Napoli goalscorer Llorente: I really wanted to face Liverpoolby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli striker Fernando Llorente was delighted to score in victory over Champions League opponents Liverpool.Llorente was part of the Tottenham team beaten by the Reds in last season’s final.The veteran said: “I wanted to play against the Reds, I’m happy because we showed we could live with the big names. These three points are very important, but it’s just the first game: we still need a lot. “We have to think about game after game, it will be hard. “Scoring at the San Paolo is something incredible, I didn’t imagine starting this adventure like this.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement The trailers follow below, with synopses provided by TIFF:Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben FerenczBarry AvrichCanada; World Premiere; 83 minutesBarry Avrich returns to the festival with a fascinating portrait of Ben Ferencz, the last surviving Nuremberg Trial prosecutor, who continues to wage his lifelong crusade in the fight for law and peace.Putin’s WitnessesVitaly ManskyLatvia, Switzerland, Czech Republic; International Premiere; 102 minutesThrough testimonies from Gorbachev, Yeltsin and the current Russian president himself, Vitaly Mansky tells the story of how Putin rose to power and held his position for nearly two decades.ScrewballBilly CorbenUSA; World Premiere; 105 minutesBilly Corben’s true-crime dramedy investigates the MLB’s infamous doping scandal involving a nefarious clinician and his most famous client: the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez. As we approach the start of the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, realscreen has collected all available trailers and clips of this year’s feature documentaries (see part one of the ’18 trailer round-up here).With 27 documentary features announced as part of TIFF Docs, the following are a few examples of what you can expect to see during the Canadian festival, which runs from Sept. 6 to 16.Today’s batch of trailers and clips includes Astra Taylor’s What is Democracy?, a far-reaching look at the history of democracy and its place in the present day; Vitaly Mansky’s Putin’s Witnesses, about the rise and two decades-long rule of Russian President Vladimir Putin; and Sharkwater Extinction (pictured), the late filmmaker and conservationist Rob Stewart’s follow-up to his 2006 investigation of the illegal shark fin trade. Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook
MONTREAL — Yellow Pages Ltd. says its lockout of sales representatives in the province of Quebec has been lifted after they ratified a new three-year collective agreement.The Montreal-based publisher of digital and paper-based advertising announced in mid-September that it was locking out about 130 of its unionized employees after the two sides failed to reach a labour agreement. It announced Sunday that the workers were scheduled to return to work immediately but neither the company nor the union released details about the terms of the new contract.The Federation des travailleurs du Quebec (FTQ) announced separately that the deal was ratified by 65 per cent of the members who voted Sunday in Laval, Que.The union executive had recommended ratification of the deal due to the company’s intransigence and its financial difficulties.Earlier this month, Yellow Pages announced it had achieved a $27.1-million profit for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, due to cost-cutting including workforce reductions, asset sales and a $18.3-million reversal in income tax provisions. Revenue for the three months was down 26 per cent from the third quarter of 2017, to $130.1 million from $175.7 million. Companies in this story: (TSX:Y)The Canadian Press
Updates will be provided on the City of Dawson Creek website and Facebook when conditions have changed.For more information on the emergency repair, you can visit the City of Dawson Creek’s website. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The City of Dawson Creek is advising residents that an emergency repair is being made to the raw water line.According to the City, starting on August 28, customers along the water line are expected to be out of water for the next few days.The City says City crews are working to repair the line prior to the weekend.
State Rep. Jack O’Malley, of Lake Ann, will meet with local residents during scheduled office hours later this month.“Your input allows me to be a more effective advocate for the ‘Fighting 101st’ at the state Capitol,” O’Malley said. “I encourage residents to attend and hope to hear about issues that matter most to them.”Rep. O’Malley will be available Friday, Feb. 22 at the following times and locations:8 to 9 a.m. at the Leelanau County Government Center, 8527 E Government Center Drive in Suttons Bay;10 to 11 a.m. at the Benzonia Township Offices, 1020 Michigan Ave. in Benzonia;12 to 1 p.m. at Onekama Township Hall, 5435 Main St. in Onekama; and2 to 3 p.m. at Ludington City Hall, 400 S Harrison St. in Ludington.No appointments are necessary. Those who are unable to attend at the scheduled times but would like an opportunity to talk with Rep. O’Malley may call his office at (517) 373-0825 or email him at JackOMalley@house.mi.gov. ### Categories: O’Malley News 14Feb Rep. O’Malley announces in-district office hours for February
There will never be complete clarity on who the enemy is (unless you live in a Muslim country, in which case the uniforms of the Western crusaders conveniently identify them). The global economic recovery is a fiction.Over the past week, it was revealed that Eurozone unemployment has now reached an all-time high to this point in the crisis… and real GDP has gone negative in the US. Wait a sec, some of you might say, that sure doesn’t look like a recovery!And you’d be right. Despite throwing literally trillions of dollars in new debt at the debt crisis (anyone else see something wrong with that logic?), the global economy continues to struggle.As I’m now running late, I’m not going to belabor this point. Instead, I’ll step out for a quick cup of coffee and let Casey Research Chief Economist Bud Conrad weigh in on the topic.Real GDP Dropped 0.1% in Q4 2012 – What Are the Implications?By Bud ConradExpectations were for GDP growth of about 1.6%, but a negative growth of minus 0.1% was a surprise.(Click on image to enlarge)Is a negative print indicating a possible recession ahead? Stocks were down in the US, but only by 44 points on the Dow, so the surprise was not so big a worry to the market. What’s going on?I’m reminded of the saying, “There are lies, damned lies, and (government) statistics.”This is the advance estimate of GDP, which will be revised two more times before it becomes official. It relies mostly on the first two months of the quarter and will change when December data is added. So the small negative is not really a meaningful number yet, as it will be revised.The cause of the drop was that national defense spending fell a whopping 22% in the quarter. When filtered through the various other effects on the economy, that made the real GDP 1.3% weaker than it would have been if defense were unchanged.I don’t think military spending gives us societal benefits, so I question if it should even be in GDP, but it is, and in the past it has made the economy look stronger, especially during its growth under Bush. There is also a tendency for military spending to grow in the third quarter, as that is the last quarter of the government’s calendar. The story is that once money is allocated, you have to spend it before you lose it. So a drop in relative spending in the fourth quarter is not uncommon.It was probably made worse by plans to implement the sequester at the beginning of the year (now delayed).There will be a new budget battle coming up over whether to go ahead with the sequester (cut) of defense spending in the next few months. There may be an argument that we can’t afford cuts when the economy is weak. I have my own bias that the government is too big and that, when you include the social programs that induce household spending, the GDP is far too dependent on the government for its growth. The combined effects of government are something like 40% of GDP, and that will be with us for a long time.The market is not taking the negative GDP as indicating a new recession, because other parts of the economy are continuing along with reasonable growth. Consumer spending, the main engine of US growth, rose 2.2%. Construction on new homes and apartments jumped 15.3%. Business spending on equipment and software was up. So the private-sector economy was not appearing weak.By one interpretation, the GDP number is probably a little worse than the headline because the inflation, as measured by the implicit price deflator, was also down.(Click on image to enlarge)If the deflator were 2%, as it has been reported in recent months, rather than the Q4 number of 0.6%, then the real GDP would have been 1.6% worse, at a negative 1.7%.ImplicationsIn the face of the deficit crises, I have often shared my opinion that the government would “kick the can,” as it consistently has. The tax rise on the wealthy was also Obama’s political promise and had been expected. Raising taxes, including the payroll tax, which was just accomplished, could cut household spending and hurt the GDP. If the economy is too weak to cut spending, then we will continue with the huge deficits that we cannot afford.Going forward, the debt ceiling will have no effect except to elicit hot air from politicians. It is their own shell game that goes back to the fig leaf that was instigated to replace the requirement that the administration had to get approval from Congress for each new debt offering in the early part of the last century.My prediction going forward is that Congress will make no major changes to the deficit until the dollar weakens and interest rates rise, forcing action. The Fed is monetizing at the rate of a trillion dollars a year, which covers 80% of the deficit. For now, the Fed has bailed out the federal deficit so politicians don’t need to do anything.The economy has been driven by Fed bubble blowing: first the stock market dot-com bubble (Internet stocks attracted day traders), then the housing bubble (flippers and the meme that real estate never goes down), and now a massive bond bubble (there’s no other safe place to put your money). The collapse of the biggest bubble ever in bonds will start once confidence in the Fed is lost in seeing that they can’t keep rates suppressed forever.The weak GDP report suggests the Fed will keep its attempt to pump up the economy, even as each QE program is having less and less effect. Simply put, as the government won’t cut its deficits, the Fed will keep up the QE because there is no exit strategy from this mess. As rates begin to rise, the deficit will become unmanageable due to the rising scale of interest payments. But this debt bubble will burst because low interest rates cannot be forced forever. If history is any guide, the time will come when Fed stimulus will decrease confidence in the dollar more than it helps the economy, and at that point the deficit-boosted economy will collapse. The slowing GDP is an early warning we will be keeping a close eye on.Ed. Note: How much would it be worth to you personally to be thoroughly informed on the bubble in bonds, when it is likely to burst, and how you can profit – or avoid the losses? Bud Conrad will be providing his comprehensive analysis of the bond bubble in the upcoming issue of The Casey Report. You don’t want to miss it, and don’t have to… just take us up on our fully guaranteed trial offer for The Casey Report. If you don’t love the publication, simply cancel for a full refund within the first 90 days – and keep all the issues you’ve received as our way of saying thanks for giving it a try. Learning more is as easy as clicking here now.Final ThoughtsDavid again. Given the highly politicized nature of today’s world, it is important to take the effort to understand the fundamental realities, rather than blindly accept the fictions that spew forth from officialdom and its quislings on Wall Street and in the media.Things have reached the point where the reality gap between those deluded souls living in North Korea under the rule of Kim Jong Wu Ever and those living in the degraded Western democracies is rapidly narrowing. In North Korea, they are told that the South Koreans want to eat their babies or some such; in the United States, people are told that just across the border in Mexico, the streets are paved with headless corpses.