Pat Jones (via YouTube)Pat Jones has become, if not the “oh he’ll say anything pretty much” grandpa of Oklahoma State, then at least that grandpa’s closely related uncle.He was interviewed recently in the Tulsa Voice (wearing a Southern Hills pullover, by the way) and was asked if OSU would be foolish to run Mike Gundy out of Stillwater.[1. This question was more relevant than it seems because they were discussing a what if on OSU not winning Bedlam.]“I think so. Not that you shouldn’t ever make any kind of coaching change, but no one knows the road map over there better than Mike Gundy,” said Jones.[1. Something Gundy himself said recently.]“I think some of this situation is wearing on him. You know, it’s hard enough to beat the people you gotta beat on the field, but when you also have to beat your own administration, that’s tough.”“That’s the strain that’s on Gundy. That’s what people are seeing in him. This stuff with the media, that wasn’t a front that he was putting up, or some mastermind move to get his guys prepared to play the University of Oklahoma.”So…yeah. Now I’m willing to be the interview was conducted before Gundy said a bunch of positive things about his administration but that’s still interesting.Also Jones talked pretty candidly about what it was like to coach when high schools were being integrated.“I can remember addressing a roomful of kids, half of them black, half of them white, in 1970. I was 22 years old, and they sent me to talk to the squad. I told them, “That football field out there is 100 [yards] by 52 [yards]—for everybody in this f****** room.”“But you’re here and we care about you, and when you set foot on that football field, it doesn’t matter whether you’re from the east end of town, or Little Rock Country Club, or who your parents are or anything else. That’s the beauty of competitive athletics.”Go read the entire article, it’s excellent.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
Contact: Denise Edwards, Central Queensland Touch AssociationPhone: (07) 4921 3566Email: email@example.com Web: http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=1-705-0-0-0&sID=6093
FIGC president Gravina has message for Totti – and Juventus pairby Paul Vegas4 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFIGC president Gabriele Gravina has sent a message to Roma icon Francesco Totti.The Italian great is currently out of football since quitting a desk job with the Giallorossi at the end of last season.Gravina told Le Repubblica: “Totti? I spoke with him three times. My intention is to include him in the training of young people. “But he must study to be a director.”Gravina also stated two Juventus players were in his plans.He added: “I heard from (Gigi) Buffon, I see him as a great coach in the future. And then I think of (Giorgio) Chiellini.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Sunday night, the 2015 NCAA Tournament field was revealed, and unsurprisingly, Kentucky was named the overall No. 1 seed. The Wildcats are also the odds-on favorite to win this year’s national title, per Bovada. In fact, Kentucky is almost at even money to take home the trophy – they’re currently listed at 6:5 to win it all.Arizona, the 2-seed in the West Region, actually has the second-highest odds. Wisconsin checks in third, with Duke fourth. Villanova and Virginia come in at 10:1.Here’s a list of all 68 tournament teams, along with their odds to win the championship. You could make a lot of money betting on a 16-seed to win it all, but we wouldn’t advise it. No 16-seed has ever even won an NCAA Tournament game, much less a title.Who are you betting on?
TORONTO – North American stock indexes capped of the week on a flat note amid heightened North Korea-U.S. tensions, as the loonie strengthened against a weakening greenback.Rallying gold and materials stocks weren’t enough to lift Toronto’s S&P/TSX composite index out of the red, which dropped 0.69 of a point to 15,454.23 in a largely broad-based decline.Despite the TSX’s minor slip Friday, the commodity-heavy index has gained more than 280 points on the week.“We had a decent run,” said Michael Currie, vice-president of TD Wealth Private Investment Advice. “We’ve got to take the positives out of the week.”In New York, stock indexes finished the day uneven with little movement in either direction.The Dow Jones industrial average gave back 9.64 points to 22,349.59, while the S&P 500 index edged up 1.62 points to 2,502.22 and the Nasdaq composite index added 4.23 points to 6,426.92.The small trades on Wall Street suggested investors were shrugging off the latest wave of ramped-up tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, said Erik Davidson, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank.He also noted that the VIX, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, was little changed.Geopolitical tensions ratcheted up after President Donald Trump authorized stiffer sanctions in response to North Korea’s nuclear weapons advances, drawing a furious response from Pyongyang. Trump expanded the Treasury Department’s ability to target anyone conducting significant trade in goods, services or technology with North Korea, and to ban them from interacting with the U.S. financial system.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un retaliated by calling Trump “deranged” and saying he’ll “pay dearly” for his threats.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 81.19 cents US, up 0.15 of a cent.On the commodities front, the November crude contract added 11 cents at US$50.66 per barrel and the October natural gas contract was up one cent to US$2.96 per mmBTU.The December gold contract advanced $2.70 to US$1,297.50 an ounce and the December copper contract was up one cent at US$2.94 a pound.– With files from The Associated Press.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.
Morneau says any federal investment in the pipeline would first require closed-door talks with Kinder Morgan and the two provinces.The finance minister is expected to meet later today with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, and says he plans to reinforce the Trudeau government’s “resolute determination” to keep the project on track.He says that determination was confirmed Tuesday during an emergency federal cabinet meeting in Ottawa, although he won’t say whether penalizing B.C. financially – such as by withholding transfer payments – remains an option.“I’m not going to publicly negotiate with any one of the parties,” Morneau said after making a student work placement announcement at Toronto’s Ryerson University.“Public threats, in my estimation, aren’t helpful.” OTTAWA, O.N. — Regardless of what’s going on behind the scenes, Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the federal government isn’t about to divulge how it plans to salvage the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.Speaking in Toronto, Morneau says Ottawa is looking at several options to ensure the Alberta-B.C. pipeline gets built, including a potential financial stake in the project.Project architect Kinder Morgan upped the ante this week by declaring it would suspend all non-essential spending on the project until there is more certainty it won’t be blocked by British Columbia’s NDP government.
12Jul Governor signs Runestad’s bill establishing body camera guidelines Categories: Runestad News Legislation balances privacy rights, accountabilityGov. Rick Snyder today signed a bill introduced by state Rep. Jim Runestad giving law enforcement agencies clear guidelines for the recordings made by police body cameras.Runestad’s legislation, which received unanimous approval from both the House and Senate, establishes rules for retaining and releasing footage recorded on body cameras worn by law enforcement officers.“Body cameras are useful tools that provide oversight of police activity and increase the public’s trust in law enforcement,” said Runestad, of White Lake. “Without a policy regulating body cameras, however, many law enforcement agencies are reluctant to start using them. The guidelines we have established will offer consistency among law enforcement agencies across the state, and allow officers to effectively utilize body-worn cameras.”Runestad said the bill would protect personal privacy rights by exempting from public disclosure any recordings made where someone should have a reasonable expectation of privacy.“While recordings made by body cameras can serve as an important tool, it’s also imperative to ensure that the privacy rights of Michigan residents are respected,” Runestad said. “If an elderly lady falls in the shower and police officers respond to provide assistance, recordings made on their body-worn cameras would not be available for public distribution under these rules.”Oakland County Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard said it will be beneficial to have state guidelines addressing body-worn cameras.“Having state guidelines on the books, which not only provides accountability for police, but also provides privacy for citizens is vital for the use of this emerging technology,” Bouchard said. “I appreciate Rep. Runestad, in particular, as well as the entire legislature for their support in getting this legislation passed.”House Bill 4427 is now Public Act 85 of 2017.###
Vice’s linear TV channel, Viceland, will launch via Liberty Global-owned operator Ziggo in the Netherlands next year.Vice said that the youth lifestyle and culture channel will go live in the first quarter of 2017 – initially via Ziggo, but with “further distribution” due to follow later in the year.Viceland NL will air a mixture of international programming and original, local content produced in the Netherlands and Belgium. All content on the 24-hour channel will be programmed, produced and developed in-house.‘’The arrival of Viceland ensures that we will be present with our content on all screens – digital, mobile en linear – and as such, is a logical step for us in the evolution of Vice,” said CEO of Vice Media Benelux, Thijs Boon.“We have the ambition to tell the most remarkable stories in fresh and innovative ways to millennials, and this step ensures that we raise the bar for ourselves even higher.’’Filmmaker and Viceland co-president, Spike Jonze will oversee the development of the new channel – from show creation, to production, to brand identity.The Netherlands launch will follow the rollout of Viceland in France, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand later this year.Viceland first launched in the US earlier this year and is now also available in Canada, the UK and Ireland.
