WILMINGTON, MA — Below are 5 things to do in Wilmington on Thursday, January 3, 2019:#1) Pints & Pages At Pancho’s CantinaThe Wilmington Memorial Library is hosting its monthly Pints & Pages (social book club for 20 and 30-year-olds) meeting at 7pm at Pancho’s Cantina. Instead of discussing a particular book this month, meet up to share your latest favorite reads, watches & listens! Plus get great recommendations from others. Bring along at least two (books, movies, series, podcasts, etc.) to share! If you don’t have it in hand, that’s okay! Just remember the title. Register HERE.#2) Board Game Design For Teens At LibraryThe Wilmington Memorial Library (175 Middlesex Avenue) is hosting a Board Game Design workshop for teens. Have an idea for your own board game? Bring it to life! Over the course of six sessions, you will come to understand the process from start to finish through instruction by a professional board game designer, while you work on your projects at home. Space is limited. Grades 7-12. Registration is full, but there is a waiting list HERE.#3) Lego Building At LibraryThe Wilmington Memorial Library (175 Middlesex Avenue) is holding a Lego Building session from 3:45pm to 4:45pm. Build a unique LEGO creation. For Kindergarten & up! No registration required.#4) Drop-In Meditation At Wilmington LibraryThe Wilmington Memorial Library (175 Middlesex Avenue) is hosting a meditation class at 12:30pm. Join technology librarian Brad McKenna for his weekly drop-in meditation sessions. It will be a mixture of silent and guided meditations. The Insight Timer app will be used so you can continue your practice at home. No registration required.#5) Wilmington Recreation Commission MeetingThe Wilmington Recreation Commission meets at 5pm in Town Hall’s Room 9. Read the agenda HERE.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Thursday, September 5, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Thursday, July 11, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Tuesday, September 3, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”
15 Photos Mars oddities NASA, the Rolling Stones and Robert Downey Jr. are up to something NASA Curiosity rover did not find a damn robot leg on Mars NASA spots odd heart-shaped objects on Mars and beyond Sci-Tech Comment The Rolling Stones Rock name is informal, but NASA says it will appear on working maps of the planet.Perhaps this will inspire Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to rework some of their classic songs, like If You Can’t Mars Rock Me, Street Fighting Martian or Paint It Red (Planet). “I’ve seen a lot of Mars rocks over my career,” said NASA geologist Matt Golombek. “This one probably won’t be in a lot of scientific papers, but it’s definitely one of the coolest.”Downey agrees. “Sometimes the world does seriously cool stuff,” he tweeted after the reveal.NASA shared a hype video showing an animation of InSight landing on Mars set to the tune of the Stones’ It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It). NASA Space Hello “@RollingStones Rock” Who could hang a name on you? Um… us!When @NASAInsight touched down on the Red Planet, its engines sent a rock rolling across Mars’ surface. We named it for the band. Take a closer look and learn how #MarsRocks get named: https://t.co/xY0TfoksJP pic.twitter.com/BZlABAMaZJ— NASA (@NASA) August 23, 2019 1 Tags Share your voice This NASA animation shows the InSight lander pushing Rolling Stones Rock. NASA/JPL-Caltech Some day a long time from now, an astronaut tour guide may step out onto the dusty surface of the Red Planet, point to a small stone just beyond NASA’s silent InSight lander and announce, “And that, my friends, is Rolling Stones Rock.”Let’s just let that sink in. There is now a rock on Mars that’s known as “Rolling Stones Rock.” Enlarge ImageForget Tumbling Dice. We’ve got a tumbling Mars rock. NASA/JPL-Caltech The Stones took to the stage in Pasedena, California on Thursday night for the band’s No Filter tour. The Rose Bowl venue is close to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Somehow Robert Downey Jr. got entangled in all of this. The Iron Man actor made the Mars rock announcement before the band played.It all started with a mysterious teaser video from Downey earlier on Thursday. “This may be the most exciting thing I’ve ever done,” Downey said, which may be the overstatement of the year. It’s not just any old Mars rock. NASA’s InSight lander touched down on the planet in November 2018. The machine’s thrusters disturbed the golf ball-sized rock, sending it rolling 3 feet (1 meter) across the ground.”It’s the farthest NASA has seen a rock roll while landing a spacecraft on another planet,” the space agency said in a release on Thursday. An image of the rock shows the trail it left behind on the dusty ground.
