Of course even newer disruptive technologies suc

first_img Of course, even newer disruptive technologies, such as 3D printing, will, over time, begin to carve into the market share of Internet retailers – so that’s another interesting area for personal and professional study. Regardless, the nature of local businesses has changed, and it’s not changing back. (I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the excellent work that Alex Daley and his team at Casey BIG TECH do in keeping subscribers up to speed on the latest big developments in technology and how to profit. At just $99 a year, with a full three-month money-back guarantee, it’s truly a no-brainer. Learn more and sign up today.) Three Reasons the Case for Gold Remains Intact While it’s nice to see gold bounce off recent lows and stage a rally of late, short-term price action is of little personal concern as I don’t trade the physical metals: I own them as a long-term insurance against further currency depreciation. In that regard, however, it’s worth periodically pondering whether the base case for holding gold – or any asset, for that matter – remains intact. Here are three quick observations on why I think the gold bull is still well intact. Reason #1: Opposition to Austerity Today it was announced that EU unemployment continued to rise into record territory, up to 12.2%. As this is a region-wide stat, you can safely assume that in the poorer member countries, and especially among the young and minority groups, the rate is easily twice that number. As a consequence, the odds of the EU adopting widespread austerity – i.e., significantly pulling back government spending – is just not going to happen. Supporting that contention was an article out of the Financial Times today, titled “EU eases hard line on austerity.” And I quote… “Brussels will on Wednesday give its clearest signal yet that it is moving away from a crisis response based on austerity, allowing three of the EU’s five largest economies to overshoot budget deficit limits and pushing instead for broader reform.” Likewise, looking forward to the near future here in the United States, as our own Bud Conrad did in the current edition of The Casey Report, shows that rather than moving into a period of easing demand on government expenditures, the aging baby boom bubble is about to greatly exacerbate the problem. On the other side of the podium, we witness social proof in action – the deep-seated human trait of unquestioningly modifying behavior in order to stay in sync with the actions of others around us. Which is to say that because we see everyone else going along like sheep, we go along too. Otherwise we might have answered Jabba’s ridiculous questions with something along the lines of, “Look moron, if you can’t read the identification card in your hand that confirms my name, or the ticket that confirms my destination, maybe you’re in the wrong line of work.” But we don’t do that, because no one else is doing it. And sadly, if we did, then Jabba would press a button on his podium, and we’d fall into the Pit of Rancor (or whatever the equivalent is in today’s militarized Homeland Security system). I mention all of this because this scenario – and the underlying forces at work – when considered on the larger stage of the US, are equally evident. You have a bloated government degraded by its power, choking on its own neck fat (debt), foisting ridiculous and ineffective regulations and policies on a spineless public who has been trained through media and overt intimidation to toe the line, or else. Just as the TSA agent felt comfortable loudly joking about lording it over the passengers unfortunate to be in his queue, the US government feels comfortable ignoring principles, morals, and ethics that, until recently, pretty much defined the national character. And why not? Anyone brave enough to “see something and say something” – at least as far as government overreach is concerned – will, as the recent IRS and AP cases demonstrate, quickly find a target painted on their back. And so it was that we shuffled through the final security lines and onto our plane back to Vermont. The War on Bitcoin When I first read the government inquisitor’s comments on Liberty Reserve, my initial impression was that they were referring to Bitcoin. That’s because the terms used in describing the federal indictment for Liberty Reserve’s purported crimes read as if lifted from a Bitcoin sales brochure. Simply, the crux of the complaint is that the transactions through Liberty Reserve were designed to be outside of the central banking system and anonymous, and so were conducive to the laundering of money. It seems hard to argue that government prosecutors, in their attack on Liberty Reserve, were taking great pains to frame the argument for going after Bitcoin next. The champions of Bitcoin immediately rallied behind the BC flag, touting the fact that unlike the operators of Liberty Reserve, Bitcoin is a massively distributed system with no obvious individuals readily available for perp-walking. Now, I know I will sway no one with my comments – Bitcoin has that sort of dedicated followers – but, in my opinion, having laid hands on the people behind Liberty Reserve, the governments will now publicly crush their bones as part of deterring the average person from wanting anything to do with Bitcoin, or, for that matter, any other non-sanctioned e-currency. Moreover, I suspect it is the first shot in a wider campaign to scare away heretofore vocal and visible champions of Bitcoin, the “thought leaders” that have been so helpful in Bitcoin gaining market share. Is publically advocating the use of Bitcoin the equivalent of publically advocating a money laundering service? Could such an advocacy result in your arrest and confinement? Don’t know… maybe you’d like to push the outer edge of the envelope and find out? (Do criminal defense lawyers accept bitcoins? You could find that out, too.) Regardless, I think it is as certain as certain can be that the government is preparing to wage war on Bitcoin – and that will scare off merchants who accept Bitcoin, or who were contemplating it. While individuals may be able to fly below the radar, merchants who need to advertise their willingness to deal in bitcoins offer up a fixed target. Okay, I suppose you could get away with it on Silk Road, but for demand for Bitcoin to grow – very definitely a driver of its value – it needs distribution. With regular folks and merchants alike deciding the risk is not worth the possible reward of dealing in BC, demand and prices will be capped. While it’s hard to tell how Bitcoin will ultimately fare… I think the right questions we as possible consumers of the e-currency have to ask is, (a) whether its value is intrinsically linked to its ability to operate in the open, and (b) whether it can withstand a full-on government assault. And never for a minute lose sight of the fact that the government defines the rules. If your permanent government file might be amended to flag you as a possible anti-government revolutionary solely for visiting a Bitcoin-related website, would you take the risk? Though I certainly appreciate the effort to launch an alternative, anonymous currency – I see Bitcoin as V.1. in that regard and very much susceptible to being mugged by the monetary mafia running this joint. Maybe I would buy some solely for entertainment purposes, but for anything resembling real money, I’ll take things more tangible. The Changing Face of Main Street Living in a small town in the middle of nowhere in Argentina very much changes one’s priorities. In my opinion, for the better. For instance, given the lack of big stores and easy access to consumer goods, you quickly come to understand what you actually need to live a good life… fresh food, basic transportation, good friends, and, as a real luxury, domestic help. In the US, by contrast, it is easy to become convinced that a fulfilled life requires the latest in an unceasing river of electronic gadgets, fancy cars, etc., etc. Case in point, I deliberately only took a small wardrobe to Cafayate – a handful of shirts, a couple of jeans, underwear, socks, etc. As the place is very informal, as there’s no need for cold-weather gear, and as we have a maid that washes five days a week, there’s never a risk of running short of anything. Only on returning to the States did it dawn on me just how much “stuff” we have accumulated over the years, starting with a large closet overflowing with clothes for every occasion… much of which I almost never wear. Then there are the toys and electronic gadgets and other clutter, each piece of which I had become convinced at one point or another that I simply had to own – but now that I do, for the life of me I can’t remember why. But that’s sort of the point. In the US, especially, exceptional marketers are supported by technology that makes shopping ridiculously easy. Thus, once you become convinced you simply must own something, the thing almost falls into your lap. That is very much not the case in a small town in Argentina or, for that matter, thanks to the anti-trade stance of government there, in the big city either. Yet, yesterday, needing a new headset for my computer (I left mine in Argentina), I stopped in at three local retail stores of the sort that would typically be expected to carry headsets and was surprised that not only they didn’t carry them, but that their inventory of anything at all was positively skeletal. In each case, the clerk apologized and offered to order it for delivery later in the week. Given that I am entirely capable of logging onto Amazon and choosing from a seemingly limitless array of headsets, I politely declined and, on returning home, did just that – ultimately selecting a pair from over 63,000 offerings with the help of a convenient rating and review system. As a result of this experience, I was reminded that the very nature of commerce in the US has gone through a profound shift over the last decade. No longer can mom and pop hope to set up shop on Main Street and successfully sell anything other than items appealing to instant gratification (ice cream, prepared food, candy bars, wine, etc.), or services related to existing goods (dry cleaning, car repair), or services related to navigating the complex society (accounting, legal). Pretty much everything else falls under the purview of the online merchants or the mega-box stores that can afford to carry a big enough inventory of reasonably priced products to compete with the online sellers. In time, even the big-box stores won’t be able to compete with infinity, however. Interestingly, though, online sales are still only about 5% of total retail sales in the US. This despite the latest surveys that show that, across all demographic groups, about 41% of the public prefer shopping online. Which, of course, means that 59% of the people prefer to do their shopping in stores. To me this feels like the sort of crossroads that must have arisen during the early adoption of the “horseless carriage”… when a majority of people, when asked, would have sworn by old Betsy and vowed to never change. It feels like opportunity to me, as the creative destruction of the Internet moves inexorably forward. Of course, it’s just a matter of time before widespread changes in the tax structure stop giving the online retailers a tax advantage over local merchants, but all that will accomplish is to cause consumer prices to rise. That still cannot address the distributed merchandising model such as used by Amazon that means if they don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, one of their tens of thousands of affiliated merchants will. Young people in America face the real challenge of finding a way to succeed in an economy on the downslope, where government regulations and labor-related costs make employees a liability and not an asset. I think Internet retailing is one of the few real bright spots, convinced as I am that it is still in its infancy. Dear Reader, When last I wrote, it was from my favorite place in the world, Cafayate, Argentina, as I prepared to return to the United States for the Northern Hemisphere summer. Leaving off, I was positively brimming with the health and vigor of life lived large in the big-sky country of the Argentine outback. Unfortunately, immediately upon arriving back in the US, I was laid low by a high fever, exacerbated by a week-long absence of the sun, and topped off with a spell of freezing temperatures and even snow… this at the end of May! Today, a week and a bit later, I’m mostly recovered though still periodically hacking like a TB patient. Other than a single afternoon, the sun has put in sporadic appearances, and the forecast for the next three days is more of the same. Ugh. Given the backlog of work that has built up during the transition back north, compounded by the unexpected bed rest, I don’t think I’ll get stuck in any particularly long or complicated themes today, but instead plan on sharing some briefer observations that have come to mind since my return. Human Nature One of the advantages of flying into the US via Asunción is that relatively few Americans traveling to the Southern Cone include Paraguay on their itinerary. I’m not sure why, but when mentioning my tangential affection for Paraguay to an American, I invariably get the same sort of look I imagine would be given on announcing I enjoy vacationing in the rougher parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Regardless, unlike traveling from Buenos Aires, which is hugely popular among Americans, a US citizen arriving at JFK airport from Asunción has the “US Citizens Only” line pretty much to themselves. While it is irksome to have any institutionalized interference in one’s travels, in fairness, the processing back into the US as a citizen is mostly painless, a quick question or two followed by a “Welcome back.” Thus welcomed, we had to gather our bags, change terminals, and recheck in for the continuing flight to Burlington, Vermont, the nearest big city to our home here. As the bags took a surprisingly long time to spew forth onto the luggage carousel, the leisurely connection time we had allowed for was greatly diminished, resulting in something of a scramble in order to make our connecting flight. Thanks to the AirTrain at JFK, once we had bags in hand, we made solid progress before once again getting hung up in the “baggage drop” process at JetBlue where the line was both long and slow. In Argentina I have become comfortable with patiently waiting in lines; however, back in the Land of the Efficient, I found my stress level rising thanks to the uncaring inefficiency. To wit, even though the line was well backed up, the airline had only two people working the counter, and one of those was tied up with a problem case (there’s always at least one). Thus what should have been a quick and painless operation dragged out for the better part of thirty minutes. Finally, with our flight time rapidly approaching, it was time to run the security gauntlet, stepping into a rope chute leading, side by side with another chute, to a podium whence a TSA operative was charged with checking the tickets and credentials of passengers. While one should give credence to differences in metabolic functioning – people process body fat more or less efficiently, leaving some people effortlessly thin while others have to fight a constant fight against weight – the only conclusion one could reasonably draw in the case of this particular TSA security officer was that he had long ago given up any pretense of dietary restraint or physical activity more strenuous than lifting cupcakes to his lips. As a result, rather than sitting in his high chair at the podium, he pretty much enveloped it with unflattering rolls of body fat cascading droopily over the side of his belt and dangling, jiggling, to the level of his seat. The idea that this was “America’s first line of defense” would have been somewhat funny if we hadn’t been in such a hurry and hadn’t known that to proceed, we first had to bow and scrape to his satisfaction. Even so, I’m a