10 months ago​Everton post record revenues for second consecutive year

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say ​Everton post record revenues for second consecutive yearby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveEverton are in a very healthy financial position.The club has posted record revenues for the second year in a row.With total revenues of £189 million for the year, it is a ten percent bump on the figure from last year.The major increases came from sponsorships and commercial revenue, which are up 45 percent.Chief Executive Officer Denise Barrett-Baxendale said in a statement: “For the second consecutive year the club has generated record revenue.”Gate receipts, sponsorship and other commercial income increased significantly by 45 per cent and the continued and quite magnificent support of our fans meant that season tickets reached the cap with more than 10,000 on a waiting list.”This commercial growth demonstrates our progress and we have a vision for the club that is shared on and off the pitch by our majority shareholder, chairman, our board of directors, the Everton leadership team, our director of football and manager.”Chairman Bill Kenwright added: “With Farhad continuing his outstanding commitment, Marcel and Marco driving our first team forward, Unsie continuing to develop some of the best young talent, Denise thrusting our operations ever onward and a fanbase that continues to inspire our ambition, we look forward to the next 12 months with purpose and anticipation.” last_img read more

a month agoLiverpool fullback Robertson quits Twitter after Napoli backlash

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool fullback Robertson quits Twitter after Napoli backlashby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool left-back Andrew Robertson may have deactivated his Twitter account.The decision could be connected to the Reds’ 2-0 defeat at Napoli on Tuesday.The Scot gave away a late penalty when he was adjudged to have fouled Jose Callejon in the box, with Dries Mertens slotting home from the spot.Fernando Llorente then nipped in ahead of Robertson to seal victory for the home side in stoppage time.Reds boss Jurgen Klopp hit out at the decision to award the the penalty – and the failure to overturn it through VAR – after the game, although former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has claimed it was the right decision.The Mirror reports a search for his Twitter account ‘@andrewrobertso5’ shows up no results, although his Instagram account is still online at the time of writing. last_img read more

Flow Connects with the Caribbean Diaspora at the YOWronto Music Festival in

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment TORONTO, ON–(Marketwired – May 11, 2017) –  Flow has joined forces with FreshKut Productions Inc. as a telecommunications sponsor for the inaugural staging of Canada’s YOWronto Music Festival, as the Company and organizers seek to forge stronger ties between Canada and the Caribbean.With a strong Caribbean Diaspora population in Toronto (and throughout Canada), the YOWronto Music Festival provides Flow with the perfect opportunity to connect with Caribbean people living abroad. The Company is using its mobile top-up platform http://www.topupflow.com/topup/order as the main technology connector for the festival. The platform enables Caribbean people living abroad to send mobile credit back home quickly and conveniently, to ensure they are always connected.Karl Haughton, a Director of FreshKut Productions, Inc. said, “I am really excited that Flow has agreed to come on board as a sponsor. It is a testament to the company’s commitment to support Caribbean people, culture and content and the YOWronto Music Festival provides such a great opportunity for that.” Advertisement Advertisement The YOWronto Music Festival features international and Caribbean recording artistes including Alison Hinds, Baby Cham, Romain Virgo, Lieutenant Stitchie, Eric Donaldson, Professor Nuts and Tessanne Chin. An exciting line up of Canadian artistes including Michie Mee, Jay Harmony, Carlos Morgan, Blessed, Kim Davis, Ammoye Evans, and Jimmy Reid will also perform.“We’re excited by this opportunity to support this unique festival that celebrates Caribbean culture in Canada,” said James McElvanna, VP Products at Cable & Wireless, operator of Flow. “The festival gives us an opportunity to showcase our convenient top-up platform developed especially for the diaspora to help keep them connected with friends and family in the region.” McElvanna says the online top-up platform is easy to use; people living Toronto, for example, simply need to go to the website, add the local Flow phone number of a friend or relative and send credit to them to stay connected.The YOWronto Music Festival is a musical extravaganza geared towards Caribbean people living in Toronto, and this year’s event is intended to coincide with the celebration of Canada’s 150th year of Confederation. This Festival will be held at Woodbine Mall on Saturday July 1, and Sunday, July 2, 2017, and will boast a variety of activities for all ages. The Festival will commence at 11:00 am and end at 11:00 pm on both days.About C&W CommunicationsC&W is a full service communications and entertainment provider and delivers market-leading video, broadband, telephony and mobile services to consumers in 18 countries. Through its business division, C&W provides data center hosting, domestic and international managed network services, and customized IT service solutions, utilizing cloud technology to serve business and government customers.C&W also operates a state-of-the-art submarine fiber network — the most extensive in the region.Learn more at www.cwc.com, or follow C&W on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.About Liberty GlobalLiberty Global is the world’s largest international TV and broadband company, with operations in more than 30 countries across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. We invest in the infrastructure that empowers our customers to make the most of the digital revolution. Our scale and commitment to innovation enable us to develop market-leading products delivered through next-generation networks that connect our 25 million customers who subscribe to over 50 million television, broadband internet and telephony services. We also serve over 10 million mobile subscribers and offer WiFi service across 6 million access points.The Liberty Global Group operates in 11 European countries under the consumer brands Virgin Media, Unitymedia, Telenet and UPC. The Liberty Global Group also owns 50% of VodafoneZiggo, a Dutch joint venture, which has 4 million customers, 10 million fixed-line subscribers and 5 million mobile subscribers. The LiLAC Group operates in over 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean under the consumer brands VTR, Flow, Liberty, Más Móvil and BTC. In addition, the LiLAC Group operates a sub-sea fiber network throughout the region in over 30 markets.For more information, please visit www.libertyglobal.com Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

GAP pulls Manifest Destiny shirt over controversy

first_imgAPTN National NewsClothing giant The Gap has found itself in hot water after the release of a T-Shirt with a term normally used in relation to the genocide of Native Americans in the 19th Century.The company is now facing an online storm and calls for boycotts until the shirt design is removed from shelves.Artist Steven Judd made his own version of the “Manifest Destiny” T-shirt and he spoke to APTN National News from Oklahoma.last_img

Pay TV operator Sky Deutschland is to add AXN HD f

first_imgPay TV operator Sky Deutschland is to add AXN HD from Sony Pictures Television to its line-up in Germany and Austria.The launch will bring shows including the fifth season of Breaking Bad to Sky Deutschland subscribers. The channel will be a part of the Sky World package from October 4 and will be available to all Sky HD subscribers.last_img

Ukrainian cable operator Volia has added productio

Ukrainian cable operator Volia has added productio

first_imgUkrainian cable operator Volia has added production studio Savik Shuster Studio-owned channel 3s.tv to its programming line-up.The channel will air content from the studio, including news and magazine programming, commentary and analysis of Ukrainian and international events and social, political and economics-related discussion programmes.3s.tv will air in Volia’s Start package.last_img

