Explore the land of the long white cloud

first_imgThe country’s canopy of blue, with the cleanest of air never fails to surpriseNew Zealand Tourism and the movies have done a mighty fine job. The country has had ad campaign tag lines that tell you that it is the youngest country on Earth and that everything there is “100,The country’s canopy of blue, with the cleanest of air never fails to surpriseNew Zealand Tourism and the movies have done a mighty fine job. The country has had ad campaign tag lines that tell you that it is the youngest country on Earth and that everything there is “100 per cent Pure”. Find these campaigns on You Tube and you will hit a travel agent with your credit card at 100 paces. Then there’s Hrithik Roshan with his “Kaho Naa…” song sequences and bike riding which made New Zealand Bollywood’s 21st century Switzerland. Peter Jackson gave the West its Middle Earth and the habitat of hobbits by setting up his Lord of the Ring trilogy in the country of his birth, while New Zealand’s Southern Alps did a very good impersonation of K2 for Vertical Limit.Not to forget bungee jumping and jogging, two Kiwi inventions that went viral around the world well before the word viral left a laboratory. New Zealand is a country the size of England with a population of under five million, so they have plenty rooms at the inn.The quick trip around New Zealand ‘highlights’ would include a stop over in the City of Sails, Auckland, a visit to the hot springs near Lake Rotorua and the Maori experience in Tamaki. A short ferry ride across the two islands via Picton. A stop over in Christchurch as a hop on the journey to Queenstown and the whole Southern Alps or Lord of the Rings or Milford Sound experience. It also has a large number of hot springs, known as waiariki in MaoriA bungee jump will surely be involved in the trip. Or at least the Sky Walk around Auckland’s Sky Tower. It is 600 feet above the ground and has a platform without railings on it. They let their dumb cluck tourists go around to both enjoy the view as well catch sights of the cooks at the revolving restaurant atop the Tower putting down meat cleavers and chopping vegetables. What the Sky Tower doesn’t advertise is that the Sky Walk is one way to understand the exact meaning of the word ‘nerves.’ It is not about the stuff in the brain: it refers to the capacity of the gut to turn to water and the knees to switch to the mode called Wobble.The more beguiling parts of New Zealand come quietly, far removed from the adrenaline rush of a bunjee jump or the intoxication of a wine-tasting tour (both of which, all sources reveal, are worth the expense.) The country which also owns a romantic Maori name of Aotearoa (also pronounced Ao-tea-roa); the Land of the Long White Cloud. New Zealand needs to be tackled much like you tasted a kiwi fruit for the first time- absorbed slowly and without expectation.To absorb, first abandon thoughts of Australia.New Zealand is not even close-it is just over 25 degrees south east in longitude from its bigger neighbour. The shortest flight between the two is three hours, with a time difference of two hours. Think India and Iraq to the West or Indonesia to the East.Bungee jumping and jogging are two of the most popular adventure sportsArriving in New Zealand is more about finding yourself at the doorstep of Australia’s distant cousin. Distant, mind, not close. Getting there is understanding what it means to be at the edge of the Pacific, in the most active hub of the part of the world called Polynesia. Even in a flat world, this is its very rim. When the sun rises in the East, it rises in its eastern outpost, the New Zealand’s Chatham Islands, 800kms East in the South Pacific Ocean.An immigration line in Auckland will contain a palette of races and cultures that even the well-travelled outsider may find hard to identify. The signboard at baggage arrival-Papeete, Apia, Noumea, Rarotonga, Nuku ‘alofa, Niue-could contain the names of places that must surely be the outposts of paradise.In New Zealand, it is best to wander. Just around the corner and past the obvious, it is possible to find sometimes hidden magical, mystical tales, magical flavours. So when you are offered a choice between a muffin and a fruit on one of the domestic flights, take the fruit. It will be an apple (or pear or nectarine) you will never forget. Promise. What looks like a tiny hill in an Auckland suburb is actually a dormant volcano.The curving Maori symbol of the koru based on the unfurled frond of fern and stands for growth. In a country which prides itself on practical place names like the Doubtful Range and Eighty Eight Valley, there flows a river called the Waimakariri. There is an ice cream called Hokey Pokey and a Tall Black is a basketball player and an All White plays football, a Flat White or a Long Black though is actually Kiwi code for coffee.With a population of under five million, they have plenty rooms at the innsThat just a turn off a country road past a few random fields there will be a rugby club, where a game can be on, always stop and watch. In New Zealand, it is like going to church. Okay, not as holy, but socially sacred. The club could have produced half a dozen All Blacks, the country’s national rugby team that has made rugby union famous around the world even where the sport is not understood. They have a World Cup being held from September 9, when it is possible that every time the All Blacks play, New Zealand may stop breathing. It’s like India and cricket, smaller in scale but as fierce. It will contain mud, maybe blood and some very big men.If New Zealand feels like the edge of the earth, its southern most town, called Inverness, is the closest you can get to Antarctica without being on a scientific expedition. That wonderful description is stolen off a cricket report in the Hindu, but if you are in Inverness (which has another rude description which we shall ignore) stand on its shores (warm clothes mandatory) and take your imagination out to sea. The next shore your mind can spot will feature penguins.New Zealand’s entire landscape is as stunning as it is advertised but what sets it off, is what actually cannot be advertised. It is the country’s canopy of blue, the skies reflecting the cleanest of air (pure, fresh, remember) and it will always surprise. In day time it will contain cotton-clouds that will make every holiday photograph look as if it has been photoshopped. At night you will realise just how many stars there really are in the sky and why we are all actually living on an insignificant piece of rock. Aotearoa is far, far away but one of the country’s more famous pop songs from the 1980s contains a question that must be answered, “The tyranny of distance never stopped the cavalier, so why should it stop me?” So be a cavalier and go. When you get there, New Zealand will remind you of many things-of how the small can be significant and how afterwards, remoteness need not ever matter again.The writer is Delhi based and is Senior Editor, ESPNcricinfo.com.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Soccer Stadium Planned for Haitis Notorious Cite Soleil Shantytown

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) A local sports hero, a New York real estate developer and a well-known architect are teaming up to build a soccer stadium in Haiti’s notorious Cite Soleil, hoping to revive the seaside shantytown known throughout the hemisphere for its extreme poverty and gang battles.Foreign investors in Haiti have largely directed their efforts at rebuilding from a devastating 2010 earthquake, focusing their funds on Port-au-Prince and the overlapping cities that make up the capital and the country’s sleepy coastlines.But ex-Haiti soccer star Robert ”Boby” Duval has masterminded the $5 million stadium project, which he says will address problems that predate the 2010 disaster. Developer Delos LLC and architect Carlos Zapata are working with him on the project in a slum on the outskirts of the capital, full of tin shacks and open sewage canals formerly shunned by investors, avoided by diplomats and at one point considered so dangerous that U.N. peacekeepers would only enter it in armored vehicles.”Cite Soleil was destroyed way before the earthquake,” said Duval. ”This stadium is going to clean up Cite Soleil…. and I’m betting on it.”The 12,000-seat stadium will be called the ”Phoenix Stadium,” referring to hopes that the shantytown will rise up.The organizers also hope the stadium, scheduled to break ground within six months and due to be built by the end of 2013, will bring an initial 500 jobs and inject commerce into Cite Soleil, where politicians have long gone so far as to pay gang leaders to stir up trouble.The arena will also host concerts and serve as a cultural center to foster a sense of community.Duval said it will also serve as the home to a new soccer league for some 350 players, independent of the Haitian Federation of Soccer.For the past 18 years, Duval has run the L’Athletique D’Haiti sports program from a field at the northeastern edge of Cite Soleil, giving some of Haiti’s poorest children life skills through sports. Some 2,000 youths participate in the program, which has been featured along with Duval in Sports Illustrated and ESPN.Duval said the introduction of a second soccer division will raise the quality of Haiti’s national league while providing a future for his budding professionals.”Let me do my own thing so my kids can make some money,” Duval said at his nonprofit sports academy.Federation officials didn’t return calls seeking comment.The current league and smaller clubs play their home games at the only official stadium in Haiti’s capital, the Stade Sylvio Castor in downtown Port-au-Prince. Until last summer, Its parking lot was used as a makeshift settlement for several hundred people displaced by the earthquake until city authorities paid some of them to leave even if they had no place to go. League organizers wanted to reclaim the stadium to resume matches.The bulk of the new stadium’s financing will be provided by Delos, corporations and individual donors. The land, 12 acres in all, was donated by a banker, Duval said.On a recent Thursday morning, dozens of youths sprinted across several adjacent fields in pursuit of a soccer ball at L’Athletique D’Haiti. Just outside the cinderblock wall, a police officer waved cars past a checkpoint, his face masked so that gang leaders wouldn’t recognize him.”I can’t wait for the day that the (stadium) arrives,” 17-year-old student Jean-Gilles Fritznel said as he leaned against a goal post. ”I will have a hard time sleeping the night before, waiting for the sunlight to see it.”The director of a neighborhood youth program welcomed Duval’s project and hopes it will change the culture of violence in the shanty.”Soccer players will be role models,” said 38-year-old Olerch Alexis. ”The youths will want to play soccer instead of pick up guns.”To read the entire story by Trenton Daniel, go to Yahoo read more