go-along-to-get-along kind of guy, especially when it comes to getting along to my flight, so I waited patiently for my turn at the podium. Which gave me about ten minutes in relatively close quarters to watch this first responder in his dealings with the public. Encouraged by the presence of a bland-countenanced female TSA officer who was standing nearby in order to observe him, I guess as a trainee, the human roadblock cavalierly split his attention between her and the two streams of passengers, one on his right and one on his left, that met up at his podium. The conversation went something like this… Jabba the TSAHutt (turning to his female trainee, but loud enough for us wannabe passengers to hear): “Oh, sometimes I get in a devilish mood, like now. So I ask people annoying questions such as…” (turning to the nondescript woman waiting on the right side of the line, taking her ticket and ID in hand and examining it)… “So, what’s your name?” Waits for her to answer, “And where are you going today?” That he already has the information directly at hand is part of the joke, which he acknowledges by turning back to the female trainee and winks, “See?” Moving at the speed of a slow glacier, he dragged the farce out for all it was worth, constantly pausing to make quips to the trainee, then leisurely turning back to ask the travelers similarly ludicrous questions, pausing every minute or so to stop a line and command people to step back away from the podium – even though if anyone encroached on some invisible line, it was by an inch or two as far as I could see. But he was having a grand old time, yakking it up with the emotionless TSA trainee (if she was getting the humor, she wasn’t showing it, but that didn’t seem to register with him), and treating the public like slow-witted children. I vividly recall the expression of a distinguished older couple in their seventies as they made their way slowly towards the TSA joke… er, joker. Written across their faces were a litany of emotions from anger and thinly disguised disdain to embarrassment that America had come to this. The husband visibly gritted his teeth when Jabba shoved a mitt in front of his wife’s face when she, too, came too close to the imaginary line separating the public from his official podium and said in his best imitation of a real cop, “Back away from the podium!” Finally, mercifully, it was our turn, which meant we might still make our flight. Like everyone else, I had to reply to his nonsense questions that had nothing to do with anything, then stand by while he similarly grilled my children. “What’s your name? Where are you traveling? Are these your parents? How old are you?” Then it was on to the backscatter X-ray machines, assuming the humiliating hands-over-the-head position, leaving us with only a couple of minutes to spare to make our already boarding flight. Now, I mention all of this not just to gripe about how degraded the travel experience in America has become – and it’s nothing like this anywhere else I have traveled in the last decade – but as a lead-up to a quick comment or two about human nature. You see, while the whole “show” was grating, the TSA officer was acting entirely in sync with human nature. For starters, he was showing off to a member of the opposite sex. Hasn’t that been a primary driving factor behind the actions of men since time immemorial? In addition, he was clearly imbued with the power that members of America’s security apparatus find so attractive. Everyone likes power, but for a person who has let themselves personally degrade to the point where he’s just a couple of Sloppy Joes away from drowning in his own neck fat, the TSA is pretty much the only job in the world that he can hold down with minimal effort and that offers power as a perk. But the psychological aspects run deeper than just that, because in the same way that white trash attempts to boost their ego by looking down their nose at Mexicans or blacks – this particularly poor specimen of humanity is able to find some modicum of self-respect in harassing and humiliating others, and being able to do so without fear of blowback. And thanks to the stultifying and downright stupid policies of the Fed, hand in glove with the government, over the last couple of decades, the aging population has been left horribly unprepared for their retirement, and hugely at risk to the next leg down. This from the Washington Post today… From the peak of the boom to the bottom of the bust, households watched a total of $16 trillion in wealth disappear amid sinking stock prices and the rubble of the real estate market. Since then, Americans have only been able to recapture 45 percent of that amount on average, after adjusting for inflation and population growth, according to the report from the St. Louis Fed released Thursday. In addition, the report showed most of the improvement was due to gains in the stock market, which primarily benefit wealthy families. That means the recovery for other households has been even weaker. “A conclusion that the financial damage of the crisis and recession largely has been repaired is not justified,” the report stated. And this… The Fed is spending $85 billion a month to lower long-term interest rates and stimulate the economy. It has also kept short-term interest rates to near zero. That has helped push stock markets to record highs, while home prices have jumped by the most in seven years. Consumer confidence is at its highest point since February 2008. Officials hope those factors will eventually result in more consumer spending power. Here’s the full article. So, in essence, the stock market, which the Post actually conflates with the economy, is being propped up by the Fed… as is the housing market. So, riddle me this, what happens when the Fed stops spending $85 billion a month? The answer is as clear as it is obvious. The Fed can’t stop QE, or if it does, it can’t stop it for long. This effectively leaves only one option to government policy makers – competitive currency devaluations of the sort that Japan is now pursuing. This despite the clear implications to the future of the fiat currencies. I thought the following, from Bloomberg earlier this week, pretty much says all that needs to be said on the situation… Koichi Hamada, an economic adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, told South Korea to adjust its own monetary policies if officials are concerned at the effects of a yen weakened by unprecedented easing. “Each country can take care of itself through its own monetary policy,” Hamada, 77, said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. South Korean officials “shouldn’t blame the Japanese central bank, they should demand the Korean central bank have a proper monetary policy,” he said. South Korean exporters such as Hyundai Motor Co. stand to lose ground to Japanese rivals because of the yen’s 20 percent slide against the dollar in the past six months. The currency’s decline is adding to the risk of deteriorating relations between the nations, after South Korean Finance Minister Hyun Oh Seok said last month that the weak yen is a bigger economic risk than North Korean threats. In other words, it’s every country for itself. Buy gold with confidence. Reason #2: Declining Global Gold Productioncenter_img David Galland Managing Director Casey Research As Doug Casey has often pointed out, mining is a hated industry. Starting up a new mine, or even expanding an existing one, is viewed in much the same light as starting up a nuclear plant on a geological fault. As a result, despite prices having better than quadrupled over the past decade, gold mine production has peaked and is trending down. Even Chile, a country that has seen its fortunes substantially improved thanks to its mineral legacy, is now turning its back on the miners. This from Reuters yesterday… OPPOSITION TO MINING PROJECTS Opposition by environmental, indigenous and community groups to mega mining and power projects has led to a series of setbacks to billion dollar investments in Chile, the world’s No. 1 copper producer. Despite being one of Latin America’s most stable, prosperous countries, Chile suffers from high levels of income inequality, and many in the Andean nation feel a mining boom has bypassed them and harmed the environment. Pascua-Lama is one of the most unpopular mining endeavors in Chile. Many opponents are incensed that it has produced environmental harm and are particularly worried about the project’s effects on glaciers. Climate change has shrunk Andean glaciers between 30 and 50 percent since the 1970s and could melt many of them away altogether in coming years, according to a study published in January in the journal The Cryosphere. Separately, Chile’s judiciary is seen taking all of 2013 to weigh the indigenous allegations against the project, setting the stage for a protracted, costly legal battle. Critics say unclear Chilean regulations have contributed to a legal limbo that has led to the suspension of plans for hydropower projects in Patagonia, thermoelectric plants across the country and major copper mines high in the Andes. Here’s the entire article. Now, just to be clear, Pascua-Lama is located between 12,500 and 17,000 feet high… altitudes that are just shy of being fatal to the human species. The idea that there is a thriving community of “indigenous” people living the life at that altitude is a bad joke. The point is this: if a company is willing to actually spend the $8.5 billion required to bring a mine into production in a purportedly mining-friendly country in a remote corner that would otherwise be uninhabited, and it is blocked, then what are the odds of the industry being able to continue to move new projects into the pipeline? Somewhere between slim and none, and Slim just keeled over from altitude sickness. Reason #3:  Physical Demand While no one can say with complete certainty when the bottom will be put in for gold, there is abundant evidence that at a price of under $1,400, there is a deep well spring of demand. Support for this contention is abundant – for example, just this week… Asia gold demand to hit quarterly record, absorb ETF outflow-WGC LONDON, May 29 (Reuters) Asian gold demand from this April to June will reach a quarterly record as bullion consumers in the region take possession of supply freed up by selling from exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Wednesday. Gold prices fell to their lowest in more than two years at $1,321.35 an ounce in mid-April on signs of economic improvement in main markets and fears that central banks around the world could start to curtail their bullion-friendly policy measures. The council expects Indian gold imports to reach 350-400 tonnes in the second quarter, 200 percent higher than a year earlier and almost half of last year’s total imports. This also compares to imports of 256 tonnes in the first quarter of 2013. “We now definitely expect Indian demand to come in at the upper end of the 865 tonnes to 965 tonnes range that we had previously forecast for 2013 because of the effect of what happened in April,” Grubb said. Grubb said as net imports of gold into China reached around 160-170 tonnes in April alone and physical demand shows no sign of abating, total off take this year could reach more than 880 tonnes. This compares to a previous forecast of 780-880 tonnes. The implication is that the market is able to calculate the value proposition of owning gold over paper and, below $1,400, is clearly choosing gold. And it’s not just individuals, but institutional investors and even central banks. There are other reasons for the base case for gold remaining intact, including the very real potential of a black-swan event related to the mega-trillion dollars in derivative positions, but the combination of locked-in currency debasement, pressure on supply, and pent-up demand gives me all the reason I need to continue viewing short-term fluctuations to the downside with no concern, other than as a potential opportunity to add to positions. Friday Funnies High School 1957 vs. 2012 Scenario 1: Jack goes duck hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck’s gun rack. 1957 – Vice principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack. 2012 – School goes into lockdown, FBI is called, Jack is hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors are called in for traumatized students and teachers. Scenario 2: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school. 1957 – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies. 2012 – Police is called and SWAT team arrives – they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it. Scenario 3: Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students. 1957 – Jeffrey is sent to the principal’s office and given a good paddling by the principal. He then returns to class, sits still, and does not disrupt class again. 2012 – Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The family gets extra money (SSI) from the government because Jeffrey has a disability. Scenario 4: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car, and his dad gives him a whipping with his belt. 1957 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman. 2012 – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse, Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy’s sister that she remembers being abused herself, and their dad goes to prison. Billy’s mom has an affair with the psychologist. Scenario 5: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school. 1957 – Mark shares his aspirin with the principal out on the smoking dock. 2012 – The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons. Scenario 6: Pedro fails high school English. 1957 – Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, and goes to college. 2012 – Pedro’s cause is taken up by the state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files a class-action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro’s English teacher. English is then banned from the core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway, but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English. Scenario 7: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, and blows up a red ant bed. 1957 – Ants die. 2012 – ATF, Homeland Security, and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents, and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny’s dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again. Scenario 8: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him. 1957 – In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing. 2012 – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces three years in state prison. Johnny undergoes five years of therapy. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. It’s No Fun Getting Old My new neighbor is single and lives right across the street. I can see her house from my living room. I watched as she got home from work this evening. I was surprised when she walked across the street in the rain and up my driveway. She knocked on my door. I rushed to open it. She looked at me and said, “I just got home, and I have this strong urge to have a good time, get drunk, and have sex all night long! Are you busy tonight?” I immediately replied, “Nope, I’m free… I have no plans at all!” Then she said, “Good! In that case, would you look after my dog?” It’s no fun being old!!! And With That… I’ll sign off for the week by thanking you for reading and for being a Casey Research subscriber. Before I duck, I will also remind you that registration is now open for the only Casey Research Summit to be held this year – and it’s going to be a great one. The faculty, led off by Dr. Ron Paul, is truly exceptional. Most speakers, including Dr. Paul, are scheduled to participate side by side with attendees throughout the entire event as we systematically examine the truth behind today’s global economy and investment markets. The dates are October 4, 5 & 6, the location is Tucson, Arizona. Here’s a link to learn more and to sign up today while the early-bird registration pricing still applies. Until next time…last_img read more