It remains to be seen how these rallies develops i

first_imgIt remains to be seen how these rallies develops in the days and weeks ahead.Gold added about seven or eight bucks to its price in the hours leading up to lunch time in Hong Kong on their Thursday morning…and then traded more or less flat into the London p.m. gold fix…10:00 a.m. in New York.  From there, the gold price rallied another ten bucks up until 2:00 p.m. Eastern time…and then traded flat into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.Gold closed at $1,468.20 spot…up $36.70 spot… and virtually on its high of the day, which was $1,470.50 spot.  Volume was way up there…around 209,000 contracts, so it’s obvious that this rally did not go unopposed.Silver also rallied in early Far East trading…and then wandered around either side of $23.25 spot right up until 1:00 p.m. in London…twenty minutes before the Comex open in New York.  Then the price popped for about 60 cents in the next thirty minutes of trading…and rallied at a much slower pace from there.Silver closed at $24.40 spot…up $1.24 from Wednesday’s close…and virtually on its high tick of the day as well.  Net volume was a chunky 40,000 contracts.The dollar index closed on Wednesday at 82.94…and then began to head south shortly after it opened in the Far East on their Thursday morning.  By the time the low of the day was in 8:20 a.m. in New York…the Comex open…the index was down to 82.42.  From there it rallied back to virtually unchanged on the day by 10:30 a.m. Eastern time…but then slid a hair into the close…finishing the Thursday session at 82.78…down 16 basis points on the day.Compared to the 7 percent rally on nothing on Wednesday, I was underwhelmed by the performance of the gold stocks in the face of a solid rally in the metal itself on Thursday.  The rally in gold flat-lined at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time…and at that moment, the HUI was up a bit over 3 percent.  But then someone came along and sold the stocks down…and the HUI finished up only 0.70%.  One has to wonder who was selling in such a reckless manner yesterday.The silver stocks did much better, but only marginally so considering the size of the gains in the metal itself.  Like gold, one has to wonder who the 2:00 p.m. EDT sellers were on Thursday, compared to the smooth-as-glass-rally-based-on-nothing price action on Wednesday.Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 3.18%.(Click on image to enlarge)For the day, gold finished up 2.56%…and silver closed up 5.35%…so compared to the metals themselves, the shares did lousy.  I’d be prepared to bet that there was a not-for-profit seller lurking about to make sure that the shares didn’t have a blow-out day to the upside.  But if that was the case, would someone please explain the share price action on Wednesday.The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 202 gold and 10 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday.  JPMorgan Chase was the short/issuer on all 202 contracts out of its client account…and Barclays and Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia were the long/stoppers on 133 and 67 contracts respectively.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.GLD‘s inventory levels continue to slide, as an authorized participant withdrew 87,041 troy ounces yesterday.  But the big surprise was in SLV…as an authorized participant deposited 1,545,392 troy ounces!There was another sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday.  They sold 7,000 ounces of gold eagles, along with 1,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes.  For the second day in a row they didn’t report any silver eagles sales.It was another busy day over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday.  They reported receiving 598,041 troy ounces of silver…and shipped 1,296,767 troy ounces of the stuff out the door.  The link to that activity is here.In gold, the Comex-approved depositories reported receiving 1,286 troy ounces on Wednesday…and shipped 355,996 troy ounces out the door.  The link to that activity is here.I’d love to be a fly on wall at these depositories and know for sure what this ‘metal in motion’ is all about.It was another busy day at the store yesterday…and I was a tired puppy by the time I left for the day.  It’s not wall-to-wall people anymore, but the traffic just never stops for more than a few minutes at a time.  There always seems to be someone in the store at any given moment…and we have little time to do anything else.  I don’t think the mints of the world could even keep up with this demand level. One thing that is worth noting, is that we went from two week delivery on gold maple leafs and bars last week, to two months…maybe…on Wednesday.  This delivery delay in gold is unprecedented in this country!  One can only imagine what it will be like when the gold price begins to rise in earnest once again.Here’s a group of photos sent to me by Hong Kong reader Frank Lin yesterday.  He comments that “These pictures were taken from one of the largest gold jewelers in Hong Kong [on Tuesday].  I was told only expensive pieces are left.”  The photos of the empty cases certainly confirms that.  Having spent some time in Hong Kong myself…and knowing how many jewellery stores there are just in the Kowloon area alone, one has to wonder just how long it will take all of them to restock when they’ve been wiped out to that extent…and that doesn’t include replacing the bullion they’ve sold as well.As I noted in a story posted in the ‘Critical Reads’ section yesterday, there’s a new U.S. $100 bill coming out in October…and it’s already been redesigned by someone on the Internet.  It’s rather fetching, isn’t it?While on the subject of money, I received the chart posted below from Casey Research‘s own Jeff Clark around 2:00 a.m. Eastern time this morning.  According to the St. Louis Fed, the adjusted monetary base has just exceeded 3.0 trillion for the first time.  That happened on April 17th.(Click on image to enlarge)I have what I believe to be a ‘reasonable’ number of stories for you today…but the final edit is always up to you.The issue which has swept down through the centuries…and which will have to be fought sooner or later…is the people vs. the banks. – Lord Acton, Historian, 1834-1902I was happy to see the rally in all four precious metals yesterday…including copper and crude oil.  It certainly didn’t look like short-covering to me…and looking at the volume numbers I would guess that the bullion banks were going short against all comers in all six markets.  Unfortunately, what happened yesterday won’t be in today’s Commitment of Traders Report.It remains to be seen how these rallies develops in the days and weeks ahead.  Here’s the 6-month gold chart showing the 20 and 50-day moving averages.  We should start to see some signs of short covering by the technical funds once the 20-day moving average is pierced to the upside.  How the bullion banks and small traders [Ted Butler’s raptors] react once that event happens will be interesting to watch.  Will they allow the technical funds out on the cheap, or will they inflict some pain by refusing to sell their longs positions to them until we are much higher in price?  That, as Ted Butler has stated on many occasions in the past, is the key to how this rally unfolds.  So we wait.(Click on image to enlarge)If you had time to run through Matt Taibbi’s essay at the beginning of the ‘Critical Reads’ section further up, you will have discovered what GATA has known for almost a decade…and that is that the banks control everything.  However, British economist Peter Warburton wrote about it long before we at GATA cottoned on to this fact.  I discovered his essay on the Prudent Bear website about a decade ago…and what I call the ‘three most important paragraphs in the world’ embedded in that essay, have been the lens that I have looked at the financial system through ever since.I’ve posted them many times in this space…but they bear repeating at this point in time.  Needless to say they are a must read.  Keep in mind while you’re reading that this was written in 2001…twelve years ago to the month.“What we see at present is a battle between the central banks and the collapse of the financial system fought on two fronts. On one front, the central banks preside over the creation of additional liquidity for the financial system in order to hold back the tide of debt defaults that would otherwise occur. On the other, they incite investment banks and other willing parties to bet against a rise in the prices of gold, oil, base metals, soft commodities or anything else that might be deemed an indicator of inherent value. Their objective is to deprive the independent observer of any reliable benchmark against which to measure the eroding value, not only of the US dollar, but of all fiat currencies. Equally, their actions seek to deny the investor the opportunity to hedge against the fragility of the financial system by switching into a freely traded market for non-financial assets.”“It is important to recognize that the central banks have found the battle on the second front much easier to fight than the first. In November [of 2000], I estimated the size of the gross stock of global debt instruments at $90 trillion for mid-2000. How much capital would it take to control the combined gold, oil and commodity markets? Probably, no more than $200bn, using derivatives. Moreover, it is not necessary for the central banks to fight the battle themselves, although central bank gold sales and gold leasing have certainly contributed to the cause. Most of the world’s large investment banks have over-traded their capital [bases] so flagrantly that if the central banks were to lose the fight on the first front, then their stock would be worthless. Because their fate is intertwined with that of the central banks, investment banks are willing participants in the battle against rising gold, oil and commodity prices.”“Central banks, and particularly the US Federal Reserve, are deploying their heavy artillery in the battle against a systemic collapse. This has been their primary concern for at least seven years. [Emphasis is mine. – Ed] Their immediate objectives are to prevent the private sector bond market from closing its doors to new or refinancing borrowers and to forestall a technical break in the Dow Jones Industrials. Keeping the bond markets open is absolutely vital at a time when corporate profitability is on the ropes. Keeping the equity index on an even keel is essential to protect the wealth of the household sector and to maintain the expectation of future gains. For as long as these objectives can be achieved, the value of the US dollar can also be stabilized in relation to other currencies, despite the extraordinary imbalances in external trade.”Warburton’s essay is headlined “The debasement of world currency: it is inflation, but not as we know it“.  It was written on April 9, 2011…and this copy of it is posted at the gold-eagle.com Internet site.  The link is here.Today we get the latest Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday, April 23rd.  As I’ve mentioned several times in this space during the last week, it’s my opinion that the latest data in the Commercial and Non-Commercial category is totally compromised…and I will be more than interested to see if they have made amends in this report when it shows up on the CFTC’s website at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time.  I’ll let you know tomorrow.Both gold and silver were rallying nicely in early Far East trading on their Friday, but got sold down the moment they got too frisky…and both metals are down a bit now that London has been open about thirty minutes.  Volume in gold is already very chunky…over 45,000 contracts…most of which is of the high-frequency trading variety.  Silver’s volume is getting up there too, but roll-overs out of the May delivery month are very heavy as well, so net volume is very light. Monday should be the last big day for roll-overs out of the May contract in silver.  The dollar index is down about 15 basis points.And as I hit the ‘send’ button at 5:10 a.m. Eastern time, both gold and silver are a bit lower now that London has been open for two hours and change.  Gold is down about seven bucks…and silver is down 28 cents.  Gold volume is now over 70,000 contracts…and silver’s net volume is very light…around 4,800 contracts.  The dollar index is still down 15 basis points.Since today is Friday, I’ll be ready for any possible price scenario when I switch my computer on later this morning.Enjoy your weekend, or what’s left of it…and I’ll see here tomorrow.last_img read more

