Bradley Cooper Irina Shayk no longer together will actor move in with

first_imgLady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star is BornLady Gaga (@ladygaga/Instagram)Bradley Cooper will be reportedly moving in with Lady Gaga. A tabloid from Australia has reported that the co-stars of ‘A Star is Born’ will be taking this step in the next few days. The report states that Lady Gaga will be selling her Malibu home because she is searching for “a love pad” where she and her co-star can stay together. It is also being reported that Cooper led to Lady Gaga and Christian Carino’s split. And as Cooper’s relationship with Irina Shayk has also come to an end, they both decided to stay with the other. “They’re both so attracted to one another,” a source has claimed. Bradley Cooper (R) and his partner Russian model Irina ShaykGetty imagesThe report further argued that there is a reason why the two are discreetly looking for a home together and that their discretion does not surprise their friends at all. Cooper has a two-year-old daughter with Irina Shayk. He has been spending less time with Irina Shayk and more with Gaga to “dive into the next phase of their relationship.”However, this story has been debunked by folks at Gossip Cop. The fact that Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk were spotted along with their daughter and his mom dining at Jennifer Garner’s residence last week is proof that an actor is still a family man. Cooper has also purchased a $13.5 million townhouse in Manhattan. And despite having a house all to himself in Los Angeles, he spends most of the time in New York.This is not the first fake news that the tabloid has published about Cooper and Lady Gaga. A few weeks back, they had reported that Lady Gaga had proposed to Bradley Cooper and that Lady Gaga was pregnant with Cooper’s baby.last_img read more

5000 more Rohingyas enter Bangladesh

first_imgRohingya Muslim refugees who had just arrived wait for a place to stay at Bangladesh`s Balukhali refugee camp on 2 October 2017. The UN says more than 14,100 children are at risk of dying from malnutrition in wretched camps where half a million mainly Rohingya refugees depend entirely on charities for survival. Photo: AFPIn the latest influx, some 5,000 more Rohingyas entered Bangladesh through Ulubonia point of the Naf River under Teknaf upazila on Monday.Locals said the Myanmar nationals started gathering at the no-man’s land along the border since the morning. Later, they crossed the river into Bangladesh by hired boats. Nazir Ahmed, 55, son of Abul Hossain of Jabbarpara in Bhuchidang area in Rakhine State of Myanmar, said they entered Bangladesh through the Ulubonia point after walking on foot for five days.Meanwhile, members of Border Guard Bangladesh recovered 30,000 Yaba tablets and 80 cartons of cigarette searching the belongings of the Rohingyas who got down from boats at Shah Porir Dwip of Teknaf on Sunday night.A patrol team of the paramilitary force recovered the contraband items around 9:00pm. However, no one was arrested in this connection.Besides, road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Monday feared that drugs and firearms might be smuggled into the country by some of the fleeing Rohingyas.Quader, also Awami League general secretary, expressed his apprehension while distributing relief materials among the Rohingyas who have taken shelter in Bangladesh amid persecution on them by the Myanmar security forces in Rakhine.He, however, said the law enforcers have been on alert so that the Rohingyas cannot get involved in criminal activities here.The ruling party leader also said the Rohingya crisis will be resolved through diplomatic efforts.last_img

Wave of arrests in Egypt ahead of Sisis 2nd term

first_imgEgyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends a military ceremony in the courtyard of the Hotel des Invalides in Paris, France on 26 November 2014As Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi prepares to be sworn in for a second four-year term on Saturday, a wave of arrests signals his government’s fear of social dissent, analysts say.Personalities involved in the January 2011 popular uprising that brought down president Hosni Mubarak are among those to have been detained, amid a crackdown that began after March elections gave Sisi an official 97 per cent of the vote.Two of those arrested are blogger and journalist Wael Abbas and Shadi Ghazali Harb, one of the youth leaders during the 2011 revolution.They also include Hazim Abdelazim, who has described his decision to head the youth committee of Sisi’s successful 2014 presidential bid as his “biggest mistake”.“The arrests are in line with the repressive policies of recent years, which aim to subdue” all potential checks on power, said Karim Bitar, a researcher at the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs.A month ahead of the elections, the public prosecutor’s office warned the media it would act against the dissemination of “false information” deemed detrimental to the country’s “safety and security”.The latest arrests show “nothing has changed in the security-focused policies of the regime” in Egypt, said Mostafa Kamel el-Sayed, a political science professor at Cairo University.“There is still worry of a repeat of what happened in January 2011, which the president has expressed more than once,” said Sayed.Economic hardship may also be making the authorities jittery, analysts say.The government has brought in a value-added tax, cut fuel subsidies and hiked electricity prices, as it seeks to keep to the terms of a $12-billion (10.3-billion-euro) loan deal with the International Monetary Fund.The authorities may also fear activists will “use these circumstances to mobilise citizens against Sisi’s regime”, with figures who made their names in 2011 a particular source of potential concern, Sayed told AFP.A collapse in the value of the currency in late 2016 and resultant inflation, which peaked at 33 percent last July, has also left consumers feeling the pinch.Another electricity price hike and cut to fuel subsidies are planned for the summer.To prepare the public for this unpopular medicine, state-run media has cited the government’s massive 104-billion-pound ($5.8 billion, five-billion-euro) petroleum subsidy bill and the squeeze caused by oil prices rising back above $75 per barrel.‘State of oppression’Advocacy groups have condemned the arrests, calling on authorities to release the activists, with Human Rights Watch on Thursday denouncing a “state of oppression”.The European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has also condemned the wave of arrests.“Sustainable stability and security can only go hand in hand with the full respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” her spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said.“The increasing number of arrests of human rights defenders, political activists and bloggers in the latest weeks in Egypt is therefore a worrying development,” said Kocijancic.Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid rejected the criticisms, saying the EU’s track record in human rights can also be condemned.Abu Zeid pointed to “the immense difficulty and degrading treatment suffered by many of the immigrants and refugees, as well as the violations committed by law enforcement authorities” in the EU.“That is in addition to the growing effect of the rise of extremist, right-wing parties and movements, with the ensuing manifestations of racism, discrimination, violence and hate speech,” Abu Zeid said in a statement.Also last month an Egyptian military court sentenced Ismail Alexandrani, a prominent journalist and expert on jihadist movements in the Sinai Peninsula, to 10 years in prison.The court has yet to issue its reasoning, but Alexandrani’s lawyer said he had been accused of publishing military secrets and belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.For Paris-based researcher Bitar, Egypt’s policy direction is at least in part the consequence of the West’s own policies.“The Western preference for Arab authoritarianism provides rulers in the Middle East blank cheques that make them feel they have no limits in regards to oppression,” said Bitar.last_img read more

How Boxing Kept Houstons Maurice Termite Watkins Out Of Jail

first_imgWikipedia CommonsBoxer and Houston native Maurice “Termite” Watkins. X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:36center_img When Maurice “Termite” Watkins was ten, he was consistently getting into trouble with the law. So his dad introduced him to the sport of boxing.It worked.At 16 years old, Watkins, a Houston native, became the youngest ever Golden Gloves champion, the annual national amateur boxing competition.Abner Fletcher/Houston Public MediaHouston boxer Maurice “Termite” Watkins.Soon after, he turned professional and was a top-ten contender. In 1980, he challenged Saoul Mamby for the W.B.C. World Light Welterweight Championship, losing in a 15-round decision.Later in life, Watkins was tasked with coaching the Iraqi national boxing team to compete in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. One boxer was able to qualify.Watkins is now managing and training Evan Holyfield, the son of former boxing champion Evander Holyfield.Video Playerhttps://cdn.hpm.io/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/02100250/Houston-Matters-2019-08-02-at-9.27am.mp400:0000:0000:18Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.In the audio above, Watkins talks about his career and starting his Fighter Nation Boxing Gym ministry.Fighter Nation/FacebookMaurice “Termite” Watkins (back row, third from left) poses with youth from his Fighter Nation Boxing Gym. Listen Sharelast_img read more

