STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – SUNDAY MAY 8, 2016

first_imgNYQUIST: PERFECT IS AS PERFECT DOESTRAINER FELT ENERGY OF TEAM O’NEILLGUTIERREZ IS MR. COOL IN THE SADDLESTELLAR WIND WORKS FOR VANITY MILEGOLDEN GATE JACKPOT NEARS $700,000 THE FACT IS, ALL NYQUIST DOES IS WINPrivate clocker Gary Young hadn’t fully scrutinized replays of Nyquist’s Kentucky Derby win Sunday, but he did allow as to how the son of Uncle Mo couldn’t be faulted in victory.“He got a great trip,” Young said. “The ironic part is, going into the race everyone said if the pace was slow the front-runners would keep running and if the pace was fast the come-from-behinders would run good.“The pace was fast and the only horse that made up any ground was Exaggerator. I haven’t yet seen the replays that thoroughly, but it didn’t look like that many horses had troubled trips.“There was still some water on the track after that half-hour downpour before the race, and I have heard that some horses might have been slipping and sliding.“But Nyquist won. All he does is win.”Trainer Brian Koriner summed it up: “California rules!” NYQUIST, SEATTLE SLEW MADE FROM SAME MOLD?The sun was out in all its glory at Santa Anita early Sunday morning, as if the racinggods were content in the knowledge that a three-year-old from Southern California had won the Kentucky Derby for the fourth time in the last five years.Saturday it was Nyquist, who joined I’ll Have Another (2012), California Chrome (2014) and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (2015). The comfortable 1 ¼-length victory under a flawless ride by Mario Gutierrez for owners Paul and Zillah Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neill extended Nyquist’s unbeaten streak to eight.Nyquist covered the mile and a quarter in 2:01.31, the third-fastest time for the distance in the track’s long existence. For good measure, Santa Anita-based Santa Anita Derby winner Exaggerator closed from 15th in the field of 20 to be second, the only horse to make up significant ground against the winner, although Nyquist was never seriously threatened.Still, some of Nyquist’s naysayers were not dispatched.John Shirreffs was not among the coterie of critics when the trainer of 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo at 50-1 was asked whether the Golden State dominance might be attributed to something in the water, so to speak.“New York has the best water in the world; ask all the pizza makers,” Shirreffs said, laughing aloud over his light sense of sarcasm. “Seriously, things go in cycles, and we’ve had some really, really great horses the last few years.“I think Nyquist is a very special horse. When he won that seven furlong race (the San Vicente (Feb. 15), how many three-year-olds can run 1:20 (1:20.71)? That’s talent. I don’t want to jinx the horse, but he reminds me of Seattle Slew (the first undefeated horse to win the Triple Crown, in 1977. Nyquist would be the second).”Added trainer Gary Sherlock, who plans to enter California Chrome Stakes winner Uncle Lino in the May 21 Preakness against Nyquist, “The best horse wins, it’s as simple as that, and Nyquist is just the best horse. I don’t know why he doesn’t get respect.“How can you knock him? There might be a Triple Crown champion back-to-back. If he wins the Preakness, he’ll win the Triple Crown.”Perhaps that would sate doubters of Nyquist, despite a record that becomes impeccably more impressive with each triumph.