Volumes are way up as well  In gold volume is ju

first_img Volumes are way up as well.  In gold, volume is just over 43,000 contracts, and silver’s volume is now at 14,000 contracts, which are almost the same as the volumes at this time of day on Monday.  The dollar index has spiked up a whole 9 basis points. It could be an interesting day during the New York trading session, so nothing will surprise me when I switch my computer on later this morning. That’s all I have for today, and I’ll see you here tomorrow. The gold stocks managed to keep their heads above water until the gold price began to sell off shortly after the 1:30 p.m. EDT Comex close, and the shares followed.  The HUI closed down 1.57%, virtually on its low of the day. It’s visible for all to see, unless they’re willfully blind, that is. The gold price opened flat in New York on Sunday night and then didn’t do much until 9 a.m. in Hong Kong when a not-for-profit seller took gold down about fifteen bucks in just a few second.  The price struggled back after that, but could never made it above the $1,330 spot price mark before getting sold down. Gold closed at $1,322.30 spot, down $3.30 from Friday’s close.  Gold’s net volume on the day was 144,000 contracts, with 35,000 of that coming before the London open, so you can see that trading was very active in the Far East on their Monday. The silver stock headed south even earlier than the gold stocks, and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 2.82%.  A lot of the silver miners did much worse than that.  The silver equities, like their golden brethren, have now given back all their gains from last Wednesday. The CME’s Daily Delivery Report for Monday showed that zero gold and 80 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday.  There were seven short/issuers, with the biggest being ABN Amro with 47 contracts.  The three largest stoppers were Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia with 32 contracts, followed by JPMorgan Chase with 28 contracts in its in-house [proprietary] trading account, and 14 in its client account.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. There was another withdrawal from from GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant took out 19,309 troy ounces.  And as of 10:01 p.m. yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. Since yesterday was Monday, the U.S. Mint had a sales report.  They sold 3,000 ounces of gold eagles; 3,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes; and 710,500 silver eagles. There wasn’t much in/out movement in gold within the Comex-approved depositories on Friday.  They reported receiving 5,353 troy ounces of the stuff, and shipped 385 troy ounces out the door.  The link to that activity is here. As usual, there was a lot more activity in silver.  They reported receiving 500,272 troy ounces, and 138,665 troy ounces were shipped off to parts unknown.  The link to that action is here. Since today is Tuesday, I have a few more stories than normal, so I hope you’re able to find the time to read the ones that interest you the most. I’m not a Fed-Head because whatever they do is not specific to silver and gold, but applies to asset values in general. I’m more interested in the things most specific to silver and gold. As is usually the case, what moved silver and gold violently this [past] week was not the Fed, in my opinion, but factors much more specific, namely, the illegal trading practices on the COMEX. In fact, it’s hard for me to comprehend how anyone paying close attention could fail to see the obvious explanation for the week’s volatility in silver and gold – JPMorgan and other collusive commercials rigging prices on the COMEX for their own benefit. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 21 September 2013 Except for the 9 a.m. appearance of the high-frequency traders in Hong Kong, it was pretty quiet during the rest of the trading day both in Europe and in New York on Monday.  I also noted that all four precious metals got sold down for small loses during electronic trading after the Comex had closed for the day. Nothing will happen price-wise until JPMorgan and the raptors [the Commercial traders other than the Big 8] stop doing what they’re doing.  The gold and silver pundits out there can predict rallies until the cows come home, but until the above-mentioned players stop gaming the system, either for profit or on Fed/BIS orders, or both, nothing will come of it. These guys can step into the market any time they wish, and as you can tell from the price action since the low back at the end of June, that’s precisely what they’ve been doing, andand it’s visible for all to see, unless they’re willfully blind, that is. Today, at the 1:30 p.m. EDT close of Comex trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report.  If the Tuesday trading session comes and goes with little price action [at least to the upside] then we should get a very clear picture of what happened on Wednesday and Friday of last week, the big up/down days following the Fed announcement. All four precious metals traded marginally higher during most of the Far East trading day on their Thursday, and silver managed to spike above $22 for a minute or so.  However, shortly before 2 p.m. Hong Kong time, all four came under high-frequency trading selling pressure, and now prices are back to around their Monday closes in New York.  Volumes were very decent in Far East trading, but not anywhere near as high as they were on Monday at this time, but still pretty chunky nonetheless.  The dollar index is chopping sideways, and is basically unchanged as of 3:42 a.m. EDT. And as I hit the send button on today’s column at 5:20 a.m. EDT, all four precious metals are still under pressure from the HFT crowd, with silver leading the way.  At the moment it’s down more than 60 cents from its high earlier in the day in Hong Kong. Silver ran into the same 9 a.m. Hong Kong seller as gold did, but by 10:30 a.m. in New York, the price had struggle back to slightly above unchanged from Friday’s close, but once electronic trading began, it got sold down for a small loss on the day. Silver finished the Monday session at $21.64 spot, down 16 cents from Friday.  Net volume was very decent at 46,500 contracts and, like gold, 15,000 of those contracts traded before the London open.  That’s a lot of contracts in both metals for that time of day.center_img Sponsor Advertisement The dollar index closed in New York on Friday at 80.44.  It hit its low of the Monday session [80.29] minutes after 2 p.m. in Hong Kong, and then chopped back to basically unchanged into the close, as it finished at 80.45.  Nothing to see here. Both platinum and palladium had mini spikes down at 9 a.m. Hong Kong time as well.  Platinum rallied back until just before the London open before getting quietly sold down for the rest of the day.  Palladium traded pretty flat until around 11:30 a.m. BST in London and then gold sold down a bit over ten bucks by 9:30 a.m. in New York.  From there it recovered but, like the other three precious metals, it wasn’t allowed to close in positive territory, either.  Here are the charts. See Dr. Ron Paul Up Close and Personal at the 2013 Casey Summit He’s never voted to raise taxes. He’s never taken a government-paid junket. And he’s never voted for an unbalanced budget. He’s Dr. Ron Paul, and he’s always led by example. During his 36 years in Congress, he tried to convince his colleagues to vote along with him against any measure that ran counter to the Constitution. Unfortunately, they seldom did. So now he’s taken his message to the streets… and to the 3 Days with Casey Summit which is being held October 4-6 in beautiful Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Paul will be the keynote speaker for this timely event—a rare opportunity for investors and freedom-lovers of all stripes to hear and see him live. Not only will he be speaking, he’ll be in attendance for the entire three days, giving attendees the chance to talk with him in small, intimate settings. That he’s staying for the entire Summit speaks volumes about how important it is. In fact, many of the Summit speakers intend to stay for the duration as well. On hand with Dr. Paul will be renowned contrarian investor Doug Casey, internationally known economist Dr. Lacy Hunt, The Crash Course author Chris Martenson, Mauldin Economics Chairman John Mauldin, and 21 other financial and investment experts. Seats are going fast for this event—and Casey Summits always sell out—so reserve yours now.last_img read more

