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Hot on Twitter: Kim Kardashian treats her fans with sexy pics

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first_imgReality TV star Kim Kardashian knows how to keep her fans happy! She has tweeted few pictures of herself in which she is looking every bit seductress that she is.In what look likes a classic vintage shoot, Kim has posted her retro-styled stills. In one of the pictures, she is oozing oomph in a sexy lingerie and a pair of stoclings lying on a table.Kim gave her fans a look at the steamy vintage photoshoot in which she was in a styling session with Hollywood hairdresser Chris McMillan. Ina nother photo, she is seen sporting a racy swimsuit lying in the pool.The reality star keeps updating her twitter account for her loyal followers.last_img

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Video: Braxton Miller Did His Spin Move Before Throwing Out 1st Pitch At Reds’ Game Last Night

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first_imgBraxton miller throws out first pitch at the Reds game.Braxton SpinYou don’t see the spin move being utilized on the baseball diamond very much. Braxton Miller changed that Monday night. The former Ohio State quarterback/wide receiver threw out the first pitch at the Cincinnati Reds’ game. As he walked toward the mound, he did his patented spin move – the move he made famous in the 2015 season opener against Virginia Tech. You can watch that play here. Here’s last night’s spin and first pitch. The spin move, the sweet hat. Yeah, @BraxtonMiller5 nailed this first pitch at the @Reds‘ game.https://t.co/FKspD04ghO— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) April 19, 2016Miller brought his son to the game with him. They seemed to have a great time. Miller is about a week away from learning his NFL fate. The NFL Draft starts next Thursday, April 28.last_img read more

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The Thursday news briefing An ataglance survey of some top stories

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first_imgHighlights from the news file for Thursday, July 6———TRUDEAU TO APPEAL TO PROTESTERS ON EVE OF G20: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s sunny ways will be tested over the next few days amid tensions both inside and outside the gates of the G20 summit in Germany. Trudeau arrived in the northern port city of Hamburg just hours before U.S. President Donald Trump, whose protectionist rhetoric and stance against climate change action pose a threat to much of the G20’s recent progress. Tens of thousands of anti-globalization protesters have descended on the city to disrupt the meetings, and have already set fire to a Porsche dealership. Trudeau has been called on to appeal to the protesters at Thursday night’s rock concert in Hamburg, where he will give a short speech promoting the benefits of global co-operation beyond corporations and the world’s richest citizens. Inside the meetings, tensions will flare around everything from climate change to free trade deals, but much of the action is expected in one-on-one meetings between various leaders — to say nothing of the much-anticipated Friday head-to-head between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.———LAC-MEGANTIC MARKS FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF RAIL TRAGEDY: Four years after the rail disaster that killed 47 people in their town, a group of Lac-Megantic citizens renewed the call for the construction of a bypass that would steer trains away from the core of the community. Robert Bellefleur, spokesman for a rail-safety group in the town, said Thursday his group is outraged that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other politicians seem to accept that a bypass might not be ready for years. The Quebec and federal governments have financed a feasibility study on the matter, and the province’s environmental review agency began public hearings on the issue in May. But Bellefleur said dangerous goods continue to be transported through the town on a section of rail track that has been rebuilt with an even steeper curve than before. On July 6, 2013, a runaway train carrying crude oil from the United States derailed in downtown Lac-Megantic and exploded, killing 47 people and destroying much of the city’s core. To mark the anniversary, the town planned a series of low-key activities including a church service, an outdoor vigil and an activity at the town’s train station.———TORONTO AREA HOME SALES PLUNGE 37 PER CENT LAST MONTH: Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area plunged 37.3 per cent last month compared with a year ago, the city’s real estate board said Thursday as buyers moved to the sidelines following the introduction of rules aimed at cooling one of the hottest housing markets in North America. The Toronto Real Estate Board said 7,974 homes changed hands in June while the number of new properties on the market climbed 15.9 per cent year-over-year to 19,614. The average price for all properties was $793,915, up 6.3 per cent from the same month last year, but down 8.1 per cent from May. The data comes after the Ontario government implemented rules intended to dampen Toronto’s real estate market, where escalating prices have concerned policy-makers at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. Ontario’s measures, which were retroactive to April 21, include a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, expanded rent controls and legislation allowing Toronto and other cities to tax vacant homes.———HEAD OF INQUIRY SAYS PROCESS MOVING QUICKLY: The head of an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women denies the process is drifting, saying in Vancouver that she believes it’s moving at “lightning speed.” Marion Buller says that in the first eight months, staff have been hired, offices have opened and a first hearing has been held. The inquiry has faced controversy over the resignation of its executive director and complaints from families that the process is not moving fast enough. Buller says community hearings will be held beginning Sept. 10 in Thunder Bay, Ont., before moving on to Smithers, B.C., Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Halifax, Edmonton, Yellowknife and closing in mid-December in Maliotenam, Que. She also says two expert panels will speak to the inquiry this year on the topics of Indigenous laws and decolonization and human rights. Executive director Michele Moreau resigned last week, citing personal reasons, prompting the Native Women’s Association of Canada to urge the inquiry to be more transparent and reassuring to families.———COURT UPHOLDS BREATHALYZER EVIDENCE RULES: The Supreme Court of Canada is upholding procedures that permit shortcuts in allowing a motorist’s breathalyzer sample into evidence — even in cases where taking the sample may have been unlawful. In a decision Thursday, the court is affirming the existing charter process for challenging police actions in obtaining a sample. The high court’s 5-4 ruling comes in the case of Dion Henry Alex, who was stopped by police in Penticton, B.C., in April 2012. Alex failed a roadside test and was taken to the police detachment, where he blew above the legal blood alcohol limit in two subsequent tests. At issue was the continuing relevance of a 1976 Supreme Court decision that said the Crown did not need to prove the demand for a breath test was lawful in order to rely on evidentiary shortcuts about the accuracy of test readings. Following introduction of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the 1980s, the courts said that an argument a breath sample was obtained unlawfully must come in the form of a charter challenge against unreasonable search and seizure.———ISOLATION HEARING TO GO AHEAD, JUDGE RULES: A constitutional challenge to Canada’s segregation laws should go ahead in September as scheduled despite objections from the federal government, an Ontario court ruled Thursday. In rejecting Ottawa’s adjournment request, Superior Court Justice Frank Marrocco said the hearing would not get in the way of Parliament, which is dealing with pending legislation that aims to put limits on solitary confinement. Even if the relevant bill were enacted, Marrocco said, the constitutional challenge would proceed anyway, so there would be no advantage to delaying a hearing. At issue is the practice known as administrative segregation that civil liberties groups argue can amount to indefinite solitary confinement. Such isolation is frequently used to manage difficult inmates, especially those whose safety may be at risk in the general population. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies maintain the current system subjects affected inmates to cruel and unusual punishment and violates their rights in several ways.———PETER JULIAN DROPS OUT OF NDP LEADERSHIP RACE: B.C. NDP MP Peter Julian is dropping out of the race to lead the federal New Democrats. Julian — the first contender to enter the race — made the announcement at a news conference today in Ottawa. The veteran MP was one of five candidates so far to join the race to replace Tom Mulcair at the helm of the party. Other current contenders include MPs Niki Ashton, Charlie Angus, Guy Caron and Ontario legislator Jagmeet Singh. The next leadership debate is scheduled to take place in Saskatoon on July 11, followed by events in Victoria and Montreal in August and one in Vancouver in September. Online voting in the leadership race will begin Sept. 18 and results will be announced in October after each round of balloting.———NEW DEMOCRATS TAKE POWER IN BRITISH COLUMBIA ON JULY 18: British Columbia premier-designate John Horgan and his cabinet will be officially sworn in on July 18. The ceremony in Victoria will come almost three weeks after Horgan’s New Democrats and three members of the Green party ousted Christy Clark’s Liberals following 16 years in office. The NDP and Greens defeated the Liberals in a confidence vote in the legislature. May’s election saw the Liberals win 43 seats in the 87-seat legislature, but the NDP with 41 seats and the Greens with three seats reached an agreement to push the Liberals from office and form a minority NDP government. Earlier this week, Horgan appointed three political veterans to head his inner circle of advisers, including well-known bureaucrat Don Wright and former Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs.———QUEBEC HOPING TO OFFER FREE ABORTION PILL: The Quebec government is hoping to offer free abortion pills later this year. Mifegymiso, a two-drug combination also known as RU-486, was authorized by Health Canada in July 2015 and entered the market in January. It costs about $300. The drug isn’t currently available in Quebec, but Barrette says he’s hopeful advanced discussions with groups representing the province’s doctors and pharmacists will make access a reality by this fall. Barrette said the abortion pill shouldn’t be confused with the morning-after pill. Alongside the surgical option, the abortion pill gives women another option, albeit under very strict guidelines. It will be accessible for those with a doctor’s prescription, while women taking it will need to have a medical follow-up. In April, New Brunswick was the first province to announce it would make the abortion pill available free of charge. Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta have also said they intend to offer the pill free of charge.———ANOTHER RIGHT WHALE ENTAGLES IN FISHING GEAR: An endangered North Atlantic right whale has been freed after getting entangled in fishing gear near the area where six other whales were found dead. Tonya Wimmer of the Marine Animal Response Society said the large whale was cut free of the fishing line in its mouth after it was spotted by an aerial surveillance plane in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Wednesday afternoon. The whale didn’t appear to have been snarled in the mess of gear for very long, and appeared to not have suffered serious injuries, said Kim Davies of Dalhousie University’s Department of Oceanography. A research ship was nearby and marine mammal experts were able to free the whale within six hours of it being spotted. The discovery comes after six of the massive animals were found floating in the gulf, with two suffering injuries consistent with ship strikes and a third dying from an entanglement in fishing gear. One of the six dead whales has now drifted close to shore on the Magdalen Islands. Wimmer said they are discussing sending a team to do an animal autopsy to determine its cause of death, as had been done in three others.last_img read more