“I think respect stops at the Rockies,” Shirreffs said. “But now Nyquist’s team doesn’t have to climb over the Rockies. They can fly over them. It takes more than a good horse to win the Derby. It takes a tough horse. Giacomo was like that. He didn’t let anything bother him.”As for the future, imagine Beholder, California Chrome and Nyquist in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.It would be like Mantle, Mays and Ruth on the same field; Gretzky, Orr and Howe on the same ice; Ali, Louis and Marciano in the same ring.Savor the possibility. FINISH LINES: Stellar Wind, three-year-old filly champion of 2015, worked five furlongs Sunday in a minute flat in preparation for the Grade I Vanity Mile on June 4 and a possible meeting with three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder. “She’s right on track,” trainer John Sadler said of Stellar Wind. “Three more works and she’ll be ready.” . . . Trainer David Hofmans plans to work Santa Anita Handicap winner Melatonin Monday for the Grade I, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 25 . . . The Golden Pick 6 jackpot at Golden Gate Fields starts at a whopping $693,304.33 today. The popular 20¢ wager will begin with race four, scheduled for 2:22 p.m. Half of the Pick 6 sequence is slated to be run on the turf course. The jackpot, largest in the United States, continues to grow after a single ticket on Saturday threatened to spring a $757,538 payoff if Desert Peach had won the finale. First post at Golden Gate is 12:45 p.m. Spring racing continues until June 12 . . . Santa Anita hosts a Taco Festival next Saturday, May 14. Fans can purchase a Trackside Package that includes tacos and Mexican Craft beers on the trackside apron throughout the day. Online tickets are available at santaanita.com/events . . . Martin Garcia rides Robert B. Lewis third-place finisher I Will Score for Jerry Hollendorfer in next Saturday’s Grade III Lazaro Barrera Stakes for three-year-olds at seven furlongs, and Bellamentary for Phil D’Amato in next Sunday’s $75,000 Angels Flight Stakes for three-year-old fillies at seven furlongs . . . The Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) will partner with trainers Jim Cassidy, Matt Chew, Eddie Truman and Howard Zucker in offering a FREE “Conformation Clinic” at Santa Anita next Saturday. The informal workshop is intended to help participants develop an eye for a horse. Attendees will visit the trainers’ barns, where they can view horses to identify their conformation strengths and weaknesses.center_img SANTA ANITA FANS CHEER MARIO TO VICTORY“Go, Mario! Go, Mario! Go, Mario!”            That was the mantra shouted by fans on Santa Anita’s posh mezzanine Saturday watching Mario Gutierrez pilot Nyquist to victory in the Kentucky Derby on the big screen.The 29-year-old jockey rode the race just like it had been drawn up on paper. He couldn’t have authored a better ride. You can’t improve on perfection.“He’s Mr. Cool,” trainer Steve Knapp said of Gutierrez at Clockers’ Corner Sundaymorning. “He handles the big pressure. He did it in the Florida Derby and he did it yesterday.” EURTON SHARES THE FUN IN NYQUIST VICTORYPeter Eurton was at Santa Anita bright and early Sunday morning after saddling Kobe’s Back to a third-place finish in the Churchill Downs on Saturday’s Kentucky Derby undercard.The trainer did beat the crowd (167,227, second-largest in the track’s storied history), but not before sharing in some of the festivities up close and personal.“I was stabled at the same barn as Nyquist and there was a lot of energy,” Eurton said. “I thought I crashed a party I wasn’t invited to. It was a lot of fun.“After we ran Kobe, we jumped on a plane and made a pit stop about halfway home and I was able to watch the Derby live on a big screen, so we beat all the traffic.“Otherwise, we could have gotten home at midnight or one o’clock in the morning. As it turned out, we landed at 7 p.m. It was awesome.“We’re thrilled for all the California connections, Doug and Mr. Reddam. It’s all good.”As for Kobe’s Back, Eurton said, “He looked good cooling out after the race. If all goes well we’ll look for bigger and better things.”last_img read more