TSX Venture1,251.021,240.071,924.22 Oil84.0393.9894.81 Rock & Stock StatsLast One Year Ago Gold1,627.051,543.781,530.65 TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange)11,524.9011,343.0512,972.03 Dear Readers,I’ve just returned from Victoria, BC, where I spoke at the HoweStreet.com Money Expo 2012. The show was smaller than many shows, but the location is beautiful, a major plus for anyone whose spouse doesn’t want to go to Toronto in March for PDAC. I’d never been to Victoria before and hadn’t expected the touch of Old-World charm the place has – it reminded me more of Quebec than western Canada.Or maybe I just had the Old World on my mind, since the Greek elections could well have marked the beginning of the visible disintegration of the Eurozone. As of Sunday night, it seems that Greece will not leave the European Union – at least not yet. It remains to be seen if the slender majority that the pro-EU faction gained in Greece will lead to a coalition government that can actually deliver the austerity program needed to keep the bailout funds coming.For now, the world keeps turning as it did last week. But thinking about the Old World reminds us of one of history’s greatest lessons in hyperinflation, a lesson no one can afford to ignore. The Casey metals team has a look at gold during the Weimer hyperinflation of the 1920s in this week’s article. Good food for thought.Sincerely,Louis James Senior Metals Investment Strategist Casey Research Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ)20.5318.0333.72 Does Gold Keep Up In Hyperinflation?By Alena Mikhan and Jeff ClarkInflation is a natural consequence of loose government monetary policy. If those policies get too loose, hyperinflation can occur. As gold investors, we’d like to know if the precious metals would keep pace in this extreme scenario.Hyperinflation is an extremely rapid period of inflation, but when does inflation (which can be manageable) cross the line and become out-of-control hyperinflation? Philip Cagan, one of the very first researchers of this phenomenon, defines hyperinflation as “an inflation rate of 50% or more in a single month,” something largely inconceivable to the average investor.While there can be multiple reasons for inflation, hyperinflation historically has one root cause: excessive money supply. Debts and deficits reach unsustainable levels, and politicians resort to diluting the currency to cover their expenses. A tipping point is reached, and investors lose confidence in the currency.“Confidence” is the key word here. Fiat money holds its purchasing power largely on the belief that it is stable and will preserve that power over time. Once this trust is broken, a flight from the currency ensues. In such scenarios, citizens spend the money as quickly as possible, typically buying tangible items in a desperate attempt to get rid of currency units before they lose value. This process increases the velocity of money, setting off a vicious cycle that destroys purchasing power faster and faster.The most famous case of hyperinflation is the one that occurred in Germany during the Weimar Republic, from January 1919 until November 1923. According to Investopedia, “the average price level increased by a factor of 20 billion, doubling every 28 hours.”One would expect gold to fare well during such an extreme circumstance, and it did – in German marks, quite dramatically. In January 1919, one ounce of gold traded for 170 marks; by November 1923, that same ounce was worth 87 trillion marks. Take a look.(Click on image to enlarge)Inflation was at first benign, then began to grow rapidly, and quickly became a monster. What’s important to us as investors is that the price of gold grew faster than the rate of monetary inflation. The data here reveal that over this five-year period, the gold price increased 1.8 times more than the inflation rate.The implication of this is sobering: while hyperinflation wiped out most people’s savings, turning wealthy citizens into poor ones literally overnight, those who had assets denominated in gold experienced no loss in purchasing power. In fact, their ability to purchase goods and services grew beyond the runaway prices they saw all around them.One can’t help but wonder how the people whose wealth evaporated in Germany during this time felt. In effect, they were robbed by the government – they were on the losing end of a massive transfer of wealth. Of course, there are two sides to the story, as those who held significant amounts of gold and silver were the recipients.Could the US experience a wealth transfer like the one that wracked the Weimar Republic? While the federal government and most so-called economic “experts” dismiss the notion, the economic data suggest that it’s already started.We can’t help but speculate about whether most citizens dismissed the idea of inflation during the calm period in 1920-’21. Did respected economists scoff at the idea that Germany could suffer hyperinflation, just before it struck? Did some politicians proclaim that “a little inflation would be good?”Those who today argue that our obscene debt levels, runaway deficit spending, and money-printing schemes are sound strategies and believe they won’t lead to out-of-control inflation might want to rethink those beliefs. We’ve seen this movie before: it doesn’t have a happy ending.The historical record is clear on what happens when countries embark on fiscal and monetary paths today’s leading economies are embracing. If gold’s recent price performance is anything like the calm before Germany’s hyperinflationary storm, this is a time to be accumulating more gold.Keep in mind that hyperinflation is not a rare event. Since Weimar Germany, there have been 29 additional hyperinflations around the world, including those in Austria, Argentina, Greece, Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan, and Zimbabwe, to name a few. On average, that’s one every three years or so.While hyperinflation devastates those who experience it, there is a healing aspect to it. Since the responsibility for this type of disaster lies solely at the feet of government, there may be some Darwinian justice to the way hyperinflation purges the perverse fiscal and monetary imbalances from an economy. After the Weimar Republic hyperinflation, the second half of the 1920s was a strong period for Germany, with low inflation and steady growth.It’s no secret that many currencies around the world, including the US dollar, are choosing the path of inflation. If we were to slip into hyperinflation, there will be disastrous consequences for those unprepared. Given that the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency, the problems would spread to practically every country on earth. Hyperinflation will shake people’s confidence not only in the US dollar, but in the paper currency system as a whole.What will actually come to pass, we don’t know. What we do know is that the measures to cure hyperinflation include tying the currency to a hard asset or even replacing it with one. When creditability in fiat money dissipates, gold may be the only viable option left standing.Again, the investment implication is obvious: continue to accumulate gold.How much is enough? Well, how many ounces do you own in relation to your total assets? Anything less than 5% will not offer you a sufficient level of protection in a high inflationary environment.Another way to look at it is this: how many ounces do you need to cover your monthly expenses? In Weimar Germany, inflation rose uncomfortably for two years – and then pinched harder, spiraling into a destructive hyperinflation for another two. Consider what it would take to maintain your standard of living for a couple years instead of just a couple months.And don’t listen to any government’s ongoing pronouncements of confidence in the current system, along with the mainstream media’s noisy and frequently inaccurate portrayals of the gold market. (For example, these two headlines appeared on the same day: Gold Edges Lower as Worries over Europe Simmer; and Gold Settles Higher on Spanish Bailout Plans.) In a world awash in ignorance about real money, if not deliberate obfuscation, you have to study the relevant history, draw your own conclusions, and stick with them.This example shows how gold can perform during hyperinflation. If that worst case scenario comes to pass, will the example your family’s finances sets be a positive or a negative one? Gold and Silver HEADLINESKazakh Central Bank Intends to Have 20% of Reserves in Gold (Reuters)Kazakhstan’s central bank plans to boost the share of gold in its foreign currency reserves to 20% from the current 14-15% level.Last year the central bank bought 5.3 tonnes (0.17 million ounces) of gold, but this year their purchases accelerated, already purchasing 10.3 tonnes (0.33 million ounces).Kazakhstan is one of a number of countries that have been increasing their official gold holdings in recent years. Others include Mexico, Russia, Colombia, and South Korea. Last year central banks bought a record 450 tonnes (14.5 million ounces).Even if the amount of gold purchased by central banks this year ends up slightly less than last year, as some analysts expect, it’s still a big share of total gold demand and lends strong support to the price.Gold Coin Collecting a Deadly Business as Metals Prices Rise (Mineweb)Criminal syndicates now consider thefts of gold, silver, and rare coins to be both less risky and more profitable than robbing banks or other well-protected targets. As precious metals increase in price, more and more cases of larceny are taking place. The FBI estimates that only about 4% of stolen precious metals and jewelry is recovered annually.While many investors know it’s not wise to talk about the gold you own, this article shows that that behavior can have dire consequences. Besides being a valuable asset, gold coins can also be viewed as art, lulling the vigilance of the owner. Showing your collection even to friends and family is tempting, but don’t overlook the potential consequences.Learn more about how to safely store gold at home; Jeff Clark offers some good, practical tips.Indian Gold ETF and E-gold Investments Swell as Rupee Remains Weak (Mineweb)In India, the gold price in rupee terms reached an all-time high of $544.74 (Rs 30,420) per 10 grams. In Mumbai, standard gold prices have risen by 27% over the last year. On one hand, a weak rupee makes gold less affordable, while on the other, it makes it a robust investment asset.Indian ETFs are said to have seen a marked rise in activity, as investors continue to buy the yellow metal as a safe haven and diversification from equities.Assets under management of gold funds in India were $1.83 billion (Rs 102.18 billion) in April 2012. The assets held under India’s gold ETFs nearly doubled year on year. The assets were valued at $981 million (Rs 54.63 billion) a year ago.Recently another gold-purchasing option became available for Indian investors: e-gold trading at the Singapore Mercantile Exchange (SMX). Since its launch on June 1, volume has soared nearly 300%, with US$16 million traded. This Week in International Speculator and BIG GOLD – Key Updates for Subscribers International SpeculatorAn exploration stock announced that it received a major environmental permit. Read what we think. BIG GOLDGet the latest on your BIG GOLD stocks from the portfolio page. Silver28.6427.7035.76 Silver Stocks (SIL)19.4416.9022.81 One Month Ago Copper3.393.524.12 Gold Producers (GDX)46.9239.3453.06
