Southgate ready to give young players a chance

first_imgGareth Southgate has given an indication that England’s youngsters might get the nod in their upcoming games against Croatia and Spain.Southgate spoke glowingly about the young guns in training. The former Boro boss selected three teenagers, Jadon Sancho, James Maddison, and Mason Mount, for this week’s UEFA Nations League matches.Others gunning for a second appearance include Leicester’s Ben Chilwell and Tottenham’s Harry Winks.The England boss believes the young lads will contribute their quota to help England get positive results in the Nations League despite their inexperience.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“We are here to try and get a result so the team we play will be a team we believe in,” Southgate made this known to Sky Sports in Rijeka ahead of the game against Croatia on Friday evening“There is nobody in the squad that is here that we are not thinking of putting into the team.“It is not experimentation. They are players we believe in. Okay, they are relatively inexperienced at the highest level but players we have enjoyed working with and they have shown in training this week they can handle this level.“We will pick the team that we think is the best one to win the game.”last_img read more

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Beloved Tewksbury High Librarian Endorses Dave Robertson

first_imgDear Editor,David Robertson, this is a name I would like you to remember.  David Robertson is a candidate to fill the seat held by State Representative James Miceli for 40 years. The names Robertson and Miceli belong in the same sentence because for the past ten years they worked together, side by side, as the team that brought dependable, caring public service to the citizens of Tewksbury and Wilmington.During that decade of work in the State Representative’s office, David Robertson has developed the necessary qualities to begin service to this district on Day 1:David’s dedication to his constituents is unmatched.David’s knowledge of local issues is unparalleled.David’s command of the protocol and procedures of the State House is unrivaled.There could not be a better training ground for excellence in public service than standing at the side of James R. Miceli. In addition, Mr. Miceli understood the intelligence, compassion and commitment that David Robertson brought to work every day, and he valued this young man of exemplary character.On September 4th, in the Primary Election, I ask you to consider David Robertson as your candidate for State Representative. He stands prepared and ready to serve.Sincerely,Mary EldringhoffLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLETTER TO THE EDITOR: Vote Dave Robertson For State Rep On November 6In “Letter To The Editor”LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Robertson Learned From The Best, Keep Him At The State HouseIn “Letter To The Editor”Tarr, Robertson & Gordon Secure $30,000 In State Funding For Wilmington Senior Center ImprovementsIn “Government”last_img read more

Louisville Defeats Illinois State 51

first_imgStory Links Match Notes:Illinois State 12-8Louisville Men’s Tennis 14-9Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (6,2,4,3,5)T-2:18  A-134  Print Friendly Version Louisville 5, Illinois State 103/31/2019 at Louisville, Ky.(Bass-Rudd Tennis Center)Singles1. Fabien Salle (LOU) vs. Igor Kolaric (ILS) 4-6, 6-3, unfinished2. Brandon Lancaster (LOU) def. Pol Rius Botifoll (ILS) 6-4, 6-13. Sergio Hernandez (LOU) def. Aleksa Lazarevic (ILS) 7-5, 6-14. Federico Gomez (LOU) def. Jorge Quispe (ILS) 6-4, 6-45. Diego Herrera (ILS) def. David Mizrahi (LOU) 7-5, 6-06. Alex Wesbrooks (LOU) def. Egehan Sertkaya (ILS) 6-4, 6-1Doubles1. Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff/Fabien Salle (LOU) def. Egehan Sertkaya/Aleksa Lazarevic (ILS) 7-52. Federico Gomez/Marcus Sulen (LOU) def. Jorge Quispe/Diego Herrera (ILS) 6-33. Brandon Lancaster/Alex Wesbrooks (LOU) vs. Igor Kolaric/Zacharias Rasmusson (ILS) 6-5, unfinished Matchup History The matchup at No. 1 between freshman Fabien Salle and Igor Kolaric was suspended after each player won and set and the match was already decided. In singles action, freshman Alex Wesbrooks quickly added to the lead with a 6-4, 6-1 decision against Sertkaya on court six. Senior Brandon Lancaster brought the match score to 3-0 when he beat Pos Rius Botifoll 6-4, 6-1 at the No. 2 spot. Gomez clinched the victory on court four where he defeated Quispe 6-4, 6-4. Freshman Sergio Hernandez posted a 7-5, 6-1 win over Lazarevic at No. 3 to push the Cardinals’ lead to 5-0. The Redbirds got on the scored on court five where Herrera defeated freshman David Mizrahi 7-5, 6-0. Preview “We had a slow start in doubles but we got through it,” said UofL head coach Rex Ecarma. “-Then we had a little bit of a slow start in singles, and we just pushed through it. It’s always a battle with them. Their guys fight really, really hard. They don’t give us an inch. You just have to win in a slow grind like that.center_img The Cardinals (14-9) grabbed the doubles point to start the match. The duo of senior Federico Gomez and freshman Marcus Sulen gave Louisville an early edge by beating Jorge Quispe and Deigo Herrera 6-3 on court two. Senior Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff and freshman Fabien Salle secured the point with a 7-5 victory over Egehan Sertkaya and Aleksa Lazarevic at the No. 1 spot. Federico Gomez Post Match Interview Full Schedule Roster Coach Rex Ecarma Post Match Interview Up next, Louisville will hit the road for a pair of ACC matches at Clemson on Friday and No. 29 Georgia Tech on Sunday. LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville men’s tennis team defeated Illinois State 5-1 Sunday evening at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center. Next Match: at Clemson 4/5/2019 | 4:00 p.m.last_img read more

Lolo Jones slams Fifty Shades of Grey

first_imgAthlete Lolo Jones has slammed erotic romantic drama film Fifty Shades of Grey, saying people should boycott the movie because it glamourises unholy sex. “Funny how some people think there’s nothing wrong with 50 shades of Grey. God didn’t create sex for that purpose. Watch another movie,” she posted on Twitter Tuesday about the Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan-starrer, reports tmz.com. Jones, who’s also a devout Evangelical Christian explained that the film’s hypersexual plot can make people feel that sex for pleasure is the answer to emotional pain.last_img

CBI raids house of SAIL employee

first_imgKolkata: Officers of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted a raid at the house and offices of an attendant-cum-assistant (technical), security department of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) at Burnpur in West Burdwan on Wednesday. The central investigating agency had initiated a case against the official, Kapil Mondal, on charges of having a property which is “disproportionate to his known source of income”.According to the sources in CBI, the official has amassed assets to the tune of around Rs 1.38 crore during the period April 2009 to January 2017. The case was also started against Mondal’s Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightswife and son.After preliminary investigation, the CBI officers conducted a raid at the house and offices of Mondal at Kulti neat Burnpur in West Burdwan. During the search operation, police have recovered Rs 10 lakh cash from the house and office premises of Mondal. The investigating officers have also recovered a pistol with six live cartridges. CBI is carrying out further probe in this connection. It is learnt that the CBI officers have also gone through various documents in connection to this incident to reach the root of the incident.last_img read more

Mamata to take stock of health sector in meeting

first_imgKolkata: Better coordination between members of Rogi Kalyan Samities and hospital authorities is going to be one of the main points of discussion during the meeting in which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be taking stock of the present situation of the health sector in the state. Senior officials of the state Health department, state-run hospitals and medical colleges and other concerned officials will be present in the meeting, that will be held at Nabanna Sabhaghar on Tuesday. It may be mentioned that the meeting was earlier scheduled to be held on May 22. Later, it was rescheduled and would take place on Tuesday. Sources said that representatives of Rogi Kalyan Samiti will also be present in the meeting and there will be discussion to ensure better coordination between them and hospital authorities. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to the sources in Nabanna, there will be a turnout of around 425 officials in the meeting and it includes the heads of all departments as well. It may be recalled that the Chief Minister had held such a meeting soon after coming to power in 2011. The meeting was held in Town Hall then. However, now, almost all the meetings of the state government, including the central level administrative review meeting that used to take place in Town Hall, are organised in Nabanna Sabhaghar.last_img read more

