Axwell ? Ingrosso Posted Their Set From ADE 2016, Available For 48 Hours

Amsterdam Dance Event is one of the biggest events anywhere for electronic music, bringing together artists from every continent for a week of events, panels and lots of new music.

One of the events during the week was an epic set from Axwell ? Ingrosso, and unless you were fortunate enough to witness it in person, you haven’t been able to hear it until now.

For 48 hours only, Axwell ? Ingrosso have uploaded their ADE set to Soundcloud for listening. Check out the tracklist here, and listen now while you still can:

 

Image via Rukes.com

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IoT Makes Smart Buildings Even Smarter



EMAIL
INTERVIEW
Bob Snyder and Ken
Sinclair

Bob Snyder is the Content Chairman for the pan-European Smart Building
Conference
in Amsterdam. Now in its 6th edition, the one-day conference
focuses on the future inside smart buildings (from building control to
conferencing to paging/evacuation systems and about 12 more product
categories). The conference is co-located with the giant ISE 2017, a
trade show with 65,000 attendees.


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SinclairWhat’s new at your Smart Building Conference this year?

Snyder:  Each year we pick a theme and this year it’s IoT Makes Smart Buildings Even Smarter.
We believe there is a lot of confusion about the Internet of Things,
about what’s possible now and what will be possible in the future.
We’re fortunate to have some super speakers:  Aglaia Kong, CTO
Networks at Google… Gabriel Wetzel, Vice President for IoT Projects and
Smart City, Bosch Software Innovation… James McHale, CEO at Memoori
Research… Claire Penny, Worldwide Solution Leader, Watson IoT at IBM…
Greg Leonard, Technical Executive EMEA, Cisco Jasper IoT Cloud and more.

SinclairThere are, of course, a number of smart building events. What distinguishes this event?

Snyder:  First, we are pan-European. I think that provides a different flavor, a
different perspective than events in the USA or national (like
France-only) events. Second, we run twin tracks of commercial and
residential. Third, we are co-located with a sister event that brings
in 65,000 system integrators and technology providers into Amsterdam.
Yet, the fourth distinction may be most important: while we cover
building control, we are probably the leading conference for the smart
tech inside buildings that enables seamless, collaborative, healthy and
comfortable working experiences. That’s our real strength: we don’t
believe a building in the age of digital disruption is truly “smart”
until it enables its occupants.

SinclairWhat do you include in “smart tech inside the building?”

Snyder:  Besides building management, we
cover cabling, security access control, paging and evacuation
systems, digital signage, wayfinding, IP and network distribution,
lighting and lighting control, conferencing and collaboration, control
rooms, home automation, wireless technologies,  and even projector
mapping on the outside of buildings.  One big advantage: the day
after our conference, our delegates can attend our sister event, ISE
2017, and see most of the leaders in these fast-moving in-building tech
segments. It’s an integration event, and our history—the history of our
audience– is in integrating disparate technologies.

For example, we have a session about IoT
and integration projects, “How the IoT Platform Creates Opportunity in
Commercial, Residential and Marine” by Bernhard Huessy, the CEO of
nomos system AG, a Swiss IoT platform with 21,000 delivered
systems.  And another session, “Connected Lighting” from Lennart
Ruhl, Head of Business Segment at Osram GmbH, focuses on integrating
lighting.

KMC Controls
SinclairWhy should Americans visit your conference?

Snyder:  I think we appeal to executives
looking for new perspectives, the European angle. We tend to do things
differently. Love it or not, it’s better than hearing the same old
things. Also, it is a great way to research the European market—and an
even better way to launch into it. We offer a great networking
opportunity which brings in executives from most of Europe in one time,
one place. We are all about business.

SinclairThanks for the update, and anything else we need to know?

Snyder:  Yes, it’s good to know our delegates also get VIP seating for the
opening ISE 2017 keynote (which is also the last official session of
the Smart Building Conference.)

We’re bringing in one of the world’s pop
stars of architecture, Ole Scheeren. If you Google his projects, you’ll
find spectacularly modern buildings like MahaNakhon (Bangkok’s tallest
tower) or Angkasa Raya (a landmark skyscraper in Kuala Lumpur). One
look at these projects and you see he is an architect with a different
vision.

Scheeren has been awarded numerous prizes including the Urban Habitat Award and the 2015 World Building of the Year (The Interlace) and the Best Tall Building Award
(CCTV Tower in Beijing, the world’s largest media building with more
expensive technology than any other structure.) He co-designed these
buildings (as partner-in-charge) with Rem Koolhaas’s firm OMA. Now he
has his own firm.

I can give your readers a link to an article in Der Spiegel (in English) that spells out why Scheeren is revered as a building visionary.

 

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New York State Assemblyman present WSOF officials with proclamation

New York State Assemblyman present WSOF officials with proclamation

Angelo Santabarbara, Assemblyman for the 111th District presented World Series of Fighting officials with a proclamation during the mixed martial arts organization’s largest promotion to date, December 31.

The WSOF 34 event was held on New Year’s Eve, just hours before, and less than a mile away from where the ball dropped in Times Square.  Thousands of fans packed the Theater at Madison Square Garden where after the first fight in the decagon, the statement was read and presented.

New York State Assemblyman for the 111th Assembly District presents proclamation to WSOF executives at WSOF 34

Angelo Santabarbara, New York State Assemblyman for the 111th Assembly District presents proclamation to WSOF executives at WSOF 34

“It was great to sit and talk about what this means to local fighters like myself with my good friend Angelo Santabarbara. I thank him for his support and for including me in his efforts as a local voice from Amsterdam,” said Tommy Marcellino.

Marcellino, one of the competitors on the #WSOFNYC show lives in Amsterdam, New York, one of the cities in Santabarbara’s district, defeated Matt Denning via armbar in the first round on Saturday.  Marcellino had a sea of supporters at the Garden, many of them wearing yellow colored shirts that read “Tommy Gunnz” across the chest.

Get full WSOFNYC WSOF 34 results here

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and Tommy Marcellino

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and Tommy Marcellino following Marcellino’s WSOF 34 win at Madison Square Garden, December 31.

“For too many years our Mixed Martial Arts fighters have had to leave the state to compete professionally,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara.

“We continued the fight to finally make MMA legal in New York State so that our local athletes could finally get a chance to play the home game. And today, I’m proud to put the spotlight on one of Amsterdam’s local favorites, Tommy Marcellino,” said Santabarbara.

