About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say AC Milan goalkeeper Donnarumma: We’re a beautiful groupby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan goalkeeper Gigi Donnarumma says they’re ready for the derby against Inter Milan.Milan have won two of their first three games under coach Marco Giampaolo.Donnarumma said: “We’re a beautiful group. With a new Coach it’s normal to have some difficulty at the beginning, but we’re working well.“We’ve picked up two wins from three, not playing very well, but winning helps us win more and slowly we’re getting to grips with our game.“A derby goes over everything else, it’s a game that prepares itself and gives out a lot of energy and emotion. Playing the derby is a unique satisfaction.“Samir [Handanovic] is a very good lad and a great goalkeeper, I like how he attacks the ball, plus we know all his other qualities.“With D’Ambrosio I have a beautiful relationship, he’s my compatriot and he also lives near me. I’ll surely cross him.”
georgia spike squad mark foxGeorgia basketball coach Mark Fox has always made it clear how much he supports the school’s football team. Saturday, he’ll be going all out, yet again, to help cheer on the Dawgs against SEC juggernaut Alabama.Friday, Fox, on Twitter, revealed that he’ll be joining the Spike Squad in the stands for the contest. The Spike Squad is notorious for wearing body paint and spiked shoulder pads to games.…& forgive me when I drip paint on you cause I’m #100%Dawg @UGASPIKESQUAD – I’m in! Time to GATA pic.twitter.com/ldchIG1e2q— Mark Fox (@coachmarkfox) October 2, 2015This isn’t the first time Fox has done this, and it probably won’t be the last. Very cool.
Star Wars legend Mark Hamill and Star Wars: Force For Change have announced that the top fundraiser this week will win a trip to London where they will receive two tickets to attend Star Wars Celebration Europe and will also get to meet the Jedi himself.Video: Star Wars: Force for Change – Your Chance To Win Tickets to Celebration and Meet Mark HamillForce for Change will match the donations to four select charities up to $1,000,000!To date, Star Wars: Force for Change has raised over $10,000,000 with the help of the amazing Star Wars community. This month-long campaign will lead up to “Star Wars Day” on May the 4th. The four select charities include the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in support of UNICEF Kid Power, American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Make-A-Wish Foundation.Over the course of the four-week period, which culminates at 11:59 p.m. (PST) on May 4, fans will be able to donate through CrowdRise.com/ForceForChange to these four charities and have their donations matched dollar for dollar up to $1,000,000. Fans have been encouraged to come back to the CrowdRise site regularly as new incentives and prizes are announced each week. All participants who donate will also have a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to Ireland, including Skellig Michael along the Wild Atlantic Way, the location of the dramatic final scene from The Force Awakens. Fans will receive one entry to win for every $10 donated or fundraised.This week marks the final week of the challenge – the top fundraiser this week will win a trip to London where they will receive two tickets to attend Star Wars Celebration Europe and will get to meet Mark Hamill.Show your Force and visit CrowdRise.com/ForceForChange now for more details.