49ers mailbag: Is Steelers holdout Le’Veon Bell a trade option?

first_img— Chris Turley … (CLICK HERE, if you are unable to view this photo gallery on your mobile device.)Get 49ers news in your inbox. Sign up now for the free 49ers HQ newsletter.SANTA CLARA — Welcome to Week 1 of the 49ers regular season. Hopefully your entry goes smoother than Jerick McKinnon’s knee-wrecking practice Saturday. To which we begin this week’s hot topic in our mailbag:How likely is it that the @49ers trade for @LeVeonBell , given the current RB situation?last_img

Spider Evolution: A Theory in Crisis

first_imgSea spiders look so similar to land spiders, everyone would have thought they were related.  They differ, however, in several significant ways, said Graham Budd and Maximilian Telford in Nature:1  ’Their bodies are so slender that the digestive systems and gonads are squeezed into their limbs; they possess a forward-pointing proboscis with a terminal mouth; and the males brood the eggs.”  Now, additional observations “are bound to provoke controversy in an already acrimonious field,” the field of spider evolution.  Organs called chelifores near the proboscis of sea spiders are not related to the chelicerae of land spiders, reported Maxmen, Browne et al. in the same issue,2 because they originate from different parts of the head.  “The association of chelifores and chelicerae with different parts of the brain implies that the two types of limb are not equivalent, but are derived from different segments,” Budd and Telford said.  These observations will “shake up the field of arthropod evolution.”    A check under the hood shows there is more trouble in the engine of arthropod evolution.This result cuts across previous results based on adult structure, and to see the wider implications we need some historical background.  The composition of the arthropod head is one of the bitterest and longest-running problems in animal evolution.  Unresolved after more than a century of debate, this sorry tale is (in)famously known as the “endless dispute”. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)The only way to salvage the evolutionary model is to assume that sea spiders “are extraordinary living fossils, retaining an organization of their head that all other living arthropods lost hundreds of millions of years ago,” Budd and Telford suggested.  The caption of a phylogenetic chart explains how both possible interpretations are distasteful:a, If pycnogonids branched off before the appearance of insects, crustaceans, myriapods and arachnids, we can interpret their protocerebral chelifores (red) as equivalent to the supposedly anterior great appendage of fossil groups such as Anomalocaris.  The labrum (green) would have evolved in the common ancestor indicated with a star.  b, But if pycnogonids are related to arachnids, then either their protocerebral chelifores could be an atavistic re-evolution of the great appendage, or the labrum must have evolved independently in arachnids and the other three taxa.  Both of these latter hypotheses are contentious, and could raise doubts about the conclusions of Maxmen and colleagues.The former interpretation, taken by Maxmen et al., is that the chelifores are examples of convergent evolution.  “Pycnogonid chelifores and chelicerate chelicerae are convergent structures,” they decided, “innervated from different segmental neuromeres.”  Budd and Telford don’t seem ready to swallow that line.  They ended their analysis with more bitter words:The conclusions of Maxmen et al. overturn entrenched ideas about the body plan of the sea spiders and, furthermore, lend support to some controversial theories of arthropod evolution.  Unlike their terrestrial analogues, sea spiders lack a poisonous bite, but this paper is bound to inject venom into what is already one of the most controversial of all zoological topics.1Graham Budd and Maximilian Telford, “Evolution: Along came a sea spider,” Nature 437, 1099-1102 (20 October 2005) | doi: 10.1038/4371099a.2Maxmen et al., “Neuroanatomy of sea spiders implies an appendicular origin of the protocerebral segment,” Nature 437, 1144-1148 (20 October 2005) | doi: 10.1038/nature03984.You probably didn’t even know that the Darwinists had this problem.  Behind the scenes, they have been injecting each other with venom and battling each other for over a century about where arthropods fit in the evolutionary tree, all the while telling the rest of us evolution is a fact.  Should we feel sorry for them?  Do you feel sorry for someone who builds a sand castle on a fault line?(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Peer Reviewed Research: The Fraud Explosion