Now arsenicfree water for West Midnapore villagers

first_imgKolkata: Sulabh International on Tuesday inaugurated a water treatment plant to provide low-cost drinking water in arsenic-hitBengal villages.Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International unveiled the water treatment plant at Panchberia, West Midnapore with Prof K J Nath,Chairman Arsenic Task Force, former director of All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health (AIIH&PH) and Advisor, Sulabh International Social Service Organization (SISSO) under ‘Sulabh Drinking Water’project to provide villagers arsenic-free safe drinking water. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe basic objective of the project is to provide arsenic free safe drinking water of WHO standard at cheap rates to the rural population of about nearly 3,000 people in Panchberia and nearby villages, Daspur block,West Midnapore.The new water treatment plant has a capacity to produce 10,000 bottles of varying capacity (600 ml to 20 litre) with a sophisticated laboratory and a completely automated bottling plant. The produced water is being sold to the villagers at less than Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPRe 1/ per litre.The villagers along with women from the local Self-Help Group are going to operate this plant with supervision and required training provided by SISSO.According to WHO, drinking arsenic-rich water over a long period results in various health hazards, including skin problems, skin cancer, cancer of the bladder, kidney and lung, besides other diseases.Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder, SISSO said: “I have been totally surprised after visiting the plant! It is amazing to see that village level workers and women could operate and manage such a sophisticated plant producing safe water of WHO standard at minimum cost. Sulabh would be happy to provide all support and technical assistance.The project is an excellent example of empowerment of rural community, particularly women at thevillage level”.last_img read more

Arjun Singhs son to contest from Bhatpara

first_imgKolkata: Pawan Singh will contest in the Assembly by-election from Bhatpara seat. The seat fell vacant after Arjun Singh, MLA from Bhatpara, joined the BJP and is contesting from Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat where election will be held on May 6. Pawan is Arjun Singh’s son. The Trinamool Congress has fielded Madan Mitra, former state Transport minister, to fight the Assembly by-poll. Mitra was the MLA from Kamarharti. He has good contacts in North 24-Parganas and because of this, the TMC supremo has nominated him from Bhatpara.last_img

Air Canada to follow highly satisfying 2016 with milestone 80th anniversary

first_imgAir Canada to follow “highly satisfying” 2016 with milestone 80th anniversary Tags: Air Canada Michael Smith Wednesday, January 4, 2017 Sharecenter_img MONTREAL — This year marks Air Canada’s 80th anniversary, a major milestone that caps off a “highly satisfying” 2016 that included the launch of 28 new routes and a slew of rewards.According to Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer, the airline produced record EBITDAR financial results during each of the first three quarters of 2016, as well as significantly increased its global footprint with 28 new routes, including 15 new international and 12 U.S. trans-border routes. And with new service to Morocco, Air Canada “joined the elite club of global carriers serving all six continents,” he said.In addition, the airline created 1,500 new jobs in Canada last year between its mainline, rouge and Express services, with Air Canada now employing approximately 30,000 people.“We generated greater customer engagement, serving approximately 45 million people on our expanded network,” Rovinescu added.As the icing on the cake, Air Canada raked in several awards in 2016, including the distinction of being named the fastest growing brand among Canada’s largest companies and the only Four Star international network carrier in North America by Skytrax. The airline was also named among Canada’s Top 100 Employers for a fourth year in a row.More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next month“We invested significantly in our fleet and product, taking delivery of nine new Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2016 with nine more planned for 2017, reconfiguring our entire Boeing 777 fleet with our state-of-the-art Dreamliner cabin configuration and inflight entertainment systems, and completing our milestone order for up to 75 Bombardier C Series aircraft,” he said. “Shareholders took note as well. Our common shares returned nearly 34% over the year, outperforming all of our North American airline peers, the Dow Jones U.S. Airlines Index and the S&P/TSX Composite Index.” Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Aviation industry veteran signs on as Interjets new CEO

first_img Wednesday, January 16, 2019 Posted by Tags: CEO, Interjet, Interjet Airlines, New Hires Aviation industry veteran signs on as Interjet’s new CEO Travelweek Group center_img Share << Previous PostNext Post >> MEXICO CITY — A new year, a new CEO for Interjet Airlines, which just announced that William Shaw will succeed José Luis Garza, effective immediately.Garza, who’s set to join Interjet’s Board of Directors, has over 26 years of experience in the aviation industry, from his early days at a check-in desk in Mexico City Airport, to his most recent venture of a low-cost start-up in the Dominican Republic. Other notable accomplishments including the founding of VivaColombia, launching Viva Air, the first value airline in Peru, and starting the Flycana Project, the first LCC in the Caribbean, in May 2018.Miguel Alemán Magnani, Chairman and President of ABC Aerolíneas, S.A. de C.V., the parent company of Interjet Airlines, said that Shaw’s appointment reflects the carrier’s continued investment in its team members, fleet and product.“Adding someone with William’s experience, entrepreneurship and understanding of the aviation industry to our team will be of great benefit to the continued growth of the airline, particularly our international business, and all of us at Interjet are excited to have him onboard,” he said. “At the same time, I want to personally thank José Luis Garza, who has successfully guided Interjet from our humble beginning flying just three aircraft to four destinations in Mexico to today, where Interjet has become of the world’s fastest growing airlines in North America.”More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamIn October 2017, Interjet successfully launched year-round, nonstop service between Vancouver International Airport and the dual destinations of Mexico City and Cancun. The launch was widely seen as a competitive move against WestJet, which launched weekly flights) from Calgary and Vancouver to Mexico City five months later.On joining the Interjet team, Shaw said: “These are very challenging and competitive times in the airline industry, and I have been very impressed with Interjet’s success to date. Our ‘Value Proposition’ of offering the flying public much more for less, along with the customer experience we provide business and leisure travellers, have been one of the keys to differentiating Interjet from other carriers in our class, and we will continue to do so.”last_img read more

Notforprofit organisation DTVKit has launched it

first_imgNot-for-profit organisation DTVKit has launched its HbbTV 1.5 solution for the Ekioh TV Browser, which will be demoed by Broadcom at ANGA COM. The joint solution offers enhanced performance over the Qt based browser, which is typically used with the DTVKit HbbTV solution, according to DTVKit.“By combining the DTVKit HbbTV solution and the Ekioh browser, we have been able to make available a high quality turn-key product that can be taken straight into production,” said DTVKit CEO, Phil Evans.DTVKit is a UK-based organisation that provides the core building blocks of a royalty free broadcast DVB and HbbTV solution in source code form.The joint solution will be demoed on Broadcom’s cost-effective BCM7362 silicon at the show.last_img

The worlds top 338 operators across 89 countries

first_imgThe world’s top 338 operators across 89 countries will increase their pay TV subscriptions by 200 million between 2014 and 2020, according to a new study.Digital TV Research’s Global Pay TV Operator Forecasts report claims that the collective number of subscriptions for these operators will increase from 704 million in 2014 to 904 million by 2020.However, subscription and VoD revenues for the 338 operators are expected to remain flat between 2014 and 2020 at US$183 billion (€248 billion).The report predicts that China Radio & TV will hold on to its position as the world’s largest pay TV operator, accounting for 251.65 million subscribers in 2020 and soon representing “every cable TV home in China.”In 2014, the top four pay TV operators by subscriber numbers were China Radio & TV, followed by European operator Liberty Global and then US operators Comcast and DirecTV, according to the study.However, in 2020, Digital TV Research predicts that Chinese operators will hold the top three spots, with IPTV providers China Telecom and BesTV coming in second and third place respectively with 27.99 million and 25.12 million subscribers.Liberty Global will fall to fourth place with an estimated 23.90 million subscribers, down from its 2014 figure of 24.34 million, said the research.“Twelve operators from China and India will collectively add 130 million subscribers between 2014 and 2020,” said Digital TV Research.“Global subscriber growth is all the more impressive as 79 (23%) of the 338 operators will lose subscribers between 2014 and 2020. Korea’s CJ Hellovision will lose the most (827,000 subs), followed by Germany’s Unitymedia (down by 592,000) and Romania’s RCS-RDS (down 477,000).“Very broadly, pay TV operators in Asia Pacific’s emerging markets will see strong growth, with North America and Western Europe suffering.”last_img read more