Harder to Get Ahead We are not sure how up to da

first_img Harder to Get Ahead We are not sure how up to date the following figures are. But we doubt that they have changed much. From MarketWatch: Approximately 62% of Americans have no emergency savings for things such as a $1,000 emergency room visit or a $500 car repair, according to a new survey of 1,000 adults by personal finance website Bankrate.com. […] What’s more, only 39% of respondents reported having a “rainy day” fund adequate to cover three months of expenses, and only 48% of respondents said that they would completely cover a hypothetical emergency expense costing $400 without selling something or borrowing money. If you follow mainstream news media, you might believe that the “recovery continues on track.” Or that earnings are increasing. Or unemployment is falling. But keeping your eyes on these data points blinds you to what is really going on. People have always struggled to make ends meet. But as the money system changed…so did the typical family’s household finances: It got harder to get ahead. Yes, most people live better than they did in the 1970s. Technological and commercial progress has improved the quality of the things we live with. There are more choices in the supermarkets…in Walmart…and online. Today’s F-150 is better, in many ways, than the F-150 from 40 years ago. Houses are bigger and more comfortable. Air conditioning is more widespread. Communication channels and entertainment are better than ever. But though life is easier and more agreeable for most people, few people have more real money. They have more things. And more credit. But they are deeper in debt…more vulnerable to a downturn…and more dependent on the government and the credit industries. “Debt Makes Sense” Your editor recently took up the subject with a recruiting agency. “I place a lot of accountants and bookkeepers,” began the recruiter. “Naturally, their employers want a credit check. They want to know how you handle your finances. They also want to avoid people whose financial situation sends up flags. Desperate people are not ideal new hires for the accounting department. “The people we place earn $60,000 and up. Usually, husband and wife both work, and often they both have MBA or other advanced degrees, so you’re looking at some substantial incomes. The recruiter continued: “Usually, they have some student debt, auto debt, and mortgage debt. And they usually have a revolving line of credit, too. These are prudent, well-educated people we’re talking about. They use credit wisely, when they need to make a big-ticket purchase…or pay for private schooling. “What we look for is a clean report. No late payments. The level of debt doesn’t bother us. I mean, the banks wouldn’t lend if they thought there was a problem. “Besides, everybody uses debt now. It makes sense. With rates this low, it’s better to borrow than to use your own money. Debt is just a financial tool.” Is that all debt is? A handy tool? We don’t think so… More to come… Regards, Editor’s Note: Bankers are worried you have “too much cash.” Agora founder Bill Bonner recently had an eye-opening talk with local bankers. In today’s Weekend Edition, Bill tells us what happened when the bankers tried to persuade him borrow money… Bill originally wrote this essay on April 5, 2016, in Bill Bonner’s Diary. By Bill Bonner, editor, The Bill Bonner Letter In an extraordinary turn of events, last week we were contacted by our local bankers. Since we were turned down for a mortgage in 1982 (our business finances were thought to be “too shaky”), we have had little truck with them. We pay cash. They mind their own business. But for the first time we can recall, not just one but three suits came to visit. Personable and intelligent, they were worried when they saw how much cash we were keeping on hand. No kidding. They came to visit to propose ways we could “put it to use.” Too Much Cash? “You really should take some of that cash and invest it in municipal bonds” was the motion on the table. “What if the municipalities can’t pay?” we asked. “Don’t worry about that. Historically, the odds of default are extremely remote,” one of them answered. “But what if interest rates turn up? Wouldn’t the default rate go up?” “Well, maybe. But we keep the maturities short and invest only in the most creditworthy municipalities. The risk is very low.” “Oh…but what if we just need some cash.” “No problem. We’ll give you a line of credit.” “Let me get this straight. You’re proposing to put me into debt so that I can keep my money invested in somebody else’s debt?” “Uh…well…yes…and we’ll charge you less interest than you will earn from the municipal bonds.” “Wait. You can earn a fee for putting my money in bonds…and earn another fee for lending me money…and I still end up ahead?” “Yes. We just try to find ways to help clients with their financial needs.” “Oh.” Worse Off Little by little, day after day, year after year, we connect the dots. At first, it is difficult to make out what we’re looking at. But gradually, after much straining and guesswork, two things are becoming clearer and clearer…at least to us. First, nobody knows anything. Second, nobody has any real money. Yesterday, we mentioned our persistent puzzlement over the failure of the U.S. economy to make the typical working American richer after accounting for inflation. For all its conceits, swindles, booms, busts, hustles, patents, technologies, investments, PhDs, and central bank chicanery…there seems to be little to show for it. You can test that assertion easily. All wage and inflation numbers are a little fishy. So, let’s keep it simple. The basic transportation for a working man 40 years ago was the Ford F-150 pickup truck. In 1976, that truck, the SuperCab model, had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $4,600. That was when the average working stiff earned $9,300 a year. So, it took 25 weeks of work to pay for the truck. Today, the F-150 is still the preferred working man’s wheels. And today, it has a MSRP of $26,600—or 5.7 times as much. But the average person doesn’t earn 5.7 times as much. The median wage today is $43,600. So now, a prole earning the median wage has to work 30 weeks to pay for the truck. This man is not better off. He’s worse off. And he’s been made worse off by advanced American crony capitalism. And here are more dots…to be connected! What do we see…? Recommended Links Bill Bonner’s Private Meeting in Vancouver For years, Bill Bonner’s invested mostly in gold and real estate. But after a private meeting on a boat in Vancouver, he’s about to put seven-figures in an unexpected place. Details here. –center_img — Rare chance to share a scotch with Doug (only 100 tickets)… We’ve got 100 free tickets for the Sprott Natural Resource Symposium this year, and you have the chance to claim one… Your ticket also gives you access to a VIP scotch reception, where you can share a whiskey with Doug. Click here to learn more… Bill Editor’s Note: If you haven’t heard, Bill Bonner is committing $5 million to Chris Mayer’s astonishingly successful investment strategy. Chris is one of the best stock pickers in the business. His picks have beaten the market by more than 3-to-1 over the past decade. Bill and Chris recently held a free investment training event to explain the secrets of this strategy. You can learn all about Chris’s investment strategy and invest in the same companies Bill Bonner’s family trust is investing in. Click here to watch this free video now.last_img read more

Recommended Link

first_imgRecommended Link I can think of at least 25 more reasons to own gold right now as well… But you get the picture.These investors haven’t said why they’re buying gold. But we know they are buying… And you only buy something for one reason: You think it will go up in value.The reason we follow the world’s most successful investors is because we don’t have to do all the research ourselves. They spend tens of millions of dollars on research every year. We can profit just by following them.They have hundreds of other investments they could make. Yet they chose to allocate a good portion of their portfolios to gold.I’m not going to bet against any one of these guys—let alone all three.Let’s piggyback off their multimillion-dollar research budgets and own some gold. The easiest way to add gold exposure to your portfolio is through GLD.Regards,Nick Rokke, CFA Analyst, The Palm Beach DailyP.S. We’re excited to announce that former hedge fund manager and world-renowned cryptocurrency expert Teeka Tiwari has found PBRG’s first “Whale Hunter.”Teeka’s new contact is a former top Wall Street trader. He worked for one of the world’s top investment banks, where he figured out how to hunt these billionaire whale traders… and he created a system to profit by tracking them.Last night, we revealed the identity of the Whale Hunter for the first time. Over 10,000 people tuned in to see exactly how his system works. And today only, you can watch a full replay video that shows you the entire story right here.Reader MailbagToday, more high praise for Doug Casey and his new book, Totally Incorrect Volume 2:I have read and reread Totally Incorrect, and kudos from a mind based in reality, not emotion.Doug Casey is as kind as he can be in the face of extreme stupidity of individuals and institutions. Refreshing to find a similar mind that is fact, based in reality instead of some dream world. Keep leading the horse to water, we know it will not drink until it is dying of thirst, and may by then forget how to drink… all this unfocused attention is just hilarious, and the failure to learn at least some history is the blight of current education. Doug, you rock! —DonHave you claimed your free copy of Doug’s book yet? It’s packed with Doug’s no-filtered insights on today’s most controversial topics.It’s also a vital guide to surviving the changes happening in America today… as well as a road map for where they’ll take us. Click here to learn how you can get your hands on it.And as always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us right here.In Case You Missed It…It’s called the “100-to-1 Project”…In this exclusive interview, you can get all the details surrounding a little-known stock that could be on the verge of a historic breakout. In the past, similar stocks have shown investors 96,900%, 196,500% and 787,400% gains. Click here to learn more. Urgent – You only have until midnight to claim all of this: 75% savings… a FREE year of service… plus the unprecedented $250,000 ChallengeLast night’s $250,000 Challenge broadcast was a success: thousands of people tuned in to see the launch of our newest service, Palm Beach Trader. We posted a full replay video that shows you the full story right here. But you only have until midnight to save 75%… and get a completely free year… AND take us up on that $250,000 Challenge…so click here now. Seth Klarman. He’s the author of Margin of Safety, a book packed with such good information that people pay thousands of dollars for it (if you can even find a copy). No one is better at spotting value than he is. John Paulson. He knows a thing or two about spotting a crisis. He made his investors $15 billion as the subprime housing crisis unfolded in 2008–2009. And if another crisis comes, he’ll make a lot more money with his current positioning. This is a rare opportunity. You almost never see this many top investors get so interested in gold at the same time.Paulson has 11% of his fund invested in SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), which tracks the price of gold. He has about another 8% of his fund in gold mining companies.Dalio’s fund now holds 7% of its assets in gold and other mining stocks. That’s up from 2% during this time last year.Klarman has the smallest portion of his portfolio in gold and gold miners. But he’s actively adding to his gold holdings.Why Gold Could SoarRegular readers know that we consider gold a chaos hedge. We like chaos hedges as an asset class because we view them as insurance against disaster.They don’t always produce income or increase in value, but chaos hedges provide us the benefit of “sleep-at-night” protection.Right now, there are plenty of reasons why gold could soar: The powder keg that is the Middle East could explode. Ray Dalio. He’s the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. The fund has made $50 billion for its investors—more money than any other hedge fund. When these three whales all get excited about a certain investment, we should dig into it. And in this case, they’re buying gold. Is Trump’s New Executive Order Warning Us To Prepare For June 21? Donald Trump recently signed an executive order adding this white metal to the official “U.S. Critical Minerals Directory.” This labels the metal as “critical for national economy and security.” Why did Trump make this move now? According to the man who predicted Trump’s election and one of his first executive orders… It’s to prepare for June 21 – when this historic event could spike the price of this white metal 10x as its global supply is pushed to critical lows. Get all the details by clicking here.center_img Justin’s note: This week over at The Palm Beach Daily, my colleague Nick Rokke has been writing about one of the simplest and most effective trading strategies that you can start using today. It’s a way to follow the world’s top investors into the money.And recently, he discovered that three of them are buying one of our core recommendations here at Casey Research… By Nick Rokke, analyst, The Palm Beach DailyToday, we’re going whale hunting…In the sports world, a “whale” is a superstar player who’s entering free agency. Teams hunt these valuable whales because they can change a franchise’s fortune.Think of Michael Jordan in basketball, Peyton Manning in football, and Alex Rodriguez in baseball.You can ride these whales to championships and glory.The investing world has its own whales, too.Now, we can’t sign them as free agents… But we can do the next best thing—follow them into the money.As I showed you on Tuesday, one way to outperform the market is by following the best investors in the world. All you have to do is look inside their portfolios.Today, we’re following three of the world’s biggest fund managers into one of our favorite chaos hedges…I’ll show you what they’re buying in a second, but first let’s take a look at how this strategy works… Recommended Link The U.S. is printing more money and issuing more debt than ever. Inflation is on the rise. How to Get a Sneak PeekThere’s a simple way for the average guy to piggyback on the returns of the world’s top investors without hiring them…All funds that have more than $100 million under management need to file a quarterly report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).The SEC calls it a 13F filing. It requires large funds to disclose the stocks they own 45 days after every calendar quarter.These reports are public record. So you can look at them yourself. (If you want to read through the 13F filings yourself, check out WhaleWisdom.)Here’s what they’re showing for three of the world’s best investors…Three Wise MenWhen one whale buys a position, that’s interesting. But when three of them buy the same position at the same time, it’s head-turning.The three titans I’m talking about are: The trade war could upset the world markets… and lead to a real war with China. — —last_img read more