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has served a notice to India’s largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, terming its advertisements to promote 4G services as “misleading”.The self-regulatory body for advertising content in India has asked the operator to withdraw the advertisement.”The claim in the ad, ‘Airtel 4G is the fastest network ever’ and ‘If your network is faster, we will pay your mobile bills for life’, is misleading by omission in the absence of appropriate disclaimers in the print, TV, hoarding advertisements. The advertisement contravened Chapter 1.4 of the code,” said the notice.The advertisement was rolled out after Airtel announced its nationwide launch of 4G services in August.”We have advised the Advertiser to withdraw or to modify appropriately the said advertisement before 7 October 2015 or seek a review of the decision. If you continue to see the advertisement after the due date, kindly bring the same to our notice,” said the ASCI notice.The ASCI move comes in the wake of a complaint filed by a customer whose identity could not be traced, Livemint reported.Airtel said that it has asked the ASCI to review its decision and is furnishing data to defend its promotion of 4G service through the advertisement.”We are confident of getting a favourable response from them,” an Airtel spokesperson, told The Economic Times.”4G technology is proven to deliver the fastest Internet experience, and the same has been accepted globally. As the only commercial providers of this world-class technology in India, our advertising campaign revolves around the 4G promise of fastest Internet speeds and features a set of claims that are based on rigorous test conditions,” said a statement from Airtel.
Moazzem HossainAHM Moazzem Hossain, editor and publisher of The Financial Express, was laid to rest in the city on Thursday.He was buried at Azimpur graveyard around 1:15pm after his fourth and final namaz-e-Janaza at the National Press Club.Hossain, who had long been suffering from heart and lung complications, died at a city hospital on Wednesday evening at the age of 73.His first janaza was held at his residence at Ramna Estate Complex, 124 Boro Maghbazar around 10:15am while the second one on the Financial Express office premises around 11:20am and the third one at Southeast Bank’s head office around 11:45am.Later, his body was taken to the National Press Club where his fourth janaza was held around 12:25pm.Editors, senior journalists, Press Club members, politicians, business leaders and friends and well-wishers of Hossain attended the janaza.
Kolkata: State Health department has extended the duration of the probe into the killing of puppies in the NRS Medical College and Hospital by one month.The Health department had earlier in January instructed to complete the probe within 60 days but it has not been done so far. As a result the department is forced to extend the duration of the probe by a month. A senior official of the health department said that they could not arrive in a consensual decision on the basis of the probe. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThose who are conducting a probe have sought some more time. On the basis of the request by the investigating team, the health department officials agreed to provide them another one month for the completion of the probe. According to the official, the decision will be taken against the accused on the basis of the report submitted by the investigation team. NRS Medical College and Hospital authorities assured stringent action against the accused involved in the killing of 16 puppies. The autopsy report suggested the puppies were beaten to death. A video corroborated the fact and showed two women hitting the puppies with an iron rod. The incident had taken place on hospital campus. A separate probe has been initiated by the city police and a case against some unknown persons has been lodged. Hospital authorities formed a three-member committee to probe into the incident. They earlier assured that action will be taken against the guilty. Two nursing students were arrested for their alleged involvement in the incident and they were later released on bail.
