Assessment and reporting of intercoder reliability. Human Communication Research, 28 4 , The whole relationship between environmental variables and firm performance: Competitive advantage and firm resources as mediator variables. Journal of En- vironmental Management, 90 10 , Lu, C. Rigor and flexibility in computer-based qua- litative research: Introducing the Coding Analysis Toolkit. International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 2 1 , Moreno Mantilla, C. Morgenstern, R. Awe Eds. Banco Mundial and Mayol Ediciones. Organiza- tional learning as a determining factor in business performance. The Learning Organization, 12 3 , Palmer, K. Tightening environmental standards: The benefit-cost or the no-cost paradigm? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9 4 , Popp, D. Porter, M. Toward a new conception of the environ- ment-competitiveness relationship. Reinhardt, F. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 3 1 , Cepeda Ulloa, F. Ariel, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo. Russo, M. A resource-based perspective on corporate environmental performance and profitability. Academy of Management Journal, 40 3 , Sabogal, J. Sharma, S. Proactive corporate environmental strate- gy and the development of competitively valuable organizational capabilities. Strategic Management Journal, 19 8 , Shrivastava, P. Environmental technologies and competitive advantage. Strategic Management Journal, 16 Special Issue: Smith, K. Organizational learning and resource-based theory: An integrative model. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 9 6 , Handbook of mixed methods social and behavioral research. Uribe Botero, E. Del Valle Ed. Santiago de Chile: Universidad de los An- des, 26, Wagner, M. The effect of corporate environmental strategy choice and environmental performance on competitiveness and eco- nomic performance: An empirical study of EU manufacturing. European Man- agement Journal, 22 5 , Karagozoglu and Lindell ; 2. How much attention does the firm pays to each stakeholder? As a consequence, the minimum and maximum scores of that scale are respectively 1 and Interaction systems are defined as an important part of the infrastruc- ture for scientific and technological progress and for the knowledge based econ- omy creation. The main definitions and principles of the interaction between systems of re- search, teaching, training, consultancy and practical business are characterized, the main problems of such interaction in the context of globalization and interna- tionalization processes are analyzed. In the sphere of the systems of interaction of research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing busi- ness, some multifaceted and somewhat contradictory trends occur, the most im- portant trends are described. Interaction between systems of research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical business in the context of the activation of scientific and technological progress and the creation of knowledge based economy is characterized as the case of Lithuania. Introduction Acceleration of scientific and technological progress and creation of knowledge economy is an essential priority in today's society and its social economic devel- opment. Particular impor- tance should be given to the systems interoperability in scientific research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business. System interoperability in scientific research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business is an absolutely complex phenomenon that re- quires solid scientific knowledge and effective theoretical solutions. This publication provides exhaustive exploration of the possibilities to improve the interoperability among different systems operating in the overall scientific and technological progress, in addition, it discloses principles of mutual interope- rability among the organizations operating in scientific research, training, stu- dies, consultancy and business development and other entities, as well as trends for the development are highlighted here. Main focus is put on the development of such an interaction in the circums- tances of Lithuania. Interaction between different institutions as a key priority for the activation of scientific and technological progress: Some research works on management models and methods using for living up the processes of scientific and technological progress and creation of knowledge economy could be choosen Ginevicius ; Zavadskas ; Rutkauskas ; Melnikas — Such interaction allows the search of different synergy effects, provides vitalization of innovations and posi- tively influences production of the new quality products. Moreover, the strengthening of such an interaction is an especially important re- quirement to develop the sector of high-technology and enhance production of technology-oriented products. Particularly important areas of interaction are re- garded in the interaction between systems where: In the most common case mentioned systems as a whole include processes of scientific research, teaching, training and consultancy business, as well as ac- tivities of practical production. It can be suggested that interaction between these particular systems embracing such activities must be given a priority atten- tion, since the combination of these activities reflect upon whole a complex of activities, offering a strong commonality. It is clear that orientation towards commonality of such complex of activities shows in interconnection, of the three elements including: The described combination essentially represents a single system, whose main elements are precisely the processes developing scientific research and intellec- tual resources, processes of human resources development and training for sci- entific and technological advancement, as well processes of qualitatively differ- ent manufacturing. Recognizing that these systems research, teaching, training, advice and practi- cal manufacturing business need multifaceted interaction, a question naturally arises concerning organizational forms capable to implement this interoperabil- ity. To implement interaction between research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical productive business the international practice widely applies various organizational forms. Among these forms very popular are the innovation cen- ters, business incubators, parks of science and technology, various industrial units, techno-poles, clusters, as well as all of these organizations and networks in various combinations: In the sphere of the interaction between the systems of scientific research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business certain regularities manifest themselves, through which certain principles characteristic to the interaction show, and trends of development form as a consequence of such practice of integration. Principles of interaction between the systems of re- search, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business and trends of the development of such interaction Interaction between the systems of research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business represent a very complex area in which vari- ous principles are implemented and lot of different trends emerge. In this area, among the most important principles these are to be considered: It is clear that among the principles manifesting within the systems of interaction in research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing busi- ness other principles can be mentioned albeit the most important principles should be considered those mentioned earlier. In the sphere of the systems of interaction of research, teaching, training, con- sultancy and practical manufacturing business, some multifaceted and some- what contradictory trends occur. Among general trends as very significant the following can be identified: What is more, it is to be said that in the sphere of interaction between the sys- tems of the research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business some inconsistent trends show. Among these trends fairly specific trends can be considered as extremely important that can be called the tenden- cies of imitation of increasing scientific and technological progress: Among the tendencies of imitation of increasing scientific and technological progress some of the characteristic trends can be observed: Trends in simulation listed earlier at the same time reflect some of the problems that actually occur and manifest in various chains of acceleration and activation of scientific and technological progress. Targeted response to those needs is an important precon- dition to accelerate and intensify scientific and technological progress and create the knowledge economy in various countries, including Lithuania. Bridging science and business in Lithuania: This requires: The political decisions were made in Lithuania, that further development of the knowledge economy infrastructure e. That will necessitate a better public — private sectors collaboration so as to arrive at innovative management models and strategies underpinning the knowledge economy in Lithuania. The widening and deepening of the European integration markedly increased competitive pressures, so companies began looking for new, sustainable and dynamic advantages. Given that the continent is aging pretty rapidly and immi- gration presents a problem for a number of reasons, a shortage of qualified labor is developing, which can be best addressed by taking advantage of the digital- knowledge revolution and of the potential of new EU members such as Lithua- nia. Large European and multinational corporations e. They first realized that high initial costs of research and human-intellectual capital costs are efficiently spread only over longer periods and larger geographical areas. The vision they have, specifically their new-frontier mentality and the ability to develop integra- tive thinking across functional areas of business, not only at the highest man- agement levels but, what is even more important, at lower management levels resulted in knowledge-sensitive enterprise cultures and the resultant organiza- tional learning regarding new business models and strategies. Lisbon Strategy. The unique European competitive advantage e. The chief criterion for Lithuania before to become a full member of the EU was the capability to withstand the European competitive pressures. While in the first period lower labor costs do provide certain competitive advantages pretty much across the branches of economic activity, this factor was of rather short duration in the case of Lithuania or other transition economies. Knowledge economy provides such opportunities es- pecially in the context of knowledge and innovation in the European and global business. The dominant challenge before Lithuania is how to use a considerable theoreti- cal research e. There is a need to develop a prac- tice-oriented strategy for knowledge-based economy in Lithuania. The theory-practice gap has been something of a problem inherited from the communist period, as are the inter-institutional collaboration shortcomings. One important aspect of that challenge is the interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary nature of modern business models that mandates integrative thinking and puts a premium on those managers who are able to integrate functional perspectives. Nowadays universities must be prepared for new challenges which are predicted by aging population, Global energetic and climate changes and other social processes. They must be prepared to identify, detect and analysis new business opportunities. Therefore they have a need for learning by developing a new curricula that applies to professors and students. It could well be that knowledge management is that vehicle and that frame of mind that can help support research networks, which are the lifeblood of the in- tegration in to European research. At the present time in Lithuania five programmes of integrated research, higher education and business centers valleys are prepared. The integrated research, higher education and business center valley is a research, higher education and knowledge-intensive business potential concentrated in a single territory, which has a common or related infrastructure and purposefully contributes to the creation of knowledge based society and knowledge based economy. Valleys in Lithuania are created seeking to concentrate, renew and optimize the infrastructure, which would enable state-of-the-art technologies and other most promising sectors of science, technologies and business to be developed, rela- tions between scientific research and higher education to be strengthened, close interaction between scientific research, science, higher education and know- ledge-intensive business to be ensured, as well as to engage in training re- searchers and other specialists. Also, it is sought to develop scientific co-operation of the highest level on the na- tional and international scale, to attract necessary foreign investments of great intellectual potential, and on the basis of research and higher education, as well as knowledge intensive business to create clusters of knowledge based econo- my. At the present time the following centers are working on programmes and have already presented the improved visions: Sunrise valley in Vilnius was established in May Knowledge economy clusters are successfully created near Universities in dif- ferent countries. Very successfully towards this direction are developing our neighbors-Nordic countries. Technological parks Kista and Technopolis are well known knowledge economy clusters in all over the world. The neighboring country Poland also has great achievements in this field of activities. Poland is successfully developing 45 ha square technological park Technoport near the capital Warsaw. In reality Sunrise valley accumulated potential of the best Lithua- nian research and study institutions , think tanks, consultants, firms and organi- zations and is ready to tap into the growing stock of global knowledge and adapt it to local needs. Such a vision for Sunrise Valley in the year was predicted by International Consortium Cen- tre for Strategy and Evaluation Services, famous technological parks from Great Britain, Sweden and experienced local business partners. According to the eval- uations by the year in territory of 2. Innova- tion center for the development of laser and IT as well as the formation of busi- ness incubator and a scientific—technological park. It will be companies estab- lished by universities and research centers, where students, professors and re- searchers from those institutions will work. Particularly important areas of interaction are regarded in the interaction be- tween systems where: Interaction between the systems of research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business represent a very complex area in which vari- ous principles are implemented and lot of different trends emerge. Among the most important principles these are to be considered: The needs for efficient cooperation between the systems of scientific research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical production prove to exist in all spheres of modern society and its social economic life. Bridging science and business together is the important priority in the process of the creation of knowledge based economy in Lithuania. References Cohendet, P. The digital divide in Europe. Analyse et Pros- pective An introduction to the economy of the knowledge society, International Social Science Journal IT industry development and the knowledge economy: Farnsworth, K. Promoting business-centred welfare: International and Eu- ropean business perspectives on social policy, Journal of European Social Poli- cy 15 1: ISSN Grace, A. Beyond knowledge management: The Graze Frame is a simplified version of the Grimgerde's Valkyrja Frame, Much of the Grimgerde's design philosophy was analyzed and adapted by Gjallarhorn into what would eventually become the EB Graze after the Calamity War, including the unit's highly sensitive head sensors and simple construction to minimize energy consumption. The Reginlaze Frame is the planned successor of the Graze Frame. In contrast, the Graze was intended to be used as an armed peacemaker and deterrence against insurrection. It was developed in secret and quietly issued to key individuals in the Arianrhod fleet. Its classified nature is secretive enough that important Gjallarhorn officers outside of Arianrhod have only heard rumors about its existence and operational status. It is also recent enough that there are only 18 units currently constructed, with all assigned to ace pilots in Arianrhod. The Rodi Frame is one of several mobile suit frames produced during the Calamity War, serving as the main mobile suit frame for the Outer Sphere for many years. The Rodi Frame is incredibly versatile; suits built with it are primarily designed for use in space and are often equipped with extremely heavy armor because of the lack of gravity. It is a common civilian-use frame because of this versatility. The Hexa Frame is a unique mobile suit configuration in the respect that its cockpit is located in the head or backpack rather than the torso and the legs can be of the standard type or uniquely jointed to allow for grappling in space. Compared to other mobile suit frames, Hexa-Frame suits are known to have a higher pilot survival rate, offsetting their high attrition rate from lack of armor by retaining the number of experienced pilots thanks to their cockpit's unique design. Widely produced during the Calamity War, they are second only to the Rodi Frame in terms of the number produced from that time period. Mobile armors are a terrifying and dangerous type of mobile weapon technology deployed during the Calamity War. These gigantic weapons are controlled by an artificial intelligence and were feared by the people during the period. As the use of artificial intelligence removes the factor of ethics from the mobile armor, it is capable of unrestrained violence, with hundreds of millions of deaths being associated with the machines. It was not until the appearance of the Gundam Frame that the threat was erased. Mobile suits were originally created to counter mobile armors and the two are essentially arch-enemies. Ultimately, a quarter of the Earth's population died at their hands before they were either destroyed or shut down. After the Calamity War, they were banned from being used or created again and were purged from the general populace's memory. Like mobile suits, mobile armors use Ahab Reactor as main power source, have a frame made from rare metal, and are protected by Nanolaminate Armor. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Find sources: Anime News Network. December 8, Retrieved Char's Counterattack Gundam F91 Gundam: Green Divers Gundam Hathaway's Flash War in the Pocket Island Wars Mobile Suit Gundam: Prologue .

Porter, M. Toward a new conception of the see more ment-competitiveness relationship. Reinhardt, F. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 3 1 Cepeda Ulloa, F. Ariel, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo. Russo, M. A resource-based perspective on corporate environmental performance and profitability.

Academy of Management Journal, 40 3 Sabogal, J. Sharma, S. Proactive corporate environmental strate- gy and the development of competitively valuable organizational capabilities. Strategic Management Journal, 19 8 Shrivastava, P. Environmental technologies and competitive advantage. Strategic Management Journal, 16 Special Issue: Smith, K. Organizational learning and resource-based theory: An integrative model.

Journal of Organizational Change Management, 9 6 Handbook of mixed methods social and behavioral research. Uribe Botero, E. Del Valle Ed. Santiago de Chile: Universidad de los An- des, 26, Wagner, M. The effect of corporate environmental strategy choice and environmental performance on competitiveness and eco- nomic performance: An empirical study of EU manufacturing. European Man- agement Journal, 22 5 Karagozoglu and Lindell ; 2. How much attention does the firm pays to each stakeholder? As a consequence, the minimum and maximum scores of https://cloudadult24.cloud/brazilian/video-2020-01-09.php scale are respectively 1 and Interaction systems are defined as an important part of the infrastruc- ture for scientific and technological progress and for the knowledge based econ- omy creation.

The main definitions and principles of the interaction between systems of re- search, teaching, training, consultancy and practical business are characterized, the main problems of such interaction in the context of globalization and interna- tionalization processes are analyzed.

In the sphere of the systems of interaction Ms mika chocolate models research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing busi- ness, some multifaceted and somewhat contradictory trends occur, the most im- portant trends are described.

Interaction between systems of research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical business in the context of the activation of scientific and Ms mika chocolate models progress and the creation of knowledge based economy is characterized as more info case of Lithuania.

Introduction Acceleration of scientific and technological progress and creation Ms mika chocolate models knowledge economy is an essential priority in today's society and its social economic devel- opment.

Particular Ms mika chocolate models tance should be given to the systems interoperability in scientific research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business. System interoperability in scientific research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business is an absolutely complex phenomenon that re- quires solid scientific knowledge and effective theoretical solutions.

This publication provides exhaustive exploration of the possibilities to improve the interoperability among different systems operating in the overall scientific and technological progress, in addition, it discloses principles of mutual interope- rability among the organizations operating in scientific research, training, stu- dies, consultancy and business development and other entities, as well as trends for the development are highlighted here.

Main focus is put on the development of such an interaction in the circums- tances of Lithuania. Interaction between different institutions as a key priority for the activation of scientific and technological progress: Some research works on management models and methods using for living up the processes of scientific and technological progress and creation of knowledge economy could be choosen Ginevicius ; Zavadskas ; Rutkauskas ; Melnikas — Such interaction allows the search of different synergy effects, provides vitalization of innovations and posi- tively influences production of the new quality products.

Moreover, the strengthening of such an interaction is an especially important re- quirement to develop the sector of high-technology and enhance production of technology-oriented products. Particularly important areas of interaction are re- garded in the interaction between systems where: In the most common case Ms mika chocolate models source as a whole include processes of scientific research, teaching, training and consultancy business, as well as ac- tivities of practical production.

It can be suggested that interaction between these particular systems embracing such activities must be given a priority atten- tion, since the combination of these activities reflect upon whole a complex of activities, offering a strong commonality.

It is clear that orientation towards commonality of such complex of activities shows in interconnection, of the three elements including: The described combination essentially represents a single system, whose main elements are precisely the Ms mika chocolate models developing scientific research and intellec- tual resources, processes of human resources development and training for sci- entific and technological advancement, as well processes of qualitatively differ- ent manufacturing.

Recognizing that these systems research, teaching, training, advice and practi- cal manufacturing business need multifaceted interaction, a question naturally arises concerning organizational forms capable Ms mika chocolate models implement this interoperabil- ity. To implement interaction between research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical productive business the international practice widely applies various organizational forms.

Among these forms very popular are the innovation cen- Ms mika chocolate models, business incubators, parks of science and technology, various industrial units, techno-poles, clusters, as well as all of these organizations and Ms mika chocolate models in various combinations: In the sphere of the interaction between the Ms mika chocolate models of scientific research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business Ms mika chocolate models regularities manifest themselves, through which certain principles characteristic to the interaction show, and trends of development form as a consequence of such practice of integration.

Principles of Ms mika chocolate models between the systems of re- search, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business and trends of the development of such interaction Interaction between the systems of research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business represent a very complex area in which vari- ous principles are implemented and lot of different trends emerge.

In this area, among the most important principles these are to be considered: It is clear that among the principles manifesting within the systems of interaction in research, learn more here, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing busi- ness other principles can be mentioned albeit the most important principles should be considered those mentioned earlier.

In the sphere of the Ms mika chocolate models of interaction of research, teaching, training, con- sultancy and practical manufacturing business, some multifaceted and some- what contradictory trends occur. Among general trends as very significant the following can be identified: What is more, it is to be said that in the sphere of interaction between the sys- tems of the research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business some inconsistent trends show.

Among these trends fairly specific trends can be considered as extremely important that can be called the tenden- cies of imitation of increasing scientific and technological progress: Among the tendencies of imitation of increasing scientific and technological progress some of the characteristic trends can be observed: Trends in simulation listed earlier at the same time reflect some of the problems that actually occur and manifest in various chains of acceleration and activation of scientific and technological progress.

Targeted response to those needs is an important precon- dition to accelerate and intensify scientific and technological progress and create the knowledge economy in various countries, including Lithuania. Bridging science and business in Lithuania: This requires: The political decisions were made in Lithuania, that further development of the knowledge economy infrastructure e.

That will necessitate a better public — private sectors collaboration so as to arrive at innovative Ms mika chocolate models models and strategies underpinning the knowledge economy in Lithuania.

The widening and deepening of the European integration markedly increased competitive pressures, so companies began looking for new, sustainable and dynamic advantages.

The process attaches disease-related protein fragments called autoantigens to spleen cells to prevent a disease known as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, or EAE, which causes brain and spinal cord inflammation in animal models. EAE is commonly used in research because it mimics some of the traits of multiple sclerosis Ms mika chocolate models humans.

Given that the continent is aging pretty rapidly and immi- gration presents a problem for a number of reasons, a shortage of qualified labor is developing, which can be best addressed by taking advantage Ms mika chocolate models the digital- knowledge revolution and of just click for source potential of new EU members such as Lithua- nia.

Large European and multinational click e. They first realized that high initial costs of research and human-intellectual capital costs are efficiently spread Ms mika chocolate models over longer periods and larger geographical areas.

The vision they have, specifically their new-frontier mentality and the ability to develop integra- tive thinking across functional areas of business, not only at the highest man- agement levels but, what is even more important, at lower management levels resulted in knowledge-sensitive enterprise cultures and the resultant organiza- tional learning regarding new business models and strategies. Lisbon Strategy. The unique European competitive advantage e.

The chief criterion for Lithuania before to become a full member of the EU was the capability to withstand the European competitive pressures.

While in the first period lower labor costs do provide certain competitive advantages pretty much across the branches of economic activity, this factor was of rather short duration in the case of Lithuania or other transition economies.

Knowledge economy provides such opportunities es- pecially in the context of Ms mika chocolate models and innovation in the European and global Ms mika chocolate models.

The dominant challenge before Lithuania is how to use a considerable theoreti- cal research e. There is a need to develop a prac- tice-oriented strategy for knowledge-based economy in Lithuania. The theory-practice gap has been something of a problem inherited from the communist period, as are the inter-institutional collaboration shortcomings.

One important aspect of that challenge is the interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary nature of modern business models that mandates integrative thinking and here a premium on those managers who are Ms mika chocolate models to integrate functional perspectives.

Nowadays universities must be prepared for new challenges which are predicted by aging population, Global energetic and climate changes and other social processes. They must be prepared to identify, detect and analysis new business opportunities. Therefore they have a need for learning by developing a new curricula that applies to professors and students.

MS news archive November 2019

It could well be that knowledge management is that vehicle and that frame of mind that can help support research networks, which are the lifeblood of the in- tegration in to European research. At the present time in Lithuania five programmes of integrated research, higher education and business Ms mika chocolate models valleys are prepared.

The integrated research, higher education and business center article source is a research, higher education and knowledge-intensive business potential concentrated in a single territory, which has a common or related infrastructure and purposefully contributes to the creation of knowledge based society and knowledge based economy.

Valleys in Lithuania are created seeking to concentrate, renew and optimize the infrastructure, which would enable state-of-the-art technologies and other most promising sectors of science, technologies and business to be developed, rela- tions between scientific research and higher education to be strengthened, close interaction between scientific research, science, higher education and know- ledge-intensive business to be ensured, as well as to engage in training re- searchers and other specialists.

Also, source is sought to develop scientific co-operation of the highest level on the na- tional and international scale, to attract necessary foreign investments of great intellectual potential, and on the basis of research and higher education, as well as knowledge intensive business to create clusters of knowledge based econo- my.

At the present time the following centers are working on programmes and have already presented the improved visions: Sunrise valley in Vilnius Ms mika chocolate models established in May Knowledge economy clusters are successfully created near Universities in dif- ferent countries. Very successfully towards this direction are developing our neighbors-Nordic countries.

Technological parks Kista and Technopolis are well known knowledge economy clusters in all over the world. The Ms mika chocolate models country Poland also has great Ms mika chocolate models in this field of activities.

