Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer in Indian Wells Semifinal Adds Another Entry to the Storied Rivalry

Despite a field of tantalizing young talent, fans will be pleased to see Rafael Nadal beat Karen Khachanov to set up an epic showdown with Roger Federer in the Indian Wells semifinals. The 39th installment of one of tennis’ best rivalries will be must-see tv. 

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Mixer Adds Premium Currency to Support Streamers with Real Money

Microsoft’s streaming platform Mixer has added a premium currency in order to allow viewers to more directly support their favourite streamers.

An update to the Mixer blog explains this new currency is called Mixer Embers and is already in early access for mobile app users. Once purchased the Embers can be used to buy skills which include animated stickers and full-screen effects, much like the already established free currency, Sparks.

Sparks are earned by watching streams on Mixer and can be spent in the chat of a Mixer Partner’s channel. Where Embers will differ is that Sparks go towards achieving milestones to unlock cash bonuses while Embers will translate directly to cash. Viewers will also be able to purchase different premium skills with Embers as opposed to Sparks.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks under a cloud as US political uncertainty adds to growth fears

Global stock markets were heading
into the year-end under a heavy cloud after another rout this
week as U.S. political uncertainty added to heightened concerns
over slowing global economic momentum.
Asian equities were shaky on Wednesday following the plunge
in Wall Street on Christmas eve in the face of a series of
unnerving U.S. political developments, including a U.S. federal
government shutdown and President Donald Trump’s increasingly
hostile stance towards the Fed


Reuters: Company News

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$17 case adds wireless charging to your AirPods

Wireless Charging Case For Apple AirPods

Ever since last year’s iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, Apple has finally come around and given users the gift of cord-free living. That’s right, the days of messing with cords and cables are over and all we have to do to charge our iPhones is plop them down on a wireless charging pad or stand. Of course, why stop there? The wireless charging case for AirPods that Apple showed off more than a year ago might never exist at this point, and if it does you can be sure it’ll be pricey. Check out the NeotrixQI Wireless Charging Case for Apple AirPods instead. Not only is it on sale for $ 17 and change, but it actually exists!

NeotrixQI Wireless Charging Case and Protective Cover, Compatible for Apple AirPods and Any Qi…: $ 17.15

Here are the key details from the product page:

  • 【WIRELESS CHARGING】: Enjoy Wireless Charging for your AirPods! Place your AirPods into wireless charging case and put it on Qi wireless charger for wireless charging experience. It prepares your AirPods for Apple AirPower wireless charger.
  • 【FULL PROTECTION】: The AirPods original case perfectly fits into the wireless charging case. It can be used as protective case and protects your AirPods from scratch and dirt. Hard plastic made not like silicon material and it doesn’t collect dust and lint.
  • 【COMPATIBILITY】: The case and AirPods will continue to work just like normal. You’ll still have access to the sync button. Works with all Qi standard wireless chargers. It can share with the same wireless charger for your iPhone8/X.
  • 【SAFE CHARGING】: Eliminate safety concerns with overvoltage protection, temperature control, and more, by using highly efficient components and an advanced chipset.
  • 【WARRANTY】: 12 months defective warranty, 30-days replacement guarantee and friendly customer service.

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$ 17 case adds wireless charging to your AirPods originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 10 Dec 2018 at 13:51:17 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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UPDATE 1-Energizer adds Armor All, STP brands in $1.25 bln Spectrum deal

Consumer products company Spectrum Brands
Holdings Inc said on Thursday it would sell its global
auto care (GAC) business to battery maker Energizer Holdings Inc
in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $ 1.25 billion.


Reuters: Company News

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Trump Adds A Global Pricing Plan To Wide Attack On Drug Prices, But Doubts Persist

President Donald Trump’s new pledge to crack down on “the global freeloading” in prescription drugs had a sense of déjà vu.

Five months ago, Trump unveiled a blueprint to address prohibitive drug prices, and his administration has been feverishly rolling out ideas ranging from posting drug prices on television ads to changing the rebates that flow between drugmakers and industry middlemen.

Thursday, Trump proposed having Medicare base what it pays for some expensive drugs on the average prices in other industrialized countries, such as France and Germany, where prices are much lower. The proposal is in the early stages of rule-making and awaiting public comments.

The U.S., Trump said, will “confront one of the most unfair practices, almost unimaginable that it hasn’t been taken care of long before this.”

The proposal was met with hope and skepticism, with several experts saying they were happy the administration was taking on Medicare Part B’s rising drug prices but questioning its approach.