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Cops sentenced in sweatbox incident

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first_imgAPTN National NewsTwo Edmonton police officers have been sentenced for their involvement in the so-called ‘sweatbox incident’ five years ago.The officers drove nine homeless people around in an unventilated paddy wagon for three hours on a hot spring day.A supervising officer ruled last month that the officers had failed in their duties and embarrassed Edmonton’s police force.APTN National News reporter Noemi LoPinto has the details.last_img

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State KMC gear up to tackle impact of Fani

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first_imgKolkata: The state government, along with Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), is taking all possible preparation in the wake of severe cyclonic storm Fani, which is expected to hit the coastal belt of the state between Friday night and Saturday morning.Chief Secretary Malay De held a high-level meeting at Nabanna with all concerned departments and senior officials of Navy, Coast Guard, NDRF, State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and Kolkata Police. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while addressing an election rally at Bhatpara, said the state is making all possible arrangements and said that a control room will remain functional at Nabanna from May 2 to 5. The number of the control room is 1070 (toll free) and 22535185. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaNDRF will deploy one company of force each in places like Jhargram, Kharagpur, Digha, Kakdwip, Hasnabad and Dhamakhali as precautionary measure. Four SDRF teams have moved to Basanti in South 24-Parganas, Contai and Haldia in East Midnapore and Arambagh in Hooghly, with a standby team of SDRF at Nabanna. Ferry service and plying of all boats will be closed from May 3 to May 4 in East and West Midnapore, Jhargram, North & South 24-Parganas, Jhargram, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata. There will be quick response teams from civil defence deployed in North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Purba Medinipur, Paschim Medinipur, Jhargram, Howrah and Hooghly. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayMayor Firhad Hakim held a meeting at the KMC headquarters along with some concerned government agencies and issued instructions to dismantle all hoardings by early Friday morning to rule out any chances of damage caused due to their collapse. “The leaves of all concerned departments of the civic body have been cancelled. We will do announcements along with Kolkata Police in front of all dilapidated buildings and will ask them to vacate them immediately to avert any mishap. Our main aim is to ensure that there isn’t loss of a single life,” Hakim said. The Mayor did not rule out the chances of waterlogging in the city, but assured that the civic body is making arrangements for quick drainage of water by alerting all pumping stations. There will be arrangements of relief material, food and water in all boroughs. The Kolkata Port Trust has issued a general alert for all ships in the docks both at Kolkata Dock System and Haldia Dock Complex, which have been specifically advised to take all precautionary measures. 5 Coast Guard vessels and all operational crafts of the port are being provided safe berthing inside docks. Ships from riverine jetties at Haldia and Budge Budge and Sagar and Diamond Harbour anchorages have either been put out to sea or shifted to docks.last_img read more

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LISTEN Jen Welter Cardinals assistant coach

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first_imgLISTEN: Jen Welter, Cardinals assistant coach She also can’t wait to get started on something that has been a long time in the making, a dream that is finally coming true.“I knew as soon as I started playing football that it was my destiny,” she said. “I didn’t know what that meant, but I knew that God had put me on a path and that I had to be smart enough to put my head down, go to work and let him put me to work. That’s what he’s done up to this point.“What would be a dream? A dream would be staying on. A dream would be staying on. A dream would be sitting there with (Kirkland) and him being like, ‘Man, I’m glad I wrote you up in this fellowship’ or someone else does. But I can’t say what that means yet. I have to live in this moment and be so happy to be right here, because if the work’s not there, it doesn’t matter how big your dreams are because you’re going to be sitting on the sidelines anyway. Well, not on those sidelines; you’re going to be sitting on the side of the road.” Kevin Minter, one of the players Welter will be working with, tweeted a simple, “S/O to @jewelter47….Welcome to AZ coach.”Cornerback Patrick Peterson, one of the faces of the franchise, wrote, “One team, one goal! Let’s go to work coach @jwelter47 ! #Birdgang #OperationBringLombardiTrophyToAZ”In short, while the hire of Welter is a big story, it’s also a non-story. Though she and the team are breaking new ground, when the dust settles, she’ll be just another coach looking to make her way through a difficult industry.As Arians said, he’s “extremely excited about opening this door for a very, very qualified person.”Now it’s up to Welter to walk through it. She said her expectation going into the job is to learn. Asked what her biggest challenge is, she quipped “the size of an NFL playbook. I’m a doctor, but that’s a lot of work.”That work begins in earnest this weekend, as players report for training camp Friday before getting started with a month’s worth of practices and games Saturday. Welter said her biggest asset as a coach is being able to show players that any limitation can be overcome with enough preparation and work, that it’s not always about “out-bigging” someone. Her reputation as a player was of one with one of the highest motors on the team, and she has every intention on bringing that mentality to her new gig. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The significance of it all is not lost on anyone.“She came over for OTAs, we met, and I knew this was the type of person that I was looking for to start this,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said.“I think it’s great; I think it was going to be one of the 32 teams — I’m glad it was us,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said. “I spoke to Commissioner Goodell about it [Monday] afternoon and he was elated and said ‘Congratulations’ and was pretty excited about the fact that, so quickly, we’ve got a (female) NFL official and now an NFL coach who will be joining us through the preseason and training camp.”And, finally, there is Welter herself.“I didn’t start playing football to be here; I didn’t even dream that it was possible,” she said. “And I think the beauty of this is that though it’s a dream I never could have had, now it’s a dream other girls can grow up and have.”Welter said she loved football from a young age, but was not really able to get into the sport until she was done with college. She comes to Arizona with 14 years of professional experience, having helped the Dallas Diamonds of the Women’s Football Alliance win four championships as well as earning a pair of gold medals with Team USA at the International Federation of American Football Women’s World Championship in 2010 and 2013. Most recently, she played running back for the Indoor Football League’s Texas Revolution in 2014 and then guided the same team’s linebackers and special teams in 2015.So make no mistake, while her road to this point is one you may not be familiar with, she would not have gotten here without taking it.Or help from plenty of people along the way, including Arians, who made sure to call Welter “a trail blazer.”“That only happens with the best possible team, and that comes with the foresight of somebody like Bruce who, just out of the strength of his will, I would say that’s how it happened,” Welter said. “He told me when he offered me the job, ‘I want you to know it’s in my heart to offer you this internship — I don’t know yet if I can make it happen.’ He had to reach out and get all the right support. He had to have the support of a family like the Bidwills. He had to have a general manager with the foresight of Steve Keim to say yes. He had to get all of the right yesses, but it was his heart that made it happen, it was his belief that the Arizona Cardinals was the team that could handle this happening and that he had coaches on his staff that would embrace it, not cast me off to the side.” Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactcenter_img Welter said Levon Kirkland, who is also joining the team on a two-year internship, reached out to her Monday looking to get right to work, offering whatever help he could.“That’s the attitude that all of the interns he has here have, and that’s the attitude that everyone on his staff here. That’s beautiful. You can’t blaze a trail alone, otherwise you’re going to get stuck in the woods.”In a way, the idea of being the first team to hire a female coach — even as a training camp and preseason intern — could be seen as an unnecessary distraction. After all, the Cardinals have eyes on reaching Super Bowl 50 and there would seem to be no reason to do anything at all that could deter them.But the best part about this is the Cardinals, for better or worse, see no reason why bringing Welter on board could be problematic. Arians said players just want to be taught how to be better regardless of who it is that’s doing the teaching, which is a sentiment Kirkland — a two-time Pro Bowler over the course of 11 NFL seasons as a linebacker — echoed.“What I’ve also learned about players in this league that I think sometimes a lot of people don’t know, but these guys, they want to learn,” he said. “They want to learn from the best. They want to be taught.” TEMPE, Ariz. — History is made in many ways.Sometimes, it’s by pure accident. Other times, it’s the result of a long process.And every now and then, it’s simply long overdue. Such is the case for Dr. Jen Welter, who by all accounts will be the first woman to hold any kind of coaching role with an NFL team when she fulfills her internship with the Arizona Cardinals this training camp and preseason. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Your browser does not support the audio element. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories last_img read more