Ms mika chocolate models is successfully developing 45 ha square technological park Technoport near the capital Warsaw. In reality Sunrise valley accumulated potential of the best Lithua- nian research and study institutionsthink tanks, consultants, firms and organi- zations and is ready to tap into the growing stock of global knowledge and adapt it to local needs.

Such a vision for Sunrise Valley in the year was predicted by International Consortium Cen- Ms mika chocolate models for Strategy and Evaluation Services, famous technological parks from Great Britain, Sweden and experienced local business partners. According to the eval- uations by the year in territory of 2.

Sonja porn Watch Teen college gf threesome Video Malish Xxx. The approach used to treat autoimmune diseases isn't new. Food and Drug Administration for drug delivery in several clinical trials. Compared with the previously reported autoantigen-coupling method known as EDCI, this method makes the process faster, easier and less toxic to cells, Xia said. While EAE in animals isn't identical to MS, Xia said there are enough similarities to believe that the same immunotherapy approach could eventually be used to treat humans. While no clinical trials have been scheduled, Xia said his new approach shows potential for making the leap from the laboratory to the clinic. Sulfo-SMCC, the chemical used to bind the autoantigen to spleen cells, has already been used for drug delivery in some clinical trials. Because the chemical is already in use, that could shorten the amount of time needed to get the new process tested in humans, Xia said. If used in humans someday, it's likely the protein fragments known as autoantigens would be coupled to peripheral white blood cells and delivered by transfusion. The same principle that makes the autoantigen therapy effective against EAE in mice should be able to benefit humans, according to Xia. This is in keeping with the recent literature, pointed out the investigators. On the other hand, in settings where resources are scare, the BICAMS represents a valid alternative to a more comprehensive test, said Amato and colleagues. They added that since cognitive evaluations in their study were performed by neuropsychologists, further analyses are needed to confirm the external validity of their findings. While the BRB remains the most commonly used instrument to assess cognitive dysfunction in MS and has good psychometric properties, it is not suited to everyday clinical practice, noted the investigators. Among other considerations, it takes 45 minutes to administer and results require expert interpretation. The BICAMS, developed as an CI assessment tool that can be used routinely, has been recommended as an international, validated, and standardized brief cognitive test, noted the investigators. In the study, a total of MS patients women; 50 men were recruited from consecutive admissions to 11 major Italian MS centres. All participants had a diagnosis of relapsing-remitting RR MS. Cognitive impairment, which affects per cent of patients with MS, was defined as the failure on at least two tests scores below the fifth percentile on the BRB and as the failure on at least one test of the BICAMS. The agreement between the performances on the two batteries was assessed through Cohen's K statistic, said the investigators, who added that they calculated the sizes of effects for each test of the two batteries using Cohen's d the difference between means divided by pooled SD. Results showed that patients' mean scores in all cognitive measures examined were lower than those of healthy subjects, a finding in accordance with the typical cognitive profile in MS patients, noted the investigators. In the study, MS society-funded experts will give subjects a hot chocolate drink rich in flavonoids, which are believed to help reduce inflammation. Forty people with MS will be given hot chocolate every day over six weeks - half of them getting a flavonoid-rich drink while the others will be given a drink with low levels of flavonoids. There's no cure for fatigue in people with MS, although the majority of those with the condition experience this symptom at some point. Without MS specialist nurses, people with MS say they would have to manage alone, or seek care from overstretched GPs or even hospital emergency departments without specialist knowledge and experience, all at an increasing cost to the NHS, making MS specialist nurse cutbacks a false economy for the national health care provider. However, they note that half of the people living with MS in the U. The report also reveals people with MS are finding it hard to access MS education and symptom management courses due to the pressures on specialist nurses time and resources. With new approaches to MS being developed and new treatments becoming available, we believe MS specialists nurses are going to become even more important in ensuring coordinated care for everyone living with MS. Following the success of this project, the MS Trust will continue to work closely with MS services to help them meet the needs of everyone living with MS. In the study, published in BMJ Open, only two-thirds of clinical trials per drug that supported new drug approvals in were disclosed, falling below legal and ethical standards. In addition, almost half of all reviewed drugs had at least one undisclosed Phase 2 or 3 trial. The rankings are the result of a study to evaluate clinical trial registration, reporting and publication rates for 15 new drugs approved by the FDA in by both legal requirements, as established by the U. Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act FDAAA , and the ethical standard that all human subjects research should be publicly accessible to contribute to generalizable knowledge. Wide variation in practices among drugs and their sponsors was observed. This framework has been developed over the last six years and Bioethics International is now expanding the rankings to include drugs approved in other years as well as additional trial sponsors. The organisation plans to release these rankings annually with goal of improving biopharmaceutical company compliance with legal and ethical standards and the quality of medical knowledge. Miller, Ph. The Good Pharma Scorecard enables the biopharmaceutical industry to evaluate its performance across key areas of ethical and legal concern and offers companies the ability to publicly demonstrate meaningful improvement in trustworthiness over time. For the first time, the Hollywood actress Female journalist, 29, shot dead 'in terrorist incident by dissident republicans' on a night of Move over Black Friday! Femail reveals the best bank holiday deals on the high street on everything from Flight attendant reveals the tell-tale sign passengers are joining the mile high club Two die after being pulled from the sea off Aberdeen beach in the early hours of Good Friday The brutal realities of childbirth: Viral image shows what 10 centimeters of dilation really looks like Dame Emma jets 5, miles to show how green she is! Actress issues call-to-arms for climate activists to Skateboarding plod? No, send in the riot squad Eco-mob plot to ruin Easter: Climate protesters vow to bring Heathrow to its knees on Good Friday The Cotswold Conspirators: How four key players in the Extinction Rebellion eco-mob plotted chaos in London Hey you pagan eco pixies, here are ten things you SHOULD protest about 'I live in a family of 15 people and my parents are abusive - my sisters are chained up': Chilling call Norwegian Air is blasted over page dress code that forces Bank of England fears as UK debt rises to Eight fabulous meals that make for a low-carb family feast: Britain is set to bask in Bank Holiday sunshine as temperatures soar to 77F for the hottest Easter weekend Bhatnagar, A. An analysis of frequency and duration of search on the Internet. Journal of Business, 77, Blankenbaker, J. Paid search for online travel agencies: Exploring strategies for search keywords. Journal of Revenue and Pricing Ma- nagement, 8, Buchanan, L. The new basics of marketing. Inc, 30,. Chen, J. Auctioning keywords in online search. Journal of Marketing, 73, Colorado Business Economic Outlook. The global net. Information Today, 21, Cusumano, M. What it is and what it is not. Communication of the ACM, 48, Dwyer, L. Destination price competitiveness: Exchan- ge rate changes versus domestic inflation. Journal of Travel Research, 40, Elliott, R. The marketing of tourism services using the In- ternet: A resource-based view. South African Journal of Business Management, 40, Ghose, A. Sponsored search in electronic markets. Management Science, 55, Greenwood, C. How do currency exchange rates influence the price of holidays? Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, 6, Advertising Age, 80, Law, A. Long tail tourism: New geographies for marketing niche tou- rism products. Machrone, B. PC Magazine, 22, Mamamghani, F. Impact of e-commerce on travel and tourism: An histo- rical analysis. International Journal of Management, 26, Map of Euro area Retrieved from http: Google grabbers 2. Profit, 28, Millman, M. Weak dollar doldrums. Financial Executive, 6, The most important websites. Mughal, I. Nelson, P. Searching questions. Null, C. PC World, 27, Introduces New Website. Press Release. Journal of Travel Research, 44, Rubel, S. Advertising Age, 78, Google clicks up cost but add value. The World Factbook. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency. Ret- rieved from https: Some Homework to Do for the Sales and Marketing Departments Introduction Solvency II is to be considered a paradigm shift for the European insurance in- dustry and will lead to major changes in the process of asset and risk manage- ment. This new set of regulations is necessary. In fact, we believe that the cur- rent financial crisis has shown the importance of such advanced risk manage- ment processes in the financial services industry. The so-called subprime mort- gage crisis obviously did have massive negative effects on capital markets and global economic growth. As a consequence, not only the stocks of banks and in- surers dropped considerably; the equity market in general suffered huge losses. Finally, it was the unblamable general public to carry the burden. Stocks have recently been not the best investments compared to other asset classes, for ex- ample, German 10 year government bonds. Easily to understand, a reform of fi- nancial market regulation in general and insurance authority in special had to be undertaken. Taking into account Solvency II, which will require that equity in- vestments have to be underlain with an extra amount of solvency capital, it seems to be very probable that insurers will permanently reduce their equity ex- posure. As a matter of fact, insurance companies, especially Germans, are lack- ing equity capital anyway and have problems to fulfill upcoming Solvency II capi- tal requirements. However, having lately seen quite a recovery after the lows of March , there may still be some potential for further gains in stocks. This could become a problem for asset managers in the insurance industry. Low in- terest rates even seem to increase these difficulties because life insurers will have a hard time trying to produce attractive returns in a post Solvency II world — especially compared to mutual funds. Therefore, our objective is to show that life insurer will face a disadvantage in terms of return in comparison to mutual funds caused by Solvency II. Consequently, insurers especially have to do some rethinking of marketing strategies trying to sell endowment policies in the new regulatory environment. The organisation of the paper is as follows: Firstly we will examine some basic principles of Solvency II. Secondly we will briefly discuss asset pricing models focussing on stock markets and show that equity prices are closely related to economic fundamentals and identify stock crashes as rather seldom phenomena than normal events. This sheds light on future return expectations of mainly eq- uity investors mutual funds and investors under the Solvency II regime life in- surers. This in mind we will suggest appropriate financial services marketing strategies from a Solvency II perspective before concluding. Regulatory Way to Solvency II Almost at the end of the actual Solvency II implementing process, the subprime mortgage crisis shook the financial system. It became obvious, that rules were misused or at least extended to their limits into certain grey areas, and rethinking of applicable regulations had to be done. The crisis has shown the importance of rethinking risk management highlighting the importance of Solvency II. Romeike et al. Regard- ing Basse and Friedrich it is already foreseeable that capital require- ments will be tightened according to Solvency II, especially due to a very com- prehensive risk definition including underwriting and market risks. Even though a risk based approach was overdue and revised external or even internal models more state of the art, some experts doubt the necessity of Solvency II and call it a fatal error see Huerta de Soto Basse et al. More refined tools will be needed in this new regulatory framework to face interest rate risks on both sides of the balance sheet in an integrated asset- liability-approach. As a matter of fact, any effort undertaken by life insurers to encounter these risks could easily lead to a stronger demand for long term fixed income securities. Insurance companies lack of equity capital, so Reddemann et al. It is one of the major projects in the field of financial services regulation at the EU level. The goal is to introduce and establish for the first time economic risk-based solvency requirements across all 27 EU Member States. This new set of regulation will be more risk-sensitive and more accentu- ated than Solvency I, thus enabling a better coverage of the economic risks run by any particular insurer. In contrast, the previous set of regulations is known as Solvency I, which has specified the solvency margin in the s. Nevertheless, the focus thus far still lies on exactly this solvency margin, meaning the amount of regulatory capital an insurer is obligated to hold against unexpected events. These requirements have been in place since early 70s of the last century and were reviewed again during the s. A limited reform was agreed by the EU-Parliament as well as the Council in , leading to the well known reform, namely Solvency I. Nowadays, Solvency II is somewhat similar to the banking regulations of Basel II, this is why people tend to call it "Basel for insurers". Others, like Schubert et al. For example, the pro- posed framework has in both cases three main pillars or fields, namely pillars 1 to 3. The first one consists of quantitative requirements e. The second pillar sets out the necessity for the risk management as well as governance of insurers combined with rules for the effective supervision of insurers. Pillar 3 focuses on require- ments concerning disclosure issues and transparency. As already mentioned, the first pillar outlines quantitative issues. Rules to evalu- ate the balance sheet are mainly in the focus, especially technical provisions and own funds actually held. The regulatory Solvency Capital Requirement SCR can be calculated either by applying a compulsory standard formula or an developed internal model, which has to be accepted by the regulators. Addition- ally, the Minimum Capital Requirement MCR refers to the last threshold for the solvency capital that has to be held. Falling below this lower limit would result in intervention of the authority and may lead to the withdrawal of the undertaking's authorisation. Pillar 2 deals with qualitative requirements for all undertakings and regulatory authorities. Insurers must be able to state their positions concerning risk strategy, an appropriate organisational and operational structure, an internal management and control system as well as their audit function. Regarding the differences between small insurers and global players, the principle of dual pro- portionality applies accordingly: Additionally, the Supervisory Review Process SRP must also be in line with the so-called principle of proportionality as well. The third pillar deals with public and the su- pervisory disclosure requirements. Hard facts, like quantitative sol- vency capital requirements, must be published, too. Examples to point out the changes of solvency capital requirements might help to understand the new world order. Many European states e. This defi- nitely puts constraints on developing a standardized Europe-wide market. As a matter of fact, Solvency II is driven with the objective of developing and facilitat- ing a European Single Market in insurance services the EU legislation but not with the price of losing sight regarding consumer protection. To develop new rules of regulation, four quantitative impact studies QIS have already been undertaken, the fifth study will be run between August and mid-November Participation was voluntarily at all stages, each undertaking business — life, non- life and reinsurance — had to report to their national supervisors before the re- sults were consolidated and evaluated. Methodologies, simulation models and calculations were re-calibrated, developments were taken into account as well as solo results were considered differently as group results, etc. Nonetheless, the exception proves the rule. France has drawn particular atten- tion to the fact that their local insurance companies have a very different busi- ness model. Especially, the French government does not want to lose the insur- ance companies as investors at the Paris Stock Exchange Euronext. The com- panies have the allowance to smoothen their stock investments over several years rather than evaluate them year by year with the implications of deprecia- tions. Notwithstanding all major upheavals as well as paradigm shift for the insurance industry, Solvency II is useful and necessary together. Will insurance clients have the same product? As briefly outlined, insurers have to underlay risky investments with equity capital. This has to be done for both interest mismatch and shares. The problem for insurers will be their lack of equity capital, especially for non-life in- surers. Their actual option can only be, to reduce risky investments. Conse- quently, this implies that customers can only expect lower future returns, but with a higher security level. This fact necessitates an appropriate communication strategy to convince the customers to still sign insurance contracts with more safety but less expected return. Stock Markets: Risk, Return and Economic Fundamentals We will show by using different asset pricing models e. The low ex-post equity premium mainly seems to be a consequence of these shocks, which have been triggered by bursting asset bubbles. As already noted, the so-called subprime mortgage crisis has had massive negative effects on global economic growth and has simultaneously pushed down stock prices and government bond yields. Focussing on data from the European Monetary Union EMU investors had to witness that the Euro Stoxx 50 — a very popular benchmark for asset managers — fell below the mark of 2. After the bursting of the dot-com bubble this was the sec- ond stock market crash whilst one decade. Consequently, equity investors hop- ing for high returns have in general been disappointed since As a matter of fact, examining the data sample January to December the mean stock market return in the EMU was lower than the mean return on German government bonds - still bonds obviously were less risky figure 1. This period is very popular among financial econometricians in order to avoid possible struc- tural breaks due to the introduction of the Euro in January Our gauges of the per- formance of bond investments are the mean returns on the broad REXP and on the REXP 10 years which only includes German government bonds with a ma- turity of 10 years. Risk is measured by the standard deviation of returns. However, there is a simple explanation which already has been discussed: Two stock market crashes within the last decade figure 2 and figure 3. Figure 2: Figure 3: Crashes and Returns as measured by the Euro Stoxx 50 Economic theory does suggest that equity markets are highly volatile so that pronounced drops of share prices are always possible. Therefore, there should be a high risk premium. In fact, analysing long term trends does show that equity returns seem to be too high in order to be explained by some asset pricing mod- els. This is especially true for the consumption based capital asset pricing model CCAPM , which tries to explain stock returns by the consumption of economic agents. Assuming reasonable levels of risk aversion among economic agents consumption expenditures in the U. This is the so-called equity premium puzzle e. Stock market crashes have been suggested to solve this puzzle. However, dramatic events are needed to explain the high return on equities in the last 50 to years e. The two crashes to be observed in the last decade are quite clearly no sufficient solution to the equity premium puzzle. Taking an empirical perspective Campbell and Cochrane argued convin- cingly that the simple Capital Asset Pricing Model CAPM performs better than the more complex consumption based asset pricing model. According to the CAPM there is a strong relationship between risk and return. Therefore, inves- tors ought to expect that the ex ante equity premium will be positive. Similar discussions took place when the dot-com bubble was about to burst. Diamond , for example, discussed stock market return projections evaluating proposals to reform the U. While the recent historical experience quite clearly does suggest that stock mar- ket crashes are a phenomenon of economic relevance most financial economist seem to believe that stock prices in the long run are governed by economic fun- damentals. This assumption has recently been challenged by Boldrin and Peral- ta-Alva At this point, a model is needed to explain the fundamental value of equities. It is quite usual to note that the level of stock prices today is deter- mined by future expected dividend payouts e. More precisely, the present value model predicts that stock prices in period t SPt are given by: In order to use this model to predict stock prices assumptions about future dividend payouts and the required rate of return on equities have to be made. Most notably, Gordon suggested assuming that dividends grow at a constant rate g. Combined with the assumption that the required rate of return on equity is also time- invariant this leads to a very simple version of the model: Analyzing data from the U. Their methodology of just comparing the results of the present value of dividend payouts with the market value of equities is simple but very plausible. Noting that the model may miss some short term fluctuations of the stock market they have focused on low frequency movements of stock prices using the Hodrick-Prescott filter. Their results seem to imply that dividends cannot explain the movements of stock prices. This is especially true after In fact, they have shown that dividend growth did not have a specific trend in the period to while stock prices have increased sharply. Following their methodology we examine the European stock market focusing on the post experience. Our measure of stock market activity is the FTSE Eurotop index which is a modified capi- talization weighted index of the most actively traded and highly capitalized stocks in the European equity market. Stock prices and the data on dividends per index share are from Bloomberg. Our results figure 4 are by far less dis- couraging. Contrary to the U. Figure 4: The dividend time series is seasonally adjusted. According to ADF-tests not reported both variables seem to be non-stationary and integrated of order one. Given this result, we test for cointegration among dividends and stock prices. By definition, two time series integrated of order one are cointegrated when there is a linear combination of these variables that is stationary. The existence of a cointegration relationship between two time series indicates that the variables share a common stochastic trend and — as a consequence - that there is a close equilibrium relationship between them. In other words, finding empirical evidence for the existence of a cointegration relationship among dividends and stock prices would imply that the market value of equities in the long run is closely linked to the economic fundamentals. The procedure suggested by Johansen is used to test for cointegration among the variables examined here. This test is based on the econometric technique of vector autoregressions VAR. The error term ut is assumed to be a serially uncorrelated random variable. Re- arranging the equation yields: T is the number of observations. Including four lags and assuming that the data in levels and the cointegrating equations have linear deterministic trends there is clear evidence for cointegra- tion between the two variables table 1. We have used the critical values pro- vided by MacKinnon et al. Table 1: Linear deterministic trend restricted Lags interval in first differences: A Portmanteau test is not able to reject the null hypothesis of no residual autocorrelation up to 16 lags p-value 0. While there may be some criteria suggesting a higher number of time lags the residuals already seem to be random variables considering only four time lags. This result and the now popular tendency to parsimonious econometric model- ling quite clear speak for our model specification. Hargreaves , for exam- ple, performed Monte Carlo experiments indicating some difficulties with a small sample bias using the Johansen test procedure with less than data points. However, he has also noted that it is a common practice in applied econometrics to work with sample sizes of about 50 observations. Summing up, the empirical evidence reported in this section does indicate that stock prices, at least in the long run, are closely linked to the economic funda- mentals. This finding does imply that speculative bubbles are the exception rather than the rule. Therefore, past equity returns — which have been depressed by two stock market crashes in the last decade — are not necessarily a good guide to forecast future returns. Phrased somewhat differently, economic agents ought to expect a positive ex ante equity premium for the next ten years. This prediction is also supported by the simple CAPM which postulates the existence of a close relationship between risk and return. In the current market environ- ment — which is characterized by low interest rates — asset managers in the life insurance industry do face the problem that they will not be able to generate at- tractive returns. This will most probably especially be true in comparisons to fund managers at mutual funds because Solvency II will force life insurers to perma- nently reduce their exposure to equities. Mutual funds are less constrained. While low equity quotas recently have created no performance problems be- cause of the negative ex post equity premium this will not necessarily be the case in the coming years. In this case asset managers at life insurance companies will most probably not be able to produce as attractive returns as mutual funds. In other words, the characteristics of endowment policies will change in the post Solvency II world. As prescribed by the regulators this financial product will quite clearly generate lower returns — but will also be less risky. Asset managers in the life insurance industry most probably will not be able to solve this problem — so there is some homework to do for the sales and marketing departments! This process involves more or less the fol- lowing steps: Solvency II will cause life insurers to change their investment policies. This will affect the product endowment life insurance. Considering the situation for en- dowment policies in the post Solvency II world the situation obviously differs from the new product process discussed above, because steps 1 through 3 are distinct. Phrased somewhat differently, there is no new product but just a signifi- cant change to the regulatory environment governing existing life insurance poli- cies. Life insurers are in need to alter their asset allocation according to the new law. Describing the situation from a change perspective, the customers in the pre Solvency II world can be classified as in- vestors who want attractive returns at modest levels of risk. But this selection cri- teria cannot be offered sufficiently by the insurers in the post-Solvency II world By changing the product structure, customers will face a situation with lower re- turns and, of course, lower risk. Life insurers are consequently confronted with the situation that the product characteristics have changed but not the customer preferences. First, the shift of customer-preferences and second, target- ing right customers. The well known school of behaviourism e. This SR-Model describes a clear causal structure between the stimuli perceived and the action resulting in open behaviour. Following this, marketers make use of the so called S-O-R model to describe buying behaviour. The neo- behaviouristic S-O-R model is preferred to other buyer-behaviour models e. Elements are the stimulus S , the organism O and the response R of the buyer. The stimulus contains marketing e. Organism describes the influence within the indi- vidual human, and helps to explain different outcomes of the same stimuli. The individual preferences Figure 5: The response is again observable and describes, for example, buying a specific insurance, volume, or fee paid. Using only different advertising to make consumers buy the new insurance product will not be sufficient, because only those with suitable risk aversion and return expectations will match with the post Solvency II en- dowment policy. Not talking about ethics, a supplier wants to make consumers buy his product. Therefore a shift in consumer preferences, inherent in the or- ganism, is necessary. Figure 6 describes this task by showing the needed shift of prefer- ences from a pre Solvency II world to b post Solvency II world. Figure 6: Shift of Preferences Considering the atmosphere after the peak of the financial crisis, the image of speculative investments is badly damaged and trust seems to be lost see Gounaris and Prout Last but not least, Rustal scaled back Gjallarhorn's presence on Mars, leading to Earth's economic blocs withdrawing control and enabling the Martian colonies to achieve independence as the Martian Union. Named after the Germanic Tiwaz rune , it is a business conglomerate that operates around Jupiter. It is rumored to be run like a mafia organization and has sufficient influence to smuggle anything to Earth without Gjallarhorn's direct interference, for a price. The group possess a number of mobile suits. Culturally, Teiwaz seems to be primarily Italian, but they practice several distinctly Japanese-styled customs, such as the Sakazuki blood oath , which involves two leaders of different factions sharing sake , symbolically binding them as "family. After the Turbines' dissolution, Tekkadan renounce their affiliation with McMurdo removed JPT Trust from its branch when its leader plot to overthrow his position. A branch of Teiwaz that is responsible for its parent organization's shipping and transportation duties, it was founded by maverick smuggler Naze Turbine and female mercenary Amida Arca. Founded to provide protection and secure work for runaway women who were forced to take cheap and suicidal jobs as long range transporters at the mercies of raiders, the organization eventually became a member of Teiwaz after Naze drank a sakazuki blood oath to McMurdo Barriston. Socially, Naze took in any exploited women he encountered as his nominal wives while providing them with steady work as crew members on his ship. The organization grew to have 50, members and stretched from Jupiter all the way to Mars. They later become a senior sibling affiliate with Tekkadan, vouching for them at Teiwaz's gatherings. With Teiwaz forced to disown the Turbines in all but name and with Tekkadan unable to help without being implicated, the Turbines are forced to strike out on their own as an underground organization. As the Arianrod fleet closes in on the Turbines, Naze announces the organization's disbandment and asks McMurdo to protect its women. While the Turbines were starting evacuation at their main base, Arianrhod's fleet arrives under Iok's command. Ignoring all signals for a ceasefire and surrender, he proceeds to have his forces target both the combatants and the civilians fleeing the scene. The main transports carrying the civilians were crippled before exploding, but the majority of the civilians survived and managed to evacuate on shuttle craft escorted by the Turbine's mobile suits and Tekkadan who were on a convenient "training exercise". A group of space pirates who operate between Earth and Mars, doing raids on cargo ships and abducting innocent children into Human Debris to be sold for labor or forcefully work for them as disposable mobile suit pilots. Like CGS, they are not above forcing their Human Debris pilots to undergo surgery for "Whisker" man-machine interface implants despite the operation's high failure rate. The group's treatment of the children is harsh, with physical and emotional abuse being commonplace. They are hired by Gjallarhorn to abduct one of the members of Tekkadan in exchange for Kudelia. They possess multiple Man Rodi mobile suits alongside the Gundam Gusion, two assault ships, and two cargo vessels. After their defeat by Tekkadan and the Turbines, their assets are reduced to one assault ship while their second vessel, the surviving Human Debris, and the remaining mobile suits are claimed by Tekkadan. The second vessel was later sacrificed as an unmanned decoy to slip through a blockade around Earth. The surviving Human Debris later join in the final battle under Tekkadan's command on Earth. One of the four economic and political power blocs on Earth alongside the African Union, the Strategic Alliance Union, and the Oceanian Federation, its territory consists of all non-European territories in the Arctic Circle. It is also the first of the power blocs to give its Martian colonies partial autonomy. Following Tekkadan's succession in sending Makanai and Kudelia to the parliament, Arbrau hires Tekkadan's mercenaries as military advisors. The company is named after Kudelia's late friend Fumitan Admoss. After Allium Gyojan's death, the rest of the organization was arrested by Gjallarhorn. The organization has over 2, members and 10 armored assault ships. The Dawn Horizon Corps are powerful enough that even Teiwaz has difficulty dealing with them. They are also strong enough to raid as far as the borders of the Earth Sphere and have managed to evade Gjallarhorn's fleets for quite some time. Like Brewers, they are known to use Human Debris mobile suit pilots as cannon fodder before sending in their elite forces. After their encounter with Tekkadan and the Outer Earth Orbit Regulatory Joint Fleet, their leader is arrested while the rest of the fleet is forced to surrender to Arianrhod..

