Premier League fixtures released

first_imgThe Premier League fixtures have now been released with new Arsenal boss Unai Emery set for a challenging first game in charge against the defending champions Manchester City at the EmiratesLife after Arsene Wenger looks set to be a challenging start for the Gunners in this new era with a trip to Stamford Bridge to face former champions Chelsea coming straight after playing against Pep Guardiola’s men.Meanwhile, last season’s runners-up, Manchester United, will host Leicester City at Old Trafford with third-placed Tottenham set to travel to St James’ Park to face off against Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle United side.Manuel Pellegrini looks set to face a difficult start at West Ham United against last season’s Champions League runners-up Liverpool.The newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers will host Everton in what will be their first Premier League game in six years and fellow promoted side Cardiff City are set to travel to Bournemouth for their first game.norwich city, manchester city, premier leagueReport: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…Play-off winners Fulham will host Crystal Palace.? Announcing the 2018/19 Matchweek 1 #PLfixturesFull list ? https://t.co/iQKSN9XtKw pic.twitter.com/N5BOj8oVN0— Premier League (@premierleague) June 14, 2018last_img read more

Alisson on Liverpool move I feel at home already

first_imgLiverpool new signing Alisson Becker is already feeling at “home” in his new surroundings after completing his first training session at the clubThe Reds announced the shock signing of Alisson for a transfer fee of £66.8m (72.5m euros), in what is a world record fee for a goalkeeper.While Alisson couldn’t make the team’s preseason tour of the United States, after having an extended summer vacation following his participation with Brazil at the World Cup, he has now trained with his new teammates for the first time on Tuesday at the club’s five-day training camp in Evian, France.“It has been a great day which I had been looking forward to,”Alisson told the club website.“I’ve had a good few resting days with my family but we all couldn’t wait to get the new season underway soon.“It’s only my first day and I feel at home already.”? @Alissonbecker ? pic.twitter.com/aK9EAcDXDC— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 31, 2018Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United. Last season’s Champions League runners-up will face Torino at Anfield on August 7 in their final pre-season friendly, before they take on West Ham United in their Premier League opener just five days later.“Although these two weeks don’t seem like a long time, it’s enough for us to be ready for our first game against West Ham,” said Allison.“We’ll play two friendlies before this game and I’m sure the hard work the squad have put in so far is going to help me become a member of the squad as quickly as possible so that I am 100 percent ready for our first game to kick off the Premier League in a good way.“This initial training session has been useful for me to see what our playing style should be in the Premier League.“It’s also showed me that the team are very well adapted to it and everyone seems to be physically fit, not to say technically — they’re all great players after all.“I’m very happy to have them alongside me and to be a part of this project that Liverpool have and the great work they have been doing over recent years.“I hope I can help and bring something extra to the team.”last_img read more

Pellegrini wants Hammers to never underestimate Wimbledon

first_imgWest Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has warned his players not to underestimate AFC Wimbledon ahead of their FA Cup clash on Saturday.The Hammers are expected to field a lineup which will be a mix of both experienced players and their younger teammates when they visit Kingsmeadow.Wimbledon are on a poor run of form under new manager Wally Downes, but Pellegrini, who picked up his first win as West Ham boss at against the Dons in the League Cup, says they would be foolish to underestimate them.“All the teams when you start a competition must have that mentality to think you can do it,” he said, according to Evening Standard.declan rice, england, West ham UnitedReport: England’s Rice gets death threats George Patchias – September 9, 2019 England International Declan Rice has received death threats.Rice a one time Ireland International, switched allegiances only this year. The West Ham United man played for…“I remember the year before I arrived at Man City, Wigan won the cup but were relegated. It’s a different competition, just one game, anything can happen, our mentality if to continue as far as we can.”“For us to continue in the FA Cup we will make a big mistake if we think we are going to beat Wimbledon because they are in a bad moment or because they lost their last game, FA Cup is a different competition, everyone wants to demonstrate that they are able to continue.”last_img read more

Apple ditches five mineral suppliers over failure to pass human rights audits

first_img CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $999 Best Buy See it See It Tags Apple Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? $999 $999 Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Boost Mobile Mobile Tech Industry See It Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors • 4 Sprint Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Apple removed five mineral suppliers.  Angela Lang/CNET Apple removed five smelters and refiners from is supply chain for failing to pass or not being willing to participate in human rights audits, according to its 2018 Conflict Minerals Report filed on Friday.In 2018, the iPhone maker identified eight potential incidents “involving the police in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and/or the DRC army in connection with a variety of alleged illicit activities,” the report said. Three incidents have closed while five remain open with investigations in progress, though details weren’t provided in the report.”Apple is deeply committed to upholding human rights across its global network of suppliers,” the company wrote in the report. “Through its strict supplier standards, Apple commits to use minerals in its products that do not directly or indirectly finance armed conflict or benefit armed groups.”More than 250 smelters and refiners in Apple’s supply chain passed the company’s auditing process in 2018.This isn’t Apple’s first time letting go of suppliers. The company in 2017 removed 10 smelters and refiners for the same reasons, according to its 2017 Conflict Minerals Report. In January 2018, China Labour Watch allegedly discovered an Apple supplier was paying workers low wages and letting them work long hours in an unsafe environment. Apple sent auditors to verify the claims following the report. First published on Feb. 15, 10:02 a.m. PT.Updates, 1:31 p.m. PT: Adds more background information.  Apple iPhone XS Share your voice Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) See It reading • Apple ditches five mineral suppliers over failure to pass human rights audits See All Comments $999 Apple Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone Xlast_img read more

Firefoxs new logo is starting to arrive

first_imgThe new logo features an even more stylized, leg-less version of the fox.  Mozilla; Stephen Shankland/CNET Mozilla has released a new test version of its web browser that introduces the new Firefox logo and drops “Quantum” from its name.Mozilla long ago moved the Firefox icon to a more stylized look, but the newest version is another step away from the original drawing of a fox wrapped around the globe. Even though the fox’s face is now in view and its limbs have vanished, it’s still easily recognized.The new icon arrived over the weekend in version 70 of Firefox Nightly, the incarnation designed for people who want to test the latest features and who can put up with crashes or other problems. Firefox Nightly will settle down into a beta version in coming weeks, then into the main version everyone gets a few weeks after that — Oct. 20, according to Mozilla’s plans. The new logo should follow that course, said Tim Murray, creative director at Mozilla.The logo in Firefox Nightly has a different blue/purple color scheme. The regular Firefox will stick with the red, orange and yellow colors.A simplified new Firefox iconThis is what the regular Firefox logo will look like once today’s Nightly version matures enough for release to everyone. Mozilla The new version also will drop the “Quantum” label Mozilla has attached to the Firefox name since the November 2017 release of Firefox 57, Mozilla said. The Quantum signified a major effort to speed up Firefox to better compete with Google’s Chrome, which dominates browser usage. A number of Quantum programs rebuilt parts of Firefox’s engine, and one such change — the GPU-acclerated Quantum Render technology to display a web page once Firefox figures out what it’s supposed to look like — is still gradually spreading to more computer types. The project also was called WebRender.”Our goal is that WebRender will be the primary rendering engine for the Firefox Browser and we will continue to roll it out to additional platforms throughout the coming months,” said Jessie Bonisteel, a Firefox engineering manager.Mozilla’s newest challenge to Chrome centers on protecting your privacy online — for example, by blocking websites and online ads that try to track you. Chrome has lagged other browsers like Safari, Firefox and Brave in that regard.Firefox usage is gradually decreasing, at least based on statistics Mozilla gathers from people willing to share that data. However, use of Firefox’s new tracking protection is increasing. “Following our release of Enhanced Tracking Protection on by default, we’ve seen our share of users keeping ETP on all the time rise as well,” said Porfirio Landeros, Mozilla’s senior director of product marketing.First published Aug. 12.Update, Aug. 13: Adds more details about the new logo and Firefox’s changes. 1:38 Check out Firefox’s new content-blocking tools Post a comment 0 Firefox Mozillacenter_img Share your voice Computers Tags Now playing: Watch this:last_img read more

Sahara Group gets 3month breather from auction of its New York properties

first_imgSubrata Roy’s Sahara Group has got relief from a foreclosure auction of its two New York properties till June. Two brothers, who had given a $900-million loan refinance facility to the group and were keen on auctioning the properties next month to recover the money, have agreed to give three months to the Group, PTI reported, citing sources.Brothers David and Simon Reuben had extended the facility to enable refinance of a loan the group had taken from the Bank of China, which had held the three overseas properties of the embattled Group as collaterals. The three properties are Grosvenor House Hotel in London, and the two US hotels — the New York Plaza and Dream New York.The Sahara Group has about 75 percent stake in New York Plaza while the remaining 25 percent is with Prince Alwaleed bin-Talal of Saudi Arabia.The group’s chief, Subrata Roy, is in New Dehhi’s Tihar jail since March 2014 over a legal dispute with capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). The dispute pertains to over Rs 24,000 crore collected by two Sahara Group companies — Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL) — from over 3 crore investors through Optional Fully Convertible Debentures (OFCD) in an “illegal and unauthorised manner.” The group was directed by court to refund the amount to the investors along with an interest of 15 percent per annum.The group had initially furnished demand drafts for about Rs 5,120 crore, but failed to fully comply with further orders to deposit Rs 17,400 crore by February 2013, prompting contempt proceedings against them in the Supreme Court.”The record shows that at various stages the contemnors (Roy and other Group directors) gave the proposals for compliance with the directions which were explored from time to time, but eventually all these proposals were found to be unsatisfactory, yielding no tangible results. [sic]”This was perceived as stubborn attitude of the contemnors with sole intent to drag on the matter endlessly without complying with the orders. This attitude of the contemnors forced this Court to issue non-bailable warrants against Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara for his production and directing personal presence of the other three Directors in the Court on the date fixed, [sic]” the Supreme Court had said in its judgment dated June 19, 2015.The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices T S Thakur, Anil R Dave and A K Sikri had also said in their June 2015 judgment the total amount had “swelled to Rs 36,608 crore.”last_img read more