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Rep Hauck applauds additional state aid following flooding

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first_img Categories: Hauck News Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund now open to Midland, Isabella countiesState Rep. Roger Hauck today announced the state’s Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund is now available to provide financial assistance to local communities after severe flooding caused extensive damages on June 22-23.“When our community got hit hard by the flooding last month, local first responders and relief agencies stepped up to ensure the health and safety of residents, and I commend them for their impressive response,” said Hauck, of Union Township. “The disaster continues to take a toll, however, stretching the budgets of local cities, villages, townships and counties that experienced unexpected expenses while responding to the flooding. I applaud the governor for making money from the state’s Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund available to help reimburse communities for some costs they have incurred.”Eligible local governments affected by the flooding in Bay, Isabella, Gladwin and Midland counties can apply for assistance grants for up to $100,000 or 10 percent of the previous year’s operating budget, whichever is less.The Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund is used when communities demonstrate an exhaustion of local resources during a disaster or emergency. The money can be applied toward the immediate prevention, response and recovery of a disaster or emergency, as well as cover overtime for public employees, contracts used during the response, shelter supplies, gasoline used during the response and repair of public buildings and infrastructure.Under extraordinary circumstances, the governor may authorize reimbursement from the fund to provide state assistance to counties and municipalities when federal assistance is not available.The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division will administer the grant program and assist local governments applying for the funds.### 25Jul Rep. Hauck applauds additional state aid following floodinglast_img read more

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first_imgSponsor Advertisement Could This Tiny Stock Be The “Next Subway”?Our friends over at Penny Stock Research just released a free report detailing 3 stocks that could rocket higher in 2012.Of particular interest is one restaurant stock that’s being called the “next Subway”.It’s trading at only 59 cents a share right now but could be significantly higher in the very near future!Click here to get the complimentary report… In the precious metals, JPMorgan and HSBC USA hold 99.9% of all the gold and silver derivative contracts held by U.S. banks.All was quiet in Far East trading during their Thursday trading session…and volume was almost nonexistent in both gold and silver.  But once London opened, a rally of sorts got under way in both metals…and JPMorgan et al had to throw a lot of paper at it to get it under control.Once they did, gold got sold down to it’s low of the day [around $1,630 spot] which was shortly before 1:00 p.m. local time in London…and half an hour before the Comex opened in New York.From that low, the gold price struggled higher, but at 9:00 a.m. in New York a more serious rally got under way…which got stopped in its tracks at the London p.m. gold fix a few minutes before 10:00 a.m. Eastern.  That proved to be the high tick of the day…which Kitco recorded as $1,655.20 spot.By the end of Comex trading at 1:30 p.m. in New York, the gold price had been sold off about fifteen bucks…but it rallied a hair going into the 5:15 p.m. close of electronic trading.Gold closed the Thursday trading day at $1,642.60 spot…up the magnificent sum of sixty cents.  Net volume was immense, up 45% from Wednesday at 147,000 contracts.Silver followed almost the same price path, although it appeared that the low price tick of the day [$31.26 spot] came about 8:40 a.m. in New York.The 9:00 a.m. rally in New York ended at the London p.m. gold fix…and at the precise moment that the silver price blasted through the $32 spot mark.  Kitco reported that high tick as $32.16 spot.  At that point an eager not-for-profit seller showed up and smacked the silver price down almost 50 cents in about half an hour.  Every subsequent rally attempt over the $32 spot mark met with the same fate…and from 12:30 p.m. Eastern time onwards, the silver price traded pretty flat.Silver closed at $31.80 spot…up 17 whole cents from Wednesday’s close.  One can only image how high it would have gone if ‘da boyz’ hadn’t shown up to do what they do best.  Net volume was up an astonishing 40% from the previous day at 37,000 contracts…and as I said earlier, it’s obvious that they had to throw a lot of paper at these metals to keep them under control.The dollar index didn’t do a lot until about 6:40 a.m. in London when it began to roll over…and by 9:40 a.m. BST the index was down about 25 basis points.  That was its low of the day…and from there it rallied until 7:30 a.m. in New York…and that proved to be the high of the day.It more or less held that high before heading south shortly after the Comex trading session began…and by 10:20 a.m. in New York it had bottomed out after dropping about 30 basis points.From there it recovered a bit going into the close…and closing at the same number it closed at every day this week…about 79.57.The dollar index was almost the inverse of what happened in gold and silver…which is what one would normally expect, with all other external factors being the same.  But it doesn’t explain why ‘da boyz’ had to throw so much paper at it in London and New York when the dollar index was heading south.  It’s obvious, at least to me, that the precious metals prices were going to ‘overreact’ to the upside to these down-side moves in the dollar…and that was obviously a no-no.The gold stocks pretty much followed the gold price action, but could not hold their early gains…and they declined until 12:30 p.m…which was the end of the New York sell-off in the gold price after the high at the London p.m. gold fix.  The HUI traded sideways from there…finishing down a smallish 0.13%.The silver stocks finished mixed to down…but Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index managed to eke out a miniscule gain of 0.17%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 48 gold and 35 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday…and the Bank of Nova Scotia and JPMorgan were the long/stoppers of note on both metals.  The link to that action is here.There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday…but over at SLV, an authorized participant withdrew 1,456,278 troy ounces of silver…which came within a 105 ounces of the exact amount that an authorized participant deposited on Monday.  Go figure!  Since the silver price has traded virtually sideways all week, I would assume that this silver was moved because it was needed more urgently elsewhere.There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.The Comex-approved depositories reported receiving 328,996 troy ounces of silver on Wednesday…and also shipped 351,095 ounces of the stuff out the door as well.  The link to that action is here.Before getting into the stories for today, here are three graphs that were sent my way by Washington state reader S.A. yesterday.The first one is headlined “Federal Surplus or Deficit“…and it goes back a hundred years or so.  You can see where the wheels started falling off when Nixon yanked the U.S. off the gold standard in 1971.(Click on image to enlarge)The next two charts show the ratio of the gold price vs. the euro and the yen over the last three years.(Click on image to enlarge)(Click on image to enlarge)Later yesterday evening, Nick Laird added to the list of graphs with this one…along with the following comments…“Just noticed these numbers and thought I’d plot them up.“They show the new depository for JPM and their silver holdings. And amongst all the depositories it stands out loud – 10 million ounces [added] in a month.“One can only presume that they are stocking this silver on behalf of their clients. But then that might be wrong….”(Click on image to enlarge)Nick’s timing on this graph is perfect, because I mentioned in my Thursday column that JPMorgan’s silver stash in its Comex-approved depository had just passed the 13 million troy ounce mark…and more was added on Thursday as well.  What I wasn’t aware of, was how fast it was being added during the last thirty days.  I’m impressed.I have the usual number of stories today…and I hope you find something of interest in the ones I’ve selected.All treaties between great states cease to be binding when they come in conflict with the struggle for existence. – Otto von BismarckWell, there’s nothing that happened in yesterday’s gold and silver price action that we haven’t seen before…and with increasing frequency.  As I’ve said many times since the drive-by shooting of May 1, 2011…they aren’t even trying to hide their actions anymore.  It’s all ‘in your face’ virtually all the time, now.I have a couple of more things from Nick Laird to lay on you in this column.  The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency just issued their derivatives report for the second half of 2011.  The table of numbers below shows the total derivatives…plus the precious metals derivatives contracts held by the five biggest U.S. commercial banks.  The ‘click to enlarge’ feature is a must for this chart.(Click on image to enlarge)The highlights [or should they be called lowlights?] shows that the top five commercial banks in the U.S. hold over 95% of all the derivatives in the U.S. banking system.In the precious metals, JPMorgan and HSBC USA hold 99.9% of all the gold and silver derivative contracts held by U.S. banks.  JPMorgan hold 71% of all gold derivatives…and 66% of all silver derivative contracts.  HSBC USA holds the rest…and Citigroup’s and Bank of America’s positions are immaterial.Here’s Nick’s pie chart that shows that visually.(Click on image to enlarge)It’s obvious that JPMorgan and HSBC USA run the precious metal show…and I’m curious to know who the ‘et al’ are when I talk about them in the same breath as JPMorgan.  Whoever they are, they aren’t commercial banks…and if they are, they aren’t American commercial banks.As I mentioned in this space yesterday, we get both the Commitment of Traders Report…and the March gold data from The Central Bank of the Russian Federation, today.As has been the case lately, there wasn’t much action in Far East trading…and now that London has been open for a bit over an hour, there isn’t much action there, either.  The volume numbers are shockingly low as of 4:03 a.m. Eastern time.  Net gold volume is a hair under 10,000 contracts…and silver’s net volume is under 1,800 contracts.  The dollar index is down a hair.Of course ‘da boyz’ didn’t have to contend with another surprise rally similar to the one that greeted them at the London open on Thursday morning, but having said that, both precious metals are trading on vapours at the moment.Well, just over an hour has passed since I wrote those two previous paragraphs…and a small rally did materialize in London during that period.  It certainly wasn’t much…maybe five dollars in gold…and about two bits in silver.  But net volume jumped over 45 percent in less than an hour in both metals, so it’s obvious that JPMorgan et al aren’t letting anything get past them, no matter how small.We’ll see how things turn out in Comex trading today…which is Friday.  But if yesterday’s price action…and now this morning’s price action in London…is any indication, it doesn’t look promising…but you just never know.That’s it for another day.  I hope you have a great weekend…and I’ll see you here on Saturday sometime.last_img read more