Innova- tion center for the development of laser and IT as well as Ms mika chocolate models formation of busi- ness incubator and a scientific—technological park. It will be companies estab- lished by universities and research centers, where students, professors and re- searchers from those institutions will work.

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Particularly important areas of interaction are regarded in the interaction be- tween systems where: Interaction between the systems of research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business represent a very complex area in which vari- ous principles are implemented and lot of different trends emerge.

Ms mika chocolate models the most important Ms mika chocolate models these are to be considered: The needs for efficient cooperation between the systems of scientific research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical production prove to exist in all spheres of modern society and its social economic life.

Bridging science and business together is the important priority in the process of the creation of knowledge based economy in Lithuania. References Cohendet, P. The digital divide in Europe. Analyse et Pros- pective An introduction to the economy of the knowledge society, International Social Science Journal IT industry development and the knowledge economy: Farnsworth, K.

Promoting business-centred welfare: International and Eu- ropean business perspectives on social policy, Journal of European Social Poli- cy 15 1: ISSN Ms mika chocolate models Grace, A. Beyond knowledge management: Hunt, S. A General Theory of Competition: Resources, Competences, Productivity. Economic Growth. Sage Publications: Leading with Knowledge: The Nature of Competition in 21 st.

Sage Publications, p. ISBN Lahti, A. Globalization, International trade, entrepreneurship and dynamic theory of economics. The Nordic resource based view. Part two. Global Chal- lenge and the new economics. HSE Working floor the on Mature boy and, W, p. Leydesdorff, L. The university — industry knowledge relationship: Melnikas, B. Transformacijos [Transformations]. Wirtschaft und Mentalitaet: Tendenzen der EU- Osterweiterung.

Leifim — Verlag. Integration processes in the Baltic region: Inzinerine ekonomika — Engi- neering Economics 5 The knowledge based economy in the European Union: The Sustainability of Ms mika chocolate models Term Growth: Socioeconomic and Ecological Perspectives. Ed- ward Elgar Publishing. Olsen, T. Economic geography and international in- equality, Journal of Inernational Economics Ms mika chocolate models 1: Accelerrating International Growth.

John Wi- ley, p. Rutkauskas, A. On the Ms mika chocolate models of regional competitiveness devel- opment considering risk. Technological and Economic Development of Economy 14 1: International business strategies: Steinmueller, W.

Available from Internet: Zavadskas, E. The fifth decade. Journal of Civil Engineering and Management 14 1: Technological and Economic De- velopment of Economy 14 4: Tourist-related businesses, such as Colorado ski resorts, now have the opportunity to market themselves globally using the Internet. The two major strategies are to: Google has country-specific websites called google.

This opens opportunities for niche advertising on these websites. The review of both the organic search strategy and the sponsored link strategy indicated that there was underutilization of the opportunities.

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Introduction The Internet has changed the travel industry. More than many other industries, the travel industry as well as travelers themselves were early adopters of Inter- net use and embraced search engine marketing Nelson, Travel agents are no longer considered the only experts on vacation planning. It has also allowed Ms mika chocolate models of highly specialized services and loca- tions.

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Geographically constrained businesses can Ms mika chocolate models their niche-market locality around the globe through the Internet Law, This study will ex- amine one such geographically constrained niche source, Colorado ski resorts, to determine if its Internet marketing efforts are taking advantage of the oppor- tunities available.

A article in Inc. World- wide in there were approximately 80 billion searches on the Here Blan- Ms mika chocolate models and Mishra, In the United Kingdom re- search revealed that before buying a travel product on-line, consumers will on average make 12 travel searches and visit 22 travel websites. Eighty eight per- cent of these travel searches were on Google Walsh, Thus, Ms mika chocolate models individual in Finland can go to google.

A further sophis- tication is that a user of these Google. Research has shown that non-English-speaking Internet users prefer to view sites in their native language Conhaim and Page, Therefore, the research was performed on the country-specific Google sites and the local lan- guage option was chosen.

The state of Colorado is well known for its mountains and winter sports, including skiing. This industry was considered ap- propriate for a study of Internet marketing for a number of reasons.

The ski in- dustry in Colorado, which has Ms mika chocolate models suffering due to the economic conditions in the United States with decreases in total number of skiers in and seasons, could benefit from marketing to international visitors because they stay longer and spend more freely than their domestic counterparts Colorado Busi- ness Click here Outlook, In addition, the decline in the U.

The large population and high standard of living also indicate that a large potential market for the ski re- sorts exists in Europe.