The 46th edition of world’s largest IHGF-Delhi Fair was inaugurated by Ajay Tamta, Union Minister of State for Textiles at state-of-the-art exhibition venue India Expo Centre and Mart at Greater Noida on October 14.The inauguration ceremony took place amidst the overseas buying community arrived in India to source home, lifestyle, fashion and textiles products from more than 110 countries. The extravaganza of Indian handicrafts will be taking place in the capital until October 18. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhile inaugurating the fair, Ajay Tamta said that this fair has played a vital role in increasing exports of handicrafts from the country and has acquired a special importance for handicrafts sector as overseas buying community finds this fair to be the most effective sourcing medium for their requirements and that the Indian exporting community considers this as the most effective marketing medium for their merchandise. “The reason behind its success is that fair is very useful both for buyers and sellers. Participation by over 3200 exhibitors in this fair and visit of overseas buyers from over 110 countries shows its popularity amongst Indian handicrafts exporting and importing community,” he added. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveLater, on the second day of the mega-fair, Giriraj Singh, Union Minister of State for MSME gave away the Guild certificates to nine framers working in picture framing segment. Along with Giriraj Singh, some eminent personalities like O P Prahladka, Chairman–EPCH; Jesmina Zeliang, President of the fair; Mohan Singh Bhati and Ahmed Akberali Sundrani, Vice Presidents of the fair; R K Passi and Sagar Mehta, Vice Chairmen – EPCH among others. While distributing the Guild Certificates to the winners, Giriraj Singh stated, “Soul of India resides in the Handicrafts sector and this sector keeps us close to the roots of our culture.” He further elaborated by saying that seven million artisans and crafts persons wholeheartedly working in different craft clusters are the backbones of this sector and we should make all-out efforts to increase their livelihood. He also appreciated EPCH for giving them the opportunity to display their intricate craftsmanship in this show, generating employment for them as well as providing technical support for enhancing designs of their products to compete in the world market. MSME Minister further said that Handicrafts sector can only be flourished when these artisans are paid the real value for their skills. Whatever progress handicraft sector so far has made, it is because of hard work of the artisans and crafts persons of India. “EPCH in collaboration with Manish Gourisaria, Joint Managing Director of M/s Lion India has taken unique initiative to upgrade the Picture Framing Industry in India by conducting GCF training programme for the Indian Framers in association of Fine Art Trade Guild, London, UK to enable the framers in acquiring higher skills and quality of workmanship and accommodate different levels of framing with the bespoke market to International standards,” said Rakesh Kumar, ED – EPCH. The training programme for the fair was held from March 12-17 in Kolkata. The world-renowned master trainer, Stephen Finney GCF (APF) Adv. from Germany and UK had conducted this course. 18 participants from all across the globe, came to Kolkata to participate in the above course and appeared for the exams and among them, nine participants have passed the Guild Certified Framers examination successfully. The winning participants include Vivek Dhar from Meghalaya, J Anto Amalraj, Tamilnadu, Chandrashekar, Karnataka, among others.
“At the moment, sepsis is often considered when patients start showing symptoms of organ failing – by this point it can already be too late for some patients. It is widely accepted that earlier we identify sepsis, the better it is for patients.”We show in this study that white blood cell biomarkers could be valuable to predict which patients with suspected infection would go on to develop sepsis over the next 72 hours. However, we haven’t yet found a reliable enough combination to guide day-to-day clinical decision-making. Our study provides a robust template for further research in this area, focussed on identifying best biomarkers combination to predict sepsis.” Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 15 2018A multi-site research collaboration supported by a Technology Strategy Board Grant has shown that immune response signatures could be used as an early warning test for the serious condition sepsis in patients attending emergency departments with suspected infection.Dr Manu Shankar-Hari, Reader and Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine from the Peter Gorer Department of Immunobiology, was the lead author on the research. He and the research team assessed whether white blood cell biomarkers could potentially identify which of the patients attending emergency departments with suspected infection may deteriorate clinically and develop sepsis.Sepsis is a serious complication of infection. Without quick treatment, it can lead to multiple organ failure and death. A third of patients admitted to hospital with sepsis die within days of being admitted to intensive care units.Related StoriesScientists identify mechanism that makes babies more likely than adults to die from sepsisNew research defines the chain of molecular events that goes awry in sepsisAPPG report highlights need to improve identification and treatment of sepsisSepsis occurs when the body’s immune system goes into overdrive in response to an infection. Therefore, the team investigated the biomarkers present on white blood cells, which form key part of the body’s response to infection.The research team studied 47 biomarkers using blood