first_imgEthicists are becoming alarmed at the explosive increase in scientific fraud cases – and those are just the ones that were caught.Fraud on the RiseIt’s a truism that scientific research requires honesty (as with any intellectual endeavor).  For some reason, fraud cases have increased dramatically.  Is it due to better detection and reporting, or to a disturbing trend that no longer values honesty in academia?  Some recent articles weigh in on the problem.In Nature News Oct 1, an article headlined, “Misconduct is the main cause of life-sciences retractions.”  That’s misconduct in contrast to slipshod error, as Zoe Corbyn expressed:Conventional wisdom says that most retractions of papers in scientific journals are triggered by unintentional errors. Not so, according to one of the largest-ever studies of retractions. A survey published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that two-thirds of retracted life-sciences papers were stricken from the scientific record because of misconduct such as fraud or suspected fraud — and that journals sometimes soft-pedal the reason.Results of the survey were published in PNAS (Fang, Steen and Casadevall, “Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications,” PNAS October 1, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1212247109).  Of the 2,047 retracted papers surveyed, 43% were fraud cases and 24% were due to either duplicate publication or plagiarism.  And this was from leading journals, including Nature, Science, and PNAS itself.  Only a fifth, Science Insider said, were due to mistakes.  Science Magazine (Random Sample, Oct 5) noted that while plagiarism predominated in China, fraud predominated in the United States.  New Scientist said these numbers were “higher than thought.”  The Scientist speculated about the reasons:The disproportionate number of fraud-related retractions from high-IF journals likely reflects the pressures on scientists to publish impressive data in prestigious journals. “There’s greater reward,” said Resnik, “and more temptation to bend the rules.”But lots of people work under stress without bending the rules, and temptations hit everyone.  Scientists are supposed to be models of integrity, aren’t they?  Whatever the reason, research misconduct is not a victimless crime.  One of the ethicists conducting the survey wanted to “dispel any notion that scientific misconduct may be a crime that only affects the perpetrators.”  Scientists often publish on issues society really cares about.Science Insider tried to whitewash the problem with statistics:Although retractions are on the rise, they remain relatively rare in science. Well under 0.1% of papers in PubMed have been retracted, the study found; the database contains more than 25 million papers going back to the 1940s.The problem with that analysis is that nobody knows how many papers should have been retracted but were never exposed for fraud, error, or misconduct.  That’s not just an idle concern.  “What’s troubling is that the more skillful the fraud, the less likely that it will be discovered, so there likely are more fraudulent papers out there that haven’t yet been detected and retracted,” said Dr. Arturo Casadevall, lead author of the paper (quoted in Science Daily).  And then there’s the question, why are retractions on the rise?  Why now?Science Daily listed Casadevall’s suggestions for improvement: such as, more emphasis on quality over quantity, less rating for impact, more cooperation and collaboration, and better funding processes.  These would undoubtedly help, but one can imagine whole groups conspiring to commit fraud if honesty is not valued.Shocking Self-PromotionThe Scientist uncovered another trend in fraud: self-congratulation.  Some scientists are logging in under another name and writing great reviews of their own work.At least four scientists have been cheating the peer review system in a whole new way: when submitting a paper to a scientific journal, they suggest reviewers with email addresses that track back to themselves; then they write a glowing review…. “I find it very shocking,” Laura Schmidt, an Elsevier publisher, told The Chronicle. “It’s very serious, very manipulative, and very deliberate.” ….This “has taken a lot of people by surprise,” Irene Hames, a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics that advises journals on how to handle misconduct, said in an e-mail to The Chronicle. “It should be a wake-up call to any journals that don’t have rigorous reviewer selection and screening in place.”Psychologist, Shrink ThyselfAs reported earlier, some high-profile cases of fraud have come from the psychologist community.  