Four Louisville StudentAthletes Honored as WeaverJamesCorrigan Award Recipients

first_imgStory Links Erika Osherow Virginia Softball Jeanine Williams Georgia Tech Women’s Track & Field Honorary Postgraduate Scholarship Nominees Jaquan Johnson Miami Football Anton Ipsen NC State Men’s Swimming and Diving SIDNEY MELTONA three-year starter, Melton was a 2018 All-ACC first team honoree after leading the Cardinals with a career-best 45 runs and finishing second on the team with 15 stolen bases. She was also a 2016 all-ACC tournament selection. The redshirt-senior infielder currently leads the team with 10 runs and stands ninth on Louisville’s career list for runs (120) and stolen bases (36). Her success extends to the classroom as a three-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Scholar Athlete and All-ACC Academic Team member while majoring in health and human performance and exercise science with minors in sport administration and psychology. This year’s list includes three student-athletes who will also receive the Thacker Award and nine student-athletes who plan to pursue professional careers in their chosen sports and were named honorary recipients, which includes Louisville’s Cason. The student-athletes will be honored at the annual Cone Health ACC Postgraduate Scholarship Luncheon presented by ESPN on April 10. The luncheon will be hosted by the Nat Greene Kiwanis Club at the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel Imperial Ballroom in Greensboro, N.C. Christian Wilkins Clemson Football Santita Ebangwese Syracuse Women’s Volleyball Holly Hankenson Louisville Women’s Track & Field Rachel Politi Virginia Women’s Swimming and Diving Juliane Grashoff Wake Forest Field Hockey Olivia Cason Louisville Women’s Golf Luke Maye North Carolina Men’s Basketball Arianna Lee Syracuse Rowing Asiya Dair Boston College Women’s Tennis Petros Chrysochos Wake Forest Men’s Tennis Miranda Weslake Clemson Women’s Soccer Dallas Dorosy Florida State Women’s Soccer Blaine Boyden North Carolina Men’s Tennis Mimi Smith* Wake Forest Women’s Cross County / Track & Field Thomas Ueland Notre Dame Men’s Soccer Amy Ruiz Georgia Tech Women’s Track & Field Alice Hewson* Clemson Women’s Golf Brianne Burkert Florida State Women’s Volleyball Mitchell Finesilver Duke Wrestling Ian Ho Virginia Tech Men’s Swimming and Diving Jamie Brunworth Miami Women’s Soccer Virginia Elena Carta Duke Women’s Golf Jaila Tolbert Virginia Tech Women’s Volleyball Lindsay Morrow NC State Women’s Swimming and Diving LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville student-athletes Olivia Cason (women’s golf), Holly Hankenson (women’s track and field), Sidney Melton (softball) and Molly Sauer (volleyball) were among 52 recipients of the 2019 Weaver-James-Corrigan Postgraduate Scholarship Award announced on Thursday by the Atlantic Coast Conference. Hannah Moore NC State Women’s Swimming and Diving The Weaver-James-Corrigan and Jim and Pat Thacker postgraduate scholarships are awarded to selected student-athletes who intend to pursue a graduate degree following completion of their undergraduate requirements. Each recipient will receive $6,000 toward his or her graduate education. Those honored have performed with distinction in both the classroom and their respective sport, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community. Allison Miller Notre Dame Women’s Tennis The following student-athletes will be honored as 2019 ACC Postgraduate Scholars: Sabrina Flores Notre Dame Women’s Soccer Alex Comsia North Carolina Men’s Soccer HOLLY HANKENSONHankenson earned second team All-American honors in the pentathlon at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships. She was the 2018 ACC Indoor pentathlon champion and set a new school record with 4,175 points. She was also the ACC runner-up at the ACC Outdoor Championships in the heptathlon. The marketing major has been named to the All-ACC Academic Team for three straight years. She was also named to the College of Business Dean’s List for the last three seasons.  Kamalani Akeo Pitt Women’s Volleyball * Thacker Award recipient Ann Isabelle Kennedy Boston College Women’s Track & Field Marcus Cunningham Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse Morgan Goetz North Carolina Field Hockey Taylor Emery* Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball Kayla McCoy Duke Women’s Soccer Sydney Wootten NC State Women’s Soccer ABOUT THE WEAVER-JAMES-CORRIGAN AWARDThe Weaver-James-Corrigan Award is named in honor of the late Jim Weaver and Bob James, as well as Gene Corrigan, the first three ACC commissioners. The league’s first commissioner, James H. Weaver, served the conference from 1954-70 after a stint as the Director of Athletics at Wake Forest University. His early leadership and uncompromising integrity are largely responsible for the excellent reputation enjoyed by the ACC today.Robert C. James, a former University of Maryland football player, was named commissioner in 1971 and served in that capacity for 16 years. During his tenure, the league continued to grow in stature and became recognized as a national leader in athletics and academics, winning 23 national championships and maintaining standards of excellence in the classroom.Eugene F. Corrigan assumed his role as the third full-time commissioner on September 1, 1987 and served until August of 1997. During Corrigan’s tenure, ACC schools captured 30 NCAA championships and two national football titles.Prior to 1994, the Weaver-James postgraduate scholarships were awarded as separate honors, including the Jim Weaver Award, the Marie James Award and the Bob James Award. Zach Allen Boston College Football Chesdin Harrington Virginia Baseball Megan Anderson Wake Forest Field Hockey OLIVIA CASONCason is in the final season of her four-year career with the Cardinals. The finance major is a three-time All-ACC Academic team selection and earned WGCA All-American Scholar honors in 2018. Cason has played in 40 events for Louisville, tallying 10 top-10 finishes including a sixth-place showing at the NCAA Bryan Regional as a freshman that qualified her for the NCAA Championship. The senior currently ranks eighth in Louisville history with a 74.88 career stroke average. Olivia Gray Pitt Softball ABOUT THE THACKER AWARDThe Thacker Award, which originated in 2005, is awarded in honor of the late Jim and Pat Thacker of Charlotte, North Carolina. Jim Thacker was the primary play-by-play announcer for the ACC’s first television network. Recipients of the award must demonstrate outstanding performance both in athletic competition and in the classroom and intend to further their education through postgraduate studies at an ACC institution. Clemson’s Alice Hewson, Virginia Tech’s Taylor Emery, and Wake Forest’s Mimi Smith are this year’s Thacker Award winners. Roxanne Yu Miami Women’s Swimming and Diving Molly Sauer Louisville Women’s Volleyball Meghan King Florida State Softball Brian Lovasik Pitt Men’s Swimming and Diving Print Friendly Version Demetrius Jackson Miami Football Brad Stewart Georgia Tech Football Drue Tranquill Notre Dame Football MOLLY SAUERA four-year starter, Sauer was named AVCA Honorable Mention All-American after earning First Team All-East Region and All-ACC, the only four-time member on the list. She was the 2015 Defensive Player of the Year and the Freshman of the Year (the only player to ever double up on those two awards) and the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year. She was a three-time member of the All-ACC Academic Team, one of only four players in the conference to earn the honor three straight years. Sidney Melton Louisville Softball James Clark Georgia Tech Men’s Golflast_img read more

Twitter to Purge Locked Accounts From Follower Counts Warns of Potential Significant

first_imgWhile eliminating locked accounts from follower totals won’t affect MAU or DAU totals, Twitter’s efforts to shut down other kinds of accounts — like those that violate its terms of use — potentially could, Gadde acknowledged.A recent report that Twitter has accelerated the rate it has been suspending fake accounts prompted its stock to drop this week, as investors feared Twitter’s total user base could shrink as a result. The company suspended more than 70 million fake accounts this past May and June, and has continued to delete more than 1 million accounts per day into July, according to a Washington Post report July 6.On Monday, Twitter CFO Ned Segal sought to clarify the report, saying that most accounts the company removes aren’t included in our reported metrics. “If we removed 70M accounts from our reported metrics, you would hear directly from us,” he said in a tweet. “This article reflects us getting better at improving the health of the service.”With the purge of locked accounts from follower counts, most people will see a reduction of four followers or fewer, according to Gadde. However, Twitter users with larger follower counts “will experience a more significant drop,” she added. “We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation.”Twitter locks accounts when it detects “sudden changes in account behavior,” like tweeting a large volume of unsolicited replies or mentions, according to Gadde. In other words, signs that a Twitter account is engaging in spam or bot-like activity. Twitter also will lock an account if it detects email/password combinations from other services have been posted online. Once an account is locked, its owner cannot tweet (or like or retweet posts) and it is not served ads until a Twitter user has validated that they have control of the account.For the first quarter of 2018, Twitter reported that average monthly active users grew 3%, to 336 million, representing a net increase of 6 million sequentially and beating Wall Street forecasts. Most of that was overseas: In the U.S., Twitter had 69 million MAUs in the first quarter (up about 1 million from the prior quarter). Twitter is scheduled to report Q2 results July 27 before the market opens. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Twitter this week will remove locked accounts — those that are disabled because of suspicious activity — from follower-count tallies, a move the company said could result in some users seeing a big drop in their base of followers.According to Twitter, the removal of locked accounts from followers will not affect its average active user counts, which are key metrics Wall Street uses to track growth. Users with locked accounts that have not reset their passwords in more than a month are not included in monthly active user (MAU) or daily active user (DAU) counts.The company said it’s making the change, which will start taking effect Thursday (July 11), as part of its efforts to boost trust in and transparency about the service.“This specific update is focused on followers because it is one of the most visible features on our service and often associated with account credibility,” Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s legal, policy, and trust and safety lead, wrote in a blog post.last_img read more

6 arrested in connection 2017 bomb explosion plan

first_imgDarjeeling: The Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Darjeeling remanded 6 persons to 5-day police custody on Saturday. These persons were arrested on November 2 in connection with a case of September 9, 2017, wherein the persons were allegedly planning to cause a series of explosions in Darjeeling.The arrested include Puran Tamang (43), Shekhar Rai (35), Bhaskar Rai (39), Vishal Bomjan (29), Safal Lama (30) and Pradeep Thapa (30 years). They all are residents of Haringhata on the outskirts of Darjeeling and were absconding for a long time. They have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Explosive Substances Act. “The police had prayed for 7 days of remand in order to investigate other co-accused, reconstruction of crime, identification of the hideouts, recovery of explosives, bomb making materials and other articles. The court allowed for 5-day of police remand. They will be produced on November 8,” stated Pankaj Prasad, Assistant Public Prosecutor, Darjeeling. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIncidentally, Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hills were in the grip of a violent agitation in 2017 spearheaded by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha led by Bimal Gurung. The agitation culminated in a 105-day bandh with incidents of arson, explosion and violence all over the Hills. The police on September 4, 2017 had received information that some GJM supporters from Lower Harsing and Lebong were planning to cause explosions at an undisclosed location in Darjeeling. A raid had been conducted at Lower Harsing Hatta. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSome packets of explosive substances (power gel), detonator with wire, metal splinters, metal blades, catapult, iron rods, chopper, electric wire, bottles of petrol, improvised bullet heads and rubber stamp of president/secretary of Yuva Morcha were recovered from a house. Police initiated investigations and a case was started against front rung GJM leaders including Bimal Gurung, Prakash Gurung, Praveen Subba and others. The names of the persons arrested on November 2 this year also came up during investigations. They have been absconding. Raids have been continued to be conducted since then. Based on source investigation these persons had returned to meet their family members, police managed to successfully net the 6 arrested from Harsing Hatta. During investigation, they have admitted to their involvement and their statements have been recorded under Section 16 CRPC. The others named in the FIR are still absconding.last_img read more