Climate change vanishing ice and erratic rain pat

Climate change vanishing ice and erratic rain pat

first_imgClimate change, vanishing ice and erratic rain patterns are causing the wetlands in two Andean communities to shrink — and that’s a big problem for the communities of Miraflores and Canchayllo. The villagers depend on the puna, a set of alpine ecosystems above 13,000 feet that include grasslands and wetlands to graze sheep, cows, alpacas, llamas and vicuñas — animals that provide them with their livelihoods.Instead of looking for modern solutions to improve access to water, the villagers turned to an old one: centuries-old hydraulic systems that dot the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve, a state-protected natural area seven hours east of Lima. These ancient systems have been used to help irrigate the reserve’s pastures and provide nutrient-rich soil for hundreds of years.So in 2013, the communities teamed up with scientists from U.S. nonprofit The Mountain Institute (TMI) and reserve authorities to devise plans to revive their historic waterways, including canals, lakes and reservoirs. In addition to providing water, the project also would help mitigate the effects of climate change on the landscape, which has been degraded by grazing, melting glaciers and erratic rainfall.These efforts have earned the project international recognition, including an award in the Water Impact category in the Solution Search: Farming for Biodiversity contest in December 2017, organized by the International Climate Initiative. And this spring it won the St Andrews Prize for the Environment, sponsored by the University of St Andrews in Scotland and ConocoPhillips.Andean communities — often marginalized and impoverished — are struggling to adapt to climate change, says Bryan Mark, a glaciologist with Ohio State University. Since the 1970s, Peru has lost more than 40 percent of its ice surfaces, a critical water source for the capital city of Lima and the rest of the semi-arid coast. This loss caused the wetlands to shrink, leading herders to overgraze what pastures were left. Some villagers are diversifying their livelihood with activities in fields such as tourism, while others have moved to nearby towns and cities.The traditional practices that created and maintained the wetlands were disappearing, says Fernando Quiroz, the biologist in charge of the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve. “People have been here since pre-Incan times and they have always rotated grazing areas and organized traditional festivities to clean up ditches.” If the ditches are not cleaned regularly, they tend to clog.The ancient water systems the villagers wanted to revive once kept the wetlands verdant in the puna, an otherwise dry region sometimes described as an Andean tundra. When these systems functioned they created bofedales, prairies engineered by ancient Peruvians to retain meltwater and rainfall. In the Miraflores community, a pre-Hispanic reservoir lay empty and abandoned. Its sloped walls, made of big rocks, were still standing, but the channel that fed from it was damaged and almost invisible. In Canchayllo, ancient walls and canals draining from a natural lagoon stood dead and dry, abandoned.Enlisted by TMI, Álex Herrera, an archaeologist from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, explored the area using Google Earth in 2013. He confirmed the presence of ancestral water-management systems. The rock constructions he saw from above were at least 1,200 years old. To Herrera, the existence of wetlands created by the old irrigation systems suggested that water and sediments intentionally were harvested for herding. Herding requires grass, and water makes it grow. Sediment slows down water and makes soil humid longer, meaning better grass and more food for animals.The irrigation systems work by slowing the draining of rainfall and glacial meltwater high in the Andes, acting as a giant colander collecting clay, sandy silt and other soils that promote the growth of flora that alpacas and llamas like to eat, Herrera says.Restoring these hydraulic systems took two years — from 2013 to 2015 — and the participation of the community, the government and scientists from La Molina National Agrarian University. Funding and support came from local authorities, The Mountain Institute, the United Nations Development Programme and the German Ministry for the Environment through the U.N.’s Environment Programme. In some cases, restoration meant cleaning and rehabilitating abandoned wells and canals so they would collect rainfall. In others, the solution was a hybrid: installing PVC pipes alongside the ancient stone system that would carry rainwater to pasture lands.Earlier this year, one of the formerly abandoned canals reportedly carried almost six gallons of water per second during the dry season, which has reduced the impact of grazing livestock on the land and improved the quality of forage. Herders, previously forced to feed their animals in a dwindling ecosystem, now have larger areas available to rotate the grazing of their animals.Once the hydraulic system was restored in the village of Canchayllo and water was released in an area of 800 hectares, in 2016, the flow found its way through old veins naturally carved in the soil where water had once streamed, says anthropologist Jorge Recharte, director of TMI’s Andes program.”You have water filtration and water holes appearing in lower altitudes, not too far away,” Recharte says. “Wetlands reemerged in some areas and these are very important when your animals have offspring during the dry season, because the mothers will have green grass and water for their kin.” Rainfall moves slowly down the soil, grasslands retain more moisture and aquifers and springs in lower altitudes are replenished.Recharte says improved water access in communities such as Miraflores and Canchayllo has a wider impact: “Our hypothesis is that if the punas are well managed and rotated, water will be retained better and filtered better, and springs in lower altitudes will not dry up.”Experts concur that reviving this infrastructure requires maintenance work and effort, and hope that short-term results such as improved pastures will motivate villagers to continue doing so. In the case of abandoned or dry canals, Mark, the Ohio State glaciologist, thinks it’s worthwhile to consider interventions such as extending the canals to active springs or setting up new, smaller reservoirs to feed them.The Peruvian government has recognized the importance of irrigation for agricultural development, launching “Sierra Azul,” a fund of $123 million for projects that include, among other strategies, water harvesting and the revival of ancient hydraulic technologies. This public fund is good news for communities who already are working to improve water management strategies.Around 300 families, or about 1,200 people, in the Nor Yauyos Cocha Landscape Reserve have directly benefited, according to the Mountain Institute. Quiroz, the reserve biologist, hopes the message will reach beyond the Andes.”Sometimes city folk do not understand where they are getting their water and resources,” he said. The work to preserve these resources “is positive for everybody.” Elda L. Cantú is a reporter and a professor of international politics at ESAN University. She writes and reports for Radio Ambulante and has recently moved from Lima, Peru, to Mexico City, where she has joined the staff at the New York Times en Español. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Washington state has moved a step closer toward ma

Washington state has moved a step closer toward ma

first_imgWashington state has moved a step closer toward making it more difficult for parents to receive exemptions from having their children receive a required immunization.The state Senate passed a bill on Wednesday night that removes the personal belief exemption from vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella. However, the bill retains medical and religious exemptions and leaves intact personal belief exemptions for all other required immunizations. The bill, which passed 25-22, will now return to the House for passage of the version amended by the Senate. Upon its anticipated passage there, it will go to Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, who is expected to sign it.Current state law allows parents to not have their child get the MMR vaccine if they have a philosophical or personal objection. If the bill is signed into law, that exemption would be removed.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all children get two doses of the MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Two doses of MMR vaccine are 97 percent effective against measles and 88 percent effective against mumps.State Sen. Annette Cleveland, who sponsored the bill, represents part of Clark County, which has been the site of a measles outbreak. There have been 73 confirmed cases in Clark County since the start of the year, but there are no new confirmed cases since March 18.”My community is under threat,” said Cleveland, according to The Seattle Times. “A vote against this bill is a vote against public health.”But state Sen. Ann Rivers, who also represents a portion of Clark County, said it should be up to parents whether to have their children vaccinated. “We keep hearing ‘science is settled,’ ” she said, according to the Times. “It’s not settled.”All 50 states have legislation requiring schoolchildren to be vaccinated. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, all states permit medical exemptions, and all but three (California, Mississippi and West Virginia) allow religious exemptions. Washington is one of 17 states that permit philosophical objections to school immunization requirements.California removed its personal beliefs exemption in 2015, which also included religious objections.Meanwhile, lawmakers in Arizona are moving in the other direction: considering bills to make it easier for parents to get exemptions for their kids from the usual childhood vaccinations. As KJZZ’s Will Stone reported for NPR last month, “Among other things, the Arizona bills would require that before immunizing a child, doctors hand over to parents a stack of papers that include the benefits and risks of each vaccine, the vaccine manufacturer’s product insert, the vaccine’s summary description from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and instructions on how to report a vaccine-related adverse event.”Another bill in the package would make it easier for Arizona parents to opt out, adding a new type of exemption in the state — an exemption based on religious objections.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Dangerous cuts to the care packages of former re