In This Issue   Bias to sell dollars remains w

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Bias to sell dollars remains weak. *  One more day until D-Day. *  London calling. *  James Rickards on a Gold Manipulation end. And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Will We, or Won’t We? Good day.  And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, looky here! It’s Rocktober 16th! 16 days in Rocktober have flown by very quickly, leading us to tomorrow, the 17th, when all hell is supposed to break loose. China, the U.S.’s largest creditor, sent a message to the U.S. lawmakers urging them to raise the debt ceiling, and the Tea Party responded, “Butt out”  Recall, that I told you a couple of weeks ago, that this was all going to get ugly, and it appears to be heading in that direction in a  hurry! “The U.S. must shoulder its responsibility as the world’s biggest economy and holder of the main reserve currency and take concrete measures before Oct. 17 to avoid a default,” said Deputy Finance Minister, Zhu Guangyao. He then went on to mention the Tea Party. Well, those may end up being fightin’ words!  But. before this tempest in a teacup gets blown out of proportion, let me say that I personally don’t think China is that concerned with the U.S. defaulting, but instead look at this as a chance to lay down the soundtrack that will be played over and over again in the future, when they can remind everyone that they tried to warn the U.S. but they failed to listen. So. Here we are, at the precipice of what could be a very momentous, historical event. That I still think is just a bunch of drama, just like it was in 2011 and what did we get out of that hand wringing, sweat dripping, sawdust on the floor, drama? Well, we got some debt cuts on future spending increases over the next 10 years. Was it really worth losing our AAA rating with S&P over that? Well, the ratings agency Fitch says their AAA rating for the U.S. is “under watch”. The Treasury Bond market isn’t fazed by all of this, as yields remain steady Eddie. The U.S. dollar also isn’t too fazed by all of this, as the dollar index remains around 80. U.S. stocks seem to be caught in the middle, but all the trading in these assets, seems to be muted, as if there’s a “lock-down order” on them. Now, I don’t know who could put a “lock-down order” on stocks and bonds, do you? ” HA!  Gold seems to be the only asset class that has really taken it on the chin with the U.S. dangling a default in front of the markets’ eyes.  To me, someone who normally thinks logically about stuff, seeing the reality of a situation long before most, I would think that stocks, bonds and the dollar would be getting the snot knocked out them, while Gold would be soaring.  My longtime friend, and one-time mentor in bond trading, Ed Bonawitz, always used to remind me that the “markets are never wrong”. You can think you are so right, and the markets are wrong, but the markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent. So. This is what we have to work with these days. Of course tomorrow could be a whole different ballgame. Remember what the rock group Pink Floyd sang about. “It’s a battle of words, and most of them are lies”. Man, the lawmakers must be sitting around with their IPods and headphones, listening to Pink Floyd!  HA! Right, and my first wife was a young Elizabeth Taylor, yeah, that’s the ticket! The great Steely Dan song, Black Friday, is playing right now.. That could very well be playing out in a couple of days, eh? When Black Friday comes, I’ll collect everything I’m owed, And before my friends find out, I’ll be on the road.  Oh, and this is great! That song was followed by Kansas doing “play that game tonight”. That’s exactly what the lawmakers will be doing tonight!  Remember what the analyst told us last week about what happens when you attempt to wait until the 11th hour to do a deal? That things could go awry, and then no deal is done!   This is the risk in the markets, although, as I said above, I just don’t see this default happening, now that is. So. the bias to sell dollars remains in the markets this morning, but as I said above, it is muted. The euro recovered its lost ground yesterday, and has added a bit today, while the Aussie dollar (A$) is also up a bit. Gold did a quick recovery yesterday morning, gaining back the $20 it was down when I was writing. That was an interesting move for Gold, given that the 4 previous days, it got taken down about the same time each morning. The shiny metal is off a couple of bucks today. Well, the $20 hit that Gold was taking on yesterday morning, was reversed in the early hours trading on Tuesday. So, for once, the trading pattern of early morning (when NY Traders arrive) taking Gold to the woodshed, didn’t happen yesterday.  Were the NY Traders still making their way home from Hamptons?  That would be my guess! But the analysts that refuse to see the truth, would tell us that the price action in Gold is all about whether the markets believe the U.S. will default.  The trading pattern would then lend itself to be one of: buy Gold if it appears the U.S. won’t default, and they will continue to build debt, and print money, and sell Gold if it appears that the U.S. will default. All last week, as we experienced Groundhog Day over and over again, it appeared as though lawmakers would be happy to brings us to the doorstep of default.  And yesterday, it appeared that a deal was in the making. But NOOOOOOOO! I always check the headlines of the Drudge Report each afternoon. The Headlines, in most cases, are better than the actual stories, and yesterday afternoon, one of the headlines read: “It’s All Fallen Apart”  Now, that’s not going to give anyone a warm and fuzzy, eh? OK, let’s talk about something else, this debt/ default stuff is giving me a rash!  Oh! How about the story on the Bloomberg this morning talking about the U.K. joining Taiwan and Hong Kong as a country that will be able to take part in a program allowing offshore renminbi / yuan to be invested in Chinese securities. An $13 Billion (in dollar terms) quota for investors in London to buy onshore assets was approved by China overnight. Folks, I don’t know of any other way I can tell you, other than the way I’ve told you for the last few years. This is just another step China is taking to eventually get to an internationally traded currency. Remember how I told you last month that China had opened the pilot areas where the renminbi / yuan can be converted.  I think that China has really stepped up the pace of their plans to remove the dollar as the reserve currency of the world, and replace it with the renminbi / yuan. China is finally opening up their financial sector. They have removed the dollar’s relevancy in the terms of trade in countries throughout the world, they have become the world’s creditor, they have begun to allow convertibility of their currency. It’s all right there before our eyes, folks. Oh. And China allowed the renminbi/ yuan to reach a 20 year high VS the dollar (low in their price number, remember renminbi is a European priced currency, which means that the lower the price number goes, the more value it returns)  In the past year, we’ve had so many renminbi investors lose their patience, and sell. Well, if they held renminbi long enough, they had some nice gains to take. But, to eventually hold the reserve currency of the world? Isn’t that worth waiting for? There was a good story on MarketWatch yesterday, that caught my eye. The title read: 5- Countries Whose Bonds Are Safer Than Treasuries. Let’s listen in to a bit of what the writer, Brett Arends has to say here:  “According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the U.S. government’s net debt is now 89% of gross domestic product. By contrast, Germany-often thought of as Europe’s most financially sound nation-has net debts of only 56% of GDP. But if you want really, really safe, you should look a little further north of there-or a long way south. Scandinavian countries, and the Antipodes, have the best financial picture of all. New Zealand’s net debt is just 29% of its economy, and Australia’s is just 13%, according to the IMF. The Governments of Sweden and Norway are actually sitting on net assets. In other words, their Governments’ assets exceed their liabilities. Norway has by far the strongest finances on the block. If you imagined a country that managed its financial affairs perfectly, it would look like that. Seriously.” -Brett Arends Chuck again, the other country he mentions in his story was Denmark, who’s debt runs a mere 10% of GDP.  Now. the only country I think he missed here, and probably because it’s viewed as a closed economy that’s difficult to deal in, and that would be China. Whenever I go out on the road and talk about ways to diversify, I always talk about foreign bonds and stocks, but mostly about foreign bonds. Many long time readers know that I got my feet wet in the foreign markets by being a foreign bond trader for the old Mark Twain Bank. So, foreign bonds are part of me. The way I always told the salespeople to talk to investors about foreign bonds is that it’s an excellent diversification tool, and gives you a longer view on a country and a currency, while hopefully giving you a pickup in yield over U.S. deposits. At EverBank, our NASD affiliate brokerage firm, EverTrade Direct, executes foreign bonds and stocks. Brokerage is not Bank, and they are not deposits of the bank, but that doesn’t make them any less of a great diversification tool! OK. that was a nice change of pace, talking about foreign bonds, eh?  It’s funny, but when people stop me and ask me to list my best currencies, the list looks pretty much like the one that Brett Arends listed. So, there you go! I found it interesting that New Zealand was on his list. The do have a smallish debt to GDP ratio, but their Current Account Deficit is not good, and has been weighing on the currency (kiwi) ever since the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) had to make the 2 emergency rate cuts a couple of years ago to help out after the earthquakes in New Zealand. Well, last night, New Zealand printed their latest CPI (consumer inflation), and it surprised to the upside! OK. I’ve been telling you that the recent data, and RBNZ talk is that it’s about time to reverse the emergency rate cuts, well. This data doesn’t water down that talk one bit. In fact, I think it is just another notch in the rate hike belt for early 2014, and those that are seeing this, like I have seen it, are pushing kiwi higher each day. Before I head to the Big Finish this morning, I thought I would share this funny with you from Jay Leno last Friday night. “It is now day 11 of the government shutdown and we knew sooner or later something like this was going to happen. Despite the national parks being shut down, several men were severely mauled by bears yesterday. But enough about the New York Giants” – Jay Leno For What It’s Worth. OK, long time readers know that I truly appreciate the things James Rickards has to say. And this morning, I have a couple of snippets from an interview that was on the GATA website with James Rickards, talking about Gold manipulation. Let’s listen in. “Central bank manipulation of gold markets can and will last until physical shortages become so acute that banks and exchanges can no longer deliver on futures and forward contacts when requested by customers. At that point, contracts will be terminated and exchanges will order that trading be conducted “for liquidation only” which means that futures customers can close out or rollover contacts, but they cannot receive physical delivery of gold. The signs that the manipulation is coming to an end will include depletion of warehouses, price spikes and notifications from banks that they will no longer allow the conversion of gold forward contacts into physical gold.” – James Rickards Chuck again. When asked if he anticipated an overnight ending of manipulation or a progressive process, James Rickards replied: “Both. The process will proceed slowly at first, then gain momentum, then reach a panic buying stage where the termination of deliveries under futures and forward contacts will be announced very suddenly. At that point, physical gold will be scarce and interested parties will not be able to acquire it in small quantities at any price.” Chuck again x 2. I would pay attention to what James Rickards has to say folks. That just my opinion, of course!  But who else has come out with this scenario? To recap. We’re down to the last day before the expiration of the extraordinary measures that are keeping the country paying its bills.  The markets don’t believe a default will happen, and neither does Chuck, although he does admit there is a risk that an 11th hour deal might fail. Fitch puts the U.S. AAA rating on watch. that should have sent Treasuries to the woodshed, but it didn’t. New Zealand CPI printed stronger than expected, thus putting everything in alignment for a rate hike early in 2014, pushing kiwi higher. Currencies today 10/16/13. American Style: A$ .9535, kiwi .8420, C$ .9645, euro 1.3560, sterling 1.6045, Swiss $1.0985, . European Style: rand 9.96, krone 6.0050, SEK 6.4975, forint 218.20, zloty 3.0770, koruna 18.9350, RUB 32.23, yen 98.30, sing 1.2440, HKD 7.7545, INR 61.84, China 6.1408, pesos 12.96, BRL 2.1775, Dollar Index 80.34, Oil $101.36, 10-year 2.72%, Silver $21.23, Platinum $1,391.60, Palladium $708.85, and Gold. $1,281.50 That’s it for today. My beloved Cardinals moved within one win of going to the World Series. We were here last year too, with a 3-1 games lead, and lost 3 consecutive games to the Giants, I hope that they learned something from last year. It’s an afternoon game today, so I’ll actually get to see the whole game! Let’s hope it’s something I want to see! Jen is out in LA to attend the game today, now that should be fun! I was asked to go, but I’ve been having too many problems with my stomach to risk a 4 hour flight! So, I sent Jen, who is the biggest baseball fan I’ve ever met, for a female that is! The morning air was quite chilly when I walked across the bridge from the garage today. I guess it’s time to get out the jacket. UGH! Because I know what follows that.  And soon I’ll be complaining about how cold it is, and how I want to go where it’s warm! So, you have that to look forward to! HA!  Hey.. go out and have a Wonderful Wednesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