(You might find the map linked to here of interest as it compares the murder rates of various countries against those in US cities. Let’s see, there are approximately 10 murders per 100,000 people in Mexico… half that of Washington and less than a third of that in Baltimore.)In North Korea, the people are told that the Jong family are one tick off from being deities and believe it. In the US and Europe, people are told that debt issuance and money printing without end is the “solution” to the financial crisis and believe that too.The bottom line on today’s musings is that it really behooves us all to revisit our beliefs and kick the tires on our assumptions, looking for some kernel of observable truth that we can use to guide us through the challenges ahead.One such reality is that gold has been considered sound money around the globe for most of recorded human history. While it’s been in a consolidation phase for over a year now, and could remain flat to down for a while longer, you have to ask yourself what’s more likely to retain its value? Currency units created out of thin air or an ounce of gold?Wherever possible, try to align your finances and your life with reality. While that may make you subject to periodic losses and inconveniences as popular delusions and the madness of crowds push markets, and countries, in unsustainable directions – in time, you’ll come out on top.Friday FunniesIf you’re not familiar with the work of Steven Wright, he’s the humorist who once said, “I woke up one morning, and all of my stuff had been stolen and replaced by exact duplicates.” His mind sees things differently than most of us do; here are some of his gems:1 – I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.2 – Borrow money from pessimists – they don’t expect it back.3 – Half the people you know are below average.4 – 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.5 – 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.6 – A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.7 – A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.8 – If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.9 – All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.10 – The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.11 – I almost had a psychic girlfriend… but she left me before we met.12 – OK, so what’s the speed of dark?13 – How do you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?14 – If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.15 – Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.16 – When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.17 – Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.18 – Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.19 – I intend to live forever… so far, so good.20 – If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?21 – Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.22 – What happens if you get scared half to death twice?23 – My mechanic told me, “I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.”24 – Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?25 – If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.26 – A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.27 – Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.28 – The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.29 – To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.30 – The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.31 – The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.32 – The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.33 – Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don’t have film.34 – If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.And the all-time favorite –35 – If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?Weekend Reads and WatchesInterview with Dennis Miller. Earlier this week, our own Dennis Miller sat for an interview with Kerry Lutz of the Financial Survival Network. It’s a good interview as it provides insights into the scale of the problems now facing retirees and those who would like to retire, and some of the solutions Dennis has uncovered. Here’s the link to the interview.Busy-Bodies of the Month. I really like Reason TV. In this installment, they reveal their busy-bodies of the month – in this case an absolutely mind-boggling new proposal to criminalize nicotine. Here’s the link.Perfect-Worlders Try to Kill Bambi. Along a similar line, this morning Dennis Miller sent me a link to a ridiculous story about a former police officer and his wife facing jail time for rescuing an injured deer. Here’s the link.Live Again. Earlier I mentioned the upcoming Harvest Celebration at La Estancia de Cafayate, March 14 – 19. For those of you who haven’t yet seen it, a short film titled Live Again was made at La Estancia that will give you a sense of the place. Here’s the link.Until Next Week!Sorry for going on a bit long this week. Starting work well before the crack of dawn and trying to compensate by getting juiced up on mate and coffee and ramped up with loud music has that effect on me.Before signing off, however, I want to mention that there are two new Casey Phyles forming – one in Nashville, TN, and one in Cleveland, OH. If you would like to join one of these meet-up groups, or one in your area, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.I also want to mention that we’ve nailed down the dates for our fall Casey Research Summit in Tucson, Arizona: If you are interested in participating, mark October 4 – 6, 2013 on your calendar. We’re still working on the details, but you’ll hear from us as soon as more information becomes available. If you want to stay up to date and be the first to learn when registration opens for the Summit, simply get on our waitlist (being on the list doesn’t oblige you to attend the Summit).And with that, I will bid you farewell for the week by thanking you for reading and for being a subscriber to a Casey Research publication.David GallandManaging DirectorCasey ResearchCafayate, Argentina Dear Readers,It is said that death and taxation are the only certainties in life.Expanding on that list, however, we also know there are “physical laws” derived from extensive observations, in some cases dating back to antiquity. For example, sticking fingers in fires will result in unpleasantness.Then there is the realm of what one might call “common knowledge.” For example, the historical record makes it appear certain that, universally, power corrupts the human mind, and the greater the power, the greater the corruption.For a relevant example, look no further than Kim Jong-Il, who at an early age evidenced what psychologists term the “big six” personality disorders commonly shared by dictators: sadistic, paranoid, anti-social, narcissistic, with schizoid and schizotypal thrown in for good measure.Without the power devolved to him by his equally degraded father, Kim Jong-Il would have been hard pressed to get a date anywhere else in the world. As supreme leader, on the other hand, he was unhesitant in pressing into service a “Mansions Special Volunteer Corps” – a harem of attractive women plucked out of the population to attend to his every prurient whim.Tangling things up in this area of common knowledge is that we humans are quite adroit at adopting unproven ideas as certainties, even though they may be anything but. While the list of entries in this particular ledger are almost infinite, as just one example, I would point to the absolute certainty with which so many people view the notion that humans are the biggest culprits in climate change (previously referred to as “weather”).Another of these false certainties is that a government can create currency units out of thin air in unlimited amounts without triggering a subsequent devaluation of the currency units already in circulation. Furthermore, these days it is taken almost as common knowledge by a large swath of the population (at least by those who pay any attention at all to such things) that flooding a country with unbacked money is a good thing.Not to go on, as I am wont to do, but I would also mention the misconception by many that the United States, the most powerful country in the world (see reference to Kim Jong-Il above), remains the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.While one might subscribe to a different definition of the words “Free” and “Brave,” from where I sit, the United States is increasingly looking like a large Club Fed populated by a people whose re-education as serfs laboring on behalf of the state is almost complete.Recently, support for that contention was provided when Phil Mickelson pointed out that his taxes had reached 63% of his annual income and that, as a result, he was contemplating moving to a lower-tax state than California. For daring to want to keep more of his earnings than the state, which sinks not a single putt for its share, he was soundly pilloried in the press.Sadly, rather than telling his many critics to bugger off, he issued a series of apologies for speaking out against his tax-slave status.But the hour is growing late, and so enough of this rambling on.Moving along, I thought it worth trying to divine something approaching certainty about a few of the key aspects of today’s world that have the very real potential to affect us all in ways most profound.What We Now KnowIn no particular order, here are just a few important aspects of today’s world that appear to be true to me.The crusades are alive and well and will continue indefinitely. Since the first crusade in 1095, the Christians and the Muslims have been at war pretty much continually. In other words, the war has been going on for over 900 years.Back then, the battles were pretty straightforward affairs involving a wide range of sharpened instruments and projectiles, with no mercy asked and none given even if it was.In modernity, however, the war has evolved in most interesting ways. For example, there are no longer distinct lines of battles. Instead, thanks to the natural evolution of societies, the advent of political correctness accompanied by a whopping dollop of bureaucratic pandering, the Muslims are thoroughly embedded in previously staunchly Christian societies. (Interestingly, the opposite is not the case.)Adding to the fog of war is the nature of the weaponry and, by extension, tactics. Whereas in antiquity the warring parties had no real technological advantage, or at least not of a lasting nature, today the range of possible weapons and tactics is almost limitless.Case in point, the next attack on a major city is as likely to come in the form of a few jars of some particularly nasty germ dropped in the water supply as it is from a reengineered Stuxnet computer virus.Furthermore, as the potential enemies are numerous and reside within many borders, including your own, the possible responses to such an attack are rendered ineffective and even counterproductive. That’s how the moronic act of attacking Iraq after a small group of Saudis and Pakistanis in planes took down the World Trade Center buildings came about. The US had to attack someone, and so it picked the appropriate fall guy and set to work.Recapping what we know now in this instance:The crusades will continue indefinitely. The US government will do whatever it takes to keep the statists in power.That the nation is no longer governed by principles should be obvious to everyone at this point. Well, perhaps with the exception of the principle of self-preservation for the politicos.That they are masters at survival can be seen in the high reelection rate of members of Congress, despite the polls indicating their popularity as only a smidgeon above stepping into a pile of fresh dog droppings.In the current economic environment, however, their skills at blaming others and kicking cans down the road is being tested, witnessed by the adoption of concepts such as unlimited money printing, a concept previously reserved for banana republics and Weimar Germanys. Unfortunately, as I have expressed in my writings before, the quantitative easing is likely to be one of the last “soft” options as the crisis deepens.In the United States, the government is just a couple of ticks away from turning the de facto capital controls currently in place into those of a more hardened type. With the new FACTA foreign financial assets reporting regulations now in effect, all the necessary functionality is in place, leaving only a quick turn of the knobs to dial in punitive tax levels on such holdings or take some similar action to make the “unpatriotic” act of daring to move assets offshore into one that is also distinctly ill-advised.Then there is the inevitable grab for the trillions of dollars now in US pension plans, something that Doug has warned about for years. A recent story out of Bloomberg a couple of weeks ago sure looks like a straw in the wind to me. And I quote.The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is weighing whether it should take on a role in helping Americans manage the $19.4 trillion they have put into retirement savings, a move that would be the agency’s first foray into consumer investments. “That’s one of the things we’ve been exploring and are interested in in terms of whether and what authority we have,” bureau director Richard Cordray said in an interview. He didn’t provide additional details. Here’s the link…All that’s missing is the next stock market crash, and this initiative will rise to the fore. That the Sheeple will fall right in line with the logic of a government takeover of the pensions can be understood by looking at a number of surveys showing the majority of Americans don’t have any real savings.One study by the Employee Benefits Research Institute found that 56% of US workers have less than $25,000 saved. And that’s workers. Fully 54% of folks who have actually retired also report that they have less than $25,000 to live on.What this means is that over 50% of Americans are either currently, or will someday soon, be wards of the state. So, that’s something else we know.