Nicole Parisi, Chief of Staff, Office of Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara told MyMMANews today that the Assemblyman’s office called Marcellino this morning to congratulate him on his victory once again.  Both Parisi and the Assemblyman were at the Garden to witness the event unfold yesterday.

Assemblyman Santabarbara was one of the strong advocates and backers of the MMA bill that was passed earlier this year permitting mixed martial arts events to be sanctioned in New York. Marcellino was one of the athletes that the Assemblyman’s office worked with to help get the legislation passed.

The Assemblyman’s office hopes to see more events like World Series of Fighting come to the Upstate New York and the 111th Assembly District in areas such as Schenectady and Amsterdam.

“We are hoping to bring more professional MMA events to New York and especially to Upstate New York and the 111th Assembly District.”

“The UFC has been to New York earlier this year, and this is the first time here for World Series of Fighting.  The more events we have in the state, the better off it will be.”

Read the Proclamation below. Click image to enlarge

Office of New York State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara proclamation to WSOF MMA

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Amsterdam: The Grey Area

Amsterdam Cannabis Now

The connoisseur-quality cannabis judge behind Certified Dank, Caitlin Podiak, visits Amsterdam, long thought of as the preeminent global refuge for cannabis lovers, and discovers a decidedly different scene.

The last time I visited Amsterdam I was a college junior and a nightly toker, but all I knew about cannabis was that I liked it. A decade later, I was back — now a bona fide NorCal pot snob, there to celebrate the New Year with my husband, my parents, my sister and my brother-in-law.

We arrived on the penultimate day of 2015 and immediately headed to Grey Area. This grungy little coffeeshop reputed to sell Amsterdam’s dankest cannabis was tightly packed and dimly lit, with stickers covering the walls, death metal thudding at a punishing volume and a line stretching out the door. Harried budtenders rapidly shoved a series of dirty plastic canisters across the counter, each containing a paltry handful of stem-ridden popcorn-sized buds.

 

 

If this had been a West Coast dispensary, I would have turned on my heel and walked out empty-handed, but instead I selected a gram of Nevil’s Haze for €13 and Grey Haze for €12. As a San Franciscan with a preference for Haze, I had eagerly anticipated a respite from California’s Kush glut. I also wanted something more sedative, though, and the indica side of the menu was all Kush, so I settled on a gram of Kosher Kush for €16.

 

Our next stop was the Hash Marijuana Hemp Museum, which proved to be a convenient crash course for my supportive, but nonsmoking, family. I have inundated them with countless lectures about the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, the sordid motives and tactics in the War on Drugs, and the versatile utility of hemp, but visual aids and tangible artifacts make an incredible history easier to believe.

 

Back at our rented apartment, I climbed several flights of stairs up to the roof deck to smoke some Haze. Both the Nevil’s Haze and Grey Haze were pleasantly fragrant and suitably hazy. After a couple joints and a few glasses of wine, I found myself in an almost maniacal state of gregariousness, until the Kosher Kush finally soothed me to sleep.

 

On New Year’s Eve we meandered along the canals, dodging bicycles and mopeds, snapping selfies on bridges and nibbling cheese samples. We made our way to Coffeeshop De Tweede Kamer, which had a lovely ambiance but was too crowded to accommodate our group of six, so we moved on to the Rembrandt House Museum.

 

Then my parents went on an urgent search for a baguette to go with our cheese, and the rest of us managed to find seats at an unassuming coffeeshop called Paradox, which had a laid-back simplicity and hosted a comfortably diverse and respectable crowd of disparate ages and nationalities. We smoked two pre-rolled joints of “Pure Bio” (organic flowers without tobacco) and purchased two €12 grams of Chocolope to go.

 Chocolope

 

At dusk, we boarded a boat for a “Water Colors Cruise” that took us past electrical light sculptures installed around the canals as part of the Amsterdam Light Festival. The artworks ranged from dull and vapid to cool and trippy, and we all giggled as the audio guide ceaselessly reiterated that this year’s festival theme was “friendship.” It was corny and touristy, but to be stoned on a boat, gliding through darkness pierced by colorful glowing lights and reflections twinkling in the water, with a big jar of fancy candy in your purse, is not a bad way to see the city.

 

A simmering sense of festive excitement crackled in the air like the calm before a storm as we walked back through the Nine Streets district that evening. We returned to the apartment well before midnight, popped open some Champagne, and rolled up the Chocolope, which had a sweet minty lemon flavor and a happy mellow effect.

 

Fireworks had been going off sporadically all day and began steadily increasing after sunset. At midnight they intensified into an absolutely bonkers barrage. From our roof deck, we watched nonstop explosions not unlike the grand finale of an official fireworks display, except the fireworks surrounded us in every direction and the sustained crescendo did not taper off until nearly 2 a.m.

 

We all raced up and down the treacherously steep and narrow stairs between the roof and a lower balcony, where we had front-row seats to watch one man diligently setting off an endless supply of fireworks for over an hour, while simultaneously building a bonfire in the street to dispose of dozens of empty boxes. The fire flared up as passers-by tossed in their own empty firework boxes, and at one point a police van swerved past the fire without slowing down, presumably en route to more serious mayhem.

 

On New Year’s Day, we stopped in at Boerejongens, a clean and classy coffeeshop near the apartment, and bought a gram of Pineapple Haze for €11. This flower was pretty and resinous, with a fluffy springy texture, nice spicy aroma and mild but tasty flavor. The effect was strong and long lasting: a cerebral Haze high with hints of Kush body stone. The strain was stimulating, creative and, like the Nevil’s Haze, so chatty it bordered on belligerent

I giddily devoured a chocolate-covered mega-stroopwafel at a Christmas market, and then we walked to the Van Gogh Museum but bailed when we saw the line. We decided to take a tram to Centraal Station in the hopes that one of the numerous coffeeshops on the Haarlemmerstraat would have room for us.

 

Alas, Dampkring and Barney’s both had large crowds gathered outside their doors pressing to get inside, and every other coffeeshop we saw was filled to capacity. There was no space to sit at Green House either, but after waiting in a long line to be told that nearly every strain listed on the menu was either subpar or sold out, we eventually bought a gram of “Bio Organic” Cheese and a gram of Super Lemon Haze for €15 each.

 

Next door, at Green House Kitchen, we sat down to dinner with two vaporizers on our table. The restaurant does not provide cannabis, but we were invited to vaporize the flowers we had picked up from the neighboring coffeeshop. They did provide a selection of other herbs, so while we puffed on Super Lemon Haze and Cheese with one vaporizer, my parents and sister inhaled chamomile, peppermint, hops, lavender and passionfruit vapors on the other side of the table.