Join battle of vote to save independence says Fakhrul

first_imgBangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. File PhotoBangladesh Nationalist party (BNP) secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday said they have taken the 11th parliamentary elections as a challenge to defeat the current government together with people through a vote revolution, reports UNB.“When we can’t stand anywhere, express our views, and carry out any election campaign and our leaders and activists being sent to jail in false and fictitious cases, we’ve taken the election as a challenge,” he said.“We together with people who’re already united will defeat this monstrous regime,” he added.Speaking at a rally of lawyers, the BNP leader further said, “We’ve a little time in our hands. If we want to save the nation, Bangladesh’s independence, and its people, it’s time for us to join the battle of vote with people and thus defeat them (govt).”He urged the Oikya Front leaders and activists to get ready for the election braving all the obstacles, repressive acts and plots. “We must stage a vote revolution together with people.”Jatiya Ainjibi Oikya Front arranged the programme on the Supreme Court premises with Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Zainul Abedin in the chair.last_img read more

AL picks candidates in 122 upazilas for polls

first_imgPrime minister Sheikh Hasina presides over a meeting of the Awami League Local Government Nomination Board at Ganabhaban in DHaka on Saturday. Photo: PIDRuling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) on Saturday finalised its candidates for the chairmen posts in the third phase of upazila parishad polls in 122 upazilas.The nominations were finalised at a meeting of the AL’s local government nomination board held at Ganabhaban in the capital in the afternoon.AL local government election nomination board chairperson and prime minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting.Other members of the board including Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Obaidul Quader, Abdur Razzak, Muhammad Faruk Khan, Dipu Moni and Abul Hasnat Abdullah attended the meeting.In the third phase, the elections to 127 upazila parishads in 17 districts of five divisions will be held on 24 March.Election commission (EC) joint secretary SM Asaduzzaman announced the detailed schedule of the third phase upazila polls at a press conference at Agargaon Nirbachan Bhaban on 14 February.According to the schedule, the deadline for nomination paper submission for the third phase polls has been set on 26 February.The scrutiny will be held on 28 February while the last date for candidature withdrawal is on 7 March, said the EC secretary.last_img read more

Southern Baptist Leader Removed Over Remarks On Rape Abuse Of Women

first_imgTom Strickland/APPaige Patterson, president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, speaks at a meeting in Indianapolis in 2004.Paige Patterson, who has been under fire for weeks over his past advice to women concerning marital abuse and rape, has been quietly replaced as president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.Patterson has been on the defensive since allegations surfaced that he once counseled women who suffered marital abuse to pray for their husbands. The Washington Post on Tuesday also reported an incident in which Patterson allegedly told a woman who said she had been raped to forgive her assailant rather than report the incident to police.“After much prayer and a more than 13-hour discussion regarding challenges facing the Institution, including those of enrollment, financial, leadership and institutional identity, the Board determined to move in the direction of new leadership for the benefit of the future mission of the Seminary,” the Board of Trustees said in a statement early Wednesday.The board said it voted to appoint Patterson as “President Emeritus with compensation, effective immediately, which he accepted.” In his place, it appointed D. Jeffrey Bingham, dean of the school of theology at the Fort Worth-based seminary, as interim president.The decision to remove Patterson, 75, came after an open letter signed by more than 2,000 Southern Baptist women expressing shock over Patterson’s statements and warning Southern Baptist Convention leaders not to allow “the biblical view of leadership to be misused in such a way that a leader with an unbiblical view of authority, womanhood, and sexuality be allowed to continue in leadership.”Days after the letter, Patterson issued “An Apology to God’s People” saying he was sorry “to every woman who has been wounded by anything I have said that was inappropriate or that lacked clarity.”“We live in a world of hurt and sorrow, and the last thing that I need to do is add to anyone’s heartache,” Patterson said in the statement. “Please forgive the failure to be as thoughtful and careful in my extemporaneous expression as I should have been.”As NPR’s Tom Gjelten reported earlier this month, in an interview Patterson gave in 2000, the religious leader recounted how he had told one woman, who had been assaulted by her husband, to simply pray for her spouse:“Returning some days later with two black eyes, the woman said, ‘I hope you’re happy,’ [Patterson said.]‘I said, ‘Yes, ma’am, I am happy,’ Patterson quoted himself as telling the woman. ‘What she didn’t know when we sat in church that morning,’ he said, ‘was that her husband had come in and was standing in back, first time he ever came.’Patterson had also been criticized for a sermon he gave in 2014 in which he said women were created by God “beautifully and artistically.”Tom adds:“He related a conversation he had with a woman while her son and a friend were standing alongside. As they talked, a teenage girl whom Patterson described as “very attractive” walked by, and one of the boys said, “Man, is she built.”The woman immediately scolded him, but Patterson said he interjected in the boy’s defense.‘I said, ‘Ma’am, leave him alone,” Patterson recounted. ‘He’s just being biblical. That is exactly what the Bible says.’Hearing Patterson tell that story, Karen Swallow Prior, a professor of English at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., was outraged. She and about 30 other women immediately drafted the open letter addressed to the Board of Trustees of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.After the seminary’s board went into closed session on Tuesday, The Washington Post published a story detailing a new allegation against Patterson.The newspaper says that in 2003, while Patterson was president of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Wake Forest, N.C., he allegedly advised a woman studying there who said she had been raped by a fellow student not to report it to police.“They shamed the crap out of me, asking me question after question,” the woman, who now works in public relations in North Carolina, told the Post. “He didn’t necessarily say it was my fault, but [the sense from him was] I let him into my home.”“I had bottled it up,” she said. “My husband didn’t know about it until last week. … I told him ‘I need to do something.’”In Tuesday’s meeting deciding Patterson’s fate, the seminary’s board of trustees said it also “affirmed a motion stating 1) evidence exists that Dr. Patterson has complied with reporting laws regarding assault and abuse, 2) the Seminary stands against all forms of abuse.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

Experts mixed on whether Obamas goal of 1 million electric cars by

first_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com 4.7 million EV charging units expected by 2015 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 its report, the DOE, (backed up by a statement from Assistant Energy Secretary David Sandalow) predicts that sales of plug-in electric (which excludes hybrids) vehicles will be sufficient between now and 2015 to take us over the million mark, to somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.2 million vehicles; more than enough to fulfill the president’s goal.The president’s goal has been widely criticized as far too optimistic, especially in light of the recent recession, and production problems with the Nissan Leaf (partially due to the earthquake/tsunami in Japan) one of the all electric vehicles expected to be among the leading sellers in the near future. Adding to the fire is J.D. Powers, which came out with predictions of just 750,000 electric vehicles by 2015.Other critics have pointed out that the issue is rather moot though, since a million electric vehicles running by 2015, would still account for less than one half of one percent of all operating vehicles by that date. Others however, point out that by passing certain milestones, electric vehicles become ever more of a viable choice for American consumers, thus, paving the way for a boon in sales in later years.What’s not included in either report, unfortunately, due to the time frame in which they were created, is the current cost of gasoline and the possibility that it could reach $5 gallon in this country before the summer is out. While still not nearly as much as consumers are paying in Europe, it could provide a catalyst for change, and swifter acceptance of all-electric vehicles, as consumers find they have few other alternatives.After all is said and done, it appears that despite the massive amounts of money being spent to create their projections, by both government and those in the private sector, there are just too many variables involved to accurately predict where car sales are headed; so, in the end, we’ll all likely just have to wait and see how things develop. Citation: Experts mixed on whether Obama’s goal of 1 million electric cars by 2015 can be reached (2011, April 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-experts-obama-goal-million-electric.html (PhysOrg.com) — A recent report by the Department of Energy (DOE) stating that the United States is well on its way to meeting President Obama’s goal of having at least one million plug-in electric cars and trucks on our nation’s highways and byways by 2015 is in direct conflict with a another recent report from Pike Research suggesting that while worldwide sales of electric vehicles will likely pass the million mark, sales in the United States likely won’t grow fast enough to reach much higher than 850,000 units by that date.last_img read more

Women across decades

first_imgStree presents a broad range of over 300 works from Swaraj Art Archive exploring the female form as perceived by both male and female artists spanning from the pre-independence to the post-independence era. The event begins from January 23 onwards and will be held at the Swaraj Archive, Sector 2, Noida. Divided into five categories, the exhibition is spread across mediums representing the woman as an emotion – harmony; love; pride; devotion; and acquiescence; throwing light on the stylistic differences in artists’ expression conveyed by the female form. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’It includes works by about 100 artists, from Kalighat painters to Arpana Caur, whose names will not be disclosed on the walls, allowing the observer to walk through the show unaccompanied by the predisposition associated with the identity of an artist. The show provides a visual comparative of the iconography associated with each of the above emotions showcasing the depth of Indian art from the 1850’s to now.Every artist possesses an individual artistic sensibility which, when driven by raw emotion, truly manifests into his creation, affecting the form, composition and its dialogue with the observer. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixDivided into five sub-concepts, the exhibition spreads across time, mediums, scales and histories representing the woman as an expression of an emotion.The exhibition comprises over 300 works representing the ‘woman’ as an expression of an emotion. Providing a visual comparative of the iconography associated with each of the emotions – Harmony, Love, Pride, Devotion and Acquiescence – the collection showcases the depth of Indian art from the 1850’s to the present. This Exhibition aims to show the depth of Indian Art in its entirety. The non-chronological display of the artworks, segregated via emotions, which translate themselves into certain physical decipherable forms, allows the viewer to read and dwell into the art itself, rather than assess it pragmatically based on market researches associated with specific artists. A small effort has been made with this exhibition for the art to speak for itself without being weighed down or enhanced by the artists’ biographies. The viewer will then experience art without judgment and/or in comparison to the plethora of stylistic languages through Indian Art.last_img read more