Traces delayed subscription videoondemand servi

first_imgTrace’s delayed subscription video-on-demand service, TracePlay, has launched in the US, UK, Africa, France, Benelux, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.The service, which was originally slated to launch last June, will now rollout to more than 200 countries “towards the end of March 2017”, according to Trace.TracePlay is a hybrid digital service that combines SVOD, 10 live music and sports TV channels and 31 live radio stations. The service is dedicated to urban music and entertainment and the on-demand catalogue currently includes 2,000 films, series, documentaries, concerts and TV shows.“TracePlay has been our most ambitious project since our inception,” said Trace CEO Olivier Laouchez. “We are the first in the world to launch an hybrid platform of SVOD, live TV and live radio, with seven geo-localised versions, simultaneously in over 200 countries and on multiple connected devices.”Trace revealled earlier this week that technology outfit Simplestream is providing the cloud TV platform that will power its new subscription video-on-demand service.TracePlay is available in English and French for US$4.99 per-month in the US or £4.99 in the UK. It is accessible across a number of platforms including Mac/PC, iOS and Android smartphones and Apple TV.last_img read more

Festivals and Events Officer with festival organis

first_imgFestivals and Events Officer with festival organisers Derry City and Strabane District Council, Andrea Campbell, said the outdoor events would appeal to a wide ranging audience.“I’m delighted that we see the return of our Al Fresco Jazz events this year,” she said. “It’s the perfect opportunity for families and younger audiences to experience some of the atmosphere that makes the Jazz Festival such a huge draw for music lovers from all over the world.“Each year we try to ensure that we programme a wide range of alternative events which will open the experience up to a variety of audiences and our outdoor events are always really popular. It creates a fantastic daytime buzz ahead of the busy schedule of night time performances throughout the city.”On Saturday join the members of the Errigal Groove Orchestra for a celebration of swing from 12.15pm in the Guildhall Square, before the St Patrick’s and St Brigid’s College Big Band take to the stage at 2pm, followed by the Foyle College, Lisneal and EA Jazz Ensembles from 3pm. ShareTweet THE final countdown is on to the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival 2017, and with just days to go until the annual May Bank Holiday celebration kicks off on April 27th, thousands will be planning their perfect weekend music experience.If you’re not one for pubs and clubs then never fear, the organisers of Derry’s most popular music event have ensured that there’s a wide range of alternative arenas in which to enjoy your jazz fix, including some fantastic outdoor performances in the city centre.Saturday sees a full line up of young local talent taking to the stage at the Guildhall Square throughout the afternoon, where the Walled City Market will be setting up stall over the course of the weekend, showcasing the very best local artisan products.And the Craft Village will also be reverberating to some groove-tastic tunes on both Saturday and Sunday, the perfect place to get in the mood for an evening out on the jazz trail. The Craft Village will also host a sensational weekend of al fresco performance featuring festival favourites the Harry Connolly Band, the Limavady Big Band and Pontius Pilate & the Nail Drivers from 1pm – 6pm on Saturday, and Andrew Monk and Mission Impossible on Sunday afternoon beginning at 1pm.The full City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival programme is available online at www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com. Events will take place in various locations through Derry and Strabane from Thursday 27th April until Monday 1st May.For all the latest news and event updates check out City of Derry Jazz Festival on Facebook, or follow the Twitter page @derryjazzfest.This event is organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from Guinness and Tourism Northern Ireland Events Fund.For details on any remaining accommodation deals during the Jazz Festival contact www.visitderry.comDINE OUT ON SOME BANK HOLIDAY AL FRESCO JAZZ was last modified: April 21st, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: CITY OF DERRY BIG JAZZ FESTIVALDINE OUT ON SOME BANK HOLIDAY AL FRESCO JAZZlast_img read more