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first_imgSponsor Advertisement I’m ever conscious of the beating JPMorgan et al laid on the precious metals between Christmas and New Years in 2011‘Dead’ would be a good word to describe the gold market everywhere on Planet Earth yesterday.  Gold closed at $1,696.20 spot…down $1.10 from Thursday.  Volume was microscopic at around 85,000 contracts.The silver price chart was very similar right up until 10:00 a.m. in New York.  From there it got sold off into the 1:30 p.m. Comex close…and then didn’t do a lot after that.Silver finished the Friday trading day at $32.31 spot…down 23 cents from Thursday. Volume was only around 27,500 contracts.The dollar index opened at the 79.93 mark…and stayed mostly at that level until shortly before 8:00 a.m. in New York.  From that point, the index rolled over…and by 12:15 a.m. Eastern time, it was down to its low of the day…around 79.51…down about 45 basis points from its early morning New York high.  Then it recovered a hair going into the close…finishing the day at 79.56…down 37 basis points.The effects of the decline in the dollar index were nowhere to be seen in either the gold or silver price yesterday.The gold stocks chopped around in about a one percent price range of Thursday’s close…with the HUI finishing the Friday trading session up a tiny 0.22%.Almost every silver stock finished in positive territory yesterday…and that’s reflected in Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index, as it closed up 1.29%.(Click on image to enlarge)Here’s the ‘big picture’ view of what the silver stocks have been up to…Nick Laird’s ‘old’ SSI chart.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report shows that 15 gold and 12 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday…and the link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.There were no reported changes in either SLV or GLD on Friday.The U.S. Mint had a smallish sales report.  They sold 1,000 ounces of gold eagles…and 2,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes.  Month-to-date the mint has sold 35,500 ounces of gold eagles…6,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 1,403,000 silver eagles.  Based on this data, the silver/gold sales ratio stands at 27 to 1.It was a very slow day the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, as they reported receiving only 9,565 troy ounces of silver…and shipped nothing out the door.The Commitment of Traders Report was as expected…a yawner.In silver, JPMorgan et al decreased their net short position by a tiny 591 contracts.  The Commercial net short position is currently a hair under 290 million ounces.  The ‘Big 4’ are short 265.7 million ounces of that amount…or 50.7% of the entire Comex futures market in silver on a net basis.  The ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 55.4 million ounces of silver, which represents 10.6 percent of the Comex short position on a net basis.  So the ‘Big 8’ are short 61.3% of the entire Comex futures market in silver.JPMorgan still short well over 30 percentage points of this amount…and it’s my opinion that Scotiabank/Scotia Mocatta are short another 10+ percentage points.  So between the two of them, they are short roughly 45% of the entire Comex futures market.  The other two traders in the ‘Big 4’ hold immaterial positions…as do the four traders in the ‘5 through 8’ category.In gold, JPMorgan et al decreased their net short position by 2,716 contracts…and the Commercial net short position now sits at 21.49 million ounces.  The ‘Big 4’ are short 13.44 million ounces of gold…or 37.0 percent of the entire Comex futures market in gold on a net basis.  The ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 5.33 million ounces of gold…and this amount represents 14.7 percent of the Comex futures market on a net basis.Using straight arithmetic, the ‘Big 8’ are short 51.7% of the entire Comex futures market in gold on a net [all reported spread trades subtracted from the open interest] basis.The ‘Big 8’ are short 87.3% of the Commercial net short position in gold.  But in silver, the ‘Big 8’ are short 110.7 percent of the Commercial net short position…with JPMorgan and [I believe] Scotiabank holding about almost half of that percentage between the two of them.I’d also like to point out that these percentages of concentration are minimum numbers.You can follow the historic and interactive COT data for gold here…and silver here.  These charts are a bit slow to load…especially silver…so if you’re using an older browser, it may take a while.As always, here’s this past week’s Commitment of Traders data for the Big 4 and Big 8 traders in all commodities traded on the Comex as of the close of trading on Tuesday, December 11th.  It’s translated into “Days of World Production to Cover Short Positions”…but it’s just a different name for the same data.  It’s my guess that 90 percent of the red line [the Big 4] in silver is represented by JPMorgan Chase and Scotiabank.(Click on image to enlarge)Here’s an ‘Australian Christmas Wreath’ made of native parrots.  The read and blue ones are Crimson Rosellas…and the red and green ones are Australian King Parrots.  The photo was taken at Lamington National Park in Queensland, Australia…and I thank Australian reader Brad Lane for sharing it with us.I have the usual number of stories for a Saturday…and only a couple of them are ones I’ve saved for the weekend.Our true choice is not between tax reduction, on the one hand, and the avoidance of large federal deficits on the other. It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our [needs] keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance our budget—just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits. – President John F. Kennedy to the Economic Club of New York…1962Today’s ‘blast from the past’ is a pop song by a group that found success here in Canada first…and then later in the U.S. and around the world.  This is one of the first tunes that brought them fame in the mid 1970s…and the rest, as they say, is history. Everyone should know it…and the link is here.  While I’m in the mood…here’s another, and even bigger hit of theirs from 1987, linked here.The classical ‘blast from the past’ is an old chestnut that I pull out every year at this time.  It’s a short piece from Handel’s Messiah…and sung by Dame Emma Kirkby.  I consider her interpretation of this work to be definitive.  It’s absolutely divine…and the link is here.What little price action there was yesterday is not worthy of further comment in this space…although I note that the silver price was taken to new lows for this move down.Except sit here and watch, there’s not a lot we can do going forward.  I’m still not sure whether the 200-day moving averages are targets this time or not…but I’m ever conscious of the beating JPMorgan et al laid on the precious metals between Christmas and New Years in 2011.  Could it happen again?  Sure…as the short positions in both gold and silver are still there…greatly reduced in gold, to be sure…but still obscene and grotesque in silver.Here are the 1-year charts for both gold and silver to give you the lay of land.  I doubt very much that we’ll hit the lows of last December, but “da boyz” could certainly hit gold for at least fifty bucks…and silver for two or three bucks.(Click on image to enlarge)(Click on image to enlarge)One thing is for sure…and that is with the rampant money printing going on world wide…it’s only a matter of if not when inflation everywhere becomes far more noticeable…and it’s a given that we’ll see substantially higher precious metal prices despite the efforts of JPMorgan Chase et al when that time arrives.That’s all I have for the day…and the week.  I’ll see you here on Tuesday…or Wednesday, depending where on Planet Earth you live. Avrupa Minerals Ltd. is a growth-oriented prospect generator focused on aggressive exploration for valuable mineral deposits in politically stable and prospective regions of Europe with a growing pipeline of prospects in Portugal, Kosovo and Germany.Company highlights:Alvalade Project JV with Antofagasta Minerals SA – Copper and Zinc on 1000 km2 project area in the Portuguese Pyrite Belt – 2012 exploration budget of US$ 2.5 million, all provided by Antofagasta, including 6000 meters of core drillingGold exploration in the Erzgebirge Mining District, Germany – 307 km2 exploration license in 1000+ year producing region of tin, tungsten, silver, base metals, and uranium – Increasingly favorable permitting and mining regulations, long mining culture, widespread known gold panning locationsCovas Tungsten JV with Blackheath Resources Inc. – 922,900 mt @ 0.78% WO3 (non NI 43-101 compliant) historic resource – Potential to increase the tungsten resource – New gold target on the projectStrong management including Paul Kuhn, CEO, previously involved with several discoveries around the world, and Mark T. Brown, Director, founder of Rare Element Resources Ltd.Low risk exploration strategyShare structure and cash on hand (12/31/2011):16.1 million shares outstanding; 23.7 million shares outstanding, fully diluted40% of shares held by insiders, family, friends, and long-term investorsApprox. C$ 500,000 cash on hand (consolidated Canada and Europe)Antofagasta has provided US$ 350,000 for all anticipated Alvalade JV expenses for Q1 2012.Please visit our website for more information.last_img read more