By James Wright, Special to the AFRO, firstname.lastname@example.orgMaryland State Sens. Mike Miller (D-District 27), James Rosapepe (D-District 21) and Douglas Peters (D-District 23) in addition to Maryland Del. Jay Walker (D-District 26) talked about the recently concluded Maryland General Assembly session April 25 at a forum sponsored by the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce at The Hotel at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.David Harrington is the president and CEO of the chamber of commerce and Jason DeLoach of the Alexander & Cleaver law firm is the chairman of the board.Del. Jay Walker, who represents District 26 in the Maryland General Assembly, recently talked about how small businesses fared in the recently concluded legislative session. (Courtesy Photo)“We as a chamber need to know what is going on in Annapolis,” DeLoach said. “Large businesses understand that what’s going on with the legislature but small businesses don’t.”Miller talked about some of the victories for the county that took place during the session. “We saved health care for Marylanders from Donald Trump,” he said, meaning that the assembly passed legislation that retained portions of Obamacare the president sought to gut. “We did that placing a tax on the insurance companies in our state for that.”“We also funded WMATA [the Washington, D.C. metro subway system], an incentive package worth billions for Amazon to come to Maryland, and a school safety bill that ensures a public safety officer at every public high school in Maryland.”Miller said he was especially proud that the assembly passed free community college for poor and working-class residents and extra money for historically Black colleges and universities.Walker is the outgoing leader of the Prince George’s delegation to the House of Delegates. Walker started his remarks by criticizing Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) priority when it comes to jobs.“Gov. Hogan has worked to see that jobs that are coming to the state go to Western Maryland and the Eastern Maryland but we need to bring those jobs to the DMV [District, Maryland & Virginia],” Walker, first elected to the assembly in 2006, said.Walker said the county delegation worked to secure funding for the new public hospital to be located in Largo, Md., next to the Largo Town Center Metro Center. “The hospital was slated to have 200 beds but now it will have 300 because of the efforts of my colleagues and me,” he said.Rosapepe said his colleagues worked to put more money in school construction and to address overcrowding in schools, particularly in the northern section of the county. During his remarks, Peters gave the audience a quick tutorial on how the process works in Annapolis.“This session, we had 3,100 bills to consider,” he said. “Obviously, we couldn’t get to all of them. If you have a bill that has a fiscal note of $250,000, it’s not going to be considered because of the high cost.”There was a discussion about minority-owned businesses and getting their share of state contracting work. Walker noted a bill of Del. Jazz Lewis (D-District 24) that would streamline the state’s certification process with the federal governments’ so businesses in the state won’t have to go through duplicate processes.
Orange has chosen Accedo to provide application management software for its new Orange Livebox Play set-top box. Orange Livebox Play will use Accedo’s Application Sphere product, which provides a customisable user interface with multiple existing applications included.Accedo will be an enabler of the Orange Appshop section. Users will be able to access a range of program-specific contextual apps, according to Accedo.
Swedish broadcaster TV4 has begun broadcasting its TV4 Sport channel in HD on the country’s digital-terrestrial platform. TV4 Sport HD will be available to digital-terrestrial pay TV operator Boxer’s subscribers. The channel is broadcast in MPEG-4 and the DVB-T2 format.
LG has agreed a global distribution partnership with Netflix as the subscription video-on-demand firm goes global with 130 new country launches.Announcing the deal at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, LG said it had been chosen as “a primary global business partner of Netflix” due to the picture quality and performance of its smart TVs.LG and Netflix will work together to provide prepaid access to Netflix across the OTT service’s new markets in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.“Our global partnership with LG will help entertainment lovers worldwide discover and enjoy Netflix. We look forward to delighting our members with cutting edge technology and the ability to watch their favourite series in 4K and HDR,” said Scott Mirer, vice president of device partner ecosystem at Netflix.Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced at CES yesterday that Netflix would launch high dynamic range (HDR) content “later this year.”At the trade show, LG is giving a preview of this development by demoing a 4K HDR clip from Netflix original series Marvel’s Daredevil.