Oil 9171 9536 7968

first_imgOil91.7195.3679.68 Silver34.8532.1028.69 One Month Ago Dear Reader,With gold back up within reach of its nominal record high last year, a lot of new investors are thinking about gold mining stocks.With this in mind, today we take a peek at one of the issues that confuses some metals investors: cash mining costs. It’s simple in a way, but also nuanced and subject to misinterpretation. I’ll let Andrey Dashkov explain.The point, for now, is no surprise; be careful, think things through, be thorough in your due diligence. But there are opportunities out there, and more coming.Sincerely,Louis JamesSenior Metals Investment StrategistCasey Research TSX Venture1,344.981,246.271,413.65 Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ)24.8222.0328.22 Gold1,784.001,690.001,617.00 Silver Stocks (SIL)25.3921.8020.99center_img Cash Cost Figures: Are They For Real?By Andrey Dashkov, Research AnalystWhen you read about mining companies, you’ll often see “cash cost” figures given for production. “XYZ Gold Corp. produced 25,000 ounces of gold from its mines this quarter at a cash cost of $676 per ounce.” This is a non-GAAP figure similar to the general idea of “cost of sales” – what it takes to calculate a gross margin.Why would anyone report something so near the top line when it’s the bottom line that’s, well, the bottom line? Because it’s useful. The bottom line can be subject to major fluctuations from quarter to quarter, even in large companies if they get hit with one-time write-downs, changes in taxes, changes in accounting, etc. that are separate from the actual profitability of mining operations. By looking at cash costs, we can make our own estimations of how rich a company’s mines are, and hence how much abuse a company can take on non-mining costs and still deliver to the bottom line over time.For exploration and development companies, of course, there is no EBDITA, and the bottom line is almost always negative. Reasonable cash cost projections can give us a basis for evaluation when normal metrics don’t apply.With rising costs, we’ve been hearing industry talk about shifting away from reporting cash costs, which can make mining companies seem more profitable than they are to the financially illiterate – like politicians. Political leaders in some countries are pursuing windfall profit taxes, higher royalties, etc., because they see higher metals prices and relatively low cash cost figures, when in reality there may be little or no windfall profits to be taxed.At a recent meeting at the Denver Gold Forum sponsored by the World Gold Council, the idea of moving away from the traditional cash cost reporting figures was proposed. A more standardized, “all-in” cost figure has been proposed, to include operating costs, sustaining capital expenditures, and general and administrative costs. If adopted, this figure would provide a more accurate and definitive picture of actual mining costs.Here at Casey Research, we aggregate our own “all-in” costs when not reported by a company, so such a change would not impact the way we look at companies much. However, for others who are used to looking at cash costs, the “all-in” figures could come as a bit of a shock, and could result in negative investor reactions toward companies that make the change. That’s probably just as well; the smart money will be back – it already knows there’s much more to the picture than cash costs.More on this shortly. First, let’s have a quick look at cash costs for gold producers today.Cash Cost UpdateThe latest update to the Thomson Reuters GFMS Gold Survey reports that in the first half of 2012, average cash costs for gold producers increased to a new high of US$727 per ounce. However, higher year-on-year gold prices have seen producer margins increase by 11%. Still, GFMS also points out that “on a quarterly basis, margins have in fact declined for the last three quarters.”The chief reasons cited for cash costs increasing are declining ore grades, labor cost increases, higher energy prices, and other input factors. Our expectation is that on average, these costs will continue to rise throughout this year and beyond.However, profit is not a one-variable calculation. With the underlying commodity – gold – rising faster than cash costs for over a decade now, many mines that were previously unprofitable have become profitable.Sharp investors have noticed that many profitable mining companies aren’t seeing fatter margins. Why? Because mines with higher-grade material start processing previously uneconomic lower-grade ore while they can do so at a profit, adding to the life of their mines and total cash flow while maintaining their bottom lines today. In other words, what was once waste becomes ore, leading to increases in overall production and profit. It’s a good business strategy, but it also contributes to the rise in average mining costs.Still, while costs have risen in nominal terms, gold has continued upward as well. As a result, average operating margins, based on the spot gold price, have gotten wider in recent years. The below quarterly comparison of the average cash cost vs. the average price of gold over the past seven years shows this quite clearly.(Click on image to enlarge)A real eye-opener, however, comes from another chart we built using the same data set. Here you’ll see that wider margins mean that cash costs – stated as a percentage of the price of gold – were at multiyear lows earlier this year.(Click on image to enlarge)This year we have observed rising costs, so it will be interesting to see how this chart looks going forward. If gold continues trading sideways, the window of profitability will shut down for marginal operations. However, if gold heads much higher – as we expect it to – the trend in the chart above could keep margins fattening.CapExCapital expenditure – “capex” – is also a cost of doing business for mining companies, but as the name implies, it’s capitalized. That means it’s subject to depreciation and not treated as an expense, and doesn’t show up in operating costs. You still need to pour this money into the ground to build and operate your mine, of course, so it does affect the bottom line, where depreciation, taxes, and other costs are all taken into account. For exploration and development companies, you look for the impact of capex in internal rate of return (IRR) and net present value (NPV) figures.Capex has been ballooning of late, due to higher labor and material costs and much greater regulatory burdens. There’s nothing new in this trend, but it seems to be accelerating substantially, especially for larger projects. We don’t have updated industry-wide average figures for this, but one of most striking recent examples of skyrocketing capital costs is Barrick’s Pascua-Lama project on the Chile-Argentina border.Business News Americas reports: “A previous cost estimate for Pascua Lama was US$3.3bn-3.6bn, but this was revised up to US$4.7bn-5bn after a review in 2011.” The current cost estimate is about US$8 billion.Barrick’s situation is a vivid example of why capex has become a significant detriment to building new mines – more so than rising operating costs. When it comes to calculating a project’s IRR, the size of the initial investment has a huge impact. So, in spite of the rising gold price, we’re not seeing as many new mines being built as we might expect.Indeed, the relatively low pace of mergers and acquisitions among mining companies this year may be principally due to concerns about rising capital costs. Many of the larger companies that might have been snapping up successful exploration companies while they were on sale over the summer had their plates full with huge projects they were already committed to.That will change at some point; the majors must replace depleting ounces or cease to be major mining companies. However, that tipping point does not seem to have been reached yet.ConclusionOperating costs are rising, but on a yearly basis over the last ten years, production margins have been rising faster. The industry, recognizing problems with cash cost reporting, is considering a new metric that would provide a more accurate picture. However, many in the industry hesitate: some executives want to keep using the cash cost figure since it reflects how much it costs to mine right now.We don’t know how that issue will turn out, but unless and until the industry does adopt a more comprehensive and accurate figure, we’ll keep using our own “all-in” estimates. All investors in the sector need to remember that the real cost of any mining is going to be higher than what companies report as cash costs.And – obviously – there’s much more to evaluating a precious metals producer than just costs. Does its management team have a track record of success? Does it have enough money (or access to it) to move its projects forward? Is the company likely to be taken over by a major producer?That last point is particularly important, because when juniors are bought out, their investors usually get big windfalls. Right now Louis has identified seven companies that are especially ripe for takeover.Gold and Silver HEADLINESRupee Aids India’s Gold Buying Ahead of Festivals (The Economic Times)An appreciated Indian rupee pushed local gold prices to a five-week low, providing an opportunity for gold importers in that country to stock up on bullion for upcoming festivals. The world-famous Indian festival and wedding seasons start in late October, a time when people traditionally buy gold for gifts and dowries.The rupee rose to its highest level against the dollar in more than five months, which kept prices of the precious metals in rupee terms subdued, even as dollar-priced gold hit an 11-month high above $1,795 last week.“There is heavy demand, because the rates have come down on rupee appreciation,” said Ganesh Agarwal, director of Shiv Sahai and Sons India Limited, a Chennai-based wholesaler, noting that investors were also among recent gold buyers.It is unlikely that the autumn festivals and revived demand will offset the considerable decline in India’s gold consumption that we’ve been seeing during the year. A weak rupee and higher import duties on gold imposed by the government in an attempt to cut the deficit were among the main reasons for demand decrease from Indian customers.$2,200 Is a Realistic Target for Gold in 2013 (Mining.com)In a recent interview, Kitco’s head of precious metals, Peter Hug, said gold prices could hit the $2,200 level next year. However, he doesn’t expect to see gold reaching such lofty highs prior to the year’s end.Hug observes the market as constructively bullish, given aggressive stimulus plans by the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. But he says gold prices could dip short-term on profit-taking, providing a buying opportunity for investors.These expectations are in line with our own. For more information, read an exclusive Kitco interview with BIG GOLD‘s Jeff Clark.For Both Gold and Apple Fans: A 24-Karat Gold-Plated iPhone 5 (Mining.com)London jeweler Gold & Co. has hit the market with a 24-karat gold-plated iPhone 5 that costs “only” $4,380 (£2,695).“This stunning iPhone is uniquely crafted. Best quality crystal stones are added to its own mounted 24ct gold logo and home button. Like the diamond setting process, each stone is individually set into cut clasps adding seductive detail.”We like gold, but we also know it’s a soft metal. Somehow, this plating doesn’t seem very practical – but, we suppose that’s the point.Striking South Africa Miners Fired by Platinum Producer (Toronto Star)Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has embarked on a massive layoff of striking miners. The company reported that “approximately 12,000 striking employees chose not to make representations, nor attend the hearings, and have therefore been dismissed in their absence.” The company representatives said that a more detailed statement would be issued soon.80,000 miners – about 16% of the country’s mine workforce – are on strike, causing mine stoppages and political complications. The country’s president called for “constructive social dialogue,” but the turmoil continues.We’re keeping a close eye on the situation in South Africa. The current crisis may present interesting investment opportunities – and our subscribers will know about them first. Rock & Stock StatsLast Copper3.793.533.10 TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange)12,418.9911,990.1411,457.22 One Year Ago Gold Producers (GDX)53.6547.9354.88last_img read more