“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who are not.” Thomas JeffersonDrifting back to this particular point, this fairly startling reality is all the excuse the government needs to shove both its mitts into the nation’s pensions and take what it needs to keep Washington DC in the wealth redistribution/political pandering business.The taking is as simple as requiring that all pensions contain at least “XX%” of safe Treasury bills or some new form of government-backed paper whipped up for the scam. Or, alternatively, you must withdraw your money from your IRA and pay the penalty – the rationale being that you are bound to lose your money if you manage it yourself and therefore the penalty and taxes for withdrawing are merely a deposit on future government handouts you are sure to need.It is, of course, ironic that the very people now contemplating helping retirees with their finances are the ones most responsible for bankrupting the country and devastating the finances of retirees by rigging interest rates to an artificially low rate. I would be remiss at this point if I didn’t tip the hat in the direction of the plain-talking, straight-shooting Dennis Miller, author of Retirement Reboot and editor of the highly praised Miller’s Money Forever, a monthly publication dedicated to helping those in or nearing retirement get their financial act together, and keep it together, through good times and bad.Earlier this week, Dennis sent along 95 pages of comments he received from a survey on what his subscribers wanted to learn more about. The top three topics were all related to moves people can make to generate reliable income – annuities, reverse mortgages, and dividend-paying stocks – all topics Dennis and his team have written extensively on.In fact, he has produced a number of special reports, The Cash Book, The Yield Book and The Annuity Guide, all of which are available at no additional cost to paid-up subscribers.Listen, this stuff is serious. If you are behind the 8-ball on your retirement savings, don’t even begin to hesitate to subscribe to Dennis’ service.Of course, we’ve got to make some money, so we can’t give the service away, but at just $99 a year – and you receive Dennis’ book Retirement Reboot (a $9.95 value) as a premium – it’s an extraordinarily good value.As the publication includes a 3-month, 100% money-back guarantee, you have zero risk in trying the service out.For details, click here.Which brings me to my final entry for today’s musings about what we now know… The biggest consequence of this sloppy Forever War is that the helpless (and some would chirp, hapless) Western governments and the military-industrial complex that props them up are at liberty to improvise countermeasures and strategies without any real limitations.Thus, every new attack, or perceived new threat, results in a new set of actions pretty much made up on the spot to punish the perps and counter the next attack. To name one relatively tame example, the act of a single Jihadist fitting a bomb in his sneakers resulted in the loss of countless of hours, and more than a little dignity, when the bureaucrats instituted a requirement that John Q. Sheeple must remove his shoes in order to board a plane.In addition, because these governments have no idea where the next attack is likely to occur or what form it will take, the perfect-worlder bureaucrats increasingly in charge of Western governments have begun to exercise the precautionary principle to the point of dangerous absurdity.In the event you are not familiar with the term, the precautionary principle basically holds that if there is a threat to the public, even though it is not proven, the burden of proof that it is not a threat falls to those claiming that it is not a threat.Thus, for example, if the military states that it sees a threat emanating from, say, Iraq and certain analysts disagree, the burden of proof falls upon the dissenting analysts. Because as often as not the perceived threats are little more than abstractions that are virtually unprovable, the threat-seers invariably win out, and off go the jets.Hoping to make the point clear, one might counter the gun waving of today’s military by theorizing that the most effective way of eliminating the Jihadist threat would be to pull all the troops out of the Middle East and to stop the constant meddling in the affairs of those countries. As this thesis is unprovable without actually taking the measure in order to gauge its effectiveness, the military-industrial complex and the headline-grabbing politicians and their bureaucratic stooges are free to dismiss it out of hand and continue to layer on the countermeasures they believe will head off the threats of further attacks.Unfortunately, many of those countermeasures are not just inane and ineffective, but require stomping on personal liberties. But, for the reasons just mentioned, there is no effective argument against them.“Why do you want me to go through an X-Ray machine in order to travel?” you might ask a TSA agent.“Because we’re at war with the terrorists, and it’s our job to keep the public safe!”“But I’m not a terrorist!”“Oh, yeah? Prove it. Starting by stepping into the X-Ray machine.”Likewise, arguments against building electronic files on everyone, including all their communications and Facebook contacts, fall on the deaf ears of bureaucrats who are charged with heading off the next attack.And because of the nature of the crusade, in the absence of a radical change of direction, the hit to personal freedoms will only get worse. Because this “war” is never-ending and has no hard targets of any consequence, which means that the tentacles of the government’s countermeasures will grow until they reach into every corner of our lives.The real consequences, however, will be felt only after the next large-scale attack. After that, the ardent advocates of the precautionary principle will kick their machinations into high gear, and you won’t be able to sneeze without first getting permission.(Somewhat related is the idea that schools should be turned into day-visit penitentiaries complete with metal detectors, bullet-proof glass, and armed guards, further inculcating the culture of paranoia and fear that now exists in the US. Managing by exception, a key tenet of the precautionary principle – and attacks on schools are very much the exception – is never a good idea. But that won’t stop the US from turning its schools into mini-Camp Feds.)Any way of ending the crusades and turning this terrible trend back?Not that I can see. Well, I suppose the better-armed Western governments could really take off the gloves, turn the Middle East into the proverbial parking lot, then round up anyone within their borders unwilling to denounce Islam and throw them into gas chambers re-education camps. But that’s not going to happen (and, lest you get the wrong idea, I am not advocating it in the slightest), which means that there is no way to end the Crusade.Instead, all you can really do is recognize it for what it is and, more importantly, recognize the direct consequences to you and your family in the months and years just ahead. Personally, I opted out from a seat within ground zero and, along with Doug Casey, plan on watching events unfold on CNN while sipping on a nice Malbec here in Cafayate.(Speaking of which, the next Harvest Event and Casey Research conference at La Estancia de Cafayate is coming up March 14-19. This is the single best opportunity to find out for yourself what’s going on in this up-and-coming wine-growing town. For details and a registration form, write Dave Norden a note at dnorden@LaEst.com today.)So, what else do we know now?The United States is perilously close to becoming a one-party, socialist state. As a result of winning the last election, President Obama, a man whose ego needs no encouragement, may come to believe he has a mandate and will try to become far more than a token president – to wit, the first black elected to the office. Instead, he’ll try to become the first among firsts. The socialists in charge have effectively taken over medical services, are now focusing on taking away guns, and, based on the comments made during Obama’s inauguration speech, are planning to continue pushing the agenda of radical environmentalism, which, in turn, is a fulcrum point into more regulations on private business.It’s all about legacy at this point, and part of that legacy could very well be a follow-on term for the beloved Evita Michelle Obama, a woman whose mere presence can cause a liberal to grow weak at the knees. Or soft in the mind, as was in evidence on the always entertaining Huffington Post when one Nina Bahadur unleashed a torrent of drivel under the following masthead.(My personal favorites from Nina’s list were #21 – She’s a fan of pillow forts, and #45 – She has a sweet tooth. Who knew?!)The potential consequences of back-to-back Obamas and their devoted army of sycophants are many, and few of them good, as the roots of the tree they sprung from are of steadfast socialist stock.The historical record shows unequivocally that there is a line that, if crossed, makes the whole “from each according to their ability to each according to their needs” thing devolve into economic collapse and, often, fascism. At that point the slogan changes to something akin to, “From the burning houses of the greedy capitalists to the impoverished masses.”Any way this situation could turn around? Again, none that is easily imagined. We as a nation are way past the more genteel era when it was considered bad form for a sitting president to campaign for his party. Instead, it’s Chicago-style bare-knuckle politicking all the way, with overt distribution of favors to the inert to ensure reelection.The one possible way that the rising socialist tide is held up is if there is a major financial crash and the ruling elite somehow lose their ability to pin blame on someone else.In other words, the country is either headed for certain ruin as the productive class becomes further outnumbered by the recipient class and then turned into little more than tax cows, and the equivalent of Atlas Shrugs occurs. Or we have a whopping good crash that chases the socialists out from the shadows.Note that either scenario involves a crash. Which begs the follow-on question: how will the government react when things go off the rails?Will the population, confronted with inescapable ruin, come to their senses, starting by remembering that there actually isn’t such a thing as a free lunch? Or will they redouble their calls for the government to do more? While no one can see the future, I expect the latter. That is when the risk of socialism sliding into fascism will be greatest.Which brings us to the next certainty, if there can be any such thing (other than death and taxes)… It is nearly impossible to anticipate or to respond in any way other than with ineffective surgical strikes or blunt-force invasions.In the case of the former, as much as some misguided individuals might wish it to be the case, this is not a war that will be a series of drone strikes. And we need look no further than Afghanistan to see the failures of trying a blunt-force invasion when the enemy is fleet of foot and deeply embedded in the population, but is not the population as a whole. (If it were the population as a whole, as was believed to be the case in Germany in WWII, then the war would be a simple matter of unleashing widespread hell.) The next attack can come literally anywhere in the world and in any form.
Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSE MKT: UEC) is pleased to announce that the final authorization has been granted for production at its Goliad ISR Project in South Texas. As announced in previous press releases, the Company received all of the required authorizations from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, including an Aquifer Exemption which has now been granted concurrence from EPA Region 6. Amir Adnani, President and CEO, stated, “We are very pleased to have received this final authorization for initiating production at Goliad. Our geological and engineering teams have worked diligently toward achieving this major milestone and are to be truly commended. We are grateful to the EPA for its thorough reviews and for issuing this final concurrence. The Company’s near-term plan is to complete construction at the first production area at Goliad and to greatly increase the throughput of uranium at our centralized Hobson processing plant.” Please contact Investor Relations with questions or to request additional information, email@example.com. Sponsor Advertisement The London open is less than five minutes away as I type this paragraph—and the gold price did absolutely nothing in Far East trading on their Friday. The same goes for silver. Volumes are vanishingly small in both metals. Gold’s net volume is a hair under 8,000 contracts—and silver’s volume is 3,500 contracts. Both platinum and palladium got sold down a bit during Far East trading—and platinum is still down at the London open, but palladium is back to unchanged. The dollar index is basically unchanged from its New York close on Thursday afternoon EDT. Today we get the new Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday, May 20. As I said earlier this week, the price action suggests we should see further improvement in the Commercial net short positions in both gold and silver—but I also said [out of the other side of my mouth] that I reserved the right to be wrong. I’ll find out at 3:30 p.m. EDT this afternoon—and I’ll have all of it for you tomorrow. I was looking at the CME’s Preliminary Report on the Thursday trading action—and I note that there are about 127,000 gold contracts still open in June. All of those have to be sold or rolled by the end of Comex trading next Thursday—and those that aren’t, will be standing for delivery in the June delivery month. Based on that, we’ll see some really decent roll-over/trading volume during the next five business days. And as I hit the send button on today’s column at 5:05 a.m. EDT, I note that selling pressure has shown up in all four precious metals—and all are below their Thursday closing prices in New York. Gold volume is now up over 50% from the open, but still very light for this time of day—and about the same can be said for silver’s volume. So based on volume alone, I’m not prepared to read much into the current price move, regardless of direction. The dollar index, which had been ruler flat up until the London open, is now up 19 basis points, so I’d guess that the precious metal prices moves at the moment are a result of that, at least that’s what will be given as the reason by the main stream media if these trends continue. Since today is Friday, I haven’t any idea as to how the trading action will unfold in New York. Will “da boyz” take off for The Hamptons early, or will there be some fireworks of some kind? Beats me, but we won’t have long to wait to find out. Before heading out the door, I’d like to remind you once again that Casey Research has a limited-time offer [it ends at midnight EDT on Monday] on their Casey Extraordinary Technology subscription service. Alex Daley is all pumped up about the successes they’ve had over the last year, with an average return of 47%. The commentary is rather provocatively headlined “Gold is Dead: Long Live Tech“. It costs nothing to check it out, which I urge you to do when you have a spare minute. The link is here—and Casey Research is now providing a 6-month guarantee of customer satisfaction with this offer. I hope you enjoy your weekend, or what’s left of it if you live west of the International Date Line—and I’ll see you here tomorrow. As you’ve already figured out for yourself, the closing prices of all four precious metals would be have been past the orbit of Jupiter if “da boyz” hadn’t been stepped in—as the panic short-covering rally that would have commenced at some point, would have finished the job. The only thing left to be done once the smoke cleared after that, would be to make note of which short sellers were forced into bankruptcy attempting to make margin calls, or cover short positions in a “no ask” market—like what happened to Bear Stearns. The dollar index closed late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 80.07—and then spent all of Thursday chopping very quietly higher. It finished the day at 80.22—up 15 basis points on the day. The gold stocks opened up about a percent, but that didn’t last long—and by the end of the day they were back in the red—and the HUI closed down 0.07%—about what it gained on Wednesday. The CME Daily Delivery Report didn’t show much, as there were zero gold and 6 silver contracts posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Monday. And yes, JPMorgan was the long/stopper on all six contracts. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. There were no reported changes in GLD—and as of 9:52 p.m. yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either. Joshua Gibbons, the “Guru of the SLV Bar List“, updated his website with the goings-on within SLV during the reporting week—and here is what he had to say: “Analysis of the 21 May 2014 bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list. No bars were added, removed, or had a serial number change. As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was overallocated 234.2 oz. A withdrawal of 1,152,782.4 oz on Wednesday is not reflected on the bar list.” The link to Joshua’s website is here. There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint once again. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday, there was no in/out movement in gold. But it was much busier in silver, of course, as 606,473 troy ounces were reported received—and 673,568 troy ounces were shipped out. The link to that activity is here. I have a very decent number of stories for you again today—and I hope you can find time to wade through the ones you like. The 320 million oz concentrated silver short position is 36% of all the visible silver bullion in the world’s total ETFs and exchange inventories (875 million oz) and 40% of total annual mine production (800 million oz). Can you imagine the outrage that would erupt in any market, say the stock market, if prices were down 40% and there existed eight traders (7 unidentified) holding a short position equal to 36% of total stocks in existence? And if JPMorgan was the identified king stock short, would it be swept under the rug? While it’s clear that the regulators won’t intercede and break up the illegitimate concentrated short position in COMEX silver, neither can they make it easily go away. And it appears that the 8 big shorts can’t make it go away either, or at least they haven’t until now. Not only can’t the massive short position be explained in terms of hedging legitimacy, it also can’t be explained in legitimate economic terms. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 21 May 2014 I don’t think that I need to add anything further to my prior discussion on Thursday’s price activity, as the charts pretty much speak for themselves—and I said all that was necessary about it at the top of this column. Here are the 6-month charts for both gold and silver once again with Thursday’s data added. JPMorgan et al are still keeping the gold price below its 50-day moving average—and silver, which broke above its 50-day moving average on its spike high at the New York open, closed a hair above its 20-day moving average. The rallies in platinum and palladium didn’t really get started until around 11 a.m. BST in London trading, but they to ran into the same sellers of last resort shortly after the Comex open. Although their respective prices were capped, at least they held onto a decent portion of those gains—and weren’t sold down hard like their gold and silver brethren. Here are the charts. It was almost an identical price pattern with the silver equities—and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down another 0.42%. It was precisely the same chart pattern in silver—and that’s all I need to say about that. The low and high ticks were reported as $19.36 and $19.825 in the July contract. Silver finished the Thursday session at $19.485 spot, up a whole 10 cents from Wednesday. Volume, net of May and June, was a very hefty 43,500 contracts, of which 7,500 was in the September and December delivery months once again. As I keep saying, it seems way too early for July contract holders to be rolling out of their positions, but you just never know—and as I’ve also said, all those contracts could be one leg of spread trade. Regardless of what they are, volume yesterday was pretty big. The charts pretty much speak for themselves The gold price traded pretty flat in Far East trading on their Thursday—and began to develop a positive bias around 1 p.m. Hong Kong time. From there it rallied slowly but steadily until the 8:20 a.m. EDT New York open—and you don’t need me, or anyone else for that matter, telling you what happened next—as you’ve seen that movie before plenty of times. By the time that JPMorgan et al were done at 11:30 a.m.—all the London and New York gains had vanished into thin air—and from that point on, the gold price traded flat into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close. The CME Group recorded the low and high ticks as $1,290.10 and $1,304.10 in the June contract. The gold price finished the Thursday session in New York at $1,293.70 spot, up $1.80 from Wednesday’s close. Net volume was 102,000 contracts. The next two photos were taken in the badlands of the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota. The first one is of a mule deer doe—and the second one is of a wild tom turkey–—and a member of the Meleagris gallopavo species. He was in the process of putting the hit on three hens—and payed me scant attention. It’s too bad this photo has to be so small in the column, because at full-screen size it is stunning.
Government revenue. All mining businesses, regardless of jurisdiction, have to pay certain levies on their revenue and earnings, including license fees, resource rents, withholding and sales taxes, export duties, corporate income taxes, and various royalties. Taken all together, these payments make up a large portion of overall mining costs. For example, estimates suggest that the total of mining royalty payments in 2012 across the top gold-producing countries worked out to the tune of US$4.1 billion. This, of course, doesn’t account for other types of tax normally applied to the mining industry. Other, often-overlooked ways in which the mining industry supports the economy include: Foreign direct investment (FDI). The three mining giants—Canada, the United States, and Australia—have been dominating this category for a number of years, both as the primary destinations for investment and as the main investor countries. The four countries with the highest numbers of gold mining employees are South Africa (145,000), Russia (138,000), China (98,200), and Australia (32,300). The industry also employs 18,600 in Indonesia, 17,100 in Tanzania, and 16,100 in Papua New Guinea. (As an aside, it’s quite telling that South Africa employs more gold miners than China, but China produces more gold than South Africa.) Note that these employment figures don’t include jobs in the artisanal and small-scale production mining fields, nor any type of indirect employment attributable to gold mining—so they understate the actual figures For many countries, gold mining accounts for a significant share of exports. As an example, gold merchandise comprised 36% of Tanzanian and 26% of Ghana’s and Papua New Guinea’s exports in 2012. Below, you see a more comprehensive picture of gold exports by 15 major gold-producing countries. Gold products. Gold as a symbol of prosperity and the ultimate “wealth insurance” is very important to many nations around the globe—especially in Asia and Africa. Gold jewelry is given as a dowry to brides and as gifts at major holidays. In India, the government’s ban on gold purchases by the public led to so much smuggling that the incoming prime minister is considering removing it. Chinese, Vietnamese, and peoples of India and Africa may all be divided across linguistic lines, but they all share the view of gold being a symbol of prosperity and ultimate insurance against life’s uncertainties. It’s also important to note that jobs with modern mining companies are usually the most desirable options for poverty-stricken people in the remote areas where many mines are built. These jobs not only pay more than anything else in such regions, they provide training and health benefits simply not available anywhere else. Mining provides work with dignity and a chance at a better future for hundreds of thousands of struggling families all around the world. Let’s now have a look at the most debated and contentious side to mining. Impact on the (Physical) Environment In previous millennia, humans labored with little concern for the environment. Resources seemed infinite, and the land vast and adaptable to our needs. An older acquaintance of ours who grew up in 1930s Pittsburgh remembers the constant coal soot hanging in the air: “Every day, it got dark around noon time.” Victorian London was famous for its noxious, smoky, sulfurous fog, year-round. Initially, the mining industry followed the same trend. Early mine operations had little, if any, regard for the environment, and were usually abandoned with no thought given to cleaning up the mess once an ore body was depleted. In the second half of the 20th century, however, the situation turned around, as the mining industry realized the need to better understand and mitigate its impact on the environment. The force of law, it must be admitted, had a lot to do with this change, but today, what is sometimes called “social permitting” frequently has an even more powerful regulatory effect than government mandates. Today’s executives understand that good environmental stewardship is good business—and many have strong personal environmental ethics. That said, mining is an extractive industry, and it’s always going to have an impact. Here’s a quick look at some of the biggest environmental scares associated with gold mining and how they are confronted today. Acid Rock Drainage (ARD) Target chemical: Sulfuric acid ARD occurrence in nature: Common Toxicity: Varies Keep in mind that this doesn’t include the indirect effects of gold mining that come from spending in the supply chain and by employees on goods and services. If this impact were reflected in the numbers, the overall economic contribution of gold mining would be significantly larger. Also, it’s evident that gold mining’s imprint on national economies varies considerably. For countries like Papua New Guinea, Ghana, Tanzania, and Uzbekistan, gold mining is one of the principal sources of prosperity. Another measure of economic contribution is the jobs created and supported by businesses. The chart below shows the share of jobs created of each major gold-producing country. Mercury Symbol: Hg Occurrence in the earth’s crust: Rare Toxicity: High Mercury, also known as quicksilver, has been used to process gold and silver since the Roman era. Mercury doesn’t break down in the environment and is highly toxic for both humans and animals. Today, the use of mercury is largely limited to artisanal and illegal mining. Industrial mining companies have switched to more efficient and less environmentally damaging techniques (e.g., cyanide leaching). Developing countries with a heavy illegal mining presence, on the other hand, have seen mercury pollution increase. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) estimates that 1,000 tons of mercury are annually released into the air, soil, and water as a result of illegal mining activity. To help combat the problem, the mining industry, through the members of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), has partnered with governments of those nations to transfer low- or no-mercury processing technologies to the artisanal mining sector. Sodium Cyanide Mining compound employed: NaCN Occurrence in nature: Common Toxicity: High “I would NEVER invest in a mining company—they destroy land, pollute our water and air, and wreck the habitat of plants and animals.” These were the points made to me by a woman at a social gathering after I told her what I do for living. She prided herself on her moral high ground and looked upon me with obvious disdain. It was clear that as a mining researcher, I was partly responsible for destroying the environment. I knew a reasonable discussion with her wouldn’t be possible, so I opted out of trying. (As Winston Churchill said, “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”) She left the party convinced her position was indisputably correct. But was she? Not at all. In fact, with few exceptions, today’s mining operations are designed, developed, operated, and ultimately closed in an environmentally sound manner. On top of that, considerable effort goes into the continued improvement of environmental standards. My environmentalist acquaintance, of course, would loudly disagree with those statements. Many people may feel uncomfortable investing in an industry that’s so closely scrutinized and vehemently criticized by the public and mainstream media—whether there’s good reason for that criticism or not. This actually is to the benefit of those who dare to think for themselves. So let’s examine what mining REALLY does to the environment. As Doug Casey always says, we should start by defining our terms… How Do You Define “Environment”? In modern mining, the term “environment” is broader than just air, water, land, and plant and animal life. It also encompasses the social, economic, and cultural environment and, ultimately, the