KMC to conduct monthlong campaigns on environment protection in all schools

first_imgKolkata: Commemorating the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has decided to take up a month-long awareness campaign on environment in all the schools across the city. The awareness campaign will not only cover KMC schools but also government and private schools in the city.”We have made elaborate plans for a month-long programme to mark the World Environment Day. We will take up awareness campaigns through documentary, magic shows and various posters to make it interesting for the students. The emphasis will be on curbing the use of plastic,” Member Mayor-in-Council (Environment ) Swapan Samaddar said.Sammadar feels that if students are made aware in a proper manner, they will inform their parents about the necessity of keeping the environment clean. The entire team of the Environment department of the civic body will be involved in the campaign and the MMiC himself will try to cover as many schools as possible. The Borough chairmans have been directed to take up awareness campaigns on environment at their respective boroughs. KMC has already prepared 3,000 banners and several hoardings for the campaign, which will focus on abstaining from the use of plastic, quitting of smoking, keeping the vicinity clean and planting of trees and saplings.”The use of plastic has turned into a menace in the city and awareness is the only way to prevent its excessive use,” a senior official of the Environment department of the civic body said. The campaign will kick off with a rally on June 5 from KMC office on SN Banerjee Road to College Square in presence of Mayor Sovan Chatterjee.The Environment department will hold a meeting with the Parks & Gardens department of the civic body in this regard on Saturday.last_img read more

BJP will not come back to power CM

first_imgBankura/Purulia/Kharagpur: Accusing Narendra Modi of talking nonsense as he is suffering from fear of defeat, Trinamool Congress supremo said the death knell of BJP will be sounded on May 23, the day when the Lok Sabha election result is declared.Addressing a mammoth rally in Bankura on Thursday afternoon, she clearly indicated that BJP will not come back to power in Delhi and said: “Modi is talking nonsense as he is suffering from the fear of defeat and the death knell of BJP will be sounded on May 23.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAt Purulia, Banerjee challenged Modi to prove that his party leaders are involved with the coal mafia as alleged by him. “The Central Industrial Police Force (CISF) guards the coal mines which are under the Ministry of Coal and BJP leaders are its agents. Instead of blaming them, Modi is blaming us. If he can prove that any of my leaders are involved in the matter, I will withdraw the candidature of 42 candidates but if he fails to prove his allegation, he will have to tender apology and do 100 sit-ups holding his ears.” Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateIn Bankura, Banerjee alleged that to please Modi, seven-phase elections are being held in Bengal. “It is impossible to bear the heat but still polls are being conducted so that Modi can come and address election rallies. He is least bothered about the people who are suffering from unbearable heat and incredible stressful conditions.” Banerjee said that BJP had used power to hold Modi’s meeting in Bankura. “There are 50 owners of the land and out of them only 17 had allowed the party to hold the meeting. BJP used force to hold the rally at the venue,” she said. The Chief Minister further added: “Modi had influenced police to get clean chit in Godhra and Gujarat riot incidents.” She also alleged that BJP workers threw chairs and bottles at the police. “Modi babu, this is your culture and not ours. Such incidents do not happen in the meetings of Trinamool Congress leaders,” she said. Banerjee added: “He does not know about our culture and heritage. He says that I do not allow Durga Puja in Bengal. More than one lakh Durga Pujas are held and more than one crore Saraswati Pujas are organised throughout Bengal. He is so shameless that he does not do any homework before addressing the election meetings.” Banerjee urged people to vote for party nominees Subrata Mukherjee, former state minister for Panchayats and Rural Development in Bankura and Mriganka Mahato in Purulia. “Your one vote will help Trinamool to consolidate its position in Delhi and help to form a stable, secular and pro-development government.” Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday hailed his Banerjee as a “Bengal tigress” and said she had “taught a lesson” to the Prime Minister. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief attended her election rally in Kharagpur in support of her party’s Lok Sabha candidate Manas Bhunia.last_img read more