A classical performance by music maestros

first_imgIt’s that time of the year again when legendary musical maestros are slated to perform at one of India’s oldest music festivals – Shriram Shankarlal Music Festival 2017 – that is almost as old as Independent India. The Shriram Shankarlal Music Festival has been curated by Padmashree Shobha Deepak Singh, festival director and vice-chairperson of Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra (SBKK) and will be held in the SBKK lawns from March 30 to April 2, from 7 pm to 10:30 pm. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe four day festival will kickstart with a vocal performance by the doyenne of Hindustani music Girjia Devi followed by vocals by Ajoy Chakraborty. Other participating artists are Manjiri Asanare (vocal), Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma (instrumental on santoor), Biswajit Roy Chowdhury (instrumental on sarod), Rashid Khan (vocal); Purbayan Chatterjee (instrumental on sitar) and the grand finale on April 2 will be by none other than Pandit Jasraj.”This is the 70th edition of the festival and, after many years, we are hosting it in open air in the lawns of SBKK. In its nascent years, it was only the senior artists who were part of the festival, but now, we make special effort to include younger talent as well. Contrary to popular belief that classical music is losing its audience base, the success of the festival year after year proves that there is not only a discerning audience for classical music but also that classical music retains its unique position on Indian arts,” says Shobha Deepak Singh. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe festival which began as a small concert with an informal gathering of musicians at Sumitra Charat Ram’s (the founder-patron of SBKK) house at Delhi’s Curzon Road has now become a forum for the talented youth alongside the most authentic traditional musicians.Keeping in mind the season and the spirit of festivity, the artists are slated to perform songs around Holi, Chaiti, Kajri, dadra and Ram bhajans.last_img read more

Mountaineers bodies to be brought back

first_imgKolkata: The bodies of mountaineers Kuntal Karar and Biplab Baidya are expected to be brought to the base camp within a few days with the Sherpa team that had gone for the rescue operation after their bodies have been located. Both of them in an expedition to Kanchenjunga were feared dead since Thursday.”We have been able to locate the bodies of Kuntal and Biplab. We are taking all possible steps to bring down the bodies. It is a tough task but the Sherpas are trying their best. We are hopeful that we will be able to do it in a few days,” said Ujjal Ray, a member of the advisory committee of the state Youth Affairs department. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataOn the other hand, the efforts to trace Dipankar Ghosh, another Bengal mountaineer who went missing while he was coming down after scaling Mount Makalu in Nepal on Friday, has been suspended at least till May 22 with forecast of inclement weather conditions. “We have to first locate the body and then plan accordingly on how to bring it down,” said an official of the Seven Summits agency which was overseeing Dipankar’s expedition. He had successfully scaled the fifth highest peak in the world but while descending to the base camp went missing. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateA two-member team comprising an official from the state Youth Affairs department and mountaineer Debdas Adhikary has already reached Kathmandu and is supervising the search operation of Kuntal, Biplab as well as Dipankar. Mt. Makalu is considered amongst the most dangerous and challenging peaks to summit. Ramesh Ray and Rudraprasad Halder who fell sick during the Kanchenjunga expedition were airlifted and brought to the base camp on Thursday afternoon are presently undergoing treatment at a hospital in Nepal. Both of them are recovering.last_img read more