In This Issue. * Fed Monetary Balance increases. * While ECB’s decreases. * Weak PMI’s for Russia & India. * Swedish krona outperforms on data. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. A Soft Bias To Sell Dollars. Good Day! . And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well another day of recovery in the rear view mirror, has me ready to slay a dragon this morning! HA! There are no dragons to slay, and if there were, I would be the biggest coward about slaying them! The only dragons these days, are cartoons, or Gov’t figures. Hmmm. Oh, stop it Chuck! Jimmy Buffett is singing, stars fell on Alabama to start the day, so that mellow song, just put me back on track to be a good boy. I had another email from a dear reader that asked me the question that I’ve answered so many times I could do it in my sleep! The question? Why, with all the problems in the Eurozone, is the euro more than 1/3-rd cent more valuable than the dollar? Ahhh, grasshoppers. I’ve got this one. There are lots of things to consider, but for now, the thing the markets are focusing on is the fact that the U.S. Fed’s Monetary Balance just keeps climbing. Last May it was roughly $3.3 Trillion, and this May it is roughly $4.276 Trillion. Nearly a $1 Trillion increase in a year, while over at the European Central Bank (ECB) their Monetary Balance is decreasing. Last May it was roughly 2.5 Trillion euros, and this May it is roughly 2.1 Trillion euros. And in the end, the it is the opinion of the markets that the euro should be stronger than the dollar. Of course that could be questioned tomorrow, when the ECB meets and announces their flavor of stimulus that they’ve chosen for the Eurozone economy. Should they go too far, in the markets’ opinion, the euro could be sent to the woodshed, but, if they settle for what’s already priced into the euro, (negative deposit rates) the euro could very well rally. So the risk is high going into tomorrow’s ECB meeting. But, knowing the risk is out there, didn’t stop the euro from adding about ¼-cent to its value yesterday. The euro bugs were feeling a little frisky. But today, they have returned to the places with bright shining faces, and their tails between their collective legs, as the euro has given back those frisky feelings from yesterday. Speaking of the euro. Yesterday, I said that Eurozone inflation had ticked down from 11.8% to 11.7%… Of course that couldn’t be correct, since inflation in the Eurozone isn’t even 1%! I was talking about Unemployment in the Eurozone. I guess I have inflation or the lack of it in the Eurozone on my mind, eh? So, anyway, Unemployment ticked down in April. Sorry for the confusion. I guess I was still feeling the effects of my whacked out day! Most of the currencies are flat to up just a bit this morning, as there is a slight bias to sell dollars in the markets, but that, as we are so darn well aware of, can change in a heartbeat, especially when the New York boys and girls arrive at their desks, and see what they’ve been told to do by management. Yesterday, there was some good data printed in Australia, so let’s go downunder and see what’s going on, eh? Aussie 1st QTR GDP increased from 2.7% in the last quarter to 3.5%! That beat the estimates (3.2%), and it really surprised the markets, who had drank the Kool-Aid that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) had been serving about the economy being bleak. There was some other news from Australia yesterday that I’m sure flew under the radar of the markets, except the bond-guys. And that is as of last week, there is a Record Net Holdings of Aussie Bonds by foreigners. Given the Huge maturities last month in A$ bonds, this is good news, as an mass exit from these bonds by foreigners could have really put the A$ in a tight headlock. So, the A$ is up just a small bit this morning. And as my longtime friend who also happens to be the Big Boss, Frank Trotter, likes to say. That’s better than a sharp stick in the eye. You know what? I just realized that since April 2010, Frank no longer says that to me. I think you know why. HA! The New Zealand dollar / kiwi is off a bit this morning, which is troublesome to me, in that this marks two consecutive days of weakness in kiwi, which should be garnering all the love it can stand from investors looking for positive rate differentials, with an added possibility of a boost in the differentials. Well, the PMI’s (manufacturing indexes) from around the world have, for the most part, printed and put to bed. And for the most part, the indexes from around the world have increased, which is a good sign for global growth. Of course we still don’t know for sure what happened in the U.S. and what the actual index number is, given the games that were played with the data the other day. But, the point I’m getting to here is that in two of the countries that have seen good rallies in their currencies, the Russia and India, their manufacturing indexes left a lot to be desired, thus taking the starch out of the rallies for their respective currencies. Someone asked me about Russian rubles the other day. And I said that we’re working on being able to offer the currency, but if you ask me what the ruble is all about, I would say that in my humble opinion, which could be wrong, the ruble is an oil play, plain and simple. What do you think about the price of Oil? I see where the Saudis issued a communique that talked about what they saw as a fair price for a barrel of Oil, which was $100. It must be storming like crazy outside, I’ve heard loud thunder, I’ve seen bright flashes of lightening, and now the TV’s we have on the trading floor are out. I could go into the problems that you have with storms when using a dish. but since that’s all we can get here, I think it’s not a problem at all! HA! And I’ve talked more about India and Indian rupees in the past few months than I’ve talked about them in all my time writing! So I won’t go into why I think that this weakness in the rupee is short-term, and look for better times, as new leader Modi implements his plans to unlock the Indian economy. Look, I went ahead and told you any way! The Swedish krona is outperforming this morning on some stronger data prints. Industrial Production and their manufacturing index (PMI) both beat estimates and previous prints. Industrial Production in Sweden for April increased 4.5% VS 3.3% in March, and the May PMI increased to 58.5 from 57.9 in April. So take that you rate cut campers! It seems like that about every couple of weeks I’m writing about the krona outperforming the other currencies overnight on stronger data prints. But still the rate cut campers have a governor on the krona. There’s an old song. um, um, um, um, um, um. Really! That’s the title of the song! And it’s what I sing a lot when I see data like this, and then a day later, it is swept under a rug. Gold is weaker this morning again. But I must point out something that had escaped my memory, which I must say, a lot of things are doing these days. But my good friends, the Aden Sisters, Mary Anne and Pamela, reminded me of. I’ll let these two fabulous ladies tell you in their own words. “Gold is entering a seasonally slow period. This could last for another month or so, but seasonality alone doesn’t explain why the decline was so steep and sudden.” The U.S. Data Cupboard has some good stuff for us today. The ADP Employment Change for May, the April Trade Deficit, and the U.S. Fed Beige Book, along with some other not that so important data. Well, the U.S. Data Cupboard gave us a couple of prints yesterday. Leading off was the April Factory Orders print, which showed a .7% increase, which sounds good, but when compared with March, you know when bad weather was hurting the U.S., Factory Orders increased 1.5%… So, more rot on the vine in April. Then we saw the vehicle Sales for May, and I guess people are still out buying cars, and why not? Financing rates are still near zero, and unless you’re buying a Lamborghini, there are still opportunities to buy. And then there are three other things to talk about with the U.S. economy. I don’t mean to be gloom and doom folks, but I just want to point out that other people, and organizations that track this stuff are beginning to agree with me on the economy. It’s a groundswell of thoughts, we just need to get this to the point of a shouting campaign so that the Fed hears us loud and clear! OK. First out of the starters blocks is something I came across yesterday. So, I was going through zerohedge.com yesterday, as usual I must add, and came across something that really caught my eye. According to the BEA (Bureau of Economic Analysis) the people that do a calc that gives us the actual corporate profits, there was a plunge in Corporate profits in the 1st QTR, and that plunge was the biggest since the collapse of Lehman Bros! OUCH! So, the -1% decline in GDP has this little ditty to go to the dance with, and neither of them are very pretty! And then this piece of information, which doesn’t paint any pretty picture of the economy either. The uneven distribution of incomes is currently escalating and leads to growing social tensions. In the US, between 1979 and 2011 the average household’s income rose by 64%, while the income of the top 1% of households increased by 300% and the income of the lowest quintile increased by only 18%. This strongly rising increase in wealth concentration can be gleaned from the GINI coefficient, which has reached historic extremes in many countries. This means that extremes at the lower and the upper end of the scale of incomes become ever more pronounced, while the classical middle class loses importance. Thus the GINI coefficient in the US