Norway Xxxc Watch Watersports lesbo finger Video Tryteens tube. This will affect the product endowment life insurance. Considering the situation for en- dowment policies in the post Solvency II world the situation obviously differs from the new product process discussed above, because steps 1 through 3 are distinct. Phrased somewhat differently, there is no new product but just a signifi- cant change to the regulatory environment governing existing life insurance poli- cies. Life insurers are in need to alter their asset allocation according to the new law. Describing the situation from a change perspective, the customers in the pre Solvency II world can be classified as in- vestors who want attractive returns at modest levels of risk. But this selection cri- teria cannot be offered sufficiently by the insurers in the post-Solvency II world By changing the product structure, customers will face a situation with lower re- turns and, of course, lower risk. Life insurers are consequently confronted with the situation that the product characteristics have changed but not the customer preferences. First, the shift of customer-preferences and second, target- ing right customers. The well known school of behaviourism e. This SR-Model describes a clear causal structure between the stimuli perceived and the action resulting in open behaviour. Following this, marketers make use of the so called S-O-R model to describe buying behaviour. The neo- behaviouristic S-O-R model is preferred to other buyer-behaviour models e. Elements are the stimulus S , the organism O and the response R of the buyer. The stimulus contains marketing e. Organism describes the influence within the indi- vidual human, and helps to explain different outcomes of the same stimuli. The individual preferences Figure 5: The response is again observable and describes, for example, buying a specific insurance, volume, or fee paid. Using only different advertising to make consumers buy the new insurance product will not be sufficient, because only those with suitable risk aversion and return expectations will match with the post Solvency II en- dowment policy. Not talking about ethics, a supplier wants to make consumers buy his product. Therefore a shift in consumer preferences, inherent in the or- ganism, is necessary. Figure 6 describes this task by showing the needed shift of prefer- ences from a pre Solvency II world to b post Solvency II world. Figure 6: Shift of Preferences Considering the atmosphere after the peak of the financial crisis, the image of speculative investments is badly damaged and trust seems to be lost see Gounaris and Prout On this basis the insurance industry might find a way to change the preferences of the individual organism. Prospect theory shows that the human inherent risk adversity and the predominate insecure economic environment will also support the switch to a more security-wishing investor e. This will be done by using advisements which focus on invest- ment risk vs. But is this strategy made for long term success? Finally the insurance industry could again damage its reputation, pushing the post Solvency II product whether it really fits the customer or not, by using manipulative advertising strategies. To avoid this, a second approach will be out- lined now. As the first approach does not pay attention to customer heterogene- ity, as all investors are receivers of the marketing campaign, the second ap- proach focuses on targeting the right customers. It is characterized by paying attention to the individual preference orientation and works on the investment level of the individual subject, whereas the former approach deals on an aggre- gated crowd level. Market segmentation is seen as method for identifying differ- ent customers groups. Several methods have appeared to build these seg- ments, which require to have intra-segment homogeneity and inter-segment heterogeneity, and will not further be discussed here see Wedel and Kamakura The main task is to identify the individual preference structure, classify the customer and consequently find the right product that matches his prefer- ences. But acting like this, only the customers with preferences b in figure 6 will be addressee of the selling campaign, leaving out customer a. This can be a selling opportunity for other products. But there is already a way out of the di- lemma, not having the right product for specific customers. Making use of the Markowitz Model on individual basis financial counsellors can identify the indi- vidual risk return preference see Markowitz By doing so, the post Sol- vency II endowment policies can also be sold to customers with a differing risk return preference. The Individual Investment Portfolio This of course requires investment in the individual customer relationship, in- creases counselling effort and needs the generation and provision of individual customer data. The usage of data-mining tools for analysing customer invest- ments can be seen as a good starting point. Adaption of conjoint measurement methods during individual guidance can be used to iden- tify customer preferences not only for developing new products, but also for segmentation purpose within a financial service setting DeSarbo et al. This preferences can then be utilized to cross check with the actual investment strategies followed by the customer thereby opening opportunities to sell post Solvency II world endowment policies even if they on there own do not fit the customer preferences. Conclusion Solvency II will change the paradigms of risk and asset management in the European insurance industry. We believe that the new set of regulations will force life insurers to reduce their exposure to equities. We think that the life insurance industry will be forced to reposition the product endowment life insurance. This will mainly be the task of the sales and marketing departments. Quite clearly, the European life insurance industry will have to explain to customers that the characteristics of one of its most impor- tant products is about to change by deemphasising the factor attractive return and focusing more strongly on the factor low risk. Future studies might have a closer look into customer preferences con- sidering the attributes of post Solvency II products. Further on the comparison between low risk Solvency II insurance products and alternative investment products like investment funds or other capital market oriented offers from a cus- tomer viewpoint might give valuable insights to market the new insurance prod- ucts. Conjoint-based preferential segmentation in the design of a new finan- cial service International Journal of Bank Marketing, 14 , 3, pp. Basse, T. Solvency II — wirklich ein fataler Irrtum? Blackwell, R. Consumer behaviour, Fort Worth Boldrin, M. What Happened to the U. Stock Market? Louis Review, 91, , pp. Campbell, J. Cooper, R. DeSarbo, W. Representing heterogeneity in consumer response models, Marketing Letters, 8 , pp. Diamond, P. Gordon, M. Gounaris, K. Hargreaves, C.: Hargreaves, Oxford, Oxford University Press, , pp. The theory of buyer behaviour, New York Huerta de Soto, J.: Johansen, S.: Kahneman, D. Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk, Econometrica, 47 , pp. Kocherlakota, N. The equity premium: Mackinnon, J. Markotwitz, H.: Portfolio Selection, The Journal of Finance, 7, , pp. Meffert, H.: Mehra, R. The Equity Premium: A Puzzle, Journal of Monetary Economics, 15, , pp. M Constantinides, M. Harris and R. Stulz, North Holland, Amsterdam, , pp. Reddemann, S. Rietz, T. The equity risk premium: Romeike, F. Skinner, B. Beyond freedom and dignity, New York Teas, K. Conjoint measurement of consumer's preferences for multiattribute financial services, Journal of Bank Research, , 15, pp. Tversky, A. Advances in prospect theory: Watson, J. Psychology from the standpoint of a behaviourist, Philadelphia Wedel, M. Market segmentation. Conceptual and methodo- logical foundations, Boston Woodworth, R. A study of mental life, New York Zimbardo, P. The objective of this article is to identify the strategic positioning of the footwear manufacturers located in the Vale do Sinos according to the typology described on the literature. This is a descriptive and qualitative study. In-depth interviews were carried out with specialists in the leather goods and footwear industry. Starting from an industrial profile focused on low costs, these companies have realigned themselves to a more market- oriented profile, offering elements of differentiation. The footwear industry is no exception. The chain of production of leather goods and footwear has undergone significant changes in terms of its operational methods, which in turn demands that organi- zations in the sector take a fresh look at their strategic positioning. The footwear industry is characterized by a relatively simple production process made up of distinct stages, and by non-intensive use of technology and a low-skilled work- force, meaning that mobility barriers are relatively easy to overcome and there are few obstacles to new companies entering the industry. In this industry, large companies per- form the sales and distribution roles and coordinate the global production chains, specifying the attributes required of the footwear that is to be produced, such as materials, quantities, models, delivery deadlines, prices and other details. Brazil is the third-largest producer and the fifth-largest exporter of footwear in the world. The Vale do Rio dos Sinos region, which is in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, is one of the most important production centers in Brazil and one of the largest footwear manufacture clusters in the world and the production of foot- wear is responsible a significant source of income for the valley. China has very much lower production costs than Brazil and, taking advantage of the characteristics of the footwear industry described above, it has taken the number one position worldwide in the industry, producing nine billion pairs of shoes in , in comparison to the million pairs produced in Brazil in the same year. Businesses from many different countries have relocated their manufacture to China, in order to take advantage of the economic benefits it of- fers. Faced with these questions, the dynamics of competition merit constant analysis in the search for new opportunities and emerging threats. The strategic choices that companies make have a significant impact on their results. Even when a company is not more efficient operationally, by adopting a strategic position that differentiates it within its market sector, in such a way as to minimize the impact of competition on its demand, that company can survive. Taking these approaches as a starting point, the question arises as to how well the footwear companies in the Vale do Sinos are positioned strategically in order to deal with the new scenario. The remainder of this article has the following structure: Strategy typologies Structural changes within an industry, in this case the footwear industry, force companies to review their strategies and adopt new market positions. The ability to identify new opportunities and to develop and coordinate a new configuration of supplementary internal activities to support them, should be the guiding prin- ciple behind the new position adopted Porter, Defining strategy typologies reduces the complexity of analysis of strategies and synthe- sizes them to point that they support the creation of new contextual dimension Hambrick, It is beyond the scope of this paper to go into greater detail about the Porter or Barney typologies, since they have been ade- quately explored in the academic and business literature and in the specialist press. However, a brief description will be given in order to ground the reader in the subject. Porter suggested that businesses that achieve above-average profits adopt one, and only one, of three generic strategies: According to his theory, cost leadership would be achieved by companies that manage to set their total costs below those of their competition, which would enable them to accumulate financial reserves to absorb the effects of possible price wars, defend against new entrants to the industry or to offer lower prices to the customer. This strategy results in greater customer loyalty and reduced price-sensitivity, distancing the company from its competitors. Mintzberg has pointed out that, when a business achieves lower total costs than its competition and passes these on in the form of lower prices for the customer, this itself is actually a type of differentiation. Finally, a company that follows a focus strategy elects a very specific target market, which translates to a finer granularity in terms of market sectors, distri- bution channels, product attributes or geographical areas. Porter even claimed that businesses that follow more than one generic strategy, or do not successfully implement their chosen strategy, will not achieve returns that are above the industry average. Mintzberg adopts a different point of view regarding differentiation, pro- posing more specific criteria within which companies differentiate their products and services: Differentiation by price consists of offering lower prices than the competition; differentiation by image consists of presenting products in a different manner, such as through distinctive packaging, marketing and other forms of promotional presentation; differentia- tion by support, according to this author, consists of offering products or services that serve to support customers, such as, for example, operating manuals, credit services, customer service and others; differentiation by quality consists of changing the characteristics of the product supplied, such as offering improved performance, durability or other attributes; differentiation on the basis of design implies that the product itself will have a design that sets it apart from the com- petition. Finally, Mintzberg points out that non-differentiation, i. In a more internal view of companies, Barney suggests that an organization's resources are the principal factor leading to competitive advantages. This Resource-Based View RBV , is grounded on the assump- tion that if a firm adequately exploits resources that are valuable, rare, imperfect- ly imitable and non-substitutable,8 it will generate sustainable competitive advan- tages. Empirical evidence on RBV in Brazil was provided by Moraes , who per- formed a study of data from more than fourteen thousand Brazilian companies in different business sectors. The study indicated that organizational internal factors were more strongly correlated with performance than were economic ex- ternal factors. Despite the growing academic and professional interest in RBT, due to the ab- stract nature of the definition of organizational resources adopted, being those factors under the control of a business that offer the potential for strategic ac- tions, creates difficulties for empirical definition. This can be observed in the great diversity of results found Newbert, Methods This study can be described as qualitative, cross-sectional research. An inter- view protocol comprising open questions was administered to ten professionals who had been selected by the following criteria: Interviews were conducted at the intervie- wees' workplaces at prearranged times during August and September of Each interviewee was sent a copy of the protocol in advance of the interview in order to enable them to read and reread the questions and reflect upon them. After each inter- view, the replies were transcribed and sent by e-mail to the interviewee, who was given the opportunity to revise or clarify any points that may not have faith- fully represented their opinions. The replies were then analyzed based on con- tent analysis method Bardin, Discussion of the Results The profile of the interviewees was as follows: The interviewees' current participation in the industry is primarily in the role of consultant nine of them. Five of them are professors, three are company directors and two are engineers. The first part of the interview protocol deals with the interviewees' views about the factors that have negatively impacted on the performance of Vale do Sinos VS companies, using questions based on the typologies of Porter and Mintzberg The table below contains a synthesis of the replies to the first three questions: Factors that have had a negative impact on the performance of the Vale dos Si- nos companies External factors Internal factors Exchange rate: Another referred to the lack of Foreign competitors: Paraguay, Tai- rectly within the production chain. Other issued mentioned in- vantage of them to acquire knowledge and cluded: The lack of capaci- the economy in general, the threat of re- tation was mentioned by four interviewees in cession, the low purchasing power of the a number of different ways, as improvement, Brazilian population and the fact that as professional training and as preparing for many export companies have gone out the future. Two interviewees discussed the of business. Lack of technology: Four interviewees men- tioned the lack of technology, some specifi- cally referring to the growing need to be able to produce small production batches, others referring to technology in general. Lack of own distribution network: Other issues: The points made by the interviewees suggested that one of the factors that provoked the loss of market share and fall in performance was the assumption that the future was, if not guaranteed, at least serene. With the change in scenario, internal questions probably came onto the agenda as an emergency item. Thus, analyzing the external environment, they identified challenges caused by issues such as competition, diversity, ethics, technological progress and profes- sional development that demanded that the companies be able to adapt. Effec- tive strategic management aims to measure or predict the decisions to be taken when faced with transformation of the context of the organization and its busi- ness. One issue that emerged, and which is related to capacitation, can be explored in greater depth; it is the professionalization of companies. According to one of the interviewees, the Vale do Sinos community is suffering from the error of not hav- ing prepared for the future, which has now arrived, and in the first instance, the family businesses did not prepare themselves for success. To prepare for the fu- ture is essential to the survival of companies in heavily competitive markets and it must emerge from the skills and abilities of management, who must be in tune with the market. In general the interviewees highlighted deficiencies in technology and capacita- tion, indicating the underdevelopment of these resources, probably as result of the fact that historically these companies were meeting the demands of impor- ters, rather than taking on this task for themselves. These deficiencies diagnosed from the interviewees' responses have a direct impact and decisive implications for the companies' capacity to innovate. With- out consistent processes for capacitation and development of technology it is impossible for companies to innovate and so find a sustainable path to maintain and increase their competitiveness over time. The fourth question was designed to elicit the interviewees' opinions about the strategies adopted by external competitors. Table II. It can be discerned that the market positions adopted by foreign competitors, primarily in China and India, are similar to those that the VS footwear companies had been using prior to the change in scenario: The fifth question was designed to elicit the interviewees' opinion on actions tak- en by the VS companies to position them strategically. It can also be assumed that, in addition to increasing their contact with their tar- Own retail get consumers, the retail stores would also provide a way of using the stores value-added tax ICMS credits that the companies accrue in their role as manufacturers. This would therefore be a tax strategy as well as a marketing strategy. In addition to this, the es- tablishment of manufacturer-owned retail stores and a greater focus on the in- ternal market can be seen as manifestations of a desire to minimize dependency on the export market and, consequently, to reduce the risks involved in interna- tional exchange rates. These resources may come to be sources of differentia- tion, allowing the companies to offer the market types of product differentiation other than price, such as those proposed by Mintzberg The very much lower internal costs of competitors from Asia, and China in particular, present the Brazilian footwear industry with an irreversible situation that forces it to seek other sources of differentiation. The sixth question aimed to identify the frequency with which the interviewees observed the strategies for differentiation being adopted by the VS companies. Differentiation strategies observed by the interviewees Source: According to the interviewees, the strategies that predominate are differentiation through design, quality and price and focus on a market niche, followed by diffe- rentiation through image, non-differentiation and differentiation through service. The interviewees suggested that differentiation by design can be observed at specialist industry fairs and in magazines, retail stores etc. In these settings products with a more sophisticated visual appeal and distinctive materials attract greater attention. Further evidence of this, according to the interviewees, is the investment these companies are making in product development. Although another three of the interviewees did agree with the majority opinion they stressed the need for greater attention to quality. One of the interviewees summed the issue up, explaining that the strategy of promoting comfort and healthy feet adopted by the IBTeC is indeed producing results, but that it needs to be worked at with greater intensity. Just one of the interviewees claimed that the quality of the footwear produced had actually fallen, as a result of replacing leather with synthetic materials. The majority of interviewees stated that some companies have maintained their strategy of differentiation by price despite the external competition. The interviewees had observed the adoption of niche markets as target con- sumers by companies producing luxury shoes, professional sports footwear or industrial safety footwear. Differentiation through image was observed less frequently than the strategies described above, but was observed in the form of advertising using media cele- brities, commercials on TV and advertisements in magazines. One of the inter- viewees cautioned that image should be promoted in cooperation, publicizing Brazilian footwear in general. The interviewees said that non-differentiation, which is supplying products or services that are similar to those supplied by the competition, was the least- observed strategy among the businesses, indicating that the greater part of them are seeking some type of differentiation. The low frequency with which the interviewees had observed differentiation in service was of note and is probably related to the industrial profile that has his- torically permeated these companies. It is possible that the fact that some of these companies are opening their own retail stores, as one of the interviewees pointed out, will lend greater relevance to service as an organizational strategy. At this point in the interview protocol the interviewees were invited to describe any other strategies that had not been covered by the options so far provided. Some of them once more mentioned the companies that were opening their own retail stores. Some international sporting brands, such as Nike and Adidas, have also adopted this strategy. Indeed, brand was not dealt with explicitly by Mintzberg as being a factor of differentiation that is perceived by clients, possibly because it is so intrinsic to the concept of differentiation or perhaps because he associated factors of differentiation with attributes of the product or service being supplied. The creation of the By Brasil brand was cited by one interviewee as being part of implementing this strategy. Owning a brand can ensure access to certain standards of footwear design, concepts and fashion, creating mutual benefits for the companies. However, the synergic power of a cluster should go beyond certain simple cooperative processes and should continue in the direction of constant exchange of know- ledge and technological development in conjunction through shared research — with the businesses not just working with each other, but also with universities and research and technology centers. In other words, the central assumption behind a cluster is the production and circulation of knowledge, which is poten- tialized by the group Porter, For this reason it is necessary to exercise caution and employ method and focus in order to be in a position to empirically verify or not the existence of these characteristics and, as a consequence, the fact that a cluster truly exists. When asked about companies adopting price differentiation in combination with other forms of differentiation, only one of the interviewees stated that the price strategy is not observed in combination with others. All of the other interviewees stated that this practice is observed and that it achieves good results, citing ex- amples of companies that have launched product lines with particular combina- tions of attributes. For example: In general, their replies converged on the suggestion made by Carneiro and Kim and Mauborgne , which is that, in the majority of cases, consumers make purchasing decisions on the basis of multiple criteria which are processed according to a mental algorithm that is not always rational or explicit. The internal environment of these companies, which has been discussed as a factor in competitiveness, is complex, but extremely relevant. Complex, because while attempting to group resources into analyzable categories, it must not be forgotten that these same resources must be factors of differentiation between businesses. Relevant, because, as explained above, the internal environment is the primary source of competitive advantage. To achieve consensus and cate- gorize the resources described by the interviewees has therefore been a chal- lenging task for the purposes of this research and is one that is never-ending for academia in general. The resources that the intervie- wees listed were categorized as follows: Table IV. Three of the categories are most intimately related to human resources: Organizational competency was already included in the genesis of RBT and it is unsurprising to find it among the factors mentioned by our interviewees. Six of the interviewees who mentioned competency considered it to be a resource with the potential to con- tribute to a sustained competitive advantage. Furthermore, the development of core competencies works to combat some of the threats that were cited by the interviewees, such as inefficient operations, market vision, insufficient capacita- tion and lack of technology. Commitment was cited twice directly and once in association with its close relative motivation, and was justified as being a rare by one of the interviewees because of the different situations in which each compa- ny finds itself. It can therefore also be considered, from the perspective that the history and accumulated corporate complexity of each organization mean it is not immediately available, to be rare and difficult to imitate. A study carried out in Brazil by Chang Jr et al. Organizational culture had been discussed as a potential source of sustained competitive advantage by Barney and by Barney and Clark Considered to be a difficult-to- imitate resource because of its relationship to the history of each company, or- ganizational culture can be a source of sustained competitive advantage if it is valuable and rare. An organizational culture that predominates in a given region cannot be considered to be rare, since it is shared by the majority of the compa- nies in that region. Also excluded are cultures that do not add value to an organ- ization. For example, a culture of public punishment of employees is unlikely to lead to success. Innovation has also been extensively explored in the literature on RBT. Innova- tion, as organizational culture, is not per se a competitive advantage. For this to be the case, it must be valuable, rare and difficult to imitate. It is easy to con- ceive of innovations as being valuable, since market dynamics mean that they potentially add value to an organization. With respect to whether they are rare, it could be argued that if they are not rare, then by definition they are not in fact innovations. Finally, regarding their difficulty to imitate, the focus must shift from innovative products or services to the company processes that support them. These are the competencies, attitudes and organizational strategies that make innovations and effective part of the working environment. As Grant points out that brands that change ownership may lose value, a shared brand may potentially be sustainable because a change of ownership is an un- likely. With relation to the proprietary brands of individual companies, strategic actions that have already been mentioned, such as opening retail stores, are in- terconnected with developing and leveraging brands. Also related to this is the work done to improve corporate image through actions such as the adoption of cleaner technologies and materials. To a certain extent, some of the resources listed in the category of technology and processes are surprising, since their inclusion implies that they are still con- sidered rare. These include quality systems and strategic planning. With relation to quality systems, an interviewee said that the majority of the companies merely comply with ISO standards, clearly indicating that quality systems are not leve- raged as management tools, but are seen simply as the means of obtaining cer- tification, possibly demanded by a customer with significant bargaining power. None of them described these resources as being difficult to imitate, which, if they are indeed rare, makes them potential sources of temporary competitive advantage. Carneiro points out that because sustained competitive ad- vantages are extremely hard to acquire, temporary advantages should also be taken advantage of. Nevertheless, management must remain tuned to the mar- ket to continue to seek new levels of competitiveness. The fact that companies have these resources does not necessarily mean that they actually contribute to competitive advantage. When asked about this question, although there was no consensus between the interviewees, their rep- lies indicate that there is still a long way to go in this respect. The second vessel was later sacrificed as an unmanned decoy to slip through a blockade around Earth. The surviving Human Debris later join in the final battle under Tekkadan's command on Earth. One of the four economic and political power blocs on Earth alongside the African Union, the Strategic Alliance Union, and the Oceanian Federation, its territory consists of all non-European territories in the Arctic Circle. It is also the first of the power blocs to give its Martian colonies partial autonomy. Following Tekkadan's succession in sending Makanai and Kudelia to the parliament, Arbrau hires Tekkadan's mercenaries as military advisors. The company is named after Kudelia's late friend Fumitan Admoss. After Allium Gyojan's death, the rest of the organization was arrested by Gjallarhorn. The organization has over 2, members and 10 armored assault ships. The Dawn Horizon Corps are powerful enough that even Teiwaz has difficulty dealing with them. They are also strong enough to raid as far as the borders of the Earth Sphere and have managed to evade Gjallarhorn's fleets for quite some time. Like Brewers, they are known to use Human Debris mobile suit pilots as cannon fodder before sending in their elite forces. After their encounter with Tekkadan and the Outer Earth Orbit Regulatory Joint Fleet, their leader is arrested while the rest of the fleet is forced to surrender to Arianrhod. A Gundam-Frame unit is equipped with two Ahab Reactors, which generate Ahab Particles, giving the mobile suit unparalleled power, but it is difficult to keep the reactors in synchronous operation; hence the rarity of these machines. A Gundam's high power and maneuverability can also pose a problem by creating a heavy burden for the pilot. However, this is mitigated by the implementation of Inertial Control from the use of the Ahab Reactors and the cockpit is positioned in front of the reactors to take advantage of this. Only 26 of the 72 Gundam-Frame suits are confirmed to exist in operational form in the present day. The Valkyrja Frame, produced during the late stages of the Calamity War, is an advanced but not very well known mobile suit frame, as it was first produced at the same time as, and was completely overshadowed by, the much more prolific Gundam Frame. Despite its obscurity, its performance and track record were impressive enough for Gjallarhorn to use the Valkyrja Frame as the source of inspiration for the mass-produced Graze Frame. It is speculated that because of the frame's relative obscurity, less than ten units were ever produced. While based on the Valkyrja Frame like its successor, it was gradually phased out of Gjallarhorn service in favor of its more versatile successor. The Graze Frame is a simplified version of the Grimgerde's Valkyrja Frame, Much of the Grimgerde's design philosophy was analyzed and adapted by Gjallarhorn into what would eventually become the EB Graze after the Calamity War, including the unit's highly sensitive head sensors and simple construction to minimize energy consumption. The Reginlaze Frame is the planned successor of the Graze Frame. In contrast, the Graze was intended to be used as an armed peacemaker and deterrence against insurrection. It was developed in secret and quietly issued to key individuals in the Arianrhod fleet. Its classified nature is secretive enough that important Gjallarhorn officers outside of Arianrhod have only heard rumors about its existence and operational status. It is also recent enough that there are only 18 units currently constructed, with all assigned to ace pilots in Arianrhod. The Rodi Frame is one of several mobile suit frames produced during the Calamity War, serving as the main mobile suit frame for the Outer Sphere for many years. The Rodi Frame is incredibly versatile; suits built with it are primarily designed for use in space and are often equipped with extremely heavy armor because of the lack of gravity. It is a common civilian-use frame because of this versatility. The Hexa Frame is a unique mobile suit configuration in the respect that its cockpit is located in the head or backpack rather than the torso and the legs can be of the standard type or uniquely jointed to allow for grappling in space. Compared to other mobile suit frames, Hexa-Frame suits are known to have a higher pilot survival rate, offsetting their high attrition rate from lack of armor by retaining the number of experienced pilots thanks to their cockpit's unique design. Widely produced during the Calamity War, they are second only to the Rodi Frame in terms of the number produced from that time period. Mobile armors are a terrifying and dangerous type of mobile weapon technology deployed during the Calamity War. These gigantic weapons are controlled by an artificial intelligence and were feared by the people during the period. This framework has been developed over the last six years and Bioethics International is now expanding the rankings to include drugs approved in other years as well as additional trial sponsors. The organisation plans to release these rankings annually with goal of improving biopharmaceutical company compliance with legal and ethical standards and the quality of medical knowledge. Miller, Ph. The Good Pharma Scorecard enables the biopharmaceutical industry to evaluate its performance across key areas of ethical and legal concern and offers companies the ability to publicly demonstrate meaningful improvement in trustworthiness over time. Joanne Waldstreicher, M. Clinical trial data transparency is in the best interest of the patients who use our products and the providers who prescribe them. Additionally, their ability to perform AR tasks — such as accessing the internet to order cookies or airline tickets — were observed by the investigators. The MS patients performed the AR tasks significantly worse than the healthy controls, the researchers reported. The authors noted that BICAMS have recently been recommended for use in patients diagnosed with MS for their use in screening for cognitive impairments. This finding has implications for clinicians who care for individuals with MS in a broad range of settings, especially those with limited access to neuropsychological consultation. Recently, several cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy PML have been reported in patients taking a broad range of MS therapies, including Tysabri, Gilenya, and Tecfidera. Since its market reintroduction in through to December , there have been confirmed cases of PML in patients taking Tysabri. The study included MS patients who were on Tysabri for at least three months. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells, serum, and urine samples were collected from all patients at baseline without treatment and quarterly thereafter after treatment onset. Cerebrospinal fluid samples were collected only in patients suspected of having PML. Dependent on the level of JCV excretion in urine, patients were divided into three groups: The viral load in the continual group was significantly higher at different treatment points compared to the intermittent group. Four of those patients had simultaneous positive indications in the blood and serum, two of whom went on to develop confirmed PML. The team state that their findings hold great potential for the development of the next generation of targeted treatments that could one day provide a cure for this debilitating disease. The study is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Previous studies show that more than 90 per cent of MS patients have increased intrathecal production of immunoglobulins. Because of this, research focused on the humoral immune system for many years. While research focused predominantly on T lymphocytes as the key cell type to mediate inflammatory damage within central nervous system lesions, emerging evidence suggests that B cells may play an important role both as precursors of antibody-secreting plasma cells and as antigen-presenting cells for the activation of T cells; with the presence of plasma cells, B cells, antibody and complement being found in the pathology of MS. Researchers have also recently discovered that different types of human B cells exist with some B cells being shown to promote inflammation, while others are shown to actually limit inflammation. The current study first examined samples of MS patients comparing them to healthy subjects. Results show that GM-CSF producing B cells were more frequent and more prone to activation in MS patients, suggesting that this subset of B cell is able to activate pro-inflammatory responses of myeloid cells of the immune system. The lab confirmed these results in patients, with data findings showing that after B cell depletion Therapy BCDT , the myeloid cells became much less pro-inflammatory, meaning that BCDT may work in part by decreasing the number of GM-CSF-producing B cells and in turn limiting both myeloid cell and T cell contribution to new disease activity. The team have surmised that by better identifying the particular subset of B cells responsible for new disease activity, the medical community can look forward to more selectively targeting the bad B cells while leaving good B cells intact. A new study claims to have identified three proteins that regulate the early stages of multiple sclerosis and hay fever, offering potentially valuable biomarkers for detecting and preventing these immune disorders before patients show signs of disease. Researchers say their method, using genomic data to model early disease development, may help uncover diagnostic biomarkers for other diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, or diabetes. Common diseases like cancer and immune disorders evolve over many years or decades, making them especially difficult to detect until after patients become symptomatic. To better understand and diagnose diseases before they start, Mika Gustafsson and colleagues sought to identify proteins involved in early development of T cell—driven diseases. Studying cultured human T cells evolving over time, they constructed a gene regulatory network, a model of the set of regulatory proteins in the cell that together govern gene expression. Combining this model with genome-wide association studies identifying genes altered in different diseases, the researchers uncovered three transcription factors, proteins that control whether a gene is turned on or off, that contained genetic variations associated with disease. Expression of the three transcription factors - GATA3, MYB, and MAF - and their predicted target genes were altered in the asymptomatic, compared with the symptomatic, stages of multiple sclerosis and seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. Studying T cells from patients with the two immune disorders, the researchers found that patients expressed the transcription factors in low amounts during remission, but highly expressed their target genes during relapse. The results suggest that genetically testing for the three transcription factors may open the door to earlier detection and prevention of multiple sclerosis, hay fever, and potentially other T cell—driven diseases. End Game in China to ride roller coaster at Disneyland Shanghai Mickey Rourke, 66, shows off his smooth complexion as he larks around with his hairdresser outside their favourite pizza haunt Meghan in a sari: Today's headlines Most Read Charlize Theron: For the first time, the Hollywood actress Female journalist, 29, shot dead 'in terrorist incident by dissident republicans' on a night of Move over Black Friday! Femail reveals the best bank holiday deals on the high street on everything from Flight attendant reveals the tell-tale sign passengers are joining the mile high club Two die after being pulled from the sea off Aberdeen beach in the early hours of Good Friday The brutal realities of childbirth: Viral image shows what 10 centimeters of dilation really looks like Dame Emma jets 5, miles to show how green she is! Actress issues call-to-arms for climate activists to Skateboarding plod? No, send in the riot squad Eco-mob plot to ruin Easter: Climate protesters vow to bring Heathrow to its knees on Good Friday The Cotswold Conspirators: How four key players in the Extinction Rebellion eco-mob plotted chaos in London Hey you pagan eco pixies, here are ten things you SHOULD protest about 'I live in a family of 15 people and my parents are abusive - my sisters are chained up': Chilling call Norwegian Air is blasted over page dress code that forces Bank of England fears as UK debt rises to.

The Colorado ski industry is a good example to use in de- termining if this geographically-constrained industry is effectively utilizing the op- portunities available in the Internet marketing Ms mika chocolate models travel services that can be pro- moted on native-language google.

Specifically, this study analyzes the use of two Internet marketing strategies available on Google: In the Colorado Tourism Office was established to promote Colorado as a tourist destination.

This study examines the Internet marketing strategies of these 26 ski areas. Included in the study are the 16 countries comprising the Eurozone and Ms mika chocolate models six additional large Western European countries that are not currently using the Eu- ro as their currency.

They observed that Gilenya-treated MS patients had lower activation of monocytes when compared with monocytes from control participants.