Before we get into this weeks topic I want to re

first_imgBefore we get into this week’s topic, I want to remind everyone that I will be at the upcoming Cambridge House Investment Conference in Vancouver on January 22 and 23, along with other Casey Research editors including Louis James and Jeff Clark. If you are an investor and you are serious about making money, investment conferences like this are indispensable. In the showroom you’ll have the opportunity to meet with management teams from more than 500 companies, while in the presentation halls industry leaders teach audiences about current trends, investment techniques, and commodity forecasts.This year we are making it easier for you to learn from our in-house experts by setting up a Casey Pavilion. Inside you will find a steady stream of investment information as our Casey editors give talks and have panel discussions amongst themselves and with our Explorers’ League honorees and the members of the Casey NexTen.Check out the full list of Casey Pavilion events. If energy is one of your areas of interest, be sure to check out my talks, including a talk on The Truth About Fracking on Sunday afternoon. Casey Energy team analyst Joe Hung is also speaking that day, as are NexTen members Amir Adnani and Morgan Poliquin.If you will be in Vancouver on January 22 and 23, you should make time to come by the show. Register now at the Cambridge House website – the show is free if you register ahead – and mention you learned about it through Casey Research.Best regards,Marin KatusaChief Energy Investment Strategist Casey Research Green Energy Is a Financial ParasiteAny politician who talks of a green, utopian US – where wind and solar produce most of our energy, electric cars put power back into the grid, green fields of corn produce clean fuels, and millions of Americans work in green technology factories – is creating a fanciful vision so far detached from reality it should really be called a lie. Such tales are designed to encourage a public that is increasingly despondent about the future, but the policy moves that have been made in support of these fantasies have cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars. Much of it is money that will not be repaid, because a whole whack of the companies and industries that accepted green grants, loan guarantees, and tax credits have turned out to be complete failures.Two green subsidies expired with 2011, and not a moment too soon. In fact, we wish more of the US government’s initiatives to support green energy had ended with the stroke of midnight, because the green energy industry has become completely dependent on a steady stream of government money. Protected by this “green gold,” green technologies from corn ethanol to solar power have not had to compete against other power sectors based on their merits. If they had, many would have already failed.Let’s a take tour through some of the US’s green subsidies and examine just how they have tipped the scales in favor of technologies that generally don’t stand the test of economics, are often worse for the environment than conventional methods, and are costing taxpayers dearly.There‘s nothing good about corn ethanol fuelOn New Year’s Eve the corn ethanol subsidy quietly expired, 30 years after it was implemented. In those three decades ethanol became the US’s top recipient of alternative-fuel funding, with corn ethanol in particular becoming the darling of the biofuels craze. As a darling should be, the industry was showered with money: Over the last 30 years the federal government has spent $45 billion supporting corn-ethanol producers. In 2011 alone the feds spent $6 billion on corn ethanol subsidies, equating to 45¢ for every gallon of ethanol. Even with that support, US corn ethanol was not able to compete with Brazilian ethanol, which is made from sugar cane. To rectify that, lawmakers instituted a 54¢-per-gallon tariff against the Brazilian product. Together, the 45¢ subsidy and the 54¢ tariff meant American-made corn ethanol was supported to the tune of almost $1 per gallon.That would be great were ethanol a good way to reduce greenhouse gases, lower energy costs, or increase US energy independence. Unfortunately, it fails on all of those fronts. A growing left-right coalition has been speaking out against ethanol as a fuel for some time now; the latest voice to join the chorus is none other than the National Academy of Sciences. In October, NAS researchers concluded that grain ethanol “could not compete with fossil fuels in the U.S. marketplace without mandates, subsidies, tax exemptions, and tariffs… This lack of competitiveness raises questions about the use of government resources to support biofuels.” The report went on to discuss how biofuels actually increase net carbon emissions: pumping energy-intensive row crops into gas tanks leads to land use changes that increase greenhouse gases.Continuing down the list of ethanol-as-a-fuel failures, it turns out ethanol is very tough on vehicles – a bill to allow gasoline to contain 15% ethanol (compared to the max 10% now allowed) was shot down after every major automaker said that much ethanol would cause significant engine corrosion. Then there’s the fact that corn ethanol subsidies also generated a host of painful side effects. One is literally making us fatter: widespread use of high fructose corn syrup. Starting in the mid-1980s farmers realized that, even when sale prices for corn were low, the government’s largess meant it was still worthwhile to grow the stuff. More and more corn was grown, beyond what could be consumed by people or livestock or made into fuel. What were producers to do with the rest of it? Make high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener that is now in hundreds of thousands of products and that contributes thousands of empty calories to the average American diet every week.So ethanol is uneconomic unless the government spends billions of taxpayer dollars supporting it, worse for the atmosphere than fossil fuels, and really hard on engines, while the support system to encourage corn-based ethanol production is contributing to the US obesity epidemic. Why, then, is ethanol even used in fuel? Because of all those government subsidies and mandates. After major lobbying efforts from the agricultural and biofuels industries, Congress mandated annual increases in use of renewable fuels, including ethanol, starting with 15 billion gallons in 2007 and growing to 36 billion gallons in 2022.So fuel makers have to include ethanol in their mixtures. Too bad that rule did not also expire.Electric vehicles: expensive toys that basically burn coal instead of oilAnother lesser-known tax break also expired with 2011: the credit that gave electric car owners up to $1,000 to defray the cost of installing a 220-volt charging device in their homes, or up to $30,000 to install one in a commercial location. A related subsidy that did not end still gives $7,500 in tax credits to purchasers of electric vehicles. For a variety of reasons, like the ethanol subsidy none of these incentives should have existed in the first place.Electric vehicles have failed on one front after another. To start, they are inordinately expensive – the much-lauded Chevy Volt costs $40,000, while the Karma from Fisker costs a whopping $100,000. This means electric vehicles are only affordable for the wealthy; it’s pretty hard to understand why American taxpayers should subsidize cars for the wealthiest members of society. The subsidies go beyond direct tax credits and rebates – government loans and grants in support of the Volt alone total $3 billion, which means each car produced to date has been subsidized to the tune of $250,000. (Volt supporters contest this number, saying subsidies only total $30,000 per vehicle… still not an insignificant amount.)Then, for all that money, you still can only drive short distances. The Volt’s official range is 30 miles, but reports show it can actually travel only 25 miles before needing to either recharge or switch to gasoline. There’s also the issue that electric vehicles still need power, and the electricity that charges their batteries comes primarily from the US power grid, to which the largest contributor is coal-fired power plants. As such, a Volt essentially burns coal instead of gasoline, at least for the 25 miles it can drive before switching to gas.At least coal is a domestic resource, compared to gasoline derived from imported crude oil, right? Well, let’s see just how much electric vehicles will reduce US oil consumption. Assuming there are 6 million of them on American roads in ten years, out of 300 million passenger vehicles, and assuming that passenger vehicles continue to account for 40 to 45% of total US oil consumption, in ten years these tens of billions of dollars spent to support electric vehicles will have reduced US oil consumption by less than 1%. When you add in the fact that lithium-ion batteries are pretty toxic items, and that coal- or natural-gas-derived electricity demands will go up with each electric vehicle, the case for electric vehicles becomes pretty darn weak.Solar and wind power: a financial sinkholeElectric vehicles and corn ethanol fuel are not the only green industries that have been producing pitiful returns on government investment: Solar and wind power are just as guilty of eating up huge subsidies and still failing to break even economically.Let’s start with an example – one that was highlighted in a recent New York Times article. NRG Energy is building a 250-MW solar project in San Luis Obispo Country (northwest of Los Angeles), known as California Valley Solar Ranch. The ranch’s one million solar panels will provide enough energy for 100,000 homes, but it will cost $1.6 billion to build. Most of those dollars are coming from government subsidies or low-interest loans.All told, NGR and its partners secured $5.2 billion in federal loan guarantees plus hundreds of millions in other subsidies for four large solar projects. The crazy thing is, the government is giving out these grants and loans despite information from its own researchers that solar power is uneconomic now and will remain so in the future. The US Energy Information Administration predicts that by 2016 the total cost of solar photovoltaic energy will be about $211 per megawatt-hour, compared to $63 for an advanced natural-gas combined-cycle power plant.Just as with corn ethanol, it’s the taxpayer who bears the brunt of this obsession with expensive solar power. The main federal subsidy currently covers 30% of the cost of a residential solar system. When other subsidies are added in, as much as 75% of the cost can be covered. Obama’s administration has spent $9.6 billion on solar and wind power through the Section 1603 Treasury grant program over the last few years.With that kind of support, it’s no wonder America is in love with solar power. In 2011, solar installations skyrocketed, with 1,700 MW installed during the year, an 89% increase over 2010. Still, all of the panels now installed across the nation produce only about as much electricity as a single coal-fired plant. And even with demand growing rapidly, the industry is awash in debt and bankruptcy.US solar manufacturers are being pushed out of the market by low-cost Chinese manufacturers, which get even more support from their government than Obama gives to American producers. In California, for example, Chinese producers held 29% of the market at the beginning of 2011; by the end of the third quarter they had grown their market share to 40%, while US manufacturers saw their share fall from 37% to 29%. And with the Chinese flooding the market with cheap solar panels, prices for solar panels fell by 40% in 2011.Falling prices for solar panels and dwindling market shares forced three US solar companies into bankruptcy in 2011 and recently necessitated staff cutbacks at another two companies. This is all happening despite billions in loan guarantees to these companies. First Solar, for example, took $3 billion in loan guarantees from the federal government to develop three solar farms in Arizona and California. Now the company is cutting half of its staff, including 60 jobs in California where it received $3 million in state sales tax credits.Of course, the most notable solar bankruptcy of 2011 was Solyndra, the California-based company that went bankrupt months after receiving a loan guarantee of $535 million from the US government and despite increased demand for solar panels in the country following implementation of state mandates for solar energy.And things are about to get a lot tougher for struggling solar panel producers in the US, because the 1603 program expired on January 1. When you add up grants, subsidies, loans, and tax credits that have been helping the solar and wind industries along, then add in mandates that require utilities to buy renewable power at set prices from the alternative energy producers for decades, you are left with an industry that is wholly dependent on taxpayers, not on its own technology’s capabilities. Forced to go it alone in the power industry, solar and wind producers are not going to survive.Leveling the playing fieldIn chasing the green power dream, the US is not alone. In fact, it trails several European countries in the effort. Germany and Denmark have the largest installed bases of alternative energy in Europe and are often held aloft as examples of how to encourage wind and solar power. Proponents usually stay mum on the fact that retail customers in Germany and Denmark pay the highest electricity rates in the European Union.It is true that progress is never easy and is often expensive. From that pulpit, advocates argue that continued investment in green technologies will drive prices down in the long run. However, this reasoning ignores the other side of the problem: solar and wind can never produce baseload energy. The average wind plant in the United States runs at about one-third of its rated capacity, while solar plants runs at about 25% of their nameplate capacity. Since there is no way to store large amounts of electricity, the variable outputs from solar and wind facilities will only ever be able to replace a modest amount of conventional baseload power.When you look at green subsidies on an energy production basis, the disparity becomes pretty stunning. Wind’s 5.6 cents per kilowatt hour is more than 85 times that of oil and gas. Solar power costs 13 times more than wind, making solar more than a thousand times more expensive than conventional fuels.Wind and solar power, corn ethanol, and electric vehicles are not infant industries in need of support. They are perennially inferior industries that only still exist in their current forms because of a constant stream of “green gold.” That stream is slowly drying up, thankfully. The only way to achieve the very admirable goal of transforming society into an energy-efficient space is to eliminate all of the subsidies that are currently directed at green energy and clean technology while increasing taxes on the things we are trying to minimize, such as gasoline consumption and plastic bags. That would force everyone to innovate, compete, and win or lose according to merit.[With green energy unable to fulfill its promise as a viable alternative to conventional fuels, crude oil prices are poised to skyrocket. That will be bad news at the pump, but good news for investors who get in on a little-known “energy dividend.”] Additional Links and ReadsSinopec, Total Pour $4.5 Billion into US Shale (Reuters)On the first Tuesday of the year, China’s Sinopec and France’s Total SA both announced major deals to buy stakes in US shale projects; the combined $4.5 billion investment indicates that the global appetite for US energy assets remains strong. Foreign oil and gas producers are eager to invest in America’s shale formations, home to billions of cubic feet of natural gas and liquids. Sinopec signed a $2.2-billion deal with Devon Energy (N.DVN) for a 33% interest in five shale fields ranging across parts of six states, while Total’s $2.3-billion deal with Chesapeake Energy (N.CHK) gave the company 25% of 619,000 acres in the Utica Shale in Ohio.Shale Bubble Inflates on Near-Record Prices (Bloomberg)The Sinopec and Total deals described above were part of a whopping $8 billion in shale deals completed in the first two weeks of the year. Competition between Chinese, French, and Japanese energy explorers for acreage has pushed prices for shale projects almost to the peak set in 2008 before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, with recent deals seeing Japanese commodity trader Marubeni Corp. paying $25,000 per acre for a stake in Hunt Oil’s Eagle Ford shale property in Texas and Marathon Oil (N.MRO) paying $21,000 an acre for nearby prospects. In the Utica shale of Ohio and Pennsylvania, deal prices have jumped tenfold in five weeks to almost $15,000 an acre. It seems that companies are willing to risk spending too much in order to secure holdings in the world’s largest gas play, rather than be left behind.Iran Could Close Hormuz – But Not for Long (Reuters)This article provides a nice explanation of how Iran could indeed close the Strait of Hormuz, disrupting a fifth of all globally traded oil and sending oil prices skyrocketing, but that such an action would prompt swift retaliation from the United States and others that could leave the Islamic republic militarily and economically crippled. As such, Tehran’s threats to close the Strait are likely to remain hollow, and Iran’s ongoing naval exercises in the region are mostly a diversion from its real goal…Secret Nuclear Test Could Be Iran’s Trump Card in Strait of Hormuz Showdown (National Post)The more significant threat from Iran, at least according to this journalist, would be a nuclear test. Political analyst Peter Goodspeed agrees that a Strait of Hormuz blockade would be short-lived and invite serious retaliation that would leave Iran heavily damaged, and suggests Iran wants nothing to do with such conventional forms of aggression. Instead, he suggests Tehran is doing its all to prepare for a nuclear test, as any demonstration of nuclear capacity would pre-empt conventional attacks against Iran and set the stage for a very different set of diplomatic negotiations.Iran Trumpets Nuclear Ability at a Second Location (New York Times)Iran’s top nuclear official just announced that the country is on the verge of starting production at its second major uranium enrichment facility, reinforcing Tehran’s commitment to pursue its nuclear program despite international condemnation. The new enrichment site creates difficult new choices for the US and its allies in how far to go to limit Iran’s nuclear abilities: It is buried deep underground, is well defended against air strikes, and would be very difficult to disable once in operation. The news does not significantly affect estimates of how long it would take for Iran to produce a nuclear weapon, as it would still take six months to a year to enrich enough uranium for a weapon, and the new site is inspected regularly by the United Nations.EU Agrees to Embargo on Iranian Crude (Reuters)In early January Europe’s governments agreed in principle to ban imports of Iranian oil, days after President Obama signed into law several tough new sanctions that give the US the ability to severely limit Iran’s ability to buy and sell oil. EU diplomats reported unanimity on the concept of an Iranian oil embargo, though the details are not finalized. EU countries buy about 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iran’s 2.6 million bpd in exports, making the bloc the second-largest market for Iranian crude after China.Venezuela Will Not Recognize World Bank Ruling in Exxon Case (Reuters)In our December Casey Energy Report, which gave our forecasts for 2012, we labeled this the “Decade of Nationalization.” In short, we foresee a major pinch arising as oil production declines in many countries just as their need for more oil, both domestically and for export, increases. One way countries will solve this problem will be by nationalizing assets. Venezuela is a trailblazer in the modern resource nationalization movement, and this article leaves no question as to President Hugo Chavez’s intentions: He believes Venezuela’s resources belong to Venezuelans, regardless of whether foreign companies spent billions finding and developing the assets. In this specific story, Exxon has taken Venezuela to the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), seeking as much as $12 billion in compensation after Chavez nationalized the Cerro Negro oil project in 2007. Chavez says he will not recognize any decision by the ICSID, calls Exxon “immoral,” and says his country will not bow to imperialism and its tentacles. Many are following the Cerro Negro case closely, as the decision there is expected to set a precedent for future disputes between companies and producing states.Big Statoil Arctic Find Boosts Norway’s Oil Future (Financial Post)Norwegian oil firm Statoil announced a second big oil discovery in the Barents Sea in less than a year and predicted more to come in the region. It is the latest in a series of discoveries in Norway and another move in an accelerating race to find and develop energy reserves in the Arctic. The new oil find, named Havis, could hold 200 to 300 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent. Combined with reserves from the nearby Skrugard field, discovered in April, Statoil now has 400 to 600 million barrels in the area. Finding oil in the Barents Sea has proven notoriously difficult, but Statoil’s continued efforts highlight the global need to search for oil in more challenging areas, because the “easy” oil is being tapped out.last_img read more