is, for example, currently at the same level as in the 1920s prior to the Great Depression. Chuck again. WOW. One calc has us on the precipice of repeating the Lehman Bros devastation, and the other has us on the precipice of the Great Depression.. Now, here’s hoping that neither of them come to fruition, I will say, that unless we do something about the debt and deficits in this country, I’m afraid we’ll have no choice. No wait! I said there were 3 things. OK, here’s the 3rd thing. The Unemployment Rate for teens ages 16 to 19 years old who don’t have a high school diploma yet is 54.2%!!!!! OUCH! For What It’s Worth. We have a long-time colleague and friend, that we’ve worked with on and off for quite a few years. Joe Losos, comes in and shares his Financial Times (FT) with us on the desk, and there’s always a good ditty or two in the pages of the FT. I didn’t find this story in those pages, but rather online, but I’m sure they’ll be there! This is a snippet of the story about how banks routinely rigged Gold Fixing to defend their positions, according to the FT. Let’s go to the tape! “When the UK’s financial regulator slapped a L26 million fine on Barclays for lax controls related to the gold fix, it offered more ammunition to critics of the near-century-old benchmark. But it also gave precious metal traders in the City of London plenty to think about. While the Financial Conduct Authority says the case appears to be a one-off — the work of a single trader — some market professionals have a different view. They claim that the practice of nudging a tradeable benchmark to protect a “digital” derivatives contract — as a Barclays employee did — was routine in the industry. As a result, customers of Barclays and other market-making banks may be looking to see if they too have cause for complaint, according to one hedge fund manager active in the gold market. “If I was at the Financial Conduct Authority I would be looking at all banks trading digitals. This could be the tip of the iceberg — there’s a massive issue with exotic derivatives and barriers.” Chuck again. Yes, this is a part of the Gold price manipulation, and should this continue to be unraveled as I suspect it will, then maybe we can go to the next step and investigate the paper trades. Then, we’ll have cut into a fat hog folks. To recap. There’s a soft bias to sell dollars in the market today, but the gains are minimal at best, with the Swedish krona taking the prize for outperforming the other currencies overnight, on some good strong data. Australia saw some good strong data too overnight, and the euro is still range bound. Gold is down again, and the Aden Sisters give us a reason for this. And Russia and India both see their currency rallies squashed out, by some weak PMI’s. Currencies today 6/4/14. American Style: A$ .9270, kiwi .8410, C$ .9155, euro 1.3625, sterling 1.6760, Swiss $1.1160, . European Style: rand 10.7470, krone 5.9930, SEK 6.6585, forint 223.95, zloty 3.0425, koruna 20.1550, RUB 35.18, yen 102.60, sing 1.2575, HKD 7.7530, INR 59.33, China 6.1693, pesos 12.94, BRL 2.2795, Dollar Index 80.55, Oil $103.32, 10-year 2.58%, Silver $18.81, Platinum $1,422.85, Palladium $834.35, and Gold. $1,245.79 That’s it for today. Man oh Man. 10 days ago, I thought my beloved Cardinals had finally come out of their funk. But they’ve slipped right back into it. This is a very disappointing team so far, and difficult to watch play.. They’ve got to find their mojo soon, or it will be too late! The Zombie Jamboree is playing on the IPod right now. Back to back, belly to belly. My spring training buddies will get a charge out that! OK. I have a ruptured vertebrae in my lower back, I had it cut back in 1991,with something called “micro-surgery”, but re-ruptured it a year later, and have lived with that since. It normally doesn’t bother me, but I picked up a cooler full of beverages and melted ice yesterday, and I soon wished I hadn’t! So, now I have to walk around gingerly for a few days, and get it to calm down. UGH! My beautiful bride returns home tonight, so thus ends Chuck and Alex’s fraternity house! HA! I didn’t see Alex much as he’s always going somewhere! And with that, I’ll get out of your hair, hope I didn’t gloom and doom you too much today, I certainly don’t mean to. I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets
Editor’s note: Today, we have something special for you. Instead of our usual market commentary, we have a brand-new interview with E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report. As you may know, E.B. sees tough times ahead for the U.S. economy and stock market. To prepare, E.B. has encouraged his readers to hold extra cash, own physical gold, and only invest in stocks that can weather the coming storm. He’s also shorting some of America’s most vulnerable companies. Shorting is betting that a stock will fall. If it does, you make money. It sounds easy. But most investors have never shorted a stock in their life. They think it’s something only the “pros” do. Today, we put that myth to rest. Below, E.B. explains how to short stocks…what he looks for in a short…and how to avoid mistakes most investors make when shorting stocks. We’ll even reveal a stock E.B. is shorting right now. Casey Report readers have already made 18% on this short…but we think much bigger gains are on the way. Justin Spittler, editor, Casey Daily Dispatch: E.B., can you explain how shorting works? E.B. Tucker: The first step is to get a margin account. [A margin account allows you to borrow money to buy stocks.] After that, it’s fairly simple. Let’s say you want to short one share of tech giant IBM. To do this, you would actually have to borrow one share from your broker. You would then sell that share on the marketplace. If IBM is trading for $100, then $100 will land in your account when you sell it. Now, let’s say IBM’s stock falls to $90. You decide to pocket this 10% gain. To close this trade, you would buy back one share of IBM [buy to cover] and return it to your broker. You keep the $10 profit. JS: Easy enough. Why should investors short stocks? E.B.: Shorting can protect you from market declines. If stocks crash, the payoff can be huge. If they don’t, you only lost the cost of being protected. It’s like buying insurance. JS: A lot of investors think shorting is a “sophisticated” strategy. Is that true? E.B.: Shorting isn’t just for sophisticated traders. Anyone can do it. But you better have a strategy… Let’s say you own 10 stocks. If this were my portfolio today, I’d have seven “longs” and three “shorts.” [A long position is a bet that a stock will rise.] Right now in The Casey Report, we’re long world-class companies that can make money no matter what happens to the economy. On the short side, we’re betting against stocks that will get clobbered during a market correction. [More on those stocks in a second…] Having essentially 30% of the portfolio dedicated to shorts means we’re looking for the market to decline right now. JS: What are common mistakes investors make when shorting stocks? E.B.: Most investors don’t think to buy insurance until it’s too late. By then, they’ve already lost a lot of money. It’s also “expensive” to short stocks when everything is falling. It’s like trying to buy flood insurance for your beach house when a hurricane is about to make landfall. Sure, someone might sell you insurance, but you’re going to pay a fortune for it. Today: Claim One FREE YEAR of Chris Mayer’s Brand-New Research Service Chris Mayer is one of the most successful analysts in the Agora network. Agora founder Bill Bonner himself has committed $5 million from his family trust to investing in Chris’ ideas in one of his premier research services. And today you have the chance to claim one of the best deals ever offered on Chris Mayer’s highest-level research. You get a big charter membership discount and two years for the price of one when you decide to try his newest research service 100% risk-free. That’s $5,000 worth of premium research for free. WARNING: offer expires soon. Click here for details. — – As the economy worsens, unemployment is going to tick higher. More and more of Signet’s customers will fall behind on their payments. Eventually, Signet could have to slash prices to move its inventory, meaning it could make less money on every wedding ring it sells. Signet’s business could completely derail. In a way, this is already happening. From 2014 to 2016, Signet’s annual bad debt expenses rose from $138 million to $190 million. That’s a 30% increase. Over the same period, credit sales grew by only 20%. That means bad debt expenses rose 50% faster than credit sales. Signet’s stock is already down 18% since we shorted it in June. But it could go much lower if the economy hits a soft spot like I expect. We’re also shorting a major airline in The Casey Report. This stock could plunge 50% or more before all is said and done. And we’re shorting a major health insurance company that could unravel as the Obamacare boondoggle implodes. These shorts should hand Casey Report readers huge gains if the market tanks. We will then use this cash to go shopping when everyone else is stunned and confused. Editor’s note: As you may remember, U.S. stocks began the year on a rough note. The S&P 500 plunged 11% over the first six weeks before recovering. According to E.B., the brief downturn was “only a warning.” In this short presentation, E.B. talks about a major financial crisis on the horizon. As you’ll see, this coming crisis has already quietly begun in an “overlooked” part of the global financial system. The good news is that you can still prepare. At the end of this video, you’ll learn how to access E.B.’s top ideas (including his three shorts). Click here to learn more. JS: So, when is it a good time to short stocks? E.B.: I like to short stocks when the market is red hot. When stocks are up big, investors become less disciplined. They overlook problems that would normally scare them away. The higher stocks climb, the more investors throw caution to the wind. After all, it’s human nature to think the good times will never end. Eventually, companies can’t live up to the market’s unrealistic expectations. You see, the stock market “prices in” the future, meaning the price of a stock reflects how much money investors think a company will make tomorrow, next quarter, or next year. Sooner or later, some companies will disappoint investors. When that happens, look out below. JS: So you like to short expensive stocks? E.B.: It’s not that simple. You see, a lot of investors get carried away shorting. They’ll look for the next