Sticking with fact versus selfserving fiction th

first_img Sticking with fact versus self-serving fiction, the Centre for Ocean and Ice plotted the daily mean temperature for the Arctic (you know, where the warming is supposedly causing widespread ice melting and a die-off of polar bears) for the period between 1958 and 2013. It, too, found no statistically meaningful deviation from the mean in 2013. Here’s the link. So, let me ask again… what the hell is wrong with Obama? Why would he use the powers of the executive to unleash yet another bungling army of bureaucrats and foist yet another expensive body of regulations upon the nation – and do so at such a precarious time for the economy… a period when businesses need help, not hindrance? I can only assume he is doing so not because he is ignorant about the science, but because he is pandering to the “progressives” (a misnomer that, corrected, would read “regressives”) and others his party needs the support of in order to prevail in the next election. Fortunately, slowly and steadily the truth will come out. My favorite recent public turnaround was delivered by the mayor of London, the straight-talking Boris Johnson, in an article he penned for the Telegraph titled, The Weather Prophets Should Be Chucked in the Deep End. A relevant quote: For more than 20 years now, we have been told that this country was going to get hotter and hotter and hotter, and that global warming was going to change our climate in a fundamental way. Do you remember that? We were told that Britain was going to have short, wet winters and long, roasting summers. It was going to be like 1976 all over again, with streakers at Lord’s and your Mr Whippy melting before you could even lick it, and Hyde Park scorched into a mini Kalahari. They said we were never going to have snow again, and that we should prepare for southern England to turn gradually into a Mediterranean world. There were going to be olive groves in the Weald of Kent, and the whole place was going to be so generally broiling in summer that no one would be able to move between noon and 4pm, after which people would come out to play boules and sip pastis, to the whine of a mandolin, in the dusty square that had once been a village green. That’s what they said: the BBC, and all the respectable meteorologists – and I reckon there were tens of thousands of people who took these prophecies entirely seriously. Omigod, they said to themselves, we are all going to fry. He goes on to suggest, tongue-in-cheek, that every English homeowner who anticipated taking advantage of the pending warmer climate by building a swimming pool should be able to file a claim against the government for reimbursement. In that same vein, I would propose that the tab for hundreds of billions in wasted taxpayer funds on electric cars, solar, and so forth be divided up and sent for payment to Obama, Al Gore, and anyone else found to have profited – financially or politically – from climate alarmism. Some of the money collected could be spent trying to deprogram a generation of state-schooled students who now unquestionably accept the bad science of manmade climate warming, despite the huge body of science pointing to the contrary. Weekend Reads Save Us from the Meddlers… this from the always excellent Reason.com: Starting this fall, high school students in New Jersey who taunt each other during games will be subject to investigation not only by the state’s athletic association, but the state’s government. “The days of taunting, baiting and trash-talking during high school sporting events are over,” reads a press release from the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). Thanks to collaboration between NJSIAA, the New Jersey Attorney General, and the New Jersey Civil Rights Division, “discriminatory conduct will also be reported to the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and may result in further investigation.” Oh, and the regulation applies to off school grounds as well. The Making of a Global Security State. Terry Coxon forwarded me an excellent article on the topic by Tom Engelhardt that appeared in the Asia Times.  Here’s the link. Despicable He – If you want to confirm just how degraded the US government and its various corporate quislings have become, check out this story about the IRS Deputy and the $500 million contract he awarded to a buddy… then refused to testify about it. And with that, I will leave you for the week by thanking you for reading, and for being a Casey Research subscriber. I hope I didn’t come off overly pessimistic in today’s musings – I am actually quite optimistic, but that may only be because I don’t have my head stuck in the sand about where things are likely heading. As a result, I continue to take the steps I feel are personally necessary to weather the storms ahead. Then I go about living the best life I can manage. If you’d like a bit of help in making your own plans, I’d highly recommend taking a risk-free trial to our flagship publication, The Casey Report… and signing up for our October 4 – 6 Casey Research Summit in Arizona before it sells out. These are tough markets to be going alone. And here’s a link to another analysis by a serious scientist that shows just how far off the predictions of global warming have been when compared to actual temperatures. Thou Shalt Not Fail to Rebalance After Big Run-Ups. The sector in which he is so heavily invested, US equities, has already had a big run-up. As you can see from the chart here, it is looking perilously close to a near-term top. As an aside, the pattern evident in the chart suggests a trading pattern you might want to use to your advantage. It should continue for awhile – maybe even until the entire Fed-led Ponzi scheme collapses the economy. Underscoring the global warming purportedly caused by excessive carbon, a clearly overheated Obama dramatically wiped his face with a white hanky during his out-of-doors announcement. Given that summer in Washington DC is famously hot and humid, maybe some staff member should have scheduled an air-conditioned room for the announcement… oh, wait… silly me, the whole sweating thing was staged! Duh! (Do these people really think that the public consists entirely of gullible morons?) Quoting Bloomberg on the president’s announcement… Saying that science had put to rest the question about whether the planet was warming, Obama vowed to use his executive powers to act, arguing that limiting emissions would spur technological advancement and new jobs. “I don’t have much patience for anyone that denies that this challenge is real,” Obama said in the speech at Georgetown University. “Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer, but it’s not going to protect you from the coming storm.” The irony here is that, at least as far as I can tell, the science tells us nothing of the kind. In fact, for the last seventeen and a half years – a period over which the climate alarmists tell us the planet has been dangerously warming – the planet has shown no warming. Quoting a recent article by Christopher Monckton on the always excellent Wattsupwiththat.com site… Superimposing the temperature curve and its least-squares linear-regression trend on the statistical insignificance region bounded by the means of the trends on these published uncertainties since January 1996 demonstrates that there has been no statistically significant warming in 17 years 4 months: The rapid increase in social spending reflects the unintended consequences of the “chicken in every pot” promises that have become the basis of every election campaign for decades now. This is a picture of what happens when you train the masses to look to the government, and not the free markets, to solve every problem, water every plant, kiss every boo-boo. Thanks to the surge in socialism, this pattern is mirrored the world over. It’s now projected that Italy will need a bailout from the EU within six months – again due to its unfunded and non-payable social obligations. Since the latest crisis began, we have seen governments around the world “socialize” the bad debts of failing financial institutions by transferring those debts from private balance sheets to those of the governments (and the central banks). This has only exacerbated an already impossible situation, requiring the widespread adoption of global monetary madness. Seriously, who in their right mind could possibly think creating trillions in new monetary units in order to support virtually unchecked government spending is a sound and sustainable policy? Yet that’s exactly the operating model of the leadership in most of the world’s largest economies. I suspect this is so only because they simply don’t see any other way to delay the inevitable. Flash riots in places like Brazil only encourage these governments to continue acting like monetary sluts in order to keep the public slops flowing. And to the extent that it helps even temporarily mollify the expectations of the masses, expect other equally counter-productive measures as well. In the case of Brazil, its government is seriously levying yet another tax on the successful to pay for the social spending being demanded by the rioters. And the global economy continues to spiral around the drain. When might the hard truths become unavoidable? For an answer, I turn to Ayn Rand’s classic Atlas Shrugged… “Do you wish to know when that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.” –Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged, p. 385 (1957) If Rand is right, we’re getting close. Meanwhile, for those of you deluded enough to believe the US government will someday soon get its fiscal house in order, the social and political consequences of doing so be damned, here’s a quick snippet from USA Today last week… WASHINGTON — The U.S. House failed to pass a sweeping five-year farm bill with sharp cuts to food stamps, a surprising development that sets the stage for an uphill fight in Congress to craft a new law. The Republican-led House soundly rejected a $500 billion measure by a vote of 195-234, failing to muster enough support from conservative Republicans concerned about costs and Democrats and concerned about deep cuts to the country’s popular food stamp program. Of course, per the above parable, when it comes to keeping hogs and people happy, a steady supply of food is essential. So, do you really think the US government is going to cut back the food stamps now being provided to 1 in 5 households (approximately 50 million people)? Hardly. The simple reality is that “We the people” took the slops, and the consequences of passing our personal responsibilities to the nation-state are yet to be paid in full. As the nation-states have no path open to them to continue to meet their obligations – at least no path that doesn’t end in widespread pain – expect things to get very, very bizarre in the months and years just ahead. Remain vigilant. Friday Funnies A Lesson in Irony… Apropos to the Above Article The Food Stamp Program, administered by the US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever, to 46 MILLION PEOPLE. Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the US Department of the Interior, asks us, “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.” Their stated reason for the policy is: “The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.” THUS ENDS TODAY’S LESSON IN IRONY. Leno on the Scandals “I was going to start off tonight with an Obama joke, but I don’t want to get audited by the IRS.” On NSA surveillance: “We wanted a president who listens to all Americans – now we have one.” On a new IRS commissioner: “He’s called ‘acting commissioner’ because he has to act like the scandal doesn’t involve the White House.” On closing the Guantanamo prison for terrorists: “If he really wants to close it, turn it into a government-funded solar power company. The doors will be shut in a month.” Concerning the Benghazi, Associated Press, and IRS scandals: “Remember in the old days when President Obama’s biggest embarrassment was Joe Biden?” On Obama saying he didn’t know about the IRS scandal: “He was too busy not knowing anything about Benghazi to not know anything about the IRS.” “The White House has a new slogan about Benghazi: Hope and change the subject.” “It’s casual Friday, which means that at the White House, they’re casually going through everybody’s phone calls and records.” “It is not looking good for President Obama. Today his teleprompter took the fifth.” “FOX News has changed its slogan from ‘Fair and Balanced’ to ‘See, I told you so!’” “These White House scandals are not going away anytime soon. People in Kenya are now saying he’s 100 percent American. That’s how bad it’s gotten.” On Obama’s commencement address: “He told the young graduates their future is bright – unless, of course, they want jobs.” On a Chicago man who set a record for riding a Ferris wheel: “The only way to go around and around in a circle that many times is to read the official report on Benghazi.” On White House claims of ignorance on the scandals: “They took ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ out of the Pentagon and moved it into the White House.” Concerned about NSA Spying? Here’s one (funny) solution: everyone should begin speaking like a terrorist… here’s the video link. Thou Shalt Not Fail to Watch Your Investment Expenses. In this case, a full-service broker has been charging him 2% (and maybe more) to underperform in the sector he has him in up to his ears. And, I suspect, does a fair bit of trading. Essentially, the client takes all the risk and the brokerage house earns a bigger net return. Additionally, if the broker is aggressive, then there’s a good chance he’s not particularly attentive when it comes to short- versus long-term capital gains. Thou Shalt Not Keep Too Much of Your Money in a Single Institution. Effectively, he has all of his money in a single financial institution. As the investors with money on account at MF Global will attest, in today’s world that’s just plain reckless. Very few banks and brokerage houses aren’t entangled in the obscure and impenetrable web of derivatives markets and so are at risk. (This is a topic that David Webb will be addressing in depth at our only Casey Research Summit in 2013, Oct. 4 – 6 in Tucson, Arizona. Details here, registration is limited. ) Thou Shalt Not Be Ignorant About What You Own, and Why. His portfolio is made up entirely of investments that he doesn’t even know the names of, let alone the basic metrics related to their underlying value or financial soundness. David Galland Managing Director Casey Research More Irony Donald Grove, The Casey Report’s man in Washington, sent along the following, which, though true, properly belongs in the Friday Funnies section. Here’s the text of his email: “The White House is on a roll this morning. The audacity of this administration! That it would suggest that it has any credibility for instilling financial responsibility in young people just takes my breath away. The secretary of the Treasury will have oversight. That will keep it on the up and up, won’t it?” Don is referring to the Obama administration’s Executive Order earlier this week establishing The Presidential Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans (or TPACOFCFYA, for short). Quoting from the Executive Order… “By starting early, young people can begin to learn the difference between wants and needs, the importance and power of saving, and the positive and productive role money can play in their lives. Having a basic understanding of money management from an early age will make our young people better equipped to tackle more complex financial decisions in their transition to adulthood, when critical decisions about financing higher education and saving for retirement can have lasting consequences for financial security. Strengthening the financial capability of our young people is an investment in our nation’s economic prosperity.” Don adds, “How about advising young people to observe the fiscal and monetary practices of the federal government and simply do the opposite at every turn?” Sounds