 

With its elegantly modern atmosphere, healthy and flavorful food, thoughtfully sourced produce, gorgeous plating and solid wine list, Green House Kitchen would be right at home in California. Vaporizing cannabis at an upscale dinner with my parents felt perfectly natural, and the addition of other herbs was delightfully intriguing.

 

Apart from Green House Kitchen, however, I was underwhelmed by Amsterdam’s cannabis scene. Under the circumstances, it was impossible to properly explore the coffeeshops, but certain aspects were readily apparent.

Cannabis is not technically legal in Amsterdam, only “tolerated,” and this places the plant in a particular cultural context. It is labeled a “soft drug,” too easily classified alongside legal prostitution in the red-light district and perceived as attracting unsavory types and fostering a generally shady vibe. (Meanwhile, binge drinking is far more normalized.) The patchwork of contradictory regulations seems to prevent coffeeshops from stocking sufficient quantities of product or making menus adequately available for perusal.

 

In California, cannabis is passionately celebrated rather than begrudgingly tolerated. Our medical marijuana laws engender some silly self-righteousness and mild hypocrisy by forcing us to justify all cannabis use as medicinal, but this framework has been useful and appropriate in many ways. Cannabis is essentially wholesome and has established validity as a medicine or wellness supplement. As a social indulgence, it ought to be accorded the same degree of dignity as wine, coffee, cheese or sweets.

 

Amsterdam is an enchanting city. The iconic canals and quirky old European architecture are charming, and there is an appealingly funky mishmash of artsy weirdness everywhere you look. Although the holiday crowds frustrated our attempts to enjoy coffeeshops and museums, it was a worthwhile tradeoff to absorb the carnivalesque New Year’s energy and witness the most outrageously chaotic fireworks imaginable.

 

But I came away with the impression that Amsterdam’s cannabis culture has been stagnating while the western United States charges furiously into the future. We may not have coffeeshops yet, but our dispensaries and private cannabis events are more sophisticated, our budtenders are more knowledgeable and consumers are more discerning.

 

Amsterdam is fun to visit. Coming home to California is even better.

Published in Issue 20 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE.

Daimler Financial Services finalizes acquisition of Athlon Car Lease International

Daimler Financial Services has received regulatory approval for the acquistion of Athlon Car Lease International from De Lage Landen International Group, which belongs to Dutch Rabobank. Daimler Financial Services invested € 1,1 billion to acquire Athlon, a leading fleet management company in Europe. Daimler Financial Services will cover the needs of business mobility with Daimler Fleet Management and Athlon Car Lease International as a multi-brand provider. In the future, Daimler Financial Services will lead its fleet management business under the Athlon brand. Gero Goetzenberger, CEO of Daimler Fleet Management since 2012, is named new CEO of Athlon. Frans Janssen, the former CEO of Athlon, will become Chief Commercial Officer. The headquarters for the company will be in Almere/Netherlands.

“The importance of business mobility continues to grow. With the acquisition of Athlon, we are strengthening our competitive position in business mobility. Both Daimler Fleet Management and Athlon have a strong heritage and are successfull in the market,” stated Bodo Uebber, Board of Management member of Daimler AG responsible for Finance and Controlling and Financial Services.

“With a combined portfolio exceeding 350.000 vehicles we will be an important player in the European fleet business. With Athlon, we will enhance our mobility solutions for companies,” stated Klaus Entenmann, Chairman of Daimler Financial Services AG. The integration in all European markets is expected in 2018. In the future, customers will benefit from an extended offer and optimized processes.

“We want to become the leading provider for business mobility in Europe. Our 1,800 employees are commited to delivering on this promise. With our experience and passion we will extend our offer and grow,” stated Goetzenberger.

“We now hand over our vehicle leasing business to a company that possesses all the prerequisites to continue Athlon’s track record of success,” stated Bill Stephenson, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of De Lage Landen International, the former holding company of Athlon Car Lease International.
On the road all over Europe

The company’s presence in Europe spans across fourteen countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Furthermore, Athlon cooperates with partners in more markets.

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Doubt about Franks’ betrayal

For decades the world and Otto Frank believed that someone tipped off the authorities about his family living in secret rooms in Amsterdam, where his teenage daughter Anne chronicled life in hiding under the Nazi regime in documents known as the Diary of Anne Frank. Now though, a new theory suggests that there was no secret tip-off after all, but that the Jewish family was found during investigations into possible illegal activities at the building where the Franks were hiding.


Anne Frank poses in 1941 in this photo made available by Anne Frank Fonds/ Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, Netherlands. A new theory suggests that there was no secret tip-off the led Nazis to the attic in which Frank and her family were hiding in 1944.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Though the new theory is interesting, it’s doubtful anyone will ever really know how the Franks were discovered after remaining in hiding for two long years. However, what will never change is our passion for Anne Frank’s story and her stamina and courage to embrace hope and to keep writing under such duress.

A recent Washington Post report about the Anne Frank House museum’s publication of a research paper sheds light on what else could have led to the family’s discovery in 1944 during World War II. With the new information, it’s difficult to disagree with the researchers’ conclusion that “explicit focus on betrayal, however, limits the perspective of the arrest … other scenarios tend to be overshadowed.”

Indeed, if the sole view remains on a single possibility that led to the family’s discovery, then little else would likely be considered. That’s no one’s fault, really. Remember, Otto Frank was convinced that someone told the Nazis about his family’s hideout. Mr. Frank, the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust, died in 1980. Anne was 15 years old when she died of typhus in a concentration camp.

The researchers point out that the men Mr. Frank believed were investigators were not at all in search of Jews. They suggest that the men were assigned to investigate “economic violations” — uncovering rings that dealt in government ration cards given to people so they could get food and other items. In fact, Anne wrote often about men being arrested for their involvement with illegal ration cards; as she stated, “so we have no coupons.”

Whether hard evidence is ever discovered to prove that the Franks were betrayed or whether the men who found them were on a mission to find ration-card cheaters, fascination with this 70-plus-year-old story won’t diminish. That’s particularly so now in light of horrible world events, such as that in Aleppo and wherever else innocent people go into hiding or leave their homelands because they are deemed to be different and, therefore, targets to kill. 

What else will never be altered is this young Jewish girl’s insight into the triumphant spirit and hope that prevails in humankind, even in the most contrary of circumstances.



Major international events during 2016

Year 2016, the 16th year of the 3rd millennium, has till date been as eventful as all the years that preceded it – bringing both joys and sorrows for the residents of the planet.