Now, according to Nature News, Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman is calling on them to clean up their act.  He wants them “to restore the credibility of their field by creating a replication ring to check each others’ results.”  He told them in an email, “your field is now the poster child for doubts about the integrity of psychological research.  I believe that you should collectively do something about this mess.”Diederich Stapel, one of the poster children for psychology fraud, is now under investigation by Dutch prosecutors, according to Science Now.  25 of his papers have been retracted and others are being considered for retraction.  He had received 2.2 million euros in research funding.  Other high-profile cases include Dirk Smeesters (7/05/2012), Lawrence Sanna, and Marc Hauser (9/05/2012)Kahneman proposed a “daisy chain of replication” to avoid unverified results.  Norbert Schwarz, a social psychologist from U of Michigan, agrees something must be done.  “I hope that this becomes part of a broader movement in psychology to be more self-critical, and to see if there are gaps in the way we do everyday science.”Sleeping at the SyringeAnother shocking fraud case was by an anesthesiologist, Yoshitaka Fujii in Tokyo.  David Cyranoski wrote in Nature News, “Retraction record rocks community: Anaesthesiology tries to move on after fraud investigations.”  This is not one person’s problem, Cyranoski showed:One of the biggest purges of the scientific literature in history is finally getting under way. After more than a decade of suspicion about the work of anaesthesiologist Yoshitaka Fujii, formerly of Toho University in Tokyo, investigations by journals and universities have concluded that he fabricated data on an epic scale. At least half of the roughly 200 papers he authored on responses to drugs after surgery are in line for retraction in the coming months.Like many cases of fraud, this one has raised questions about how the misconduct went undetected for so long. But the scope and duration of Fujii’s deception have shaken multiple journals and the entire field of anaesthesiology, which has seen other high-profile frauds in the past few years.Unquestionably, this could be serious.  Fraudulent claims about drugs could conceivably reach right into the hospital where your loved one is trusting the doctor’s advice on medication.  Suspicions arose about Fujii when he published more papers than seemed possible in the amount of time, and they looked “too perfect.”  By spreading his publications out in multiple journals, he avoided some of the suspicion.  Another trick, since he worked for five institutions, was to claim that ethics approval for studies had been granted at a previous post.While Fujii’s is an exceptional case, colleagues are worried about their field.  One who suspected the fraud doesn’t want to write off Fujii as merely a bad apple.  “It’s a system failure,” he said.  Indeed, if peer review and replication are not working, the vaunted “self-correcting” quality of scientific research is compromised.AssessmentPerhaps no other field of scholarly activity generates as much writing as science – publications that are supposed to be peer reviewed, inspected, and replicated.  Thousands of titles are printed and posted every week by labs all over the world.  For the self-checking processes of science to work, fellow scientists would have to spend vast amounts of their time replicating other scientists’ results.  How could they?  Even if they could, they might be motivated by rivalry or the desire for approval from superiors.  Some research is clearly too difficult to replicate: how many countries can build a Large hadron Collider to look for the Higgs boson? Much work is not reproducible without great effort or luck, like snapping a photo of an Ivory woodpecker.Peer review and replication remain idealistic in principle but too often unattainable in practice.  Consequently, vast numbers of scientific papers slide through the process without adequate review, attaining the illusion of validity in the public’s eye.  When fraud is caught, it’s often long after the damage has been done.  The Scientist gave the example of the measles epidemic that resulted when parents feared, based on a fraudulent study, that inoculations caused autism.While it may be encouraging to see rising concern over scientific fraud and misconduct, who’s watching the watchers?  