Drilling Intersects 102 Meters of 197 gpt Gold at

first_imgDrilling Intersects 102 Meters of 1.97 gpt Gold at Columbus Gold’s Paul Isnard Gold Project; Drilling Confirms Depth Extension of Gold MineralizationColumbus Gold Corporation (CGT: TSX-V) (“Columbus Gold”) is pleased to announce results of the initial five (5) core drill holes at its Paul Isnard gold project in French Guiana. The holes confirm depth extension of gold mineralization below shallow holes drilled on the 43-101 compliant 1.9 million ounce Montagne d’Or inferred gold deposit at Paul Isnard in the 1990’s and support the current program of resource expansion through offsetting open-ended gold mineralization indicated by the earlier holes.Robert Giustra, CEO of Columbus Gold, commented: “These drill results validate Columbus Gold’s approach to adding ounces with a lower-risk drilling program designed to infill and to extend the mineralized zones to 200 m vertical depth from surface; a depth amenable to open pit mining.”  Fourteen (14) holes have been completed (assays pending) by Columbus Gold in the current program and drilling is progressing at the rate of about 3,000 meters per month with one drill-rig on a 24 hour basis. Columbus Gold plans to accelerate the current program by engaging a second drill-rig as soon as one can be obtained. Please visit our website for more information about the project. It was more than obvious [at least to me] that a heavy hand showed up in these markets at, or just before, the London p.m. gold fixGold didn’t do a lot on Tuesday, either.  The rally that developed in early Far East trading, ran into a seller just before 11:00 a.m. Hong Kong time…which was the same thing that happened during the Monday trading session.From there, the gold price didn’t do much until the 8:20 a.m. Eastern Comex open.  At that point the dollar index cratered…and gold took off…running into a not-for-profit seller at the London p.m. gold fix which came shortly after 10:00 a.m. in New York.  The high tick at the ‘fix’ was $1,739.10 spot.Despite the fact that the dollar continued to decline, the gold price continued to get sold down until around lunch time on the East coast…and from there traded sideways into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.Gold finished the Tuesday session at $1,732.50 spot…up only $7.70 on the day.  Net volume was the same as Monday’s…115,000 contracts.It was basically the same story in silver as well, except for the fact that the rally at the Comex open was so strong, that a not-for-profit seller had to enter the market around 9:35 a.m. Eastern, or silver would have been materially higher [and well above $34 spot] by the London gold fix, which occurred thirty minutes later.  The high tick of the day at that point was $33.95 spot.And, like gold, despite the fact that the dollar index was declining steadily, silver continued to get sold off to its New York low…$33.30 spot…which came about 3:20 p.m. in electronic trading.  The price recovered a hair into the close.Silver finished the day at $33.48 spot…up a meager 14 cents from Monday.  Volume, 38,000 contracts, was down quite a bit from Monday’s 48,500 contracts…but still very high.Without doubt, both gold and silver would have finished materially higher if a willing seller hadn’t show up at, or just before, the London p.m. gold fix in both metals…and it was precisely the same story in platinum and palladium as well.The dollar index opened around the 80.40 mark on Monday evening…and chopped around that point until about 3:20 p.m. Hong Kong time, or about forty minutes before the 8:30 a.m. BST London open.  During the next hour, the index dropped a bit over 20 basis points…and then more or less traded sideways until 8:30 a.m. in New York.  Then the index headed south with a vengeance…and by 11:30 a.m. Eastern, the dollar index had shed another 40 odd basis points to its low of the day, which was around 79.82…and then recovered a handful of basis points going into the close.  The dollar closed down 50 points on the day at 79.89.If you check all four precious metal charts from yesterday, you’ll note that all had a very positive reactions to the pre-London open dollar index decline.  And that state of affairs continued in New York when the index did another face plant starting around 8:30 a.m. Eastern.  All the precious metals took off to the upside…and all ran into the same not-for-profit seller at the London p.m. gold fix…except for silver.As I said further up, its rally was so strong, it had to be dealt with early, or it would have blasted through the $34 spot price like a hot knife through soft butter…and that was obviously not going to be allowed…just like it wasn’t allowed in early morning trading in Hong Kong on Monday.  Check the silver chart above for the details.From the London p.m. gold fix, until the dollar index nadir at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, the dollar index and the precious metals prices all declined together.  That’s just too cute for words.There are no market anymore…only interventions.Although the gold price hit its zenith shortly after 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, the shares powered a bit higher, hitting their high of the day around 11:30 a.m. Eastern…which was the dollar index low.  After that they went into decline but, like Monday, finished just off their lows…and the HUI closed up 0.55%.  Excuse me for thinking out loud at this point, but the saw-tooth pattern to this chart tells me that someone with a fairly large position appeared to be selling into this rally.The silver stocks finished mixed…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed up 0.67%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report was rather interesting.  There was no delivery activity in gold, but there were 270 silver contracts posted for delivery within the Comex-approved warehouse system on Thursday.  The only short/issuer was Jefferies…and the biggest long/stopper was, once again, JPMorgan…with 202 contracts in its in-house [proprietary] trading account…and 23 for their client accounts.  The Issuers and Stoppers Report is worth a quick look…and the link is here.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday.Nick Laird advised me that Sprott added another 40,535 troy ounces of gold to their Physical Gold Trust on Monday.  That should just about cover the entire amount received in their follow-on offering…but I expect there’s a bit more when the underwriters exercise their ‘Greenshoe Option’.Over at the U.S Mint, they reported selling another 50,000 silver eagles…and I do hope that you’re getting your share, dear reader.The action at the Comex-approved depositories on Monday is hardly worth mentioning, as only a few thousand ounces of silver were received…and shipped out.I don’t have very many stories today…and that suits me just fine.  I hope you have the time to skim them all.Despite the positive closes in all four precious metals, it was more than obvious [at least to me] that a heavy hand showed up in these markets at, or just before, the London p.m. gold fix at 3:00 p.m. BST…10:00 a.m. in New York.  With the dollar index in free-fall, the precious metals were not allowed to do what they wanted to do…and that is close the day materially higher than they did on Monday.You’re perfectly entitled to your own opinion on this, but that’s the way it appeared to me…and if you have some other explanation for yesterday’s 180 degree move in the precious metals while the dollar index was falling out of bed, I’d love to hear it.Yesterday, at the 1:30 p.m. Eastern time Comex close, was the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report…and as I’ve been stating all along, it will not make for happy reading…especially with the huge volumes [and price increases] we’ve seen in both gold and silver since last Tuesday’s cut-off on September 4th.  JPMorgan et al are still acting as short sellers of last resort and preventing the precious metal prices from blowing sky high.  I’ll be curious to know how much larger JPMorgan’s short position in silver has become since last Friday’s report.  Ted Butler says it’s north of 27% of the entire Comex futures market in silver on a net basis.  Will it break 30% on Friday?I’m still of the opinion that we’ve seen a short-term top, but would love to be proven wrong.  A quick engineered sell-off by “da boyz” to relieve the current overbought condition wouldn’t bother me in the slightest…and would be a buying opportunity that I would take full advantage of.  Of course if/when the sell-off does come, it will allow these short sellers of last resort to harvest all the new long positions that have been placed and ring cash register one more time.In Far East trading on their Wednesday, both gold and silver prices chopped slowly higher.  For a change, volumes in both metals are significantly lower than they were on either Monday or Tuesday, so I wouldn’t read a whole heck of a lot into the price action.  The dollar index is down about 11 basis points as London opens for trading at 8:00 a.m. local time…3:00 a.m. Eastern.London trading opened quietly, but that all changed around 9:15 a.m. BST, when gold and silver blasted higher in seconds, not minutes.  Gold was up fifteen bucks…and silver shot through $34 spot at warp speed.  The reaction from JPMorgan et al was instantaneous.  Gold volume jumped from 13,000 contracts to 34,000 contracts in a heart beat…and silver’s volume went from around 4,800 contracts to 9,500 contracts in the same period of time…seconds.  Then, after that assault, it appears that another rally is underway…and silver is now back at $34.00 spot once again…and gold is struggling higher.  No ‘for profit’ seller ever sells into a rally like that…EVER!!!  This is in-your-face price management by the bullion banks…and the farthest thing from a free market that one can imagine.  It was obvious that ‘da boyz’ were lying in wait for this event.Here’s what Kitco’s silver chart looked like at 5:14 a.m. Eastern time…I would guess that this price action was centered around the announcement from the German court…and we’ll probably find out more as the day goes along.Before I sign off today, most of you may already have heard that we have a new writer at Casey Research…and his name is Dennis Miller.  He’s been a regular reader of my column for many years…and now, like me, he’s working for Doug.  Dennis is retired…and has been working tirelessly to rebuild his nest egg since the crash of 2008, when his CDs were recalled and it was cut by 50%.  He’s documented his journey in his book Retirement Reboot…and he thinks highly enough of what I’ve had to say over the years, to mention my name in a couple of places in it.  The book is priced at a pittance…a mere $9.95…and you can find all about it here.  It costs nothing to check it out.It could be an interesting day during Comex trading in New York today.See you tomorrow. 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In This Issue   Currency metals rally but in