Here follow some major global events that took place during this year, which is yet to close though: January 1: Famous Dubai skyscraper “The Address” caught fire as the New Year bells rung.

January 3: Following the fallout caused by the execution of a Shia cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, Saudi Arabia severed its diplomatic ties with Iran. On October 2014, Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court approved the death sentence of Nimr for disobeying the ruler, inciting sectarian strife, and encouraging, leading and participating in demonstrations.

January 5: First batsman to ever score 1,000 runs in a single innings in Cricket – 15-year-old Mumbai schoolboy Pranav Dhanawade returned to the pavilion 1009 not out!

January 6: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” broke North American box office record, passing the $760.5million taken by film “Avatar”.

January 15: Militants attacked a hotel in Burkina Faso killing 28, injuring 56.

January 16: The International Atomic Energy Agency announced that Iran had adequately dismantled its nuclear weapons programme, allowing the United Nations to lift sanctions immediately.

January 18: Oxfam had published a report stating world’s 62 richest people as wealthy as half the world’s population.

January 28: The World Health Organisation announced an outbreak of Zika virus.

January 30: Boko Haram militants attacked a village in Nigeria, killing at least 65 people and injuring 136.

February 1: Alphabet, Google’s parent company, surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable company ($568billion v $535b), after releasing income results.

February 1: Myanmar’s first freely elected parliament in 50 years held its opening session.

February 5: Computer hackers tried to steal $1 billion from Federal Reserve Bank of New York using Bangladesh banking codes, and ended up stealing $81 million before a typo alerted the authorities.

February 7: North Korea launched a long-range rocket into space, violating multiple UN treaties and prompting condemnation from around the world.

February 16: Former French president Nicholas Sarkozy was placed under investigation for campaign funds.

February 17: Car bomb attack on military convoy in Ankara, Turkey, by Kurdish militants left 28 people dead.

February 26: Iranian elections; reformers and moderates won control of parliament.

March 1: Forbes Richest List released, Bill Gates was ranked number one with $75 billion. The number of world’s billionaires shrinks to 1,810.

March 2: Longest non-stop commercial flight. Emirates A-380 flew 14,200km Dubai to Auckland in 17 hours, 15 minutes.

March 13: Suicide bombing in Ankara, Turkey, killed 37 people.

March 14: President Putin ordered Russian troops out of Syria.

March 21: The International Criminal Court found Congo’s former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the first time this court had convicted someone of sexual violence.

March 22: Three coordinated bombings in Brussels killed at least 32 people. The ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.

March 24: Ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was sentenced to 40 years in prison after being found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the Bosnian War.

April 3: The ICC World T/20 was won by West Indies, beating England by 4 wickets with 2 balls to spare in Kolkata.

April 3: The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and a German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung published a set of 11.5 million confidential documents from the Panamanian corporate Mossack Fonseca that provided detailed information on more than 214,000 offshore companies,  the identities of shareholders and directors including noted personalities and heads of state.

April 5: Iceland’s PM Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned after Panama Papers leak showed a conflict of interest.

April 10: Explosions and a fire caused by fireworks at a temple in Kerala, India, killed more than 100 people and injured 400.

April 19: Iranian run-off elections gave moderates and reformists a majority in parliament.

May 8: Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London – 1st Muslim mayor of a major Western city.

May 21: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, leader of the Afghan Taliban, was reportedly killed by a US drone in Pakistan.

May 21: An Egypt Air flight went missing with 66 people on board over the Mediterranean enroute from Paris to Cairo.

May 30: Chad’s former president Hissene Habre was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity committed during his tenure from 1982 to 1990, the first time an African Union-backed court convicted a former ruler of a country within its jurisdiction.

June 1: Switzerland’s Gotthard Base Tunnel completed – world’s longest- at 57km and most expensive tunnel costing €11billion.

June 5: Swiss citizens voted to reject referendum to give each citizen a guaranteed income of 2,500 Swiss francs per month.

June 12; Cristiano Ronaldo became the first footballer to top Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes List, earning $88 million.

June 16: Female British MP Jo Cox was shot and killed outside her constituency surgery in Yorkshire.

June 20: Rome elected its first female and youngest-ever Mayor Virginia Raggi.

June 23: The United Kingdom had voted in a “Brexit” referendum to leave the European Union.

June 24: British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned after the UK had voted to leave the EU.

June 28: The ISIS claimed responsibility for attacking the Istanbul Airport and killing 45 persons, besides injuring around 230.

July 4: NASA’s spacecraft entered the orbit around Jupiter and began a 20-month survey of the planet.

July 5: The FBI released a report stating Hillary Clinton was “extremely careless” in handling classified emails but don’t recommend prosecuting.

July 13: Theresa May was elected prime minister of the United Kingdom.

July 25: Verizon announced $4.83 billion purchase of Yahoo.

July 31: Yuriko Koike became the first woman to be elected Tokyo governor.

August 5 to 21: The 2016 Summer Olympics were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

August 9: World’s longest ever hunger strike ended, as Indian HR campaigner Irom Sharmila tasted honey after 16 years.

August 24: A 6.2-magnitude earthquake had struck Italy, killing 268 people, injuring 400.

August 31: The Brazilian Senate voted (61–20) to impeach country’s President Dilma Rousseff. 

September 3: The US and China, together responsible for 40% of the world’s carbon emissions, ratified the Paris global climate agreement.

September 9: North Korea conducted its fifth and reportedly biggest nuclear test. 

September 18: Putin-backed United Russia party wins 54% of parliamentary seats led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

September 21: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan pledged $3 billion to medical research to cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century.

September 28: International investigators concluded that Malaysia Airlines Flight M-17 was shot down by a missile that came from an area controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

September 30: Two stolen $100 million paintings by legendary Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh were finally recovered. These classic art pieces were stolen on December 7, 2002 from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

October 8: White House said it was confident that Russia was behind email hacking and attempts to influence the US election.

October 13: The Maldives announced to withdraw from the Commonwealth of Nations.

October 22: Messrs ATT bought Time Warner for $85.4 billion.

October 31: Lebanon parliament elected Michel Aoun president after 2 1/2 years without a leader.

November 8: American elections were held. Business tycoon Donald Trump defeated favourite Hillary Clinton.

November 8: Indian government had scrapped 500 and 1000 rupees notes effective at midnight.

November 25: Revolutionary Cuban leader Fidel Castro died in capital Havana.

December 1: Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was crowned King of Thailand, succeeding his father King Bhumibol.