health and safety conditions of anyone involved with or affected by a given mining activity. Armed with this more comprehensive view of the industry’s impact on the environment, we can evaluate the effects of mining and its benefits in a more holistic fashion. Impact on the Economy According to a study commissioned by the World Gold Council, to take an example from mining of our favorite metal, the gold mines in the world’s top 15 producing countries generated about US$78.4 billion of direct gross value added (GVA) in 2012. (GVA measures the contribution to the economy of each individual producer, industry, or sector in a country.) That sum is roughly the annual GDP of Ecuador or Azerbaijan, or 30% of the estimated GDP of Shanghai, China. Here’s a look at the GVA for each of these countries. This is one of the widely used chemicals in the industry that can make people’s emotions run high. Historically considered a deadly poison, cyanide has been implicated in events such as the Holocaust, Middle Eastern wars, and the Jonestown suicides. Given such associations, it’s no wonder that the public perceives it with alarm, without even adding mining to the equation. It is important, however, to understand that cyanide: is a naturally occurring chemical; is not toxic in all forms or all concentrations; has a wide range of industrial uses and is safely manufactured, stored, and transported every day; is biodegradable and doesn’t build up in fish populations; is not cumulative in humans and is metabolized at low exposure levels; should not be confused with acid rock drainage (ARD; see below); and is not a heavy metal. Cyanide is one of only a few chemical reagents that dissolves gold in water and has been used to leach gold from various ores for over a hundred years. This technique—known as cyanidation—is considered a much safer alternative to extraction with liquid mercury, which was previously the main method used. Cyanidation has been the dominant gold-extraction technology since the 1970s; in Canada, more than 90% of gold mined is processed with cyanide. Despite its many advantages for industrial uses, cyanide remains acutely toxic to humans and obviously is a concern on the environmental front. There are two primary environmental risks from gold cyanidation: Cyanide might leach into the soil and ground water at toxic concentrations. A catastrophic spill could contaminate the ecosystem with toxic levels of cyanide. In response to these concerns, gold mining companies around the world have developed precautionary systems to prevent the escape of cyanide into the environment—for example, special leach pads lined with a plastic membrane to prevent the cyanide from invading the soil. The cyanide is subsequently captured and recycled. Further, to minimize the environmental impact of any cyanide that is not recycled, mine facilities treat cyanide waste through several processes that allow it to degrade naturally through sunlight, hydrolysis, and oxidation. Contrary to popular belief, ARD is the natural oxidation of sulfide minerals such as pyrite when these are exposed to air and water. The result of this oxidation is an increase in the acidity of the water, sometimes to dangerous levels. The problem intensifies when the acid comes into contact with high levels of metals and thereby dissolves them, which adds to the water contamination. Once again, ARD is a natural process that can happen whenever such rocks are exposed on the surface of the earth, even when no mining was involved at all. Possible sources of ARD at a mine site can include waste-rock piles, tailings storage facilities, and mine openings. However, since many mineral deposits contain little or no pyrite, ARD is a potential issue only at mines with specific rock types. Part of a mining company’s environmental assessment is to conduct technical studies to evaluate the ARD potential of the rocks that may be disturbed. Once ARD has developed, the company may employ measures to prevent its spread or reduce the migration of ARD waters and perhaps even treat the water to reduce acidity and remove dissolved metals. In some places where exposed sulfide minerals are already causing ARD, a clean, modern mine that treats all outflowing water can actually improve water quality. Arsenic Symbol: As Occurrence in the earth’s crust: Moderate Toxicity: High Similar to mercury, arsenic is a naturally occurring element that is commonly found as an impurity in metal ores. In fact, arsenic is the 55th most abundant element in the earth’s crust, and is widely distributed in rocks and soil, in natural waters, and in small amounts in all living things. Unfortunately, it can also be toxic in large doses. The largest contribution of arsenic from the mining industry comes from atmospheric emissions from copper smelting. It can also, however, leach out of some metal ores through ARD and, when present, needs to be removed as an impurity to produce a saleable product. Several pollution-control technologies have been successful at capturing and removing arsenic from smelting stacks and mine tailings. As a result, between 1993 and 2009, the release of arsenic from mining activities in Canada fell by 79%. Similar figures have been reported in other countries. Mythbusters Now, here’s our quick stab at dispelling the three most widespread myths environmentalists commonly bring up in their rants against the mining industry. Myth 1: Mining Uses Excessive Amounts of Land Reality: Less than 1% of the total land area in any given jurisdiction is allotted for mining operations (normally far less than that). Even a modest forestry project affects far more trees than the largest open-pit mine. Mining activities must also meet stringent environmental standards before a company can even get a permit to operate. The assessment process applied to mining operations is very detailed and based on a long string of policies and regulations (e.g., the National Environmental Policy Act in the US). Environmentalists may claim that the mining industry is rife with greedy land barons, but there’s more than enough evidence to the contrary. Myth 2: Mining Is Always Detrimental to the Water Supply Reality: Quite the opposite, actually. Before mine operations start, a mining company must submit a project proposal that includes detailed water utility studies (which are then evaluated by scientists and government agencies). Many companies even install water supply systems in local communities that lack easy access to this basic resource. It’s also common for the rocks to be mined to be naturally acid generating—a problem the mine cleans up, by its very nature. Some die-hard zealots blame the mining industry for consuming huge amounts of water, but in fact it normally only uses +1% of the total water supplied to a given community, and 80% of that water is recycled continuously. Myth 3: Mining Is Invasive to the Natural Environment Reality: Yes, mining activity in certain countries has led to negative outcomes for certain plants and animals—not to mention the rocks themselves, which are blasted and hauled away. However, the industry has progressed a long way in the last few decades and, apart from rare accidents, the worst is behind us now. The key determinant here is compliance. All mining activity must comply with strict environmental guidelines, leading up to and during operations and also following mine closure. After mining activity ends, the company is required to rehabilitate the land. In some cases, the land is remediated into forests, parks, or farmland—and left in better condition than before. It’s worth reiterating that in some cases—where there’s naturally occurring ARD or where hundreds of years of irresponsible mining have led to environmental disasters—a modern mine is a solution to the problem that pays for itself. Can You Be Pro-Mining and an Environmentalist? Absolutely. Gold mining (and mining in general) is extractive and will always leave some mark on our planet. Over time, however, the risks have been mitigated by modern mining technologies. This is an ongoing process; even mining asteroids instead of planet Earth is now the subject of serious consideration among today’s most visionary entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, the (vastly diminished) risks associated with mining are far outweighed by the economic contribution and positive effects on local communities and the greater society. This net-positive contribution is here to stay—unless our civilization opts for collective suicide by sending us all back to the Stone Age. So What’s in It for Us as Speculators and Investors? Aside from all the wonderful things we have thanks to the mining industry—from air conditioning to fresh food, to life-saving medicines and dozens of products we use every day—we can profit from investing in the right companies. And we can do so knowing that our integrity is intact, because we’re putting our hard-earned money into an industry that creates value for every person on the planet. These are exactly the kinds of companies we follow in the International Speculator. 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August 11, 6 a.m.—San Francisco International AirportA twenty-something woman is running the back of her hand across the base of my breasts. I stand there, legs spread as she moves on to the inside of my thighs. She runs her hand underneath the waistline of my pants and across my buttocks.I’m angry and embarrassed. The woman touching me seems embarrassed, too.When she’s done her coworker, a young woman with a large neck tattoo poorly covered with makeup, rummages through my suitcase, purse, and laptop bag. Piece by piece, she pulls out my still-damp bathing suit, my underwear, and a few crumpled up dresses. She tosses my iPad aside, jiggles a bottle of prescription medicine, and stares at my EpiPen, bewildered. She’s enjoying this—today she is in charge of me.Sad to say, if you fly often, you’ve likely had a similar experience. Mary Beth Ruskai, a Boston-based chemistry and mathematics research professor, certainly has.Dr. Ruskai works on quantum information theory, and despite having two artificial knees and an artificial hip, she’s an avid hiker and skier—at 70 years old. Ruskai counts “proving that an atom with fixed nuclear charge can bind only finitely many electrons” among her proudest achievements… along with challenging the challenging Transportation Security Administration’s policy of enhanced pat-downs in federal court.Artificial Joints Up Your Chance of an Enhanced Pat DownIn the US, 4.5 million people over age 50 have artificial knees, and over 1 million people receive some type of total joint replacement each year—most often a new knee or hip. For these people, getting through airport security with their dignity intact can be next to impossible, largely because of TSA’s current policy of performing enhanced pat-downs on anyone who sets off a walk-through metal detector.My enhanced pat-down experiences (the incident described above wasn’t the first) seem tame compared to what others routinely endure. Here’s how a few distressed travelers described their experiences in letters to the TSA:“I felt violated. If any other person had done this to me it would constitute sexual assault.”“I began shaking and felt completely violated, abused and assaulted by the TSA agent.”“I was reduced to tears—it was an utterly humiliating experience.”Even John Pistole, former FBI agent and the current head of the TSA, described the experience as uncomfortable.2010: The Year TSA Got Extra FriskyEnhanced pat-downs weren’t always de rigueur. Ruskai travels often for work, and after her right knee was replaced in 2008 and left knee and right hip was replaced in 2012, she began traveling with x-rays and other medical documents noting her metal joints. Also, the Department of Homeland Security has cleared her as a Trusted Traveler, meaning she’s already voluntarily provided copious amounts of personal information to DHS, and it’s determined she’s a low-risk flier.When Ruskai’s metal knee set off walkthrough metal detectors prior to 2010, she’d offer up medical documents noting the artificial joint, a female TSA agent would use a handheld metal detector to confirm that the metal on her was limited to her knee, and then the agent would pat down her knee area only. In other words, the process was an annoying, but that’s about it.Then in late 2010, the TSA began using enhanced pat-downs in lieu of handheld metal detectors for secondary screening at all security lines with walkthrough metal detectors. Though it had began using Advanced Imaging Technology (full body scanners) in 2008—which will cost taxpayers $2 billion by 2015 and presents its own privacy issues—around 290 of the 750 or so domestic security checkpoints still use walkthrough metal detectors as their primary mode of screening. And as you’ve likely noticed, full body scanners are often not operational at the airports that do have them.As pat-downs became the standard secondary screening measure, TSA also amplified what they involved. According to a brief filed by Ruskai’s attorneys:The new procedures involve “a more detailed tactile inspection of areas higher on the thigh and in the groin area … [and] routinely involve touching of buttocks and genitals.” … The agent is required to run the hand up the passenger’s thighs until reaching the groin twice on each leg—from the front and back. … The agent also must insert the hand into the passenger’s waistband around the entire waste, and for female passengers, around the breasts.I squirmed just typing that out. It’s exactly what happens.Between February and April of 2011, TSA agents performed four separate enhanced pat-downs on Ruskai. As these pat-downs continued, she began wearing shorts through airport security and asked that TSA agents visually inspect her legs. TSA’s answer: No.Ruskai filed complaints with TSA and DHS, and 10 months later TSA issued a final order stating it would not investigate her complaints. In April 2012, she petitioned the First Circuit Court of Appeals to review that order and determine, among other issues, whether the enhanced pat-downs violate