Naked Challenge Watch Nude middle aged amateur Video Xxxxxxxxxbf Videos. Ms Penniman and her famous brother, real name Michael Penniman, had been out to dinner on the night before the accident. Firefighters had to remove the railings before taking Miss Penniman to hospital where she is in a critical condition. Sealed off: A policeman guards the scene where blood is still visible on the pavement. The Brit Award-winning artist, who won the BBC's influential Sound of poll, comes from a family of five and also has a younger brother Fortune, younger sister Allegra and another sister, Yasmine. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Pop star Mika's sister fighting for her life after 50ft horror fall leaves her impaled on railings By Daily Mail Reporter Updated: Share or comment on this article: Mika's sister impaled on railings after 50ft window fall is critical in hospital. Most watched News videos Police dances with climate activists chanting 'we love you' Presenter blasts activist for telling people to miss work and protest Woman's hilarious reaction to 'tiny dress' online shopping fail Traveler pulled over by police taking pet horse for a walk Moment carjackers drag tourist from car by her hair in Johannesburg Convicted murderer sobs upon his arrest over girlfriend's death Speeding cyclist flips over garden wall after painful crash Qatari sociologist's guide on how Muslim men should beat wives Drunk man wakes up to confused couple after going into wrong house Treasures of Notre Dame to be moved to the Louvre after fire Police 'de-arrest' Extinction Rebels while protestors cheer Body Cam footage shows officer shoot a man who charged at him. Comments 66 Share what you think. View all. Bing Site Web Enter search term: Charlize Theron: My child I thought was a boy is Dancer beams as he meets fans How you can dress your whole brood on a budget, whatever the occasion Ad Feature Charlize Theron steps out make-up free with eldest child Jackson Chris Hemsworth takes time off promoting Avengers: End Game in China to ride roller coaster at Disneyland Shanghai Mickey Rourke, 66, shows off his smooth complexion as he larks around with his hairdresser outside their favourite pizza haunt Meghan in a sari: Today's headlines Most Read Charlize Theron: Like CGS, they are not above forcing their Human Debris pilots to undergo surgery for "Whisker" man-machine interface implants despite the operation's high failure rate. The group's treatment of the children is harsh, with physical and emotional abuse being commonplace. They are hired by Gjallarhorn to abduct one of the members of Tekkadan in exchange for Kudelia. They possess multiple Man Rodi mobile suits alongside the Gundam Gusion, two assault ships, and two cargo vessels. After their defeat by Tekkadan and the Turbines, their assets are reduced to one assault ship while their second vessel, the surviving Human Debris, and the remaining mobile suits are claimed by Tekkadan. The second vessel was later sacrificed as an unmanned decoy to slip through a blockade around Earth. The surviving Human Debris later join in the final battle under Tekkadan's command on Earth. One of the four economic and political power blocs on Earth alongside the African Union, the Strategic Alliance Union, and the Oceanian Federation, its territory consists of all non-European territories in the Arctic Circle. It is also the first of the power blocs to give its Martian colonies partial autonomy. Following Tekkadan's succession in sending Makanai and Kudelia to the parliament, Arbrau hires Tekkadan's mercenaries as military advisors. The company is named after Kudelia's late friend Fumitan Admoss. After Allium Gyojan's death, the rest of the organization was arrested by Gjallarhorn. The organization has over 2, members and 10 armored assault ships. The Dawn Horizon Corps are powerful enough that even Teiwaz has difficulty dealing with them. They are also strong enough to raid as far as the borders of the Earth Sphere and have managed to evade Gjallarhorn's fleets for quite some time. Like Brewers, they are known to use Human Debris mobile suit pilots as cannon fodder before sending in their elite forces. After their encounter with Tekkadan and the Outer Earth Orbit Regulatory Joint Fleet, their leader is arrested while the rest of the fleet is forced to surrender to Arianrhod. A Gundam-Frame unit is equipped with two Ahab Reactors, which generate Ahab Particles, giving the mobile suit unparalleled power, but it is difficult to keep the reactors in synchronous operation; hence the rarity of these machines. A Gundam's high power and maneuverability can also pose a problem by creating a heavy burden for the pilot. However, this is mitigated by the implementation of Inertial Control from the use of the Ahab Reactors and the cockpit is positioned in front of the reactors to take advantage of this. Only 26 of the 72 Gundam-Frame suits are confirmed to exist in operational form in the present day. The Valkyrja Frame, produced during the late stages of the Calamity War, is an advanced but not very well known mobile suit frame, as it was first produced at the same time as, and was completely overshadowed by, the much more prolific Gundam Frame. Despite its obscurity, its performance and track record were impressive enough for Gjallarhorn to use the Valkyrja Frame as the source of inspiration for the mass-produced Graze Frame. It is speculated that because of the frame's relative obscurity, less than ten units were ever produced. While based on the Valkyrja Frame like its successor, it was gradually phased out of Gjallarhorn service in favor of its more versatile successor. The Graze Frame is a simplified version of the Grimgerde's Valkyrja Frame, Much of the Grimgerde's design philosophy was analyzed and adapted by Gjallarhorn into what would eventually become the EB Graze after the Calamity War, including the unit's highly sensitive head sensors and simple construction to minimize energy consumption. The Reginlaze Frame is the planned successor of the Graze Frame. In contrast, the Graze was intended to be used as an armed peacemaker and deterrence against insurrection. It was developed in secret and quietly issued to key individuals in the Arianrhod fleet. Its classified nature is secretive enough that important Gjallarhorn officers outside of Arianrhod have only heard rumors about its existence and operational status. It is also recent enough that there are only 18 units currently constructed, with all assigned to ace pilots in Arianrhod. The Rodi Frame is one of several mobile suit frames produced during the Calamity War, serving as the main mobile suit frame for the Outer Sphere for many years. The Rodi Frame is incredibly versatile; suits built with it are primarily designed for use in space and are often equipped with extremely heavy armor because of the lack of gravity. It is a common civilian-use frame because of this versatility. The problem for insurers will be their lack of equity capital, especially for non-life in- surers. Their actual option can only be, to reduce risky investments. Conse- quently, this implies that customers can only expect lower future returns, but with a higher security level. This fact necessitates an appropriate communication strategy to convince the customers to still sign insurance contracts with more safety but less expected return. Stock Markets: Risk, Return and Economic Fundamentals We will show by using different asset pricing models e. The low ex-post equity premium mainly seems to be a consequence of these shocks, which have been triggered by bursting asset bubbles. As already noted, the so-called subprime mortgage crisis has had massive negative effects on global economic growth and has simultaneously pushed down stock prices and government bond yields. Focussing on data from the European Monetary Union EMU investors had to witness that the Euro Stoxx 50 — a very popular benchmark for asset managers — fell below the mark of 2. After the bursting of the dot-com bubble this was the sec- ond stock market crash whilst one decade. Consequently, equity investors hop- ing for high returns have in general been disappointed since As a matter of fact, examining the data sample January to December the mean stock market return in the EMU was lower than the mean return on German government bonds - still bonds obviously were less risky figure 1. This period is very popular among financial econometricians in order to avoid possible struc- tural breaks due to the introduction of the Euro in January Our gauges of the per- formance of bond investments are the mean returns on the broad REXP and on the REXP 10 years which only includes German government bonds with a ma- turity of 10 years. Risk is measured by the standard deviation of returns. However, there is a simple explanation which already has been discussed: Two stock market crashes within the last decade figure 2 and figure 3. Figure 2: Figure 3: Crashes and Returns as measured by the Euro Stoxx 50 Economic theory does suggest that equity markets are highly volatile so that pronounced drops of share prices are always possible. Therefore, there should be a high risk premium. In fact, analysing long term trends does show that equity returns seem to be too high in order to be explained by some asset pricing mod- els. This is especially true for the consumption based capital asset pricing model CCAPM , which tries to explain stock returns by the consumption of economic agents. Assuming reasonable levels of risk aversion among economic agents consumption expenditures in the U. This is the so-called equity premium puzzle e. Stock market crashes have been suggested to solve this puzzle. However, dramatic events are needed to explain the high return on equities in the last 50 to years e. The two crashes to be observed in the last decade are quite clearly no sufficient solution to the equity premium puzzle. Taking an empirical perspective Campbell and Cochrane argued convin- cingly that the simple Capital Asset Pricing Model CAPM performs better than the more complex consumption based asset pricing model. According to the CAPM there is a strong relationship between risk and return. Therefore, inves- tors ought to expect that the ex ante equity premium will be positive. Similar discussions took place when the dot-com bubble was about to burst. Diamond , for example, discussed stock market return projections evaluating proposals to reform the U. While the recent historical experience quite clearly does suggest that stock mar- ket crashes are a phenomenon of economic relevance most financial economist seem to believe that stock prices in the long run are governed by economic fun- damentals. This assumption has recently been challenged by Boldrin and Peral- ta-Alva At this point, a model is needed to explain the fundamental value of equities. It is quite usual to note that the level of stock prices today is deter- mined by future expected dividend payouts e. More precisely, the present value model predicts that stock prices in period t SPt are given by: In order to use this model to predict stock prices assumptions about future dividend payouts and the required rate of return on equities have to be made. Most notably, Gordon suggested assuming that dividends grow at a constant rate g. Combined with the assumption that the required rate of return on equity is also time- invariant this leads to a very simple version of the model: Analyzing data from the U. Their methodology of just comparing the results of the present value of dividend payouts with the market value of equities is simple but very plausible. Noting that the model may miss some short term fluctuations of the stock market they have focused on low frequency movements of stock prices using the Hodrick-Prescott filter. Their results seem to imply that dividends cannot explain the movements of stock prices. This is especially true after In fact, they have shown that dividend growth did not have a specific trend in the period to while stock prices have increased sharply. Following their methodology we examine the European stock market focusing on the post experience. Our measure of stock market activity is the FTSE Eurotop index which is a modified capi- talization weighted index of the most actively traded and highly capitalized stocks in the European equity market. Stock prices and the data on dividends per index share are from Bloomberg. Our results figure 4 are by far less dis- couraging. Contrary to the U. Figure 4: The dividend time series is seasonally adjusted. According to ADF-tests not reported both variables seem to be non-stationary and integrated of order one. Given this result, we test for cointegration among dividends and stock prices. By definition, two time series integrated of order one are cointegrated when there is a linear combination of these variables that is stationary. The existence of a cointegration relationship between two time series indicates that the variables share a common stochastic trend and — as a consequence - that there is a close equilibrium relationship between them. In other words, finding empirical evidence for the existence of a cointegration relationship among dividends and stock prices would imply that the market value of equities in the long run is closely linked to the economic fundamentals. The procedure suggested by Johansen is used to test for cointegration among the variables examined here. This test is based on the econometric technique of vector autoregressions VAR. The error term ut is assumed to be a serially uncorrelated random variable. Re- arranging the equation yields: T is the number of observations. Including four lags and assuming that the data in levels and the cointegrating equations have linear deterministic trends there is clear evidence for cointegra- tion between the two variables table 1. We have used the critical values pro- vided by MacKinnon et al. Table 1: Linear deterministic trend restricted Lags interval in first differences: A Portmanteau test is not able to reject the null hypothesis of no residual autocorrelation up to 16 lags p-value 0. While there may be some criteria suggesting a higher number of time lags the residuals already seem to be random variables considering only four time lags. This result and the now popular tendency to parsimonious econometric model- ling quite clear speak for our model specification. Hargreaves , for exam- ple, performed Monte Carlo experiments indicating some difficulties with a small sample bias using the Johansen test procedure with less than data points. However, he has also noted that it is a common practice in applied econometrics to work with sample sizes of about 50 observations. Summing up, the empirical evidence reported in this section does indicate that stock prices, at least in the long run, are closely linked to the economic funda- mentals. This finding does imply that speculative bubbles are the exception rather than the rule. Therefore, past equity returns — which have been depressed by two stock market crashes in the last decade — are not necessarily a good guide to forecast future returns. Phrased somewhat differently, economic agents ought to expect a positive ex ante equity premium for the next ten years. This prediction is also supported by the simple CAPM which postulates the existence of a close relationship between risk and return. In the current market environ- ment — which is characterized by low interest rates — asset managers in the life insurance industry do face the problem that they will not be able to generate at- tractive returns. This will most probably especially be true in comparisons to fund managers at mutual funds because Solvency II will force life insurers to perma- nently reduce their exposure to equities. Mutual funds are less constrained. While low equity quotas recently have created no performance problems be- cause of the negative ex post equity premium this will not necessarily be the case in the coming years. In this case asset managers at life insurance companies will most probably not be able to produce as attractive returns as mutual funds. In other words, the characteristics of endowment policies will change in the post Solvency II world. As prescribed by the regulators this financial product will quite clearly generate lower returns — but will also be less risky. Asset managers in the life insurance industry most probably will not be able to solve this problem — so there is some homework to do for the sales and marketing departments! This process involves more or less the fol- lowing steps: Solvency II will cause life insurers to change their investment policies. This will affect the product endowment life insurance. Considering the situation for en- dowment policies in the post Solvency II world the situation obviously differs from the new product process discussed above, because steps 1 through 3 are distinct. Phrased somewhat differently, there is no new product but just a signifi- cant change to the regulatory environment governing existing life insurance poli- cies. Life insurers are in need to alter their asset allocation according to the new law. Describing the situation from a change perspective, the customers in the pre Solvency II world can be classified as in- vestors who want attractive returns at modest levels of risk. But this selection cri- teria cannot be offered sufficiently by the insurers in the post-Solvency II world By changing the product structure, customers will face a situation with lower re- turns and, of course, lower risk. Life insurers are consequently confronted with the situation that the product characteristics have changed but not the customer preferences. First, the shift of customer-preferences and second, target- ing right customers. The well known school of behaviourism e. This SR-Model describes a clear causal structure between the stimuli perceived and the action resulting in open behaviour. Following this, marketers make use of the so called S-O-R model to describe buying behaviour. The neo- behaviouristic S-O-R model is preferred to other buyer-behaviour models e. Elements are the stimulus S , the organism O and the response R of the buyer. The stimulus contains marketing e. Organism describes the influence within the indi- vidual human, and helps to explain different outcomes of the same stimuli. The individual preferences Figure 5: The response is again observable and describes, for example, buying a specific insurance, volume, or fee paid. Using only different advertising to make consumers buy the new insurance product will not be sufficient, because only those with suitable risk aversion and return expectations will match with the post Solvency II en- dowment policy. Not talking about ethics, a supplier wants to make consumers buy his product. Therefore a shift in consumer preferences, inherent in the or- ganism, is necessary. Figure 6 describes this task by showing the needed shift of prefer- ences from a pre Solvency II world to b post Solvency II world. Figure 6: Shift of Preferences Considering the atmosphere after the peak of the financial crisis, the image of speculative investments is badly damaged and trust seems to be lost see Gounaris and Prout On this basis the insurance industry might find a way to change the preferences of the individual organism. Prospect theory shows that the human inherent risk adversity and the predominate insecure economic environment will also support the switch to a more security-wishing investor e. This will be done by using advisements which focus on invest- ment risk vs. But is this strategy made for long term success? Finally the insurance industry could again damage its reputation, pushing the post Solvency II product whether it really fits the customer or not, by using manipulative advertising strategies. To avoid this, a second approach will be out- lined now. As the first approach does not pay attention to customer heterogene- ity, as all investors are receivers of the marketing campaign, the second ap- proach focuses on targeting the right customers. It is characterized by paying attention to the individual preference orientation and works on the investment level of the individual subject, whereas the former approach deals on an aggre- gated crowd level. Market segmentation is seen as method for identifying differ- ent customers groups. Several methods have appeared to build these seg- ments, which require to have intra-segment homogeneity and inter-segment heterogeneity, and will not further be discussed here see Wedel and Kamakura The main task is to identify the individual preference structure, classify the customer and consequently find the right product that matches his prefer- ences. But acting like this, only the customers with preferences b in figure 6 will be addressee of the selling campaign, leaving out customer a. This can be a selling opportunity for other products. But there is already a way out of the di- lemma, not having the right product for specific customers. Making use of the Markowitz Model on individual basis financial counsellors can identify the indi- vidual risk return preference see Markowitz By doing so, the post Sol- vency II endowment policies can also be sold to customers with a differing risk return preference. The Individual Investment Portfolio This of course requires investment in the individual customer relationship, in- creases counselling effort and needs the generation and provision of individual customer data. The usage of data-mining tools for analysing customer invest- ments can be seen as a good starting point. Adaption of conjoint measurement methods during individual guidance can be used to iden- tify customer preferences not only for developing new products, but also for segmentation purpose within a financial service setting DeSarbo et al. This preferences can then be utilized to cross check with the actual investment strategies followed by the customer thereby opening opportunities to sell post Solvency II world endowment policies even if they on there own do not fit the customer preferences. Conclusion Solvency II will change the paradigms of risk and asset management in the European insurance industry. We believe that the new set of regulations will force life insurers to reduce their exposure to equities. We think that the life insurance industry will be forced to reposition the product endowment life insurance. This will mainly be the task of the sales and marketing departments. Quite clearly, the European life insurance industry will have to explain to customers that the characteristics of one of its most impor- tant products is about to change by deemphasising the factor attractive return and focusing more strongly on the factor low risk. Future studies might have a closer look into customer preferences con- sidering the attributes of post Solvency II products. Further on the comparison between low risk Solvency II insurance products and alternative investment products like investment funds or other capital market oriented offers from a cus- tomer viewpoint might give valuable insights to market the new insurance prod- ucts. Conjoint-based preferential segmentation in the design of a new finan- cial service International Journal of Bank Marketing, 14 , 3, pp. Basse, T. Solvency II — wirklich ein fataler Irrtum? Blackwell, R. Consumer behaviour, Fort Worth Boldrin, M. What Happened to the U. Stock Market? Louis Review, 91, , pp. Campbell, J. Cooper, R. DeSarbo, W. Representing heterogeneity in consumer response models, Marketing Letters, 8 , pp. Diamond, P. Gordon, M. Gounaris, K. Hargreaves, C.: Hargreaves, Oxford, Oxford University Press, , pp. The theory of buyer behaviour, New York Huerta de Soto, J.: Johansen, S.: Kahneman, D. Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk, Econometrica, 47 , pp. Kocherlakota, N. The equity premium: Mackinnon, J. Markotwitz, H.: Portfolio Selection, The Journal of Finance, 7, , pp. Meffert, H.: Mehra, R. The Equity Premium: A Puzzle, Journal of Monetary Economics, 15, , pp. M Constantinides, M. Harris and R. Stulz, North Holland, Amsterdam, , pp. Reddemann, S. Rietz, T. The equity risk premium: Romeike, F. Skinner, B. Beyond freedom and dignity, New York Teas, K. Conjoint measurement of consumer's preferences for multiattribute financial services, Journal of Bank Research, , 15, pp. Tversky, A. Advances in prospect theory: Watson, J. Psychology from the standpoint of a behaviourist, Philadelphia Wedel, M. Market segmentation. Conceptual and methodo- logical foundations, Boston Woodworth, R. A study of mental life, New York Zimbardo, P. The objective of this article is to identify the strategic positioning of the footwear manufacturers located in the Vale do Sinos according to the typology described on the literature. This is a descriptive and qualitative study. In-depth interviews were carried out with specialists in the leather goods and footwear industry. Starting from an industrial profile focused on low costs, these companies have realigned themselves to a more market- oriented profile, offering elements of differentiation. The footwear industry is no exception. The chain of production of leather goods and footwear has undergone significant changes in terms of its operational methods, which in turn demands that organi- zations in the sector take a fresh look at their strategic positioning. The footwear industry is characterized by a relatively simple production process made up of distinct stages, and by non-intensive use of technology and a low-skilled work- force, meaning that mobility barriers are relatively easy to overcome and there are few obstacles to new companies entering the industry. In this industry, large companies per- form the sales and distribution roles and coordinate the global production chains, specifying the attributes required of the footwear that is to be produced, such as materials, quantities, models, delivery deadlines, prices and other details. Brazil is the third-largest producer and the fifth-largest exporter of footwear in the world. The Vale do Rio dos Sinos region, which is in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, is one of the most important production centers in Brazil and one of the largest footwear manufacture clusters in the world and the production of foot- wear is responsible a significant source of income for the valley. China has very much lower production costs than Brazil and, taking advantage of the characteristics of the footwear industry described above, it has taken the number one position worldwide in the industry, producing nine billion pairs of shoes in , in comparison to the million pairs produced in Brazil in the same year. Businesses from many different countries have relocated their manufacture to China, in order to take advantage of the economic benefits it of- fers. Faced with these questions, the dynamics of competition merit constant analysis in the search for new opportunities and emerging threats. The strategic choices that companies make have a significant impact on their results. Even when a company is not more efficient operationally, by adopting a strategic position that differentiates it within its market sector, in such a way as to minimize the impact of competition on its demand, that company can survive. Taking these approaches as a starting point, the question arises as to how well the footwear companies in the Vale do Sinos are positioned strategically in order to deal with the new scenario. The remainder of this article has the following structure: Strategy typologies Structural changes within an industry, in this case the footwear industry, force companies to review their strategies and adopt new market positions. The ability to identify new opportunities and to develop and coordinate a new configuration of supplementary internal activities to support them, should be the guiding prin- ciple behind the new position adopted Porter, Defining strategy typologies reduces the complexity of analysis of strategies and synthe- sizes them to point that they support the creation of new contextual dimension Hambrick, It is beyond the scope of this paper to go into greater detail about the Porter or Barney typologies, since they have been ade- quately explored in the academic and business literature and in the specialist press. However, a brief description will be given in order to ground the reader in the subject. Porter suggested that businesses that achieve above-average profits adopt one, and only one, of three generic strategies: According to his theory, cost leadership would be achieved by companies that manage to set their total costs below those of their competition, which would enable them to accumulate financial reserves to absorb the effects of possible price wars, defend against new entrants to the industry or to offer lower prices to the customer. This strategy results in greater customer loyalty and reduced price-sensitivity, distancing the company from its competitors. Mintzberg has pointed out that, when a business achieves lower total costs than its competition and passes these on in the form of lower prices for the customer, this itself is actually a type of differentiation. Finally, a company that follows a focus strategy elects a very specific target market, which translates to a finer granularity in terms of market sectors, distri- bution channels, product attributes or geographical areas. Porter even claimed that businesses that follow more than one generic strategy, or do not successfully implement their chosen strategy, will not achieve returns that are above the industry average. Mintzberg adopts a different point of view regarding differentiation, pro- posing more specific criteria within which companies differentiate their products and services: Differentiation by price consists of offering lower prices than the competition; differentiation by image consists of presenting products in a different manner, such as through distinctive packaging, marketing and other forms of promotional presentation; differentia- tion by support, according to this author, consists of offering products or services that serve to support customers, such as, for example, operating manuals, credit services, customer service and others; differentiation by quality consists of changing the characteristics of the product supplied, such as offering improved performance, durability or other attributes; differentiation on the basis of design implies that the product itself will have a design that sets it apart from the com- petition. Finally, Mintzberg points out that non-differentiation, i. In a more internal view of companies, Barney suggests that an organization's resources are the principal factor leading to competitive advantages. This Resource-Based View RBV , is grounded on the assump- tion that if a firm adequately exploits resources that are valuable, rare, imperfect- ly imitable and non-substitutable,8 it will generate sustainable competitive advan- tages. Empirical evidence on RBV in Brazil was provided by Moraes , who per- formed a study of data from more than fourteen thousand Brazilian companies in different business sectors. The study indicated that organizational internal factors were more strongly correlated with performance than were economic ex- ternal factors. Despite the growing academic and professional interest in RBT, due to the ab- stract nature of the definition of organizational resources adopted, being those factors under the control of a business that offer the potential for strategic ac- tions, creates difficulties for empirical definition. This can be observed in the great diversity of results found Newbert, Methods This study can be described as qualitative, cross-sectional research. An inter- view protocol comprising open questions was administered to ten professionals who had been selected by the following criteria: Interviews were conducted at the intervie- wees' workplaces at prearranged times during August and September of Each interviewee was sent a copy of the protocol in advance of the interview in order to enable them to read and reread the questions and reflect upon them. After each inter- view, the replies were transcribed and sent by e-mail to the interviewee, who was given the opportunity to revise or clarify any points that may not have faith- fully represented their opinions. The replies were then analyzed based on con- tent analysis method Bardin, Discussion of the Results The profile of the interviewees was as follows: The interviewees' current participation in the industry is primarily in the role of consultant nine of them. Five of them are professors, three are company directors and two are engineers. The first part of the interview protocol deals with the interviewees' views about the factors that have negatively impacted on the performance of Vale do Sinos VS companies, using questions based on the typologies of Porter and Mintzberg The table below contains a synthesis of the replies to the first three questions: Factors that have had a negative impact on the performance of the Vale dos Si- nos companies External factors Internal factors Exchange rate: Another referred to the lack of Foreign competitors: Paraguay, Tai- rectly within the production chain. Other issued mentioned in- vantage of them to acquire knowledge and cluded: The lack of capaci- the economy in general, the threat of re- tation was mentioned by four interviewees in cession, the low purchasing power of the a number of different ways, as improvement, Brazilian population and the fact that as professional training and as preparing for many export companies have gone out the future. Two interviewees discussed the of business. The third step uses a high-intensity ultrasound beam directed onto the tumour to cause the bubbles to vibrate and tear apart the proteins around capillaries, allowing the drug into brain tissue. Hall had the procedure performed earlier this week. To ensure it worked, the chemotherapy drug was marked with a chemical tag to make it visible on MRI scans. As the research team watched, the chemotherapy drug moved through Bonny's blood vessels into her tumour. Hall underwent surgery later in the day to have the bulk of her tumour removed. She will also likely receive radiation and chemotherapy as part of her follow-up care. Nine other brain cancer patients will soon be treated in the same way, and then researchers will publish the full results. Kullervo Hynynen, one of the scientists who has been working on this technique, says the animal tests went well and if the approach works in humans, it would be a game-changer. It will give hope to patients who have no hope," Hynynen says. Sunnybrook cancer specialist Dr. Maureen Trudeau is already planning her own study to see if the therapy can deliver more of the drug Herceptin into the brain tumours of HER2-positive breast cancer patients who have had their disease spread to the brain. A new study claims an abnormality in blood drainage from the brain, known as chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency CCSVI , is not associated with multiple sclerosis MS. Paolo Zamboni, from the University of Ferrar in Italy, first suggested abnormalities in the way blood is drained from the brain and spinal cord may cause damage to the nervous system characterised by MS. In turn, nerves would get damaged, and MS would develop, he claimed. During his study, he reportedly found per cent of the MS patients had CCSVI, and subsequently developed a procedure to restore normal blood flow. Meanwhile, another study found that a treatment for CCSVI, called a liberation procedure, in which the veins are widened, did nothing to relieve symptoms of MS. The current study also used a form of venous imaging called gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance venography, along with extracranial Doppler ultrasound, to compare blood flow out of the brain between MS patients and 60 healthy controls. Costello and her team also questioned whether CCSVI diagnoses were really doing a service to patients. A new study links higher vitamin D levels to possible neuroprotection for individuals with multiple sclerosis. The study, published last Saturday in the European Journal of Neurology, draws a connection between higher vitamin D levels in the blood and higher grey matter levels in the brain. For individuals with MS, low vitamin D levels are linked to relapses and lesions in the brain, wrote principal investigator Ellen Mowry, neurology professor at Johns Hopkins University. MS occurs less frequently in regions closer to the equator, where the exposure to sunlight and to vitamin D is higher, Mowry said. She added that her study aims to further validate that connection between vitamin D levels and MS. The research was conducted using data from a study for which Zamvil was the principle investigator. The MRI data for those individuals was analyzed to measure gray matter volume in the brain and brain atrophy — the loss of brain tissue over time. The researchers looked at new lesions in the brain, which indicate relapses, and measures of atrophy in the brain. The strongest correlation was drawn between lower vitamin D levels and high levels of brain atrophy, Waubant said, though she added that this does not confirm causality, since there may be another factor that leads to both low vitamin D levels and high brain atrophy. The study is one of many looking at the role of vitamin D in MS, and has implications for both the understanding of the causes of the disease and the value of vitamin D supplements in treating it, Waubant said. Vitamin D supplements are already used for MS patients with unusually low vitamin D levels, but there are currently trials ongoing to see how those supplements in different forms can be used to treat the disease overall, Waubant added. Over time, the resulting bouts of inflammation permanently damage the myelin sheath and the nerve fibers it protects, disrupting nerve signals traveling to and from the brain. But the molecular cues that enable autoimmune T cells, which are usually kept at bay by the blood-brain barrier, to slip into the central nervous system had remained unclear. In their latest study, published in Nature Immunology, researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology report these disease-causing autoimmune T cells are lured into the nervous system by monocytes and macrophages, a subset of immune cells better known as the immune system's clean-up crew. By revealing the molecular mechanisms that control neuroinflammation, these findings add a new layer of complexity to our understanding of multiple sclerosis and support the growing appreciation of the significance of the crosstalk between the peripheral immune system and the brain. They also open up new avenues for potential multiple sclerosis therapies via manipulating the levels of immune regulators that contribute to inflammation in the central nervous system. Stress can worsen symptoms of inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis but the molecular mechanisms linking cellular stress signalling and neuroinflammation had remained unclear. A chance encounter between Shaked and co-first author Richard Hanna, Ph. Hanna studies a protein known as Nr4a1, which responds to both inflammatory and stress signals and the researchers hypothesized that it may be a key factor in the prevention of autoimmunity affecting the central nervous system..