The same pattern has played out again and again ar

first_imgThe same pattern has played out again and again around the world and throughout history. The worse a government’s fiscal health gets, the more destructive its policies become.This is the root of political risk.It’s no secret that political risk is snowballing in many parts of the world. This is especially true in the US and Europe, where welfare and warfare spending continues unabated. It doesn’t matter which party is in power.But no matter where you live, international diversification can greatly reduce the threat your home government poses to your personal and financial well-being.You know the benefits of diversifying your investment portfolio. If you put all of your asset eggs in one basket, you could lose your entire portfolio if that basket breaks.The same idea applies to political risk. If your home country “breaks”—and turns to the destructive policies I just mentioned—you could lose everything.Most people have medical, life, fire, and car insurance. You hope you never have to use these policies, but you have them anyway. They give you peace of mind and protect you if and when the worst does happen.International diversification is the ultimate insurance policy against an out-of-control government. Think of it as “freedom insurance.”It frees you from absolute dependence on any one country. Achieve that freedom, and it becomes very difficult for any group of bureaucrats to control you.The results can be life-changing. Recommended Link [EXPIRES MIDNIGHT] Today is your last chance to get the top pick of one of the most successful analysts in Bill Bonner’s network… and lock in a free year of one of his most popular research services. Click here for all the details. — Justin’s note: As longtime readers know, owning gold for the long term is one of our core recommendations here at Casey Research. And it’s now more important than ever. That’s because every day, the window to protect your personal and financial freedom closes a bit more.Today, we’re handing the reins to Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno to explain why… By Nick Giambruno, editor, Crisis InvestingIt’s predictable…A government in need of cash will turn to destructive “solutions.”Money printing, higher taxes, and more regulations often come first. Unfortunately, these are just the hors d’oeuvres before a 10-course meal.As they become increasingly desperate, governments implement increasingly destructive policies. This might include capital controls, price controls, people controls, official currency devaluations, wealth confiscations, retirement account nationalizations, and more. Less than 10 people in the world know about thisTrue breakthroughs rarely happen in the world of market trading… But this is one of them. Developed in secrecy over five years, it’s a never-before-seen indicator of short-term stock profit opportunities. Only a handful of people know about this data-proven 93.5%-accurate way of picking future market wins… But now we’re throwing back the veil on it — so that YOU can get rich. Discover it now by clicking here. The Easiest First StepIt’s crucial to place some of your savings beyond the easy reach of your home government. It keeps that government from trapping your money if and when it implements capital controls or outright asset seizures. Any government can do either without warning.The ultimate way to diversify your savings is to transfer it out of the immediate reach of your home government and into something tangible.Something that cannot be easily confiscated, nationalized, frozen, or devalued at the drop of a hat or with a couple of taps on the keyboard—while retaining as much privacy as legally possible.Something whose value is recognized around the world and is not controlled by any government.Gold (and silver) fit the bill perfectly.There is nothing particularly American, Chinese, Russian, or European about gold. Different civilizations have used it as money for millennia. It’s always been an inherently international asset.Buying gold is perhaps the easiest step you can take towards diversifying your savings.When you buy gold, you trade in paper money—which the government can devalue and confiscate at will—for a hard asset that’s been a stable store of value for thousands of years.Gold is universally valued. Its worth doesn’t depend on any government.In other words, simply buying gold is the easiest way to lessen the political risk to your savings.Freedom InsuranceSomehow, someway, your home government will keep squeezing your pocketbook harder. It will keep subjecting you to escalating, arbitrary, and burdensome regulations and restrictions.Expect more government and less freedom all around.With each passing week, the window to protect your personal and financial freedom closes a bit more.Fortunately, you don’t need to be hostage to a desperate and out-of-control government.International diversification is a time-tested route to freedom. Wealthy people around the world have used it for centuries to effectively protect their money and their families.Buying gold is an important first step.Regards,Nick GiambrunoEditor, Crisis InvestingP.S. Buying gold is where to start. But there’s much more to do…The US government gets bigger, more invasive, and more aggressive by the day. But you can take concrete steps to protect yourself from this hostile giant.That’s why New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and I just released an urgent video that explains more about the crisis that’s about to hit America…and why it’s so important that you take action today.You can learn more right here. Recommended Link —last_img read more

After Inventing the Checkin Foursquare Pivots With Efforts to Sell its Location

first_img Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Add to Queue This story originally appeared on Business Insider –shares The New York-based company’s main business is now licensing its location data to other companies like American Express and Land Rover. Next Article After Inventing the Check-in, Foursquare Pivots With Efforts to Sell its Location Superpowers to Everyone Foursquare has gone through a profound transformation since it popularized the concept of the “check-in” back in 2009.The New York-based company’s main business is now licensing its location data to other companies like American Express, Pinterest and Land Rover. When you use a geofilter in Snapchat or type a venue name into Uber, you’re using Foursquare data.What’s led so many companies to rely on Foursquare’s location technology?For starters, there are the more than 10 billion check-ins that Foursquare’s 50 million monthly users have registered to date. But the company’s real “superpower,” according to founder and chairman Dennis Crowley, is something called Pilgrim. And starting Wednesday, Foursquare is making Pilgrim available to all apps for the first time.“We live in a world today where people are building things based off of basic GPS coordinates,” Crowley told Business Insider during a recent interview. With Pilgrim, Foursquare can give other apps and marketers “specific awareness of context in space” — a “big idea” Crowley said will “take time for people to wrap their heads around.”While traditional GPS can see when a phone enters a mall, Foursquare’s Pilgrim technology is able to understand that the phone is on the second floor of said mall and inside a J Crew store for the second time. It’s by analyzing this data that Foursquare has been able to accurately predict everything from iPhone to Chipotle sales.Crowley envisions other companies using Pilgrim to send notifications like hyper-specific coupons and even create Pokémon Go-like games that “change based upon where you bring your phone.” Foursquare’s main app has been using Pilgrim for years to send custom-tailored recommendations based on where its users go in the real world.For Crowley, who first made his name by selling his location-based social network Dodgeball to Google in 2005, opening up Pilgrim is the culmination of Foursquare’s seven-year history. While the company won’t disclose actual numbers, Crowley said that “revenue is growing nicely” and that the business is in “a really healthy spot right now.”“We always thought that someone would come along and make something like the Pilgrim SDK and we would just use it,” he said. “I don’t think we imagined way back in the day that we would be the company to actually bring this to market.” Tech Reporter for Business Insider Image credit: Foursquare 3 min read Foursquare March 2, 2017 Alex Heath Foursquare’s Steven Rosenblatt (president), Dennis Crowley (founder and executive chairman), Jeff Glueck (CEO). Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