December 1: French President Francois Hollande announced he would not seek a 2nd term – 1st modern French leader to do so.

December 4: Austria elected Alexander Van der Bellen as president.

December 4: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key resigns after eight years in office.

December 7: Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned three days after losing a referendum to reform the constitution.

December 7: An earthquake in Indonesia had claimed over 100 lives.

December 9: South Korean MPs had voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye.

December 19: Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, was assassinated in Ankara.

December 19: Truck driven into a Christmas market in Berlin killed 12 people and injured 48.

December 23: The UN Security Council condemned Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.

December 25: Popular British singer George Michael died. 

 

 

Emerging Alzheimer’s Therapies Test the Waters at CTAD

Beyond keynote speeches and eagerly awaited immunotherapy data, many presentations at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) conference, held December 8-10 in San Diego, detailed findings from therapies in the earliest stages of development. These were tested in small groups of participants, some without placebo controls. Here are a few highlights from trial tidbits reported at the conference.

Philip Scheltens of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam presented data from a Phase 2a trial of VX-745, aka Neflamapomid. This p38MAPK inhibitor is proposed to reduce harmful inflammation, boost microglial phagocytosis, and improve neuronal plasticity. Sixteen people in Europe with MCI or mild AD received either 40 mg or 125 mg of VX-745 twice daily for 12 weeks. Fifteen (eight in the 40 mg group and seven in the 125 mg group) completed the trial and were evaluated at the VU Medical Center. The drug was well-tolerated and caused no severe adverse events, Scheltens said.

Kinase Blocker.

Crystal structure of VX-745 (green) bound to p38 MAPK? (purple). [Courtesy of John Alam.]

Researchers evaluated the primary outcome measure—reduction in A? deposition—via quantitative PET imaging. This method, which continuously measures PiB in the brain throughout a 90-minute scan, is more sensitive and less prone to variability than standard amyloid-PET scans, which take a briefer measurement at a specific time, usually 60 to 90 minutes after the tracer has been injected into the blood stream. Because of the tighter variability of this PET method, the researchers decided ahead of time that an amyloid reduction of more than 7 percent would constitute a bona fide response to the drug, while a 3 percent to 7 percent reduction would be considered a partial response. They found that in the 40 mg group, three people had a full response, two had a partial response, and three did not respond. In the 125 mg group, only one out of the seven had a full response. Interestingly, that person had a plasma level of the drug on par with people in the 40 mg group. All four full responders had plasma VX-745 exposure below 90 nghr/ml.

Scheltens reported that the four full responders also had had the lowest baseline levels of amyloid deposition. He concluded that the lower, 40 mg dose was better for reduction of amyloid, and that three months of treatment was perhaps insufficient to reduce amyloid deposition in those who started out with high baseline levels. Scheltens could not explain these paradoxical dose findings, although he offered that it is possible that the higher dose may go too far in shutting down inflammatory responses needed to mop up A?.

In a secondary outcome measure, the Wechsler Memory Scale test, participants in both dose groups improved throughout the trial. However, Scheltens acknowledged that because this small trial had no placebo group, it would be difficult to rule out that practice effects were at play.

Separately, John Alam of EIP Pharma in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reviewed results from a U.S.-based CSF analysis study with the same basic design, though it was shorter—six weeks rather than 12. Sixteen people with MCI or mild AD were slated to receive either 40 mg or 125 mg of VX-745 twice daily. However, after the trial began, the FDA introduced a limit on dosing, to keep plasma VX-745 levels tenfold below the level causing toxicity in long-term animal studies. Because the drug sponsors expected plasma VX-745 might exceed that limit in people taking the high dose, they suspended that arm after only three people had been enrolled and one had completed the study. Alam told Alzforum that because the European Union interprets the toxicity differently, the high-dose arm could be completed in Amsterdam.

The U.S. study measured memory using the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test–Revised (HVLT-R), a test that affords little improvement with practice. This was evident by minimal improvement of most participants in two tests before they took their first dose, Alam said. In the HVLT-R, participants are asked to remember as many words as possible from a list of 12, either immediately or 20 to 25 minutes after hearing them. Seven and five of the eight participants on 40 mg VX-745 improved significantly in the immediate and delayed recall scores, respectively, at the end of the trial.

Alam reported analysis of CSF taken from the eight participants who received the 40 mg dose of VX-745 and the one who completed the 125 mg dose regimen before that was stopped. Since that person’s plasma VX-745 was on par with those in the 40 mg dose, the researchers pooled the data. Because VX-745 is thought to tamp down neuroinflammation, the researchers attempted to measure the CSF concentrations of nine cytokines, but ultimately only one—IL-8—was consistently detectable. CSF levels of this pro-inflammatory cytokine significantly dropped in three participants who had the highest plasma levels of VX-745, all above 90 nghr/ml, suggesting that the drug does have some anti-inflammatory effects, Alam reported. These same three participants with less CSF IL-8 also had significantly elevated CSF levels of A?38 and A?40 relative to their baselines, with a similar trend for A?42.

While the PET and CSF analysis were undertaken in different patients, at different centers, Alam told Alzforum that it does not appear VX-745 reduces amyloid plaque via an anti-inflammatory effect (i.e., by reducing IL-8 levels). The PET responders in Amsterdam all had plasma drug exposures below 90 nghr/ml, while those in the United States whose plasma IL-8 fell all had drug exposure above that level. Alam said the data is in keeping with preclinical studies suggesting VX-745 has interleukin signaling effects mediated by inhibition of p38?, and interleukin production effects mediated by inhibition of p38?. The drug’s IC50 for the former is less than for the latter, Alam said. This may explain why lower doses of the drug might preferentially reduce A?—higher doses could interfere with its clearance. Suppressing p38? may attenuate BACE cleavage of APP, and slow production of A?42 (see Schnöder et al., 2016). Alam thinks this may be how the drug improves cognition, because that might reduce A? toxicity at the synapse. The researchers hope to further test the drug’s effects on A? burden and cognitive improvement in a larger, placebo-controlled trial, Scheltens said.

On to a ?-secretase modulator. Ruolun Qiu of Pfizer in Cambridge, Massachusetts laid out data from PF-06648671, a small molecule designed to clamp down on ?-secretase’s production of amyloidogenic peptides from APP, while sparing processing of other crucial substrates, such as Notch 1. Qiu presented safety and CSF A? data from single- and multiple-dose studies.