The Impact of High and Growing Government Debt on

first_img“The Impact of High and Growing Government Debt on Economic Growth – An Empirical Investigation for the Euro Area,” by Cristina Checherita and Philipp Rother, European Central Bank, Working Paper Series 1237, August 2010.These papers reflect serious research by world-class economists from the US, Europe and Sweden – and they all confirm the detrimental consequences of extreme governmental indebtedness.Misery on the Rise AgainIn the past year, Okun’s impartial arbiter averaged 10.5%, the highest on record for the third year of an officially recognized economic recovery and almost double the average of the 1950s. The latest readings have occurred despite US gross public debt in excess of 103% of GDP and with the Federal Reserve’s unprecedentedly large balance sheet that approaches nearly $3 trillion.Other measures of well-being confirm the Misery Index. The Poverty Index in 2011 appears to have reached 15.7%, the highest reading in five decades. Not surprisingly, two unenviable records have been set: 46 million, or 14.6% of the population, are now in the food stamp program, up from 7.9% in 1970 and a record-high 41% pay zero national income tax.In the eleven quarters of this expansion, the growth of real per-capita GDP was the lowest for all of the comparable post-WWII business cycle expansions. Real per-capita disposable personal income has risen by a scant 0.1% annual rate, remarkably weak when compared with the 2.9% post-war average. It is often said that economic conditions would have been much worse if the government had not run massive budget deficits and the Fed had not implemented extraordinary policies. This whole premise is wrong.In all likelihood the governmental measures made conditions worse, and the poor results reflect the counterproductive nature of fiscal and monetary policies. None of these numerous actions produced anything more than transitory improvement in economic conditions, followed by a quick retreat to a faltering pattern while leaving the economy saddled with even greater indebtedness. The diminutive gain in this expansion is clearly consistent with the view that government actions have hurt, rather than helped, economic performance. Sadly, many of those who the government programs were supposedly designed to help the most have suffered the worst.The Way OutThe original theoretical argument in favor of deficit spending originated in J.M. Keynes’ The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936). A search of Keynes’ work reveals no recognition of the “bang point,” or the condition where a government engages in deficit spending for such a prolonged period of time that a massive buildup of debt leads to denial of additional credit to the government because of fear that the existing debt will not be repaid. Nor did Keynes address the situation where a large number of countries are all simultaneously getting deeper and deeper in debt and there are gradations of debt among these countries – serious shortfalls in the basic Keynesian theory.Keynes, as opposed to some of his interpreters and predecessors, may have implicitly recognized that a bang point could occur, because he did not recommend constant budget deficits. Instead, he advocated cyclical deficits, counterbalanced by cyclical budget surpluses. Under such a system, government debt in bad times would be retired in good times. However, Keynes’ original proposition was bastardized in support of perpetual deficits, something Keynes himself never advocated.Milton Friedman, whom many consider to have been the polar opposite of Keynes, also never addressed the concept of a bang point, but he may also have understood implicitly that such a situation could occur. The reason is that Friedman advocated balanced budgets, which if followed or required constitutionally as Friedman argued, would prevent a buildup of debt. This view was largely rejected as being inhumane since in a recession, government policy would not be responsive to unemployment and other miseries of such a condition. What should have been discussed is whether some short-term misery is a better option than putting the entire country and economic system in jeopardy, as numerous examples in Europe currently illustrate.The most sensible recognition of budget policy came not from Keynes nor Friedman, but from David Hume, one of the greatest minds of mankind, whom Adam Smith called the greatest intellect that he ever met. In his 1752 paper “Of Public Finance,” Hume advocated running budget surpluses in good times so that they could be used in time of war or other emergencies. Such a recommendation would, of course, prevent policies that would send countries barreling toward the bang point. Countries would have to live inside their means most of the time, but in emergency situations would have the resources to respond.In the context of today’s world, this approach would be viewed as unacceptable because it would limit the ability of politicians to continue their excessive spending, thereby saddling future generations with obligations and promises that cannot be honored. But isn’t Hume’s recommendation exactly what we taught our children in preparing them to manage their own personal finances?Lacy Hunt is the executive vice-president of Hoisington Investment Management, a firm with over $5.8 billion under management, and one of the nation’s top-performing bond managers. Lacy’s work has been published in Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Journal of Finance, the Financial Analysts Journal and the Journal of Portfolio Management. Previously he was the chief economist for the HSBC Group, one of the world’s largest banks, and the senior economist for the Dallas Fed.At the Casey Research/Sprott Summit, he will be making a comprehensive presentation on the policy options the government has left to it, the consequences of those options, and how investors can position themselves. He will also be participating in an on-stage exchange of views on the Fed with G. Edward Griffin, the author of the best-selling Creature from Jekyll Island and long-term Fed critic.One of the really great things about these Summits is that most of the faculty, including Lacy, attend the entire event, giving you a rare opportunity to meet them in person and get your specific questions answered.Friday FunnyI have seen a number of iterations of this particular “funny,” but this one goes a couple of steps further in explaining the dynamics, so I wanted to include it here.Suppose that every day, ten men go out for a beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.The fifth would pay $1.00The sixth would pay $3.00The seventh would pay $7.00The eighth would pay $12.00The ninth would pay $18.00The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.00So that’s what they decided to do. The men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day the owner threw them a curve.“Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.00.”Drinks for the ten men now cost just $80.00.The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get their “fair share?”They realized that $20.00 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.And so:The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).The eighth now paid $9 instead of 12 (25% savings).The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).Each of the six was better off than before! And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.“I only got a dollar out of the $20” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “But he got $10!”“Yeah, that’s right,” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t I get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.For those who understand, no explanation is needed.For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.Casey Report Editors in the NewsIn the way of weekend reading/watching, following are links to some media coverage senior Casey Report editors Bud Conrad  and Doug Casey received this week.The first is an interview with Bud Conrad by the always competent Jim Puplava of the Financial Sense Newshour. In it, Bud discusses his analysis of how the new abundance of natural gas is a game changer for the US. He lays out how the new technology has provided the US with a huge new source of energy that is growing in production and use. Here’s a link to the interview.Better still, you can get the whole story with the details in charts and graphs showing a new method for predicting the price of natural gas, and Bud’s investment prediction, by signing up for a no-risk trial to The Casey Report.Doug Casey ripping things up at the Agora Financial Conference. My dear business partner of some years is many things, but a shrinking violet is not one of them. Regular correspondent Brett of the Contrary Investing Report is in the audience at the Agora Financial Conference now going on in Vancouver, and filed the following recap of Doug’s remarks. Here’s the link.Weekend ReadsMuch of these fall into the category of yet more examples of central planning and the consequences that inevitably follow. Some are quite eye-opening, starting with…Fire Ice – We have all seen the news about the deadly wildfires now sweeping the western United States. Would you believe that there is a proven technology that could have snuffed those fires out long ago? That could snuff them out right away? Yet the company that possesses the technology – which other states have used very successfully – remains sidelined. Perhaps, as one observer put it, by whichever politically well-connected company now has the contract to fight the fires. Here’s the link to the eye-opening story of Fire Ice.Bloomberg on Cops Going on Strike – You probably heard that Mayor Bloomberg of NYC proposed that the nation’s police go on strike until gun control laws are enacted. If not, here’s the story – and a fact-based response to his contention that police are increasingly at risk from being shot by members of the public. The truth, however, is just the opposite – with police shootings, such as set off the Anaheim riot, on the increase. Here’s the story from the always excellent Reason.com.Also from Reason, a Mind-Numbing Story About the IRS – Imagine a family being asked to pay millions in taxes for a piece of worthless art. Worthless not because it’s not fine art (though not to my taste), but because the government’s own rules make it illegal to sell. Here’s the story.Airports and Border Crossings in Canada Wired with Listening Equipment – from Our Friends at the  International Man. One of the participants in the forum at InternationalMan.com tipped us off to this story, that the Canadians are wiring their airports and border crossings so that they can listen in and record your conversations as you wait to go through. What has happened to the world? Oh, that’s right, I remember – the central planners, in this case those charged with protecting our “security,” have been at it again. Next time you are in a Canadian airport, any airport, remember, mum’s the word.And Finally…Ending on a positive note, the following just came across the wires. Though the story comes from Cuba, it points to a better, freer future for us all.That’s because while a centrally planned, command economy can last a long time, it can’t last forever. And when the house of (poorly arranged) cards comes crashing down, the free market will reemerge.Here’s the headline of the story, and a link to read it.Cuba to end Soviet-style economy and will implement market-friendly policiesHere’s the linkAnd with that, I will sign off for the week by thanking you for reading and for being a Casey Research subscriber.Remember, the early-bird pricing for our upcoming Summit ends July 31 – don’t miss it.See you there!David GallandManaging DirectorCasey Research “Government Size and Growth:  A Survey and Interpretation of the Evidence,” by Andreas Bergh and Magnus Henrekson, IFN Working Paper No. 858, April 2011; Dear Reader,Before I begin today’s musings, I would like to give a musical nod to Bush, a band that seems to me to be largely overlooked. If you are unfamiliar with them (and don’t mind some fairly hard rock), here are a few selections to keep you company this fine day… Glycerin… Everything’s Zen (live)… Comedown.And so, with feet and fingers tapping madly, we move on…What (Almost) Everyone Fails to Understand About Our EconomyI want to start today’s missive with a couple of unusual charts. Unusual because they contain no reference points. Here’s the first.And here’s the second.We’ll return to those charts momentarily. First, however, a confession.As much as I read, and despite interacting with very smart people on a daily basis, until just recently I have missed something about our economy that, on reflection, should have been as obvious as the computer screen I spend far too many hours staring at.Allow me to emphasize the point in somewhat stronger terms.That I could have overlooked this particular aspect of the US economy and the overarching consequences that follow from it for all these years should, if I were a lawyer, cause me to be disbarred. If I were a doctor, the medical practice board would be entirely within their rights to revoke my license. If I were a politician, my benefactors would be entirely justified in cutting off my bribes donations. If I were a… well, you get the idea.Interestingly, as smack-up-the-side-of-the-head obvious as this feature of the economy is, and has been for years, virtually everyone else has failed to spot it as well.So, what is this mystery?Succinctly, it is that, like Europe (where, during my recent trip there, the spark of awareness was lit), the economy of the United States is, and has been for decades, increasingly under the control of central planners at the expense of the free market.As proof of that contention, we return to the two charts above. Here, again, is the first, but with the contextual reference points in place.