Walid Gellad, director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh, said in an online post that the administration’s proposed solutions were unclear. And, he said, they would “face insurmountable challenges.”

While some industry watchers pointed to the announcement as a political move, Wells Fargo pharmaceutical analyst David Maris said that this is a broader effort by the president and his administration to attack the root causes of high drug prices.

“The reality is he could very easily not take this on and do what other administrations have done and let the prices keep rising.”

Trump, too, promised more to come and said he will soon announce “some things that will really be tremendous.” On Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that, as promised in the blueprint, there would be more changes to Medicare Part D, which covers most prescriptions. Ian Spatz, a public policy expert and senior adviser at Manatt Health, said the overall blueprint was “unprecedented in terms of how many different ideas and areas of ideas that it contained.”

Nothing would happen overnight. The proposal to require drug prices in TV ads could be delayed by litigation and notably, if implemented, does not include any penalties for companies who fail to post their prices.

The proposed rebate rule was delivered to the Office of Management and Budget in July. Matt Brow, president of industry consulting firm Avalere Health, said he expects the administration to publish the rule for comment by year’s end.

Trump’s international pricing plan is not as far along as the rebate proposal. Rather, it is an “advanced notice of proposed rule-making.” The proposed rule could come in spring 2019, and Azar said the new model could begin in late 2019 or early 2020.

Yet, on Friday, Azar signaled the proposal could change, telling an audience at the Brookings Institution that the administration is “open to any number of alternative ideas.”

Avalere’s Brow said there is a good chance the proposal will change significantly.

“The sweeping nature of the proposal makes the stakes higher and makes it harder to implement,” Brow said.

If the administration moves forward, it would bypass Congress and implement a pilot under the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation’s purview. The pilot would phase in over five years and apply to 50 percent of the country. Azar said there would be no changes to Medicare benefits and no restrictions on patient access.

The proposal focuses on drugs covered under Medicare Part B, which are administered in hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices. It also would alter the reimbursement formula for doctors and providers and would allow private-sector vendors to purchase drugs and then sell them to doctors and hospitals. Medicare would reimburse those vendors at the international pricing level.

Currently, doctors and hospitals administering Part B drugs are reimbursed the average price of a drug plus 6 percent. President Barack Obama’s administration attempted to alter Part B as well but drew intense lobbying opposition and eventually withdrew a proposed pilot project.

Allan Coukell, senior director for health programs at Pew Charitable Trusts, said removing incentives that reward doctors for purchasing costlier drugs and bringing in a new way to control prices “makes a lot of sense.” Drug spending within Medicare Part B reached $ 22 billion in 2015, and drug costs have increased by an average of 8.6 percent annually since 2007.

Stephen Ubl, president of the industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, said imposing foreign price controls from countries with socialized health care systems would harm patients and hinder drug discovery and development.

Azar, a former executive at pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly, told reporters Thursday that “you may hear the tired talking points” that this will affect innovation. He disputed that idea, concluding that “less than 1 percent of pharma [research and development] could potentially be impacted by this change.”


KHN’s coverage of prescription drug development, costs and pricing is supported in part by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

Kaiser Health News

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Godzilla vs. Kong Adds True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard

Legendary and Warner Bros. have reportedly cast Alexander Skarsgård in their upcoming film, Godzilla vs. Kong.

As reported by Deadline, Skarsgård will join Julian Dennison, Brian Tyree Henry and Demian Bichir in “the fourth installment of the Legendary and Warner Bros. cinematic universe.”

Skarsgård has starred in both television and movies in such titles as True Blood, The Legend of Tarzan, Big Little Lies, and Zoolander 2.

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Trump calls Khashoggi arrests ‘good first step,’ adds that he doesn’t want to put arms deals at risk

Trump added that he'll work with Congress on what the U.S. response should be, but that he would prefer not to hurt American companies and jobs by cutting billions of dollars in arms sales to the kingdom.
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Sprint adds Voice over LTE years after everyone else

Sprint Voice over LTE support

Voice over LTE is a mature technology that allows for higher-quality voice calls over the 4G LTE protocol, rather than using the standard cellular voice system. It’s been standard issue on high-end phones on most American networks for years now, but then again, Sprint isn’t most networks.

The company has finally started a soft launch of VoLTE, with a couple of Samsung devices and 15 regions getting the feature right now. More cities and phones are being promised in the coming weeks, but it’s unclear whether it will be completely rolled out before T-Mobile formally gobbles up Sprint.

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Sprint adds Voice over LTE years after everyone else originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 3 Oct 2018 at 23:34:27 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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