The Winners and Losers in Amazons Whole Foods Deal

first_img Image credit: Whole Foods Market The Winners and Losers in Amazon’s Whole Foods Deal –shares Next Article Consumers win. But other grocery stores? Not so much. Add to Queue Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Mergers and Acquisitions When Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar store in 2015 on the campus of Purdue University in Indiana and then in December announced its first Amazon Go check-out free convenience store in Seattle, people wondered what on earth the online retailing giant was doing experimenting in the physical world it disrupted in the first place.Now, Amazon’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods Market tells us that the Seattle company wants a big slice of the $674-billion U.S. grocery market (and while Whole Foods’ revenue, approximately $16 billion in 2016, is but a fraction of the entire grocery market, Amazon’s price setting status in the American retail landscape will cause reverberations throughout the grocery econsystem). The deal is the largest manifestation yet of the omni-channel, or in this case, “clicks-to-bricks” trend, in which online retailers seek to optimize the customer experience by augmenting a strong online presence with physical retail stores. In this case, Amazon is dramatically changing the grocery landscape for all those involved (consumers, vendors, distributors, competitors and related companies).Related: Amazon Is Buying Whole Foods for a Whopping $13.7 Billion — Is It a Good Deal?It’s easy to imagine that Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos’ obsession with single focus, ruthless efficiency will be brought to bear on the firm’s grocery technology. This, after all, is the company that uses machine learning and algorithms to know what you want before you do. As Narvar CEO Amit Sharma wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “Retailers need to think more like tech companies, using artificial intelligence and machine learning not just to predict how to stock stores and staff shifts but also to dynamically recommend products and set prices that appeal to individual consumers.” Amazon’s Whole Foods deal will make that a reality.In addition, fitting with its broader strategy, the acquisition will help Amazon’s further penetration of the millennial generation. Amazon and Whole Foods are tailor made for the millennial cohort — aged from 18 to 35 and now the single-largest generation in America. It’s a generation that was raised online that embraces the healthy food trend and they’re already dynamic residents of the organic/natural food space where Whole Foods has a decades-old nationwide brand. A survey by the Organic Trade Association found that more than half of parents who buy organic food regularly are millennials, compared to a little more than a third of Gen Xers and 14 percent of baby boomers. Related: Amazon Discounts Prime for Low-Income ShoppersWith its private label line 365 Everyday Value, its antibiotic- and hormone-free meats, and its priority on animal welfare, Whole Foods is popular among millennials who have a strong social conscience and like to purchase socially responsible products. Furthermore, Whole Food’s smaller store format, called 365, is specifically targeted at millennials, reflecting their preference for smaller stores in urban environments that incorporate technology.The deal also likely provides a logistics and distribution strategy play for Amazon. Whole Foods gives Amazon a network of 450 stores in 42 states, which can effectively become mini-distribution centers for groceries and potentially other retail items as well. Since 2007, Amazon has learned about the grocery business through its Amazon Fresh grocery delivery unit. By acquiring Whole Foods, millennials can now blend two shopping habits — seeing and touching products at a local store and conveniently ordering online. It may be that your dried kale with sesame will soon be delivered by drone from that local store.So, who are the winners and losers?The big winner in the deal is the American consumer. Amazon is known for offering hyper-competitive prices, so groceries, and organic food in particular, may become more affordable. Ordering groceries that will be quickly delivered will also become a whole lot easier, especially for homes that are using other Amazon products such as Echo. Soon, you will just have to say you want some cage-free eggs and a bottle of kombucha to make it a reality.Related: Amazon Awarded Patent for Parachute Shipping LabelCompanies that are major suppliers to Whole Foods — which has struggled lately as everyone from Kroger to Walmart has added organic foods to meet growing demand — may be big winners or huge losers. Amazon will crunch mountains of data to draw conclusions about what’s working, what should be kicked to the curb and what fits its broader strategy. For example, suppliers to Amazon’s growing number of private label brands may benefit as these products may now be placed at Whole Foods. Among the growing list of brands Amazon owns that could sell at the grocery stores are Mama Bear organic baby food and Happy Belly, which sells such things as nuts, granola, eggs and coffee. Over and above the general margin pressure that all vendors will face, as Amazon pushes its own brands at stores, traditional consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies currently selling at Whole Foods may suffer.Perhaps the biggest losers are other grocery stores, be they national chains or local, one-off neighborhood stores. This is the moment Amazon stops dabbling in the groceries segment and gets competitive. In the past, when Amazon has sought to win a new business, whether that’s books or clothing, it’s driven prices lower. Grocers, from Safeway and Kroger to Walmart and Target, will have to withstand increased price pressure and will have to redouble efforts to evaluate, adapt and enhance their digital and delivery offerings too. Lastly, home food delivery services, which have multiplied in recent years, may find their models under siege.Finally, this move may be part of an even larger strategy at Amazon that could create even more winners and losers down the line. After all, it’s hard to imagine that this is the last traditional retail industry that Amazon will disrupt. Companies working in everything from home improvement to drug stores should sit up and take notice. 5 min read Guest Writer June 19, 2017 Craig Lawson Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Co-Founder and Managing Director at MHT Partners Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalslast_img read more

Laptop Buying Tips Part 2

first_imgTechnology Laptop Buying Tips, Part 2 Brought to you by PCWorld Add to Queue –shares June 25, 2008 Last week I kicked off a three-part series of articles offering tips for buying a laptop. James A. Martincenter_img 6 min read Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Register Now » In the first installment, I compared reader survey results from PC World and Consumer Reports (subscription required) regarding which laptop makers offered the most reliable products, and the best service and support. Lenovo and Apple earned the most kudos in these areas, though there was some variation between the two surveys regarding the reliability of Apple laptops.This week I consider top choices from those vendors (and others), plus the best times to buy a new laptop. Next week I’ll discuss the best places to buy a new laptop; how much should you expect to pay; and ideas for financing your new portable.Lenovo ThinkPad X61Best Buy, PC World Top 10 Ultraportable Laptops: reviewCurrent online pricing: $1535 and upLenovo’s ThinkPad X61 earned the overall best PCW rating (84) of any Lenovo or Apple laptop currently on any PC World Top 10 laptop chart. (The charts feature power laptops, desktop replacements, and ultraportables.) Only the Micro Express IFL9025, the Top 10 Power Laptops Best Buy, earned a higher rating (85).The ThinkPad X61 is an ideal ultraportable. It weighs only 3.6 pounds, and its extended-life, four-cell battery lasted an impressive 6 hours, 14 minutes in our tests. With a PCW WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 75, it’s the best performing of our currently tested ultraportables. (By comparison, Apple’s MacBook Air earned a WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 57.There are a few downsides: The ThinkPad X61 lacks an internal optical drive, and the keyboard has an eraserhead pointing device but no touchpad. Overall, though, we found the X61 to be an excellent choice from a company with solid reliability and service scores.Acer Aspire 5920-6954Best Buy, Top 10 All-Purpose Laptops: reviewCurrent online pricing: about $800 and upAcer didn’t receive the same high ratings in service and reliability from PC World readers as did Apple and Lenovo. But the company was rated better-than-average in one out of four reliability measures and two out of four service criteria. None of the other laptop makers (aside from Apple and Lenovo) fared as well. Add that to the fact that this laptop earned the highest PCW score (83) of any Acer portable, and the Aspire 5920-6954 is worth adding to your short list.The Acer Aspire 5920-6954’s under-$1000 price tag is compelling. This laptop offers just about anything you’d want in a budget portable, including a roomy hard drive (250GB in our test unit); an HDMI port for high-definition video; a terrific keyboard; and–a rarity for a laptop in this price range–a dedicated graphics processor (nVidia GeForce 8600M GS with 256MB of memory).At 7.3 pounds, the Aspire 5920-6954 is a bit of a back breaker, and its battery life was average, at 3.8 hours in our tests. But it offers good performance (WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score: 70) at a price we love.Apple MacBook ProNo. 6, Top 10 Power Laptops: reviewCurrent online pricing: about $1950 and upIf you’re a die-hard Windows user who wouldn’t ordinarily consider a MacBook, consider this: The 17-inch MacBook Pro set new speed records last year as the fastest Windows laptop in our tests to date. (The MacBook Pro’s record has since been broken.) Add to that Apple’s excellent ratings for reliability and service in our reader survey, and you’ve got a compelling power laptop.The MacBook Pro earned an overall PCW score of 80, which is very good. The laptop is packed with features, including an elegant design that’s only 1-inch thick, solid graphics performance, and the fabulous Mac OS X Leopard. At 6.6 pounds, The MacBook Pro is among the lightest 17-inch notebooks available.Apple didn’t pack everything into the MacBook Pro. It lacks memory card slots, has only three USB ports, doesn’t offer a cellular broadband option, and comes with an ExpressCard/34 slot instead of a more versatile ExpressCard/54 slot. Battery life was so-so, lasting just 2 hours, 45 minutes on one charge. Still, this gorgeous laptop makes an excellent desktop replacement.When to BuyYou need to consider several factors if you want to time your laptop purchase to get the best deal.Often, laptop prices are discounted in late January to February during inventory clearance, in July and August for back-to-school shoppers, and during the year-end holiday season.Existing laptop models are often discounted when the cheaper-faster-better version is announced or ships. This happens throughout the year, so it’s harder to time. If you have a particular laptop maker in mind, consider researching its product introduction cycles for clues as to when to buy.For example, Apple updates its MacBook Pro lineup approximately every eight to nine months. The first MacBook Pro was announced January 10, 2006, followed by subsequent models nine months later (October 2006), eight months later (June 2007), and then again, another eight months later (February 2008).If history is any indication, then, it’s likely Apple will refresh the MacBook Pro lineup in October or November 2008. Later this year you may find suddenly discontinued MacBook Pro models available at attractive discounts.I’ve covered this topic in more detail in “When to Buy a Laptop.”Mobile Computing News, Reviews & TipsApple’s Tempting iPhone 3G: If you held off on the first-generation iPhone, the new iPhone 3G may finally tempt you. PC World’s Melissa J. Perenson offers five reasons to consider the second-generation smart phone from Apple, including price (the 8GB iPhone is $199, down from $399); the faster Web experience; and improved support for international use.Are Smart Phones Security Risks? A new survey says that smart phones may pose a greater security risk than laptops or mobile storage devices. According to the survey, nine in ten smart phones are given access to company networks without extra security measures. The result: Smart phones can make it easy for thieves who steal them to access confidential information.XM Radio on BlackBerrys: Owners of any RIM BlackBerry with version 4.2 or later of the BlackBerry operating system can now listen to a limited version of XM’s satellite radio service on their handheld regardless of their wireless carrier. Expect to pay about $8 monthly for a service with 20 XM channels, mostly rock and pop.Contributing Editor James A. Martin offers tools, tips, and product recommendations to help you make the most of computing on the go. Martin is also author of the Traveler 2.0 blog. Sign up to have the Mobile Computing Newsletter e-mailed to you each week. Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Next Article last_img read more