Dangerous cuts to the care packages of former re

first_img“Dangerous” cuts to the care packages of former recipients of Independent Living Fund (ILF) support are exposing “false” government promises that they would not lose out when the fund closed say campaigners.One London council Waltham Forest, has admitted cutting the support packages of 28 former ILF-users since the fund closed at the end of June, even though it received nearly one million pounds from the government to maintain support for them and about 40 other former ILF-recipients for the rest of 2015-16.Of the 28 disabled people whose support has been cut in Waltham Forest, disabled campaigners are aware of at least eight who have experienced “really significant” cuts.Last month, Disability News Service (DNS) revealed that another London council, Hounslow, had slashed a disabled woman’s support by 48 hours a week after the fund closed.ILF was run by the Department for Work and Pensions and when it closed on 30 June was helping nearly 17,000 disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently.But the coalition government decided that it should be scrapped, promising instead that nine months’ worth of non-ring-fenced funding would be transferred through the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to councils in England, and to devolved governments in Wales and Scotland.But the transition process has been hit by reports of delays in reassessments for former ILF-users and cuts to their care packages, and government pre-closure statements and pledges appear now to be falling apart.Two days before May’s election, chancellor George Osborne told an ILF-user on a regional television programme that the government would “demand” that councils spent the extra funding they would receive on former ILF-users, even though that money was not ring-fenced.And Esther McVey, at the time the minister for disabled people, said in 2012 that the government believed that “the needs of current users could be met in a more consistent and effective way within a single cohesive system”.Tracey Lazard, chief executive of Inclusion London, which is working with other user-led organisations to research the impact of the ILF closure, said the situation in Waltham Forest “does not look good”.She said: “What is really clear with Waltham Forest is the whole approach has been on the assumption that cuts are inevitable, even though they have got something like [£955,000] in ILF funding [from the government].“They have just gone on the basis that there are going to be huge cuts.”Lazard said individuals had not been given independent advocacy through the assessment process, as they should have been under the new Care Act, while there were concerns about the process itself, and the lack of clear information about how to appeal.She said: “It’s really shoddy and the impact is hugely dangerous.“One of our concerns is that for a lot of ILF-users they have had minimal or no contact with the council and they are not in contact with community organisations. They could effectively be suffering these cuts in silence.”Lazard said that government promises that closing ILF was just a “process issue” and was about “getting rid of an anomaly in the system” were “tantamount to lying”.She said: “It is absolutely false. It used [the closure] to save money. There was no evidence to suggest that there would not be cuts. To hide behind that is adding insult to injury.”Gabriel Pepper (pictured), one of the most prominent campaigners against ILF closure, has seen his support package cut by Waltham Forest from 72 hours to 38 hours a week since ILF closed.Last week, he and other disabled activists held a protest about the cuts outside the council’s offices.He said the cut to his support risked leaving him a “prisoner in my house”, while he feared that his quality of life could “disappear”.He said: “My council at Waltham Forest was given £955,686 to do this, so where is all the money going?“It’s being squandered on pot holes, flower beds outside the town hall, huge salaries for suited executives and fancy painting on shop fronts.”Another former ILF-recipient from Waltham Forest said the way the process had been conducted by the council had been “inhuman, messy”, with “very poor standards of information”, and care packages cut before people’s appeals against those decisions had been heard.She said: “I am coming across people who have been bullied [by the council]. The whole process has been a complete shambles.”She knows three carers who have been told by the council that their relatives would be better off in a care home now ILF has closed.She added: “There is an acceptance of the inevitability that people are going to be institutionalised, which I find really scary.”Neither the Department of Health nor DCLG had commented by noon today (11 September).Waltham Forest council had not replied by noon today to email and telephone messages from DNS asking for answers to a series of questions.last_img read more

A disabled employee of the Department for Work and

A disabled employee of the Department for Work and

first_imgA disabled employee of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says he attempted to take his own life and experienced life-threatening physical health complications because of a culture of workplace bullying and discrimination.Paul* spokeout about his own experiences after reading a Disability News Service (DNS)report describing how DWPrepeatedly failed to make reasonableadjustments fordisabled people who were recruited into its Community Partners scheme.His accountof his own experiences working in a separate part of DWP adds to mountingevidence of disability discrimination within the department.Onlylast week,DNS reported how the proportion of DWP staff who say they have been victims ofdisability discrimination at work in the previous 12 months has risen by about50 per cent in just four years, according to Civil Service figures.There wasalso a rise of more than 10 per cent in just 12 months in the number of DWPstaff saying they had personally experienced disability discrimination at work,from 1,462 in 2017 to 1,612 in 2018.Thesestatistics, combined with other Civil Service figures, suggest that more than athird of disabled DWP staff experienced disability discrimination at work in2018.The latestevidence of discrimination within the government department responsible for themuch-criticised Disability Confident programme also further strains thescheme’s credibility.DWP itselfhas secured the status of Disability Confident Leader, the highest of threelevels within the scheme, which aims to work with employers to “challengeattitudes towards disability” and “ensure that disabled people have theopportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations”.Paul attemptedsuicide as a result of the abuse and discrimination he experienced, while theincreased stress levels led to significant, lasting and potentially fatal healthcomplications.He said hewas still waiting for all the reasonable adjustments he needed to do his job, morethan 18 months after he requested them.He said hehad received phone calls from fellow disabled employees who were in tearsbecause of the failure of the department to make the reasonable adjustmentsthey needed to do their job.Paul saidthat when he and others pass on concerns about the impact of bullying andharassment on their mental health, they are told to take anti-depressants orseek counselling, while the staff and managers responsible are moved to otherdepartments or rewarded with promotions.Hisexperiences with DWP have had, he said, “a devastating effect on my careerprospects, a devastating effect on my potential earnings, and a devastatingeffect on my potential life expectancy and ability to live on my own”.He added: “Infact, this has had a devastating effect on my life.”DWP’swidespread failings call into question its fitness to judge disabled people’seligibility for benefits, he added.A DWPspokesperson said: “We are absolutely committed to ensuring allcolleagues, including those with disabilities or health conditions, get thesupport they need to thrive. “The department has a duty of care to its colleagues andaims to lead by example as a Disability Confident employer, following bestpractice in recruiting, retaining and developing disabled staff. “This includes making workplace adjustments for staff whorequire them and providing a dedicated team to deliver this.“We have in place robust processes for colleagues andmanagers to follow in relation to diversity and inclusion and, while the numberof staff reporting disability discrimination is very small, we treat any caseextremely seriously.”She said DWP takes “active steps” to promote equality,and that more than 10,500 employers have signed up to Disability Confident,while the department was modernising its recruitment practices to make them “fairer and moreinclusive”. She added: “Shouldany individual feel they or their circumstances have not been treated withrespect; believe they have been treated unfairly; or not in line with ourinclusive principles, our policies and procedures provide a route forescalation so it can be considered and addressed.”*Not his real name. DNS has disguisedhis occupation within DWP and has not provided full details of the healthproblems caused by the discrimination he has experienced to avoid identifyinghimSamaritans can be contacted free, 24 hoursa day, 365 days a year, by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.orgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