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Currency & metals rally but in a tight range. *  NZ Unemployment Rate drops to 6.2%! *  Australia’s Trade Deficit shrinks. *  That’s 5 Fed Heads wanting to extend stimulus. And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Another Fed Head Has An Epiphany! Good day.  And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! I just realized something, that I guess I’ve known for a long time, but just registered it in my mind. I love the smell of blueberries! I opened the package for a Blueberry cereal bar, and there it was! The wonderful blueberry aroma! My mind immediately flashed back to when I was a young boy and would spend weeks of summer on my grandparents farm, and we would be sent out to gather the berries. My grandma had blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and other stuff that she always used in baking. But we would get some of the fresh berries, run the cistern water from the well over them and have ourselves a treat! Sorry to go off on that tangent, but it’s just another example of my stream of thought. Yesterday I left you with the thought that only a few currencies were gaining VS the dollar, and Gold was down $2. But soon after I sent the letter out, the currencies rebounded, along with Gold. Chris called me, (he’s out of town) and wanted to know what was going on, and I told him that the turnaround was interesting in that there wasn’t anything to cause it, the U.S. data wasn’t out yet, and the only thing I saw was data from the UK that showed that the servicing industry had expanded in October.  The rest of the day though, the currencies and metals were stuck in the mud. Funny, thing, when I was 18 and traveling around the country with my guitar, my friend, and our drummer, Preston, used to call people my age now, “old sticks in the mud”. And that pretty much describes the currencies yesterday, overnight and into this morning. sticks in the mud.   Recall yesterday that I told you the New Zealand dollar / kiwi was the best performing currency overnight as traders were thinking that the labor report that was due to print that afternoon, would be strong, and that usually meant good things for kiwi. Well, it appears that the traders were rewarded for their foresight, as New Zealand’s Labor report was even better than forecast! The consensus going into the report was for a drop in the Unemployment Rate from 6.4% to 6.3%, but in the 3 months ending September 30th, the New Zealand Unemployment Rate actually fell to 6.2%! The Labor report really placed kiwi firmly on the rally tracks, and this morning, the currency is trading at a 6-week high, as everyone and their brother now expects the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) to hike rates early next year. Another component of the report showed that Ordinary Time Private Sector Wages rose 1.6% in the quarter and up 2.6% year-on-year!  Can you say “inflation problems are coming?” I knew you could! And maybe, just maybe, because you never know, the RBNZ will hike rates before early next year! Well, since the middle of last week, the euro has been on the slippery slope for a few reasons that we’ve talked about, but the reason that has weighed the most on the euro, has been the drop in inflation in the Eurozone, which brought the rate cut campers out of the woodwork. But as I explained two times already, but will do it again for those that missed class those days. I don’t see the benefits to cutting rates when they are already at all-time lows.  And believe it or don’t, the markets are beginning to come around to Chuck’s way of thinking. Now, that would be a story! I can see the headline: Market Comes Around To Chuck’s Way of Thinking.  And the reporter would ask the first question. “Now Chuck, what do you think the ECB will do?”  OK, if you’re not laughing with me, you’re laughing at me! Stop that! Another currency that was showing a gain yesterday morning, and is pumping out an even larger gain overnight is the Swedish krona. In just a few hours we’ll see the color of the last Riksbank (Central Bank) meeting, and the markets believe they’ll be able to find indications that the Riksbank is ready to hike rates. That thought has the krona hitting on all 8 this morning. Hey! Another U.S. Fed Head had his epiphany about the economy yesterday. San Francisco Fed President, John Williams, fessed up about the economy saying that, “Up until recently, I was thinking we would start seeing more of that self-powered growth in the second half of this year. Unfortunately, that’s not really been happening and we haven’t seen a real pickup. We’re still a long ways from where we want to be.” So. It’s apparent that the economic growth that Williams was looking for has fallen short of his expectations, and now he’s losing faith that the labor markets’ gains will endure without monetary stimulus..  Of course, the 3 Fed Heads we talked about yesterday, and now Williams only had to read the Pfennig many months ago to know that I said they were being over optimistic about the economy, and maybe they would have tempered their exuberance about the economy. And then we wouldn’t have had the Taper Capers, spoil the currency & metals soup. But then, I still think that Big Ben and the Fed Heads (sounds like Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons!)  were simply attempting to let some air out of the stock market bubble that they created with all this stimulus, by talking about Tapering. I’m writing this morning, while listening to Led Zeppelin’s all-time best song. Kashmir. Now that’s a song that needs the volume cranked to 10!  Hey. I just saw something on the TV that shocked me. They showed a survey result that shocked me! 34.3% of Americans say they don’t want a job!  And apparently, the total of Americans wanting to have a job has been declining since 1980! That’s not a good thing for us Baby Boomers who have either already retired, like 90% of my classmates that attended my 40th H.S. reunion, or starting to prepare to retire. Oh, the things that I see, hear & read about that make my skin crawl!  But you know what I’ve finally realized? That while I can write about it, and attempt to get people to think about these things, I can’t change them. I used to have these thoughts that if I wrote about something that was wrong that people would read it, think about it, and do something like call their representative or whatever, and that would eventually change things!  Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Hey! Down Under in Australia, where they are enjoying spring, their Trade Deficit came in better than expected for September, printing at A$ 284 million, VS A$ 500 million expected. And the August total was revised downward. The Aussie dollar (A$) is back above 95-cents, and looking forward to the latest Employment Report that will print tonight. I would look for an increase in jobs for October, and that should support this latest uptick in the A$. The A$ deserves some lovin’, after taking body blows from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Gov. Stevens last week and this week. This has my spider sense tingling folks. You don’t think that Stevens knew ahead of time that the data was going to be good this week, and went about verbally assaulting the A$, getting it weaker, ahead of the data?  Nah. that would be giving too much credit to a Central Banker, and I’m tough when it comes to grading! In the UK, the pound sterling has really been a roll this week. First it was the strong servicing Index performance, and today it was a strong Industrial Production print that pushed the pound sterling to 1.61. Industrial Production pushed higher to a gain of .9% in September, up from the August negative print of -1.1%…  In addition, Home Prices showed their biggest gain (+.7%) in 3 months.  The Bank of England (BOE) meets tomorrow, right after these strong economic data prints, but I doubt it will move the BOE to change rates from their near zero level, or change their bond buying program. And that’s why I still don’t think the pound has strong legs to take it from here. If the BOE still believes that near zero rates and bond buying is needed, then they are a country mile away from hiking rates, which I believe will be needed to take the pound higher from here. But that’s just my opinion and I could be wrong! I see where the Chinese decided that two days of gains in their currency the renminbi / yuan, was enough, and they weakened the fixing level overnight.  I read a story on the Bloomberg that talked about how the Chinese fear that the Fed will begin to taper in December. Hey! Here’s a Memo to China. Don’t worry about tapering. 4 Fed Heads this week have pretty much put the kyboshes on tapering any time soon, and don’t forget that a 5th Fed Head, Evans, laid out the scenario where tapering would never happen. I was looking at Google+ last night and came across a posting that someone made that reminded me of the slide that Frank and Chuck use in presentations that show men that have painted themselves into corners.  This posting had just one person that had painted themselves into a corner, with a caption that read: Before You Start Anything. Learn How To Finish It! And so it goes with the Taper Capers. Gold is up $6 this morning, with Silver, Platinum and Palladium all posting gains too! But when you step back and look at a chart of these metals, you see that they’ve been range trading for what seems like a month of Sundays.  I read a story by Gold Enthusiast James Turk yesterday, about how the world had reached a tipping point, as the next catastrophe approaches. While I see that certainly capable of happening, I have to stop and remember that it was Turk that said we would have a Black Swan event this year. Remember that? (I guess we just barely averted one with the default last month, eh? ) I know one thing, that it is far better to make your forecasts without giving time frames for them to happen! The U.S. data cupboard has the Leading Index report for September this morning, and that’s it. the Leading Index report has really shifted upward in recent prints, which surprises me a bit, in that usually this is good forward looking data, but I don’t see anything in the economy that leads me to feel warm and fuzzy about an uptick in the leading index report. Before I head to the Big Finish this morning, I have a funny from Jay Leno. “According to a new study out of Harvard, it is easier for people to be moral in the morning. They say people are more moral at the beginning of the day, but they become more dishonest as the day goes on. So when people say Congress is as dishonest as the day is long, we now have scientific proof.” For What It’s Worth. On the heels of the announcement that the CFTC’s Bart Chilton was stepping down, the U.S. derivatives regulator announced yesterday that they plan to curb market speculation in commodities. Here’s a snippet of the story as it appeared on Reuters. “The Commodity Futures Trading Commission  (CFTC) proposal will set caps on the number of contracts that a single trader can hold in energy, metal and agricultural markets, a measure aimed at capping speculation that some blamed for the spike in raw material and food prices prior to the 2008 financial crisis. The redrafted rules sought to answer some of the deficits that a judge pointed out last year. The agency cited two of the biggest cases of market manipulation in history – the Hunt Brothers’ silver corner and hedge fund Amaranth natural gas bet – as evidence of why curbs were necessary. The new rules will also make it easier for big banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Barclays PLC to remain in the market by allowing them to exclude positions held by entities in which the banks own minority stakes – a key trigger for the banks to sue the agency.” Chuck again. Well, that’s all fine and good, but I doubt it gets past the Bullion Banks that have the large short positions. They’ll take it to court once again, and once again a judge will shoot the CFTC’s regulation down. That’s because as I’ve told you over and over again, this dance is gonna be a drag, no wait! What I’ve told you over and over again is that in my opinion, which was formed by the Wikileaks Cable, the Gov’t is behind all this. And therefore, there will be no regulation that takes away the ability of the Big Bullion Banks to hold short positions in metals that are larger than the size of the market! To recap. The mixed bag of results early yesterday morning for the currencies and metals turned around mid-morning, and gains were eked out VS the dollar on the day, but in the end, these asset classes are stuck in the mud, trading ranges. The BOE & ECB will meet tomorrow, and strong recent data from the UK, has pound sterling rising, but without a rate hike, and there will be none any time soon, the pound has no strong legs to stand on. New Zealand Unemployment Rate drops more than expected, and kiwi is the best performer overnight. Currencies today 11/6/13. American Style: A$ .9525, kiwi .8405, C$ .9570, euro 1.3515, sterling 1.61, Swiss $1.0970, . European Style: rand 10.2110, krone 5.9645, SEK 6.5075, forint 219.70, zloty 3.0845, koruna 19.0825, RUB 32.37, yen 98.65, sing 1.2425, HKD 7.7515, INR 62.40, China 6.1475, pesos 13.13, BRL 2.2835, Dollar Index 80.53, Oil $94.08, 10-year 2.65%, Silver $21.95, Platinum $1,463.68, Palladium $758.58, and Gold. $1,318.34 That’s it for today. A good shootout win for our Blues in Montreal last night, I went to bed and it was tied 2-2. the Blues are off to a good start to the season. Yadier Molina is a finalist for NL MVP, even if he doesn’t win, and he should, but has the “sentiment vote for the Pittsburgh Pirates player” going against him, that’s a great accomplishment for him! Two other Cardinals are finalists, Wainwright for Cy Young, and Miller for Rookie of the year. But I doubt any of them get the final vote. But again that doesn’t take away from their great seasons! Jessie Colin Young and the Youngbloods are singing their 60’s anthem, Let’s Get Together on the IPod right now. That’s a song we used to play!  The swimming season begins to wind down tonight for Alex, with the Conference prelims. Hey! What Day is it? Mike, Mike, Mike, what day is it? Come on, you know. It’s HUMP DAY!    Ok, let’s go have a Wonderful Wednesday and Hump Day! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