In a single-dose study, 22 healthy participants, ages 18 to 55, received one oral dose of 150 mg or 300 mg of PF-0664871, or a placebo, and their CSF was monitored continually for 36 hours via a lumbar cannula. A?40 and 42 levels reached a nadir at 16 hours—dropping by an average of 23 percent and 39 percent, respectively, in response to the 300 mg dose. In a multiple-ascending-dose study on healthy volunteers in the same age group, six cohorts of 10 (eight active, two placebo) participants received daily doses ranging from 4 mg to 360 mg of the modulator, or placebo, for 14 days. On day 14, the researchers observed a dose-dependent reduction in A?42—by 14, 43, 59, and 65 percent for the 40, 100, 200, and 360 mg doses, respectively. A?40 also dropped dose-dependently, but by lesser amounts, resulting in a reduction in the A?42/40 ratio just as with the single dose.

On the other hand, shorter peptides shot up in response to treatment. A?37 rose by 335 percent and 372 percent after 14 days on 200 mg and 360 mg doses, respectively, while A?38 rose by 46 percent after 14 days on the 200 mg dose. Some of these peptides are considered non-amyloidogenic, but the full range of A? species has not been exhaustively studied. Despite a dramatic shift in the length of certain A? peptides, treatment did not affect the concentration of total A?, Qiu said. These findings suggested to the researchers that the drug could limit production of toxic A? species while otherwise preserving ?-secretase function. Qiu reported that the drug was safe and well-tolerated at the tested dose range, and that the most common adverse events—headache, dizziness, and nausea—were likely due to the lumbar puncture procedure. The safety profile also looked good in a third study in healthy elderly people, ages 65-85, who received 200 mg doses for two weeks, Qiu said.

Another drug aimed at altering neuronal activity, AGB101, is poised to enter Phase 3. An extended release version of the anti-epileptic drug levetiracetam, AGB101 is proposed to dampen the neuronal hyperactivity in the hippocampus that occurs in people with mild cognitive impairment. In a Phase 2 study, the drug appeared to do exactly that, and people performed better on memory tests (see Mar 2015 news). At CTAD, Richard Mohs of AgeneBio in Baltimore and colleagues reported that following a positive meeting with the FDA, the company will move forward with Phase 3 trials to test the drug’s effects on cognition. Starting in mid-2017, they will randomize 830 people with MCI due to AD to receive placebo or 220 mg of AGB101 for 78 weeks. The primary outcome measure will be improvement on the clinical dementia rating scale sum of boxes (CDR-SB). Participants will also undergo other cognitive tests and structural MRI to track the drug’s effects on neurodegeneration. AgeneBio has spent 2016 preparing and raising money for this Phase 3 study (see slide deck). 

A Placebo-Free Space for Therapy Trials?
Tackling AD from a metabolic angle, John Didsbury of T3D Therapeutics in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, presented findings from a Phase 2a study of T3D-959 in patients with mild to moderate AD. The hope is that this small-molecule agonist of PPAR delta/gamma nuclear receptors will improve waning metabolism in the AD brain by increasing insulin sensitivity. Thirty-six participants were randomized to receive 3, 10, 30, or 90 mg daily oral doses of the drug for 14 days. There was no placebo group.

On treatment day 14, FDG-PET imaging indicated dose-dependent changes compared to baseline in cerebral glucose metabolism in brain regions typically affected by AD. For the most part, the study measured regional to whole-brain ratios of glucose metabolism, which went down in a dose-dependent manner. To Didsbury, this indicated that the drug penetrated the brain and engaged its target.

On a secondary outcome measure, the ADAS-Cog11, 17 of the 32 participants available for testing at day 14 reportedly improved by at about one point over baseline, while 12 and nine participants improved by two or three points, respectively. Improvements held steady when participants were re-tested one week later. Despite the small number of participants on whom to base his conclusions, Didsbury claimed the dose response differed by ApoE4 genotype. Among non-carriers, those in the lower-dose groups improved over the course of the study, while those in the highest-dose group got worse. Carriers, on the other hand, had a more classic dose response, improving more at higher doses, said Didsbury. He said that researchers will take ApoE4 status into account in future, placebo-controlled studies. Others have noted that two- to three-week cognitive data, much less genetic stratification, in small, short trials, without a placebo group, carry little meaning.

A combination of repurposed drugs also was reported at CTAD, when researchers from Pharnext in Paris presented data from a single-blind, exploratory Phase 2 trial of PXT-864. In keeping with the company’s modus operandi of putting previously approved drugs to new use, this regimen consists of the GABA-B receptor agonist baclophen (a muscle relaxant) and the small molecule acamprosate (approved to treat alcohol dependence). Pharnext researchers propose that the cocktail could help balance inhibitory and excitatory synaptic signals skewed by A? oligomers. The trial started as a 12-week pilot study called PLEODIAL I. Forty-five people with mild AD received one of three combination doses twice daily (0.4 mg acamprosate and 6 mg baclofen, 1 mg acamprosate and 15 mg baclofen, or 20 mg acamprosate and 12 mg baclofen). There was no placebo group. Participants took the combination for two four-week stints, with a four-week placebo break in the middle. Then, in a 24-week extension study called PLEODIALII, 39 volunteers continued the treatment and had the option of taking 5 mg donepezil along with PXT-864 during the last 12 weeks of the extension.

At CTAD, René Goedkoop of Pharnext reported that over the course of the 36-week trial, participants in each dose group declined more slowly—by 0.6 to 0.9 points—on the ADAS-Cog11 than did published, historical placebo groups. However, in other contemporary treatment trials, too, placebo groups sometimes decline more slowly than historical controls. When the researchers removed participants who took donepezil during the last 12 weeks of the trial from the analysis, they found that people in the lowest-dose group actually declined faster than historical placebos—by an average of 2.3 points— over the course of the trial. Removing donepezil-takers did not affect the results in mid- or high-dose groups, but the findings were confounded by an uneven distribution of donepezil takers: Seven of 13 participants on the low dose, compared to only two of 14 in the middle and one of 13 on the high dose, opted to take donepezil.

On a poster, Karim Bennys of the University Hospital in Montpellier, France, presented results of event-related potential (ERP) recordings of three participants in each dose group of the PXT-864 trial. The latency and amplitude of ERPs in response to a task are thought to reflect working memory or decision-making. Both measures shot up during the treatment phases relative to baseline and the interim placebo phase, in people on the low and middle doses. To Bennys, this indicated that the drug may have a neurophysiological effect. At 36 weeks, the three people on the low dose had the largest improvements in ERP latency and amplitude; however, all three of them also took donepezil during the last 12 weeks of the trial (those on mid and high doses did not take donepezil). After the first four weeks of the trial, the six participants on the highest combination dose had improved in ERP latency and amplitudes, however, they declined following the next treatment phase.