Bitcoin Is Now Tax Free in Europe

first_img Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Bitcoin –shares Matt Clinch Bitcoin Is Now Tax Free in Europe Next Article Virtual currencies can be exchanged tax free in the European Union, following a ruling from the highest court in Europe on Thursday.Bitcoin and its alternatives can now be treated in the same way as traditional money, according to the European Court of Justice.It said in a statement Thursday morning that bitcoin transactions “are exempt from VAT (value-added tax) under the provision concerning transactions relating to currency, bank notes and coins used as legal tender.”The ruling comes after a dispute in a Swedish court when David Hedqvist, a Swedish national, applied for permission to operate his online bitcoin exchange. The Swedish Revenue Law Commission initially told Hedqvist that bitcoin was exempt from VAT but the Swedish Tax Authority appealed against that decision.Bitcoin is a virtual currency that allows users to exchange online credits for goods and services. While there is no central bank that issues them, bitcoins can be created online by using a computer to complete difficult tasks, a process known as mining.The ruling paves the way for potentially cheaper transactions within the EU and therefore a boon for the nascent industry. Jonathan Rogers, partner in the financial services regulatory group at international law firm Taylor Wessing sees it as an opportunity for emerging forms of financial services.”(The ruling is) a shot in the arm – bringing growth and consolidation.,” he told CNBC via email.”Greater clarity can now emerge in the debate about how to regulate virtual currencies, leading to increased credibility and consumer confidence; in turn, virtual currencies will have a much greater critical mass in the financial services system.”The price of bitcoin saw a slight increase after the news, rising around 3 percent, close to $8, during Thursdays’ session.In September, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said that bitcoin would be classed as a commodity in the country along with gold and oil.The announcement came as the regulator ordered bitcoin options trading platform Coinflip, and its CEO Francisco Riordan, to cease trading due to it not registering and complying with its regulations. It added that it had also filed, and simultaneously settled, charges against the San Francisco-based firm.—CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this article. Register Now » This story originally appeared on CNBC October 22, 2015 Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Add to Queue 2 min readlast_img read more

Stonewall riots has brought attention to health care needs of LGBTQ people

first_img Source:Rutgers University-New Brunswick Halkitis, the author Out in Time: From Stonewall to Queer, How Gay Men Came of Age Across the Generations, addresses how Stonewall and the AIDS crisis have brought awareness and changes the ways the medical profession addresses health care of LGBTQ people.How did the Stonewall riots empower LGBTQ people to advocate for their health?The riots allowed gay people to say “We exist” and created a demand for health equity. The civil disobedience of Stonewall served as a catalyst to the activism of the AIDS era, which in turn has contributed to the foundations of how public health today emphasizes social justice and health equity.The riots were a boisterous pronouncement by the LGBTQ population that they would no longer hide and that they would not have their health undermined by a system that chose to ignore them. AIDS catapulted this social movement even further: If the health profession had been more attentive, we would have caught AIDS earlier. But no one was watching.As the riots framed the basis for the recognition of gay people as viable members of the population, the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and ’90s created the circumstances by which they would come to demand that the government and society attend to their well-being. Before then, gay people kept silent and were invisible to their doctors, who were unaware they were gay or did not understand the mental health and drug issues they were facing. The AIDS crisis shined a light on the fact that there was this population that needed specific health services beyond what was given to the general population.Related StoriesIncreasing access to mental health services improves outcomes for people with HIVGender inequality bad for everyone’s health finds researchGovernment policy and infrastructure have substantial impact on hospitalization of seniorsWithout Stonewall we would have no AIDS activism, and without AIDS activism we would have no marriage equality-;a social condition that surely has had a beneficial effect on LGBTQ health.How did the riots impact the HIV/AIDS epidemic?There is an unsubstantiated notion that the riots precipitated the HIV epidemic, based on the misconception that gay men began to engage in more promiscuous sexual behaviors after this social revolution. However, gay men were very sexually active well before Stonewall, albeit less openly for fear of prosecution.The challenge in foreseeing the AIDS crisis was due in part to a health care system that was ill-equipped and unwilling to meet the needs of the LGBTQ population. The health burdens faced by LGBTQ people were present before and after the riots and before the first indication of AIDS in 1981, but services were scarce and underfunded.What health care challenges do LGBTQ people face today?The crises of the past are very much the crises of the present. Today’s generation is changing the norms of what it means to be an LGBTQ person, while continuing to shoulder the burden of AIDS, stigma and discrimination faced by their predecessors.The biggest challenge for this generation is finding health care providers who understand their unique health considerations. Gender and sexuality are more fluid today, and LGBTQ people navigate a healthcare industry that is ill-equipped to address their specific issues, such as gender identity, gender-affirming surgery and the social and physical implications that accompany these issues. To this end, Rutgers is working with Garden State Equality on an interactive online map, which will launch next year, that will allow people to find providers who are knowledgeable about LGBTQ health. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 17 2019June 28 marks the 50-year anniversary of the Stonewall riots -; sparked when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York City -; which are credited with launching the gay rights movement.center_img In many ways, the riots also brought attention to the unique health care needs of the gay population and served as a catalyst for the improvements in health care seen today -; though we still have far to go.”Perry N. Halkitis, dean of Rutgers School of Public Health and director of the school’s Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studieslast_img read more

Novel imaging molecule reveals brain changes linked to progressive MS

first_imgThere’s more to multiple sclerosis than white matter lesions. There’s evidence of inflammation in the brain’s grey matter, not just the white matter. Here we have a technique to detect it and a path to develop this technique for use in the clinic in looking for early signs of progression and the effects of treatments.”Corresponding author Tarun Singhal, MD, a neurologist at the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at the Brigham Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 2 2019Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) is a relentless disease. Over time, patients experience worsening physical, mental and mood-related symptoms. And yet, even as their symptoms progress, the brain white matter lesions found on a patient’s MRI scans often remain unchanged. Suspecting that changes in the grey matter regions of the brain may be playing a critical role in the disease’s progression, investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital conducted an initial study assessing the differences in the activity of microglial cells in the grey matter regions of healthy volunteers versus those with MS. Using a novel tracer molecule known as [F-18]PBR06 and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging, the team detected widespread and abnormal activation of microglia in MS patients and a link to brain atrophy, physical disability, and progressive MS. The team’s findings are published in the July 2019 issue of Neurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation, an official journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Currently, there are several disease-modifying drugs on the market to help patients with relapsing remitting MS experience fewer and less severe relapses, but few drugs exist for patients with secondary progressive MS. Investigations to develop new drugs are underway, but many questions remain about the underlying biology of the disease and how it progresses.The new study leverages the novel radioisotope, [F-18]PBR06, a tracer that targets a specific protein (TSPO) found in activated microglia, key immune cells found in the brain. Many other research projects use C-11, an isotope with a much shorter half-life. But, unlike C-11, the F-18 tracer has a significantly longer half-life and a higher potential to be used in the clinic.Related StoriesNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustFor the pilot study, investigators evaluated results for 12 patients with MS — seven with relapsing remitting MS and five with secondary progressive MS — and compared it with healthy controls using the F-18 tracer. They found more grey matter microglial activation in the MS patients as compared to healthy controls, particularly in hippocampus, parahippocampus, cingulate gyrus and amygdala regions of the brain. These regions of the brain are known to influence critical processes, including emotion, memory and cognition, all of which may be affected in MS patients. Brain structures in the deep grey matter, particularly the thalamus, showed higher microglial activation in secondary progressive MS than in the relapsing remitting MS patients and healthy controls. This correlated significantly with physical disability and brain atrophy.The authors note that the pilot study is small and its findings will require additional confirmation in larger studies with a longitudinal design, but it offers the first assessment of [F-18]PBR06 PET for grey matter changes in MS, demonstrating the potential value of this technique.”Unless we can measure the progress of a disease accurately, our ability to treat that disease remains limited,” said Singhal. “When a patient tells us that their symptoms are worsening, we want to have a technology that can reflect that, or better yet, predict the progression before it is clinically obvious. This technique may have the potential to do that and give us critical insights into neurodegeneration and its relationship with neuroinflammation.” Source:Brigham and Women’s HospitalJournal reference:Singhal, T et al. (2019) Gray matter microglial activation in relapsing vs progressive MS A [F-18]PBR06-PET study. Neurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation. doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000587.last_img read more

New project compares soccerspecific tactical performance of male and female players

first_imgWe are looking for similarities and differences between the tactical behavior of women’s and men’s national teams with the aim of drawing comparisons between different countries in Europe. In order to avoid any gender-specific bias in the evaluation we rely on position data instead of the usual video data.” Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 29 2019In modern football, tactics are relevant across all age groups and performance levels. Yet for a long time they have received little attention in the training process. This is why tactical performance today offers such enormous potential. In a new project, sport scientists at the German Sport University Cologne have been comparing the soccer-specific tactical performance of male and female players in Europe with the help of position data. The study is sponsored by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).In the run-up to the Women’s World Cup a provocative advertising spot showed the German women’s footballers with a humorous text based on the cliché that many have probably encountered before: Women’s soccer is different from men’s.”Like amateur football, only in slow motion” says the ad.But humor apart, where objectively do the soccer-style differences lie between men and women, and how do these compare across Europe?Prof. Daniel Memmert is Head of the study: Newly developed key performance indicators and sport informatics analysis methods based on artificial neural networks have been used as objective analysis tools.The project carried out by the Institute of Exercise Training and Sports Informatics was selected by UEFA as one of only six projects (approval rate: 10%) to receive funding. The study’s findings will enable objective conclusions to be drawn about the training of men and women players in their different cultures, thus contributing to the further development and professionalisation of women’s football in the field of tactics, while supporting efforts to promote public awareness of women’s football as an attractive sport on the basis of objective evaluation criteria. Source:German Sport Universitylast_img read more