Pelangio Exploration Inc. (PX:TSX-V; PGXPF:OTC) announced the results of seven diamond drill holes totaling 1,574 metres from its ongoing drilling program at the Pokukrom East zone on the Manfo Property in Ghana. Highlights of the results included:· 1.19 g/t gold over 113 metres, including 9.05 g/t gold over 7 metres; · 2.60 g/t gold over 64 metres, including 11.94 g/t gold over 10 metres; and · 16.72 g/t gold over 4 metres.The results continued to confirm a higher grade, shallow north plunging core of Pokukrom East zone with an open plunge of 600 metres from near surface in previously reported hole SPDD-088 (7.01 g/t gold over 19 metres) to 210 metres depth in the holes reported this week. Warren Bates, Senior Vice President Exploration, commented: “These are our best holes on the Manfo Property to date. These holes represent the north-plunging core of higher grade mineralization at Pokukrom East, now demonstrating an open plunge length of 600 metres.” Please visit our website to learn more about the project and request additional information. We are much closer to a bottom than a top…but I’m always on the lookout for “in your ear”.It was a reasonably quiet trading day in gold on Monday…but there was some structure to the trading action. After gaining about five bucks or so in early Far East trading on Monday, gold then tracked sideways right up until shortly after 3:00 p.m. in Hong Kong.Then gold dipped to its low of the day, which occurred a bit over an hour later at around 8:30 a.m. GMT in London. From that low, gold climbed slowly higher, reaching its high tick about ten minutes after the 1:30 p.m. Comex close in New York…and from there it traded more or less sideways into the 5:15 p.m. Eastern time electronic close.The gold price closed at $1,685.00 spot…up $8.10 from Friday’s close. Net volume was pretty light at around 109,000 contracts.Monday’s silver chart was a virtually carbon copy of Monday’s gold chart, with the only difference worth mentioning was the fact that silver’s high tick [$31.35 spot] came at 2:30 p.m. in electronic trading in New York…and from there it got sold off a bit before trading almost ruler-flat into the close.Silver closed at $31.18 spot…up 27 cents from Friday. Net volume was pretty light as well…around 31,500 contracts.The dollar index opened at 80.55 in Tokyo on their Monday morning..and then sank a few basis points up until 3:30 p.m. in Honk Kong trading. Then in less than an hour, the index jumped just about 30 basis points to about 80.78…and from there traded sideways until early afternoon in New York, when it sagged a bit…closing at 80.71.There was no co-relation between the gold and silver price activity and the dollar index movements that I could tell.Not surprisingly, the gold stocks opened in positive territory…but that happy state of affairs didn’t last long…and shortly before noon in New York, the share prices sank into negative territory and then stayed there for the rest of the day. The HUI finished down 0.67%. I wouldn’t read much into that action, but neither can I explain it based on Monday’s price activity in gold.The same can be said for the silver shares…and they got it in the neck far worse than the gold shares. I have no explanation for that, either. Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment index closed down a chunky 1.66%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report was another exercise in watching grass grow, as only 1 gold and 13 silver contracts were posted for delivery tomorrow within the Comex-approved depositories.No surprisingly, considering the price action on Friday, an authorized participant withdrew 125,969 troy ounces of gold from GLD on Monday. What was a surprise was that an authorized participant added 871,421 troy ounces of silver to SLV.The U.S. Mint had a decent sales report yesterday. They sold only 2,500 ounces of gold eagles…but a very chunky 800,000 silver eagles. That makes 1 million silver eagles sold already this month. As I keep pounding away about…I do hope you’re getting your share.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, they reported that 40,108 troy ounces of silver were received…and 342,029 troy ounces of same were shipped out the door. The link to that activity is here.My initial look at the Commitment of Traders Report in this column in my Saturday column [which has now been replaced by this commentary] was about as wrong as I could possibly get. I don’t know where my head was at when I was looking at it, as in reality there was improvement in the Commercial category in both gold and silver. My apologies for this error.In silver, the Commercial net short position improved by 1,767 contacts…as the Commercials went long 1,153 contracts and also decreased their short position by an additional 614 contracts. The Commercial net short position is now down to 53,732 contracts, or 268 million ounces.The ‘Big 4’ are short 243.5 million ounces…which represents 44.0 percent of the entire Comex futures market in silver on a net basis. The ‘5 through 8’ largest traders are short an additional 8.8 percentage points. So the ‘Big 8’ are short 52.8% of the entire futures market on a net basis…but it’s actually slightly higher than that once all the extra spread trades that only show up in the Disaggregated COT Report, are subtracted.In addition, the ‘Big 4’ are short 91 percent of the Commercial net short position in silver.In gold, the Commercial net short position improved by 9,901 contracts…and is now down to 222,764 contracts, or 22.28 million ounces. The ‘Big 4’ are short 14.64 million