samples from patients admitted to hospital with suspected infection. They followed these patients to see whether they developed sepsis or not. The team published their plan for analyzing the biomarkers prior to conducting the research, to avoid false discovery.First, they checked reliability of these markers. Then they used two comparison groups to check which of the white blood cell biomarkers identify patients with infection from those patients with confirmed sepsis (true positives) and those patients without infection (true negatives). The team then used sophisticated statistical tools to test whether it is a single biomarker or a combination of biomarkers that can predict whether a patient will progress to develop sepsis within the next 72 hours.The authors show that combinations of three particular markers (CD24 and CD279 on white blood cells called neutrophils and HLA-DR on white blood cells called monocytes) could potentially predict patients who go on to develop sepsis over the next 72 hours.Dr Shankar-Hari said: Source:https://www.kcl.ac.uk/
The measure comes on the heels of new efforts by the government to regulate China’s highly popular video game industry, including restrictions on the number of new releases to address concerns over children’s eyesight.Starting next week, new “Honour of Kings” users will have to provide their identification details, which will be checked against a police database, according to a statement on the game’s official WeChat social media account.The company also plans to expand the system to all its other titles. Tencent’s shares closed down 3.2 precent in Hong Kong following the announcement.The system will allow the company to check if the player is underage and should be included in its “anti-obsession” system, which limits minors to one or two hours of playtime in the online multiplayer battle game.Tencent launched the anti-addiction system last year to “ensure children’s healthy development” as concerns grow in China that long periods online are posing a serious threat to the country’s youth.The Shenzhen-based firm decided last year to limit “Honour of Kings” users who are 12 years old and younger to one hour of play a day and block them from signing into the game after 9 pm.Those between 12 and 18 years old are limited to two hours per day.The identification system will take effect around September 15 and verification of all new users will be completed before the end of the month.Earlier in August, Tencent was ordered to pull the hit game “Monster Hunter: World” from sale just days after it debuted, as China had halted approvals for new video game titles.Amid the regulatory squeeze, the company’s profits fell two percent in the second quarter from the previous year, the first such drop in over a decade, according to Bloomberg.Last week, eight government ministries said they would implement regulations and controls on the number of games that can be played online, limit new releases, explore an age-restriction system for games, and take steps to reduce playing time for minors.The education ministry justified the new curbs as a way to counter worsening near-sightedness among minors, after President Xi Jinping earlier this week called for greater national attention on optical health. Chinese tech giant Tencent said Thursday it will launch a real-name identification system in its hit mobile video game “Honour of Kings” to enforce playtime restrictions on underage players. Tencent will roll out a system across its mobile game titles allowing the company to check if the player is underage and should be included in its “anti-obsession” system Game over? China to rein in online games in latest industry setback Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Tencent to check IDs to enforce game limits for minors (2018, September 6) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-tencent-ids-game-limits-minors.html © 2018 AFP
Citation: Samsung Electronics flags near-30% slump in Q4 operating profit (2019, January 8) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-samsung-electronics-flags-near-slump.html Samsung Electronics enjoys record Q3 despite smartphone struggles Explore further The shock warning added to concerns about the broader tech sector after Apple sent shudders through world markets last week by slashing its revenue forecast blaming weak sales in China and citing the trade war.Samsung—the world’s top maker of smartphones and memory chips—has enjoyed record profits in recent years despite a series of setbacks, including a humiliating recall and the jailing of its de facto chief.But operating profit during the October to December period was expected to be around 10.8 trillion won ($9.8 billion), down 28.7 percent from a year earlier, Samsung said in an earnings estimate.The figure was below market consensus of about 13.5 trillion won, according to market researcher FnGuide.Sales dropped more than 10 percent to 59 trillion won in the period, Samsung said.It cited “lacklustre demand in the memory business and intensifying competition in the smartphone business” for the dismal outlook.”Memory earnings fell significantly… due to weaker-than-expected demand amid inventory adjustments at data-centre customers,” which led to a “greater-than-expected” drop in chip prices, it said.”We expect earnings to remain subdued in the first quarter of 2019 due to difficult conditions for the memory business but strengthen in the second half.”Alarm bellsBut analyst Kim Sun-woo of Meritz Securities said worsening supply and demand for semiconductors and the structural challenges facing Samsung’s smartphone business will hit profits throughout 2019.Demand for DRAM memory chips “will hit a low in the fourth quarter of 2019″, he added.Samsung withholds net profit and sector-by-sector business performance data