The team highlighted that their findings show that Gilenya administration changes the reactivity profile of a wide range of myeloid cells, specifically circulating, central nervous system-infiltrating and Ms mika chocolate models nervous system-resident cells in vitro, in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and in MS. Canadian scientists have made history with a world first, successfully using focused ultrasound to break through one of the human body's final frontiers - the blood-brain barrier.

The researchers have unlocked a non-invasive way to deliver medication deep into the brain, opening the door to better treatments for brain tumours, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis.

The blood-brain barrier has long been an obstacle for doctors trying to treat brain diseases. The barrier is a layer of tightly packed cells that act like Ms mika chocolate models wrap, surrounding each of the brain's blood vessels, protecting them from infections and toxins. Because little can get through this barrier, it is frustratingly difficult for doctors to treat tumours and brain diseases because life-saving drugs can't enter brain cells.

But neuroscientists at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre have found a non-invasive solution. They have devised a new technique involving microbubbles and focused ultrasound to get through the barrier. Bonny Hall is the first patient to undergo the technique. Hall is a mother, grandmother and business owner who recently learned that the benign brain tumour she has lived with for eight years had begun to grow quickly and was malignant.

Though she was at first stunned by the news, she is now looking forward to being part of this Ms mika chocolate models study. The type of tumour Hall has is a glioma. The tumours are often difficult to treat because spread out in a web, and can't be completely removed with surgery.

Doctors can use chemotherapy to treat what is left behind after surgery, but only Ms mika chocolate models 25 per cent of the drugs reach the brain, says Dr. Todd Mainprize, who is leading this new study. That is in part why brain cancer survival rates are so low, he says. This new approach involves three steps: First, the patient is given a dose of chemotherapy medication; in Bonny's case, that drug is doxorubicin.

Then, harmless gas microbubbles are injected into the bloodstream. This web page third step uses a high-intensity ultrasound beam directed onto the tumour to cause the bubbles to vibrate and tear apart the proteins around capillaries, allowing the drug into brain tissue.

Hall had the procedure performed earlier this week. To ensure it worked, the chemotherapy drug was marked with a Ms mika chocolate models tag to make it visible on MRI scans. As the research team watched, the chemotherapy drug moved through Bonny's blood vessels into her tumour. Hall underwent surgery later in the day to have the bulk of her tumour removed.

She will also likely receive radiation and chemotherapy as part of her follow-up care. Nine other brain cancer patients will soon be treated in the same way, and then researchers will publish the full results. Kullervo Hynynen, one of the scientists who has been working on this technique, says the animal tests went well and if the approach works in humans, it would be a game-changer.

It will give hope to patients who have no hope," Hynynen says. Sunnybrook cancer specialist Dr. Maureen Trudeau is already planning her own study to see if the therapy can deliver more of the drug Herceptin into the brain tumours of HER2-positive breast cancer patients who have Ms mika chocolate models their disease spread to the brain. A new study claims an abnormality in blood drainage from the continue reading, known as chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency CCSVIis not associated with multiple sclerosis MS.

Paolo Zamboni, from the University of Ferrar in Italy, first suggested abnormalities in the way blood is just click for source from the Ms mika chocolate models and spinal cord may cause damage to the nervous system characterised by MS. In turn, nerves would get damaged, and MS would develop, he claimed. During his study, he reportedly found per cent of the MS patients had CCSVI, and subsequently developed a procedure to restore normal blood flow.

Meanwhile, another Ms mika chocolate models found that a treatment for CCSVI, called a liberation procedure, in which Ms mika chocolate models veins are widened, did nothing to relieve symptoms of MS.

The current study also used a form of venous imaging called gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance venography, along with extracranial Doppler ultrasound, to compare blood flow out of the brain between MS patients and 60 healthy controls. Power within Gjallarhorn also became dominated by seven major political dynasties technically not holding official power, but almost like Zaibatsu. Meanwhile, Mars and the rest of the Outer Sphere became the literal Third World for Earth, their resources and raw materials feeding the wealth of the mother planet even as they struggled to survive.

Serious economic disparity remained a major problem on Mars, where child labor, human trafficking in the form of child soldiers known as Human Debris, and ordinary child soldiers became commonplace. This in turn has led to civil unrest, but Gjallarhorn and major Earth-based companies keep the locals in line by hiring private military contractors as crowd control- the soldiers in many of which are child soldiers themselves.

The heavy use of locally recruited mercenary companies allows the Earth power blocs to fight unrest Ms mika chocolate models proxy, instead Ms mika chocolate models having to spill their own blood for their economic interests Ms mika chocolate models the planet.

Over time the economic blocs from Earth have given at least some limited autonomy to their Mars colonies, but this largely exists on paper as neocolonialism through economic domination remains. By the beginning of the Ms mika chocolate models series in P. Maps even show that a large circle of land in southeastern Australia is missing as a result of the Calamity War - matching how the same region of Australia was devastated by a colony drop in the Ms mika chocolate models Century.

Orga chose the name "Iron Flower" for them using the metaphor that despite their downtrodden status as child soldiers, like an iron flower, they can't be destroyed no matter how much people seek to crush them.

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Their current mission is to protect and escort Kudelia Aina Bernstein as she heads to Earth for secret negotiations. Arriving on Earth, Makanai also hires them to send him to the parliament as well with Kudelia. Following the completion of their job, Arbrau hires them as their military advisors. With a massive influx of funding from Teiwaz and eager recruits, they are able to create an Earth branch to advise Arbaur's military and as a whole they became a burgeoning company that is Ms mika chocolate models by all in their field of Ms mika chocolate models.

Befitting of their origin as abused child soldiers, the members who are formerly Human Debris have discarded their see more clothing and are treated equally by their leaders.

Following the successive plots against them and their allies, orchestrated by Rustal Elion and Iok Kujan of Gjallarhorn, and Jasley Donomikols of Teiwaz, Tekkadan breaks Ms mika chocolate models with Teiwaz and the Admoss Company to join McGillis Fareed in his war to remove Rustal from power, with the promise of gaining the sovereignty over Mars once McGillis Ms mika chocolate models full control over Gjallarhorn at the cost of being Arianrhod's scapegoats.

With all their communications to the outside cut off and with Gjallarhorn's manipulation of the media making it seem they would not surrender, Tekkadan was forced to stage a final stand while secretly evacuating as many members as it could through a secret tunnel recently discovered.

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The group was believed to be eradicated once its base was completely destroyed by a rail gun barrage from orbit. With Orga's death and many of the combatants killed while the none-combatants evacuated, the organization has been disbanded while the survivors lived on under new identities crafted by Makanai in gratitude for their past assistance. With their base having been demolished by a rail gun barrage from orbit, all that remains as a tangible mark of their presence is a memorial stone covered with the names of their fallen near Sakura's farm.

It was disbanded and reformed into Tekkadan. A Martian city that has long been governed by Arbrau, one of Earth's four major powers. Its people demand independence from Earth's corrupt and arbitrary rule. While on paper it is an autonomous city, like the rest of Mars, it is actually economically dependent on Earth and so, many of its inhabitants are impoverished. Best nude snapchats Tekkadan's demise and the McGillis Fareed Ms mika chocolate models, the colonies on Mar achieved independence and organized themselves under the Martian Union.

The organization's namesake is Gjallarhorn from Norse mythology, the war Ms mika chocolate models of the gods which will be blown at the beginning of Ragnarok. To that end, they developed the Alaya-Vijnana Ms mika chocolate models and the Gundam Frames to acquire the decisive edge necessary to end the conflict. The organization has a presence in both the inner and outer spheres and is composed of several divisions - primarily the Terran, Ms mika chocolate models, and Jovian branches.

There are also several other divisions such as the internal affairs branch. Gjallarhorn also has an elite special forces unit known as Arianrhodbased on Luna, which is meant to react to any direct attacks against Earth. Befitting of its role as the Solar System's sole peacekeeper, it maintains a monopoly over Ahab Reactor production and possess countless mobile suits.

Having maintained the peace unopposed for years, the group slowly Ms mika chocolate models from corruption among workers and high executives, to the point of using dirty tactics such as sabotage and secretly interfering in internal affairs of other power blocs, as pointed out by Kudelia during the Dort Colony incidents. According to both McGillis and Nady, the Earth population's phobia towards humans with cybernetic implantation is actually due to a calculated effort by Gjallarhorn's propaganda in order to discourage the cybernetic technologies which gave Gjallarhorn the edge in winning the Calamity War from becoming popular enough to be used against Gjallarhorn itself in the Ms mika chocolate models.

With this web page fiasco over Gjallarhorn's meddling in Kudelia's trip and Arbrau's elections exposed, multiple political entities have lost trust in Ms mika chocolate models organization and have begun building up their military forces in an unprecedented arms race.

Sometime later, McGillis rallied a splinter faction, placing most of the executives under his captivity while declaring war towards Gjallarhorn in hopes of reforming the organization.