Goedkoop told Alzforum that it is difficult to say whether this group performed more poorly due to the absolute dose, or to the different ratio of acamprosate to baclofen in that group, which was 5:3 rather than 1:15. The researchers aim to tease out these dose effects, and the interaction with donepezil, in future double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 trials, Goedkoop said.—Jessica Shugart

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Therapeutics Citations

  1. Neflamapomid
  2. AGB101
  3. T3D-959
  4. PXT864
  5. Donepezil

News Citations

  1. More Evidence That Epilepsy Drug Calms Neurons and Boosts Memory 20 Mar 2015

Paper Citations

  1. .
    Deficiency of Neuronal p38? MAPK Attenuates Amyloid Pathology in Alzheimer Disease Mouse and Cell Models through Facilitating Lysosomal Degradation of BACE1.
    J Biol Chem. 2016 Jan 29;291(5):2067-79. Epub 2015 Dec 9
    PubMed.

External Citations

  1. slide deck

No Available Further Reading

Winter Breaks – Amsterdam City Guide

Winter Breaks - Amsterdam City Guide
During the winter months Amsterdam is a great placate visit with festive surroundings, snug pubs for drinks in the warmth and a variety of events to keep you entertained.

Amsterdam’s winter festival is an annual event that illuminates the city streets and waterways with a dazzling array of colorful light displays from international artists.

This year’s event runs from 1 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, giving you 53 nights during which to experience its many delights. And with more than 35 large scale installations dotted across Amsterdam city centre, there are certainly plenty of delights to discover.

Last year’s festival highlights included installations like illuminated stick men slam-dunking their way over a bridge and a corridor of magnificent chandeliers gracefully hovering over a canal, so you can be sure that every work at this year’s festival will be as bewitching, jaw-dropping or heart-warming as the next.

You will feel the festive season in Amsterdam with Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas); a traditional Dutch festival complete with pepernoten and parades. During the festive break the city illuminates with bright lights, markets and parties.

Winter Breaks - Amsterdam City GuideThe Christmas markets in Amsterdam are a cozy affair allowing you seasonal shopping opportunities, with a wide range of independent festive markets taking place every week leading up to Christmas.

It wouldn’t be a festive season without ice rinks and Amsterdam does it in style by hosting an ice rink village with wooden chalets where you can indulge in festive food and drinks. The 400m outdoor Jaap Eden ice skating centre is also a popular venue in winter months where you can glide the night away.

Winter Breaks - Amsterdam City Guide

Report on Anne Frank’s capture sparks frustration among experts

Exactly how the Holocaust’s most famous victim came to be captured by the Nazis has intrigued the public for decades. A new study produced by the Anne Frank House is providing the latest set of theories to embroil researchers yet again.

Released earlier this month, the report examines events and people surrounding the arrest of Anne Frank, her family and four other Jews who hid in the backrooms of an Amsterdam office building belonging to the company of Anne’s father, Otto Frank. Unlike most prior studies, the new report focuses on possibilities other than the traditionally accepted “betrayal phone call” narrative, wherein someone who knew of the Jews in hiding reported them to authorities.

Calling the betrayal “an assumption that simmers on,” the Anne Frank House’s chief researcher, Gertjan Broek, told The Times of Israel the topic of the arrest is “one of the most frequently asked questions.”

To prepare their report, Broek and his team spent two years looking into details tied to the Nazis’ August 4, 1944, raid on the Secret Annex. According to Broek, there is no hard evidence behind a phone call having taken place, and it is just as likely that authorities descended on the office to investigate illegal workers, forged ration coupons, or other suspicious business practices.

In other words, Anne Frank and her family were not necessarily “betrayed,” but could have been the victims of happenstance in a Nazi-occupied city brimming with resistance activities. In Amsterdam, “everything was a risk, everything. [People could not] evade taking chances or risks,” said Broek.

However, the focus on possibilities other than a betrayal has irked some researchers, including Germany-based Melissa Müller, author of an acclaimed biography on Anne Frank published in 1998. According to Müller, the Anne Frank House’s new study is short on new facts and makes “obvious mistakes,” she said.

The Amsterdam office building (center) in which Anne Frank and her family hid for two years, November 2014 (Matt Lebovic/The Times of Israel)

The Amsterdam office building (center) in which Anne Frank and her family hid for two years, November 2014 (Matt Lebovic/The Times of Israel)

“This theory is not new at all, and there are not enough reliable sources to switch over to these ‘new’ explanations for the raid on the Prinsengracht,” said Müller. The Prinsengracht is a winding Amsterdam canal along which Frank’s office building resided, adjacent to a neighborhood — the Jordaan — filled with black market and resistance activity during 1944.

According to Müller and researcher Gerlof Langerijs, with whom she partnered to answer The Times of Israel’s questions, mistakes and “a lack of proof” in the Anne Frank House’s report have damaged its credibility.

“The reactions in the Netherlands are very negative,” said Müller. “[Broek] does not have any proof and is just causing confusion,” she said.

For instance, Müller took issue with Broek’s claim that the two-hour raid on the canal building was significantly longer than a normal Nazi arrest of Jews in hiding. According to Müller, two hours for such a raid was “not long at all, measured in 1944 circumstances and slower life speed,” said the author.

A photo of Anne Frank at the opening of the 2009 exhibition: 'Anne Frank, a History for Today,' at the Westerbork Remembrance Centre in Hooghalen, northeast Netherlands. (AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski, File)

A photo of Anne Frank at the opening of the 2009 exhibition: ‘Anne Frank, a History for Today,’ at the Westerbork Remembrance Centre in Hooghalen, northeast Netherlands. (AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski, File)

Müller also disagreed with the report’s claim that a lack of working telephone lines in Amsterdam during early August 1944 would have made a betrayal phone call unlikely. In Müller’s opinion, this is an example of researchers boosting a theory with questionable assumptions.

Müller does, however, agree with Broek that the betrayal phone call is something of a red herring, or, as she put it, “a mystification, and a typical example of how a story is passed on from one person to the next,” said Müller.

Another point of contention for Müller and Langerijs is the study’s assessment of workers in the warehouse below the Secret Annex, as well as travelling sales representatives who regularly visited the building. That some of these men and women were under the gaze of authorities for illegal activities has been known for decades, said Müller, yet there is still no evidence connecting one of them to the raid.