until it releases its final earnings report, which is expected later this month.For 2018, the firm expects operating profit of 58.9 trillion won, up nearly 10 percent on-year, and sales to inch up 1.6 percent to 243.5 trillion won. © 2019 AFP The news battered world equities, with observers saying problems at the usually reliable US titan could point to broader demand weakness and the China-US trade war cited as a key factor.”When Apple sounded the alarm bells for last quarter results, there was some thought the drops in China sales was an anti-Apple backlash due to escalating US-China tensions,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA. “But these Samsung results are quite damning suggesting there… (is) a broader-based retail and manufacturer slowdown afoot.”Losing groundWhile Samsung leads the global smartphone market with a 20 percent share, it faces mounting competition from Chinese rivals like Huawei—which surpassed Apple to take second place last year—offering quality devices at lower prices.”Samsung is losing ground to Huawei, Xiaomi and other Chinese rivals in the huge China and India markets,” Neil Mawston, executive director at market researcher Strategy Analytics, said in a report.Samsung once also had a 20 percent market share in China but has seen its sales tumble to less than one percent of the world’s largest smartphone market in the third quarter, and last month announced the closure of its factory in Tianjin.It will reportedly roll out a new line-up of its flagship Galaxy handsets at next month’s World Mobile Congress in Barcelona as it seeks to regain a competitive edge in a market segment it once dominated.Samsung is also set to introduce the world’s first bendable smartphone in the first half.It reputation suffered a major blow after a damaging worldwide recall of its Galaxy Note 7 devices over exploding batteries in 2016, which cost the firm billions of dollars and shattered its global brand image.It also took another hit after the bribery conviction of Lee Jae-yong—the son and heir of the group’s ailing current chairman Lee Kun-hee.The 50-year-old scion was a key figure in the scandal that ousted former South Korean president Park Geun-hye following massive nationwide protests, and was sentenced to five years in jail last year.But he was released from jail in February last year after several of his convictions were quashed on appeal. Shares in Samsung Electronics, the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group that dominates South Korea’s economy, were down 1.68 percent at the close.Last week Apple said it expected to earn $84 billion in October-December, well down from the $89-$93 billion previously forecast as it blamed a steeper-than-expected “economic deceleration” in China and emerging markets. Chart showing quarterly operating profits for Samsung Samsung Electronics on Tuesday flagged its first quarterly profit drop in two years and painted a grim outlook owing to mounting competition from Chinese smartphone makers and declining chip prices. Samsung Electronics—the world’s top maker of smartphones and memory chips—has enjoyed record profits in recent years despite a series of setbacks This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
A combined research team from Carnegie Mellon University and Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is pairing a nanoscale imaging technique with virtual reality (VR) technology to create a method that allows researchers to “step inside” their biological data. Brendan Gallagher, a biological sciences graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, uses virtual reality to examine 3D biological data gathered using expansion microscopy. Credit: Carnegie Mellon University The virtual reality technology was developed by Tom Skillman, BRI’s former director of research technology, who has since founded a VR company, Immersive Science.”My role in this grant is to develop a software tool that will allow scientists studying disease a way to understand large amounts of data through a computational technique called ‘immersive science,'” Skillman said. “Bringing all that data into VR not only allows the scientist to see their 2-D microscope images in full 3-D, but to interact with the data, selecting channels, adjusting the views, colors and contrast, and grabbing and rotating the images to quickly identify key aspects of the image that are coupled back to the disease under study.”The eventual goal is for the VR tool, called ExMicroVR, to be shared on open platforms with other researchers along with expansion microscopy so that they too can view new details of disease processes and understand larger, more complex sets of data.The system to convert expansion microscopy data into VR 3-D images will be affordable and easily accessible to researchers and physicians in developing countries. It will also allow for up to six people to collaborate and view the same sample remotely at the same time. Citation: Expansion microscopy and virtual reality illuminate new ways to prevent and treat disease (2019, June 13) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-expansion-microscopy-virtual-reality-illuminate.html PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Play A combined research team from Carnegie Mellon University and Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is pairing a nanoscale imaging technique with virtual reality technology to create a method that allows researchers to ‘step inside’ their biological data. By combining the technique, called expansion microscopy, with virtual reality (VR), scientists will be able to enlarge, explore and analyze cell structures far beyond the capabilities of traditional light microscopy. Credit: Carnegie Mellon University/Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason However, a