(Click on image to enlarge)As you can see, the chart tracks the purchasing power of the US dollar since 1914, the year that the government, through its stooges at the Fed, took command of monetary policy. Laughably, the stated mission of these central planners was to preserve the value of the dollar. Predictably, exactly the opposite resulted.And here’s the second chart, also with the reference points in place.(Click on image to enlarge)As you can so clearly see, after severing the last connection with the gold standard in 1971, after which point the central planners took command of fiscal policy, we have seen an exponential growth in government debt.(Of course, the numbers on the national debt are grossly understated as it doesn’t account for the tens of trillions of dollars of unfunded and unpayable obligations tied to Social Security, Medicare and so forth.)Now, I could go on and on, finding dozens of examples of the shift from a free market to a command economy, but in the interest of time will stop there.The point, which I hope is now clear to all, is that the economic model that allowed the United States to rise out of abject poverty at its inception to become the most powerful economy the world has ever seen has been tossed aside in favor of a model that has proven time and again to be fundamentally flawed and always doomed to fail.That the central-planning model, here and around the world, has been advanced by a fiat global reserve currency is undeniable. However, as the two charts clearly show, the consequences of having central planners controlling monetary and fiscal policy have created a ticking time bomb set to explode.A few additional comments are warranted.The first has to do with who the central planners actually are. And the best way to understand that is by considering who they are not.Who they are not is successful entrepreneurs. Stating what should also be obvious, were they successful entrepreneurs, they would be otherwise engaged in creating jobs and building wealth for themselves and their co-workers.Instead, the central planners almost always hail from the halls of academia, their stock and trade consisting entirely of a college degree and a façade of really knowing what they talk about. As a friend likes to say, “The biggest problems in this world are not caused by a lack of knowledge, but by people who pretend to know when they don’t.”Over the years I have met and even gotten to know people who have gravitated toward jobs involved with setting government policies. And to a person, they have never held a real job outside of academia, or if they did, they failed at it. Yet they are unhesitant in telling everyone who will listen in tones most professorial how the world should work, and why enlightened government policies – not the free market – are the only answer.These people have taken over our country, and in fact, the world. The current mess we are in should not be a surprise to anyone. All anyone has to do is look at the history of the Soviet Union, or communist China, pre-economic liberalization, to see how the story of command economies ends. How it always ends.So, where do things go from here?Earlier today I dropped an email to our editors, which I will quote from here as it deals with what I see as the fate of the global economy over the next six months or so.“It’s all about the debt.“The sovereigns owe a lot of money that they can’t repay. As they try to roll over their existing debts and have to borrow more, the lenders – if any can be found – will want higher and eventually unaffordable interest rates. When the lenders dry up, the only solution will be for the central bankers to monetize, but the world will be watching closely, so this will likely trigger a death spiral in the fiat currencies.“There are intractable problems on a fundamental, systemic basis that cannot be resolved in an orderly fashion. The day is coming when the lending locks up again, after which point everything starts to fall apart.“So, no, I don’t think it’s a muddle by outcome, but a systemic crash… hopefully big enough to cause a rethink about the entire current setup with funny money and central economic planning.“But that would take a very big crash.”Now, I know that a lot of dear subscribers, having accepted our arguments for including tangible assets as a core portfolio holding for many years now, have struggled during the latest retracement and consolidation period in the precious metals and associated stocks.But if you step back and look at the big picture as it is constantly revealed in the headlines and regular releases of poor economic data, I think the conclusions we came to back before the crisis hit, that the Fed (and all the central bankers) are stuck between a rock and a hard place, remain the correct conclusions.There is no simple or easy way out of this situation as the central planners are forced into a haphazard and highly destructive retreat. And the consequences won’t just be economic or political… the mini-riots in Anaheim this past week are just a straw in the wind.So, how does one cope in a command economy headed, like all its predecessors, into the trash bin of history – in this case, on a global scale?First and foremost, diversify. Everything contains risk, so spreading it around to mitigate the chances of getting hit especially hard from any one investment sector makes a lot of sense.Personally, I use a spread sheet program to analyze my holdings from a number of different angles, including percentage dedicated to natural resources; percentage in non-US-dollar-denominated assets; percentage outside of the United States; percentage with any one financial institution; percentage in dividend earning stocks; percentage liquid vs. illiquid; percentage in common equities; percentage in cash and so forth.The idea is that if any one area becomes overweight or underweight, I look to make adjustments. In addition, I set certain goals – for example, the percentage of our net worth we want outside of the United States – and manage to that number.In short, pay close attention to where your assets are allocated and don’t go overboard in any one sector.Secondly, skew toward things tangible. Over the next few years, we are going to see massive dislocations as the fiat currency system cracks apart, starting with the euro and then, after a final rush into the “safe harbor” of the US dollar, spreading to the dollar itself.As much as possible, own things with a tangible value. Precious metals are fine, but don’t go overboard as that makes you susceptible to a change in government regulations that could literally be invoked overnight. Consider property, and even income-producing property (in low-tax jurisdictions). But, again, don’t go overboard because real estate is always a fixed target, which means the government can tax it or even confiscate it, and you won’t be able to do much about it. Owning currencies of countries with large resources is a proxy for owning something tangible, though an imperfect proxy.Be careful. It will only get more challenging to build net worth going forward. Whether it be higher taxes on capital gains (a certainty at some point) or the cancellation of tax breaks, or more demands on business owners from legislation such as Obamacare, generating – and more to the point, keeping – net worth will not be easy. Therefore, rule number one has to be to avoid risking big chunks of money.Sit tight, and be right. Per my comments above, I remain convinced that our Casey Research base case – of a global economic crisis that will get much worse before it gets better, and that the central planners have few options left to them other than monetary debasement – is correct.For those of you who already have allocations to the tangibles, and to the gold stocks (which are massively undervalued at this point), sit tight and you will come out right. If you are just now rethinking how to reposition your portfolio to get through what’s next, then do yourself a favor and take a low-cost, money-back-guaranteed subscription to our BIG GOLD service and start adding positions on the inevitable pullbacks.These are, of course, only some of the strategies you can use. The most comprehensive analysis of the situation, and how to prepare for what’s next, will be at the upcoming three-day intensive Summit we are co-hosting with Sprott, Inc., Navigating the Politicized Economy, in beautiful Carlsbad, California, September 7 – 9.Speaking of the Summit, one of the smartest people you’ll rub elbows with at the event will again be Dr. Lacy Hunt, the former economist to the Dallas Fed (but a Fed fan no longer) and the nation’s top-performing bond fund manager. Earlier this week, Lacy shot me over the following article that is well worth your attention.Unintended Consequences of Well-Motivated PoliciesBy Dr. Lacy HuntIn the early 1960s, when JFK was in the White House and William McChesney Martin was Fed chairman, Keynesian economics was in full bloom. One of its major tenets was the Phillips Curve, which posits a stable inverse relationship between the rate of inflation and the unemployment rate. Yale professor James Tobin (1918-2002) and others argued that the social outcome could be improved by a more activist monetary and fiscal policy. Specifically, they contended that the unemployment rate could be lowered while only resulting in slightly higher inflation.The argument posited the notion that economic-policy makers had sufficient knowledge to intervene or fine-tune the economy with tools like those of a surgeon. Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Carter (two Democrats and one Republican) followed this policy. At one point, President Nixon made the famous statement that “We are all Keynesians now.” Moreover, as the White House led, the Fed chairmen of the era – Martin, Burns and Miller – generally acquiesced.To judge the effectiveness of this policy, an objective standard is needed. Arthur M. Okun (1928-80), Yale colleague of Tobin, developed such a standard, which he called the Misery Index – the sum of the inflation and unemployment rates.Under the activist, Phillips Curve-based policy, some reduction in unemployment was temporarily achieved. However, inflation accelerated much more than was anticipated, and the net result was higher unemployment and faster inflation, an outcome not at all contemplated by the Phillips Curve. The Misery Index surged from an average of 6.7% in the 1950s, to 7.3% in the 1960s, to 13.6% in the 1970s, with peak rates above 20% in the early 1980s.Many US households suffered. Wages of lower-paying positions failed to keep up with inflation, and when higher unemployment resulted, many of those people lost their jobs. Those on the high end had far more resources that enabled them to protect their investments and earned income, so the income/wealth divide worsened. A half-century later, the United States has never regained the prosperity of the 1950s.Working independently in the late 1960s, economists Milton Friedman and Edmund Phelps, who would both eventually be awarded the Nobel Prize in economics, had determined that while the Phillips Curve was observable over the short run, this was not the case over the long run. While the economics profession debated the Friedman/Phelps research, the US had to learn their findings the hard way.Growing Evidence of the Long-term Depressants from Activist PoliciesIn addition to the compelling evidence that more active monetary and fiscal policy involvement did not produce beneficial results over the short run, three recent academic studies, though they differ in purpose and scope, all reach the conclusion that extremely high levels of governmental indebtedness diminish economic growth. In other words, deficit spending should not be called “stimulus” as is the overwhelming tendency by the media and many economic writers.Whereas government spending may have been linked to the concept of economic stimulus in distant periods, these studies demonstrate that such an assertion is unwarranted, and blatantly wrong in present circumstances. While officials argue that governmental action is required for political reasons and public anxiety, governments would be better off to admit that traditional tools only serve to compound existing problems.These three highly compelling studies are:“Debt Overhangs: Past and Present,” by Carmen M. Reinhart, Vincent R. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 18015, April 2012;last_img read more