A 'Jews forbidden' sign from war-era Amsterdam, displayed in the Dutch Theater from which thousands of Jews were gathered before deportation, April 2012 (Matt Lebovic/The Times of Israel)

A ‘Jews forbidden’ sign from war-era Amsterdam, displayed in the Dutch Theater from which thousands of Jews were gathered before deportation, April 2012 (Matt Lebovic/The Times of Israel)

“Saying that there was ‘messing around with ration cards and illegal workers’ [as the study] suggests much, but proves nothing,” said Müller.

According to Broek and others at the Anne Frank House, the new research “doesn’t make claims that can’t be substantiated,” and possibilities such as the arrest being tied to something other than a phone call about Jews in hiding should be considered.

“Despite decades of research, betrayal as a point of departure has delivered nothing conclusive,” said Annemarie Bekker, spokesperson for the Anne Frank House, one of the Netherlands’ top tourist attractions.

“Our new investigation does not refute the possibility that the people in hiding were betrayed, but illustrates that other scenarios should also be considered,” Bekker told The Times of Israel. “Hopefully more researchers will see reason to follow up on new leads,” she said.

The ultimate ‘cold case’

For several decades, according to biographer Melissa Müller, the Anne Frank House “thought it was not their task to do any deeper research on the story by themselves, although they had some fine researchers on their staff,” she said.

“Back then the suggestions to take a deeper look into certain subjects were constantly put off the table,” said Müller. “To go public with this kind of research is new to them,” she said, referring to the report released this month about the fateful raid on Otto Frank’s office building.

Biographer Melissa Müller, whose 1998 Anne Frank biography was the source for a 2001 Disney television movie based on the diarist's life (courtesy)

Biographer Melissa Müller, whose 1998 Anne Frank biography was the source for a 2001 Disney television movie based on the diarist’s life (courtesy)

In 2002, researchers including Müller’s colleague, Gerlof Langerijs, presented the Anne Frank House with a flowchart of possible “external factors,” or leads, which the Nazis might have been pursuing when they decided upon a raid, said Müller.

That it took the Anne Frank House 14 years to pursue these leads is “remarkable,” said Müller, who published an updated and expanded edition of her Anne Frank biography in 2013.

“In the past there were more and more urgent moments to point out this possibility,” said Müller.

“Many people think it is not much more than a publicity attempt,” said Müller of the study. “Just another theory after many theories have already been published — lacking convincing facts. In their letters to the editor, people complain about the study’s conclusion [being] based on ‘coincidences,’” she said.

According to Broek, he and Müller have met several times to discuss “every detail of Anne Frank’s life, and [the arrest] is always a part of the conversation,” he said. Broek emailed Müller a series of questions related to his study one year ago, to which the author responded, he said.

“I have not heard of any confusion inside of the Netherlands or outside of it,” said Broek about Müller’s claim the study is causing confusion.

Among other researchers of Anne Frank and the Nazi occupation in Amsterdam, there is general admiration for the arrest study. However, there is also frustration about an ongoing lack of closure.

“I still have the same opinion as I had before the publication of the new study of the Anne Frank House,” said Ad van Liempt, an expert on the deportation of Jews from the Netherlands during WWII and author of the book, “Hitler’s Bounty Hunters.”

'Dockworker' statue alongside Amsterdam's Portuguese Synagogue, a monument to when Dutch workers went on strike to protest the deportation of 400 young Jewish men in 1941, November 2014 (Matt Lebovic/The Times of Israel)

‘Dockworker’ statue alongside Amsterdam’s Portuguese Synagogue, a monument to when Dutch workers went on strike to protest the deportation of 400 young Jewish men in 1941, November 2014 (Matt Lebovic/The Times of Israel)

Calling the study “well done and very interesting,” van Liempt added, “it is disappointing that there is no concrete conclusion. We cannot blame Mr. Broek and his research team. They did a good job, offered us a new view but couldn’t prove it. That is what, unfortunately, often happens in history research,” said van Liempt, who provided feedback to the Anne Frank House during the report’s creation, according to Broek.

‘I cannot imagine that this new theory of happenstance rather than betrayal would have made one iota of difference’

“We know about thousands of Jews in the Netherlands, whether they were betrayed or not,” van Liempt told The Times of Israel. “But we don’t know about the most famous family of all, and sure, this bothers. I am still very curious, but I am afraid that I will never know what happened in this case,” said van Liempt.

Researchers close to Anne Frank’s story have expressed similar frustration, along with concerns that future research be directed toward appropriate ends.

“I cannot imagine that this new theory of happenstance rather than betrayal would have made one iota of difference to Miep Gies and the rest of the helpers, much less to Anne and the other six people in hiding who were murdered,” said journalist Steve North, referring to the Dutch woman who took care of the Jews in hiding and rescued Frank’s diary after the arrest.

Exterior of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, November 2014 (Matt Lebovic/The Times of Israel)

Exterior of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, November 2014 (Matt Lebovic/The Times of Israel)

North was the last journalist to interview Miep Gies before her death in 2010. He told The Times of Israel that Gies — were she still living — “might question why a new vague and ambiguous ‘research study’ was necessary at this particular time,” said North, whose 1998 interview with Gies took place in her Amsterdam apartment, where some of the Frank family’s furniture remained after the war.

‘I can only hope that this study was motivated by the search for an historical truth, and not by a need to keep the rewarding business of Anne Frank well-marketed’

“I can only hope that this study was motivated by the search for an historical truth, and not by a need to keep the rewarding business of Anne Frank well-marketed and flourishing,” said North.

Another writer who interviewed Gies is Alison Leslie Gold, author of the 1987 book, “Anne Frank Remembered,” in which Gold partnered with Gies to tell Frank’s story from the perspective of the woman who hid and cared for eight Jews in the Secret Annex and — rarely mentioned — another Jew inside her and husband Jan Gies’ own apartment.

“I hesitate to weigh in,” said biographer Gold, “since analyzing the arrests from this ‘new’ angle — though it might shut some doors — also opens new doors, presents new implications, poses new questions,” Gold told The Times of Israel.

“It seems as if many more dots need to be connected before we reconfigure the tragedy that ended or blighted the lives of so many,” said Gold.

Miep Gies displayed a copy of her book 'Anne Frank Remembered' at her apartment in Amsterdam in 1998. (Courtesy: Steve North)

Miep Gies displayed a copy of her book ‘Anne Frank Remembered’ at her apartment in Amsterdam in 1998. (Courtesy: Steve North)