Ohio State fall sports wrap

It was a down year for the Buckeye fall sports teams, with no Big Ten championships won by any squad. However, the teams secured five NCAA tournament bids this season with women’s volleyball still in contention. Women’s field hockey and men’s soccer ended the regular season with the best conference success, narrowly missing out on first place and securing second in the Big Ten. Despite the overall lack of championship success, the Buckeyes earned several high individual honors and each team had its own season highlights. Men’s soccer For the first time since 2006, the Ohio State men’s soccer team was not a part of the NCAA tournament. Junior midfielder Chris Hegngi and senior defender David Tiemstra headlined a list of eight OSU players who received Big Ten awards; Hegngi and Tiemstra were named the conference’s best offensive and defensive player, respectively. Tiemstra and Hegngi were named First-Team All-Big Ten while senior forward Parnell Hegngi, junior midfielder Austin McAnena and junior goalkeeper Matt Lampson earned second-team honors. The Buckeyes finished with an overall 10-7-2 record, 4-2 in the Big Ten, placing second behind Northwestern. After losing to Northwestern on Oct. 9, a regular season conference championship seemed unlikely as the team sat at 7-5-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference. Coach John Bluem said the game was “one of the worst performances by an OSU team in (his) 15 years here.” The team responded, going 3-0-1 in its next four contests to put itself in a position to win the title in its final regular season game. OSU was not up to the task as they fell to Indiana on the road, 1-0. “It was certainly a disappointment to come away without a win and not win the championship outright,” Bluem said in a press release. “But it was definitely a difficult task at hand.” OSU had won the Big Ten tournament the last four years, but the team was defeated by Penn State in the first round of the tournament, ending its season. Women’s soccer At first glance the OSU women’s soccer team’s final regular season record of 10-8-1 and subsequent first-round loss in the Big Ten tournament doesn’t seem like anything too special. However, it was a couple of program milestones and an unlikely run in the NCAA tournament that made the 2011 season memorable. The Buckeyes received a bid to the national tournament, albeit one the team and coach Lori Walker did not expect to receive, and collected upset victories against Tennessee and Milwaukee to advance to the Sweet Sixteen to play Duke, the top-seeded team in the region. OSU led the Blue Devils, 1-0, at halftime, but two second-half goals by Duke ended the Buckeyes’ tournament run. “This team found a second life and made something of it,” Walker said following the loss. “We always said we wanted to advance until we met a team that is playing better than us … I give credit to our seniors for leading us to be here and we’ve got nothing to be disappointed about.” The 2011 senior class tied last year’s class as the winningest four-year group in program history with 51 victories. The Buckeyes also recorded program win No. 200 on Sept. 23 at home against Illinois. Field Hockey The field hockey team ended its 2011 campaign with a 12-9 overall record and 4-2 mark in conference play. By losing to Old Dominion in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the team overcame its semifinal loss in the conference tournament to make the big dance in three consecutive seasons. This was the Buckeyes’ seventh appearance in the tournament, while six of them have been under 16-year head coach Anne Wilkinson. The team was led by captain and First-Team All-Big Ten honoree Jenn Sciulli while forwards Berta Queralt, Danica Deckard and midfielder Paula Pastor-Pitarque were named Second-Team All-Big Ten selections. The team strongly depended on its defense in many of its games. Goaltender and captain Ally Tunitis notched four shutouts on the season and now holds the single-season wins record for OSU goalkeepers. The season was far from a failure due to the girls’ most notable win against No. 11 Michigan when they won, 2-1, in a thriller to kick off conference play. Tunitis described the win as the “most meaningful moment of the season.” Women’s volleyball The women’s volleyball team has yet to finish its season, as it will be making its way to Florida, Saturday and Sunday, for the Gainesville Regional to face the winner of Illinois and Marquette in the Sweet 16. The team finished its regular season with an overall record of 21-14 and a conference record of 9-11. The Buckeyes’ rollercoaster ride of a season sparked surprise at their tournament run, but a win over No. 14 Tennessee on Friday kept the girls’ season hopes alive. Junior Mari Hole was the only Buckeye named a First-Team All-Big Ten honoree while Kelli Barhorst was named a Sportsmanship Award honoree. Men’s cross-country The OSU men’s cross-country team was without its No. 1 runner for most of the 2011 season. For most teams, losing a top runner would spell doom, but for the Buckeyes this season, it did not. OSU qualified for the 2011 NCAA National Championships in Terra Haute, Ind., and finished 23rd out of 31 teams on Nov. 21 to conclude its season. The National Championship appearance was the third in five years for head coach Robert Gary and the Buckeyes. Redshirt senior Jake Edwards, OSU’s top runner coming at the beginning of the year, suffered a hamstring injury at the Notre Dame Invitational on Sept. 30 and missed the rest of the season. Led by junior Donny Roys and redshirt senior Taylor Williams, the Buckeyes were resilient. Two weeks after losing Edwards, OSU ran at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on Oct. 14. Among a field featuring 20 of the top 30 programs in the nation, the Buckeyes finished 17th. The men went on to finish fifth at both the Big Ten Championships on Oct. 30 and NCAA Great Lakes Regionals on Nov. 12, and received an at-large berth to the NCAA National Championships. Roys and Williams paced the way for the Buckeyes at the National Championship meet, placing 95th and 100th, respectively. Gary said the 2011 season was one of his all-time favorites. “I would have to say … (the 2011 team) was my third favorite team ever to have,” he said. Women’s cross-country The 2011 OSU women’s cross-country season has assistant coach Chris Neal optimistic for 2012. The Buckeyes sent two runners to the 2011 NCAA National Championships in Terra Haute, Ind., on Nov. 21 as individual qualifiers, and finished sixth at the NCAA Great Lakes Regionals on Nov. 12. Four of OSU’s top-five runners will return in 2012. “(This season) is definitely a building block going forward,” Neal said. Jordan Jennewine, the team’s lone senior, along with junior Tori Brink and freshman Nicole Hilton, led the Buckeyes this season. A first-place finish at the Mountaineer Open in Boone, N.C., on Sept. 16 by both Jennewine and OSU as a team, started off the season on a high point. Following a disappointing 38th-place finish at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on Oct. 14, the Buckeyes failed to impress at the Big Ten Championships on Oct. 30, placing ninth as a team. OSU sixth-place finish at the regional meet didn’t earn the team a bid to the NCAA National Championships, but Brink and Hilton were individual selections. Brink and Hilton ran well again at the National Championship, finishing near the top half of the field in 120th and 142nd place. Golf The OSU men’s golf team’s opened its autumn slate on a high note with its second consecutive and 19th team title overall in the 15-team Marshall Invitational, with senior Alex Redfield claiming the individual title. The Buckeyes hit a bit of a rough patch after that, finishing in a tie for 10th out of 15 teams in the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational from Sept. 16-18 and earning a last-place 11th in a rain-shortened Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational on Sept. 27. As the host team of the Jack Nicklaus Invitational from Oct. 10-11, OSU finished second out a field of 12 teams, placing higher than four Top 25 ranked teams. The Buckeyes concluded the season with a last-place performance in the 15-team Isleworth Collegiate Invitational from Oct. 23-25. The OSU women’s golf team finished in third-place or better in all four autumn tournaments in which it played. The Buckeyes opened the season with a runner-up performance in the 12-team Mary Fossum Invitational from Sept. 16-17 and recorded a third-place finish out of 15 teams in the Windy City Invitational from Oct. 3-4. In the Lady Northern Invitational from Oct. 10-11, on the same course that the 2012 Big Ten championship will be played this spring, OSU finished second out of 12 teams. The Buckeyes concluded their fall slate by finishing third out of 18 teams in the Landfall Tradition from Oct. 28-30. Both OSU golf teams will resume play in February. read more