In This Issue   Antipodeans see profit taking

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Antipodeans see profit taking. *  Pound sterling is star performer overnight! *  China prints strong data! *  Silver to get boost from India? And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Retail Sales Disappoints! Good Day! .  And a Happy Friday to one and all! This will be short-n-sweet today, I feel like dookie, and really just want to go back to sleep! But, even this out of whack feeling won’t stop me from getting the Pfennig out! Rain, sleet, snow, feeling like dookie, or anything else, will keep the Pfennig from going out!  Just typing that last sentence, makes me feel better, let’s hope that trend continues! The trend that has continued in the currencies is the lack of volume in trades. This has gone on way too long, and really has me concerned. The Currencies trading is usually around a $5 Trillion per day size business.. I doubt we’ve come close to that $5 Trillion in a month of Sundays. And when you have this lack of volume, you get wild swings. The wild swing that happened last night came from the Antipodean currencies of Australia and New Zealand.  These two had just spent the previous night and day in the spotlight, but just like that, the euphoria was thrown to the side of the road, and profit taking set in. Before you could say, “what, the what?” these two had lost a chunk.  and a wild swing from day to day occurred. One thing that you can’t rule out here is Central Bank intervention. Remember, these Central Banks, have mentioned over and over again that the currencies are at historical highs, against the backdrop of weak commodity prices. In other words, they think the currencies should be weaker, and after a day of Huge gains in these two, what better day to intervene and sell the currencies by the Central Banks?  I have no idea if this happened, and we wouldn’t know for a few weeks, I’m just saying. Remember a couple of days ago, when the euro had gotten whacked , I said, that the euro just needed a couple of days to allow the markets forget the pain. Well, that appears to be the scenario for the euro, as yesterday the euro began to creep higher, and overnight it has added to the gains, the moves are small, in that the single unit is still below 1.36, but rising nonetheless!  There’s really been no data to speak of here, so the euro is trading on its own, and doing much better than earlier in the week! The star performer overnight and through this morning’s session is the British pound sterling. I had read yesterday that Bank of England (BOE) Gov. Carney was going to be a key speaker at the annual Mansion House jamboree, and Carney decided to use this venue to tell everyone that the BOE may raise interest rates from a record low earlier than investors expected.  Now, this is where I want to get on my soapbox and yell at the top of my voice to the markets, that we’ve seen this all before! Remember? Carney kept promising a rate hike in Canada, and after a couple of years, where were Canadian rates? That’s right, unchanged. Carney had a bag full of promises then, and I would have to think that this horse hasn’t changed colors.  Of course if he does deliver a rate hike much earlier, then I will admit that he is a horse of a different color! But, I think the pound sterling will suffer much like the Canadian dollar/ loonie did after a run up in price, only to see the selling when the markets grew tired of waiting for Carney’s rate hike. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of a rising sterling as it’s taking place. It just means you need to be nimble when you begin to see the pieces of sterling’s armor begin to fall to the ground. Well, the World Cup kicked off (pun intended) yesterday with the host country Brazil beating Croatia.  And the tourists and soccer fans are pouring into Brazil, and exchanging their base currencies for Brazilian reals. The real has really responded favorably lately, and its strong move has me worried. I know that some of you weren’t around the last time we saw the real go on a tear ( a few years ago it was the best performing currency with a 34% gain one year!) the Brazilian Gov’t and Central Bank teamed up to bring the real to its knees, and beg forgiveness for being so strong.  This time, the gang of two, as I like to call them, are singing a different tune, and besides real isn’t nearly as strong as it was before.  But in the past year, real has moved from 2.4550 to 2.2315, where it trades today..  (remember, real is a European priced currency, so the lower the price, the more value it returns in dollars)  Just remember, that reals can be very volatile, which is why I always say that it should only be bought in the speculative portion of your investment portfolio.  Good investors know that by doing that, they’ll not worry about the volatile moves. The South African Credit Rating was downgraded by Fitch overnight from stable to negative. YIKES!  Maybe Fitch didn’t get the memo that the strike in S. Africa mining had ended! Needless to say that this downgrade news was not taken kindly by the S. African rand.. The rand has really taken it on the chin for the last year, and hasn’t been able to find a bid anywhere. I think the S. African Central Bank will have to hike rates to get the bleeding to stop here in the rand. But I doubt that will happen any time soon, so batten down the hatches rand holders. China printed some good data overnight. Chinese Industrial Output rose at a 8.8% clip in May from a year earlier, up from the 8.7% clip in April. And Retail Sales for May increased 12.5%!!!!! Now that’s a Retail Sales figure a country can be proud of! (we’ll talk about the U.S. Retail Sales report in a minute) Recall that a week or so ago, I told you that I thought the Chinese Gov’t was going to step up the stimulus for the economy. Well, these reports are either telling us that the Chinese Gov’t did step up the stimulus and it’s already working, or that the economy didn’t need any more stimulus other than the “mini-stimulus” that was already in the works! I prefer to think that it was the latter of the two! In India overnight, the rupee lost some more ground, as it still attempts to remove the knife from its back, but there were a couple of new items that should help the rupee going forward. First, India’s state-run solar company announced plans to auction contracts to build 100 megawatts of solar-thermal capacity. And the second new item was that India imported Gold at the highest capacity in 10 months!  Now, while these news items will actually help Silver and Gold more than they will help the rupee, I think the good overall feeling in India will continue to grow, and that will play well in the sandbox with the rupee. Speaking of the solar story being good for Silver. I just put the finishing touches on the July issue of the Review & Focus, and in it I go through the math of how Silver plays out in the production of megawatts solar panels. so, be sure to look for the R&F at a newsstand near you! No. wait Chuck! The R&F is only available to clients of EverBank World Markets! Oh well, you have a couple of weeks to sign up so you can receive this excellent letter each month! HA! And speaking of Gold. It added another $9 to its price yesterday. but the two darlings of the precious metals, Platinum and Palladium got whacked yesterday when the news of an apparent end to the mining strikes in S. Africa hit the streets. I think this was good for these two, given that they had really rallied recently and left a lot of investors behind. But now these investors can step into these metals at much cheaper prices and feel good about it! The fundamentals for all the metals haven’t changed, folks. The U.S. Data Cupboard will print the May PPI (wholesale inflation) reports this morning, but don’t expect PPI to pop out and surprise us. Year on year will probably print at a +2.4% clip, which doesn’t mean a hill of beans to me.  But what did mean a hill of beans to me was yesterday’s Retail Sales print from the Data Cupboard.  May Retail Sales disappointed everyone by only gaining .3%  instead of .6% that was expected.  Car Sales, which I had already told you would be strong, were the bulk of this report, which means consumer spending on other stuff, just wasn’t there. The markets didn’t look at it like that, instead they chose to look at how April’s anemic .1% gain was revised upward to .5%…  That’s quite a large “revision” don’t you think?  I find this revision to be suspect!  In my mind, how can grownups print that revision with a clear conscience? For What It’s Worth. My good friend, Dennis Miller, who writes an excellent letter for retirees or people getting close to retiring, like me!, sent me a note yesterday, and said that some data he saw showed  in the last 12 months Student Loans had increased $124 Billion, and the total for Student Loans was now greater than the total of Credit Card loans.  Hmmm, I thought, for a minute, and my mind immediately thought about how Student Loans last a very long time, while Credit Card loans might get paid off at any time.   So, that tells me that Student Loans are a bigger deal..  You may recall me venting earlier in the week about the President announcing some sort of bail out on Student Loans.  So, now I’m fuming. Then Alex Daley, the economist from the Casey Research group chimed in, and said that he had been screaming about this for a while. Let’s listen to what Alex had to say, “There is a bailout coming, as Student Loans are up 400% in 5 years, and non-payment rates have climbed 50% already, even with defaulting being nearly impossible legally.”   Now, I’m on fire! Smoke is coming out of my ears! I need to get some cold water thrown on me! Houston, we have a problem here. and it’s not a failure to communicate! It’s a problem surrounding not making people be responsible or accountable for what they sign up for!  It’s the storyline in this country that keeps getting more and more blown out of proportion, and will continue on that path, until it doesn’t. And then, people will wonder.. I wonder how this ever started in the first place.. Chuck again. Well, I never left actually! The FWIW section today was brought to you by ME! OK, stop acting silly, Chuck, this stuff is important! That’s right, I’m sorry. But I just can’t fight this any longer. I can rant and pound my fist till I turn blue, but it won’t do any good. There’s just no “accountability” any longer. It’s always someone else’s fault, and if you get in over your head, the Gov’t will bail you out. It’s all about the Gov’t’s need to make you more dependent on them, folks. when will people wake up and smell the coffee! To recap. The currencies and metals are mixed today. With pound sterling coming out on top as the best performer overnight, on some Carney promises. The Antipodean currencies saw profit taking or Central Bank intervention overnight. And China, and India both printed some good data or had good stories that should be good for the currencies going forward, and good for Silver and Gold.  U.S. Retail Sales for May were disappointing, but April was “revised” upward, very curiously I must say. Currencies today 6/13/14. American Style: A$ .9380, kiwi .8650, C$ .9210, euro 1.3575, sterling 1.6960, Swiss $1.1120, . European Style: rand 10.7740, krone 6.0080, SEK 6.6715, forint 226.85, zloty 3.0495, koruna 20.2640, RUB 34.47, yen 102.05, sing 1.2510, HKD 7.7515, INR 59.75, China 6.1503, pesos 13.02, BRL 2.2315, Dollar Index 80.63, Oil $107.05 (look at this soar, on the Iraq problems) , 10-year 2.60%, Silver $19.51, Platinum $1,443.75, Palladium $818.85, and Gold.. $1,272.90 That’s it for today. Well, my calendar popped up to tell me to not to forget that tomorrow is the 15 year anniversary for Jen Mclean at EverBank!  I could go on about how long Jen and I have worked together, but then that would be revealing her age!  Let’s just say, it’s been a few years, eh? Thanks for staying with me all these years, Jen. Well, the sun is coming up! Yes, the sun! We are supposed to have two days of sunshine here in St. Louis, with rain returning on Sunday. Sunday is Father’s Day. I miss my dad. But doesn’t everyone that has lost their dad? My dad was a tough guy, the Union steward for Teamsters 500, fought in WWII, but knew when someone needed love instead of a kick in the butt. He taught me so much, and I know I never told him I loved him near enough. So.. if your dad is still around, make sure to give him a hug, yes, guys even you.. and tell him you love him.  And just like on Mother’s Day weekend, I have a short poem for Dad. So, let’s go make this a Fantastico Friday, even though I’m going back to bed! Over the years As we grow old, We remember our father So brave and bold. In the garden, Leaning on the plow, He would listen to me; I see him now. He would give advice And understand; He was always there To lend a hand. God made fathers Strong and firm, For he knew our lives Would have great concerns. So he gave us fathers To teach us to pray, And guide our lives, And show us the way. So on his day Let’s take the time To say “Thanks, dad. I’m glad you’re mine.” Chuck Butler President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more