Somebody, somewhere, has to abide by some pretty old-fashioned values: courage and integrity.Integrity: evolve that, Darwin.  Rule: if it evolves, it’s not integrity.In the article on Marc Hauser (9/05/2012), we made the point that evolutionary materialists really have nothing to complain about.  Cheating is part of evolutionary game theory.  Cheaters are necessary to produce the evolution of morality; Hauser himself taught that in his own book, and his colleagues all agree.  How can they fault him for living consistent with his own views?  He was performing a necessary role.  For those who take this view of morality, all the cheaters mentioned in this article should get rewards.Critics might respond that misconduct is rife in churches, too.  It’s true.  From time to time, high-profile pastors get exposed for sexual misconduct.  Some preachers plagiarize others’ work by downloading sermons and preaching them as if their own.  Yes, there are sinners in the church!The difference is that the Biblical worldview accounts for sin; evolution does not.  Bible believers know that God is holy, but humans are fallen. While the Bible teaches that we are each responsible for our sin, and have no excuse, we all sin.  The history of sinners, even among great men like King David, is long; even the most righteous among us knows temptation and stumbling.  But the Bible is also a story of redemption.  Christ came into the world to save sinners (Romans 5:6-11).  Accepting his gift of righteousness, purchased by his death on the cross, provides imputed (legal) righteousness before God, but practical righteousness only over time.  The Christian life is a long process of sanctification that will not be completed in this lifetime.  Christ founded the church (Matthew 16:13-19) as a community of disciples who would encourage and admonish each other toward righteousness (Colossians 3), with godly leaders teaching and applying His inspired Word (I Peter 5), which is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (I Timothy 3:16).The  point is that the Biblical worldview accounts for sin and has means for dealing with it.  The more a church maintains high standards, is aware of sources of temptation, has policies for transparency and accountability, the less likely major cases of misconduct will appear.  Nevertheless, because of our fallenness and ever-present temptation, some will stumble and fall into sin.  When it happens, there are Biblical policies for dealing with it (e.g., Matthew 18), and redemptive policies for rehabilitating the sinner (II Corinthians 2:3-7).The secular scientific community, by contrast, pretends shock and dismay over the misconduct of their members, but cannot account for why the misconduct is wrong.  There is no “should” in evolutionary theory.  They can’t say stuff should happen, and other stuff should not happen; they can only say stuff happens.The only way secularists can set up ethics boards, policies and procedures, and investigate and punish misconduct is to borrow from Judeo-Christian moral principles.  They have to steal from the smorgasbord of Christian values.  This means they have to commit misconduct (plagiarism and theft) to fight misconduct!  Reaching into their own beliefs, they have no grounds for calling anything of the above incidents wrong.  It’s all evolutionary games; it just happens, like hyenas sneaking in bites at the lion’s catch.  Conceivably, a new power could evolve that would make right wrong and wrong right.  Ethics boards in an evolutionary future might punish the honest folks and reward the cheats.  (Wait; that’s already happened—e.g., in communist countries built on Darwinian “ethics”.)We shouldn’t let the Casadevalls, Schmidts and Kahnemans of the secular science community pretend righteous indignation when, to the scientific consensus, righteousness evolved by an amoral, aimless process of natural selection (9/12/2012).  Only those whose worldview can ground righteousness in timeless, unchanging attributes of a righteous Creator have the justification for righteous indignation.  This means that only Bible believers are qualified to rise up and demand honesty and integrity from scientists.  Let them do their duty with all diligence, considering themselves, lest they also be tempted (Galatians 6:1-5).(Visited 52 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