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Just about every time some troublemaker like myse

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first_imgJust about every time some trouble-maker like myself wants to question the practice of taxation, someone will ask: But aren’t taxes the price of civilization? This is how people hope to get rid of us with a single shot. Usually, they do it in some sort of cocktail-party setting, where they can throw out their line, then move away before a proper response is made. (And while the other “right-thinking” folks nearby scowl properly.)  Conversation over – they win. Except, of course, that the slogan is ridiculous: People pay taxes in non-civilized places too! Any time anyone can make himself boss, he takes a cut of everything he can. And there’s a name for that – taxes! Let me throw out another question: Is the United States ten times more civilized than it was a hundred years ago? Have the crime rates really fallen by 90 percent? Well, we’re paying about ten times as much in taxes – shouldn’t they? Here’s an even better example: Communist China had an effective tax rate that approached 100% under Mao. Were they the most civilized society that ever existed? Indeed, I could pull out the old history book and find plenty of other great examples where the level of taxation and the level of civilization had absolutely no correlation to each other. Let’s get this straight: Rulers tax as much and as often as they can. And this statement is confirmed by every single page of the history of the world. The mark of a civilized society is that it can restrain rulers and their take of production. Taxes are not the price of civilization. They are the price we pay for our unwillingness to control government. Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.com [“Are Taxes the Price of Civilization?” s an excerpt from Paul Rosenberg’s book, Mindless Slogans – 101 Cheap Substitutes for Actual Thought]last_img read more

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The EU continues its chainsaw juggling act The au

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first_imgThe EU continues its chainsaw juggling act. The austerity pledge from France is holding about as well as its Maginot Line, while Greece has sworn to meet its fiscal targets in 2014 2015 2016 soon, and the Italians promise they’re going to kick some serious fiscal butt as soon as the country returns from holiday. Spain reassures that it will squarely confront its need to raise worker productivity whenever the unions call an end to protests against austerity. And the Portuguese high court ruled it is unconstitutional for civil servants to work for less than twice the wages of their private-sector counterparts. This chronic “the sky is falling” in the EU had induced investor news-cycle fatigue and rendered last year’s black-swan threat level from red to this year’s collective yawn… … until Cyprus tossed another chainsaw into the act. The Cyprus looting of private wealth was a cold-shower reminder of the tenuous security of assets that are concentrated within reach of a single government – doubly true of nations in a desperate fiscal situation whose financial sector is about to topple. DepositorCreditor The blatant theft of depositor money in Cypriot banks was at first peddled as a one-off emergency measure. Then a Freudian slip by the head of the Eurogroup finance ministers, Mr. Dijsselbloem, suggested this would be the new pattern for similar future events. Much back-pedaling and “clarification” ensued. But don’t bother squinting as you try to read the lips of mumbling bureaucrats. Just follow what they’re doing and you won’t get blindsided. What have they been up to? In October 2011, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) – a tentacle of the Bank for International Settlements, the central bank for central bankers – released a report that proposed a new regime to resolve financial-institution instability. In the report, the FSB calls for solvency support for banks without taxpayer exposure and the allocation of losses to shareholders and unsecured and uninsured creditors. Deposits at a bank are considered a loan, and if a bank fails, its depositors become unsecured creditors for amounts that exceed the insurable limit. It gets worse. To protect the integrity of the financial system, controls on both endogenous (the bank itself) and exogenous (other firms and cross-border cooperation) capital movement can be implemented. This is exactly what happened in Cyprus. To prevent capital flight out of the banking system, the movement of money out of or between banks was restricted, as well as capital sent outside the country. The G20 has fully endorsed the plan, and its implementation is complete or under way in member jurisdictions. The US is a G20 member, so don’t kid yourself into believing it can’t happen in America. It can and will. The Cyprus event has been carefully framed as an anomaly when in fact it is part of a well-orchestrated script. In the Year of Our Overlord 1 AF January 1, 2014, will mark the start of Year 1 AF – “after FATCA.” In the run-up to the US reporting regime’s full implementation, many foreign banks have opted not to accept US persons as clients, and we can see why. FATCA is a huge burden on foreign financial institutions in terms of time and resources needed to identify, track, and report on their US clients. Today, it is nearly impossible to find a foreign bank that will open an account for an American without them visiting the bank and delivering a stack of notarized paperwork to prove they are who they say they are. Other banks that had welcomed US persons have suspended doing so in anticipation that further demands on their time will be announced. In fact, one bank we spoke with during our research on internationalization has done just that. Lloyds TSB has stopped opening accounts for Americans, pending a review of FATCA later this year. Our contact at the bank did not sound optimistic that the policy would be reversed. This is a trend we expect will gain traction. And as if Americans seeking to internationalize weren’t already facing stiff headwinds, a recent leak of internal documents linked to offshore entities will likely add some force. In early April, millions of emails and other records were leaked with information on thousands of account and company owners in the British Virgin Islands, a popular offshore banking center. The leak exposed several high-profile clients that are allegedly “hiding” assets from their home tax authorities. This is just the kind of news that will embolden the offshore-means-tax-evasion governmenteers to twist the reporting screws a little bit tighter. When Is Now The incremental creep of crises continues to aggravate the financial landscape and provokes increasingly desperate responses from Western governments, particularly the US. Yet in spite of all the words unleashed and regulations imposed against offshore investing, it remains unquestionably legal. How long it will continue to be legal is questionable. Is it easy? No. But neither is getting your luggage and shoes through airport security. The situation for the easy movement of capital and assets across borders is dire, but it is not hopeless if you have the right information. FATCA has effectively acted as stealth capital controls, as the regulations dissuade foreign financial institutions from doing business with Americans, discouraging all but the most persistent investors from pursuing an international wealth preservation strategy. As the pieces come together, a clear picture emerges: Americans are just one financial crisis away from triggering the provisions of the G20-backed FSB financial resolution regime. And that almost certainly will include restrictions on the movement of capital. Once your money is trapped inside the US, any type of concocted emergency “tax” can be imposed on your wealth. Additional taxes are just one of many steps your home government can take to grab a share of your hard-earned wealth. Wise investors disperse their assets internationally to minimize this risk, and though it’s getting late in the game, there’s still time for you to join them. You can learn about moving your cash offshore… setting up an offshore LLC… investing in international stock markets… and internationalizing yourself, including getting a second passport. It’s all available in an information-packed special report titled Going Global 2013. You won’t find a better resource for internationalizing your life and your assets. Get started today.last_img read more

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The new book titled GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso—re