about right to me. A Good Laugh My golf buddy Frank sent this along a few minutes ago. Even though the Friday Funnies is longer than usual, I just had to share it. It’s the voice of a man leaving a message for his boss when he witnesses a car accident… and the incredible events that then follow. It’s really funny. Here’s a link to the recording. What the Hell Is Wrong with Obama? – Part Two This week, the Panderer-in-Chief moved forward with his initiative to curb carbon emissions. Thou Shalt Not Blindly Rely on the Advice of a Commissioned Broker. It’s their job to get you to trade. It’s how they earn the money to buy that nice house. Sure, if a commissioned broker provides real value, then they have earned their commission. But you need to do your own homework and not just acquiesce to their every recommendation. That’s how you end up with 90% of your retirement assets at risk in a single investment sector. As an alternative for those who want to leave their investing to a pro, a pure fee-based money manager can make sense as their only goal is (or should be) to impress you so you’ll continue to retain their services. For a few days the hogs waited patiently for their usual rations, but when the farmer failed to come through, the hungry hogs began to fight over the reduced slops provided. It was not long after that the farmer – confident that the hogs were properly domesticated – let himself into the pen only to find himself surrounded by angry hogs who made him what’s for lunch. The moral to the longer-version story is that the domesticated hogs will remain docile only for as long as you keep them snout-deep in slops. Which brings me to the riots in Brazil, the latest footnote on the continuum of the slow-motion global financial collapse now underway. Simply, years of expanding politically motivated social welfare programs around the world have raised the expectations of the masses to the point where they simply can’t be met. The results are that growing segments of the previously submissive masses, seeing their slops reduced in both quantity and quality, are now drifting back towards a more feral state. (Note the Mad Max hair in the photo above… yet another example of life mimicking art.) You can see the problem in this chart showing the federal government’s expenditures by function. While the chart is a little out of date, the trend couldn’t be clearer… or more concerning. Dear Reader, For today’s missive, I plan on keeping things fairly loose… no major themes, just bits and pieces, mostly related to some of the news items that have caught my eye, and maybe yours. And with that uncharacteristically short warm-up, it’s on to the news. What the Hell Is Wrong with Obama? In recent polls, 65% of Americans said they were against the US government becoming involved in Syria. Yet, the Obama administration has made it abundantly clear that it will now actively support the rebels there. Disturbingly, our so-called allies in this fight – the anti-Assad rebels – are the sort of people who use suicide bombers to achieve their goals. Which is not surprising given that Al-Qaeda has openly taken a leading role in the opposition the Obama administration now sees fit to support. And so it is that the very same Al-Qaeda that the US claims is Enemy #1 will soon be receiving weapons from the US, and probably already has. In one particularly notable display of the world view of our new friends, a prominent rebel leader named Khalid al-Hamad was videotaped snacking on the lung of a dead enemy soldier. The highly placed member of the intelligence community whom I briefly referenced in my last missive told me that the most favorable interpretation of this barbaric act the analysts could come up with was that the fellow was actually trying to eat the heart, but ate the lung instead. This was taken as “favorable” because Commander Cannibal’s lack of basic human anatomy suggested that eating internal organs was not a regular practice among our new BFF. Now, as to the “bad guy” in this entire drama … he is the son of Hafez al-Assad, the man who in 1973 changed the constitution of Syria to drop the provision that only Muslims could be president… triggering a running battle against Muslim extremists demanding that the country be Muslim and not secular. In 1987, Syria actually participated in the so-called willing countries in supporting the US invasion of Iraq. In 2000 Bashar Assad, the second son of Hafez, succeeded to power after his father’s death and five months later ordered the release of hundreds of political prisoners. Now, that’s not to say that Assad is a wonderful fellow. No one would argue the fact that he’s accustomed to using a hard hand to keep the discontented in line. And given that those discontented are dominated by the sort of folks willing to blow themselves up in pursuit of religious goals (or, at least encourage the more gullible into doing so), the actions of the Assad government have, on occasion, been uncompromising. As an aside, you may remember that in 2006 our current allies, the radical jihadists that Assad has also been trying to keep a lid on, attacked the US embassy in Damascus… and now we’re on the same side. Funny how a little time heals all wounds, eh? Even so, until this latest phase in the conflict blew up in 2011, the level of violence was relatively minor. But that was then. Now, with the place in flames, the death toll has soared with the latest body count at over 100,000 and counting. Which brings me back to the question above, what the hell is wrong with Obama? Or, more accurately, what the hell is the US government thinking to interject itself in the conflict? Why would we want to hand the largely secular country over to the jihadists? Who wins? I thought this quote out of an article on the situation by the folks at CATO worth sharing. Those most serious about intervention, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, want to do everything. Their joint statement demanded: “provisions of arms to vetted Syrian opposition groups, targeted strikes against Assad’s aircraft and SCUD missile batteries on the ground, and the establishment of safe zones inside Syria.” Graham also argued that “you’ve got to get on the ground” to seize chemical weapons stockpiles.  Sound familiar? Though I am not privy to any special information on the political calculations of Washington, it sure seems like we are following the script set down by the neocons (Kristol, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Abrams, et al.) that years ago infiltrated the US military-political complex. This is the “Might is right” crowd who believe in exercising US power proactively to knock down the dominos of all Middle Eastern countries Israel feels threatened by, with the end goal of remaking the Middle East as a region dominated by friendly democracies (or, in the case of Saudi Arabia, friendly dictatorships). Failing functioning democracies, turning the outcast countries into failed states that pose no real threat to US or Israeli interests in the area also works. It’s never been a secret that Syria is a prominent domino: as recently as 2009, Israel bombed a site in Syria where they claim secret nuclear research was being conducted. According to the script, after Syria the US will escalate its targeting of Iran. Given the hostile neighborhood it’s in, it’s understandable that Israel feels the need to act aggressively to dull the threat. Like individuals, nation-states possess finely honed survival instincts. I do, however, blame President Obama and the State Department and all the many sycophants in government and parasites in businesses that profit from war for once again entangling the country in a foreign conflict. That they do so in the face of overwhelming opposition among the public reveals “government of the people, for the people” as the meaningless platitude it has become. That our new allies are jihadists who upon taking power will oppress the country like Assad never did, then turn their weapons against the Great Satan that provided them, makes our support of them not just a bad joke but spectacularly bad karma. Then there’s the tens of thousands of innocents who will suffer and die before this is over. But, hey, it’s the Middle East where life is priced very low, so why should anyone care? The neocons certainly don’t. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: the constant turmoil in places like Syria, and the hardships it causes to the civilian population, is a damn shame, but it’s not our damn shame. Left to their own devices, maybe – just maybe – they’d finally get their act together. That the Obama administration would ignore the will of the people and deliberately make the troubles in Syria our own, and freakishly do so in an alliance with jihadists, strikes me as highly suspect and even treasonous. One can only hope that one shiny day not too far down the road, these people would be held accountable for their actions. Maybe starting by impeaching the president? I’m not holding my breath. Death of (the Retirement Dreams of) a Salesman Last week I played in a semi-serious golf tournament hereabouts. It’s only the second such tournament I’ve played in, and I had great reservations about doing so again. Mainly because of the stress associated with playing tournament golf. As one’s state of mind has a huge effect on one’s state of play, undue stress can result in all manner of bad outcomes. In this tournament, my usually reliable putting went out for coffee and didn’t come back until near the end of the third match, at which point it was way too late. Even so, I mostly enjoyed the experience and didn’t mind losing as the competition played significantly better than I and were nice fellows, to boot. I mention this only to set the context of a rather revealing conversation I had over a consolatory beer in the clubhouse. The fellow who so kindly bought me that beer was a sales manager who, over the course of the conversation, revealed to me that he was hoping to retire in the coming year in order to spend his golden years doing little more than playing golf. Without any urging, he then expressed some concern that the amount of money he had saved up might not be enough to see him through his retirement. It’s a valid concern: with a steady stream of advances in medicine and the fact that he is a fit 64 years old, his retirement could easily last twenty years. And thirty or even forty years isn’t out of the question. That’s a lot of time, and a lot of money. In the way of idle conversation, I asked him how much of his assets he has in the stock market. The answer, “Something over 90%,” made my eyebrow inadvertently twitch. “What sort of stocks are you in?” “I don’t know, stuff my broker said I should own. I think I have some stuff in the health industry, but I’m not sure.” “Have you looked into how the companies you own might fare under ObamaCare?” “No, I sure hope my broker does, it does kind of worry me.” “What kind of broker do you use?” “A full-service one. He’s kind of a friend.” “And you keep all your money with a single broker?” “Yes.” “How much commission do you pay on a trade?” “Ah, um…” “You don’t know?” “No, but I seem to recall it’s around 2%.” “Does your broker live in a pretty nice house? Better than yours?” “Yeah, he’s very successful.” As I didn’t want things to get awkward or spoil his happy day, I nudged the topic in a different direction. Yet when I got home, I couldn’t help but shake my head at the idea that someone could be so unmindful about the funds he is relying on for retirement. Which, reading between the lines, is an amount just a bit over $1,000,000 – the rewards of a lifetime of hard work. In fact, as far as I could tell, he had committed what might be called the 7 Commandments of Investing. Thou Shalt Not Over-Concentrate. For starters, his portfolio is way over-concentrated in a single asset class. Thou Shalt Not Be Ignorant About Managing Money. Anyone who hopes to maintain and increase their portfolio over time needs to have at least passing familiarity with the fundamentals of investing and managing money. Otherwise you are likely to violate the preceding commandments. And you need to keep yourself informed about the macro-picture for the economy and for the primary asset classes in which you are invested. These are not easy times to be an investor. Especially when you consider that global stock markets are now rallying on bad economic news – as that is (correctly) taken as providing an excuse for the Fed to continue the money printing. That should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about the big picture. As Terry Coxon, co-editor of The Casey Report, recently put it, “The stock market is levitating on QE. When QE ends, the stock market falls to earth.” Thus, your investment returns depend not only on investing in the right individual asset, but on whether the Fed in all its infinite wisdom (or proven lack thereof) decides to withdraw liquidity… or, as was the case recently, ponders doing so. Simply put, we will see a lot of volatility between now and when the vultures finally come to rest on the bones of this crisis (either through a deflationary collapse, but more likely an inflationary one). In the interim, the “right” investment for the long term might turn out to be a very wrong investment for the short and medium term. As to the longer term, again quoting from Terry Coxon, the smartest person I know on central banks and matters related to monetary policy… “The Fed is not going to exit the business of monetary easing. They may pause now and then, but when they see the results, they will resume. Every hyperinflation has been punctuated with pauses during which the central bank resolved to stop printing, to avoid destroying the currency.” At the end of the day, for any of us to successfully make it to the other side of this crisis with our assets intact is going to require diversification, bullet-proof income investments, a fair bit of cash, a focus on quality, and, while it may not seem the case at the moment, gold. Of course, we’ll be addressing all those topics and a whole lot more at our Casey Research Summit this October 4 – 6 in Tucson. Hope to see you there. (Because gold has been much in the news this week, and because he’ll be participating as a faculty member side by side with the audience over the three days of our Summit in Arizona, I thought you might enjoy this quick clip of Jim Rickards sharing his outlook for gold.) Speaking of the Summit, one of the panels will feature Ron Paul and Doug Casey, among others, addressing the topic of “Politics Gone Wild.” This topic is of no small importance, as the entire world is currently locked into a destructive paradigm of sick nation-states committed to doing “whatever it takes” to maintain the status quo. Yet, as the result of decades of irresponsible governance driven by political expedience and vote gathering, the underpinning of the status quo has been shattered, and there’s no easy way to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Consequently, it’s all but certain we’re going to go through social, as well as financial, hardships before this thing is over. Which delivers me somewhat seamlessly to the next item catching my eye this week… Failed Expectations, Failing States There is a parable about a Southern farmer who takes up the challenge of capturing a herd of particularly aggressive feral hogs. The story proceeds with him putting out some food where he knows the hogs will find it. He then continues putting the food out day after day while, at the same time, slowly building a pen around the feeding spot. The story ends with the farmer simply closing the newly constructed gate on the hogs while they are snout-deep in their slops. If one so desired, however, one could continue the parable as follows… Some months later, the farmer found himself facing hard financial times and decided he could no longer afford to keep feeding the hogs at the same level. The decision made, the next day he cut back the quantity of their rations and substituted the higher-quality feed he had been dishing out with far less tasty tidbits.last_img read more