As I write this paragraph the London open is abou

first_imgAs I write this paragraph, the London open is about 40 minutes away.  The prices of all four precious metals aren’t doing much.  Gold volume is even lower than it was this time yesterday—but silver volume is much higher than it was yesterday at this time, but still very much on the lighter side.  And, not that it matters, but the dollar index is up a half-dozen basis points.There’s not much to add to today’s column, as just about everything worth saying showed up in The Wrap sections of my Tuesday and Wednesday missives—and I’m not happy when I keep repeating myself every day, which is easy to do when there’s not much going on.And as I hit the ‘send’ button on today’s effort at 5:05 a.m. EDT, I see that all four precious metals have rallied above their respective closes in New York yesterday—and it’s obvious that the rally in gold is running into resistance, as the open interest is now more than double what it was 40 minutes before the London open—and even though the rally was only about five bucks, that was obviously too much for ‘da boyz’.  Silver volume is getting up there as well, but it’s still very much on the lighter side, all things considered.  The dollar index is flat.So far, everything is unfolding like it normally does this time of day, as any rally in gold and silver that begins shortly before [or at] the London open, is dealt with before the London a.m. gold fix—and then the rest is left up to JPMorgan et al in New York when the Comex opens.  It remains to be seen if this pattern repeats itself again today.I hope your Thursday goes well, or went well if you live west of the International Date Line—and I’ll see you here tomorrow. Here are two more photographs from my Sunday outing—and both were taken in the same park and from exactly the same spot as the gulls I posted yesterday.  The difference is that these juvenile Black-crowned night herons were over well over 100 metres away across a pond and on an island—and despite using a big telephoto lens, I had to crop the heck of these two photos to get the birds up to this size.  Because of the distance and the cropping, they both fall into what I consider minimum acceptable picture quality, at least for me. The price management scheme in gold is now so obvious, that it’s no longer debatable.Gold did very little in Far East trading and the first half of the London trading day on Wednesday.  The rally at the Comex open wasn’t allowed to get far—and was sold back down to unchanged by noon in New York.  It rallied a few dollars going into the 1:30 p.m. Comex close—and then chopped sideways into the 5:15 p.m. close of electronic trading.The low and high aren’t worth the effort to look up.Gold finished the Wednesday session at $1,312.20 spot, up $3.70 from Tuesday’s close.  Volume, net of August and September, was pretty light at only 104,000 contracts.The silver price followed more or less the same price path as gold, expect the rally at the Comex open got sold down harder—and silver made a new low for this move down—and that low was printed about 11:50 a.m. EDT.  The price rallied a bit going into the Comex close—and the didn’t do much after that.The high and low ticks were recorded by the CME Group as $20.085 and $19.705 in the September contract.Silver closed at $19.81 spot, down 10.5 cents from Tuesday’s close.  Net volume was 33,000 contracts.Platinum didn’t do much of anything in early Far East trading, but developed a positive price bias beginning around 2 p.m. Hong Kong time.  It was up a whole six bucks on the day by shortly before 11 a.m. EDT—and then a thoughtful soul sold it down about a percent, with the low coming minutes before noon in New York.  From there it rallied back to almost unchanged—and down a buck on the day.The price action in palladium was similar, but both the corresponding rally—and subsequent sell-off, were much less pronounced.  Palladium manged to finish up a buck.It was another day where all four precious metals were rallying—and then all got sold off during the New York trading session.The dollar index closed on Tuesday at 81.51—and didn’t do much of anything until shortly after 2 p.m. Hong Kong time.  Then it rallied to its 81.65 high before it had a 25 basis point down/up move between the 8:20 a.m. Comex open and 11:40 a.m. EDT.  After that the index slid a small handful of basis points into the close, finishing at 81.61—up 10 basis points.The gold stocks chopped and flopped either side of unchanged yesterday—and finished the day that way, as the HUI closed down a miniscule 0.05%.The silver equities barely got a sniff of positive territory on Wednesday—and headed lower almost immediately.  The low of the day came at the low for silver, about 11:50 a.m. EDT.  From there they cut their loses by a bit, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.87%.The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 6 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Friday.  Nothing to see here.The CME’s Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that August open interest in gold declined by 117 contracts—and is now down to 1,167 contracts—so we await the final resolution on this as the month starts to wind down.There was a tiny 8,420 troy ounce withdrawal from GLD yesterday, which was probably a fee payment of some kind—and as of 9:18 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.There was a sales report from the U.S. Mint again yesterday.  They sold 500 troy ounces of gold eagles—500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—225,000 silver eagles—and another 200 platinum eagles.There wasn’t a creature stirring in the gold departments of the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday.  However, it was another big day for silver, as 600,769 troy ounces were reported received—and 693,508 troy ounces were shipped out the door.  All of the activity was at the CNT Depository—and Brink’s, Inc.  The link to that action is here.I have a very decent number of stories again today—and there should be some in here that interest you.For those with an interest in silver, I believe that a remarkably large percentage, certainly a majority, believes that silver is manipulated in price. They might not be able to articulate all the nuances of the manipulation, but they have a strong sense that there is an artificiality to silver pricing. I base this on what’s said and written on the Internet, of course, not in the main stream media, which continues to treat the topic of manipulation as something to be avoided at all costs. I believe this is the case because the biggest advertisers and commercial supporters of the main stream media tend to be the very financial institutions perpetrating the manipulation.Nowadays, it’s actually more unusual when someone strongly denies the existence of a silver manipulation, particularly if the denier is well known. Invariably, the denial brings an outcry of disagreement to the point of mockery. Not for a minute have I ever concluded that silver is manipulated or not by the weight of popular opinion; for me, the manipulation is quite easily proven by the verifiable facts. My point is simply that more who are interested in silver believe it is manipulated in price, than not.That might not seem like an earth-shaking revelation, but in reality it is very much so from what things once were. A quarter-century ago, very few, if any, believed silver was manipulated in price. I know this to be the case because I lived through it. For better or worse, the idea of a silver manipulation originated with me. I point this out, not to pat myself on the back, but strictly to demonstrate the difference between then and now in popular perceptions. In fact, I think you would be shocked at the degree of resistance that existed to the idea that silver was manipulated back then. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 13 August 2014It was another day when not much happened during the Wednesday trading session.  It was also another day that the rallies in all four precious metals, such as they were, got sold down during the New York session once again.Here are the 6-month charts for both gold and silver—and nothing much has changed.last_img read more