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And her inspiration? With the cooperation of remaining leaders from each surviving faction, Gjallarhorn reorganized Earth's political landscape into four powerful economic blocs. Meanwhile, each of the four power blocks was assigned a sector of Mars to rebuild and build up the Martian governmental structure from scratch. Gjallarhorn itself remained as a peacekeeping force, officially neutral, but ruthlessly crushing any who might threaten international stability again. It achieved this by maintaining a firm monopoly on Ahab Reactor production, though after the Calamity War itself production of new Gundam Frames which were difficult to manufacture was phased out - instead, subsequent generations shifted to using scaled-down, mass-produced versions of the concurrent and simpler Valkyrie Frame. To highlight the discrepancy, records show that the Gundams produced measured in the dozens, but the mass-produced models number in the hundreds. The mainstay of Gjallarhorn's forces are the Graze type Mobile Suit Frames, which utterly dominate the battlefield through superior technology and numbers. Having established stable political relations between these four economic blocs in the Inner Sphere of the Solar System also known as the Earth Sphere , Gjallarhorn also set about ordering the Outer Sphere - primarily consisting of Mars and the Jupiter system and possibly other settlements. Gjallarhorn evenly divided the territories of Mars and the rest of the Outer Sphere between the four different economic blocks for them to rebuild, so that each of the four control different locations on Mars, i. In the subsequent three centuries, Gjallarhorn became increasingly ruthless and corrupt, and meddling in the internal politics of the four economic blocs. Power within Gjallarhorn also became dominated by seven major political dynasties technically not holding official power, but almost like Zaibatsu. Meanwhile, Mars and the rest of the Outer Sphere became the literal Third World for Earth, their resources and raw materials feeding the wealth of the mother planet even as they struggled to survive. Serious economic disparity remained a major problem on Mars, where child labor, human trafficking in the form of child soldiers known as Human Debris, and ordinary child soldiers became commonplace. This in turn has led to civil unrest, but Gjallarhorn and major Earth-based companies keep the locals in line by hiring private military contractors as crowd control- the soldiers in many of which are child soldiers themselves. The heavy use of locally recruited mercenary companies allows the Earth power blocs to fight unrest by proxy, instead of having to spill their own blood for their economic interests on the planet. Over time the economic blocs from Earth have given at least some limited autonomy to their Mars colonies, but this largely exists on paper as neocolonialism through economic domination remains. By the beginning of the TV series in P. Maps even show that a large circle of land in southeastern Australia is missing as a result of the Calamity War - matching how the same region of Australia was devastated by a colony drop in the Universal Century. Orga chose the name "Iron Flower" for them using the metaphor that despite their downtrodden status as child soldiers, like an iron flower, they can't be destroyed no matter how much people seek to crush them. Their current mission is to protect and escort Kudelia Aina Bernstein as she heads to Earth for secret negotiations. Arriving on Earth, Makanai also hires them to send him to the parliament as well with Kudelia. Following the completion of their job, Arbrau hires them as their military advisors. With a massive influx of funding from Teiwaz and eager recruits, they are able to create an Earth branch to advise Arbaur's military and as a whole they became a burgeoning company that is envied by all in their field of work. Befitting of their origin as abused child soldiers, the members who are formerly Human Debris have discarded their red-lined clothing and are treated equally by their leaders. Following the successive plots against them and their allies, orchestrated by Rustal Elion and Iok Kujan of Gjallarhorn, and Jasley Donomikols of Teiwaz, Tekkadan breaks ties with Teiwaz and the Admoss Company to join McGillis Fareed in his war to remove Rustal from power, with the promise of gaining the sovereignty over Mars once McGillis obtains full control over Gjallarhorn at the cost of being Arianrhod's scapegoats. With all their communications to the outside cut off and with Gjallarhorn's manipulation of the media making it seem they would not surrender, Tekkadan was forced to stage a final stand while secretly evacuating as many members as it could through a secret tunnel recently discovered. The group was believed to be eradicated once its base was completely destroyed by a rail gun barrage from orbit. With Orga's death and many of the combatants killed while the none-combatants evacuated, the organization has been disbanded while the survivors lived on under new identities crafted by Makanai in gratitude for their past assistance. With their base having been demolished by a rail gun barrage from orbit, all that remains as a tangible mark of their presence is a memorial stone covered with the names of their fallen near Sakura's farm. It was disbanded and reformed into Tekkadan. A Martian city that has long been governed by Arbrau, one of Earth's four major powers. Its people demand independence from Earth's corrupt and arbitrary rule. While on paper it is an autonomous city, like the rest of Mars, it is actually economically dependent on Earth and so, many of its inhabitants are impoverished. After Tekkadan's demise and the McGillis Fareed incident, the colonies on Mar achieved independence and organized themselves under the Martian Union. The organization's namesake is Gjallarhorn from Norse mythology, the war horn of the gods which will be blown at the beginning of Ragnarok. Dwyer, L. Destination price competitiveness: Exchan- ge rate changes versus domestic inflation. Journal of Travel Research, 40, Elliott, R. The marketing of tourism services using the In- ternet: A resource-based view. South African Journal of Business Management, 40, Ghose, A. Sponsored search in electronic markets. Management Science, 55, Greenwood, C. How do currency exchange rates influence the price of holidays? Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, 6, Advertising Age, 80, Law, A. Long tail tourism: New geographies for marketing niche tou- rism products. Machrone, B. PC Magazine, 22, Mamamghani, F. Impact of e-commerce on travel and tourism: An histo- rical analysis. International Journal of Management, 26, Map of Euro area Retrieved from http: Google grabbers 2. Profit, 28, Millman, M. Weak dollar doldrums. Financial Executive, 6, The most important websites. Mughal, I. Nelson, P. Searching questions. Null, C. PC World, 27, Introduces New Website. Press Release. Journal of Travel Research, 44, Rubel, S. Advertising Age, 78, Google clicks up cost but add value. The World Factbook. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency. Ret- rieved from https: Some Homework to Do for the Sales and Marketing Departments Introduction Solvency II is to be considered a paradigm shift for the European insurance in- dustry and will lead to major changes in the process of asset and risk manage- ment. This new set of regulations is necessary. In fact, we believe that the cur- rent financial crisis has shown the importance of such advanced risk manage- ment processes in the financial services industry. The so-called subprime mort- gage crisis obviously did have massive negative effects on capital markets and global economic growth. As a consequence, not only the stocks of banks and in- surers dropped considerably; the equity market in general suffered huge losses. Finally, it was the unblamable general public to carry the burden. Stocks have recently been not the best investments compared to other asset classes, for ex- ample, German 10 year government bonds. Easily to understand, a reform of fi- nancial market regulation in general and insurance authority in special had to be undertaken. Taking into account Solvency II, which will require that equity in- vestments have to be underlain with an extra amount of solvency capital, it seems to be very probable that insurers will permanently reduce their equity ex- posure. As a matter of fact, insurance companies, especially Germans, are lack- ing equity capital anyway and have problems to fulfill upcoming Solvency II capi- tal requirements. However, having lately seen quite a recovery after the lows of March , there may still be some potential for further gains in stocks. This could become a problem for asset managers in the insurance industry. Low in- terest rates even seem to increase these difficulties because life insurers will have a hard time trying to produce attractive returns in a post Solvency II world — especially compared to mutual funds. Therefore, our objective is to show that life insurer will face a disadvantage in terms of return in comparison to mutual funds caused by Solvency II. Consequently, insurers especially have to do some rethinking of marketing strategies trying to sell endowment policies in the new regulatory environment. The organisation of the paper is as follows: Firstly we will examine some basic principles of Solvency II. Secondly we will briefly discuss asset pricing models focussing on stock markets and show that equity prices are closely related to economic fundamentals and identify stock crashes as rather seldom phenomena than normal events. This sheds light on future return expectations of mainly eq- uity investors mutual funds and investors under the Solvency II regime life in- surers. This in mind we will suggest appropriate financial services marketing strategies from a Solvency II perspective before concluding. Regulatory Way to Solvency II Almost at the end of the actual Solvency II implementing process, the subprime mortgage crisis shook the financial system. It became obvious, that rules were misused or at least extended to their limits into certain grey areas, and rethinking of applicable regulations had to be done. The crisis has shown the importance of rethinking risk management highlighting the importance of Solvency II. Romeike et al. Regard- ing Basse and Friedrich it is already foreseeable that capital require- ments will be tightened according to Solvency II, especially due to a very com- prehensive risk definition including underwriting and market risks. Even though a risk based approach was overdue and revised external or even internal models more state of the art, some experts doubt the necessity of Solvency II and call it a fatal error see Huerta de Soto Basse et al. More refined tools will be needed in this new regulatory framework to face interest rate risks on both sides of the balance sheet in an integrated asset- liability-approach. As a matter of fact, any effort undertaken by life insurers to encounter these risks could easily lead to a stronger demand for long term fixed income securities. Insurance companies lack of equity capital, so Reddemann et al. It is one of the major projects in the field of financial services regulation at the EU level. The goal is to introduce and establish for the first time economic risk-based solvency requirements across all 27 EU Member States. This new set of regulation will be more risk-sensitive and more accentu- ated than Solvency I, thus enabling a better coverage of the economic risks run by any particular insurer. In contrast, the previous set of regulations is known as Solvency I, which has specified the solvency margin in the s. Nevertheless, the focus thus far still lies on exactly this solvency margin, meaning the amount of regulatory capital an insurer is obligated to hold against unexpected events. These requirements have been in place since early 70s of the last century and were reviewed again during the s. A limited reform was agreed by the EU-Parliament as well as the Council in , leading to the well known reform, namely Solvency I. Nowadays, Solvency II is somewhat similar to the banking regulations of Basel II, this is why people tend to call it "Basel for insurers". Others, like Schubert et al. For example, the pro- posed framework has in both cases three main pillars or fields, namely pillars 1 to 3. The first one consists of quantitative requirements e. The second pillar sets out the necessity for the risk management as well as governance of insurers combined with rules for the effective supervision of insurers. Pillar 3 focuses on require- ments concerning disclosure issues and transparency. As already mentioned, the first pillar outlines quantitative issues. Rules to evalu- ate the balance sheet are mainly in the focus, especially technical provisions and own funds actually held. The regulatory Solvency Capital Requirement SCR can be calculated either by applying a compulsory standard formula or an developed internal model, which has to be accepted by the regulators. Addition- ally, the Minimum Capital Requirement MCR refers to the last threshold for the solvency capital that has to be held. Falling below this lower limit would result in intervention of the authority and may lead to the withdrawal of the undertaking's authorisation. Pillar 2 deals with qualitative requirements for all undertakings and regulatory authorities. Insurers must be able to state their positions concerning risk strategy, an appropriate organisational and operational structure, an internal management and control system as well as their audit function. Regarding the differences between small insurers and global players, the principle of dual pro- portionality applies accordingly: Additionally, the Supervisory Review Process SRP must also be in line with the so-called principle of proportionality as well. The third pillar deals with public and the su- pervisory disclosure requirements. Hard facts, like quantitative sol- vency capital requirements, must be published, too. Examples to point out the changes of solvency capital requirements might help to understand the new world order. Many European states e. This defi- nitely puts constraints on developing a standardized Europe-wide market. As a matter of fact, Solvency II is driven with the objective of developing and facilitat- ing a European Single Market in insurance services the EU legislation but not with the price of losing sight regarding consumer protection. To develop new rules of regulation, four quantitative impact studies QIS have already been undertaken, the fifth study will be run between August and mid-November Participation was voluntarily at all stages, each undertaking business — life, non- life and reinsurance — had to report to their national supervisors before the re- sults were consolidated and evaluated. Methodologies, simulation models and calculations were re-calibrated, developments were taken into account as well as solo results were considered differently as group results, etc. Nonetheless, the exception proves the rule. France has drawn particular atten- tion to the fact that their local insurance companies have a very different busi- ness model. Especially, the French government does not want to lose the insur- ance companies as investors at the Paris Stock Exchange Euronext. The com- panies have the allowance to smoothen their stock investments over several years rather than evaluate them year by year with the implications of deprecia- tions. Notwithstanding all major upheavals as well as paradigm shift for the insurance industry, Solvency II is useful and necessary together. Will insurance clients have the same product? As briefly outlined, insurers have to underlay risky investments with equity capital. This has to be done for both interest mismatch and shares. The problem for insurers will be their lack of equity capital, especially for non-life in- surers. Their actual option can only be, to reduce risky investments. Conse- quently, this implies that customers can only expect lower future returns, but with a higher security level. This fact necessitates an appropriate communication strategy to convince the customers to still sign insurance contracts with more safety but less expected return. Stock Markets: Risk, Return and Economic Fundamentals We will show by using different asset pricing models e. The low ex-post equity premium mainly seems to be a consequence of these shocks, which have been triggered by bursting asset bubbles. As already noted, the so-called subprime mortgage crisis has had massive negative effects on global economic growth and has simultaneously pushed down stock prices and government bond yields. Focussing on data from the European Monetary Union EMU investors had to witness that the Euro Stoxx 50 — a very popular benchmark for asset managers — fell below the mark of 2. After the bursting of the dot-com bubble this was the sec- ond stock market crash whilst one decade. Consequently, equity investors hop- ing for high returns have in general been disappointed since As a matter of fact, examining the data sample January to December the mean stock market return in the EMU was lower than the mean return on German government bonds - still bonds obviously were less risky figure 1. This period is very popular among financial econometricians in order to avoid possible struc- tural breaks due to the introduction of the Euro in January Our gauges of the per- formance of bond investments are the mean returns on the broad REXP and on the REXP 10 years which only includes German government bonds with a ma- turity of 10 years. Risk is measured by the standard deviation of returns. However, there is a simple explanation which already has been discussed: Two stock market crashes within the last decade figure 2 and figure 3. Figure 2: Figure 3: Crashes and Returns as measured by the Euro Stoxx 50 Economic theory does suggest that equity markets are highly volatile so that pronounced drops of share prices are always possible. Therefore, there should be a high risk premium. In fact, analysing long term trends does show that equity returns seem to be too high in order to be explained by some asset pricing mod- els. This is especially true for the consumption based capital asset pricing model CCAPM , which tries to explain stock returns by the consumption of economic agents. Assuming reasonable levels of risk aversion among economic agents consumption expenditures in the U. This is the so-called equity premium puzzle e. Stock market crashes have been suggested to solve this puzzle. However, dramatic events are needed to explain the high return on equities in the last 50 to years e. The two crashes to be observed in the last decade are quite clearly no sufficient solution to the equity premium puzzle. Taking an empirical perspective Campbell and Cochrane argued convin- cingly that the simple Capital Asset Pricing Model CAPM performs better than the more complex consumption based asset pricing model. According to the CAPM there is a strong relationship between risk and return. Therefore, inves- tors ought to expect that the ex ante equity premium will be positive. Similar discussions took place when the dot-com bubble was about to burst. Diamond , for example, discussed stock market return projections evaluating proposals to reform the U. While the recent historical experience quite clearly does suggest that stock mar- ket crashes are a phenomenon of economic relevance most financial economist seem to believe that stock prices in the long run are governed by economic fun- damentals. This assumption has recently been challenged by Boldrin and Peral- ta-Alva At this point, a model is needed to explain the fundamental value of equities. It is quite usual to note that the level of stock prices today is deter- mined by future expected dividend payouts e. More precisely, the present value model predicts that stock prices in period t SPt are given by: In order to use this model to predict stock prices assumptions about future dividend payouts and the required rate of return on equities have to be made. Most notably, Gordon suggested assuming that dividends grow at a constant rate g. Combined with the assumption that the required rate of return on equity is also time- invariant this leads to a very simple version of the model: Analyzing data from the U. Their methodology of just comparing the results of the present value of dividend payouts with the market value of equities is simple but very plausible. Noting that the model may miss some short term fluctuations of the stock market they have focused on low frequency movements of stock prices using the Hodrick-Prescott filter. Their results seem to imply that dividends cannot explain the movements of stock prices. This is especially true after In fact, they have shown that dividend growth did not have a specific trend in the period to while stock prices have increased sharply. Following their methodology we examine the European stock market focusing on the post experience. Our measure of stock market activity is the FTSE Eurotop index which is a modified capi- talization weighted index of the most actively traded and highly capitalized stocks in the European equity market. Stock prices and the data on dividends per index share are from Bloomberg. Our results figure 4 are by far less dis- couraging. Contrary to the U. Figure 4: The dividend time series is seasonally adjusted. According to ADF-tests not reported both variables seem to be non-stationary and integrated of order one. Given this result, we test for cointegration among dividends and stock prices. By definition, two time series integrated of order one are cointegrated when there is a linear combination of these variables that is stationary. The existence of a cointegration relationship between two time series indicates that the variables share a common stochastic trend and — as a consequence - that there is a close equilibrium relationship between them. In other words, finding empirical evidence for the existence of a cointegration relationship among dividends and stock prices would imply that the market value of equities in the long run is closely linked to the economic fundamentals. The procedure suggested by Johansen is used to test for cointegration among the variables examined here. This test is based on the econometric technique of vector autoregressions VAR. The error term ut is assumed to be a serially uncorrelated random variable. Re- arranging the equation yields: T is the number of observations. Including four lags and assuming that the data in levels and the cointegrating equations have linear deterministic trends there is clear evidence for cointegra- tion between the two variables table 1. We have used the critical values pro- vided by MacKinnon et al. Table 1: Linear deterministic trend restricted Lags interval in first differences: A Portmanteau test is not able to reject the null hypothesis of no residual autocorrelation up to 16 lags p-value 0. While there may be some criteria suggesting a higher number of time lags the residuals already seem to be random variables considering only four time lags. This result and the now popular tendency to parsimonious econometric model- ling quite clear speak for our model specification. Hargreaves , for exam- ple, performed Monte Carlo experiments indicating some difficulties with a small sample bias using the Johansen test procedure with less than data points. However, he has also noted that it is a common practice in applied econometrics to work with sample sizes of about 50 observations. Summing up, the empirical evidence reported in this section does indicate that stock prices, at least in the long run, are closely linked to the economic funda- mentals. This finding does imply that speculative bubbles are the exception rather than the rule. Therefore, past equity returns — which have been depressed by two stock market crashes in the last decade — are not necessarily a good guide to forecast future returns. Phrased somewhat differently, economic agents ought to expect a positive ex ante equity premium for the next ten years. This prediction is also supported by the simple CAPM which postulates the existence of a close relationship between risk and return. In the current market environ- ment — which is characterized by low interest rates — asset managers in the life insurance industry do face the problem that they will not be able to generate at- tractive returns. This will most probably especially be true in comparisons to fund managers at mutual funds because Solvency II will force life insurers to perma- nently reduce their exposure to equities. Mutual funds are less constrained. While low equity quotas recently have created no performance problems be- cause of the negative ex post equity premium this will not necessarily be the case in the coming years. In this case asset managers at life insurance companies will most probably not be able to produce as attractive returns as mutual funds. In other words, the characteristics of endowment policies will change in the post Solvency II world. As prescribed by the regulators this financial product will quite clearly generate lower returns — but will also be less risky. Asset managers in the life insurance industry most probably will not be able to solve this problem — so there is some homework to do for the sales and marketing departments! This process involves more or less the fol- lowing steps: Solvency II will cause life insurers to change their investment policies. This will affect the product endowment life insurance. Considering the situation for en- dowment policies in the post Solvency II world the situation obviously differs from the new product process discussed above, because steps 1 through 3 are distinct. Phrased somewhat differently, there is no new product but just a signifi- cant change to the regulatory environment governing existing life insurance poli- cies. Life insurers are in need to alter their asset allocation according to the new law. Describing the situation from a change perspective, the customers in the pre Solvency II world can be classified as in- vestors who want attractive returns at modest levels of risk. But this selection cri- teria cannot be offered sufficiently by the insurers in the post-Solvency II world By changing the product structure, customers will face a situation with lower re- turns and, of course, lower risk. Life insurers are consequently confronted with the situation that the product characteristics have changed but not the customer preferences. First, the shift of customer-preferences and second, target- ing right customers. The well known school of behaviourism e. This SR-Model describes a clear causal structure between the stimuli perceived and the action resulting in open behaviour. Following this, marketers make use of the so called S-O-R model to describe buying behaviour. The neo- behaviouristic S-O-R model is preferred to other buyer-behaviour models e. Elements are the stimulus S , the organism O and the response R of the buyer. The stimulus contains marketing e. Organism describes the influence within the indi- vidual human, and helps to explain different outcomes of the same stimuli. The individual preferences Figure 5: The response is again observable and describes, for example, buying a specific insurance, volume, or fee paid. Using only different advertising to make consumers buy the new insurance product will not be sufficient, because only those with suitable risk aversion and return expectations will match with the post Solvency II en- dowment policy. Not talking about ethics, a supplier wants to make consumers buy his product. Therefore a shift in consumer preferences, inherent in the or- ganism, is necessary. Figure 6 describes this task by showing the needed shift of prefer- ences from a pre Solvency II world to b post Solvency II world. Figure 6: Shift of Preferences Considering the atmosphere after the peak of the financial crisis, the image of speculative investments is badly damaged and trust seems to be lost see Gounaris and Prout On this basis the insurance industry might find a way to change the preferences of the individual organism. Prospect theory shows that the human inherent risk adversity and the predominate insecure economic environment will also support the switch to a more security-wishing investor e. This will be done by using advisements which focus on invest- ment risk vs. But is this strategy made for long term success? Finally the insurance industry could again damage its reputation, pushing the post Solvency II product whether it really fits the customer or not, by using manipulative advertising strategies. To avoid this, a second approach will be out- lined now. As the first approach does not pay attention to customer heterogene- ity, as all investors are receivers of the marketing campaign, the second ap- proach focuses on targeting the right customers. It is characterized by paying attention to the individual preference orientation and works on the investment level of the individual subject, whereas the former approach deals on an aggre- gated crowd level. Market segmentation is seen as method for identifying differ- ent customers groups. Several methods have appeared to build these seg- ments, which require to have intra-segment homogeneity and inter-segment heterogeneity, and will not further be discussed here see Wedel and Kamakura The main task is to identify the individual preference structure, classify the customer and consequently find the right product that matches his prefer- ences. But acting like this, only the customers with preferences b in figure 6 will be addressee of the selling campaign, leaving out customer a. This can be a selling opportunity for other products. But there is already a way out of the di- lemma, not having the right product for specific customers. Making use of the Markowitz Model on individual basis financial counsellors can identify the indi- vidual risk return preference see Markowitz By doing so, the post Sol- vency II endowment policies can also be sold to customers with a differing risk return preference. The Individual Investment Portfolio This of course requires investment in the individual customer relationship, in- creases counselling effort and needs the generation and provision of individual customer data. The usage of data-mining tools for analysing customer invest- ments can be seen as a good starting point. Adaption of conjoint measurement methods during individual guidance can be used to iden- tify customer preferences not only for developing new products, but also for segmentation purpose within a financial service setting DeSarbo et al. Though she was at first stunned by the news, she is now looking forward to being part of this new study. The type of tumour Hall has is a glioma. The tumours are often difficult to treat because spread out in a web, and can't be completely removed with surgery. Doctors can use chemotherapy to treat what is left behind after surgery, but only about 25 per cent of the drugs reach the brain, says Dr. Todd Mainprize, who is leading this new study. That is in part why brain cancer survival rates are so low, he says. This new approach involves three steps: First, the patient is given a dose of chemotherapy medication; in Bonny's case, that drug is doxorubicin. Then, harmless gas microbubbles are injected into the bloodstream. The third step uses a high-intensity ultrasound beam directed onto the tumour to cause the bubbles to vibrate and tear apart the proteins around capillaries, allowing the drug into brain tissue. Hall had the procedure performed earlier this week. To ensure it worked, the chemotherapy drug was marked with a chemical tag to make it visible on MRI scans. As the research team watched, the chemotherapy drug moved through Bonny's blood vessels into her tumour. Hall underwent surgery later in the day to have the bulk of her tumour removed. She will also likely receive radiation and chemotherapy as part of her follow-up care. Nine other brain cancer patients will soon be treated in the same way, and then researchers will publish the full results. Kullervo Hynynen, one of the scientists who has been working on this technique, says the animal tests went well and if the approach works in humans, it would be a game-changer. It will give hope to patients who have no hope," Hynynen says. Sunnybrook cancer specialist Dr. Maureen Trudeau is already planning her own study to see if the therapy can deliver more of the drug Herceptin into the brain tumours of HER2-positive breast cancer patients who have had their disease spread to the brain. A new study claims an abnormality in blood drainage from the brain, known as chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency CCSVI , is not associated with multiple sclerosis MS. Paolo Zamboni, from the University of Ferrar in Italy, first suggested abnormalities in the way blood is drained from the brain and spinal cord may cause damage to the nervous system characterised by MS. In turn, nerves would get damaged, and MS would develop, he claimed. During his study, he reportedly found per cent of the MS patients had CCSVI, and subsequently developed a procedure to restore normal blood flow. Meanwhile, another study found that a treatment for CCSVI, called a liberation procedure, in which the veins are widened, did nothing to relieve symptoms of MS. The current study also used a form of venous imaging called gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance venography, along with extracranial Doppler ultrasound, to compare blood flow out of the brain between MS patients and 60 healthy controls. Costello and her team also questioned whether CCSVI diagnoses were really doing a service to patients. A new study links higher vitamin D levels to possible neuroprotection for individuals with multiple sclerosis. The study, published last Saturday in the European Journal of Neurology, draws a connection between higher vitamin D levels in the blood and higher grey matter levels in the brain. For individuals with MS, low vitamin D levels are linked to relapses and lesions in the brain, wrote principal investigator Ellen Mowry, neurology professor at Johns Hopkins University. MS occurs less frequently in regions closer to the equator, where the exposure to sunlight and to vitamin D is higher, Mowry said. She added that her study aims to further validate that connection between vitamin D levels and MS. The research was conducted using data from a study for which Zamvil was the principle investigator. The MRI data for those individuals was analyzed to measure gray matter volume in the brain and brain atrophy — the loss of brain tissue over time. The researchers looked at new lesions in the brain, which indicate relapses, and measures of atrophy in the brain. The strongest correlation was drawn between lower vitamin D levels and high levels of brain atrophy, Waubant said, though she added that this does not confirm causality, since there may be another factor that leads to both low vitamin D levels and high brain atrophy. The study is one of many looking at the role of vitamin D in MS, and has implications for both the understanding of the causes of the disease and the value of vitamin D supplements in treating it, Waubant said..