President Zuma declares official funeral for late Minister Chabane

first_imgThe late Minister for Public Service and Administration, Mr Collins Chabane, who tragically passed on in a road collision on the N1 highway near Polokwane, in Limpopo on Sunday, 15 March 2015, will be laid to rest on Saturday, 21 March 2015, at Xikundzu village in Malamulele, Limpopo Province.The Minister will be accorded an Official Funeral.The Official Funeral Category 1 is reserved for the following persons:• Serving Ministers• Speaker of the National Assembly• Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa• Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP)• Premiers of ProvincesThe President has ordered that the National Flag be flown at half-mast at all flag posts in the Republic on Saturday 21 March 2015, the day of the funeral.Memorial serviceThe memorial service for Minister Chabane will be held on Thursday, 19 March 2015, at 12h00, at the Pretoria City Hall, Tshwane.Enquiries: Mac Maharaj on 079 879 3203 or macmaharaj@icloud.comIssued by: The PresidencyPretoria17 March 2015last_img read more

Financial Planning Tips for Women

first_imgBy Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.eduWomen face unique financial differences from men related to longevity, career differences, and family responsibilities. They are also less likely to remarry and more likely to live alone in later life. Half of women in their mid-50s today will live to be age 90.The American Savings Education Council (ASEC) recently held a program that focused on special considerations that women face in achieving financial security in later life. A key point was that the decisions that women make in their younger years will greatly affect their standard of life later. One speaker advised “Make a positive difference in your financial life because you will be the one that is stuck with it.” https://pixabay.com/photos/office-business-accountant-620822/ Return to article. Long DescriptionBelow are ten tips from the ASEC program speakers to share with female service members:Figure Out How Much Retirement Will Cost– Use a simple planning tool such as the ASEC Ballpark Estimate calculator to figure out how much money you will need and how much you need to save annually to reach this goal. The Ballpark Estimate is available as both a downloadable worksheet and an online calculator.Get Legal Matters and Papers in Order– Draft key legal documents including a will, living will, and durable power of attorney and review these documents periodically as life events and changes in wealth levels occur.Examine Social Security Options– Review your projected Social Security benefit by setting up an online account at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/. Carefully review benefit amounts available at ages 62, full retirement age, and 70 and weigh this data against personal factors (e.g., health status and financial need).Avoid Giving Too Much Money to Adult Children– Set a cap on interfamily transfers to avoid diverting potential retirement savings for the living expenses of adult children (e.g., loan payments and cell phone bills).Avoid Quitting a Job for Care-Giving– Keep income and grow future retirement savings by staying on the job. To balance work and family, explore options such as flexible work hours, telework, and adult day care.Review Beneficiary Designations– Check the beneficiary designations on employer retirement savings plans and insurance policies and revise them as needed (e.g., following a death or divorce).Save Early and Often– Establish an emergency savings account. At the same time, start funding an employer-sponsored retirement plan and/or an individual retirement account (IRA). Both savings goals (an emergency fund and retirement savings) are very important so it is fine to multi-task them to maximize compound interest.Learn the Rules– Study the rules of the systems that you plan to rely on for income in later life (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, a pension, and tax-deferred employer savings plan).Take Advantage of Available Savings Supports– Try to earn the maximum match available through an employer retirement savings plan. Another support for savings is financial education programs available at worksites and through Cooperative Extension.Consider Annuitizing Some Retirement Savings– Purchase an annuity to avoid running out of money. Along with Social Security, an annuity will make monthly lifetime payments. Look for an annuity with low expenses.last_img read more

Farmers continue stir, prices soar

first_imgSmall retailers and consumers across Maharashtra were harried as the farmers’ agitation dragged into the sixth day on Tuesday, sending prices of vegetables soaring even as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that farm loans would be waived by October end.The prolonged agitation, which retained its intensity in Nashik and Ahmednagar, is hitting the ordinary consumers in the pocket as prices of vegetables have continued to skyrocket.In fact, the protest has put a severe strain on Maharashtra’s rural economy in general, with sources assessing a ₹100 crore loss in Nashik district alone where 17 wholesale markets remained completely shut for the sixth consecutive day.Tomatoes soared from ₹10 a kilo to an incredible ₹60 a kilo, so did okra (lady’s finger), which rose from ₹15 a kilo to ₹50 a kilo . Leafy vegetables and potatoes witnessed a fourfold increase in their prices, said retailers in Pune.The Pune APMC in Gultekdi saw only 60% of the normal supply of vegetables on Tuesday morning.Milk procurement, while stabilising in urban pockets, remained lukewarm in the rural areas of Nashik and Ahmednagar, the hotbeds of the agitation, especially given several incidents of deliberate large-scale milk spillage witnessed during the protest.The agitation, backed by a number of political entities like the Shiv Sena, Raju Shetti’s Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and the Sambhaji Brigade, witnessed activists of these parties ‘locking-out’ government buildings in a symbolic gesture of protest on Tuesday.last_img read more

WEST INDIES OPENERS GAYLE, SMITH AT CREASE VS PAK

first_imgWest Indies captain Darren Sammy won the toss and elected to bat against Pakistan in the quarterfinals of the cricket World Cup in Mirpur on Wednesday.West Indies have made three changes to their side bringing in Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Kemar Roach in place of Kirk Edwards, Sulieman Benn and Andre Russell.Pakistan have brought in Saeed Ajmal in place of Abdur Rehman.Teams:Pakistan: Shahid Afridi (c), Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal.West Indies: Darren Sammy (c), Devon Smith, Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Devon Thomas, Devendro Bishoo, Ravi Rampaul, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kemar Roach.last_img