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first_imgThe new book titled #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso—reformed petty thief and CEO of a $100 million online clothing store—is the latest “live and work as I do if you want to succeed” book from a string of brand-building female executives. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has women “leaning in,” while Arianna Huffington’s sleep crusade marches on in her latest book, Thrive. Now, I should confess that I haven’t actually read any of these books; one of my team members gave me the recap. However, I have had another female executive on my mind: Ms. C. Ms. C heads up a certain real estate investment trust (REIT)—I’ll call it “Company V”—which Money Forever chief analyst Andrey Dashkov and I featured in the latest edition of Money Forever. So while she might not have a cult following or million-dollar book deal, she’s our gal—and for good reason: As Company V’s CEO for the last 15 years, Ms. C has boosted its market capitalization from $200 million to $19 billion. Under her leadership, Company V’s compound annual total shareholder return topped 28% for 14 years running, and it was named one of the top performing, publicly traded financial companies during the first decade of this century. As Andrey puts it, Ms. C has molded Company V into a “rock-solid business with an investment-grade credit rating, robust balance sheet, and reliable dividend history.” On top of that, Ms. C has received countless accolades from the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and a parade of other institutions. Plus, she practiced real estate, corporate and finance law, and sits on the Board of Trustees for the University of Chicago. When asked about her professional achievements in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Ms. C attributed her drive to her working-class Pittsburg upbringing. As the daughter of immigrant parents—a mailman and housewife—Ms. C said, “[T]here was always so much more for me to aspire to: in terms of education, in terms of seeing the world, in terms of working hard and achieving things. And so that drive comes from the kind of upbringing that I had.” After announcing she wanted to be a lawyer, Ms. C’s father took her to watch a trial headed by one of the few lawyers he knew, a criminal defense lawyer whose son later became her husband. Ms. C praised her Italian father in the Chicago Tribune article, saying, “It was very unusual in that time, in that socioeconomic environment, very working-class and ethnic, that he would be what I would call a feminist. He would never call it that, but he was so supportive of my sister and me, and that was really rare.” Sounds like my kind of dad. OK, you get the point: this is an up-by-her-bootstraps, highly qualified CEO who puts shareholders first—a woman I imagine my wife and daughters would be happy to know.Profiting from an Aging Population People age 65 and over are expected to make up 19% of the US population by 2030—up from 12.4% in 2000. And it’s no secret that this demographic will demand more and more access to health care. Company V is tapping into this expanding need: It operates healthcare-related facilities, including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, senior housing, and medical office buildings at over 1,500 properties in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Let me back up, though, and review REITs in general. Publicly traded REITs, which are traded just like any other stock, allow people like you and me to invest in large-scale, income-producing real estate without the headache of actually holding illiquid physical property. To be considered a REIT, 75% of a corporation’s income must come from real estate in some form or another. Company V’s portfolio, for example, includes medical office building operations, senior living operations, and triple-net lease operations, whereby tenants cover taxes, insurance payments, maintenance, and repairs in addition to the rent. Ms. C has a proven track record over of managing these holdings profitably over the last 15 years. A word of caution is also in order here: not all REITs are investment worthy. Their profits depend on managing their properties well and keeping costs under control. Andrey and I culled a long list before landing on Company V. If you are considering buying in to a REIT, you should research it thoroughly as well.The Rule of 90 One happy quirk of REITs is that they are required to distribute at least 90% of the taxable income to shareholders each year via dividends. On the flip side, they can also deduct these payouts from their corporate-level taxes. We’re happy to report that Company V has a stellar dividend history: 9% compound annual dividend growth over the past 14 years. Andrey put together the chart below to show its dividend growth since 2Q11. Now, you’re probably wondering why I don’t just come out with it. Who is Ms. C and what is Company V? And of course I’m chomping at the bit to tell you, but that wouldn’t be fair to the thousands of folks who subscribe to our monthly newsletter. So we have a seamless way for you to count yourself among them without any risk to your pocketbook whatsoever. Sign up for a 3-month trial subscription and read Andrey’s in-depth write-up on Company V. You’ll get immediate access to our complete portfolio, our full library of special reports, and all of our back issues. Read through the material, and if our breed of high-yield-meets-low-risk investing isn’t for you, just call or write within 90 days, and we’ll return every penny you paid. What’s more, if you change your mind after 90 days we’ll prorate your refund, no questions asked. In other words, we couldn’t make it any easier. Click here to subscribe to Money Forever now.On the Lighter Side Congratulations to Germany on winning the World Cup. As Jo and I walked into a sports bar for dinner, the closing ceremonies were playing on several of the television sets. What an exciting ending! Those have to be some of the best-conditioned athletes on the planet. Wow! And finally… A couple cute of sayings about aging: I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one. Aspire to inspire before you expire. Until next week…last_img read more

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In This Issue   Jobless claims at 8 year low

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first_imgIn This Issue. *  Jobless claims at 8 year low *  New home sales plummet *  Dollar up across the board *  Kiwi got crushed And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. In a holding pattern until next week. Good Day. And welcome to Friday morning. The weekend is nearly upon us and it couldn’t have gotten here fast enough. We were having issues with the server yesterday so I apologize if the Pfennig arrived late or if you received a duplicate copy. Aaron yelled over to me yesterday morning and said the title of the Pfennig was very appropriate since he got it twice. Anyway, the headlines were rather plentiful, so let’s jump right in. We had an active day not only in the currency market but we also had a decent load of data to pick through as well. The print which really got things moving was the weekly jobless claims. The expected result among many economists was for a slight rise to 307k from the previously reported figure of 302k, so it was largely being brushed off as a snoozer. Well, things didn’t go exactly as planned. Instead, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to 284k, which was the lowest level since Feb 2006. The less volatile four week average fell to 302k, which was the lowest since May 2007, from the previous reading of 309,250. There was also improvement in continuing claims as we them fall to a seven year low of 2.5 million. News of these improvements really woke up those in the interest rates are going higher soon that we think camp. Anyway, the Labor Department said there was nothing unusual or special factors influencing the data, but indicated jobless claims then to be volatile around this time of the year due to automakers retooling plants which often requires a shut down. With that being said, a few analysts are pointing to the red hot auto industry as the reason we saw such improvement and ultimately lends itself to the question as to whether this will be a temporary thing. Just to give you an idea, the states of Michigan and Ohio were among those who experienced the largest decrease in claims. Given that coincidence, some think this report actually gives more credence to manufacturing than the labor market. July is typically an off month for auto manufacturing since many plants shut down for at least a couple weeks to re-tool for the new models. It doesn’t look like that is happening this summer since demand has been crazy, which may have contributed to this anomaly. I don’t want to discount the fact that this is a big positive for the labor market, but I think a more pragmatic approach is still needed before we start saying employment is officially in the clear and out of the woods. On the flip side, we had June new home sales show quite a bit of disappointment. First, let me set this up for you. The initial expectations were calling for sales to come in at annual pace of 475k. Instead, new home sales fell 8.1% in June to 406k and marked the biggest decline since June 2013. More disturbing, though, was the downward revision to May’s number. If you recall, the original numbers from May were very good and had many crowing about the housing market. At the end of the day, the May reading saw the largest ever downward revision as sales were reduced from 504k down to 442k, which was over a 12% revision. The next logical question is why the large correction. Sales of new homes are counted when the purchase contract is signed, so what’s happening between contract signing and actual closing. I wasn’t able to come across any explanations, but I’m sure financing, or a breakdown thereof, would be a central candidate. New homes only account for about 7.5% of the housing market so it’s a fairly small piece of the pie but disturbing news in what has otherwise been a bright spot. In other news, the KC Fed manufacturing report came in better and falls in line with many of the other regional reports showing expansion. In other manufacturing numbers, we also had the Markit Economics preliminary index of US manufacturing moderate a bit in July from the four year high in June, but still showing a decent trend of expansion. Speaking of the Markit reports and a nice segue into currencies, Chuck had this to share with us: “Don’t know if you saw this, but HSBC/ Markit published their version of Chinese manufacturing Index (PMI) on Thursday afternoon, and showed that the index has risen to 52. A 51 was the estimate, and the previous month’s index number was 50.7.. So, all in all , it’s just another brick in the Wall.   Remember it was me that told you not to listen to all those that said China’s economy would have already collapsed by now, and that I believed the economy had troughed in the 2nd QTR.  So, given that, I take this time to slap myself on the back, and move on to other things. The Chinese renminbi/ yuan did react favorably to the news, and that was a good thing. Fundamentals have left the market, as everything is Central Bank driven these days, but for once, a fundamental moved a currency! YAHOO!  Now. back to our regularly scheduled programming, and here’s Mike!” Thanks Chuck. Seeing that Chinese manufacturing index at an 18 month high was good news for the global economy. The dollar buying bias has remained with us all day long, albeit muted against all currencies except for the New Zealand dollar. The euro was down in early trading after we saw all of the US data, but recovered nicely and ended the day right where it began. We definitely saw more volatility in the markets yesterday as the euro had a range of 50 basis points between the high and low, but trading was still on the flatter side. Chuck sent more thoughts my way, so here’s what he had to say: “I received some info from a chart guru, and well known analyst, who used to be with RBC, TJ Marta, yesterday. and his charts tell him that the euro is showing signs of bottoming, with momentum oversold, and RSI (relative strength index) up from low since May. He thinks the short term move could be 1 to 1.8%…  the same kind of stuff holds true for the New Zealand dollar / kiwi, so there you have the view from the charts guru.  Long time readers know that I’m not sold on charts, but do believe that they can help explain moves.  So, here’s to the charts on these two currencies!” Its Mike again. Speaking of the New Zealand dollar, it just couldn’t pick itself up off the mat after getting caught with a right hook square in the jaw. As I mentioned yesterday, the central bank went very dovish on us so the kiwi finished up in last place with a 1.5% loss. Just to give you an idea, the second to worst currency was the Aussie with a loss of 35 basis points. The straw that stirred the drink were the several references made as to how high the kiwi is right now. Comments such as unjustified strength of the currency and unsustainable used as descriptions for the currency pretty much did it in. Concern about the strength of the kiwi is nothing new as it seems like policy makers take every opportunity they can to jawbone the currency lower, but this time, they got the desired kneejerk reaction. With that said, the kiwi has strengthened its case as a destination for carry trade funds so we could see a pattern of buying on dips emerge. As I hit on earlier, the Aussie came in second place from the bottom but that was mainly due to sympathy pains to the kiwi. Not only that, a 30 something basis point loss isn’t exactly horrible. Inflation came in higher than expected so that has traders backing away from any rate calls in Australia. At the end of the day, we were back to the view interest rates in the US will be heading upward sooner than the general consensus. I think its safe to say that interest rates will go higher in the US before the Eurozone or Japan, but we’re still a long way off before that’s even a twinkly in the eye for Janet Yellen. Anyway, we also had July manufacturing surprise on the upside in the Eurozone but retail sales in the UK were lower than initial estimates. I think a lot of the hesitation in the markets this week has to do with what’s on tap next week for US data. We have some heavy hitting info such as second quarter GDP, a Fed meeting, and the July jobs number. I don’t think too many want to be heavily weighted on one side or the other heading into next week. As I came in this morning, it looks as though the market has already closed up shop for the weekend. The New Zealand dollar is still dealing with the hangover associated with central bank, but its only down 30 basis points so far this morning. A gauge of German business confidence came in a bit lower than expected as it fell to 108 from 109.7 in June, which was the third consecutive decline. The Ifo index still remains relatively healthy but higher geopolitical tensions and questions about Eurozone growth. Gold prices took a hit yesterday but still remains below $1,300 so far this morning as the better economic data from the US, and abroad for that matter, trumped all and had traders reducing safe haven exposure. As we wrap it up, the dollar is moving in an upward trajectory heading into next week. To recap. The weekly jobless claims fell to the lowest level since Feb 2006, but is this for real. Some have doubts as to whether this can be sustained. New home sales were a major disappointment not only on the current number but the previous month’s reading saw a record setting downward revision. Manufacturing in the US, as well as globally for that matter, has shown sign of improvement. The New Zealand dollar just couldn’t get back into the ring after the central bank’s knockout punch, in the way of dovish comments, following the meeting. Next week could see an increase in volatility with all of the US data. Currencies today 7/25/14. American Style: A$ .9403, kiwi .8550, C$ .9297, euro 1.3445, sterling 1.6981, Swiss $1.1068 . European Style: rand 10.5294, krone 6.1984, SEK 6.8147, forint 229.18, zloty 3.0811, koruna 20.412, RUB 35.0725, yen 101.90, sing 1.2405, HKD 7.75, INR 60.0750, China 6.1597, pesos 12.9624, BRL 2.2202, Dollar Index 80.942, Oil $101.97, 10-year 2.51%, Silver $20.41, Platinum $1,472.50, Palladium $872.20, and Gold. $1,295.75 That’s it for today. Well, we made it through another one and its tough to fathom next week will take us into the month of August. Today is the first day of training camp for my St. Louis Rams so just another reminder summer is slipping away. Again, I want to apologize for any inconveniences about receiving two Pfennigs yesterday, but this does it for me as Chris takes over on Monday and I believe Chuck is back in the saddle on Tuesday. I’ll get out of your hair and let you enjoy the weekend, so until next time, Have a Great Day! Mike Meyer Assistant Vice President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more