Mourinho Man United need wins right away

first_imgJose Mourinho is hungry for points as Manchester United look to get their top-four Premier League hopes back on track against Fulham on SaturdayThe Red Devils are on a four-match winless run in the English top-flight and find themselves already 18 points adrift of leaders Manchester City after Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal.With hopes of a Premier League title now practically over, United’s main goal for this season is to seal a top-four finish.But they are eight points behind fourth-place Chelsea and must return to winning ways immediately.Although Mourinho concedes that, even against bottom-side Fulham, nothing is guaranteed ahead of this weekend’s showdown at Old Trafford.Victor Wanyama, Tottenham Hotspur, Premier LeaguePochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.“I sat here a few weeks ago speaking about December and [having] no defeats – that’s a reality,” said the United boss, according to SportsMax.“[We have had] good fights, good spirit but just one victory against Young Boys [in the Champions League], and three draws, [but] we need points, Fulham are the same.“I want to be positive and think we are going to win, but if we don’t [win], give credit to people who deserve credit.“The game is not 11 v 0, it’s going to be 11 v 11, with good players on the other side, the position and points [total] don’t say much about [the] potential of the team.“They have one of the two most important managers in Premier League history, they have the potential to come here and give us a difficult match.”last_img read more

HGTV Magazine Boosting Rate Base Twice in 2013

first_imgFood Network magazine, the first joint venture between Hearst and Scripps, has seen similar success. That title has gone through seven rate base increases, now at 1.45 million from a launch rate base of 400,000. That title also launched with two test issues and quickly scaled to 900,000 after those tests.The jump for HGTV is a good sign for the brand, at least in terms of its survivability alongside the rest of Hearst’s magazines. “Magazines with 300,000 units of circulation aren’t optimal for us—we’re really looking for 700,000 at the low end and 4 million at the high end, we need a passionate audience of scale,” said John Loughlin, executive vice president and general manager for Hearst Magazines, in an article for Audience Development magazine examining the relationship between magazine brands and their TV show counterparts. HGTV Magazine, published by Hearst in a partnership with Scripps Networks’ HGTV, is following in the footsteps of its big sister title, Food Network, by dramatically increasing its rate base in the next year. The magazine will jump to 700,000 with the January/February 2013 issue, then 800,000 in July. In all, HGTV will have increased its rate base 78 percent.The increase comes only 8 months after a test issue of the magazine first appeared on newsstands last October with a rate base of 450,000. “With the strength of the HGTV brand behind us, we have created a new kind of magazine, home/lifestyle, that is resonating deeply with readers and is building incredible momentum in the marketplace,” says HGTV chief revenue officer/publisher Dan Fuchs in a statement.In the fourth quarter of 2011, the magazine tested two issues, then debuted with the first official issue in June/July. Three more issues are planned for 2012. The first test issue blew through its distribution and Hearst did another press run of 135,000 more copies.last_img read more

Townsquare Media Buys Music Sites From AOL

first_img“We completed the transaction and have spent the past several months working with their fantastic editorial staffs to develop the sites on our platform” said John Lerner, CEO of Breaking Media at the time of the deal.  “We were attracted by the quality of editorial teams and the fact that these sites have been reaching insiders in their markets for almost two years. We also feel the that the Defense, Energy and Government sectors fit well with our legal and finance verticals.”The Townsquare deal adds another 3.5 million visitors per comScore numbers, reports AllThings D. The company already has 250 companion websites for its radio stations as well as a network of owned and operated sites across the indie, hip hop, rock and country genres, claiming 60 million unique monthly visitors. Radio, live event and digital media company Townsquare Media is acquiring The Boot, The BoomBox, NoiseCreep and comics enthusiast site ComicsAlliance from AOL in what appears to be a last-minute save for the brands.In April TechCrunch and Billboard reported the AOL Music sites were on the verge of being shut down, with many of the staff let go. Terms of the deal were not released, but some staff of AOL Music and ComicsAlliance will be joining Townsquare Media going forward. AOL has recently been divesting some of its smaller niche sites—in mid-May Breaking Media announced that it closed on a deal to buy AOL Defense, AOL Energy and AOL Gov.last_img read more

Maruti Suzuki to invest Rs 15000 crore for sales and services infrastructure

first_imgMaruti Suzuki will spend a whopping Rs 15,000 crore towards expanding its sales-and-service infrastructure over the next five years, as India’s biggest carmaker aims to grow its annual sales to nearly 2 million units by 2020 from 1.1 million vehicles in last fiscal year.The earmarked investment will be used to procure land for dealers to double the number of dealership outlets, expanding warehousing capabilities and transportation facilities.The growth in the company’s annual sales will be mainly led by production at its third plant in Gujarat, which is expected to start operations by early 2017.”We have to double our network as the Gujarat plant output will lead to a gradual doubling of sales. The bulk of the investment required for additional sales will precede start of production at our Gujarat plant. The total money needed for creating additional sales-and-service infrastructure has been estimated to be Rs 30,000 crore. Of that, half the money will be invested by us, and the rest by dealers,” Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava told Business Standard.Currently, the Delhi-headquartered automobile company has more than 1,700 dealership outlets in the country and it has recently set up a new dealership network, Nexa, to sell premium cars. The company is also planning to open a network for its light commercial vehicle launches.The company had spent Rs 11,000 crore to build its current sales-and- service infrastructure , Bhargava said adding that the setting up of the same infrastructure would now cost Rs 30,000 crore due to an exponential rise in land prices.As land prices are expensive for dealers, the company plans to procure the land and lease it for the dealers. It has already formed a team of executives from real estate firms to manage its “land-procurement exercise”.”The land cost today is making it difficult for dealers to invest. But if investments are not made, it will hurt us. We will buy sites where we want dealerships and workshops to come up in future,” said Bhargava.The company is sitting on a cash pile of about Rs 13,000 crore and the Rs 8,000-10,000-crore investment in the Gujarat plant will be made by its parent Suzuki.last_img read more

LT expects defence orders worth Rs 50000 crore in 3 years

first_imgEngineering and construction conglomerate Larsen & Toubro is expecting to bag defence contracts worth Rs. 21,000 crore for the financial year 2016-17. The company also hopes the order amount to grow to Rs. 50,000 crore by 2019.The company, which also has businesses in the finance and information technology sectors, is expecting orders in four areas of defence: guns and armoured vehicles, submarines, communications and ships, Mint reports.”We are chasing a market of over Rs. 80,000 crore, and we are hopeful that we will secure at least Rs. 50,000 crore worth of orders,” Jayant Patil, senior VP and head of Defence and Aerospace, said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.In terms of revenue inflows for the company, Patil said: “This year we expect some sizeable orders, at least crossing $3 billion, we should be booking in the year that begins April 1. So, the next financial year, we see at least close to Rs. 20,000-21,000 crore coming in. That should actually get us sizeable revenues.”Patil also said the BJP government had cleared defence orders worth Rs. 2.4 lakh crore in the last two years.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hiked the country’s defence budget to Rs. 2.58 lakh crore for the 2016-17 fiscal. The defence budget represented a total of 17.2 percent of the total central government’s expenditure.India has become the world’s fourth-largest spender on defence, following a 13.1 percent increase in its 2016-17 defence budget, according to a report by IHS Inc, a leading global source of information and insight. India has climbed from the sixth position last year.[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]last_img read more