high-flyer and try to call its top. That can be dangerous. Shorting a stock because it’s “overvalued” is very difficult. Just look at Amazon (AMZN). It trades at more than 140 times future earnings. That’s off the charts. But the stock made a new high today. Amazon’s been expensive for years, and all it’s done is keep rising. That’s because it’s one of the most dominant companies on the planet. In other words, you shouldn’t short a stock just because it’s expensive. After nearly two decades of active investing, I’ve learned to avoid that strategy completely. I like to short companies that are dependent on a certain customer or economic situation that I expect to change. If my assumptions about changing economics are right, a company’s valuation today might be irrational and set to decline sharply. JS: The U.S. stock market looks very fragile right now. Is now a good time to short stocks? E.B.: Stocks have been rising for almost eight years. Corporate profits have been falling since 2014. And many key economic indicators, like the Purchasing Managers’ Index, are flashing warning signs. So, yes. It’s a good time to short. Surprisingly, most investors are still fully committed to stocks. They haven’t set aside enough cash. And they certainly aren’t shorting many stocks. If stocks start falling, these folks could take heavy losses. But since we have three open short positions, Casey Report readers should make money no matter what direction the market heads. JS: Can you tell us about a stock you’re shorting right now? E.B: One company we’re shorting is Signet Jewelers Ltd. (SIG). The stock hit a 52-week low yesterday. Signet is one of America’s biggest jewelry store chains. It owns jewelry brands you’ve seen at your local mall, like Zales, Jared, and Kay. These might be household names, but don’t confuse Signet with Tiffany & Co (TIF), which caters to a higher-end customer who often pays with cash. Signet serves the average American, and more than half of its customers buy on credit. That could turn into a big problem. Recommended Links A Decade in the Making: Hidden Profit Code Revealed In 2006, a prominent Wall Street financier handed me this 111-year-old document — a financial “timetable” that has predicted every major boom and bust of the last century with uncanny accuracy. I can’t thank him enough… because by using this powerful calendar, I had the opportunity to turn a small investment into over $1.2 million. The shocking details are right here.
According to a joint statement, the organizations will open a second campus in the North Carolina city. Charlotte is one the largest in the country without a top-ranked medical school.There are also plans to expand patient-centered research and innovation through the partnership.In an email to the Wake Forest community Wednesday, President Nathan Hatch wrote, “By strengthening and expanding medical education, we will open many doors for future health care leaders and also play a leading national role in medical research.”Dr. Julie Ann Freischlag is CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Health and Dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine. She says Winston-Salem will benefit from the partnership.“Atrium also is interested in placing companies and people in our Innovation Quarter,” she says. “So we actually think there will be more businesses, more jobs, more things going on in Winston-Salem with them joining us. So, if anything, we’re going to grow here, be the hub, and the medical school in Charlotte will be a branch of our school.”There are still many unknowns and a lot of details to be worked out. The three entities are entering into negotiations with the goal of finalizing a formal agreement later this year.Atrium Health currently serves nearly 14 million patients each year. Wake Forest Baptist Health serves 2.2 million. Wake Forest Baptist Health, Wake Forest University and Atrium Health announced plans to create a medical school in Charlotte. It will be part of what officials are calling a new academic healthcare system.
A disabled campaigner has described how he was “knocked for six” after learning that he had been recognised with an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours.Shaun Webster becomes one of a select group of people with learning difficulties who have been recognised with such an honour.Among his achievements are his work with the human rights organisations Change, including a project working with children and young people with learning difficulties in eastern Europe as the long-stay institutions they had been living in were closed down.He said: “I was teaching them how to speak up for themselves, to believe in themselves, how to talk to other people, to be confident.“I gave them confidence and belief in themselves to train to be a professional like me. Every time I came over and trained them, they got more confidence.”Webster also co-authored a book, Leaving Institutions. Voices for Change – published by Change, Enable Housing Association and the children’s charity Lumos – which aimed to help social workers involved in the de-institutionalisation process.He said he hoped that his MBE would “open doors” for him, and help other people with learning difficulties secure a “proper paid job, with proper respect, and be treated equal like we do at Change, not tokenistic”.One of his proudest moments, he said, was speaking at a conference in Austria earlier this year, and being told by a Bulgarian woman with learning difficulties: “I want to be a role model like you.”He said: “People tell me I speak from my heart and I do. I am passionate about giving people and children with learning disabilities a real voice.“Giving someone with learning disabilities an award from the government will make a big difference to adults and children with learning disabilities.“They will think, ‘If he can get an MBE and he is making a difference, why can’t I?’”He added: “I just couldn’t believe it, it knocked me for six. I felt really happy. I felt very proud.”He said he believed he was awarded the MBE because he was a “hard worker”.He said: “I am very passionate about what I believe in, because I work nationally and internationally, because I am a role model.“I give people with learning disabilities a real voice and confidence and belief in themselves because they see what I can do.”Helen Dolphin (pictured), director of policy and campaigns for Disabled Motoring UK, was another disabled campaigner to receive an MBE.She has campaigned for more than 10 years to improve the blue badge parking scheme, and on other motoring and mobility issues for disabled people.She said: “Maybe people have realised I have had quite a big impact in how disabled people can park. I hope that’s what it’s for.”She has also been a member of the government’s advisory body, the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, and has volunteered for many years for the charity Meningitis Now, speaking to and visiting other people who have lost limbs through meningitis.Dolphin is also studying for a law degree, and is one of the fastest swimmers in the country in her S5 category.She said she was delighted and surprised by the MBE, but she added: “To a degree as well, life is really difficult for me and it would be easy not to work and it would be easy not to get up at five o’clock in the morning.“I can’t get up quickly, I’ve got to have the carers come in. I have to be home at a certain time.“Life is considerably harder and I don’t think people know what I have even gone through before I have got to the office that day sometimes.”She pointed to the more than six per cent of people recognised in this year’s birthday honours who said they were disabled people, which she said was “on the up, and that too is a good thing”.Another disabled person to be recognised was Paralympian Jordanne Whiley, who said she had to read the letter informing her of her MBE five times before it sunk in.The wheelchair-tennis star said: “I didn’t understand at first what it was and then I was like, ‘Surely not me! It’s the wrong person!’ When it sank in, it was an amazing feeling.”Whiley said she hoped to use her MBE to raise her profile, with the long-term aim of setting up her own charity after she retires from sport.She said: “I want to get my status as high as I possibly can so that I can influence other people to play sport, and be a role model to young children, especially [girls and] women.“I have had a lot of fan mail from children with the same disability as me, saying that I am their idol and because of me they are now playing sport. It is such an amazing feeling to have helped just a few people.”Whiley said she liked to take a one-to-one approach with many of the fans who contact her, often calling them or meeting up with them when she is at home.She said: “I just like it when it’s one-to-one. You can make such a difference in one person’s life if you take one hour out of your day to make them see the person you really are.”The tennis star, who has now won five Grand Slam doubles titles, will be competing in the women’s wheelchair doubles at Wimbledon from 10 to 12 July, with her focus also on next year’s Paralympic Games in Rio.She said that the MBE had “relit a spark” with her training and confidence, and that she was “feeling really good going into Wimbledon”.Other disabled people recognised in the birthday honours include Lorraine Mercer, for services to the community and to charity in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, who said she was “very honoured and excited” by her MBE.She has been a volunteer at The Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath for 18 years, and visits patients on the rehabilitation wards, who are often “coming to terms with losing their mobility and having to use a wheelchair, so I can understand what that is like”. She said: “I like to think that me going in and chatting and having time to spend with people helps them to stay positive.”A former patient who wrote a reference for her described how he had been lying in bed feeling depressed after a stroke, when Mercer arrived in her electric wheelchair with “a very positive attitude – so positive that it was infectious; so infectious that I caught it, and having caught it from then on I began to fight”.Another disabled campaigner awarded an MBE was Mikey Argy, a member of the Thalidomide Trust’s National Advisory Council, who was recognised for services to thalidomide survivors.About 70 recipients of awards in the Queen’s birthday honours considered themselves to be disabled under the Equality Act 2010, about one in 16 of all successful candidates.