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The US Food and Drug Administration just approve

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first_imgThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration just approved one of the most sought after vaccines in recent decades. It’s the world’s first vaccine to prevent dengue fever — a disease so painful that its nickname is “breakbone fever.”The vaccine, called Dengvaxia, is aimed at helping children in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories where dengue is a problem.But this vaccine has a dark — and deadly — history. One that has led to criminal charges in the Philippines, sparked national panic and fueled a massive measles outbreak that has already killed more than 355 people.The concern That story begins on a stage in Manila in 2016.A young girl, about age 9 or 10, sat on a chair surrounded by health officials. She wore a bright yellow T-shirt with the words “Dengue is dangerous” across it. She squeezed her eyes and bit her lip as the health secretary of the Philippines, Dr. Janette Garin, gave her a shot in the arm.That shot launched a massive vaccine campaign to inoculate nearly 1 million schoolchildren with Dengvaxia. The goal was to save thousands of kids’ lives and prevent an estimated 10,000 hospitalizations over a five-year period.But in the end, estimates are that more than 100,000 Philippine children received a vaccine that health officials say increased their risk of a severe and sometimes deadly condition. In addition, other children who received the vaccine may have been endangered because, their parents alleged, they were not in good health.The French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur spent 20 years — and about $2 billion — to develop Dengvaxia. The company tested it in several large trials with more than 30,000 kids globally and published the results in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.But halfway around the world from the Philippines, in a Washington, D.C., suburb, one scientist was worried about the new vaccine.”When I read the New England Journal article, I almost fell out of my chair,” says Dr. Scott Halstead, who has studied dengue for more than 50 years with the U.S. military. When Halstead looked at the vaccine’s safety data in the clinical trial, he knew right away there was a problem.For some children, the vaccine didn’t seem to work. In fact, Halstead says, it appeared to be harmful. When those kids caught dengue after being vaccinated, the vaccine appeared to worsen the disease in some instances. Specifically, for children who had never been exposed to dengue, the vaccine seemed to increase the risk of a deadly complication called plasma leakage syndrome, in which blood vessels start to leak the yellow fluid of the blood.”Then everything gets worse, and maybe it’s impossible to save your life,” Halstead says. “A child can go into shock.””The trouble is that the disease occurs very rapidly, just in a matter of a few hours,” he adds. “And there’s nothing on the outside of the body to signify the person is leaking fluid on the inside.”The complication is rare, says Halstead. Still, he was so worried about the safety concerns that he wrote at least six editorials for scientific journals. He even made a video to warn the Philippine government about the problem.”I just think, ‘No, you can’t give a vaccine to a perfectly normal, healthy person and then put them at an increased risk for the rest of their lives for plasma leakage syndrome,’ ” Halstead says. “You can’t do that.”The vaccine manufacturer disagreed with Halstead’s interpretation of the study’s results. The company wrote a rebuttal, asserting that regulatory agencies had approved Dengvaxia “on the basis of the vaccine’s proven protection and acceptable safety profile.”The company also said it would perform additional studies to “further access the safety, efficacy and effectiveness” of the vaccine.Despite these concerns, in July 2016, the World Health Organization went ahead and recommended the vaccine for all children ages 9 to 16.”Yes, we did. It was what we call a ‘conditional recommendation’ with the emphasis to minimize potential risks,” says Dr. Joachim Hombach, who led WHO’s review of the vaccine. “We saw the problems. We also clearly pointed to the data gaps.”WHO recommended that Sanofi do more experiments to better understand the vaccine’s safety issues. In its assessment, WHO pointed out that the vaccine “may be ineffective or may theoretically even increase the future risk of [being] hospitalized or severe dengue illness” in people who have never been exposed to dengue — which is about 10% to 20% of Philippine children.WHO’s recommendation came three months after the Philippines launched its mass vaccination campaign in April 2016.A year and half later, that campaign came to a screeching halt.The problemIn November 2017, Sanofi published an announcement on its website saying it had new information about Dengvaxia’s safety.Halstead’s fears were confirmed. Sanofi had found evidence that the vaccine increases the risk of hospitalization and cytoplasmic leakage syndrome in children who had no prior exposure to dengue, regardless of age. “For individuals who have not been previously infected by dengue virus, vaccination should not be recommended,” the company wrote.Panic hit the Philippines. In news reports, parents said that the vaccine contributed to the deaths of 10 children. Protests erupted. The Congress of the Philippines launched investigations into the vaccine’s purchase and the immunization campaign. And Philippine health officials started performing autopsies on children who died after receiving the vaccine. “In total, the deaths of about 600 children who received Dengvaxia are under investigation by the Public Attorney’s Office, ” the South China Morning Post reported last month. Investigators have not yet released their results.Here’s the problem with Dengvaxia.Typically, a vaccine works by triggering the immune system to make antibodies against the virus. These antibodies then fight off the virus during an infection.But dengue is a tricky virus. Dengue antibodies don’t always protect a person. In fact, these antibodies can make an infection worse. The dengue virus actually uses the antibodies to help it spread through the body. So a second infection with dengue — when your blood already has antibodies in it — can actually be worse than the first; a person is at a higher risk of severe complications like plasma leakage syndrome.In its follow-up study, Sanofi found evidence that Dengvaxia acts like the first infection for a person who has not been previously infected. The body produces antibodies against the vaccine, which have a similar potential for harm.The increased risk seems small. The vaccine raises the risk of hospitalization after a dengue infection from about 1.1% to 1.6%, the follow-up study from Sanofi found. So out of 1 million kids in the Philippines, the vaccine would cause about 1,000 to be hospitalized over five years, Sanofi estimated. (On the other hand, the vaccine would prevent about 12,000 hospitalizations for a new dengue infection in children who have had a prior dengue infection during this same time period.)But in the world of vaccines, that’s not an acceptable risk. A risk needs to be exceedingly small to be tolerated. For example, with the measles vaccine, the risk of encephalitis is about 1 in 1 million, or 1,000 times less than the risk from a measles infection, WHO says.WHO eventually changed its recommendation. The agency now says the vaccine is safe only for children who have had a prior dengue infection.By the time Sanofi acknowledged this problem with the vaccine, about 800,000 Philippine children had been vaccinated. The Sanofi study estimated that more than 100,000 of them had never been infected with dengue and should not have received the shot, according to WHO’s revised recommendation.Given the concerns by Halstead and the initial unknowns about the vaccine’s safety, Philippine parents should have been warned about a potential risk, says Dr. Isabel Rodriguez at the University of California, San Francisco.”What bothers me most about this story is risk communication,” says Rodriguez, who studies dengue in South America. “There was a lot of uncertainty from the beginning [about the vaccine’s safety]. That needed to be communicated explicitly. You need to be honest about what evidence is out there.”Dr. Su-Peing Ng, global medical head of Sanofi Pasteur, says the company followed all World Health Organization guidelines while developing the vaccine and communicated honestly throughout the process. “We’ve always been very transparent in sharing the results of our research,” Ng says. “And I just want to stress that we have full confidence in our vaccine as it’s been approved by regulatory agencies in over 20 countries.”In hindsight, Ng says, Sanofi wouldn’t do anything differently with the development of the vaccine: “No, we have been very, very close to the research community, working closely with them over the last 20 years in the effort to find a solution for public health needs.”The repercussionsIn April, the Philippine government indicted 14 government officials over the deaths of 10 children who received the Dengvaxia vaccine. The government said the officials acted with “undue haste” in procuring the vaccine and launching the mass immunization campaign. The Philippine Department of Justice said the campaign started before the clinical trials were finishedIn some instances children were given the vaccine by untrained health workers and allegedly without a proper physical beforehand. Some children allegedly had preexisting medical conditions that made the immunization dangerous. But these children were still inoculated, the government found.Six Sanofi officials were also indicted for not properly helping children who had serious reactions to the shot. Sanofi disputes this and other allegations, adding in a written statement to NPR: “We strongly disagree with the DOJ’s findings made against Sanofi’s officials (current and past) and we will vigorously defend them. There is no clinical evidence that any reported fatalities were causally related to vaccination.”We diligently monitor the safety of people participating in clinical studies. We are also performing pharmacovigilance activities and continuously monitoring the safety profile of the vaccine in a real-world setting, including the Philippines.”Regardless of how these trials turn out, the debacle in the Philippines offers a key lesson for governments and manufacturers when it comes to approving and selling new vaccines: Slow down, says physician and bioethicist Keymanthri Moodley. Mistakes with vaccines can erode the public’s trust and have long-term consequences for the health of an entire country.”When a vaccine goes wrong, it creates fear and anxiety in terms of the public, especially the parents,” says Moodley, who directs the Centre for Medical Ethics & Law at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. “That fear can impact negatively on the established immune programs that are actually safe and work very well.”Since the Dengvaxia controversy, the confidence in vaccines among Philippine parents has plummeted from 82% in 2015 to only 21% in 2018, a recent study found. Over that same time span, the proportion of parents who strongly believe vaccines are important has fallen from 93% to 32%.As result, vaccine coverage for childhood diseases in the Philippines, such as the measles, has dropped, WHO says. And the Philippines is now facing a large measles outbreak, with more than 26,000 cases and more than 355 deaths during 2019.Here in the U.S., the approval of the vaccine — to be used in Puerto Rico, U.S. British Virgin Islands and Guam — comes with an important restriction: Doctors must have proof of a prior dengue infection to ensure the vaccine will not pose any risks to the child. That’s a safeguard Philippine families never had. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