Poverty A Big Problem For Texas Women

first_imgListen Florian MartinPanelists with the Dallas Women’s Foundation and Texas Woman’s University discuss the 2017 report on women’s economic issues.A new report by the Dallas Women’s Foundation presented Friday at the Texas Woman’s University in Houston presents policy solutions to tackle women’s poverty in Texas.“Not only are women more likely to live in poverty,” said Frances Deviney, associate director at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, which conducted the study. “But even when you actually look at the data on how much women are making if they’re above the poverty level, they’re still paid significantly less than men.”That’s a problem, Deviney said, because 61 percent of Texas families rely on women’s incomes.The report identifies four categories – which it calls building blocks for women’s economic security: education, child care, health insurance and housing. “Within each of those building blocks, we not only examine the data but we also look at recommendations for solutions that communities, the state and business can adopt to help advance women economically and therefore advance Texas economically,” Roslyn Dawson Thompson, president and CEO of the Dallas Women’s Foundation, said.In child care, for example, one recommendation is for the state to fund fulltime pre-K programs. In higher education, the report calls for subsidizing dual enrollment courses that let students earn college credits while in high school. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:11 X Sharelast_img read more

EN ESPAÑOL En qué consisten las propuestas de ley de inmigración republicanas

first_imgAlgunas de las medidas que abarcan las propuestas tienen que ver también con medidas de seguridad, incluyendo la construcción del muro.La semana pasada, nuestro experto en política Jerónimo Cortina explicó cómo son los dos proyectos de ley, cuál de ellos tendría más probabilidades de pasar, y qué efecto real  tendría sobre los indocumentados.  Sharelast_img

Black and Gold Ball

first_imgThe Rosa Pryor Music Scholarship Fund, Inc. is very excited and proud to present its 24th and final Annual Scholarships, Awards Black & Gold Formal Ball on October 25, 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., at the Forum Caterers, 4210 Primrose Avenue, Baltimore Maryland. The ticket donations for this event are $65.00 per person, which includes cash bar, open dinner buffet and live entertainment. The organization’s primary goal is to provide financial aid to elementary, junior and senior high students who wish to enroll in a music education program. The scholarship is awarded in three categories: Instruments, Supplemental and Full Scholarships to gifted & talented students between the ages of 5 to 17 years old, who can sing or play an instrument. For more information contact Rosa Pryor-Trusty, longtime AFRO columnist, at  410-833-9474 or Marsha Ann Turner at 443-527-6402.last_img read more

Movement is Medicine Moving into the Community

first_imgBy J. K. Schmid, Special to the AFRO“Last set, best set,” Mark Harding says, his legs taped together.He’s doing resistance training at MedStar Good Samaritan’s gymnasium.Each step up, each step out, stretching against the tape, is as smooth and even as when he started. Things are going so well Harding will be able to complete a full circuit of the gymnasium track unassisted. He came in on this day with a walker.Anthony Watters takes Mark Harding through a series of exercises to improve his strength and coordination.Harding is recovering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a long period of hypoxia. The loss of oxygen to his brain had taken away a lot of his coordination.At his side through the whole process in Anthony Watters, a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS).“We want to make him (as) functional as possible, it’s hard to gauge how much he can progress because we haven’t been doing this in the clinical setting long enough,” Watters told the AFRO. “My goal is to have him interact and be a part of the greater community again and not be confined to his home or a hospital space. And I think we’re making tremendous strides toward that.”Before the one-on-one with Harding, Watters had been leading a Rock Steady Boxing class, an innovative program that research indicates is helpful for treating other neurodegenerative symptoms that come with disorders like Parkinson’s disease.Anthony Watters takes Mark Harding through a series of exercises to improve his strength and coordination.The pace is slowed down, but Watters is taking his students with Parkinson’s through the complicated footwork of jump rope ladders and the advance across the classroom ends with each student putting a solid and satisfying knee into a heavy bag.“Movement is medicine,” is the mantra. And Watters wants to take his experience and practices to the larger community of Baltimore.He’s created the brand Drink More Watters as a start.“It’s a lifestyle brand that uses exercise, water, lifestyle and culture to create healthier communities,” Watters said.Watters’ particular approach has caught the eye and the funding of Baltimore Corps, a fellowship with the mission to “enlist talent to accelerate social innovation in Baltimore and advance a citywide agenda for equity and racial justice.”Watters is one of Baltimore Corps’s 15 Elevation Awardees. He now has a $10,000 grant to get his business and brand started.“Along with the money though, more importantly in my opinion, is the workshopping, engagement, assistance, everything that they do to help you be successful,” Watters said.He’s already publishing through DrinkMoreWatters.com, most recently about navigating Baltimore’s overlapping food deserts.But, in addition to hydration and nutrition, Watters hopes to save lives with exercise. Watters explained. He said that while lives lost to violence in Baltimore are high, deaths from heart disease and stroke, and the complications that come with a sedentary lifestyle, eclipse those figures.Watters hopes to take his message and practice of diet and exercise into his community, looking to expand on the results that the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) achieved by funding similar programs in the YMCA.“If we do this and we use exercise, we can have better health outcomes, but save insurance companies money, save hospitals money, but most importantly, save the people money, the community money, the patient’s money,” Watters said. “Healthcare is becoming ridiculously expensive and exercise is a low overhead modality that we can use to effect change.”last_img read more

Viu Asian Streamer Sets up Indonesian Adaptation of Pretty Little Liars

first_img Asian Streamer Viu Adds Wattpad Development Deal Related ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 ‘The Bridge’ to Get Second Season for Viu and HBO Asia Set in the fictional town of Amerta, the series will be filmed entirely on site in Bali, Indonesia, and directed by Emil Heradi (“The Night Bus,” “Sagarmatha”). The cast is headlined by Anya Geraldine as Hanna, Eyka Farhana as Ema, Valerie Thomas as Sabrina, Shindy Huang as Aria, and Yuki Kato as Alissa, as the famed lead quintet.“ ‘Pretty Little Liars’ is a proven show that resonates with younger viewers with similar profiles to our Viu audience,” said Janice Lee, MD of PCW Media. “In line with our strategy to invest in creating content assets, in 2019 we will have a mix of Viu Original productions and will work with international partners on local adaptations that resonate with audiences in Asia.”Operating with both free and paid tiers, Viu is available in 17 markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar in Asia, the Middle East countries of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the newly launched South Africa.It focuses on premium Asian content in different genres with local language subtitles, as well as original production series under the ‘Viu Original’ initiative. Viu previously adapted Endemol Shine’s “The Bridge,” setting it also in Southeast Asia. Popular on Variety Multi-territory, Asian streaming service, Viu is to produce an Indonesian adaptation of U.S. hit series “Pretty Little Liars.”Localized in Bahasa and filmed in Bali, the series follows a group of four estranged undergraduate students whose group fell apart when their former leader went missing. The girls come back together in the face of danger, when they begin receiving messages from a mysterious figure known as “A,” who threatens to expose their darkest secrets.The original show ran for seven seasons on ABC Family / Freeform in the U.S. Owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the show was produced by ABC Family, Alloy Entertainment and Warner Horizon Television.The new show will be set up as an Indonesia and Malaysia co-production at Viu, part of Hong Kong’s PCCW Media, and by Warner Bros. International Television Production. The series is expected to begin airing late this year, and will be simultaneously available in all 17 of Viu’s Asian and Middle Eastern markets.last_img read more

Readers delight

first_imgFollowing the triumphant editions in 2013, Leapvault, is all set to present the fourth edition of the India Non Fiction Festival in a span of one and half years on the 15 and 16 November at the India Habitat centre.The festival is the leading and Asia’s only festival dedicated to non – fiction literary works. It brings together noted authors and personalities from varied walks of life on one stage who engage in discussions on significant but often neglected issues. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The festival themed Be Bold. Stay Real, involves everything in Non-Fiction space – from topics like Business, Sociology, and Management to Fitness, Travel and Health. It will provide a stellar opportunity to Non-Fiction readers to watch luminaries from various fields engaging in sparkling discussions and meet the thought leaders of today and tomorrow.  Personalities like Kunwar Natwar Singh, Vinod Rai, Suhel Seth , Dipankar Gupta, Leila Seth, John Elliott, Kingshuk Nag,  and Arun Maira will grace the event this year.last_img read more