When humorist and writer Mara Altman was 19 and at

first_imgWhen humorist and writer Mara Altman was 19 and attending college at UCLA, she learned something about herself which, she says, felt devastating at the time.It happened while she was flirting with a server at a Mexican restaurant one evening. His name was Gustavo and he said five simple words: “I like your blonde mustache.”Now, she knew about this blonde mustache. But she had been bleaching it for years in the hopes that no one else would notice it.Altman’s latest book, Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front (And Back), is a personal, darkly witty investigation into the human body — how we think about it and how it works. In a mix of personal anecdotes, science and cultural reporting and interviews, Altman explores pressing questions like, is PMS real? How come some people sweat so much? And who decided women shouldn’t have body hair, anyway?In an interview with NPR’s Ailsa Chang, Altman says she began the book with her fuzzy lip story because she wanted to reframe the shame she and the rest of us often feel about our physical selves — and lighten the taboo. She decided to face the facts — starting with a confession to her now-husband, Dave, that she does everything she can to rid herself of facial hair.”I needed him to know that he was marrying a woman with a goatee,” she says with a laugh. “I just didn’t want (1) to have him find out later and be upset, and (2) to just have to hide it anymore. I was just so tired.”Her husband’s response when Altman told him? “It’s just hair!” She says he couldn’t have cared less.INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS On where the idea that women should be mostly hairless comes from[Women in] the United States in the early 1900s — they were fine being hairy. But then … advertisers came on strong in the 1930s. They said that having armpit hair was dirty and gross; being clean-shaven was respectable, feminine. And then you also look at another kind of theory that we are all so afraid of our mortality; that we cover up anything that kind of hints at us being beasts, or animals. We put on perfumes, we cover up our holes — anything that excretes or is moist we don’t want anything to do with.On what it was like to grow up in a family that encouraged ‘going natural’I still had the experiences at school where I didn’t feel like I totally fit in. I was trying so hard to be natural, to be authentic like my parents said. But you still have the friends on the schoolyard who are like, ‘Ah, she’s hairy — gross!’ … I was in junior high and I was in PE class just getting ready to play dodgeball or something. And a girl pointed at my legs and said, ‘Ew, gross, you’re hairy!’ And I just felt totally seen and ashamed and wanted nothing more than to rip out every single hair on my body. And yet that went against everything in our household about being natural. And then I had to confront my mom about it, and finally ask her if I could shave.On what a psychology professor said when she asked whether premenstrual syndrome is real She said that when we say that PMS made us do something, that we’re using it as a scapegoat — and kind of discount it. And she also said that hormones don’t create moods, but they can exacerbate moods. [Those feelings are] very legitimate; we should pay attention to them. Every time we say that PMS made us do it a misogynist gets his wings! It feeds into this idea that we’re angry; that we don’t know what we’re doing. But really — like a woman who just feels really strong feelings and in another society would be extremely respected.On how she found out sweat is awesome The sweat researcher that I talked to said that if we were overheating and we couldn’t sweat, we’d basically die in, like, 20 to 30 minutes. So when I see my own sweat stains now on my pits, which is probably daily, I try to appreciate that that’s where we come from. That’s how we’re human. And I think that researching or learning about our bodies can also lessen the shame around it.On being at a nudist resort while pregnant with twins — for research You know, I wrote this book to kind of investigate why we feel the way we feel about our bodies. But a wonderful bonus was kind of realizing that we all have such a big variation. … I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! All these people. So many various sizes [and] shapes don’t fit into any of the beauty standards we typically talk about or see. There are rolls! There’s cottage cheese! There are hairy moles!’ … And they’re walking around indulging in life. And you’re like, OK, you know what? We’re just lucky we have bodies. That we get to do all this cool stuff in our bodies.Alyssa Edes and Renita Jablonksi produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Alyssa Edes adapted it for the Web. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

As nearly 75 million Americans contend with cover

first_imgAs nearly 7.5 million Americans contend with covering the skyrocketing costs of insulin to manage the disease, diabetics in Colorado will soon have some relief. A new law, signed by Gov. Jared Polis earlier this week, caps co-payments of the lifesaving medication at $100 a month for insured patients, regardless of the supply they require. Insurance companies will have to absorb the balance. The law also directs the state’s attorney general to launch an investigation into how prescription insulin prices are set throughout the state and make recommendations to the legislature. Colorado is the first state to enact such sweeping legislation aiming to shield patients from dramatic insulin price increases. “One in four type 1 diabetics have reported insulin underuse due to the high cost of insulin … [t]herefore, it is important to enact policies to reduce the costs for Coloradans with diabetes to obtain life-saving and life-sustaining insulin,” the law states. The price of the drug in the U.S. has increased exponentially in recent years. Between 2002 and 2013, it tripled, according to 2016 study published in the medical journal JAMA. It found the price of a milliliter of insulin rose from $4.34 in 2002 to $12.92 in 2013. And a March report from the House of Representatives, found “prices continued to climb, nearly doubling between 2012 and 2016.” Dramatic price hikes have left some people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes who use insulin to control their blood sugar levels in the unfortunate position of making dangerous compromises. They either forego the medication or they ration their prescribed dose to stretch it until they can afford the next prescription. In some instances, those compromises can lead to tragedy. As NPR reported, an uninsured Minnesota man who couldn’t afford to pay for $1,300 worth of diabetes supplies, died of diabetic ketoacidosis, according to his mother. The man, who was 26, had been rationing his insulin. The move in Colorado comes on the heels of recent commitments by manufacturers to limit the drug’s cost to consumers, which in turn comes on the heels of mounting pressure (and some skewering) from elected officials. Following a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing in February and a subcommittee hearing in the House in April, pharmaceutical company leaders have reluctantly admitted they have a role to play in reducing drug prices. Last month Express Scripts, one of the largest pharmacy benefit managers in the country, announced it is launching a “patient assurance program” that will place a $25 per month cap on insulin for patients “no matter what.” In March, insulin manufacturer Eli Lilly said it will soon offer a generic version of Humalog, called Insulin Lispro, at half the cost. That would drop the price of a single vial to $137.35. “These efforts are not enough,” Inmaculada Hernandez of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy tells NPR, of the latest legislation in Colorado. Hernandez was lead author of a January report in Health Affairs attributing the rising cost of prescription drugs to accumulated yearly price hikes.While the Colorado out-of-pocket caps will likely provide financial relief for diabetes patients, she noted “the costs will kick back to all of the insured population” whose premiums are likely to go up as a result.”Nothing is free,” Hernandez said.”It also doesn’t fix the real issue,” she added, pointing to her own research which found “that prices have increased because there’s not enough competition in the market, demand will always be high and manufacturers leverage that to their advantage.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

A crossbench disabled peer has called for an end t

first_imgA crossbench disabled peer has called for an end to government-led austerity and the “personal misery” it has caused.Lord [Colin] Low, speaking in the Lords debate on last week’s Queen’s speech, said he believed the result of the general election showed voters were “no longer willing to buy neoliberal austerity”.He told peers that austerity had caused “a great deal of personal misery”, with one in four children living in poverty, the use of foodbanks continuing to rise, and a social security system that was “increasingly inhuman and self-defeating”.He pointed to disabled people losing their Motability cars – and consequently their jobs –because of the government’s personal independence payment reforms, while other benefit claimants have had their payments sanctioned for “unavoidably missing appointments”.He added: “The film I, Daniel Blake is all too true to life. The iniquitous work capability assessment finds people fit to work who are patently unfit and who, coroners find, are taking their lives as a result.”Lord Low (pictured, speaking in the debate) said that this “misery” was caused by “conscious, strategic decision-making” by the government, including cutting £12 billion from social security spending in the last parliament, on top of nearly £20 billion cuts under the coalition government.He said this was part of a 40-year project to “systematically shrink” public sector spending to just 36 per cent or less of national income, compared with 44 per cent in Germany and 50 per cent in Denmark.And he told fellow peers that the Grenfell Tower fire showed the harm caused by this attack on state spending, with the NHS and other public services in crisis and local services unable to cope.He said: “Local government, which provides many of these services, will have lost 60 per cent of its funding by 2020.“The election and the Grenfell Tower fire should serve as a wake-up call that we need to change course.”He called instead for government to borrow while interest rates are low in order to “invest in infrastructure, thus giving people work, getting them off the dole and being productive, fuelling growth by spending and creating demand for consumer goods, and paying taxes and boosting receipts for the exchequer”.The independent peer said he believed that voters in the general election had been attracted by the alternative to “neoliberal austerity” offered by the policies of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, which although they were widely described as “hard left” were in fact “fairly standard social democracy”.Lord Low also said that the “colossal misjudgements” of the last two prime ministers, David Cameron and Theresa May – over calling the Brexit referendum and a snap general election – showed that it was “surely no longer possible to sustain the pretence that the Conservative party is self-evidently more effective than the Labour party as a vehicle for governing the country”.And he said that “people should realise that the centre of gravity has shifted [leftwards], in defiance of the political establishment, the media and the commentariat”.last_img read more