The government’s new universal credit benefit system could “wreak havoc” and has created a “digital barrier” that prevents many disabled people and other disadvantaged groups from accessing the support they are entitled to, according to a UN human rights expert.Professor Philip Alston, the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said the government’s “test and learn” approach to universal credit risked treating such groups “like guinea pigs” and could “wreak havoc in real people’s lives”.And he said that the preparations being made by local authorities and charities for the rollout of universal credit had “resembled the sort of activity one might expect for an impending natural disaster or health epidemic”.He said: “They have expended significant expense and energy to protect people from what is supposed to be a support system.”Alston was speaking to journalists at the end of a 12-day visit to the UK, as he published a preliminary statement on his findings. He will present a full report to the UN Human Rights Council in June.Earlier this month, Disability News Service reported how written evidence submitted to Alston’s inquiry described how a man with learning difficulties had died a month after attempting to take his own life, following a move onto universal credit that left him hundreds of pounds in debt.Alston said in his report that a key feature of universal credit was the imposition of “draconian sanctions”, even for minor infringements. He said: “Endless anecdotal evidence was presented to the special rapporteur to illustrate the harsh and arbitrary nature of some of the sanctions, as well as the devastating effects that resulted from being completely shut out of the benefits system for weeks or months at a time.”Alston also warned of the impact of the government’s decision to make universal credit the first major government service that is “digital by default”, with the expectation that claimants will rely on an online service rather than human interaction with DWP staff.He said: “We are witnessing the gradual disappearance of the postwar British welfare state behind a webpage and an algorithm.“In its place, a digital welfare state is emerging. The impact on the human rights of the most vulnerable in the UK will be immense.”Asked about Alston’s concerns about universal credit, the new work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, told MPs on Monday that she had been “disappointed, to say the least, by the extraordinary political nature of his language” in the report.She said: “We on the Conservative benches will always engage with professionals, experts and non-governmental organisations – we are not so proud that we do not think we can learn as we try to adjust universal credit for the benefit of everybody – but that sort of language was wholly inappropriate and actually discredited a lot of what he was saying.“We look forward to working with experts in the area to make sure that we get the right outcome for the people whom we want to look after.”She later described her new department as “a force for good”, but she admitted that there were “problems with universal credit, despite its good intentions”.She said: “I have seen them for myself. I will be listening and learning from the expert groups in this area who do such good work. I know it can be better.“I will make it my role to ensure that we deliver that through our discussions within the DWP and through discussions with the Treasury.“We will have a fair, compassionate and efficient benefits system.”In response to Rudd’s comments, Alston said on Twitter that the government had “a set of talking points about poverty and employment” that fail to address poverty, use “carefully chosen and misleading statistics to paint a rosy picture” and “ignore the horrible situation in which a large number of Britons live.He added: “That’s not the way to find solutions.”He also told Disability News Service: “I am hoping the secretary of state’s criticism of my report is not a substitute for a more systematic policy response to the many issues I have raised. “My report recounts in some depth the many problems experienced by adversely impacted groups, and especially by people with disabilities, and I would hope that DWP will seek to improve the system so that it does not cause such hardship and make already very difficult situations even worse.” A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…
The forward notched up 4,256 metres in a stellar campaign that also saw him score 11 tries too.Elsewhere, Castleford Tigers’ scrum-half Luke Gale was named the 2017 Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel whilst Oliver Gildart beat out Morgan Knowles and Regan Grace for Young Player of the Year.The Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel is voted on by all the Betfred Super League players – you can see who voted for whom here.The winners:Hit man – Danny Houghton (Hull FC – 1123 tackles) Top metre maker – Alex Walmsley (St Helens – 4256 metres made) Top try-scorer – Greg Eden (Castleford Tigers – 38 tries) Top gun – Marc Sneyd (Hull FC – 89% conversion rate) Outstanding Contribution – Thomas Bosc, Chris Bridge, Rob Burrow, Eorl Crabtree, Gareth Ellis, Andy Lynch, Iafeta Palea’aesina, Leon Pryce Foundation of the Year – Wigan Warriors Betfred Super League Club of the Year – Castleford Tigers Betfred Super League Young Player of the Year – Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors) Betfred Super League Coach of the Year – Daryl Powell (Castleford Tigers) The Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel – Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers)
Education Papa John’s Launches Program to Help Employees Pay for College Image credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images –shares Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Add to Queue Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. 2 min read The embattled pizza chain is partnering with Purdue University. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » Next Article Entrepreneur Staff Nina Zipkin Papa John’s announced last week that it will partner with Purdue University to offer both corporate and restaurant employees full tuition to the school’s online courses. The initiative nets out to $5,250 per person per year, and the embattled company said it aims to work with other universities going forward.Roughly 20,000 workers will be able to take advantage of the program, with the company covering tuition and other attendant fees, including books and classroom materials, for Papa John’s employees that work at least 20 hours a week.Franchise locations also are eligible for the initiative, with slightly different requirements. Franchise employees will receive 20 percent off tuition for associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, and 14 percent off for master’s degrees.In an interview about the new program with Bloomberg, Chief People Officer Marvin Boakye said, “This is a great message to candidates that, not only can they have a place to be employed at, but a place to continue to develop,” with the intent to “drive our employer brand and quite frankly build retention.”With the initiative, Papa John’s joins a growing list of corporations that help their employees cover college tuition, including UPS, Starbucks, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Home Depot, Chipotle, Best Buy and Walmart.The move comes after a prolonged period of upheaval for the company’s leadership. In the fall of 2017, founder John Schnatter stepped down from this role as CEO after he said on a conference call that the NFL’s ongoing player protests were adversely affecting Papa John’s sales. In July of 2018, the then-chairman was recorded on another conference call — this call set up with a marketing firm with the goal of preventing additional PR issues — using the N-word. Shortly after, he resigned his position as chairman. February 20, 2019
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 24 2019The government of Liberia, in partnership with the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and EcoHealth Alliance, announced the discovery of Ebola virus in a bat in Liberia. This is the first finding of Zaire ebolavirus in a bat in West Africa, adding to other evidence suggesting bats serve as a natural wildlife reservoir for Ebola and other related viruses. Scientists found both genetic material from the virus and ebolavirus antibodies in a Greater Long-fingered bat (Mineopterus inflatus) in Liberia’s northeastern Nimba District. CII has been working to identify and characterize novel viruses at the intersection of humans and animals, on a global scale, for more than three decades. This work is a part of the USAID PREDICT project, which aims to better understand the animal reservoirs, seasonality, and transmission of viruses that can cause epidemic diseases.This is the first identification of Ebola virus in a bat in West Africa. There are six species of Ebola virus and Zaire ebolavirus is the one responsible for causing the West African Ebola epidemic which infected nearly 30,000 people between 2013 and 2016. Researchers at CII are working to determine whether the strain found in the bat is exactly the same one associated with the 2013-2016 outbreak. The evidence so far from about 20 percent of the virus’ genome suggests that it is closely related. Zaire ebolavirus is also responsible for the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is now the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.No human cases of Ebola are linked to this discovery and Liberia has remained free of any new human cases since the 2013-2016 outbreak. However, this finding brings us closer to understanding where human Ebola cases come from.”There have been unanswered questions about the source of Ebola outbreaks. There was speculation that they may have originated from bats, but there was no direct evidence,” says Simon Anthony, D.Phil, assistant professor of Epidemiology in the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, who led the laboratory discovery. “A critical element in this discovery, was VirCapSeq-VERT, a tool invented at the CII that improves the sensitivity of next generation sequencing 1,000-fold. It is possible that there are also other bat species that carry Ebola. Going forward, we will be analyzing