Tim BernersLee is on a mission to save the web he invented

first_imgOn Monday, at Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon, Tim Berners-Lee outlined his plan to ‘save’ the web he invented. His idea is simple: he wants to create a ‘contract’ for the web. The intervention comes at an important time, in a year of ‘techlash’ and increasing scepticism in the belief in technology’s and the web’s ability to deliver progress for everyone. Tim Berners-Lee on Contract for the Web In his talk, Berners-Lee pointed out that one of the properties the web should preserve is universality. He also argued that The web should be independent, with no restrictions on what it can be used for. It should be available in any region, culture, and religion. He sees these values as things that are currently under attack: “Those of us who are online are seeing our rights and freedoms threatened.” He also listed other challenges that have failed to be addressed, including fake news and privacy. His solution to these huge challenges is something called ‘Contract for the Web,’ which will, he claims, outline “clear and tough responsibilities for those who have the power to make it better.” Although Berners-Lee was relatively light on detail, the full contract is due to be published in May 2019. In theory, it should define people’s online rights and lists the key principles and duties government, companies, and citizens should follow. In Berners-Lee’s mind, it will restore some degree of equilibrium and transparency to the digital realm. The core principles of Contract for the Web Tim Berners-Lee did offer some information on what the Contract for the Web will include. Below are some of the key principles for the key stakeholders in the running of the web – government, businesses, and citizens – people like you. Government Anyone should be able to connect to the web irrespective of who they are and where they live and they should be allowed to actively participate online. Internet should be available all the time so that nobody is denied to the right of full internet access. Privacy, people’s fundamental right, should be respected so that they can use the internet freely, safely, and without fear. Companies They should present the user an affordable and accessible internet. Consumers’ privacy and personal data should be respected. Make technologies that support the best in humanity and challenge the worst. Citizens Citizens should involve themselves in creating and collaborating to provide rich and relevant content for everyone. They should build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity. To ensure that the open web remains open, they should come together and fight for it. This contract is already seeing a great support with more than 50 organisations signing the contract including some of big shots like Facebook and Google. This contract is being promoted by the campaign, #ForTheWeb. The contract is part of a broader project that Berners-Lee believes is essential if we are to ‘save’ the web from its current problems First, we need to create an open web for the users who are already connected to the web and give them the power of fixing issues that we have with the existing web. Secondly, we need to bring the other half of the world, which is not yet connected to the web. Tim Berners Lee speaks to CNN about Contract for the Web After his talk, Tim Berners-Lee was interviewed by Laurie Segall from CNN. Here are some highlights from the interview: Internally, companies should have the motto of doing the right thing. To make sure the principles are upheld, some measures will be introduced. But also, this contract is not just about creating a set of rules and enforcing them, rather it is about changing the attitude. Privacy is our fundamental right and we should always fight for it. Fighting for privacy is important, not just because of the data breaches we are seeing but to empower individuals to be able to share anything they want without any fear. As a tech company we should realize the implication of each line of code we write and think how it will affect people’s lives. To sum it all up Tim Berners-Lee said: We all are going to step back and put aside all the myths we are currently taking as physics of the way things work. People do not have to motivated only by ad-based fund model or by click bates. Contract for the Web is about going back to the values. It is about people coming together to build the web and taking things in their own hand. You can watch the full Tim Berners-Lee’s talk and the interview on YouTube. Read Next Web Summit 2018: day 2 highlights Tim Berners-Lee’s Solid – Trick or Treat? Sir Tim Berners-Lee on digital ethics and socio-technical systems at ICDPPC 2018last_img read more

Alajuelense eliminated in the Costa Rican Clausura

first_imgRelated posts:Five things I learned while watching the sun set over El Clásico Herediano to face Saprissa in Apertura final Weekend soccer roundup: Semifinals begin, Ticos traded in MLS San Carlos defeats reigning champion Herediano, advances to face Saprissa Posiciones         Pts.    GP         W         D         L         Gf        Ga.San Carlos                36        21        10        6          5          33        19Pérez Zeledón          36        21        9          9          3          35        27Saprissa                    35        21        10        5          6          36        27Herediano                 33        21        9          6          6          31        24Cartaginés                31        21        8          7          6          32        27Municipal Grecia      31        21         8         7          6          32        27Alajuelense               29        21        7          8          6          30        27UCR                           25        21        7          7          7          33        38Santos                       27        21        8          3          10        32        37Limón FC                  26        21        7          5          9          22        30Guadalupe FC         18       21        4          6          11        20        34Carmelita                   11        21        2          5          14        18        37 This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5% Club. If only 5 percent of our readers donated at least $5 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Commentscenter_img Liga Deportiva Alajuelense tied 2-2 against the reigning champion, Club Sport Herediano, and was eliminated from the semifinals of the 2019 Clausura Championship in Costa Rica with one fixture remaining. Saturday’s match took place in the National Stadium of La Sabana, in San José, because playing at Alajuela’s stadium, Alejandro Morera Soto, was vetoed by the Disciplinary Tribunal for disturbances after the clásico nacional (Costa Rican classic) against Saprissa two weeks ago.Herediano will have to wait for the closing date, next Sunday, to try to earn the last ticket to the next phase of the tournament; Club Sport Cartaginés and Municipal Grecia are the other two semifinal aspirants. San Carlos, Pérez Zeledón and Saprissa are already classified.Alajuelense hurt its own cause through an own-goal by Daniel Villegas (21). However, they responded with a penalty from Honduran Róger Rojas (42). Herediano went ahead thanks to the 2014 Brazil World Cup and Russia 2018 participant, Yeltsin Tejeda (60). When everything seemed resolved Rojas scored his second, taking advantage of a mistake from goalkeeper Daniel Cambronero to equalize (89).The closing Clausura fixtures will decide the four semifinal teams and their order in the table. They will also determine the regular-season winner. With all teams having played in 21 games, and only one date left to be played, San Carlos and Pérez Zeledón have 36 points, Saprissa, 35; Herediano, 33; Cartaginés and Grecia, 31; Alajuelense, 29; UCR, 28; Santos, 27; Limón, 26, Guadalupe, 18; Carmelita, 11.Matchday 22, last of the classification phase: Alajuelense-GuadalupeCarmelita-San CarlosCartaginés-SantosGrecia-SaprissaHerediano-Pérez ZeledónUniversidad de Costa Rica-Limónlast_img read more

Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute ri

first_img Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away There are certain traits coaches look for in a quarterback that seem to be universally agreed upon. John Skelton and Kevin Kolb have exhibited these traits from time to time, but owning the attribute is what matters. A Q can get away without having some of these characteristics but there seems to be one quality he cannot do without.Size is important but a Q can do without. Most NFL scouts want their Q’s to be 6’4″ or 6’5″ and 240-plus pounds. Quarterbacks take many beatings throughout the course of an NFL season, some more than others. Collateral damage and mitigating that damage to a Q’s body is found in his frame and DNA. Although there have been many bigger quarterbacks that have had injury problems, most NFL scouts agree that body mass helps to absorb some of the impact. There will always be exceptions to this rule, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are the most notable exceptions, but there’s a reason why the vast majority of Q’s in the league have big bodies. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Reading coverage correctly and the ability to transfer what you see into a good decision is more esoteric than any other quarterback quality save for one. Reading coverage deals with the tangible of using the eyes in pre-snap reads to anticipate what an opposing defense might do and what coverage they might jump into. Taking the ball on the snap and watching where they go after the snap deals with the Q’s ability to think quickly and make sound decisions based on what he sees. This characteristic of quarterbacking is very complex and extremely important for all the greats…and all the others. But it’s not the most important attribute a Q can have in my opinion.Kevin Kolb has had more experience at reading coverage but the gap between he and Skelton seems to be closing.The most important attribute/quality/trait/characteristic I think a quarterback can have is pocket presence. Many of us call it poise or having poise in the pocket. It’s the ability to manage the rush, using mobility in a confined area, keeping your eyes down field, knowing when to pull it down, buying fractions of a second, feeling pressure, having a sixth sense, and the ability to escape the rush, get out of the pocket, extend the play and make something happen when all seems lost. If that happens, disregard the above. Comments   Share   Accuracy is important when evaluating a Q but it’s not a deal-breaker. Brett Favre was never the most accurate quarterback but he certainly experienced a ton of success in his storied career. Being accurate helps a quarterback’s stats but doesn’t ensure he is going to be good. The NFL is replete with accurate passers that never made it in the league.Kevin Kolb seems to be more accurate than Big Red Skelton, but this won’t be the fulcrum that tips the scales one way or the other.Command of the offense is something that seems to be more of a luxury for most quarterbacks in the league and is critical to success but it is not the most important quality of a Q. Cam Newton did not have what most coordinators would call a “command” of the Carolina offense last year but knew enough to make plays and good decisions while letting his supreme athleticism and talent take over. The intelligence of many Q’s fluctuate and their understanding and complete grasp of the offense is different from team-to-team.Both Kevin Kolb and John Skelton have struggled with command of the Cards’ offense, getting in and out of the huddle and calling plays correctly. They are not alone in this regard and there are others that struggle with this attribute but it’s not what I believe to be the most important prerequisite. Although John Skelton has a prototypical frame for playing quarterback in the NFL and Kevin Kolb is on the slighter side, this quality is not fundamental to playing the position well.It’s not arm strength. Yes, most quarterbacks in today’s NFL must have the arm strength to throw the deep in, the deep out, the seam route and the go but there have been some notable quarterbacks that have had fine NFL careers that lacked prototypical arm-strength. Chad Pennington had a successful career and yet struggled to throw the ball in the air over 40 yards.This is not Kevin Kolb or John Skelton’s problem.Having a quick release is something that most NFL coordinators and head coaches feel is a prerequisite to playing the quarterback position well but it’s not the most important attribute a Q should have. With today’s fire-zone schemes and complex coverages, passing windows in the league have become smaller and close faster. This is why Tim Tebow (along with accuracy) has struggled to be a successful passer. He just can’t get the ball out soon enough to get most balls into a quickly closing window.Although Kolb gets it up and out quicker than Skelton, a quick release or lack thereof is not the difference between the Cards’ quarterbacks. This attribute seems fundamental to playing the position well. Michael Vick had excellent years as a scrambling QB but didn’t achieve status at the position until he proved he could throw from the pocket. All the greats shared the common denominator of profound poise in the pocket: Johnny Unitas, Terry Bradshaw, Dan Fouts, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, John Elway, Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. It’s not that they always stayed or stay in the pocket, it’s not that they were/are mobile, it’s not that they all had/have great ability to throw on the run either. But they all had/have great poise or pocket presence. The success they experienced came/comes from the pocket.It seems to me if a Q is hyper-sensitive to the rush, pulling down balls, feeling too much of the rush without keeping his eyes down the field, it doesn’t matter how big he is, how strong his arm is, how quick of a release he has, how precise his passes are, how well he reads coverage, the decisions he makes or the command he has of the offense. None of it matters if he doesn’t have poise in the pocket.Although a Q can use his arm strength, quick release and accuracy when out of the pocket, running quarterbacks that don’t show poise in the pocket and can’t seem to make throws from the pocket are chewed up and spit out — unless your name is Cam Newton. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation And most quarterbacks are not runners, they’re passers. How can a Q use his strong arm or quick release if he is looking to pull the ball down and run? How can a Q use his accuracy if he can’t stay in the pocket, where the vast majority of his success should come from? How can he read coverage well and make good decisions if he’s constantly feeling the pressure and pulling the ball down? And having command of the offense is all well and good but if one cannot execute that offense because he lacks pocket presence in a league that requires you throw the ball efficiently, how can that command be applied?Having poise or pocket presence seems to be THE prerequisite to playing the position consistently well over time. If a Q doesn’t have this innate, fundamental quality, how much of the other attributes that NFL decision makers value in a quarterback can he use?And this is why I think John Skelton is going to win the quarterback competition. He shows great poise in the pocket. Maybe he could learn to develop and improve upon all the other qualities one looks for in a Q?Or maybe Kevin Kolb will show profound pocket presence and play great against the Raiders. Top Stories last_img read more