Marijuana Industry Braces for Shock of Trumps Trade War With China

first_img Image credit: Timothy Fadek | Getty Images Add to Queue Marijuana Industry Braces for Shock of Trump’s Trade War With China International Business –shares Next Article August 8, 2018 Virtually all the vaporizers sold in the US are made in China but the effect will be more far ranging that just vaporizers. Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. The Trump administration’s imposition of tariffs on China is expected to have a direct impact on several sectors of the marijuana industry — in particular, cannabis vaporizer companies.Others likely to be affected include:Cultivation operations that want to expand their greenhouse facilities.Growers that need to buy lighting equipment.Brands that purchase packaging from China.Businesses that buy materials made with Chinese-made steel and aluminum, such as extraction equipment.“If I was in the vape industry or the lighting industry or greenhouse industry, I would be pretty concerned that costs were going to go up as the result of a trade war,” said Kevin Hogan, president and co-founder of Oregrown, a vertically integrated cannabis company in Bend, Oregon.Here’s a review of the major factors developing around the issue for the cannabis industry.1. Businesses are anxious their costs could go up because of a trade war.On May 29, President Trump announced that by June 15 the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) should announce 25% tariffs on approximately $50 billion worth of Chinese imports containing “industrially significant technologies.”Included on the second list of items under the increased tariffs is the harmonized tariff schedule code 8543.70.99.40, which relates to vapor product devices, batteries intended for use in vaping devices and pre-filled pods and cartridges.That HTS code was one of 284 on the second list to undergo further review in a public notice and comment process, including a hearing in front of the USTR.The public comment period on that ended Aug. 1. Now vaporizer companies are waiting to hear if the USTR will strip out any HTS code related to vaporizer devices before the tariffs go into effect.The White House also announced on Aug. 1 it may up its proposed tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on another $200 billion of Chinese imports.According to the import-export data tracking website Datamyne, the United States imported $42 million worth of vaporizers or vaporizer parts under the above HTS code from China in 2017 and $800,000 worth of similar products from Hong Kong. The next three closest markets accounted for less than $500,000 in imports combined.Hogan said vaping products are among the largest-growing segment in cannabis “by a country mile,” and Oregrown doesn’t sell any vaporizers that aren’t made in China. None of the vaporizer brands Hogan’s store carries has told him to increase prices. But it’s on his radar.On the construction side, Hogan said he’s also concerned about the potential future cost of steel for greenhouses. However, a greenhouse builder he contracts with “got ahead of the curve” and ordered its steel before the tariffs were imposed so he was “insulated from the increase in costs.”Related: Luxury ‘Bong’ Maker Faces Unique Trademark Infringement Dilemma2. Consumers likely will have to pay more for vape cartridges.In states such as Oregon, a lot of the outdoor-grown cannabis flower that is sold on the low end of the market is processed into oil and sold for vape cartridges, so the tariffs directly affect one of the largest segments of the state’s cannabis industry.“So many companies are struggling to survive on all levels of the supply chain that these tariffs are like throwing salt in the wound,” said Brad Blommer, a cannabis attorney in Portland, Oregon. “Ultimately, the consumers are going to have to pay more.”“It really is a trade war,” said Josh Church, chief regulatory and compliance officer for Joyetech Group, a major manufacturer of vaporizers for both e-cigarettes and the cannabis industry with headquarters in Changzhou, China. “The difference between us and other industries is that all of the vaporizer manufacturers are based in China. For the cannabis industry, there are very few (U.S.) domestic manufacturers of vaporizers.”One of the key drivers of the Trump administration’s trade policy is to bring back jobs that the United States has lost to markets in other countries. But making cannabis vaporizers isn’t a legacy industry for American workers in the same way that steel manufacturing is. There have never been large-scale vaporizer manufacturers or e-cigarette companies in the United States.“The issue is that we as an industry don’t even have the ability to manufacture stateside,” Church said.Related: 3 Challenges You’re Likely To Face Once You Open for Business3. Repercussions from tariffs may not be immediately apparent.Jan Verleur, CEO of Miami-based VMR Products, which owns cannabis vaporizer product line Prohibited, said his company imports container-sized goods from Shenzhen, China, every week and he hasn’t seen the impact of the tariffs yet. He doesn’t expect to see anything show up in his financials until this fall at the earliest.“But the profit margins in the cannabis space as an overall rule are still healthy,” Verleur said. “I don’t think this is a hit that’s going to collapse anyone’s business.”Jeremy Heidl is president of Denver-based Organa Brands International, which has a large-scale vaporizer brand in the cannabis industry. As of last week he hadn’t seen the impact of the tariffs, but he’s waiting for it. “We expected it about a month ago, when the announcement was made,” Heidl said.Organa Brands also imports equipment, packaging and other items from China. “(The tariffs) make U.S. equipment nearly the same price, so I guess it’s having the intended effect there,” he added.Heidl also said it’s not a guarantee that consumers will see the added cost of the tariffs passed down to them.“It’s pretty difficult to raise cannabis prices in the market right now,” he said. “It will likely be absorbed” by the cannabis companies.But Arnaud Dumas de Rauly — co-founder and co-CEO of New York-based The Blinc Group, a vapor and cannabis technologies incubator — pointed out that the margins aren’t that large on the hardware.“Adding 25 percent tariffs on top of that really makes it hard to not pass this on to the consumer,” he said.Dumas de Rauly testified in front of the USTR last week, arguing that increasing the cost of vaporizers in states like New York and Florida, which have medical marijuana markets that don’t allow for smokable flower, will drive more patients to the black market. In the future, Dumas de Rauly would like to see the marijuana industry pay closer attention to business-as-usual regulations that could have a significant impact on company owners.“As a nascent industry, we are sometimes narrow-minded and focus specifically on the cannabis regulations and forget the rest,” he said.Morgan Fox, media relations director for the National Cannabis Industry Association, said he hadn’t heard of any members complaining about the tariffs, and the trade group hasn’t developed a strategy on the issue.“It’s definitely something that’s under discussion,” he said.Bart Schaneman can be reached at barts@mjbizdaily.com Brought to you by Marijuana Business Daily 7 min read Free Green Entrepreneur App Bart Schaneman Download Our Free Android Applast_img read more

FDA Bans Some Cilantro Imports After Finding Feces and Toilet Paper in

first_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business 1 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Here’s something that might make you put down your burrito.On Monday, the FDA announced the partial ban of fresh cilantro imported from farms in Puebla, Mexico. The reason: farms in the region were found to lack running water and toilet facilities, with the FDA and health authorities discovering toilet paper and feces in fields.The FDA’s investigation of Puebla’s cilantro farming practices began after cilantro imported from the area was linked to annually recurring outbreaks of cyclosporiasis in 2013 and 2014, as well as potentially 2012. Cyclosposiasis is an intestinal illness, most commonly caused by eating or drinking a food or beverage contaminated with feces.Related: The Secret Menu Items at Your Favorite Restaurant ChainsThe ban will affect select shipments of fresh cilantro shipments from April to August of every year.Mexican companies selling cilantro that may be from Puebla must prove to health authorities that they have taken appropriate safety and health measures if they wish to export products to the U.S.  Related: 15 Absurdly Wonderful Bacon-Flavored Products FDA Image credit: Pixabay Add to Queue –sharescenter_img FDA Bans Some Cilantro Imports After Finding Feces and Toilet Paper in Fields Register Now » July 28, 2015 Reporter Kate Taylor Next Article last_img read more

Senate Committee Seeks Answers From Zuckerberg Over News Selection

first_img May 10, 2016 31shares Next Article Enroll Now for $5 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. Reuters Senate Committee Seeks Answers From Zuckerberg Over News Selection Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brandcenter_img A U.S. Senate committee launched an inquiry on Tuesday into how social media website Facebook selects its news stories after a report that company employees blocked news about conservative issues from its “trending” list.The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation asked Facebook Chairman and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg in a letter to answer questions about the company’s news curation practices and its trending topics section.The investigation comes after Gizmodo reported on Monday that a former Facebook employee claimed workers “routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers,” while “artificially” adding other stories to the trending list.”Facebook must answer these serious allegations and hold those responsible to account if there has been political bias in the dissemination of trending news,” said U.S. Sen. John Thune, the chairman of the committee.The letter to Facebook includes requests for information on the organizational structure for the “Trending Topics feature.”Adam Jentleson, deputy chief of staff to Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, balked at the request in a statement provided to Reuters.”The Republican Senate refuses to hold hearings on [Supreme Court nominee] Judge [Merrick] Garland, refuses to fund the President’s request for Zika aid and takes the most days off of any Senate since 1956, but thinks Facebook hearings are a matter of urgent national interest,” Jentleson said.A Facebook spokesman said the company has received the Senate letter and is reviewing it. They also denied the Gizmodo report Tuesday in a statement provided to Reuters.”After an initial review, no evidence was found that the anonymous allegations are true,” a spokesman said.Tom Stocky, the vice president of Search at Facebook, responded to the allegations Monday night in a lengthy post published to the social media site saying there are “strict guidelines” for trending topic reviewers who “are required to accept topics that reflect real world events.”He added that those guidelines are under “constant review” and that his team would “continue to look for improvements.”Katie Drummond, the editor-in-chief of Gizmodo, called her publication’s story “accurate” in a statement released to Reuters Tuesday.Gizmodo’s report alarmed several social media users, with some conservatives in particular criticizing Facebook for alleged bias.”‘If a Conservative Speaks – and Facebook Censors Him – Does He Make a Sound?'” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) wrote on Twitter Tuesday, with a link to a National Review story that detailed the allegations against Facebook.(Reporting by Amy Tennery; additional reporting by Dustin Volz in Washington; Editing by Alan Crosby) This story originally appeared on Reuters 3 min read Add to Queue Image credit: Shutterstock Facebooklast_img read more