The good news in resourcerelated political risk c

first_imgThe good news in resource-related political risk continues: no new disasters, such as nationalization of a major mine. The Middle East remains in conflict, and Africa remains a dangerous place to do business, as has been the case for decades. The most alarming news for us was that Mexico’s Green Party just won a larger portion of the nation’s Congress. It remains a small minority with about 10% of the seats, but that’s more than the German green party… and look what it’s done. Worse, the green party is in alliance with the ruling PRI, which needs it to form a majority coalition. That means the ruling party has to give the greens a lot of what they want. Some of what the greens want is just crazy. However, Mexico is a place where poverty still abounds and the harsh facts of life still matter in politics. Nothing has actually changed yet, and the country does have a stable and workable mining code. It’s too soon to write the place off, but we’ll be watching it closely. Stupidity Watch There’s more bad news than good, as usual. Here’s the latest: June 2015: Top Five Countries This month’s top-scoring countries are: Sweden, Finland, Ireland, the US, and Canada. They are all considered very low risk. Ireland (Casey Country Score 0.06). Thanks to the combined effects of the Minerals Development Act in 1940 and a number of significant tax measures announced in 1956, Ireland has become one of the most pro-mining places in Europe and in the world. Zambia: News is out that Zambia is considering cutting the mineral royalties for underground mines. The cut would push the tax below the recently revised 9%. The original (now abandoned) tax hike saw the government charging as much as 20%. We hope common sense will eventually triumph over political stupidity. This Month’s Country Scores This month’s report examines 66 countries with significant mining activity. We plan to expand this to cover oil- and gas-producing countries and other resource industries. This month the focus remains on mining. Below are the individual country scores, followed by regional groupings and other notes. Europe looks the most investor friendly. The region includes both EU members and emerging European and Balkan countries, such as Russia and Serbia. This group is diverse, but on average its constituent countries tend to have stable and attractive investment climates, which makes them good mining jurisdictions. About the Casey Country Score Before we recommend a company, we always analyze the country (or countries) in which it operates. We examine the government’s level of support for mining, foreign investment, and private enterprise, and try to avoid countries with policies detrimental to investors. To this end, we tap multiple sources with knowledge of the country in question, including government officials, miners, geologists actually working on the ground, independent journalists, and NGOs. Whenever possible, we visit the country to see how the data measure up against the observable reality. It’s impossible, of course, to get our boots on the ground in all the countries we’re interested in as often as we’d like. So to fill the gap, we’ve developed the Casey Country Score (CCS) as a quick way to assess a country’s investment climate. The CCS measures multiple aspects of a country’s investment appeal, including the ease of registering property, investor protection, transparency of government institutions, and logistical infrastructure, among others. Lower scores are better. While the vast majority of countries receive a score between 0.0 and 1.0, some may slightly exceed 1.0 if, for example, they have high inflation in addition to other poor scores. Notes: 1] We designed the Casey Country Score to aggregate multiple ratings from such international organizations as the Fraser Institute, the World Bank, Transparency International, and others, and we augment that data with current indicators, such as inflation. The score gives more weight to mining-specific data than to indicators pegged to the economy as a whole, but of course, it reflects the overall investment climate in a country too. Our proprietary formula assigns a single score to each country. The results give us a rough but interesting insight into how countries stack up against each other as investment jurisdictions, for mining and in general. 2] As we’re focused on resource investments in the Casey International Speculator, the letter for which we created the CCS, we selected countries for this report where mining (excluding the oil and gas industry, but including nonmetals) is a significant industry. We used the size of the country’s mining industry in relation to its GDP as a benchmark and considered mainly those where the figure was 1% or more. 3] For Finland, Sweden, Serbia, and the United Kingdom, mining (excluding oil and gas) fell below our 1% benchmark according to the most recently available data. Yet these countries are interesting mining jurisdictions with a lot of investment opportunities. We made a judgment call and left them in. United States (Casey Country Score 0.08). The US ranking in the current Fraser survey dropped a tick, but with excellent infrastructure, low inflation, and high investor protection, it’s still a great mining jurisdiction overall. Some states are obviously not as mine friendly as the ones that rely heavily on mining in the West: Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, and Utah. This is well understood by both resource investors and the Canada-listed mining companies that operate there. The Big Picture: Regions Sweden (Casey Country Score 0.04). Sweden is a jurisdiction with excellent infrastructure and famously low corruption and inflation. The country features high-quality geological databases and readily available exploration services. Australia scored very well in the Fraser Survey, the World Bank’s report, and the Corruption Perceptions Index. We tend to agree with this result: the country is a good mining jurisdiction, much better than the Asia & Oceania average. There are other outliers in each group that can render a regional average less useful, and we always look at individual countries to determine if they’re worth our investing consideration.center_img Important points to note: Canada (Casey Country Score 0.08). Canada is another country with a long-established mining industry and an extremely favorable investment climate in the majority of its provinces. We don’t have any particular concerns about Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, among other Canadian provinces, when it comes to mining friendliness. There can be variances within a country between its administrative divisions, such as provinces in Argentina or states in Brazil and the US, and each can have significantly different investment appeal. Mongolia: Khan Resources petitioned a US court to weigh in on its protracted dispute with Mongolia. The move comes after the country decided to invalidate a $100 million arbitration claim by the Canadian company. Our view remains that Mongolia’s intention to revoke Khan’s claims was monumentally stupid. It will make it that much harder to attract investment, which the country badly needs. Finland (Casey Country Score 0.05). Finland is a top Fraser Survey jurisdiction and was an undisputed leader in most of the other reports we drew input from. We note, however, that while stable, government processes in Finland can be very slow. Peru: Violent protests against the Tia Maria copper mine rocked Peru again last month. Five deaths and many more injured reported so far. The government declared a state of emergency in the region. The conflict is suspended, but the truce looks fragile. Louis James has provided his take on the situation. Short version: the government is pro-mining, but don’t invest in companies in Peru unless they can convince you they have strong local support. Romania: The country has hiked taxes for mining activities by just under 7%. The government says it wants to align tax rates with inflation. Romania last touched mining taxes in 2013, when it upped them by a whopping 28%. Not a good trend. And stupid: it makes no sense to raise taxes on a business that has almost ground to a halt in your country but which could attract foreign investment, if the politicians would just let it be. Chile: Country’s environmental regulator has filed charges against Canadian miner Lundin Mining Corporation. The reason: alleged environmental violations in its Candelaria copper deposit located in Chile’s Atacama region. It may be that the company is at fault and the authorities are just doing their jobs. We haven’t been down there to check. But the move is part of an ongoing pushback against mining, so view this as another turn toward economic stupidity in Chile. European Union: Last month European Parliament voted in favor of a mandatory certification system for importers of so-called conflict minerals. The bill is largely aimed at Africa, where minerals play a role in several violent conflicts. As a result, 800,000 European companies will have to ensure that revenues from the minerals they use are not funding conflicts. The move doesn’t really affect our investments but is an interesting example of stupid regulation in the EU that will tax business and make not one bit of difference to the people it’s intended to help.last_img read more

Disabled campaigners and their allies have called

first_imgDisabled campaigners and their allies have called on the transport secretary to restore “vital” government funding for projects to improve access to rail stations across England, Wales and Scotland.In a letter signed by more than 50 organisations, Transport for All (TfA) – which campaigns for an accessible transport system – calls on Chris Grayling to restore tens of millions of pounds of funding for the Access for All scheme that has been deferred by the government.The letter says that deferring half of all planned Access for All projects means that the “already slow progress on rail access has all but ground to a halt”.The decision by the chair of Network Rail – later rubber-stamped by Grayling – to cut Access for All funding for 2014-19 from £102 million to £55 million, with the rest carried over to 2019-24, was first revealed by Disability News Service last year.The letter has been sent as Grayling is due today (Thursday) to announce future levels of Network Rail funding, which TfA says provides an “opportunity to get things back on track”.But the department’s Accessibility Action Plan, published in August, pledges only that the government will deliver funding already announced – including the deferred funding – in full, and that it will “continue to seek to extend the Access for All programme further in the future”.The letter calls on Grayling to instead “invest in the potential of Deaf and disabled people” and reverse the decision to defer the Access for All funding, as well as commit to further Access for All funding after 2020 through “an ambitious long-term plan for making our railways fully accessible”.It tells Grayling that it is an “injustice” for Deaf, disabled and older people to be “locked out of our rail network”, and that accessible stations also benefit parents with buggies, dog-owners and people with luggage.The letter says government figures show that any money spent improving rail accessibility pays back nearly three times that amount in economic benefits, while an accessible station can mean “the difference between work and unemployment, a lifeline to friends and family or isolation”.The Transport for All letter has been signed by disabled people’s organisations including Inclusion London, Disability Sheffield, Ealing Centre for Independent Living, Kingston Centre for Independent Living, People First (Self Advocacy), Regard, Shaping Our Lives, Asian People’s Disability Alliance and Real.They say that nearly 80 per cent of rail stations across the UK do not have full step-free access, while many others do not have the other necessary access features such as tactile paving, audio-visual information and induction loops that enable Deaf and disabled people to use them.A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “We take the issue of accessibility across all modes of transport very seriously and are continuing to improve station access through the Access for All programme and other major projects.“By 2019 at least 75 per cent of all journeys will be from stations with step-free access.“The Accessibility Action Plan is the next step in a much-needed dialogue with disabled people, carers, transport providers and local authorities to identify new ways to improve travel. “We also secured commitments from the rail industry earlier this year to help make journeys better for disabled people.”last_img read more

Russian Hacking Ring Steals More Than a Billion Passwords

first_img Enroll Now for $5 Add to Queue Guest Writer 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. Russian Hacking Ring Steals More Than a Billion Passwords Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Next Article Hackerscenter_img –shares Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Blink, and there’s another headline about yet another data breach. First, it was Target. Then, in quick succession, Neiman Marcus and Michaels announced data breaches of their own. More recently – just this past Monday, in fact — P.F. Chang’s said that customers’ credit-card information at 33 of its locations had been compromised.Back in January, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation warned retailers to expect more attacks.They weren’t joking. Turns out, the rash of reported attacks represents just a small fraction of the personal data already stolen by hackers.Related: P.F. Chang’s Says Credit-Card Breach Affected 33 RestaurantsBeginning in earnest this April, a Russian crime ring has collected the largest known stockpile of stolen online credentials, making off with 1.2 billion user name and password combinations and more than 500 million email addresses, The New York Times reported.This wide-scale hack job, which was brought to light by the cybersecurity firm Holden Security, targeted over 420,000 websites ranging from big-name companies to smaller websites, the firm wrote in a blog post.“Hackers did not just target U.S. companies, they targeted any website they could get, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to very small websites,” Alex Holden, the founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security, told the Times. “And most of these sites are still vulnerable.” In part for this reason, the firm has declined to identify a list of victims.All of this havoc was can be traced back to less than a dozen men in their 20s living in a small city in south central Russia, the Times reported. For now, it appears these guys are primarily using the stolen data to spam Twitter for other groups, charging a fee for the service.Related: Target, Neiman Marcus Hacks Could Be More Widespread, Experts SayThis, the Times noted, isn’t the best business strategy: “Selling more of the records on the black market would be lucrative.”Because people tend to use the same password for multiple sites, a single password, along with other stolen credentials, can be very valuable. Let’s say a thief gains access to your password for a retail site; he or she can then test it to try and access your bank account. (In other words, if your password for multiple sites – scratch that, any site – is “12345,” please change it now).This, of course, will not be the last time a massive security breach makes headlines. Do yourself a favor, then, and beef up your password security before the next attack is unearthed. Related: Your Password Is 123456? Wow. Seriously? Laura Entis 3 min read August 6, 2014last_img read more