Colorectal cancer is the secondleading cause of c

first_imgColorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, most frequently diagnosed among adults over 65. To catch those typically slow-growing malignancies early, when they can often be cured, most doctors’ groups recommend colorectal cancer screening starting at age 50.But the American Cancer Society this week changed its advice and is recommending that screening start five years earlier.”There is compelling evidence that the optimum age to start is now 45,” says Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer of the society, who cites a sharp increase in deaths from colon and rectal cancers among men and women under age 50.”People born in the ’80s and ’90s are at higher risk of developing colon cancer, particularly rectal cancer, than people born when I was born back in the ’50s,” Wender says.And the rise is not just because detection is getting better, he says. In fact, the risk of developing colon cancer is twice as high as it was years ago and the risk of developing rectal cancer is four times higher.”We just have to face reality,” says Wender. “We just don’t know why it’s increasing.”Some of the increase could stem from the increase in obesity in the U.S., a known risk factor for colorectal cancer, he says.”But we don’t think that explains the entire change,” he adds. “There is a great deal of interest and a lot of research beginning to try to answer that question.”So far, other groups are maintaining their recommendation that colon cancer screening start at age 50, including the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in disease prevention and evidence-based medicine.Stanford University internist Douglas K. Owens, the task force’s vice-chairperson, says the group’s 2016 recommendations were based on extensive review of the benefits and harms of colorectal screening at the time.”There was limited data on screening people under age 50,” Owens says. The new American Cancer Society guidelines, he adds, should prompt more research into the relative benefits and harms of screening among younger people.Dr. Robin B. Mendelsohn, a gastroenterologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, says there’s been an “alarming” increase in cancer among younger adults. She’s the co-director of the recently established Center for Young Onset Colorectal Cancer there.Over the last 10 years, Memorial Sloan Kettering has seen 4,000 new colorectal cancer patients under age 50, she says. Many of them did not have traditional risk factors such as obesity, smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity or a diet high in fat or low in fiber.In fact, Mendelsohn says, they were typically less likely to smoke and less likely to be overweight than their older counterparts.”Anecdotally, when you talk with these patients, [some] are marathon runners who don’t eat red meat, don’t smoke, do everything ‘right’ and say ‘why did this happen to me?’ ” she says.Often, they tell her they’ve seen multiple doctors because of rectal bleeding, but have been told, since they’re under 50, they “can’t have cancer.” That’s clearly not the case, she says.Ongoing studies are looking at a multitude of factors that might be contributing to the earlier cancer incidence. Potential culprits include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines, antibiotics and antidepressants, as well as multiple vitamins, probiotics and other dietary supplements.The new recommendations should bring greater attention to the value of screening, says Mendelsohn, who suggests that future studies investigate whether even younger people — in their early 40s or even 30s — should be screened.A first colon cancer screening does not have to be a colonoscopy. In its new recommendations, the cancer society recommends choosing from one of six screening tests, which are also currently recommended by other expert groups. The guidelines don’t prioritize among screening choices.The choices include three at-home kits that test stool for blood.These kits need to be ordered by a doctor; primary-care providers often have them on hand in the office to give to patients, Wender says, or they may be mailed.”It’s done in the privacy of your own home,” he says. Patients mail the sample to a research facility which tests for microscopic traces of blood.If the test is positive, a colonoscopy is recommended, Wender says; but only one in five people test positive for blood in their stool.Typically, these home tests of feces are repeated every year for good results.Alternatively, some patients opt for what’s called a “virtual” colonoscopy — essentially a CT scan of the colon — which should be done every five years, according to the new recommendations.Another approved option is a flexible sigmoidoscopy, which looks at the lower part of the colon, and is followed up by a colonoscopy if polyps are found.A positive result picked up in these screening tests is typically followed up by a colonoscopy, which uses a tiny camera to investigate the entire colon. It is not only a search for early cancer; more often than not, Wender says, it detects pre-malignant, suspicious lesions, or polyps, which are removed during the procedure.”When we find and remove polyps we actually prevent any future chance of that developing into cancer,” he says.Despite the high cure rate when colon cancer is caught early, only two-thirds of Americans over 50 get screened.The American Cancer Society says it endorsed the full range of screening tests “without preference” in order to improve the rate of screening. In its latest advice, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says head-to-head comparison studies have shown that no one screening test is more effective than another in early cancer detection.While they differ on the age of first screening, both groups suggest that screening over age 75 should be a joint decision between patient and doctor. And after age 85, screening is no longer necessary, the doctors’ groups agree. That’s because the risk of colonoscopy among this elderly population can outweigh any benefit. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