YAO Network Makes BaaS 30 a Reality

first_imgDespite recent developments in the BaaS sector, BaaS remains far from maturity. Having cycled through two “versions”, many are hoping the increase in demand would spur BaaS to scale up as a sector in order to meet the growing need for a network of blockchain communities. The future platform, BaaS 3.0, should rightfully introduce new technical frameworks with outstanding features for both enterprises and individuals, providing a thriving ecosystem with diversified content for online and offline technology communities. While many platforms are still in the midst of grappling with the transition, YAO Network has been quick to respond to the call and has developed its own blockchain platform to make BaaS 3.0 a reality.Marketing Technology News: Study Finds Enterprises Rapidly Shifting to Hybrid, Multi-Cloud Business Model The concept of a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) 3.0 platform suggests the best of both worlds – a centralised system of decentralised technology – and that is exactly what YAO Network strives to provide. Launched on 7 May 2019, the innovative platform garnered attention from the media as one of the few to launch a new generation of public infrastructure platform that will function as an ecosystem entry, a computation hub and a service market for blockchain communities. YAO Network Connects Businesses, Community and Developers BaaS 3.0blockchainMarketing Technology NewsNewsYAO Network Previous ArticleTechBytes with Andy Hunn, COO at ResonateNext ArticleNTT DATA Presents the Future of Digital Accelerationcenter_img YAO Network aims to be an entry point into the blockchain world, through which developers can access to mainstream blockchain networks and view relevant and updated information for their blockchain projects. YAO Network aims to provide supportive access tools and a great technological interface to facilitate the development of commercial applications, such as the building of an on-demand blockchain network for consortium and private blockchains.Marketing Technology News: Softeon Expands Retail and eCommerce Logistics Solution Footprint and SuccessHere is a simple illustration to demonstrate what YAO Network embodies in the larger framework.To make BaaS 3.0 possible and form a robust ecosystem that integrates commercial application, the tech community and application developers, the YAO Network has designed its platform to serve the following functionalities:1. Entry PointYAO Network aims to be an entry point into the blockchain world, through which developers can access to mainstream blockchain networks and view relevant and updated information for their blockchain projects. The YAO Network aims to provide supportive access tools and a great technological interface to facilitate the development of commercial applications, such as the building of an on-demand blockchain network for consortium and private blockchains.2. HubAs an entry builder, YAO Network aims to become a blockchain hub that connects developers with existing blockchains or new blockchain networks on-demand to facilitate the blockchain community. To do so, the YAO Network has included many features in its system including distributed identity, off-chain orales, incident feedback mechanism etc. to improve the interoperability and scalability of the blockchain network.3. MarketYAO Network provides an open Cloud Service Market for service providers to create their cloud services and sell them to terminal users under a visualized operation interface. Such services can be basic services such as access to a blockchain’s underlying framework or advanced services such as function modules and application service components etc.4. EcosystemYAO Network differs from traditional BaaS platforms in that it, unlike the rest, is a self-driven ecosystem. YAO, the value-carrier of the YAO Network ecosystem, encourages users to constantly generate technological services and content on the hub, thereby ensuring healthy growth and development of the whole ecosystem. Ideally, it is expected that the community will take over the reins from the YAO Network team and become the main contributor to the development of the YAO Network platform.Like time, technology waits for no man. Blockchain technology has already been gaining rapid traction around the globe and it is only a matter of time before the fourth industrial revolution hits, and with it, the mainstreaming of BaaS platforms like the YAO Network. It’s time to join the BaaS 3.0 revolution!Marketing Technology News: NextStage to Support YSEOP, a World Leader in AI Dedicated to Natural Language Generation, in View to Accelerating Growth, Particularly in the United States YAO Network Makes BaaS 3.0 a Reality PRNewswireJuly 15, 2019, 1:22 pmJuly 15, 2019 last_img read more

Scientists develop new stem cell line to study conversion of stem cells

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 13 2018To help patients with muscle disorders, scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have engineered a new stem cell line to study the conversion of stem cells into muscle. Findings appeared in Cell Reports.”We have also developed a more efficient strategy to make muscles from human stem cells. Scientists can use these cells for disease modeling, gene correction, and potential cell therapy,” said Radbod Darabi, MD, PhD, the study’s senior author and an assistant professor in the Center for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.Muscle disorders such as muscular dystrophy cause muscles to weaken and deteriorate, and they affect more than 50,000 people in the United States. Symptoms include difficulty walking and standing. In severe cases, the disorders might involve cardiac and respiratory muscles and lead to death. There is no cure.Darabi’s team engineered a novel human stem cell line for skeletal muscle. To ensure the purity of the muscle stem cells, they tagged muscle genes (PAX7, MYF5) with two fluorescent proteins. “In order to improve the formation of the muscle from stem cells, we screened several bioactive compounds. We were also able to observe muscle stem cell activity in great detail using color tags,” he said.In the lab housed in the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases at UTHealth, the team used a gene-editing method called CRISPR/Cas9 to add the fluorescent tags to the genes.The stem cells were generated from a patient’s skin cells and used to generate muscle. “Our current research provides a step-by-step roadmap to make muscle stem cells from these cells,” Darabi said.Related StoriesNANOLIVE‘s novel CX-A defines a new standard for live cell imaging in 96 well plates for continuous organelle monitoring in cell populationsAlternate cell growth pathway could open door to new treatments for metastatic cancersExciting study shows how centrioles center the process of cell divisionThe team’s “approach also allowed induction and purification of skeletal myogenic progenitors in a much shorter time course (2 weeks) with considerable in vitro and in vivo myogenic potential (myofiber engraftment and satellite cell seeding),” the authors wrote.The modified stem cells produced promising results in a culture of human tissue, as well as in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. “In a side-by-side comparison with previous strategies, our strategy allowed faster and more efficient generation of muscle stem cells with superior engraftment in mice,” Darabi said.Darabi believes these muscle stem cells will initially be used by researchers to study the pathophysiology of muscular dystrophies, create disease models that scientists can use to test promising drugs, or evaluate gene correction efficiency.Human bodies are constantly replacing skeletal muscle cells but muscle disorders make it difficult to replenish muscle due to the failure and exhaustion of muscle stem cells. It is Darabi’s hope that the cells can one day be used as a form of stem cell therapy.Darabi’s UTHealth coauthors are Jianbo Wu, PhD (lead author); Nadine Matthias, DVM; Jonathan Lo; Jose L. Ortiz-Vitali; and Sidney Wang, PhD. Also contributing to the paper’s research is Annie Shieh, PhD, of State University of New York Medical School in Syracuse. Source:https://www.uth.edu/media/story.htm?id=0bb3835e-f252-4d22-90ca-fef45efca2dblast_img read more

Tumorfighting protein also promotes cancer growth shows study

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 1 2019Search for a description of “p53” and it becomes clear that this human protein is widely known for its cancer-fighting benefits, leading to its renown as “the guardian of the genome.”Scientists at the University of California San Diego have published a new study challenging that description.Studying the “wild type” version of p53 (WTp53), the form that exists broadly in nature, Jinchul Kim, Lili Yu, Xuemei Fu, Yang Xu and their colleagues found evidence that in certain cases, WTp53 instead plays a role in promoting tumors, rather than suppressing them. This finding explains an established paradox that, whereas p53 is mutated in more than 50 percent of all human cancers, it is not frequently mutated in certain human cancers, such as liver cancer.Related StoriesMother calls for protein shake regulation after daughter diesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedIn the January 31 issue of Cancer Cell, the scientists describe the culmination of more than four years of research on liver cancer that shows that WTp53 stimulates tumor growth by enhancing cancer metabolism. The key, according to the researchers, is a protein known as PUMA (the acronym for “p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis”), which works inside mitochondria, the energy hub of cells. The researchers found that, at appropriate levels, PUMA disrupts normal function of mitochondria and causes a switch from oxidative phosphorylation, a process for efficient energy production in cells, to glycolysis, an alternative energy path that helps boost cancer metabolism.”The widely accepted idea is that p53 suppresses cancer, but in our study we would argue against that,” said Xu, a professor in the Division of Biological Sciences’ Section of Molecular Biology. “In some cancers it would have the opposite effect by promoting cancer.”Xu indicates that p53 indeed halts the initiation of tumors by reducing the oxidative phosphorylation that produces genome toxins. However, once tumors are established, p53 may function to enhance tumor progression.”It’s actually the same function but playing exactly the opposite role in two different contexts,” said Xu of the research findings, which were based on a mix of data from cell samples, mouse models and human patients.Xu says the research provides a warning for cancer drug discovery. Drug therapies designed to enhance p53’s function in cancer patients may be inadvertently causing an opposite effect.”This role of WTp53 can resolve several long-lasting paradoxes in p53 biology and will be instrumental in the development of cancer therapy, especially in the context of the highly pursued strategies to eliminate human cancer by either activating WTp53 or restoring WTp53 function to p53 mutants in cancers,” the authors note in the paper. Source:https://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/opposite_effect_protein_widely_known_to_fight_tumors_also_boosts_cancer_growth?_ga=2.198031343.1772436139.1548916678-1199759986.1548916678last_img read more