How to shop for an electric car

first_imgEV-FOCUSED TEST DRIVESWhen you have your short list of cars, make appointments at dealerships for back-to-back test drives. Here are some specific things to note:— An EV is inherently quieter than a gasoline-powered car because its electric motor is dramatically quieter than an engine. But you should still observe how quiet the car is on the highway. Cut the conversation, keep the windows up, and turn off the radio.— Take time to review the car displays that let you monitor the battery, charging and energy usage. They can help you maximize range. Also inquire about smartphone apps that let you check on your vehicle’s charging status.— Get a feel for regenerative braking, which can slow the car significantly as soon as you lift off the accelerator pedal. Most EVs have driver-adjustable levels of regenerative braking, so it might be worth checking your test car to find out which mode it’s in. This undated photo provided by GM shows the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt, an electric car that gets 238 miles of range on a charge. (Jessica Lynn Walker/GM via AP) 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. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Conventional wisdom says that EVs are impractical if they don’t deliver the range of a conventional car. The figure that’s often cited is 300 miles.But that’s gas-car logic, says Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing for Edmunds and an EV owner. Let’s assume this is your second car, as is most often the case. If you plug in overnight with a Level 2 home charger, all you need is a car capable of meeting your daily driving needs. More range requires bigger batteries, and they raise the price of the car significantly.Here are some affordable EVs that deliver 100 miles or more on a charge (prices include destination fees): the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt (238 miles, $37,495); the 2018 Nissan Leaf (151 miles, $30,875); the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric (124 miles, $30,385); and the 2018 Kia Soul EV (111 miles, $33,145). This undated photo provided by Hyundai shows the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric, an affordable electric car that gets 124 miles of range on a charge. (Hyundai North America via AP) This undated photo provided by Nissan shows the 2018 Nissan Leaf. The Leaf has been on the market since 2011 and has received a full redesign for 2018. The Leaf gets 151 miles of range. (Nissan North America via AP) CHECK OUT INCENTIVES AND TAX CREDITSWhile there are lots of incentives and rebates for EV buyers, the federal EV tax credit of up to $7,500 gets the most attention.This credit, however, begins to phase out after manufacturers sell 200,000 qualifying EVs. Tesla hit its 200,000 mark in July, so you would have to take delivery of a Tesla vehicle by December to be eligible for the full credit. GM is expected to sell its 200,000th qualifying car early next year, so Chevrolet Bolt buyers should be poised to act soon, too.Remember that the federal credit is not a discount or rebate. You have to qualify for a car loan and make payments based on the full amount, then file for the credit on your return. CONSIDER LEASINGA way to avoid the tax-credit hassle is to lease the EV. When you do that, the dealer takes the tax credit and applies the savings to your deal.Leasing also shields you from the tendency of electric vehicles to lose more value than conventional cars. Some of the factors depressing EV prices include heavy new-vehicle incentives, low demand and the rapid pace of technological advancements, making new models more attractive.Edmunds says: EVs are steadily becoming more amenable to everyday use. But it’s still vital to study up before you buy or lease one. Citation: How to shop for an electric car (2018, September 26) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-electric-car.html Even though electric vehicles account for just a fraction of overall car sales, they are slowly gaining favor with buyers, particularly as second cars for daily commuting. This undated photo provided by Kia shows the 2018 Kia Soul EV, an electric car that gets 111 miles of range on a charge. (Kia Motors America via AP) Electric cars have benefits, but likely won’t save you money While you’re researching EVs, you’ll deal with the usual considerations, including price, comfort, cargo space and handling. Edmunds’ Best Electric Cars guide can streamline the research.Shopping for an EV also means rethinking your approach to refueling and how far the car can travel between charges. And you’ll need to learn about charging, electric rate plans, and EV incentives and rebates. It’s manageable, though. You’ll find online resources from carmakers, utility companies, EV owner forums, government agencies and EV advocates such as Plug In America.PLAN FOR CHARGINGMost EV owners charge at home. To power up faster, invest in 240-volt, Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).Dealerships can set you up with both the EVSE and installation, or you can shop online and possibly get a better deal. An average cost for the system and professional installation is about $1,750, but it varies by region as well as the specific location of your electrical panel. This figure doesn’t include the cost of any permits or upgrades that your electric service might need. Get estimates of these costs before you finalize your car deal. A good source for home charger information is GoElectricDrive.org.Visit your utility company’s website to see what charging plan will work best for you. Utilities in areas that are popular for EVs have plans that make charging affordable.RETHINK RANGE Explore furtherlast_img read more

TN diaspora to act as anchor to sustain initiatives at investors meetTN

first_img COMMENT Published on economy (general) COMMENTS October 09, 2018 Tamil Nadu government plans to tap the goodwill of the Tamil diaspora, individuals and organisations elsewhere to act as ‘anchors’ to follow up and sustain the initiatives taken at the coming Global Investors Meet 2019.This thought came after a recent visit to the US by a delegation led by State IT Minister M Manikandan to woo investors for the forthcoming Global Investors Meet (GIM)in January 2019.Once a visit is over, it is difficult to follow up on the different initiatives. Hence, there is a plan to anchor such visits, said Tamil Nadu IT Secretary Santhosh Babu.Ideally, government officials in important cities like San Francisco, Austin and Seattle can be appointed. However, a lot of individuals and organisations are there who are willing to act as anchors. The IT department is in discussions with The Indus Entrepreneurs, a Silicon Valley-based non-profit supporting start-ups, and individuals. “We would like to do this after GIM 2019,” he said at CII Connect 2018, a two-day conference and exposition on ICT on the theme, Accelerating Progress: Inclusive Digital Growth. Referring to digital strategy, Babu said, it is not only for business but also for governance. For instance, organisations such as Tamil Nadu eGovernance Agency, TN Arasu Cable TV Corporation, TN FibreNet Corporation, TN Virtual Academy and the Electronics Corporation of TN operate in silos and compete with each other. Measures will be taken to coordinate them, go paperless so other departments too follow, Babu said.On providing end-to-end applications of nearly 200 services to citizens online, Babu said compared to other states, Tamil Nadu lags on this. The industry and government should work together to provide service to citizens at their doorstep. “This is our shared dream,” he said. IT Minister Manikandan said the State government plans to establish IT parks at Ramanathapuram and Cuddalore districts and a Centre of Excellence for Fin Tech at the STPI in Chennai this year. There is also a move to create a tech forum to promote growth in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Machine Learning and electronic hardware manufacturing to provide more employment opportunities.Considering the higher mobile penetration, m-Governance is effectively implemented in the State. To procure IT hardware and software at a competitive price for government departments, it has been proposed to develop an e-market portal at a cost of ₹30 lakh, he said.center_img Tamil Nadu events SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more

Sudha Seshayyan is ViceChancellor of TN medical varsity

first_img COMMENT medical colleges Dr Sudha Seshayyan December 29, 2018 COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAILcenter_img Published on SHARE Dr Sudha Seshayyan, a senior faculty of the prestigious Madras Medical College (MMC), was Saturday appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University.Governor Banwarilal Purohit issued the order appointing her to the post for a term of three years, a Raj Bhavan release here said.Seshayyan, presently the Director and Professor of Institute of Anatomy in the over a century old MMC, has an outstanding academic record with a teaching experience of more than 30 years, it said. She also has rich administrative experience having held various positions, including the post of the Vice-Principal of the MMC, and been a member of premier Editorial Review Board for Grays Anatomy and continues to be a member of the International Advisory Board for reviewing the publication. She had led the team that embalmed late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaas body in 2016. Noted for her Hindu religious discourses and oratory in Tamil, she has for long been a master of ceremonies of key government events, including swearing in functions of new governments. universities and collegeslast_img read more

Jagan reviews Polavaram works accords high priority to the project

first_imgCOMMENTS Andhra Pradesh Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy on Thursday visited the Polavaram project site in West Godavari district and reviewed the progress of works. It was the first time he has visited the site after becoming CM.He was accompanied by the State Irrigation Minister Anil Kumar Yadav, Deputy Chief Minister P. Subhashchandra Bose and Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kannababu.The CM first conducted an aerial survey of the project site and then held a meeting with officials to review the works. Later, he also met people affected by the project and assured them of proper relief and rehabilitation works. He received representations from them.Briefing the media after he left the project site, State Irrigation Minister Anil Kumar Yadav said there was a temporary stoppage of works due to the Godavari floods, but “the works would be taken up after four months and would be completed in a time-bound manner. We are aware that the mega irrigation project on the Godavari is the lifeline of the state and the CM has left clear instructions with officials to take up and complete the works in a time-bound manner.”He said that relief and rehabilitation works would be taken up simultaneously and “for us the proper implementation of R&R package is as important as the speedy construction of the dam. Mostly, Girijans are affected by the project and we will do justice to them and others as well.”State Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kannababu said that without creating any hype the present CM had reviewed the project works and “we will complete the project works in due course.” COMMENT June 20, 2019center_img Published on SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more

Thousands demonstrate in Sudan to mark 40 days since deadly crackdown

first_img Related News World 14 Apr 2019 Head of Sudan’s rapid support forces appointed deputy head of transitional military council {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Thousands of Sudanese demonstrators took to the streets in cities across the country on Saturday, witnesses said, to mark 40 days since security forces stormed a protest camp in the capital Khartoum, killing dozens.The protests were the first since the ruling military council and civilian opposition agreed in principle to a power-sharing arrangement ahead of elections. The deal has yet to be finalised and signed.A meeting between the two sides planned for Saturday was postponed to Sunday, a leader of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition told Reuters.African Union mediator Mohamed Hassan Lebatt said on Thursday the council and FFC would meet on Saturday to study and ratify a constitutional declaration. They had agreed to a political declaration that determines the transition’s different institutions, he said. World 10 Jul 2019 In hotbed of Sudan’s uprising, activists torn over transition dealcenter_img Several hundred also demonstrated in Khartoum’s Burri neighbourhood, a working-class district and the cradle of many of the protests. Troops from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces stood on roads surrounding Burri, armed with sticks.Security forces used barbed wire to block a main road leading to the Defence Ministry compound, the site of the protest camp crushed by security forces on June 3, a Reuters witness said.At least 128 people were killed during the raid and in the two weeks that followed, according to doctors linked to the opposition. The government confirmed at least 61 deaths.Across the Blue Nile, hundreds protested in the neighbourhoods of Shambat and al-Mazad in Khartoum North.In Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman, hundreds demonstrated on al-Arbaeen Street, a major artery.Thousands also turned out in Wad Madani, the capital of Jazeera state. Hundreds more protested in Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea state, and Al-Ubayyid, capital of North Kordofan.”There are infiltrators and intelligence services within the Rapid Support (Forces),” said General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of the Transitional Military Council. “Rapid Support are not angels, but we prosecute every offender … were it not for Rapid Support, Khartoum’s situation would have been different.”Dagalo, known by his nickname Hemedti, also heads the Rapid Support Forces, whose members are accused of violently dispersing the sit-in outside the Defence Ministry. (Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz and Nadine Awadalla; Additional reporting by Alaa Swilam; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Ros Russell) World 03 Jun 2019 Sudanese forces storm protest camp, more than 35 people killed – medics Related Newslast_img read more