additional specimens to fill in the picture.””This discovery is a major step forward in understanding how Ebola outbreaks happen,” says EcoHealth Alliance Vice President for Science and Outreach Jonathan Epstein, DVM. Epstein also serves as the lead for USAID-PREDICT in Liberia. “The West African Ebola epidemic was devastating, and it began with a single transmission from an animal to a person. It’s critical that we identify which animals naturally carry Ebola and related viruses – without knowing that, we can’t truly understand and reduce the risk of another outbreak occurring in the region.”The search for wildlife hosts for filoviruses like Ebola is a part of USAID’s PREDICT project, an international initiative to conduct surveillance and build local capacity to detect novel and known zoonotic viruses in nature so that countries are better prepared to prevent and respond to outbreaks. Partners in the discovery include EcoHealth Alliance; the Society for the Conservation of Nature, Liberia; the National Public Health Institute of Liberia; the Forest Development Authority; the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture; and Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health; and the University of California, Davis, which leads the PREDICT Consortium.Ebola is a zoonotic disease transmitted from wild animals to humansRelated StoriesVirus employs powerful strategy to inhibit natural killer cell functionPhoseon exhibits KeyPro KP100 UV LED instrument for virus inactivation at World Vaccine CongressResearchers compare American, Pacific and Southeast Asian subtypes of Zika virusEbola virus belongs to the Filoviridae family which also includes the Marburg and Cueva viruses. Like other zoonotic diseases (SARS, influenza, and rabies), Ebola virus is harbored by a natural animal reservoir, in Ebola’s case believed to include one or more species of bat, based on previous scientific studies. Prior Ebola outbreaks in Central Africa have been associated with deforestation and bushmeat hunting, where human cases were linked to contact with and consumption of chimpanzees, gorillas, and duikers that were infected. These animals were also victims of Ebola virus and it’s still a mystery as to exactly how they were infected. However, there is substantial evidence that filoviruses, such as Ebola and Marburg virus, are carried by bats. Marburg virus was recently discovered for the first time in Sierra Leone in its known bat reservoir, but it has historically been difficult to identify bats infected with Ebola virus.Bats play a critical role in ecosystems around the world, by removing pest insect species and pollinating fruiting trees, for example. The finding of Ebola virus in a bat should not be taken as a reason to exterminate, remove or harass bats in their natural environment. In fact, previous work shows that efforts to remove wildlife populations can lead to enhanced disease spread.”The government of Liberia has been not only a committed partner, but is working proactively to prevent further Ebola infections in the country,” says EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak. “When we shared this discovery with them, they mobilized immediately to share these findings with their citizens. For the government to now be able to offer specific guidance so as to protect people’s health is critical. Past experience has shown that simply telling people not to eat bats is neither practical nor effective. Helping them live safely with bats is.”Keeping local communities safeGreater Long-fingered bats are found in parts of West Africa and other regions. They are an agriculturally important species in the area, as they eat insects which do damage to crops. Additionally, they do not tend to roost in homes or buildings, as some bats do. Instead they are found in forests, caves, and mines which makes preventing contact with them easier by avoiding entering caves or mines. The Liberian government is working to engage local communities about this finding to help reduce the possible risk of exposure and educate people about the positive impacts of bat species on pest control and the environment.Moving forwardFurther testing is underway to determine whether or not the virus detected in this bat is the same strain which caused the West African Ebola epidemic. The PREDICT team is also working with partners to understand how commonly these bats or other bat species may be infected with Ebola virus and whether there are any seasonal patterns to infection in bats, all of which helps understand risk to people and will inform public health strategies designed to prevent another Ebola outbreak.”This discovery is the result of an extraordinarily productive partnership between the government of Liberia, CII, EcoHealth Alliance, and UC Davis,” says Ian Lipkin, MD, director of CII. “It builds on years of investment and methods established under the auspices of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in biodefense and emerging infectious diseases.”Source: https://www.mailman.columbia.edu/
Feb 25 2019The International AIDS Society (IAS), secretariat for the 4th biennial HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P 2020) conference, has announced the appointment of five international leaders in HIV prevention research, implementation and advocacy as Co-Chairs for the meeting.The conference Co-Chairs will guide the development of HIVR4P 2020, to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, on 11-15 October 2020. The IAS assumes the role of HIVR4P conference secretariat as part of its collaboration with the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, which organized the first three HIVR4P conferences. The IAS is excited to take on the role of secretariat for HIVR4P 2020 at this critical moment in HIV prevention research and implementation. These co-chairs represent expertise across prevention research, science, and community that will advance the evidence-informed, human rights-based approaches that can help make the enormous promise of biomedical HIV prevention available to all.”Kevin Osborne, IAS Executive Director Related StoriesNovel vaccine against bee sting allergy successfully testedHIV DNA persists in spinal fluid despite treatment, linked to cognitive impairmentHIV persists in spinal fluid even after long-term treatment and is linked to cognitive deficitsThe HIVR4P 2020 Co-Chairs announced today are:Linda-Gail Bekker – Deputy Director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, and Chief Operating Officer of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation.Pontiano Kaleebu – Director of the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and Director of Medical Research Council (MRC)/UVRI and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Uganda Research Unit.Sheena McCormack – Senior Clinical Scientist at the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at University College London.David O’Connor – Medical Foundation Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Chair of the Global Infectious Diseases division of the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center.Mitchell Warren – Executive Director of AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention.Together, the Co-Chairs will guide the HIVR4P 2020 Programme Organizing Committee to: develop the conference theme, vision and programme; review research abstracts and scholarship applications; select conference award winners; support the meeting’s outreach and fundraising efforts; and ensure that HIVR4P continues to move the global HIV prevention paradigm forward. Since 2014, the biennial HIVR4P conference has brought together leaders in every field of biomedical HIV prevention – from vaccines to PrEP to emerging, long-acting strategies – to address both cross-cutting challenges in the field and the research, policy and implementation issues specific to each prevention approach. Guided by these outstanding Co-Chairs, HIVR4P 2020 will continue to be one of the most innovative, integrated and collaborative conferences in the field.”Anton Pozniak, IAS President Source:https://www.iasociety.org/
Testing heats up at Sandia’s Solar Tower with high temperature falling particle receiver 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. Provided by SolarPACES What is the advantage of particle receivers?Particle receiver technology has the potential to reduce the cost of tower CSP, because it can nearly double today’s power tower temperatures, which top out in molten salt technology at 565°C.High temperatures increase efficiency, making particle receivers a good fit with high efficiency supercritical CO2 and air-breathing Brayton power cycles, and enable solar to replace fossil fuels in high-temperature thermochemical processes like splitting water to extract hydrogen at 800°C or make carbon-neutral solar fuels like jet fuels at 1,300°C.Researchers have investigated many materials for the particles. The advantage of sand is cost. At 5 MW, this particle receiver design would cycle more than 2000 tons of sand through its system.”We’re excited about sand because it doesn’t matter how much you need, the cost is almost nothing,” he pointed out. At scale, some materials, particularly engineered particles, could become a considerable fraction of initial costs. “When you are talking about thousands of tons of an engineered material, that can become prohibitive at some point.”Al-Ansary presented the paper on the results of the red sand tests in particle receiver tower CSP at the 23rd SolarPACES Conference in Chile.How the particle receiver worksAt a 20 MW-electrical scale, the receiver aperture would be about 10 meters wide by 10 meters tall and sand would be fed from the hopper to fall in a curtain a few cm thick through a 10 to 15 meter wide slot, exposing the sand particles to the heat of 1000 suns of intensely focused sunlight from a solar field of mirrors reflecting sunlight into the receiver aperture.Unlike the energy storage tanks in molten salt CSP, the hot and cold storage tanks could be stacked right inside the receiver tower along with the heat exchanger, so there is much less pumping of storage material, reducing parasitic costs.For a 20 MW plant, the tower would be about 150 meters tall and about 30 meters in diameter with the storage tanks stacked vertically inside. The discharge point of