ounces…and this represents 34.4% of the entire futures market in gold on a net basis. The ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 12.7 percentage points…so that takes the ‘Big 8’ short position up to 47.1 percent of the entire futures market on a net basis.In addition, the ‘Big 4’ are short 65.7 percent of the Commercial net short position in gold…not nearly as big a percentage as in silver, but still huge nonetheless.Needless to say, there has been a vast improvement in the net short position in both gold and silver since the Tuesday cut-off…especially after Friday’s shenanigans. But, as Ted Butler pointed out in his Saturday column, there is still much more potential selling left by the technical funds, as they still hold significant long positions compared to the July lows. But can they or will they sell out this time? Who knows…but if they do, it will take lower prices to do it.This sell off that began during the first week of October, is not shaping up like the ‘normal’ engineered price decline that preceded it…at least not from a COT perspective, especially silver.The above was courtesy of Washington state reader S.A…as is the chart below showing the gold price, it’s 65-week moving average…and the presidential election cycle. Let us all join hands and pray that the pattern repeats itself…starting immediately!This next chart is courtesy of reader ‘David in California’…and requires no further embellishment from me.(Click on image to enlarge)Considering it’s my Tuesday column…I don’t have that many stories for you today.If you harbour any ambitions to “change” the system, you are likely to break down into rueful laughter if you think it through. If you are an American, you can go to the polls [today] and “choose” between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It is pretty clear that the US financial and political establishment don’t much care which one you “choose”. Their mutual abhorrence of any political principle is as obvious as it is predictable. Their “platforms” are identical. Their “plans” for the nation they aspire to rule are the same. That is why they are the candidates. It truly doesn’t matter who you vote for, and you know it. – Bill Buckler, Gold This Week, 03 November 2012It was pretty quiet yesterday…both in price action and volume…but I was somewhat mystified by the poor performance of the shares in both silver and gold…and don’t know quite know what to make of it.With today being election day in the U.S.A….I’m uncertain as to what price action we will see during the Tuesday trading day. Whatever is allowed, will show up in Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report, as today at the 1:30 p.m. Comex close, is the cut-off for both it and November’s Bank Participation Report.As I mentioned in my Saturday column, I never heard back from anyone at Scotiabank’s head office in Toronto…so I must assume that they are the “non-U.S.” bank that was “outed” in the CFTC’s October Bank Participation Report.Here, once again, is all the e-mal correspondence between myself and the bank. I sent the letter to Mr. Rick Waugh, the CEO…but it was answered by Dave Shearim. I urge you to e-mail either one, or both of them…and ask them the same question in your own words…are they, or aren’t they…yes, or no. Please be polite!22 October 2012 Scotiabank 44 King Street West Toronto, Ontario M5H 1H1Attention: Mr. Rick Waugh, CEODear Mr. Waugh,I’m a keen observer of the financial scene, both here in Canada and abroad…but my main area of expertise is in the precious metal markets. I write a daily blog on this subject for Casey Research out of Stowe, Vermont…and here is the link to my webpage.Part of my reading material includes two reports that are issued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission…the CFTC. The most notable of those are the weekly Commitment of Traders Report and the monthly Bank Participation Report.If you click on the Bank Participation Report link, you’ll note that the CFTC has included a comment about its October figures that took quite a few people who follow this report, completely by surprise…including me.The comment states… “The October 2012 Bank Participation Report includes COMEX gold and COMEX silver futures and options positions for a newly classified non-U.S. bank, based upon the entity’s self-description on its latest CFTC Form 40. Given the methodology of the Bank Participation Report, the entity’s most recent Form 40 submission results in all of its futures and options positions now being included within the report. For more information on the methodology used for the Bank Participation Report, see Explanatory Notes” [Emphasis is mine. – Ed]Looking through the list of market-making members of the LBMA…my first thought was that the bank most likely to fit that description would be The Bank of Nova Scotia – Scotia Mocatta. So I called Andy Montano at your head office about a week ago. We had a pleasant chat…and he said that he knew nothing about it. I asked him who might know…and he had no suggestion.So I thought I would write directly to you, sir.All I need to know is if the “non-U.S. bank” that the CFTC is referring to in its comments above…and on its Bank Participation Report home page…is The Bank of Nova Scotia – Scotia Mocatta.A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer will suffice.Thank you for your attention in this matter…and I remain,Yours truly,Edward Steer, EditorEd Steer’s Gold & Silver DailyOn Tuesday I received this reply…and as you can tell right away, the ‘non-answer’ avoided my question entirely…Dear Mr. Steer, Thank you for your email of October 22nd addressed to Rick Waugh, President & CEO of Scotiabank. I have been asked to review your inquiry and provide a response to you on behalf of the Scotiabank Group. We have determined from our review, the Scotiabank Group is not involved in the research or publication of the Commitment of Traders Report and as a result we are unable to comment on the data provided in the report. We respectfully recommend you consider making direct contact with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission CFTC) as we understand they are the source of the report and would be better positioned to respond to you with answers to any inquiries you may have about the report. Once again, thank you for writing, giving us an opportunity to review and respond to your inquiry. Sincerely, Dave Shearim Senior Manager – Office of the President Scotiabank – Executive Offices e-mail: email@example.com Telephone: (416) 933-1700 or (877) 700-0043 Fax: (416) 933-1777 or (877) 700-0045Of course I had to reply…and here it is…Hello Dave,This reply I received from you is a ‘non answer’…and avoids the question entirely.Nowhere in my original e-mail did I remotely suggest that Scotiabank Group was involved in the production of any data from the CFTC reports mentioned.The Form 40 referred to by the CFTC, would have to have been filled out by a very senior member of the Scotiabank Group…either within the bank itself, or within the Scotia Mocatta division.Here are the pertinent contents of my previous e-mail to Mr. Waugh once again…“Part of my reading material includes two reports that are issued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission…the CFTC. The most notable of those are the weekly Commitment of Traders Report and the monthly Bank Participation Report.“If you click on the Bank Participation Report link, you’ll note that the CFTC has included a comment about its October figures that took quite a few people who follow this report, completely by surprise…including me.“The comment states… “The October 2012 Bank Participation Report includes COMEX gold and COMEX silver futures and options positions for a newly classified non-U.S. bank, based upon the entity’s self-description on its latest CFTC Form 40. Given the methodology of the Bank Participation Report, the entity’s most recent Form 40 submission results in all of its futures and options positions now being included within the report. For more information on the methodology used for the Bank Participation Report, see Explanatory Notes” [Emphasis is mine. – Ed]“Looking through the list of market-making members of the LBMA…my first thought was that the bank most likely to fit that description would be The Bank of Nova Scotia – Scotia Mocatta. So I called Andy Montano at your head office about a week ago. We had a pleasant chat…and he said that he knew nothing about it. I asked him who might know…and he had no suggestion.“So I thought I would write directly to you, sir.“All I need to know is if the “non-U.S. bank” that the CFTC is referring to in its comments above…and on its Bank Participation Report home page…is The Bank of Nova Scotia – Scotia Mocatta.“A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer will suffice.So, Dave, I’ll ask the question one more time, which is it…yes, or no?Sincerely,EdAnd that’s where the matter sits, as I’ve heard nothing since.Neither silver or gold did much of anything during the Far East trading session on their Tuesday. Silver was under slight selling pressure, but is now back in the plus column by around 13 cents…and gold is up five bucks, as I hit the ‘send’ button at 5:20 a.m. Eastern time. The dollar index is flat…and volumes are already decent in silver, but light in gold.As I said a handful of paragraphs ago, I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to what the price action will be like in New York today, so nothing will surprise me when I switch on my computer later this morning.But, having said that, here’s a paragraph from Ted Butler’s Weekly Commentary to his paying subscribers on the weekend…“The second standout [in Friday’s COT Report] was the relative small number of silver contracts [through Tuesday’s cut-off date] that were sold by the technical funds and bought by the commercials. At the cut-off, only 4,100 net contracts had been liquidated from Oct 2nd. The question lately was if the tech funds would hold tight (for the first time ever) and not sell into declining prices since they hadn’t rushed to sell when key moving averages were first violated. Or was it more a case of they hadn’t sold yet, but would? Based upon Friday’s high volume, it would appear that the tech funds are capitulating on lower prices. The good news is that the tech funds may have sold 10,000 net contracts on Friday, greatly reducing the number of contracts that they will ultimately sell. The bad news is there are many more contracts that potentially still could be sold by the technical funds and purchased by JPMorgan and the raptors. Should that turn out to be the case, it will only be accomplished with lower prices.” – Silver analyst Ted Butler…03 November 2012So keep his comments top-of-mind until the current situation resolves itself. And as I said on Saturday, we are much closer to a bottom than a top…but I’m always on the lookout for “in your ear”.See you tomorrow. Sponsor Advertisement