Vaping surges among American teenagers says new report

first_imgVaping pen, vape devices. Image Credit: Hazem.m.kamal / Shutterstock Source:http://monitoringthefuture.org//pressreleases/18drugpr.pdf The latest survey from the University of Michigan has found that teenagers aged between 17 and 18 years and in their 12 grades were vaping nicotine more than before. The percentage has risen from 11 percent in 2017 to 21 percent this year, they noted. Recently surveys have shown that smoking rates are on the decline among Americans especially teenagers. This report reverse the happy trend say the experts.The team of surveyors asked the teenagers if they had vaped in the preceding 30 days as part of the Monitoring the Future study. They looked at 45,000 students across the nation and this was one of the largest annually rises in smoking rates over the last four and a half decades. Similar increase was seen in marijuana smoking in the 1970s, explain the experts.The report adds that vaping rose from 3.5 percent to 6.1 percent among 8th graders and from 8 percent to 16 percent among 10th graders. Among students between grades 9 and 12, there were 1.3 million additional adolescents who used e-cigarettes, write the authors of the report. Hand in hand, marijuana vaping was also on the rise they warned.Richard Miech, lead author of the review said, “The policies and procedures in place to prevent youth vaping clearly haven’t worked… Vaping is reversing hard-fought declines in the number of adolescents who use nicotine… These results suggest that vaping is leading youth into nicotine use and nicotine addiction, not away from it.”Related StoriesNew program focuses on preventing alcohol, e-cigarette use by childrenE-cigarettes contaminated with dangerous microbial toxinsSan Francisco set to ban sales of e-cigarettesThe team of experts noted that alcohol use, marijuana smoking, cocaine and use of other illicit drugs had not changed significantly in this study duration. Binge drinking in fact was significantly low among 12th graders during the period of the survey, they add.The team adds that the reason behind this rise could be availability of several flavours and discrete USB devices. Another reason could be the absence of socializing among teenagers and more time spent with smartphones and other devices. Experts say that smoking, drinking and experimenting with drugs is usually a group activity while vaping is an individual activity. Mr Miech said, “Factors that make vaping so attractive to youth include its novelty and the easy concealability of the latest vaping devices, which better allows youth to vape without adults knowing about it.”Dr Nora D Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse said, “Teens are clearly attracted to the marketable technology and flavorings seen in vaping devices. However, it is urgent that teens understand the possible effects of vaping on overall health; the development of the teen brain; and the potential for addiction.”According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this September the rise in vaping is like an “epidemic” among the teens especially with the flavoured options. E-cigarette makers Juul, last month as a response to the appeals from various authorities and organization, stopped sales of certain flavours attractive to teenagers and children. This is in an effort to stop the use of these e-cigarettes among teenagers. They also stopped their Instagram and Facebook channels to stop teenager involvement with their products. They had doubled their sales to $ 2.31 billion in August 2018 says the CNBC.center_img By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDDec 19 2018A latest report finds that United States teenagers are increasingly using e-cigarettes. These electronic cigarettes were initially targeted towards adults who were willing to quit smoking.last_img read more

Hamburg leads charge with Germanys first diesel ban

first_img © 2018 AFP Hamburg on Thursday became the first German city to ban older diesel vehicles from some roads, a measure that is largely symbolic but disputed by carmakers and the government. Hamburg is the first German city to ban older diesel vehicles from certain roads in a bid to reduce air pollution A 1,600-metre (one-mile) stretch of highway and a 580-metre section of another major road are now closed to diesels which do not meet “Euro-6″ emissions standards, with signs to indicate that the restriction is now in force.The first ban came after the Federal Administrative Court found in February that such restrictions were a legitimate way for local authorities to bring air pollution below European Union health thresholds.But Hamburg’s partial ban is being met with skepticism in Germany.”It’s symbolic politics. The authorities are blocking only two roads, so only 1,787 residents out of the 1.8 million inhabitants of Hamburg are affected by these restrictions,” wrote Spiegel in a commentary online.The move was simply aimed at showing the EU that authorities were taking action to bring down pollutant levels, the magazine suggested.Nevertheless, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is watching the trend warily, mindful of the number of jobs at stake in the auto industry, which risks being shaken up if other German cities follow suit. The cities of Stuttgart in the south and Kiel in the north are mulling their own diesel restrictions in the battle against air pollution, while Munich, Cologne and Duesseldorf are closely monitoring the Hamburg experiment.The diesel engine industry has come under intense pressure after Volkswagen admitted to fitting 11 million vehicles with illegal devices to cheat pollution tests.Jens Kerstan, the official in charge of environment in Hamburg, acknowledged that the ban would cause hardship for “innocent car owners, but it is unavoidable because carmakers tricked us and the government has tried for many years to do nothing.”Germany’s federal government has often appeared to take the car industry’s side.It has pushed back against diesel bans and rejects the idea of a “blue badge” drivers could stick on their windscreens that would identify the least polluting vehicles.Instead, Berlin has offered longer-term measures like a cash pot to extend public transport and build up cities’ electric vehicle fleets. Hamburg is first German city to order diesel banscenter_img Citation: Hamburg leads charge with Germany’s first diesel ban (2018, May 31) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-hamburg-germany-diesel.html Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

US tops WEF competitiveness ranking but obesity weighs on score

first_img Citation: US tops WEF competitiveness ranking but obesity weighs on score (2018, October 17) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-tops-wef-competitiveness-obesity-score.html Explore further © 2018 AFP The United States has the world’s most competitive economy, a World Economic Forum ranking showed Wednesday, but inequality and health problems including obesity took a toll on its score. 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.center_img In the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Report, the United States topped the 2018 rankings, “confirming its status of most competitive economy in the world” US global competitiveness rising once again “The United States tops the 2018 rankings, … confirming its status of most competitive economy in the world,” the WEF said in its annual Global Competitiveness Report.The organisation that hosts the annual Davos pow-wow of business and political elites said it used a new methodology for the 2018 edition of the report to reflect shifts in a world increasingly transformed by new, digital technologies.The methodology shift helped the United States unseat Switzerland, which had spent nearly a decade at the top of the WEF ranking. In Wednesday’s report Switzerland found itself in fourth place, after the US, Singapore and Germany.This year’s report studied how 140 economies fared when measured against 98 indicators organised into 12 pillars, including institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, business dynamism and innovation capability.Overall, the United States scored an average of 85.6 points when the nearly 100 indicators were measured on a scale of 0 to 100.That is still a far cry from what WEF considers the optimal conditions for a competitive economy, but well above the global average of 60 points.WEF hailed the United States for its business dynamism and vibrant entrepreneurial culture, its flexible labour markets, the depth, breadth and relative stability of its financial system and its market size.’Innovation powerhouse'”They’re an innovation power house,” Saadia Zahidi, a member of the WEF’s managing board, told AFP. When asked if President Donald Trump could take credit for the ranking, Thierry Geiger, head of analytics and quantitive research at WEF, stressed that most of the data used in the report was from before Trump came to power last year.”The things we capture are long-term drivers,” he told reporters.Zahidi meanwhile warned that “there are also a lot of worrying signs” for US competitiveness.WEF cautioned that “there are indications of a weakening social fabric … and worsening security situation,” pointing to a US homicide rate that is five times higher than the average for advanced economies.The country also raked in a relatively low score in terms of checks and balances, judicial independence and transparency.Zahidi also pointed to the country’s low score in terms of participation by women in the labour force, where it ranked 37th, as well as 40th place for press freedom.Obesity and opioidsParticularly worrying is the low US ranking in terms of health, the report said, blaming “the country’s unequal access to healthcare and broader socio-economic disparities.”WEF told AFP in an email that “non-communicable diseases (e.g. obesity and opioid crisis) are taking a huge toll.”In fact, Wednesday’s report found that US healthy life expectancy—the number of years a newborn today can expect to live in good health—ticks in at just 67.7 years in the US.That is lower than in Sri Lanka and China and three years below the average in advanced economies. It is a full six years behind Singapore and Japan, the report found.The WEF report also cautioned that the US rate of adoption of information and communications technologies was fairly low compared to other advanced economies.WEF founder Klaus Schwab said understanding and being open to the technologies driving the so-called “fourth industrial revolution” was vital to a country’s competitiveness.”I foresee a new global divide between countries who understand innovative transformations and those that don’t,” he said in a statement.Zahidi however stressed that “technology is not a silver bullet on its own.””Countries must invest in people and institutions to deliver on the promise of technology.”last_img read more

One obstacle less but its still a tricky platform for Mun YeePandelela

first_img Diving 28 Apr 2019 Time on divers Pandelela and Dhabitah’s side to arrest dip in form PETALING JAYA: Our divers have one less problem to think about with the absence of North Korea’s Kim Mi-rae-Jo Jin-mi from the women’s 10m platform synchro event at the World Aquatics Championships.But it is still going to be tough for Leong Mun Yee-Pandelela Rinong to rise to the occasion and bag their third bronze medal at the world meet.The North Koreans showed their mettle by winning gold at the Diving World Series leg in Montreal in April. The North Korean aquatics team yesterday turned down a last-minute appeal by the South Korean hosts to make the trip to Gwangju. The meet begins today with our divers looking to claim early Olympic spots for the 2020 Tokyo Games. Mun Yee was roped in to renew her partnership with Pandelela after Kimberly Bong picked up a shoulder injury while training in China.But with only two weeks of training, it will be an achievement if Mun Yee can get the job done with Pandelela, who has not taken part in any competition for almost a year due to a back injury. “We will try our best to get the Olympic slot (the top-three pairs qualify for Tokyo) but it’s not going to be easy,” said Mun Yee. “China, for sure, will be very strong and we have to think of Canada, Australia and Britain too.“We’ll just do our routines well and cut down on the mistakes,” added Mun Yee, who at 35, is the oldest diver in the women’s field. Mun Yee partnered Pandelela to deliver the first medal, a bronze, for Malaysia at the world meet in the 2009 edition in Rome.Four years later, they came in third again in Barcelona.China’s Lu Wei-Zhang Jiaqi will be the pair to beat although they are making their debut. They have been impressive lately with two golds at the Diving World Series. Related News Mun Yee (left) and Pandelela {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Diving 29 May 2019 Junior diver Kimberly Bong likely to partner Pandelela at world meet Related News Diving 29 Apr 2019 Divers Hanis and Mun Yee must get in sync before the world meetlast_img read more