her Fourth Amendment rights. The court heard oral arguments in January of this year, and the case drags on.What’s Reasonable?I won’t regurgitate all of the 4th Amendment case law here. (If you’re curious, you can read the Ruskai case briefs and listen to oral arguments.) The abridged version is: the 4th protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures; airport security screenings are “searches” under the 4th Amendment; and, under narrow circumstances, including where the government seeks to prevent hazardous conditions, a warrantless, non-individualized search may be reasonable, depending on the seriousness of the hazard and the invasiveness of the search.While the court gets to decide the whether routinely molesting travelers with artificial joints is reasonable under the law, the argument borders on the absurd, especially when a less invasive and equally (if not more) effective options exists: the handheld metal detectors used prior to 2010.On a side note, TSA has certified certain foreign airports as maintaining security measures comparable to those of US airports. Travelers flying into the US from these airports are not put through additional security when they arrive. Nevertheless, security at these airports does not routinely perform pat-downs on travelers with artificial joints. If the TSA itself has certified that security at these airports is equivalent to that of US airports, how can these searches be essential to safety?Take a look at the picture of the oh-so-dangerous Dr. Ruskai. Remember, she’s 70 years old, travels with medical documentation of her three artificial joints, and DHS has cleared her as a Trusted Traveler.Source: Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical SciencesThe official purpose of TSA security checkpoints is to prevent passengers from carrying weapons and explosives onto airplanes. Fine—no one in his right mind wants to be on a plane with explosives. Nevertheless, it seems downright silly to use limited resources searching people like Dr. Ruskai for weapons and explosives. As mentioned in oral arguments, why would a terrorist use someone guaranteed to set off a metal detector to smuggle dangerous material onto an airplane?TSA Pre✓For now, the millions of seniors with artificial joints have limited choices: avoid airplanes or only travel through airports that use full body scanners. Then again, there’s no guarantee those full body scanners will be up and running when you make your way through security. If you have to walk through a metal detector, prepare to be assaulted.I don’t have an artificial joint, but for whatever reason TSA often singles me out for enhanced pat-downs. Maybe the freckles and blue eyes make me look dangerous. Regardless, I’m applying to become a Trusted Traveler through TSA Pre✓ in the hope that this will stop. If you’re a US citizen or lawful permanent resident, have never been convicted of sedition, treason, murder, or other outrageous felonies, and have $85 to spare, consider doing the same.Yes, TSA Pre✓ and the other Trusted Traveler programs require you to divulge personal information. And yes, it’s frightening that you might have to considering doing this to avoid airport groping. On balance, though, I’d rather hand over personal information that the federal government surely has already than let another TSA agent stick her hand in my pants—how sad it is that anyone has to make that choice.On the Lighter SideDennis says “hello.” He and chief analyst Andrey Dashkov are wrapping up the next issue of Miller’s Money Forever, and he’ll be back next week. In the meantime, you can listen to Dennis talk about his book Retirement Reboot on WGNtv.With that, I’ll leave you with a touch (pun intended) of TSA humor:Until next week…
When Paul Kugelman was a kid, he had no shortage of friends. But as he grew older and entered middle age, his social world narrowed.”It was a very lonely time. I did go to work and I did have interactions at work, and I cherished those,” he says. “But you know, at the end of the day it was just me.”Kugelman’s story isn’t unusual: researchers say it can be difficult for men to hold on to friendships as they age. And the problem may begin in adolescence.New York University psychology professor Niobe Way, who has spent decades interviewing adolescent boys, points to the cultural messages boys get early on.”These are human beings with unbelievable emotional and social capacity. And we as a culture just completely try to zip it out of them,” she says.This week on Hidden Brain, we look at what happens when half the population gets the message that needing others is a sign of weakness and that being vulnerable is unmanly.Resources:This episode refers to the Harvard Study of Adult Development, Niobe Way’s book, Deep Secrets, and research on suicide rates and social interaction.The Hidden Brain radio show is hosted by Shankar Vedantam and produced by Parth Shah, Jennifer Schmidt, Rhaina Cohen, and Matthew Schwartz. Our supervising producer is Tara Boyle. You can also follow us on Twitter @hiddenbrain. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
The past two years have been a time of reckoning for pharmaceutical manufacturers over their role in promoting opioid drugs that have fed a national epidemic.Lawsuits and media reports have accused Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, of aggressively marketing the powerful narcotic even after it knew the drug was being misused. Prosecutors have charged the founder of Insys Therapeutics and several of the company’s sales representatives and executives for their roles in an alleged conspiracy to bribe doctors to use its fentanyl spray for unapproved uses. State and local governments have sued a host of drugmakers, alleging they deceptively marketed opioids and seeking to recoup what it costs to treat people addicted to the drugs.But as public attention increases, the marketing tide may finally be retreating, a new ProPublica analysis shows. Pharmaceutical company payments to physicians related to opioid drugs decreased significantly in 2016 from the year before.In 2016, drugmakers spent $15.8 million to pay doctors for speaking, consulting, meals and travel related to opioid drugs. That was down 33 percent from $23.7 million in 2015 and is 21 percent less than the $19.9 million spent in 2014. Companies are required to report the payments publicly under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, a part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.ProPublica analyzed these payments in conjunction with our update of Dollars for Docs, an online tool that allows users to view and compare promotional payments to doctors from drug and medical device companies. We updated the tool Thursday to add payments to doctors for 2016. It now includes more than $9 billion in payments since 2013 to more than 900,000 doctors.Among opioids, the biggest decreases in spending were for Subsys, the fentanyl spray that has spawned criminal charges against officials and sales representatives at drugmaker Insys, and Hysingla ER, an extended-release version of hydrocodone made by Purdue Pharma.Payments related to Subsys decreased from more than $6 million in 2015 to less than $2.4 million in 2016. Payments for Hysingla dropped from about $6.3 million in 2015 to $2.2 million in 2016.Dr. Scott Hadland, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine who has studied opioid marketing, said the decreases were “impressive” but not surprising given the growing awareness and concern about pharmaceutical companies’ marketing of opioids.He said it’s difficult to pinpoint a single reason behind the drop, but “it’s possible that the pharmaceutical companies voluntarily reduced their marketing, realizing that they may have been contributing to overprescribing.”A number of studies have shown a correlation between marketing of opioids and doctors’ prescribing of the drugs. Hadland and his colleagues reported in May that for every meal a physician received related to an opioid product in 2014, there was an increase in opioid claims by that doctor for Medicare patients the following year. And a report from the New York State Health Foundation published this month found that physicians who received payments from opioid-makers prescribed more opioids to Medicare patients than doctors who didn’t receive the payments.The sharp drop in marketing is more pronounced than the much-slower reduction in the use of prescription opioids. The number of opioid prescriptions in Medicare, the public health program for seniors and the disabled, peaked at 81.7 million in 2014, and then dropped to 80.2 million in 2015 and 79.5 million in 2016, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (Enrollment in Medicare’s prescription drug program continued to grow during that time, so the rate of opioid prescriptions per beneficiary dropped even more.)Still, the toll of opioid overdoses continues to grow. Some 42,000 people died of opioid overdoses in 2016, the most recent year available, and about 40 percent of those involved a prescription opioid. The epidemic has shifted somewhat away from prescription drugs as more people die of heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl.The public attention has prompted the makers of prescription opioids to revamp their marketing practices.Purdue Pharma, which has received the most attention because of its one-time blockbuster OxyContin, has ratcheted back its spending on doctors, especially for programs in which doctors talk to their peers over lunch or dinner to help companies market their products. Purdue ended its speaker program for OxyContin at the end of 2016 and for Hysingla ER in November 2017. Earlier this year, it ended all direct promotion of its opioids to prescribers and last week, the company laid off its remaining sales representatives.Purdue spokesman Robert Josephson said in an email that payments to doctors related to opioids have decreased since 2016 and that there would be very little such spending in 2018.In 2007, Purdue and three of its executives pleaded guilty to charges of “misbranding” OxyContin and collectively agreed to pay more than $634 million in penalties. In more recent years, though, the company has pushed back against allegations that it has fanned the opioid epidemic, saying it has worked to be part of the solution.Insys also has been the subject of multiple federal and state investigations related to its marketing of Subsys. The company ended its speaker program for Subsys earlier this year and said it has refocused its sales staff primarily on oncologists who treat patients with severe cancer-related pain, what the drug was initially approved to treat. “Insys is a new company in important aspects, comprised of people who are firmly and sincerely committed to helping patients in need and doing the right things in the right way,” company spokesman Joseph McGrath said in an email.Insys’ founder John Kapoor has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering, mail fraud and wire fraud. Some former sales representatives, managers and doctors have pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy detailed by federal prosecutors; others are awaiting trial.One product that saw increased promotion in 2016 was Opana ER, a pain medication made by Endo Pharmaceuticals. The company pulled the drug from the market in late 2017 at the request of the Food and Drug Administration, after it was linked to a 2015 outbreak of HIV in rural Indiana among intravenous drug users who crushed Opana and injected it with shared needles.Endo spent about $121,000 on payments to doctors related to Opana in 2015 and $229,000 in 2016.”Pharmaceutical manufacturers are legally permitted in the U.S. to promote all FDA-approved products to physicians in accordance with the subject product’s label,” Endo said in a statement. “This includes opioid products, which are safely used by millions of Americans to improve their quality of life.”That said, Endo said it stopped promoting Opana ER in the United States in January 2017 before voluntarily withdrawing the drug in September. “Today, Endo does not promote any opioid products to U.S. physicians,” the company said in a statement.Some opioids that contain the drug buprenorphine also bucked the downward trend in payments to doctors. Companies spent more than $4.4 million in 2016 promoting the drugs Belbuca, Butrans and buprenorphine, which experts say are less prone to abuse and carry a lower risk of overdose. That was nearly double the amount spent on those drugs in 2015. Almost the entire difference was attributable to Belbuca, which was approved by the FDA in late 2015.Purdue, which makes Butrans, stopped its speaker program for the drug at the end of 2016. Endo marketed Belbuca until December 2016 and then returned its license to BioDelivery Sciences International Inc., which has marketed the product since then.Dr. Michael Barnett, an assistant professor of health policy and management at Harvard School of Public Health, said it’s hard to say for certain why marketing has decreased for opioids.”Given the deluge of media attention with the opioid epidemic, I think we’ve seen the pendulum swing in the opposite direction,” he said, from opioids being seen as a compassionate way to treat pain to “being viewed as pretty toxic and only to be used as a last resort.”Barnett said if marketing of opioids continues to decline, “it’s potentially good news.””If this is actually a result of manufacturers actually saying, ‘Holy crap, people actually care about opioids being used responsibly’ and they’re aware that their advocacy and payments to physicians could be seen as pushing these medications in a way that is ethically dubious, then that’s a beneficial development and something I’d like to see more of.”Check whether your doctor has received payments from pharmaceutical and medical device companies using our Dollars for Docs tool.ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom based in New York. You can follow Charles Ornstein and Ryann Grochowski Jones on Twitter: @charlesornstein and @ryanngro. Copyright 2018 ProPublica. To see more, visit ProPublica.