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Metrohm Raman introduces Mira P handheld Raman system

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first_imgOct 17 2018Metrohm Raman is pleased to present the Mira P handheld Raman system. Mira P features the capability of building verification models. One example of the application of verification models is the real-time qualitative analysis of edible oils. Mira P evaluates edible oils precisely and efficiently, giving customers and producers confidence in the quality of their oil product. In controlled tests, Mira P successfully verified 16 different edible oils, with excellent and reliable results. Related StoriesMetrohm’s new ID Kit enables fast, easy, and accurate detection of heroin and other opioidsMetrohm offers standardized methods to measure critical parameters for wastewater analysis in treatment plantsMetrohm offers robust handheld Raman analyzer for Defense and SecurityThe global edible oil market is anticipated to witness substantial growth, especially for unrefined, healthy, and organic oils. Indeed, edible oils are among the most widely used ingredients by food production and skincare industries.Facile verification of edible oils Raman is an ideal technique for evaluation of many different materials and can be used to identify and indicate the adulteration of edible oils. With Mira P from Metrohm Raman, real-time qualitative analysis of edible oils is precise and efficient. Mira P, equipped with ORS technology, has been used to verify the identities of sixteen different edible oils, despite their very small spectral differences. Mira P is capable of accurate verification with customized training sets and PCA analysis. For verification of known substances, PCA analysis is a powerful statistical method that provides instant visual PASS/FAIL results supported by p-values. In seconds, Mira P confirms the identity of high quality ingredients, enabling producers to protect their product and their brand.Advantages of using Mira P as your verification method: Robust, portable system for material identification and verification Ease of use with maximum safety and reliable results within seconds Custom libraries, operating procedures, and training sets for specific testing needs Analysis is fast and nondestructive, requiring no sample preparation Various attachments for all of various sampling situations Fully compliant with FDA, EU, ASTM, USP and NIST standardscenter_img Source:https://www.metrohm.com/last_img read more

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Ford recalls electric car power cables due to fire risk

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first_imgThis Feb. 14, 2013, file photo shows a hybrid logo on the back of a Ford Fusion hybrid automobile at the 2013 Pittsburgh Auto Show in Pittsburgh. Ford is recalling the charging cords for more than 50,000 plug-in hybrid and electric cars in North America because they could cause fires in electrical outlets. The company says the 120-volt cords came with certain 2012 through 2015 Focus electrics and some 2013 through 2015 Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) Citation: Ford recalls electric car power cables due to fire risk (2018, August 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-ford-recalls-electric-car-power.html The company says the 120-volt cords came with certain 2012 through 2015 Focus electrics and some 2013 through 2015 Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids.Ford says plugging the cords into outlets that aren’t on a dedicated circuit or are on damaged, worn or corroded circuits could cause wall outlets to overheat.The company says it has reports of four fires involving C-Max cords, but no injuries. In three of the fires, owners used extension cords, which Ford says it tells owners not to do. In the fourth fire, Ford says the cause was inconclusive but it does not believe the blaze was related to the cord.Dealers will replace the cords with ones that can sense high temperatures and shut off charging if necessary. Owners will be notified by letters starting next week.Ford says owners can keep using the original cords but should follow owners-manual instructions that spell out requirements for wall outlets.. Ford recalls nearly 412K SUVs to fix fuel leaks Explore furthercenter_img © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Ford is recalling the charging cords for more than 50,000 plug-in hybrid and electric cars in North America because they could cause fires in electrical outlets. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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TMJ hints Khairy may play in new JDT stadiums curtainraiser

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first_img Related News Football 06 Jul 2019 JDT continues winning streak as they beat Perak 3-0 Football 10 Jul 2019 Flu floors JDT players, game postponed Related News JOHOR BARU: Football fans can expect football superstars to feature in another all-star match soon, which could even feature former youth and sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin.In a Facebook post on Friday (July 12), Johor Crown Prince Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim said the match would be organised to commemorate the opening the new Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) stadium.He also said that he could not wait to play together with Khairy at the during official opening of the new stadium.”You have contributed tremendously in sports and serving the country,” he said. AdChoices广告Tunku Ismail also posted a picture of him with his arm around Khairy, who was holding up six fingers to signify the number of consecutive Malaysian Super League titles the Southern Tigers had won.JDT last held a charity all-stars match at the Larkin Stadium on June 30, which featured football legends such as Rivaldo, Bebeto, Florence Malouda, Robert Pires, Louis Saha, David Trezeguet and Marco Materazzi, among others.The match successfully raised RM680,000 for various charities, including the Tunku Laksamana Johor Cancer Foundation.JDT will be moving to the new 40,000-seater Sultan Ibrahim Larkin Stadium in Iskandar Puteri early next year.It will replace JDT’s current 30,000-seater Tan Sri Datuk Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium, which is popularly known as the Larkin Stadium. Football 10 Jul 2019 Durakovic keeps defenders awake as Giants loom {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

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