I still get the impression that there are forces b

first_imgI still get the impression that there are forces beneath the surface that spell big changes ahead.The gold price traded in a tight range throughout the Friday trading session everywhere on Planet Earth.  It appeared that every time gold tried to break above the $1,740 spot price mark, it got sold off…with the sell off at that London p.m. fix being the most obvious.The high tick of the day at the afternoon gold fix was $1,740.50 spot.  From there, gold got sold off…and closed for a small loss…down $1.10 on the day at $1,738.80 spot.  Net volume wasn’t overly heavy at 117,000 contracts.Silver traded sideways up until 10:00 a.m. in London…and then got sold down to its low of the day [around 32.05 spot] shortly after 1:00 p.m. GMT…about fifteen minutes before the Comex open.The subsequent rally got hit hard the moment that the London p.m. gold fix was in at 3:00 p.m. GMT…10:00 a.m. in New York…and then traded sideways into the 5:15 p.m. Eastern time electronic close.  The high tick at the fix was $32.89 spot.Silver finished the Friday session at $32.63 spot…up 32 cents on the day.  Net volume was pretty decent at 37,500 contracts…as I’m sure that JPMorgan et al were going short against all comers in that 2-hour early morning rally in New York, because it didn’t look like a short-covering rally to me.The dollar index opened at 80.81…and then traded lower…with the low tick [about 80.63] coming around 1:30 p.m. Hong Kong time.  From there it rallied until precisely 8:00 a.m. in New York, before trading mostly sideways for the remainder of the day.  The index closed just above the 81.00 mark at 81.05…up 24 basis points on the day.The dollar index and the gold price were in sync right up until 8:00 a.m. in New York…and then broke down entirely.Despite the fact that gold’s high tick came at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, there was absolutely no sign of it in the share price action…as they were under selling pressure right from the 9:30 a.m. open of the equity markets in New York.  The HUI finished virtually on its low of the day…down 1.60%.Even though the silver price closed well into positive territory again, it didn’t help the shares too much…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed down 1.09%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 4 gold and 8 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday.Over at GLD, an authorized participant withdrew 29,068 troy ounces of gold.  But SLV went in the other direction.  For the second day in a row, an authorized participant added a big chunk of silver.  This time it was 1,452,249 troy ounces.  On Wednesday it was 1,549,091 troy ounces of silver that was added, so a hair over 3 million ounces was added in those two day alone…and since last Friday [Nov. 2]…SLV has taken in almost 4.3 million ounces in total.  I’m sure Ted Butler will have something to say about this in his weekend commentary to his paying subscribers later today.Well, the good folks over at shortsqueeze.com finally updated their website with the latest short positions for SLV and GLD…but it was in the wee hours of this morning that it finally happened.  The short position in SLV declined by 9.24 percent…from 14,621,500 shares/ounces, down to 13,270,700 shares/ounces held short.  That’s still a lot of silver that’s owed to SLV…but don’t forget that 4.3 million ounces have been deposited in SLV since the beginning of the month, so this new short position number is probably wildly out of date by now.The GLD ETF went in the other direction, as the short position increased by 10.22 percent…from 16.99 million shares, to 18.73 million shares…or 1.87 million ounces in total.  That’s 58.16 tonnes of gold that should be on deposit at GLD, but isn’t.It was another big sales day at the U.S. Mint.  They reported selling 6,000 ounces of gold eagles…2,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 350,000 silver eagles.  Month-to-date the mint has sold 37,500 ounces of gold eagles…5,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 1,548,000 silver eagles.  Based on these sales, the silver/gold sales ratio is a bit over 36 to 1.  And as I keep saying…I do hope you’re getting your share, dear reader.The Comex-approved depositories showed that 935,196 troy ounces of silver were received by them on Thursday…and 554,126 troy ounces were shipped the door on the same day.  Of the amount received, JPMorgan Chase took in 785,407 troy ounces, bringing their depository total up to 25,030,654 troy ounces.  The link to that activity is here.Well, the Commitment of Traders Report showed improvements in the Commercial net short positions in both gold and silver…but certainly not as much as Ted Butler and I were expecting.In silver, the Commercial net short position declined by 4,054 contracts, or about 20.3 million ounces.  The Commercial net short position in silver is now down to 248.4 million ounces.The ‘Big 4’ traders are short 240.3 million ounces…virtually the entire amount of the Commercial net short position of 248.4 million ounces….and are also short a hair north of 45% of the entire Comex futures market in silver on a net basis.  The positions of the other 37 Commercial traders [the raptors] on the short side of the Comex silver market, are immaterial.Ted figures that JPMorgan Chase is still short a bit over 155 million ounces of silver on it’s own…and didn’t improve their position much during the reporting week, despite the big sell off on Friday, November 2nd.  Ted said that the raptors…some of the other 37 small traders [other than the ‘Big 4’] in the Commercial category…bought between 3,000-3,500 long contracts on that sell off.In gold, the Commercial net short position improved by 15,022 contracts, or 1.50 million ounces.  The Commercial net short position is now down to 20.77 million ounces of gold.The ‘Big 4’ short holders are short 13.10 million ounces of gold…and 31.9% of the Comex futures market in gold on a net basis.  The ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 5.41 million ounces of gold.  So the ‘Big 8’ are short 18.51 million ounces of gold, or 45.0% of the entire Comex futures market in gold on a net basis…the same as silver.  The short positions of the other 39 other traders in the Commercial short category are immaterial.As you can see, the tail is wagging the dog in both silver and gold.Here are the ‘Big 4’ and ‘Big 8’ short positions show in “Days of World Production to Cover Short Positions“…Nick Laird’s most excellent graph that lays bare the price management scheme in all four precious metals for the world to see.  The silver short position is particularly egregious…as it always has been.(Click on image to enlarge)The Bank Participation Report for November also showed improvements in the short positions of both the U.S. and non-U.S. banks from the prior month.In silver, 4 U.S. banks are net short 35,252 Comex silver contracts.  Ted figures that JPMorgan holds a bit over 31,000 contracts of that amount all by itself…and I’m guessing that virtually all of the rest are unequally divided up between HSBC USA, Citigroup…and one other U.S. bank…in that order.The 15 non-U.S. banks are net short 14,286 Comex silver contracts…and I’d bet that between 70 and 80 percent of that amount is held by Scotia Mocatta…with the balance split up between the other 14 non-U.S. bank…whose individual positions would be immaterial.From the October report to the November report in silver, the 4 U.S. banks reduced their net short positions by only 2,532 Comex contracts.  The 15 non-U.S. banks reduced their collective net short positions by 2,826 Comex contracts.In gold, 5 U.S. banks are net short 98,101 Comex gold contracts, or 9.81 million ounces…a decline from 10.62 million ounces held short in October.The 21 non-U.S. banks are net short 59,436 Comex gold contracts, or 5.94 million ounces…a decline from  7.86 million ounces held short in October.As I mentioned in the Commitment of Traders report [from which the data for November’s Bank Participation Report is extracted]…the big 4 in silver…and big 8 in gold…are short 45% of each of their respective markets on a net basis.On a gross basis [before all market-neutral spread trades are subtracted] the Bank Participation Report shows that…15 banks are short 23.6% of the entire Comex palladium market…17 banks are net short 35.7% of the Comex platinum market…19 banks are net short 39.5% of the Comex silver market…and 24 banks are net short 38.4% of the entire Comex gold market.Once the spread trades from each market are subtracted from the total open interest…then the short positions, on a percentage basis, shoot sky high…another 5.5 percentage points in silver…and 6.6 percentage points in gold.  I’m sure platinum and palladium would be similar.This is precisely what Nick Laird’s graph above shows in all four precious metals…except its shown in days of world production to cover those short positions…but the ratios remain the same no matter in what unit of measure the graph is computed.I thank reader ‘David in California’ for providing this Reuters chart that requires no further explanation on my part.(Click on image to enlarge)This next chart is courtesy of reader Anthony D. Cattani…and it doesn’t require any further embellishment from me, either.(Click on image to enlarge)Since this is my Saturday column, here are all the stories that were still sitting in my in-box up until midnight last night.  I hope you can find the time to read the ones that interest you.Liberals seem to assume that if you don’t believe in their particular political solutions, then you don’t really care about the people that they claim to want to help. – Thomas SowellI have a couple of musical selections for you today…one a pop classic from the early 1970s…and the other one was a ‘classic’ from Billboard’s Top 10 in 1834.The tune from 1972 that was a big hit…and the only hit for British singer Daniel Boone…a.k.a. Peter Charles Green…and I remember playing it on radio station CHAR when I was in Alert, North West Territories.  If you can remember the words, feel free to sing along, because I’m sure you’ll remember the tune…and the link is here.Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840) encouraged Hector Berlioz (1803–1869) to write Harold en Italie. The two first met after a concert of Berlioz’s works conducted by Narcisse Girard on 22 December 1833, three years after the premiere of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. Paganini had acquired a superb viola, a Stradivarius — “But I have no suitable music. Would you like to write a solo for viola? You are the only one I can trust for this task.”Berlioz began “by writing a solo for viola, but one which involved the orchestra in such a way as not to reduce the effectiveness of the orchestral contribution.” When Paganini saw the sketch of the allegro movement, with all the rests in the viola part, he told Berlioz it would not do, and that he expected to be playing continuously. They then parted, with Paganini disappointed.Harold in Italy was premiered on 23 November 1834 with the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, Chrétien Urhan playing the viola part, Narcisse Girard conducting.Paganini did not hear the work he had commissioned until 16 December 1838; then he was so overwhelmed by it that, following the performance, he dragged Berlioz onto the stage and there knelt and kissed his hand before a wildly cheering audience and applauding musicians. A few days later he sent Berlioz a letter of congratulations, enclosing a bank draft for 20,000 francs.The viola is a strange instrument…and some string players, notably violinists, look on it with thinly disguised contempt.  One first violinist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra told me the most famous of viola jokes…and it goes something like this… Q: What’s the difference between a viola and an onion? A: Nobody cries when you chop up a viola… But, having said that, this 4-moment symphony is a jewel…and it took me many listenings before I began to appreciate the work for what it is…and it would be certainly included in any ‘desert island’ collection I was putting together.This video recording is from 1976…and features the Orchestre National de France.  Donald McInnes is the soloist…and Leonard Bernstein conducts.  It’s posted over at the youtube.com Internet site…and the link is here.I wouldn’t read too much into yesterday’s price action, although it was obvious that JPMorgan Chase et al were standing by at the London p.m. gold fix to make sure that none of the four precious metals got out of hand to the upside once the ‘fix’ was in.Although I’m happy that we’re enjoying a bit of a rally since the big smack-down on November 2nd…I’m still not prepared to break out the party favours just yet.  The Commercial net short positions in both silver and gold in the Commitment of Traders Report, although better, are nowhere near a wildly bullish buy point…so I’m still on the look out for “in your ear”.But, having said all that, I still get the impression that there are forces beneath the surface that spell big changes ahead.  It’s just the timeline that I’m not certain about.  One thing that I would be happy to bet some money on is that by May 1, 2013 the price of both silver and gold will be substantially higher than they are at the moment…as JPMorgan Chase et al can’t keep this up forever.  How fast we get there and how high we go, will very much depend on whether the bullion banks are still in control of the price as these expected rallies get underway.Will they be short covering rallies…or will the powers-that-be just stand aside for a little while and let the prices rise in sort a controlled retreat fashion…which is the process they’ve been using since 1999.  I don’t know the answer to that…and only time will tell.But I’m still ‘all in’.See you on Tuesday. Sponsor Advertisement On October 30, 2012, Mason Graphite Inc. began trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “LLG”. Mason Graphite is focused on the exploration and development of its Lac Guéret graphite property located in northeastern Quebec. Based on the current National Instrument 43-101 compliant Measured & Indicated mineral resource of approximately 7.6 million tonnes grading 20.4% Cgr (carbon as graphite), the Lac Guéret property hosts one of the highest grade graphite deposits known in the world. Mason Graphite is led by Benoit Gascon, CA CMA, who has held 20 years of executive positions at Timcal, including over 6 years as CEO. Timcal, now owned by Imerys, is one of the largest graphite producers in the world. Mason Graphite has 56.9M shares outstanding and 74M shares on a fully diluted basis. For more information on the company, please visit our website, email info@masongraphite.com or call +1 (416) 861-1685.last_img read more