The Liberal Democrats have published a manifesto w

first_imgThe Liberal Democrats have published a manifesto which – of the five main parties covering both England and Wales – appears to offer the most extensive series of proposals around disability rights.Among them are pledges to formally recognise British Sign Language (BSL) as an official UK language, and to enact the remaining unimplemented clauses of Labour’s Equality Act 2010, including the provisions on discrimination by taxis and private hire vehicles.Possibly the most eye-catching is that the party will “aim for the goal” of bringing together disability benefits and social care – including personal independence payment, employment and support allowance, a “replacement for the Independent Living Fund” and health and social care funding – into a single pot of funding, offering disabled people “one assessment, one budget” for all their needs.On social care, the party promises to end the practice of care workers being forced to rush from one job to the next; to “provide more choice at the end of life”, such as having the choice to die at home rather than in hospital; and to offer free end-of-life social care, if it is “affordable and cost effective”.Like the Conservatives, Greens, Labour and UKIP, the Liberal Democrats want to integrate the NHS and social care systems, but seem to be alone in suggesting a target date – of 2018 – for full pooling of budgets between health and care services.Full responsibility for social care would shift to the Department of Health, while a Liberal Democrat government would commission a “fundamental review” of NHS and social care funding in 2015.The Liberal Democrat manifesto also has a significant focus on mental health, through its “equal care for mental health” pledge.Among its mental health policies, it would ensure people with mental health problems “get the help they need to stay in or find work”, while it would continue the government’s support for the Time to Change anti-stigma programme.A string of welfare reform policies that would impact on disabled people include a promise to devolve support to local areas through a “reformed and improved” Work Programme, in partnership with local authorities and the Welsh and Scottish governments, and ensure better support for those furthest from the labour market, which would include many disabled people.It also pledges to improve links between jobcentres, Work Programme providers and the local NHS, to “ensure all those in receipt of health-related benefits are getting the care and support to which they are entitled”.It says it must continue to find “savings” in the welfare budget, but that its priority would be to tackle the causes of rising social security bills, such as high rents, low pay, sickness and unemployment.One cut would come from a one per cent cap on annual increases in working-age benefits, which would apply for the first three years of the next parliament.Although the party says it would exclude disability benefits from this cap – including personal independence payment (PIP) – it has confirmed that this protection would not extend to the main component of employment and support allowance (ESA), or the work-related activity top-up component of ESA, but only to the ESA support group top-up.Other social security pledges include a review of the work capability assessment and the PIP eligibility test, to ensure they are “fair, accurate and timely”.The party also holds out the possibility of scrapping the controversial use of private sector companies such as Atos, Capita and Maximus to carry out assessments, and replacing them with a public sector provider.There is also a pledge to review benefit sanctions procedures in jobcentres, ensuring there are no “league tables or targets”, and introducing a “yellow card” warning system so claimants are only sanctioned if they “deliberately and repeatedly break the rules”.And the party promises to clear the backlog of PIP assessments, “simplify and streamline” back-to-work support for disabled people, and “seek” to expand the Access to Work programme.As part of pledges on the coalition’s spare room subsidy removal policy – known by most campaigners and opposition MPs as the bedroom tax – the manifesto promises to ensure that all disabled people receive housing benefit for an extra room if they need one.The party would also ensure that all existing social tenants do not have their housing benefit reduced until they have been offered “reasonable alternative accommodation”, while disabled tenants whose homes have been “substantially adapted” will also not see their housing benefit reduced.The party promises to make parliament “more family-friendly”, including a review that would “pave the way for MP jobsharing arrangements”, which many disabled campaigners believe would make it easier for disabled people to enter parliament as part-time, job-share MPs.The manifesto also says that a Liberal Democrat government would encourage employers to shortlist all suitably qualified disabled candidates for jobs, and provide employers with advice on workplace adaptations, as well as copying across the public sector the Civil Service programme that offers accelerated progress through the ranks for under-represented groups, such as disabled people.On access, the party pledges to make more stations wheelchair-accessible and give wheelchair-users priority over children’s buggies when space is limited – a high-profile issue for many disabled people travelling on buses – and improve access to public transport for people with visual and hearing impairments.It also promises to produce a new standard for benchmarking the accessibility of cities, and to improve legislation on blue parking badges.The Liberal Democrats also say they would ensure “proper monitoring” of disability hate crime by police forces and other public bodies.And they promise to ensure that the government’s push for its “transactional” services to become “digital by default” does not leave some people behind, by “upholding the highest standards of accessibility in digital services and maintaining government programmes on digital inclusion”.The manifesto also says the party would review the impact of the coalition’s cuts and reforms to disabled student’s allowance, to “consider additional protections for the most vulnerable” disabled students, and ensure all disabled students receive “appropriate support”.Kelly-Marie Blundell (pictured), the disabled Liberal Democrat candidate for Guildford and a leading member of the Liberal Democrat Disability Association (LDDA), said she was pleased to see policies that she and other LDDA members had worked on make it into the manifesto.These include the commitment to recognise BSL as an official language, to take further action on disability hate crime, and to work towards reviewing and simplifying disability benefits, “including the assessments which have caused so many problems since Labour introduced them”. She said: “Protecting disability benefits from proposed cuts and limits on year-on-year increases will help a lot of people on low income, but also moving employment support to local councils, an area which I led on nationally, will help people with disabilities be best placed to find the right provisions and help to find work.“Protecting the Human Rights Act is vital to ensuring people with disabilities are protected in society, and strengthening resources to tackle disability hate crime, are also important inclusions.”She said she would have liked to have seen more of a commitment in the manifesto to incentivise companies to adapt workplaces for disabled people and to take them on as employees.She said: “All too often there are huge barriers in employing people with disabilities, and only through incentivising companies to get involved will we redress this inequality.” She added: “I’d also like to see more on disabled access to public transport, an area which is poorly provided for across the country, to level the playing-field for thousands of people with mobility problems.”Another disabled candidate, Loraine Birchall, who is standing for the Liberal Democrats in Carlisle, said she was pleased to see a commitment to creating jobcentre “complex case teams”, for benefit claimants who face greater challenges in returning to work or who may never be able to work.    And she welcomed the Liberal Democrat pledge to publish a disability and health employment green paper, working closely with service-users and third sector organisations.She also praised the manifesto’s focus on mental health, including the promise of equality of access to treatment.last_img read more

GoPro Inc Names Apples Daniel Coster as VP of Design

first_imgImage Credit: GoPro Advertisement Wearable camera maker GoPro Inc named Apple Inc designer Daniel Coster as vice president of design, effective the end of April.Coster was a core member of Apple‘s industrial design team for more than 20 years and is credited with contributing to devices such as iPhone 4 and iPad wireless keyboard, the company said in a statement.GoPro has faced increasing competition from enhanced video-shooting capabilities of Apple’s iPhone 6 range. – Advertisement – GoPro shares rose 16.3 percent to 13.58 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.[Reuters]last_img