the cold tank would be about half way up the tower, “so we only need to lift the particles from the middle to the top to heat them.”The sand particles never fall fast, thanks to chevron-shaped obstacles that slow their descent, an innovation previously tested at Sandia in the US by the international research group. Without the obstacles, sand accelerates to 5 or 6 meters per second, even in just a 1 meter drop height.The obstructed flow maintains a dense curtain of particles everywhere in the receiver, so that all the concentrated radiation is absorbed by the falling particles.With particles slowed by the chevrons, Al-Ansary’s group got results of about 1,000°C in the lab without the sand agglomerating, and even out in the field, attained temperatures above 700°C.”The world’s first commercial particle receiver will be in 2018In a research field filled with innovation in much needed solar technologies, but not nearly equally visionary commercial support, the particle receiver research group is very fortunate to have backing ready to go.The Saudi Electricity Company is banking on building the world’s first commercial particle receiver, with the planning phase expected to start in the middle of 2018, following final prototype testing in January and February.”They said they are actually preparing for the next phase which is maybe around 5 MW. They would like it to be generating and they would like to sell that electricity,” he said.”Once we complete testing on KSU’s small 100 kW-electrical facility, and as soon as the results from this facility are confirmed, they are ready to go.”Saudi Electricity Company engineers have even been involved in helping with the research, and there will be an opportunity to tweak the engineering at scale.”We’ve actually had some engineers from the utility working with us on a daily basis on this project so it is really a joint effort, just making sure that we have a mature design such that when we go to the third phase it will be fully commercial.”Sandia has a much larger solar field, which was crucial and very useful in early testing, but the Riyadh test facility was small enough to be dedicated to a complete demonstration as a fully integrated power system with a heat exchanger and a gas turbine system – and a first adopter.Remote Arabian settlements need 1 GW worth of small projectsAway from Riyadh, parts of Saudi Arabia have an ideal solar resource for CSP (annual DNI of 2,600) the form of solar which needs clear skies. And many remote regions lack grid power.”Our national utility is excited about this idea because they have many remote areas that are not served by the grid, where 5 or 10 MW is more than enough,” said Al-Ansary. “They told me that the potential just within Saudi Arabia for those areas is roughly a thousand megawatts (1,000 MW). So they can build about 200 of these plants.”A 5 MW gas turbine that is adaptable to operation with hot compressed air, not steam like a molten salt system, is available commercially. This type of turbine has been tested in the EU using a direct gas heating receiver. This proven design is compatible with the PHR-CSP concept with little modification.The calm confidence with which Al-Ansary described each step from research to the impending commercialization was unusual. Even though clean technology innovation is absolutely crucial to a livable planet, such access to easy transition is rare. Al-Ansary confirmed it.”Indeed, we are lucky to have this support,” he agreed. Citation: Particle receivers to get first commercial trial—in Saudi Arabia (2018, January 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-particle-commercial-trialin-saudi-arabia.html Explore further Particle receiver diagram. Credit: Sandia A new solar technology is twice as efficient, cutting the cost of solar thermal energy, by raising operating temperatures to 1,000°C, almost twice the 565°C molten salt temperature in current concentrated solar power (CSP) tower plants. For most innovative research in clean energy, the dreaded “Valley of Death” after lab scale success is the sad place where great innovations go to die for lack of commercial trials.But that will not be the case for particle heating receiver technology (PHR) that was first conceptualized at Sandia National Laboratories and is now being researched worldwide.PHR is cutting edge technology for tower CSP, a form of solar that converts the sun’s heat to power. CSP with thermal energy storage is an important key to powering a carbon-constrained future, because its thermal storage enables solar generation at any time of day or night.PHR skips the “valley of death”There is an unobstructed path from lab to commercialization for Hany Al-Ansary, Professor in Mechanical Engineering at King Saud University (KSU) and international collaborators investigating one alternative approach using a red sand abundantly available near Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.The KSU approach relies on the sand flowing through a cavity receiver in the tower, while other promising approaches use different particles in free fall, or in an enclosed receiver.Saudi Arabia will be first to commercialize particle receiver technologyThe Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is funding and assisting with the research into using the red sand approach for heat absorption in PHRs, and intends to enter the planning phase of a commercial trial in 2018. This sort of commercial support and trial is essential to developing technologies.Like molten salts, sand loses less than 1% of its stored energy daily, but it can achieve a temperature almost twice as high. This is the main reason for the interest in particle receivers, according to Al-Ansary, who holds 15 patents and has published in peer-reviewed journals.”Molten salt is limited to around 565°C,” he said. “but depending on which type of particles, you can get much higher temperatures, up to 1,000°C. Our group worked on different containment structure designs, and with simple masonry materials and a well-insulated tank, we reduced heat loss to under 1% per day, similar to molten salt.”
Photos: 10th-Century Viking Tomb Unearthed in Denmark Editor’s Note: This article was updated to correct the fact that “clinker” boats meant the boats were made of overlapping wooden planks. Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoMarie Claire | HanacureMeet The Beauty Equivalent To TIME’s Person Of The Year AwardMarie Claire | HanacureUndoClassmatesSearch For Any High School Yearbook, It’s Free.ClassmatesUndoDr. Marty Nature's Feast Freeze-Dried RAW Cat Food3 Signs Something’s Wrong Inside Your Cat’s BodyDr. Marty Nature’s Feast Freeze-Dried RAW Cat FoodUndoPrimeSolarQuotesCalifornia Signs Solar Law Helping Homeowners Save Hundreds A Month.PrimeSolarQuotesUndoComparisons.orgCalifornia Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Must Read ThisComparisons.org Photos: Vikings Accessorized with Tiny Metal Dragons Fierce Fighters: 7 Secrets of Viking Seamen Archaeologists recently unearthed two Viking burial boats in Uppsala, Sweden — one of which was exceptionally preserved and held the remains of a dog, a man and a horse. The Vikings sent a handful of their powerful elites to the afterlife in boats laden with sacrificed animals, weapons and treasure; the funeral practice dates back to the Iron Age (A.D. 550 to 800) but was used throughout the Viking age (A.D. 800 to 1050), according to a statement. These richly appointed graves have been discovered across Scandinavia. For example, archaeologists had previously found one such burial boat in Norway that had evidence of human remains and one in western Scotland that contained a slew of burial items such as an ax, a shield boss, a ringed pin, a hammer and tongs. The elites who were given such elaborate send-offs were also often buried with animals, such as stallions.These Sharks Were Too Busy to Notice a Bigger Predator Watching ThemThe unexpected twist at the end of this feeding frenzy delighted scientists.Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really Loud00:35关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65892-viking-burial-boats-discovered-sweden.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:2802:28 These burial boats were typically built with overlapping wooden planks (called “clinker built”) and had symmetrical ends, a true keel and overlapping planks joined together, said Johan Anund, the regional manager for The Archaeologists, an archeological organization working with the National Historical Museums in Sweden. Archaeologists have also found other, simpler boat structures, such as logboats, which are like a dugout wide canoe, Anand told Live Science in an email. [Photos: A Man, a Horse and a Dog Found in Viking Boat Burials] The remains of the dog and the horse were nestled in the bow of the well-preserved boat, while the remains of the man were found in the stern. “We don’t know much” about the man yet, Anund said. But analysis of the skeleton will reveal how old he was, how tall he was and if he had any injuries or diseases. Anund’s group may even be able to figure out where the man grew up and where he lived for most of his life, Anund said. As for the animals buried with him, they could have been sacrificed to help the dead person on the “other side” but could also be there to show the man’s status and rank, Anund said. It’s common to find horses and dogs in such burials, but also big birds like falcons. Archaeologists also found other items on the boat such as a sword, spear, shield, an ornate comb, and leftover wood and iron nails that were likely used in its construction. The other boat was badly damaged, probably because a 16th-century medieval cellar was built right on top of it, according to the statement. Some human and animal bones were still preserved on the damaged ship, but they seem to have been moved around, making it difficult for archaeologists to say much about them, Anund said. Archaeologists discovered the ships, the well and the cellar after a plot of land outside Uppsala was marked off to become a new building for the vicarage of Gamla Uppsala parish. They excavated the boats last month and some of the finds will go on display at Gamla Uppsala museum and the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm. Live Science Editor-in-Chief Jeanna Bryner contributed to this story.