More than two decades after South Africa ousted a

first_imgMore than two decades after South Africa ousted a racist apartheid system that trapped the vast majority of South Africans in poverty, more than half the country still lives below the national poverty line and most of the nation’s wealth remains in the hands of a small elite.”The country was very unequal in 1994 [at the end of apartheid] and now 25 years later South Africa is the most unequal country in the world,” says Victor Sulla, a senior economist for the World Bank in charge of southern Africa. “There is no country that we have data about where the inequality is higher than South Africa.”Sulla is the lead author of a new report on poverty and inequality in South Africa.There are various ways to look at economic inequality and South Africa scores terribly on all of them. Income inequality looks at the gap between what the lowest paid workers earn each day versus the salaries of top employees.”The people at the bottom in South Africa, they get wages comparable to the people who live in Bangladesh. It’s very, very poor. Wages of less than $50 a month,” Sulla says. “If you take the top ten percent, they live like in Austria. So it’s very high level even by European standards or even by U.S. standards. And we are talking just about employees, people who are getting paid.” And not the super-rich who are earning income from factories or property or other investments.In addition to a huge problem with income inequality, South Africa also has a significant problem with wealth inequality. Wealth inequality looks at the range of a person’s assets. So a businessman in Johanesburg might own real estate, factories or other investments while a farmer in KwaZulu Natal might not even own the land she’s tilling.This new report from the World Bank finds that the top 1 percent of South Africans own 70.9 percent of the nation’s wealth. The bottom 60 percent of South Africans collectively control only 7 percent of the country’s assets.”How is that possible? Someone must explain this to me!” exclaims 30-year-old Phiwe Budaza, reached on her cellphone in Cape Town. “How is that even possible?”Budaza, who grew up in the township of Khayelitsha, says inequality is part of life in South Africa.”There’s always been a difference between the white and the black but I think it’s getting worse now,” she says. Before her cellphone battery dies Budaza says she doesn’t have a permanent job. She freelances as a photographer and in her words “hustles” to cover her bills.”I work as a bartender and I work for a rental company that rents cameras and film equipment,” she says.”It’s hard for someone like me who doesn’t have a full-time job to survive in Cape Town. The rent for an apartment [in the city] is like three times what I earn in a month.” She says she ends up living outside the city, which makes it harder to get to some jobs.Budaza is not alone in struggling to make ends meet every month in South Africa. The nation’s official unemployment rate is currently at 27 percent compared to roughly 4 percent in the United States.”South Africa is really facing the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality,” says the former head of the African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, about the report. Dlamini-Zuma is a long-time anti-apartheid activist who now heads up a national planning commission in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet.”We are a relatively rich country but with a lot of poor people,” she says.If things don’t change dramatically in South Africa, Dlamini-Zuma adds, the country will fail to reach its goal of eliminating extreme poverty (people earning less than $1.90 a day) by the year 2030.South Africa has been focused on trying to bring down poverty and reduce inequality. And it’s had some success. Post-apartheid, the government launched a significant Black Economic Empowerment program to promote the transfer of white-owned business to black investors. South Africa has invested heavily in social programs including free primary education, a plan for universal health care, infrastructure projects to expand access to clean water and minimum income grants to parents.Sulla at the World Bank says South Africa under the post-apartheid ANC government has been a leader on social programs.”Their social protection programs in terms of different grants and support for the poor are working very well,” he says. “This country is one of the best in the world in terms of the efficiency of its social protection system.”Yet despite these efforts the number of South Africans living below the national poverty has actually been increasing since 2011. In 2015, 55.5 percent of South Africans or more than 30 million people were surviving on less than $5 a day.Sulla says the lack of progress against poverty is partly due to what he calls “opportunity inequality.” Some people have more access to opportunity than others. And the people who’ve traditionally had wealth and economic opportunities continue to enjoy those benefits.Dlamini-Zuma says the legacy of the apartheid regime still casts a long shadow over the opportunities available for millions of South Africans.”We should not shy away from acknowledging that apartheid was a system that systematically excluded black people from the economy, from skills, from everything. So overcoming that has to be a big part of what we do.”She says South Africa’s progress will be measured on the progress it makes against the “dehumanizing scourge” of poverty.”Poverty stops us from reaching our full potential individually and collectively,” she says. “It’s not good to be the country with the highest inequality in the world. We need to get ourselves out of that space. But it’s not going to be easy.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Footballs Premier League has been branded dishone

first_imgFootball’s Premier League has been branded dishonest by the equality watchdog’s disability commissioner, over its attitude to access and inclusion.Lord [Chris] Holmes told MPs that there had not been “anything like an inclusive culture” in the Premier League and in Premier League clubs, which was “a great shame when it is our only national game”.He said the Premier League “needed a completely different mind-set” and pointed to the “pages and pages” devoted to broadcast arrangements in the Premier League rule book, compared with “just one line” on access.He said that changes required for television broadcasters, when new technology was introduced, were carried out “within weeks” rather than the “decades” it has taken to make access improvements.Lord Holmes, disability commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and himself a retired Paralympian, was giving evidence to the culture, media and sport select committee as part of its inquiry into access to sports stadiums for disabled people.He contrasted the Premier League’s attitude to that of Premiership rugby union and county cricket, which had both worked closely with the watchdog to improve access and inclusion.Asked by Tory MP Nigel Huddleston what he saw in those sports that was different to football’s Premier League, he said they were “collaborative, open, honest, prepared to share”.He then added, in response to a follow-up question from Huddleston, that it would be “delightful” in the future to be able to use the same words to describe the Premier League.Lord Holmes said that some clubs had done “as good as nothing” for more than 20 years to improve access.And he warned that the commission could take legal action under the Equality Act against individual clubs, and even against the Premier League itself, depending on the progress demonstrated in the next few months.He said: “I don’t think we have an inclusive culture. We don’t even have a culture of compliance from Premier League clubs and the Premier League.”The Premier League’s executive director, Bill Bush, had earlier told the committee that he could not yet name the clubs that were set to break their promise that they would meet guidelines on access laid down 13 years ago in the Accessible Stadia Guide.The Premier League said last year that all of its clubs had promised to meet the guidelines by August 2017, but Lord Holmes told the committee that probably more than a third of the clubs would fail to meet that pledge.Bush said he was not “hiding” the names of the clubs, but that it would not have been fair to name them at this stage because the Premier League had so far only carried out a “dipstick test” of their accessibility, which was not “definitive”.He said the Premier League would publish a club-by-club account of progress in January.Lord Holmes said that this refusal to release the names of individual clubs until January was “not entirely helpful”.He also pointed to a new mobile phone app that has been launched for football fans by the Premier League, even though it was not accessible.He said: “It clearly demonstrates that if that thinking is going on, there is no sense of an inclusive culture and there’s no sense of embracing the positive opportunity that exists here.”Lord Holmes praised smaller clubs like Wrexham and Tranmere Rovers, both in the fifth tier of English and Welsh football, and both of which have improved access despite their grounds being more than 100 years old.Bush claimed that Premier League clubs took the issue of access “very, very seriously” and none of them had ever said they could not afford to carry out access improvements.He claimed that any delays were due to other factors, such as the “disruption” caused by the major building work necessary to put in lifts and viewing platforms.last_img read more