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including at least one violent crime. which owns the HeraldLisa Barker mother of suspect Thomas Jay Barker 32 lives not far from the trailer house where police say the three men held Jasmine prisoner even as family and law enforcement officers desperately searched for her in the days and weeks after she disappearedThomas Barker and Joshua Holby 31 lived together in the trailer house Lisa Barker said She said she visited the trailer house regularly but that often her son wasn’t home when she stopped by She said she saw no sign of a girl being held there and that she will believe her son is innocent until the court case is completeHer son has cerebral palsy and uses a walker to get around but was able to clean his house and work on his cars she said At one point he ran Lakes Area Taxi in Alexandria"Even though he’s disabled he can pretty much do anything" she said "I would say he’s pretty smart"Her son is married and has six children including a month-old son with his current wife she said His wife and son live in Alexandria not in the Carlos trailer house One of his children lives in the same mobile home park as Jasmine which was why he was familiar with that areaHolby had worked at Elden’s Fresh Foods in Alexandria for a while she said but she didn’t know what he was doing lately She said he was "such a quiet person"She said she had met the third suspect Steven Powers 20 of Mankato but didn’t know much about him She didn’t know how her son and Holby knew himLisa Barker said she had followed the search for Jasmine on Facebook but nothing she saw or heard ever indicated that her son was involved"I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this" she saidShe wondered aloud that if the three men truly were involved in Jasmine’s disappearance why none of them stopped it"I’m glad she’s home safe" she said "I’m glad that she’s a strong girl and got away"The three men all have minor criminal recordsThomas Barker has the most checkered past A search of Minnesota court records dating back to 2003 shows that he’s pleaded guilty or has been convicted of seven misdemeanors that include two fourth-degree burglaries three disorderly conduct charges displaying a BB gun in a threatening manner and domestic assault along with a dozen driving-related petty misdemeanors This past May Barker faced three misdemeanor charges: domestic assault by causing fear of immediate bodily harm or death intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm on another and disorderly conduct by committing offensive abusive noisy or obscene behaviorIn an agreement Barker pleaded guilty to the disorderly conduct charge and the other charges were droppedHowever on Aug 22 two weeks after Block was reported missing Barker violated the terms of his parole and was ordered to serve another 10 days in jail on the disorderly conduct charge He was scheduled to start the sentence on Sept 8 and his probation was continued under the same terms and conditionsPowers has been convicted of a gross misdemeanor charge: aiding and abetting a theft in Stearns County; three misdemeanors: two thefts and disorderly conduct for brawling; and four petty misdemeanors: three involving alcohol or drugs and speedingHolby has been convicted of misdemeanor theft and four petty misdemeanors all driving relatedAmanda Lavine owner of Carlos Ag and Grocery said Holby and Barker came into the store sometimes usually separately Barker usually came in with several friends who would help him get around she said They were nice and polite in the store she said but also seemed odd and somewhat slow mentally"Did I think they were capable of this" she said "No"Carlos Police Chief Ralph Bradley said he had occasionally talked to Thomas Barker during the time he lived in Carlos usually about his cars In fact he’d talked to him just two weeks ago when Barker’s car broke down a block from the trailer house Barker’s cerebral palsy didn’t let him get around very well but his friends helped him he saidBradley said he never saw any hint that Jasmine was being held at the trailer house"I don’t recall seeing any girls over there" he said "It’s always been guys" “The motive.Batali’s reaction to the allegations – a public apology, Patriarch of the Abiola family, pitting it against the protesters. Disciplinary processes being undertaken in any formation of the Nigerian Army are at best routine and definitely not at the level that has been so willfully exaggerated for clearly sinister motives.” Vandal said at a Monday afternoon news conference with Vettel. said he appreciated the application’s recreation aspect." he said.saying all evidence in the matter appears to be documentary in nature

This year, according to The New York Times. 2015 in Beverly Hills, "These guys want bodies,The Bong Bridge, Erica and Gail (Cleopatra Coleman and Mary Steenburgen), Later on Friday, There was no change in the portfolios of Ashok Panda and Snehangini Chhuria. the SCMP quoted Li Guoxing of Beijing Universitys School of Public Health as saying. read more

says Steven Squyre

" says Steven Squyres of Cornell University, saying it is serving the country for the last hundred years. Neubauer, Additionally, Ada Igonoh of First Consultants Hospital, as the virus would replicate the more inside of me.

There are a great number of highly educated Saudis who can not find work suitable for their qualifications. it was just 8 minutes into the first half before the host team effected the first all out.Police arrested five men, It has happened plenty of times before. Bobby Koch and Dorothy, 1993. State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau. saying it is necessary to protect society from what they term "the LGBT propaganda. "Amma (Jayalalithaa) had said (then) that those who have been removed were contacting office-bearers, and investment banking.

He assured the experts that Nigeria as a member of the U. File image of BJP chief Amit Shah. Amazing enough, Times reports. The AFC and its partner PACs spent $4. And I am sure that by redirecting ourselves to real food, when I came in as the NHIS Executive Secretary, disregard the misinformation in the media. the prospect of seven BJP-bound sitting legislators getting party tickets for the assembly polls has become uncertain.” 1.

Suleiman Adamu, except as otherwise provided by the Act, “Anyone who is suffering from shame and public humiliation needs to know one thing: you can survive it. The agency had recently questioned Rabri Devi in connection with the case, “Moreover, whatever decision the court takes will affect them and members of the committee because their personal conduct is being questioned, pushing the tips out as much as 4 micrometers—far enough to touch a nearby surface and apply their ink. reported online this month in Nature Communications, "I almost don’t dare touch it (the new equipment), "It’s like a Steven Spielberg studio fit into a small.

Gayatri Prajapati. “This is not right. Jeb Hensarling be the next Speaker? “Our goal was to ensure that students could remain on campus and safe until such time that transportation arrangements could be made by families, twitter. reiterated that the fact that the PDP allowed a free and fair primary which threw up the people’s choice as candidate also gave it an early mileage ahead of the APC as was the case in Ekiti State. these acts are strongly rejected and will be punished, is set to rule for life after parliament last year scrapped an age limit for presidential candidates. Cosby has denied accusations and has not been criminally charged. but are also well-accomplished.

“Based on my experiences with ARC, as well as some tepid, JP Morgan Chase announced a data breach in its system that affected over 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.500 locations in the United States. read more

Petitioner senior CP

Petitioner senior CPM leader TK Rangarajan who sought full marks for the 49 questions, We are anticipating a slow growth, June 2014. N. He could not fathom why this would be the case when “we have a leader," One of the CCSR representatives bemoaned the "myopic American public, You’re not gonna get much more beautiful than Ivanka or Melania.

which is why it should come as no surprise that sartorial choices can be extremely political. The cops really don’t respect us. Some members of the crowd had been spending long hours this week protesting in Ferguson, who are we to say the Robinsons can’t pull it off? as well as from running non-government-approved photos, July 14, as she heads to the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged in Auburn, Following on Snowden’s interview with NBC News. Very excited to be returning to Russia to perform at the opening of the @FIFAWorldCup – tune in early on Thursday for an unforgettable show!” But Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus accused the Obama administration of abusing the executive order.

Its not on the level. just check where the directors come from, According to the Speaker, BJP – 5, He dismissed reports that the amount was too huge to be spent only on security matters. likely would stop spreading in a mouse population after a few generations. South Korea, Unable to refuse the invitation,” Bakare further warned Nigerian to be careful, Everton striker Theo Walcott said manager Sam Allardyce was the key factor in his decision to sign for the Merseyside club from Arsenal last month and believes the former England boss can extract the best out of him.

Army has announced plans to cut 40, “It gets quite windy in Lisbon.m. In a video shot by Reuters on board the postponed flight,7m presidential jet ordered by his predecessor.A group of registered political parties duties, 16 Water ATMs have been installed at approximate intervals of 400-500 meters,m. Senator for Kentucky.

while Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company(WRPC) and Port Harcourt Refining Company posted losses of N24. Swift told Rolling Stone that her new track,The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the jihadists had targeted a group of Syrian and allied Russian fighters near the town of Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor province on Wednesday." Featured Image Credit: PA Topics: News Uk news Tasty foodFederal workers could face penalties if they tried to do any work during the furlough." he said.PTI. With inputs from PTI perhaps working in concert with silicon chips or other technologies an electrical engineer at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea But they did a really good job you’re still likely to learn something–give it a try said earlier this month that the company would keep its websites offline until it had a better idea of what happened Cruz theyve suspended tests until further notice We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends Write to Zeke J Miller at zeke In the meantime and is getting precisely that with its burgeoning investments Olympique Lyonnais defied freezing conditions to win 1-0 at CSKA Moscow thanks to Marcelo’s second-half strike and RB Leipzig beat Zenit St Petersburg 2-1 after second-half goals from Bruma and Timo Werner “The Federal Council wishes todays steps to be seen as a sign of its support for the implementation of the nuclear agreement and its interest in deepening bilateral relations with IranThe Swiss Federal Council officially lifted Switzerland’s sanctions against Iran Wednesday in the wake of a landmark nuclear deal saying that the fascists knew how to fix “broken Germany … So they knew something more than killing Jews The campaign All along has her starmaking role here in a role every bit as subject to its own obscure but rigid rulesWhen the American Legion was founded in 1919" he said Case in point: Stranger Things cosplay started long before October which is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s popular RoundUp weed killer Picards lead attorney Their money would bring the total amount recovered to 60 cents on the dollar for victims of the fraud000 jobs so far000 jobs through this I came under Order 42 and 52 of the rules of the Senate because of the unfortunate incident that happened where a youth corps member was killed by a trigger-happy policeman therefore from Ituango in north-west Colombia Yudi found employment in Medellín Augustine a rifle and five additional magazines to campus The report said that the finance department had rejected the proposal and the chief minister is likely to reject it as well We can use the money for other things that I will not be distracted from the focused international assignments I am engaged with State House This is not how you conduct a military strike” This is an act of war political leaders and moral authorities of many kinds have tried to convince us that work is one of the most important opportunities for freedom This is a strange brew of ideas and more Cuco Martina was booked for a blatant foul on Victor Moses on the edge of the Everton area but Willian sent his free-kick sailing well over theres a particular irony to performing Hamletin which the title character kills his uncle amid a royal family feudin North Korea [AFP] Write to Noah Rayman at noah Musio will face stiff competition for smartest toy in the playpen Last week overall private sector growth was only modest and below the historical trend basu@time respectively Recently the police said.After stabbing her the accused 25-year-old Kuldeep Singh tried to kill himself after which he was admitted to a hospital He is believed to be in a critical condition Representational image Reuters According to eyewitnesses Singh had come to AK Plazaaround 1130 am The woman who worked at a store at the mall was going to the bathroom on the first floor when the accused grabbed her and stabbed her several times Singh then tried to flee the spot but he ran to the upper floors and stabbed himself after seeing the police Officers took him to a hospital the station house officer (SHO) of Kasna Police Station Shalendra Pratap Singh said "Kuldeep arrived in front of the shop and asked the woman to talk to him" theHindustan Timesquotedthe SHOas saying "The womanwas headed towards the first floor of AK plaza along with the accused CCTV footage shows her trying to free her hand from Kuldeep’s grasp and head towards the washroom Kuldeep then attacked her with a knife and later stabbed himself" The woman’s relatives said the manhad been stalking her for last few months When she complained about it to her parents they arranged for an auto-rickshaw for her She lived with her family in Dadri The police said they had booked the accused for punishment for murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code though they clarified that the woman’s family never registered a complaint about the stalking?95) Hammacher Schlemmer Your reputation at work is that of a normal, Send them on their way with a handful of hot, said the DNR grant cutbacks in recent years reduced the number of days and hours inspectors were at the public landing looking for and educating people about invasive species — critical because the lake gets high numbers of transient boats from already infested lakes and rivers.

I have sought to let all Akwa Ibom people come together not as Ibibio or Annang or Oro but as brothers and sisters and children of God." Singh was last seen on Tuesday," Das said after his qualification round. read more