limitation of the technology is that it extracts two to three orders of magnitudes more data than current techniques are able to interpret. To help solve that problem, the Gates Foundation grant pairs expansion microscopy with a virtual reality technique developed at the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI).Through VR technology developed specifically for this purpose, researchers will be able to see and manipulate the originally 2-D expansion microscopy images in 3-D, giving them a 360 degree view of tissue and protein organizations and interactions. Carnegie Mellon biologist Yongxin (Leon) Zhao expands a biological sample. This expansion microscopy technique allows researchers to view fine details of samples using standard microscopy equipment. Credit: Carnegie Mellon University Explore further Provided by Carnegie Mellon University “At BRI, we’ll prepare the live infectious and autoimmune disease samples,” said Caroline Stefani, senior postdoctoral research associate. “We’ll send those to Carnegie Mellon, where they will enlarge the samples and send images back to BRI to be viewed in VR.””This is the future of how scientists can handle complex data,” Zhao said. “It’s an immersive experience, just like you are sitting inside your data. You have the freedom to explore your data from every angle and every spot.” Lasers aim to replace scalpels in cutting-edge biopsy technique By combining the technique, called expansion microscopy, with VR, scientists will be able to enlarge, explore and analyze cell structures far beyond the capabilities of traditional light microscopy.The development of these technologies, a two-step process funded at $200,000 through Grand Challenges, an initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will accelerate researchers’ understanding of infectious and autoimmune diseases and enhance their ability to develop disease diagnostics and prevention and treatment methods.Yongxin (Leon) Zhao, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon’s Mellon College of Science, has been developing the expansion microscopy technique to physically magnify a biopsy, allowing researchers to see fine details in biological samples using standard microscopes.Zhao makes biopsy samples grow in size by chemically transforming them into water-soluble hydrogels. He then applies a treatment that loosens the tissues and allows them to expand more than 100 times in volume. The tissues and molecules within the sample can then be labeled, imaged and compiled into a complex set of data, to be used to study interactions among cells and their structures. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
PARIS (Reuters) – Strong demand in mainland China helped Cartier-owner Richemont (CFR.S) offset a weaker performance elsewhere in its first quarter, as protests in Hong Kong hit sales, revenues fell in Europe and its watch business faltered. FILE PHOTO: High-end jewellery is displayed at a Cartier store on Place Vendome in Paris, France, July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File PhotoThe group relies on jewelry for the bulk of sales, with brands that also include Van Cleef & Arpels, and strong momentum in this sector has persuaded rivals, including Kering’s (PRTP.PA) Gucci, to branch into high-end gems. But Geneva-based Richemont is also a major player in the tougher watch industry, which is under pressure more broadly as consumers tastes shift, and has now been hit by political protests in recent weeks in Hong Kong. In June, the United States overtook the Chinese-ruled city as the world’s biggest export market for Swiss watches, export data from Switzerland showed on Thursday, as sales into Hong Kong slumped. “Sales in Hong Kong retreated, additionally impacted by the relative strength of the Hong Kong dollar and the recent street protests,” Richemont said of its overall business there. Its shares were down 2.35% at 0730GMT, while those in rival Swatch (UHR.S), which shone on the stock market on Wednesday after it gave a rosy outlook for the second half of the year, were down 0.7%. After buying back large amounts of excess watch stocks in recent years, Richemont, known for high-end IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre luxury timepieces, has also been reducing wholesale distribution and keeping a tight leash on new inventory. That shake-up of its retail network had contributed to the 2% fall in watch sales at constant currencies in the three months to end-June. Richemont, which gave no full-year outlook, highlighted that more product launches were due later in its second quarter. “Specialist watchmakers were once again rather weak, still impacted by distribution optimization,” analysts at Vontobel said in a note. Sales at Richemont’s jewelry brands were stronger, however, rising 7% at constant currencies, and the group said that mainland China had more broadly proved a bright spot, mirroring trends across the broader luxury goods industry. Some more fashion-orientated groups like Louis Vuitton owner LVMH (LVMH.PA) have benefited as Chinese shoppers spend more at home, encouraged by Beijing’s bid to boost domestic consumption with import tariff cuts that have fed through to prices. In Europe, Richemont’s revenue fell 1% in the April to June period. Richemont’s overall sales rose 12% to 3.74 billion euros ($4.20 billion), up 9% at constant currencies. This included its online distributors like Yoox Net-A-Porter, which it acquired full control of last year in a bid to accelerate its e-commerce push, an area where high-end watchmakers and jewelry firms are playing catch-up. Without these platforms, sales would have been up 3% at constant exchange rates. Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Michelle Martin and Jane MerrimanOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.