For 18-year-old high school senior Ellie Rapp of Pittsburgh, the sound of her family chewing their dinner can be … unbearable.”My heart starts to pound. I go one of two ways. I either start to cry or I just get really intensely angry. It’s really intense. I mean, it’s as if you’re going to die,” she says. Rapp has been experiencing this reaction to certain noises since she was a toddler. She recalls a ride home from preschool when her mother turned on the radio and started singing, which caused Rapp to scream and cry hysterically.”That’s my first memory ever,” Rapp says.Over the years, “everybody was pretty confused, but on the inside I felt like I was going insane,” she says.It wasn’t until middle school that she found a name for it. Her mom, Kathy Rapp, had been searching for years for help. Then she found an article on the Web about a condition known as misophonia.”And I read it and I said, ‘This is what I have. This is it,’ ” says Ellie Rapp.Misophonia is characterized by intense emotion like rage or fear in response to highly specific sounds, particularly ordinary sounds that other people make. The cause is unknown.For people who suffer from it, mouth sounds are common triggers. “Chewing is almost universal. Gum chewing is almost universal. They also don’t like the sound of throat clearing. Coughing, sniffing, nose blowing — a number of things,” says Jaelline Jaffe, a psychotherapist in Los Angeles who specializes in misophonia and works with Rapp.For some, the sight of someone chewing or a specific smell or even humming, tapping or pen-clicking can trigger a negative reaction.”It’s as if the survival part of the brain thinks somehow it’s being attacked or it’s in danger,” says Jaffe. Misophonia got its name just a few years ago, and it is not officially listed as a diagnosis in any medical manuals. Many doctors have never heard of it, and if patients do mention their symptoms, they are sometimes dismissed or diagnosed with a mood disorder. While many people with misophonia also have anxiety or depression, not all of them do. There are few studies on misophonia, and experts disagree over whether it should be classified as its own disorder or a subset of another.Because it’s so little understood, the people around those suffering from it have trouble believing or understanding how painful their symptoms can be. A small, recent study offers potential new insight into how misophonia works.”We’re pretty convinced that we’ve found some very good evidence for relating this disorder to particular patterns of brain activity.” says Phillip Gander, who studies how the brain makes sense of sound at the University of Iowa. He was part of a team that published a study in Current Biology in 2017 that suggests that the brains of people with misophonia respond differently to certain sounds.The team looked at 20 adults with misophonia and 22 without it. They had the participants rate the unpleasantness of different sounds, including common trigger sounds like eating and breathing, universally disliked sounds like nails on a chalkboard, and neutral sounds like footsteps or a bird chirping.”What happened was that the response to the neutral sounds and negative sounds were the same in both groups,” he says.But the people with misophonia rated the eating and breathing sounds as highly disturbing. Those without the condition did not. The ones with misophonia also showed classic signs of stress when hearing these trigger sounds: “Their heart rate increased and it made their palms sweat more,” he says.Also, the people with misophonia appeared to have some unusual brain activity when the trigger sounds were played. “In the misophonia group, the activity was far greater in particular parts of their brain,” Gander explains — including parts of the brain that process emotions.It’s an interesting study, agrees Steven Taylor, a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia who specializes in mood disorders. But there are a number of important problems with it, he says. First, it was very small, and the subjects’ misophonia was diagnosed with only a short questionnaire. “In studies of clinical conditions like misophonia, diagnosis by questionnaire is typically inadequate. A face-to-face interview with a trained clinician (e.g., a psychologist) is typically needed,” he says.Also, the study doesn’t show what causes misophonia, only that it is associated with some brain regions and their connections, he adds.Gander agrees that more work needs to be done. “What it does help us do is identify some targets in the brain to look at,” he says.For the misophonia community, the brain study was a big deal.Marsha Johnson is an audiologist in Portland, Ore., who specializes in misophonia. “It was phenomenal. It was the first piece of research that showed our population that what they had was real,” she says.Johnson is one of the first to identify misophonia. She began recognizing that a number of her young patients had symptoms that couldn’t be easily explained as either hearing disorders or psychological problems. “They were perfectly developing normal kids until the certain period of time from like 7 or 8 years old through about 13 or 14 — and mostly girls,” she says. Also, their triggers were most likely to come from close family members.Back in 1999, she dubbed it selective sound sensitivity syndrome.But a more melodic name — misophonia — would later catch on after it was so named by scientists who wrote a paper describing symptoms of decreased sound tolerance in 2001. Misophonia means hatred of sound, which, as Johnson points out, is not technically accurate.”Most of these people don’t hate sound; they only hate particular sounds,” she says.Johnson began speaking at conferences and leading online group chats to draw attention to misophonia, and thousands came. She developed a network of providers to work with misophonia patients, including therapist Jaelline Jaffe. But the community is still relatively small, and recognition of the condition is still not universal. Misophonia is listed by the National Institutes of Health on its rare diseases website as a chronic disorder (though Jaffe and Johnson say it is likely underdiagnosed and may not be so rare). And it’s not listed in the bible of mental disorders, the DSM-5, which makes it hard for doctors to identify it and rare for insurers to cover treatments related to it.”The problem is, the whole field currently lies undefined,” says Johnson.And there aren’t any bulletproof treatments. But there are some strategies that can help someone cope. Flooding the ears with noise, noise-canceling headphones, mindful breathing, or just getting up and taking a brisk walk can redirect attention. Others have found antidepressants or exercise helpful.For Ellie Rapp, a combination of noise-canceling headphones and learning to look at life a little differently have helped her excel in school and cope at home.”Misophonia … I would say it used to define who I am, but now I just see it as another part of my life,” she says.She graduates from high school this spring and plans to study cognitive science at Case Western Reserve University in the fall.”I want to basically be a Dr. Jaffe and get my Psy.D or Ph.D. and eventually solve the mystery and cure it,” she says.Ellie Rapp’s mom, Kathy, stresses that family support plays a big role in helping people with misophonia. At conferences and meetings, they’ve met adults who experience isolation and despair because their families did not believe them.”It sounds bizarre, but it’s very real and a family’s help I think is critical in helping somebody live a fuller life,” she says.April Fulton is a former health and food editor on NPR’s science desk. Follow her on Twitter @fultonhere.Jane Greenhalgh contributed reporting to this story. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
ArivalChris TorresMarketing AdviceMarketing Technology NewsNews Previous ArticleSEMI Teams with Cornell University to Accelerate Technology Development Using Machine Learning and AINext ArticleHow Salesforce CRM Improves Your Sales Pipeline and About Salesforce DX VCS Chris Torres, of the Tourism Marketing Agency, has written ‘How to Turn your Online Lookers into Bookers’: the first ever marketing book dedicated to tour & activitiesChris Torres, founder and director of Scottish company the Tourism Marketing Agency, has recently written ‘How to Turn your Online Lookers into Bookers’: the first ever marketing book dedicated to helping tour and activity companies improve their website, their performance on Google, and their social media engagement. ‘Lookers into Bookers’ will be published on June 28th.There are countless books about marketing, but no one has previously taken the time, and initiative, to write one specifically for the tours and activities sector. Chris Torres worked in website design and marketing for almost two decades before specialising in tourism. His company, the Tourism Marketing Agency, works on marketing campaigns for brands based in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America.Marketing Technology News: Absolutdata Named Best Overall AI-Based Analytics Company in 2019 AI Breakthrough Awards Program Chris Torres Writes First Ever Marketing Advice Book for the Tours and Activities Industry PRNewswireJune 30, 2019, 8:00 amJune 28, 2019 ‘Lookers into Bookers‘ is already getting plenty of attention, with plenty of pre-orders on the crowdfunding campaign and a foreword from Douglas Quinby, the CEO of Arival, the biggest international tours and activities conference in the world.“Whether you are just starting on your digital marketing journey, or you are far along on your adventure, use Lookers into Bookers as a guide to strategy and prioritisation, as a hands-on practical resource.”Douglas Quinby, Co-founder and CEO of ArivalAs well as starting up the Tourism Marketing Agency, Chris also founded the Digital Tourism Show: a tourism-focused international marketing community with regular videos available on Facebook, YouTube, and as podcasts. The Digital Tourism Show has been offering free marketing advice for over two years; writing this book was the next logical step after putting so much time and effort into all of the Digital Tourism Show’s video guides and interviews.Marketing Technology News: Gigapaces Partners with Tableau to Accelerate Machine Learning and Data VisualizationBoth Chris and the team at TMA hope that ‘Lookers into Bookers’ helps tour operators around the globe to grow their brands and flourish online. The tours and activities sector is growing as more and more travellers seek authentic or exciting experiences.At 80k words, ‘Lookers into Bookers’ is not a glancing attempt to cover the subject; it provides all of the tools you need to market your tours and activities business successfully.Marketing Technology News: Verve Releases SDK 4.0 To Supercharge The Revenue-Generating Power Of In-App Inventory
Source:University of Texas at Arlington Subbarao will help create and test algorithms for use with the new equipment.”This equipment will aid me in verifying and validating algorithms my group has developed to solve inverse problems that are pervasive in many data-enabled applications. In the present case, these algorithms will help us locate specific regions of internal injury,” Subbarao said.The research is an example of UTA’s work in health and the human condition and data-driven discovery, two themes of the University’s UTA’s Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact, said Erian Armanios, chair of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairRush University Medical Center offers new FDA-approved treatment for brain aneurysmsStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with aging”This new device provides a non-invasive means to supply vital information about the brain health of an injured person,” Armanios said. “Dr. Adnan’s expertise in biomechanics combined with Dr. Subbarao’s in signal analysis and system identification brings cross-disciplinary synergy to address the challenges of traumatic brain injury.”In April, Adnan chaired UTA’s first International Symposium on Traumatic Brain Injury Mechanisms and Protections, with leading researchers and experts from around the world working to identify knowledge gaps in TBI research and exchange ideas to accelerate research progress.Adnan has two active grants from the Office of Naval Research and a National Institutes of Health sub-award totaling $885,000 to support his research related to blast-induced traumatic brain injury. He previously published research that determined that, under certain circumstances, the mechanical forces of a blast-like event could damage the perineuronal net located adjacent to the neurons, which could in turn damage of the neurons themselves.He and his team simulated a shock wave-induced cavitation collapse within the perineuronal net, which is a specialized extracellular matrix that stabilizes synapses in the brain. The team focused on the damage in hyaluronan, which is the net’s main structural component, and showed that the localized supersonic forces created by an asymmetrical bubble collapse may break the hyaluronan. This improved current knowledge and understanding of the connection between damage to the perineuronal net and neurodegenerative disorders.The award to Adnan and Subbarao is the second DURIP grant awarded to UTA’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department in recent months. Earlier this year, it was announced that Luca Maddalena, aerospace engineering associate professor and director of the Aerodynamics Research Center, received a $690,000 DURIP grant to purchase a femtosecond laser system, which will be the only one of its kind to be used in an arc-heated wind tunnel in the United States. A femtosecond is one quadrillionth, or one millionth of a billionth, of a second.U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 “Best Graduate Schools” list ranks the College of Engineering No. 82 out of 199 programs assessed nationwide. All of the programs in the College of Engineering are ranked among the top 100 in the nation, with the aerospace engineering program ranked among the top 45.– written by Jeremy Agor We are studying brain damage from three different perspectives: physiological, where the damage changes the brain’s fluidic environment and functions; physical, where nerves actually break; and electrochemical, where communication across neurons is disrupted. We want to identify and quantify levels of severity for brain injuries that are often subtle or undetectable from the outside. Often it’s not clear if someone has a brain injury or not, and we hope this equipment, when integrated with our computational model, will help us more specifically determine levels of internal injury.”Ashfaq Adnan, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 24 2019It is often easy to tell when a person has suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, but it is much more difficult to detect and determine the amount of brain damage a person has suffered when the injury is mild.Ashfaq Adnan, associate professor of mechanical engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington, has been awarded a $261,120 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program, or DURIP, grant to purchase equipment that determines the severity of brain injuries, even if they aren’t readily apparent. The equipment will be used to expand his recent research in damage detection for blast-related traumatic brain injuries. UTA mechanical engineering Associate Professor Kamesh Subbarao is the co-investigator on the project.Adnan and Subbarao will use a life-size model of a head to simulate and understand the brain, which will be measured using a combined electroencephalography, or EEG, and electrocorticography, or ECoG, system. Both methods read neuronal activity in the brain, but an EEG is attached to the outside of the head and is less accurate than an ECoG, which can be placed inside the skull after brain surgery.The new equipment will allow Adnan and Subbarao to understand further how neuronal communication in the brain can change or be disrupted due to a blast event or a concussion.