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Sealed off: A policeman guards the scene where blood is still visible on the pavement. The Brit Award-winning artist, who won the BBC's influential Sound of poll, comes from a family of five and also has a younger brother Fortune, younger sister Allegra and another sister, Yasmine. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Artis porn Watch Redhead nude photos Video Sexy hanna. My child I thought was a boy is Dancer beams as he meets fans How you can dress your whole brood on a budget, whatever the occasion Ad Feature Charlize Theron steps out make-up free with eldest child Jackson Chris Hemsworth takes time off promoting Avengers: End Game in China to ride roller coaster at Disneyland Shanghai Mickey Rourke, 66, shows off his smooth complexion as he larks around with his hairdresser outside their favourite pizza haunt Meghan in a sari: Today's headlines Most Read Charlize Theron: For the first time, the Hollywood actress Female journalist, 29, shot dead 'in terrorist incident by dissident republicans' on a night of Move over Black Friday! Femail reveals the best bank holiday deals on the high street on everything from Flight attendant reveals the tell-tale sign passengers are joining the mile high club Two die after being pulled from the sea off Aberdeen beach in the early hours of Good Friday The brutal realities of childbirth: Viral image shows what 10 centimeters of dilation really looks like Dame Emma jets 5, miles to show how green she is! Actress issues call-to-arms for climate activists to Skateboarding plod? No, send in the riot squad Eco-mob plot to ruin Easter: Climate protesters vow to bring Heathrow to its knees on Good Friday The Cotswold Conspirators: How four key players in the Extinction Rebellion eco-mob plotted chaos in London The exploitation mechanisms include for example knowledge trans- fer and strategic partnership. This international Conference actively sought to promote synergies between bu- siness and academia and raised awareness on the potential benefits of research for business activities. Combi increased the integration of local enterprises, regional authority and other local actors with research entities. Moreover, Com- bi, emphasising partnering and international knowledge transfer as sources of competitive edge, was an important forum for knowledge co-creation and in- tellectual exchange. A rigorous double-blind peer review process conducted by 65 reviewers from 24 countries, led to close to 50 full-length scientific paper and abstract presentations. Furthermore, the Conference programme consisted of close to 30 invited inter- national speaker presentations, practicums and special sessions topped with an 3-hour tutorial. The assistance that we re- ceived from the students with the practical arrangements during the actual event was much needed and highly valued. All the Track Chairs served Combi well and we thank them for their professionalism throughout this project. Combi is indebted to the Foundation for Economic Education for the gran- ted financial support. We are equally grateful to Viking Line and City of Vantaa for sponsoring not only the Conference Awards but also cruise gift vouchers for each Combi participant. Combi is thankful for all its wonderful and supportive partners: Koch, University of Kansas, the U. Prof Julie A. Asst Prof Dr Ali H. Dr Shawn P. An Exploration of the Natural-Resource-Based View with a Focus on Colombian Firms Abstract Over the last decade, the academic literature that studies the relationship be- tween business performance and environmental strategy has grown significant- ly. However, systematic research on the enabling factors of strategic responses by firms in developing countries has in contrast been scarcer. Our results reveal that differentiated degrees of proactive environmental strategies exhibited by firms are related to differentiated levels of continuous improvement and stakeholder management endogenous capabilities. In addition, evidence provided by our study supports the association between environmental strategy, environmental performance, and eco- competitiveness. The moderating effect of contingent attributes on the relation- ship between organizational capabilities and the development of proactive envi- ronmental strategies is approached in our study through the exploration of the influence of the policy style of the regulator. We find that the more a firm perce- ives favorably the policy style of the regulator, the likelier will be that such firm utilizes a continuous improvement capability to develop an eco-efficiency envi- ronmental strategy. Introduction The effect of firm innovative and proactive environmental responses on sus- tained competitive advantage has for some time been the subject of extensive discussion in the academic literature Shrivastava , Porter and van der Linde , Palmer et al. Researchers have paid attention to specific characteristics which influence envi- ronmental performance of an individual firm. Some have focused on those cha- racteristics of the business environment i. In both cases, a great deal of effort has been put in understanding the impact of environmental performance on firm competitiveness Etzion Among several strategic approaches that have addressed this topic, the so- called Resource-Based View RBV of strategy Barney has focused in the understanding of the mediating effect of firm resources and capabilities in the relationship between environmental strategy and competitive advantage. We address three important questions for the understanding of the association between environmental sustainability and economic sustainabili- ty in a developing country setting: The present research is therefore aimed at developing, validating and applying a set of data collection instruments in order to operationalize the basic constructs of the NRBV i. The contribution of the indus- trial sector to water contamination has decreased in Colombia during the last years for some geographical areas Uribe , 28 ; several studies Coronado , Cruz , Moreno have found evidence of the effect that com- mand-and-control regulation i. The strategies exhibited by Colombian firms to respond to environmental issues seem to vary depending on the nature of pollution and the influence exerted by the existing body of regulations, with important implications for the competitive- ness of industries Uribe There is a widespread perception that not only social and market demands for improved environmental performance are changing, but that the regulatory land- scape is changing accordingly. Van Hoof and Herrera observe two ten- dencies in perspective: On the other, the SME sector calls for attention because it features a series of limitations that explain the low priority given to environmental management in these firms, as identified in the studies by: These li- mitations refer to: First, the SME sector is an example of individual initiative, temerity and te- nacity, though, in some cases, there are more businessmen than entrepreneurs. In consequence, the ecology and the entrepreneurial responses derived from its 2 For the purposes of the research presented in this article, we follow the definition of firm size in Colombia provided by Law of , where a micro firm is defined as an economic unit with an enrollment equal to or below 10 employees, a small firm as such between 11 and 50, a medium firm between 51 and , and a larger firm as one with more than Second, the small- and medium-sized firm exhibits a deficit in planning and the forecasting of the future. By the time this article was prepared, the Secretary had just begun the implementation of its new support scheme, which consists mainly of a training-and-stimulus package in areas such as envi- ronmental legislation, sustainable production and consumption, environmental management, and project development specifically targeted to differentiated le- vels of firm organizational learning in environmental protection. The research project whose initial results are presented in this article has been active since two years ago and has mainly covered the last phases of the pre- vious regulatory scheme. Therefore, it is expected that the results reviewed here reflect the situation prevalent under that policy regime, while may still provide useful insights to guide further policy implementation efforts by the regulator. Empirical explorations of the Natural-Resource-Based View of the firm In the NRBV literature, three attributes has been consistently linked to superior environmental performance: The implication for environmental strategy is that the common elements to these four attributes or capabilities are their complexity and inimitability. Organizational capabilities have been seen as factors mediating the relationship between envi- ronmental strategy and business performance predominantly in large firms. These attributes are: Consequently, we operatio- nalize these dimensions of the policy style as perceptions of those being regu- lated and test its effect on the relevant relationships. The more accepted definition for mixed research methods is that which present them as the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data in the same study Creswell In a first stage, an interview protocol grounded in the literature was de- veloped and subsequently applied in eight in-depth, semi-structured interviews conducted with managers or environmental assistants affiliated to the same number of firms for four industrial activities, two interviewees per activity i. Around the same time, a first survey questionnaire exclusively containing 87 items previously validated in the literature was pretested with 54 representatives from firms linked to the ACERCAR program. Finally, a two-step cluster anal- ysis strategy Hair et al. Results Qualitative data obtained through interviews were independently analyzed by two coders—the authors themselves—with the aid of the software NVivo 8, us- ing quotes, codes, and themes. A written manual—prepared by one of the re- searchers—with multi-level coding instructions served for the operationalization of themes into codes. Inter-coder reliability was pretested with a full sample, 3 The 73 firms studied in our explorative case study were classified by sector as follows: In terms of size, 7 firms 9. With reference to the respondents of the survey, The analysis of interview texts considered a total of quotations previously established by the researchers to be matched with 19 thematic codes in the second version of the coding manual. The calculation of alpha coefficients was now assisted by the Coding Analysis Toolkit Lu and Shulman Krippendorff , recom- mends considering variables with reliabilities between 0. As a rule of thumb, the researchers decided to discuss and reach a consensus on all discrepancies for variables with coefficients equal to or greater than 0. Once agreed upon, these qualitative findings were ready to guide the develop- ment of relevant items and scales for the second quantitative survey instrument, including the use of significant statements to help write specific items for the in- strument Creswell and Plano Clark , ; for the remaining constructs, items and scales were taken from instruments previously validated in the litera- ture. The analysis of quantitative data from the pretest on the original survey instru- ment was performed through EFA with varimax rotation assisted by the soft- ware PASW The usual tests Hair et al. Appendix A shows detailed results from the factor analysis performed on survey items. Eco-efficient Practices EEP , in turn captured in our questionnaire by two factors: The Organizational Capabilities construct is represented by three distinctive ca- pabilities, according to the literature of the NRBV: Complementary, confirmatory factor analysis CFA corroborated reasonable fit for data for those constructs consisting of more than one factor: We then obtained final measures for each factor in the above constructs i. The remaining one-factor constructs i. Table 1 presents descriptive statistics, reliability coefficients, and correlations among the va- riables. Descriptive statistics, scale reliabilities and correlation matrix for variables Mean s. We addressed eventual multicollinearity issues by selecting two items to represent each of the factors measuring EEP and IPP, consequently chosen to minimize correlations among variables Hair et al. Similarly, outliers were identified—and eventually removed after analysis of the agglomeration schedule in the hierarchical cluster solution—based on finding observations with large dis- tances from other observations Hair et al. Table 2. We labeled these groups accordingly to reflect differentiated environmental strategies, respectively as fol- lows: Table 3 shows average raw scores for the variables of interest in each group. F- test statistics were all significant except for shared vision and policy sytle. The stability of the cluster solu- tion was assessed by sorting the observations in a different order and then per- forming the analysis repeatedly Hair et al. Discussion, conclusions and implications for future research Two decades ago, the main preoccupation of Colombian firms in connection with the natural environment was to respond to the body of regulations by then just enacted. Today, van Hoof and Herrera state, the environmental context of industry in Colombia shows a more complex panorama, where environmental management influences more directly the commercial and competitive strategies of firms. On the one hand, our research findings provide support to this claim by typifying firms according to their environmental practices in three groups. Solely based in our findings, we are not able to check for the influ- ences of the changing institutional environment on the differentiated degrees of proactivity exhibited by sample firms. However, we explore rigorously the asso- ciation between endogenous capabilities and environmental strategy, which constitutes one of the core tenets of the Natural-Resource-Based View of the firm. As Hart suggested in his seminal work, these are strategic resources capabilities that enable organizations to implement pollution-prevention and product-stewardship strategies, respectively, which in turn could be associated to eco-advantage via reduced costs improved productivity and preemption of competitors. In fact, we find that more proactive firms tend to perceive a slightly favorable to favorable impact of environmental management activities EMA on costs and market opportunities, relative to a basically neutral effect of EMA on cost and marketability perceived by reactive firms. We find that the more a firm perceives favorably the policy style of the regulator, the likelier will be for that firm to deploy a continuous improvement capability to develop an eco-efficiency environmental strategy. Our interview data and findings from previous work Mo- reno suggest that the regulator is increasingly embodying new responsibil- ities that span beyond the traditional enforcement role. Some of these responsi- bilities are captured by specific dimensions of the policy style as we operationa- lized it: References Acedo, F. The resource-based theory: Dissemination and main trends. Strategic Management Journal, 27 7 , Ahmed, K. Using supply-chain networks to help small and medium-sized enterprises adopt environmental management systems: The Guadalajara envi- ronmental management Pilot. Blackman Ed. Collective impacts, collective action pp. Washington, D. Resources for the Future. Amit, R. Strategic assets and organizational rent. Strategic Management Journal, 14 1 , A contingent resource-based view of proactive corporate environmental strategy. The Academy of Management Re- view, 28 1 , Environmental strategy and performance in small firms: A resource- based perspective. Journal of Environmental Management, 86 1 , Argyris, C. Organizational Learning. Bansal, P. Why companies go green: A model of ecological responsiveness. Academy of Management Journal, 43 4 , Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17 1 , Biondi, V. Achieving sustainability through environmental in- novation: The role of SMEs. Blackman, A. Small firms and the environment in developing countries: Col- lective impacts, collective action. Buysse, K. Proactive environmental strategies: Strategic Management Journal, 24 5 , Unpublished document. Christmann, P. Effects of "best practices" of environmental management on cost advantage: The role of complementary assets. Academy of Manage- ment Journal, 43 4 , Coronado, H. Creswell, J. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed approaches 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks: Cruz, G. Desarrollo y Sociedad, 54, Green to gold: How smart companies use envi- ronmental strategy to innovate, create value, and build competitive advantage. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. Etzion, D. Research on organizations and the natural environment, present: A review. Journal of Management, 33 4 , Hair, J. Multivariate data analysis 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Hansen, O. Environmental innova- tions in small and medium sized enterprises. Hart, S. A natural-resource-based view of the firm. The Academy of Management Review, 20 4 , Hayes, A. Answering the call for a standard reliability measure for coding data. Communication Methods and Measures, 1 1 , El Medio Ambiente en Colombia. Environmental policy and innovation: An international comparison of policy frameworks and innova- tion effects. Hemmelskamp, K. Leone Eds. Heidelberg-New York: Kagan, R. Nash Eds. Karagozoglu, N. Environmental management: Testing the win—win model. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 43 6 , Kemp, R. The diffusion of biological waste water treatment plants in the Dutch food and beverage industry. Environmental and Resource Economics, 12 1 , Improving environmental performance of small firms through joint action: Indian tannery clusters. Collective Impacts, Collective Ac- tion pp. Klassen, R. The impact of environmental man- agement on firm performance. Management Science, 42 8 , The Academy of Management Journal, 42 6 , Krippendorff, K. Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. Lombard, M. Content anal- ysis in mass communication: Assessment and reporting of intercoder reliability. Human Communication Research, 28 4 , The whole relationship between environmental variables and firm performance: Competitive advantage and firm resources as mediator variables. Journal of En- vironmental Management, 90 10 , Lu, C. Rigor and flexibility in computer-based qua- litative research: Introducing the Coding Analysis Toolkit. International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 2 1 , Moreno Mantilla, C. Morgenstern, R. Awe Eds. Banco Mundial and Mayol Ediciones. Organiza- tional learning as a determining factor in business performance. The Learning Organization, 12 3 , Palmer, K. Tightening environmental standards: The benefit-cost or the no-cost paradigm? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9 4 , Popp, D. Porter, M. Toward a new conception of the environ- ment-competitiveness relationship. Reinhardt, F. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 3 1 , Cepeda Ulloa, F. Ariel, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo. Russo, M. A resource-based perspective on corporate environmental performance and profitability. Academy of Management Journal, 40 3 , Sabogal, J. Sharma, S. Proactive corporate environmental strate- gy and the development of competitively valuable organizational capabilities. Strategic Management Journal, 19 8 , Shrivastava, P. Environmental technologies and competitive advantage. Strategic Management Journal, 16 Special Issue: Smith, K. Organizational learning and resource-based theory: An integrative model. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 9 6 , Handbook of mixed methods social and behavioral research. Uribe Botero, E. Del Valle Ed. Santiago de Chile: Universidad de los An- des, 26, Wagner, M. The effect of corporate environmental strategy choice and environmental performance on competitiveness and eco- nomic performance: An empirical study of EU manufacturing. European Man- agement Journal, 22 5 , Karagozoglu and Lindell ; 2. How much attention does the firm pays to each stakeholder? As a consequence, the minimum and maximum scores of that scale are respectively 1 and Interaction systems are defined as an important part of the infrastruc- ture for scientific and technological progress and for the knowledge based econ- omy creation. The main definitions and principles of the interaction between systems of re- search, teaching, training, consultancy and practical business are characterized, the main problems of such interaction in the context of globalization and interna- tionalization processes are analyzed. In the sphere of the systems of interaction of research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing busi- ness, some multifaceted and somewhat contradictory trends occur, the most im- portant trends are described. Interaction between systems of research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical business in the context of the activation of scientific and technological progress and the creation of knowledge based economy is characterized as the case of Lithuania. Introduction Acceleration of scientific and technological progress and creation of knowledge economy is an essential priority in today's society and its social economic devel- opment. Particular impor- tance should be given to the systems interoperability in scientific research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business. System interoperability in scientific research, teaching, training, consultancy and practical manufacturing business is an absolutely complex phenomenon that re- quires solid scientific knowledge and effective theoretical solutions. This publication provides exhaustive exploration of the possibilities to improve the interoperability among different systems operating in the overall scientific and technological progress, in addition, it discloses principles of mutual interope- rability among the organizations operating in scientific research, training, stu- dies, consultancy and business development and other entities, as well as trends for the development are highlighted here. Main focus is put on the development of such an interaction in the circums- tances of Lithuania. Interaction between different institutions as a key priority for the activation of scientific and technological progress: Some research works on management models and methods using for living up the processes of scientific and technological progress and creation of knowledge economy could be choosen Ginevicius ; Zavadskas ; Rutkauskas ; Melnikas — The authors noted that BICAMS have recently been recommended for use in patients diagnosed with MS for their use in screening for cognitive impairments. This finding has implications for clinicians who care for individuals with MS in a broad range of settings, especially those with limited access to neuropsychological consultation. Recently, several cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy PML have been reported in patients taking a broad range of MS therapies, including Tysabri, Gilenya, and Tecfidera. Since its market reintroduction in through to December , there have been confirmed cases of PML in patients taking Tysabri. The study included MS patients who were on Tysabri for at least three months. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells, serum, and urine samples were collected from all patients at baseline without treatment and quarterly thereafter after treatment onset. Cerebrospinal fluid samples were collected only in patients suspected of having PML. Dependent on the level of JCV excretion in urine, patients were divided into three groups: The viral load in the continual group was significantly higher at different treatment points compared to the intermittent group. Four of those patients had simultaneous positive indications in the blood and serum, two of whom went on to develop confirmed PML. The team state that their findings hold great potential for the development of the next generation of targeted treatments that could one day provide a cure for this debilitating disease. The study is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Previous studies show that more than 90 per cent of MS patients have increased intrathecal production of immunoglobulins. Because of this, research focused on the humoral immune system for many years. While research focused predominantly on T lymphocytes as the key cell type to mediate inflammatory damage within central nervous system lesions, emerging evidence suggests that B cells may play an important role both as precursors of antibody-secreting plasma cells and as antigen-presenting cells for the activation of T cells; with the presence of plasma cells, B cells, antibody and complement being found in the pathology of MS. Researchers have also recently discovered that different types of human B cells exist with some B cells being shown to promote inflammation, while others are shown to actually limit inflammation. The current study first examined samples of MS patients comparing them to healthy subjects. Results show that GM-CSF producing B cells were more frequent and more prone to activation in MS patients, suggesting that this subset of B cell is able to activate pro-inflammatory responses of myeloid cells of the immune system. The lab confirmed these results in patients, with data findings showing that after B cell depletion Therapy BCDT , the myeloid cells became much less pro-inflammatory, meaning that BCDT may work in part by decreasing the number of GM-CSF-producing B cells and in turn limiting both myeloid cell and T cell contribution to new disease activity. The team have surmised that by better identifying the particular subset of B cells responsible for new disease activity, the medical community can look forward to more selectively targeting the bad B cells while leaving good B cells intact. A new study claims to have identified three proteins that regulate the early stages of multiple sclerosis and hay fever, offering potentially valuable biomarkers for detecting and preventing these immune disorders before patients show signs of disease. Researchers say their method, using genomic data to model early disease development, may help uncover diagnostic biomarkers for other diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, or diabetes. Common diseases like cancer and immune disorders evolve over many years or decades, making them especially difficult to detect until after patients become symptomatic. To better understand and diagnose diseases before they start, Mika Gustafsson and colleagues sought to identify proteins involved in early development of T cell—driven diseases. Studying cultured human T cells evolving over time, they constructed a gene regulatory network, a model of the set of regulatory proteins in the cell that together govern gene expression. Combining this model with genome-wide association studies identifying genes altered in different diseases, the researchers uncovered three transcription factors, proteins that control whether a gene is turned on or off, that contained genetic variations associated with disease. Expression of the three transcription factors - GATA3, MYB, and MAF - and their predicted target genes were altered in the asymptomatic, compared with the symptomatic, stages of multiple sclerosis and seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. Studying T cells from patients with the two immune disorders, the researchers found that patients expressed the transcription factors in low amounts during remission, but highly expressed their target genes during relapse. The results suggest that genetically testing for the three transcription factors may open the door to earlier detection and prevention of multiple sclerosis, hay fever, and potentially other T cell—driven diseases. In a recent study entitled Myeloid Cells As Target Of Gilenya Action In Multiple Sclerosis, a team of scientists investigated the impact of MS treatment Gilenya on the reactivity of myeloid cells, a key group that comprises several immune cells that are activated in MS patients and the underlying cause of the condition. The study was published in the journal Neurology. Gilenya is an analogue of a cellular key protein called sphingosine. When added to cells, Gilenya binds sphingosinephosphate S1P receptors and promote their degradation. Researchers investigated how Gilenya influences the activation of myeloid cells from the periphery to the central nervous system. The team analysed how Gilenya interfered with the activation of immune cells in vitro and later performed further studies where administration of Gilenya during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis a disease model of human MS was used to assess its effects on the activation of splenic, central nervous system infiltrating, and central nervous system resident myeloid cells. Researchers found that in vitro exposure of human monocytes to Gilenya significantly inhibited the reactivity of the monocytes, and that oral administration of Gilenya to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mouse models impaired activation of myeloid cells in the spleen and central nervous system. The team then isolated cells from 11 Gilenya-treated patients, seven patients with untreated MS, and eight healthy participants and determined the activation profile of monocytes in each patient population. The end of the war was marked by a shift to a new calendar system, becoming the first year of the "Post-Disaster" era. Some time before the Calamity War, Mars has been terraformed to the extent that it has a breathable atmosphere. With the cooperation of remaining leaders from each surviving faction, Gjallarhorn reorganized Earth's political landscape into four powerful economic blocs. Meanwhile, each of the four power blocks was assigned a sector of Mars to rebuild and build up the Martian governmental structure from scratch. Gjallarhorn itself remained as a peacekeeping force, officially neutral, but ruthlessly crushing any who might threaten international stability again. It achieved this by maintaining a firm monopoly on Ahab Reactor production, though after the Calamity War itself production of new Gundam Frames which were difficult to manufacture was phased out - instead, subsequent generations shifted to using scaled-down, mass-produced versions of the concurrent and simpler Valkyrie Frame. To highlight the discrepancy, records show that the Gundams produced measured in the dozens, but the mass-produced models number in the hundreds. The mainstay of Gjallarhorn's forces are the Graze type Mobile Suit Frames, which utterly dominate the battlefield through superior technology and numbers. Having established stable political relations between these four economic blocs in the Inner Sphere of the Solar System also known as the Earth Sphere , Gjallarhorn also set about ordering the Outer Sphere - primarily consisting of Mars and the Jupiter system and possibly other settlements. Gjallarhorn evenly divided the territories of Mars and the rest of the Outer Sphere between the four different economic blocks for them to rebuild, so that each of the four control different locations on Mars, i. In the subsequent three centuries, Gjallarhorn became increasingly ruthless and corrupt, and meddling in the internal politics of the four economic blocs. Power within Gjallarhorn also became dominated by seven major political dynasties technically not holding official power, but almost like Zaibatsu. Meanwhile, Mars and the rest of the Outer Sphere became the literal Third World for Earth, their resources and raw materials feeding the wealth of the mother planet even as they struggled to survive. Serious economic disparity remained a major problem on Mars, where child labor, human trafficking in the form of child soldiers known as Human Debris, and ordinary child soldiers became commonplace. This in turn has led to civil unrest, but Gjallarhorn and major Earth-based companies keep the locals in line by hiring private military contractors as crowd control- the soldiers in many of which are child soldiers themselves. The heavy use of locally recruited mercenary companies allows the Earth power blocs to fight unrest by proxy, instead of having to spill their own blood for their economic interests on the planet. Over time the economic blocs from Earth have given at least some limited autonomy to their Mars colonies, but this largely exists on paper as neocolonialism through economic domination remains. By the beginning of the TV series in P. Maps even show that a large circle of land in southeastern Australia is missing as a result of the Calamity War - matching how the same region of Australia was devastated by a colony drop in the Universal Century. Orga chose the name "Iron Flower" for them using the metaphor that despite their downtrodden status as child soldiers, like an iron flower, they can't be destroyed no matter how much people seek to crush them. Their current mission is to protect and escort Kudelia Aina Bernstein as she heads to Earth for secret negotiations. Arriving on Earth, Makanai also hires them to send him to the parliament as well with Kudelia. Following the completion of their job, Arbrau hires them as their military advisors. With a massive influx of funding from Teiwaz and eager recruits, they are able to create an Earth branch to advise Arbaur's military and as a whole they became a burgeoning company that is envied by all in their field of work. Befitting of their origin as abused child soldiers, the members who are formerly Human Debris have discarded their red-lined clothing and are treated equally by their leaders. Following the successive plots against them and their allies, orchestrated by Rustal Elion and Iok Kujan of Gjallarhorn, and Jasley Donomikols of Teiwaz, Tekkadan breaks ties with Teiwaz and the Admoss Company to join McGillis Fareed in his war to remove Rustal from power, with the promise of gaining the sovereignty over Mars once McGillis obtains full control over Gjallarhorn at the cost of being Arianrhod's scapegoats. With all their communications to the outside cut off and with Gjallarhorn's manipulation of the media making it seem they would not surrender, Tekkadan was forced to stage a final stand while secretly evacuating as many members as it could through a secret tunnel recently discovered. The group was believed to be eradicated once its base was completely destroyed by a rail gun barrage from orbit. With Orga's death and many of the combatants killed while the none-combatants evacuated, the organization has been disbanded while the survivors lived on under new identities crafted by Makanai in gratitude for their past assistance. With their base having been demolished by a rail gun barrage from orbit, all that remains as a tangible mark of their presence is a memorial stone covered with the names of their fallen near Sakura's farm. It was disbanded and reformed into Tekkadan. A Martian city that has long been governed by Arbrau, one of Earth's four major powers. Its people demand independence from Earth's corrupt and arbitrary rule. While on paper it is an autonomous city, like the rest of Mars, it is actually economically dependent on Earth and so, many of its inhabitants are impoverished..

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By Daily Mail Reporter Updated: Paloma Penniman, pictured left with her brother Mika, fell from the still-open window of the property onto the railings below.

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And her inspiration? Chilling call made by year-old California house of horrors victim is revealed ahead of their parents' sentencing Revealed: Abusive boyfriend, 24, who strangled mother-of-five and then mutilated her body 'beyond description' sobs as he's arrested in video released after he is found guilty of murder Serial killer Joanna Dennehy is still trying to snare men from prison and even had one propose to her by letter - as new Susanna Reid documentary shows 'psychopath' joking and flirting with police Scarred for life by heroin: Addict who was left with horrific wounds after years of injecting drugs reveals how she turned to prostitution at 13 to fund Ms mika chocolate models habit before turning her life around Dame Emma jets 5, miles to show how green she is!

Female journalist, 29, shot dead 'in terrorist incident by dissident republicans' Ms mika chocolate models a https://cloudadult24.cloud/bunny/page-01-10-2019.php of violent rioting in Londonderry Hilarious picture shows two World's Strongest Man champions looking far from impressed after being forced to squeeze into tiny economy seats next to each other on a plane Eco-anarchist plot to shut down HEATHROW tomorrow: Eco-warriors' plan to bring chaos to UK's busiest airport when millions make Easter getaway is exposed as 'thousands more activists are heading to London' 'Old-school copper', 52, died after a pheasant smashed into his Ms mika chocolate models chest or throat' as he rode his motorbike home from work at 83mph, inquest hears Eco-anarchist who glued herself to a DLR train is a Cambridge-educated yoga teacher learn more here musician who believes in the 'therapeutic power of gongs' She shoots, he scores!

Back to top Home News U. Melbourne cooking classes in chocolate making & cake making will give you all the recipes and skills to make your own. Classes include Chocolates, Cakes. Often known by Ms mika chocolate models nickname "Mika," he and Orga were childhood friends who giving Cookie and Cracker chocolates as an apology for nearly running them over. It is equipped with a standard rifle and an anti-MS claw much Ms mika chocolate models the one Thus, it is not a top of the line model compared to the Gjallarhorn's Grazes.

Pop star Mika's sister fighting for her life after 50ft horror fall leaves her impaled on Ms mika chocolate models Ms Penniman and her famous brother, real name Michael Penniman. Victoria Beckham rings in 45th birthday celebrations with chocolate cake.

Rosario Dawson models 'whimsical' bohemian dresses for H&M. This may be due to the capillary nature of fat migration in chocolate. A multislice spin echo pulse sequence was used to acquire images with a ms Ms mika chocolate models time and a ms repetition time using a T Aspect Imaging MRI . Effect of nut oil migration on polymorphic transformation in a model system Mika Koizumi. Forty people with MS will be given hot chocolate every day over six weeks.

Researchers say their method, using genomic data Ms mika chocolate models model early disease To better Ms mika chocolate models and diagnose diseases before they start, Mika. Big cock compilation movies.

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