Gas dispute leaves hundreds of thousands freezing in Ukraine

first_imgMOSCOW — Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are without heating at a time when temperatures are plunging due a long-standing dispute between the national gas company and regional utility providers.Residents in Kryvy Rih, a city of 600,000 in Ukraine’s south-east, on Monday seized the building of the local gas company demanding that the heating be turned on. Temperatures are below zero at night in the area. In the town of Smila, in central Ukraine, residents on Tuesday blocked roads leading into town, demanding that authorities provide heating.Opposition lawmaker Oleh Lyashko said last week that at least six towns with a combined population over 1 million remain without heating.The troubles with central heating come after national gas company Naftagaz raised gas prices that some struggling municipalities said were impossibly high for them to pay. Naftagaz has said it will resume supply to utilities companies and powers stations only after they clear the debts or pay for supplies in advance.Ukraine is struggling with a flagging economy and a separatist conflict in the east which is weighing down on the nation’s finances. One of the conditions for the International Monetary Fund to continue providing Ukraine with loans was to increase gas prices by 23 per cent starting Nov. 1. Bills for hot water and heating are expected to increase by another 15 per cent on Dec. 1.The Ukrainian government stopped buying gas from Russia following the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, citing unreasonably high prices. As a result Ukraine started to buy gas from European companies, some of which resell the gas they buy from Russia.The Associated Presslast_img read more

LS elections choice between Modi and chaos Jaitley

first_imgNew Delhi: Calling the upcoming Lok Sabha elections a choice between chaos and Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said what the Opposition had promised to be a “mahagathbandhan” (grand alliance) was turning out to be an alliance of several conflicting “gathbandhans” with multiple leaders, each trying to outwit the other. Jaitley said that going by past precedents, such an alliance could only lead to chaos. “The choice is clear — it is either Modi or chaos,” he said in a Facebook post. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! The Finance Minister said while several issues occupied the agenda space in an election, the issue of foremost relevance in 2019 was that of leadership where the Bharatiya Janata Party with “absolute clarity” was a clear winner against a “self-destructive coalition of rivals” in which the leadership issue was an “absolute puzzle”. “Within the NDA there are no leadership issues. There is absolute clarity. Narendra Modi leads the NDA and will be the Prime Minister in the event of a victory. His leadership is nationally accepted, his ratings are very high. His track record speaks for itself,” Jaitley said. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed On the other hand, he said, was Congress President Rahul Gandhi “who is an inadequate leader” and has been “tried, tested and failed”. “His lack of understanding of issues is frightening. He aspires to be the leader of this chaotic pack,” Jaitley said. He said Mamata Bannerjee was positioning herself as the “sutradhar” (architect) of this grand alliance but “won’t concede a single seat either to the Congress or the Left in West Bengal but will want them to be her pillion riders if she drives the vehicle.” Taking about the other opposition parties, Jaitley said the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) would contest against the Congress but eventually join hands, and so would the Trinamool and the Congress-Left alliance in West Bengal. “However, in Kerala the Congress and the Left will contest against each other. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference (NC) tried to form the government together with the support of the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir. “Today they are rivals in an election and on the dangerous agenda of either ‘autonomy’ or ‘pre-1953 status’, but could join hands with the ‘gathbandhan’. The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) are not with the ‘gathbandhan’,” he said. Jaitley said the BSP was wiped out in the last Lok Sabha elections and Mayawati had now changed her strategy and wanted a strong BSP and a weak Congress. “She holds her cards close to her chest. She will open them only after the results are declared…Leaders with flexible ideologies think that they are acceptable to all. The opposition alliance is unclear — it is absolutely fragile,” he said. Jaitley added that none of the opposition parties were capable of winning any significant number of seats and the alliance won’t have a stable nucleus. “What was promised to be ‘mahagathbandhan’ is turning out to be a ‘gathbandhan’ of several conflicting alliances. It is a self-destructive ‘coalition of rivals’,” he said. “The contest is against a leader in whose hands the country is secure and developing. He is trusted. Against him, there isn’t any projected leader. There are multiple leaders, each trying to outwit the other. They can only promise a temporary government if we go by the past precedents. One can be certain of chaos. The choice is clear, it is either Modi or chaos,” Jaitley said.last_img read more