Pope goes HD with Vatican’s new high-definition TV 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. The “Vatican Hackathon,” an around-the-clock computer programming marathon, starts Thursday in the Vatican, with the full support of the pope, several Vatican offices and student volunteers from Harvard and MIT.Organizers stressed that no firewalls will be breached or acts of computer piracy committed. Student organizer Jakub Florkiewicz, an MBA student at Harvard, said, “We’re hacking problems, not security.”Teams of programmers, graphic designers and project managers will be asked to provide technological solutions to specific problems in three general areas: solidarity in a digital world, communication in interfaith dialogue and mobilization of resources for migrants. Computer hackers with a heart are descending on the Vatican to help tackle pressing problems particularly dear to Pope Francis, including how to better provide resources for migrants and encourage solidarity for the poor. Citation: Vatican invites hackers to fix problems, not breach security (2018, March 8) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-vatican-hackers-problems-breach.html © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, stops at a connected bicycles stands at the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he speaks to participants at the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool) From left to right, LVMH luxury group CEO Bernard Arnault, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Rwanda President Paul Kagame, French President Emmanuel Macron and IBM’s President and CEO Virginia Rometty attend the opening of the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool) Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a speech Thursday that “with GDPR, we will now have to operate recognizing that privacy is a human right.” Microsoft said this week it would apply European data rights to all its clients worldwide.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, also speaking at the conference, said GDPR means adding some controls, but he insisted it is “not a massive departure” from what Facebook does.At a hearing Tuesday in the European Parliament in Brussels, Zuckerberg acknowledged a “mistake” and apologized for the way the social network has been used to produce fake news and interfere in elections.In response to a question Thursday, Zuckerberg said he had not foreseen the “huge” responsibility Facebook faces today when he was building the company “as a college service.” Explore further “We need to do a more proactive job,” Zuckerberg said. He cited taking down “inappropriate content” linked to everything from extremism to bullying.Other mea culpas included failing to spot Russian interference. In 2016, he said, “we were slow to identify Russian interference in the U.S. election.”Facebook has tools “that can now take down proactively thousands and thousands of fake accounts that might be trying to spread misinformation,” Zuckerberg said.He said the company also has taken steps to make political ads “much more transparent.””There’s a lot more that we need to do here, but we’re really focused on this,” he said. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks during the opening of the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool) 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. Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, 3rd left, and French President Emmanuel Macron, 4th left, pose with business men of Rwanda at the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool) French President Emmanuel Macron called on tech leaders Thursday to invest in France, saying his innovation policies aim to make the country the gateway to Europe. From left to right, LVMH luxury group CEO Bernard Arnault, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Rwanda President Paul Kagame, French President Emmanuel Macron and IBM’s President and CEO Virginia Rometty attend the opening of the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool) Speaking partly in English in front of CEOs and other tech industry leaders, Macron said “it’s because France is changing like crazy that we can say that France is back and you could choose France.”He said his labor policy changes have boosted investment in the country over the past year. The changes, notably aimed at giving employers more flexibility to hire and fire, have prompted a series of strikes and protests against what unions see as weakening workers’ rights.The speech at the Vivatech trade show in Paris came a day after Macron met Facebook, Microsoft, Uber, IBM and other CEOs to discuss personal data protection and taxes, among other issues.The French president pushed for tougher EU regulations and a European digital tax. “Those who innovate in France, they pay taxes… We are decreasing these taxes. Fine. But it’s not fair when somebody else pays no tax,” he said.Privacy was another issue Macron raised as a tough new European data protection law comes into effect this week. The so-called GDPR regulation will give Europeans more control over what companies can do with what they post, search and click. CEO of Spoon.ai Jerome Monceaux, left, points to a screen as he talks to LVMH luxury group CEO Bernard Arnault, center, and French President Emmanuel Macron as they visit the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool) French President Emmanuel Macron, right, chats with Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame at the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool) French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he speaks to participants at the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool) Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks during the opening of the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool) French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to participants at the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool) France’s Macron takes on Facebook’s Zuckerberg in tech push (Update) French President Emmanuel Macron, right, shakes hands with a tech show goer at the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool) French President Emmanuel Macron, right, shakes hands with a tech show goer at the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool) A show tech goer takes a selfie with French President Emmanuel Macron, center, as Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, second right, stands second right, at the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool) Citation: Macron wants to make France gateway to Europe for tech firms (2018, May 24) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-macron-france-gateway-europe-tech.html French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to participants at the VivaTech gadget show in Paris, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Macron took on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants Wednesday at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool)
Apple CEO Tim Cook anticipates further regulation of the tech industry 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. Explore further In an interview with news website Axios being broadcast broadcast Sunday on HBO television, Cook said he expected the US Congress would take up the matter.”Generally speaking, I am not a big fan of regulation,” Cook said in an excerpt released by Axios. “I’m a big believer in the free market. But we have to admit when the free market is not working. And it hasn’t worked here. I think it’s inevitable that there will be some level of regulation.”I think the Congress and the administration at some point will pass something.”Cook has previously been a proponent of self-regulation, especially as concerns user data protection.But following the scandal that saw data consultancy Cambridge Analytica obtain data from millions of Facebook users, Cook said the industry was now “beyond” the scope of self-regulation.Facebook has been trying to fend off concerns about how well it protects user data and defends against use of the site to spread misinformation aimed at swaying elections.Controversies that have battered Facebook since the 2016 presidential election in the United States have raised questions over whether co-founder Mark Zuckerberg should keep his post as chief executive.Turning to gender inequality in the workplace, Cook said the tech industry has generally been strong in diversity, even though a male-dominated culture prevails.”I agree 100 percent from a gender point of view that the (Silicon) Valley has missed it, and tech in general has missed it,” he said.However, Cook added, “I’m actually encouraged at this point that there will be a more marked improvement over time.” Citation: New tech regulation ‘inevitable,’ Apple CEO says (2018, November 18) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-tech-inevitable-apple-ceo.html Apple chief says firm guards data privacy in China © 2018 AFP Apple CEO Tim Cook predicts that new regulations of tech companies and social networks to protect personal data are “inevitable.”
COMMENTS RELATED SHARE SHARE EMAIL NCLT approves JNPT’s resolution plan to purchase Dighi Port for ₹853 crore SHARE COMMENT Published on Vijay Kalantri says he will write to Bank of Baroda to rescind the tag Businessman Vijay Kalantri, the latest to be declared a wilful defaulter by a lender as part of a government plan to purge the banking system of bad loans, says he has been wrongly labelled.“A wilful defaulter is someone who has the capacity to pay but does not pay, or has siphoned off funds; both the cases are not applicable to me,” Kalantri told BusinessLine.On June 2, Bank of Baroda issued a public notice labelling Vijay Kalantri, his son Vishal Kalantri and Dighi Port as wilful defaulters.Dighi Port was jointly promoted by Balaji Infra Projects and IL&FS through a concession awarded by the Maharashtra government. Vijay Kalantri is Chairman and Managing Director of Balaji Infra Projects as well as Dighi Port before it was taken to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for debt resolution under the bankruptcy law.Kalantri said he will be writing to Bank of Baroda seeking to overturn the labelling.“We have not siphoned off funds. There is a forensic report which says everything is correct, and the bank auditor was on board. So there is nothing which is there to label me a wilful defaulter,” he claimed.The corporate insolvency resolution process of Dighi Port is nearing completion. “The resolution process extinguishes the guarantees and rights of the promoters,” Kalantri claimed. Dighi Port did not owe money to Bank of Baroda, but the bank stepped in to issue the public notice after its merger with Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank which were part of the consortium that had lent money to the troubled private port. “Dighi Port faltered because the government did not give it road and railway connectivity as promised. If it had,, the port would not have come to this stage; we would have made money out of it and paid off everybody,” Kalantri said, adding that the actual loan was for ₹785 crore which ballooned to ₹3,074.51 crore due to overdue interest and penalty. “What is ₹785 crore loan — it’s not a big amount for such a big project where I have invested more than ₹1,000 crore of my personal money. The port project was started in 2004, and until 2009, I never took one rupee as loan,” he added. June 05, 2019 ₹853-crore JNPT-Dighi Port deal in trouble Vijay Kalantri – SHASHI ASHIWAL
ED attaches Dubai properties of Mehul Choksi worth Rs 24.77 croreAccording to the probe agency, the ED has provisionally attached immovable properties, valuables, vehicle, bank account having total value of Rs 24.77 crore of accused Mehul Choksi under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Punjab National Bank fraud case.advertisement Munish Pandey New DelhiJuly 11, 2019UPDATED: July 11, 2019 21:09 IST Acting against Mehul Choksi, who is in Antigua, till date, the ED has attached and seized properties worth Rs 2,534.7 crore. (Photo: PTI)HIGHLIGHTSThe ED has attached properties of Mehul Choksi worth over Rs 24.77 crore in DubaiThe attachment includes three commercial properties in Dubai, valuables, one Mercedes Benz E280 and a fixed deposit accountIt is in connection with the Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank scamProbe agency Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached properties of fujitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi worth over Rs 24.77 crore in Dubai in connection with the Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank scam.According to the probe agency, the ED has provisionally attached immovable properties, valuables, vehicle, bank account having total value of Rs 24.77 crore of accused Mehul Choksi under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Punjab National Bank fraud case.The attachment includes three commercial properties in Dubai, valuables, one Mercedes Benz E280 and a fixed deposit account controlled by the accused, Mehul Choksi.The ED had initiated its investigation on the basis of an FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi and others on charges of money laundering and defrauding the PNB to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore.Mehul Choksi, along with the other accused, have committed the offence of cheating against the Punjab National Bank in connivance with certain bank officials by fraudulently getting the Letter Of Undertaking and Foreign Letters of Credit issued causing wrongful loss to the bank, the ED said.Acting against Mehul Choksi, who is in Antigua, till date, the ED has attached and seized properties worth Rs 2,534.7 crore including the recent attachment of Rs 24.77 crore.Mehul Choksi has been declared as absconding in the PNB scam case and an extradition request by the Indian government has been sent to Antigua and Barbuda. A Red Corner Notice has also been issued against him on ED’s request.Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne, in a recent statement, said that they will revoke Mehul Choksi’s citizenship and they will extradite him to India once the diamontaire has exhausted his legal options.Choksi, on the other side, maintains that due to his ill-health, he can’t travel to India and the officers of the CBI and the ED can question him through video conferencing.However, the ED in an affidavit before the court, rejected the request made by Choksi and said that they are ready to arrange his travel back to India in an air ambulance.Also Read | Bombay HC asks Mehul Choksi to submit proof of health condition, says will check if fit to travel or notAlso Watch | Govt cannot decide on Mehul Choksi’s return until court verdict: Senior Antiguan officialFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShifa Naseer Tags :Follow Mehul ChoksiFollow Enforcement Directorate (ED) Next