[Today’s article comes to us from world traveler and quintessential “international man” Dr. Jack Wheeler.] Edinburgh-of-the-Seven-Seas, Tristan da Cunha, South Atlantic Ocean. Welcome to the most isolated community on the planet, on the world’s remotest inhabited island. Named after the Portuguese captain who discovered it in 1506, Tristão da Cunha, it is 1,736 miles from Africa, and 2,466 miles from South America. The nearest inhabited land is the island of St. Helena 1,343 miles to the north, itself so remote that the Brits exiled Napoleon there. It’s not simply that Tristan is far away from anywhere else, it’s amazingly difficult to get here. You have to arrive by ship as there’s no airport – and there are no regular passenger ships, just the occasional fishing boat and an annual relief/supply ship from Cape Town. And when one does get here, it is rarely able to land as the weather doesn’t allow it. We are the first passenger ship to land here since March of 2012. Why bother? Why brave often incredibly rough and dangerous seas for days or even weeks to come here on the off-chance that you can go ashore? Just to be able to tell your friends back home you set foot on the world’s remotest inhabited island? Maybe for some. For me, it was the opportunity to meet perhaps the most extraordinarily unique people on earth. I came hoping to find a freedom paradise (more accurately, a conservative-libertarian paradise) – and I found it. But before you start packing your bags, be advised: there is, of course, a catch. There is only one settlement on the island, named after the original Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Prince Alfred, Consort to Queen Victoria, who visited here on a world tour of the British Empire in 1867. Every Tristanian (tris-tay-nee-un), 262 at current count, lives in Edinburgh-of-the-Seven-Seas – although they usually just call it The Settlement. Among those 262, there are only seven family names: Glass, Green, Hagen, Swain, Rogers, Lavarello, and Repetto. There are never any first or second cousin marriages, and for 200 years the Tristan gene pool has been continually refreshed from shipwrecked sailors to marriage to outsiders. The population hasn’t gone more than 10% above or below 260 for a over a century. No one had ever lived on the island when da Cunha (coon-yah) found it in 1506, and for 300 years, no one paid much attention to the tiny, 38 square mile volcanic speck with no natural harbor and little habitable land, until 1816 when a Scottish corporal named William Glass and his wife from Cape Town, decided to live there, and attracted others, such as a sailor named Thomas Swain, and women from St. Helena for sailors like him. The community grew, waxed and waned, prospered and suffered, learning to become intensely self-reliant. They raised cattle and sheep, fished in the sea, grew vegetables and potatoes, and fended for themselves, dependent upon no one by necessity. They lived simply. Every family had its own small home, made of large blocks of an easily-carved volcanic rock called tufa, with a heavily thatched roof. There was only one main room, with a fireplace that provided heat and where food was cooked, and a small bedroom. The bed’s mattress was stuffed with penguin feathers, and lamps at night were lit with seal oil. Yet they saw that their children were well educated. They learned of world events and read books by Plutarch, Plato, and Shakespeare acquired from passing sailing ships. They saw their children learned Christian values at one of the two churches in the Settlement: St. Mary’s Anglican Church, or St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. There’s no history of religious feuds or fanaticism on Tristan. After World War II, “red gold” was discovered. With the help of South African businessmen, the Tristan Development Corporation was formed in 1949 to exploit the uncountable numbers of easily-caught rock lobsters in Tristan’s waters. In addition, beautifully designed Tristan postage stamps became prized by stamp collectors and were sold world-wide. The economy boomed, living and housing conditions improved – yet Tristanians managed to adapt to modernization without losing their traditional values and culture. Then disaster struck. Tristan is an active volcano above a hotspot in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, with the main cone (Queen Mary’s Peak) almost 7,000 feet high. In August of 1961, a vent suddenly opened up right next to The Settlement, out of which molten lava began flowing towards the sea. When it looked like the lava might envelop and destroy the community, the British government ordered the entire population evacuated to England. For most Tristanians, it was the first time they’d been off their island (save for fishing trips to the small nearby uninhabited satellite islands of Nightingale and Inaccessible), their first exposure to modern Western life and all its temptations. They hated it. When scientists reported, after an expedition to the now-deserted island in 1962, that the lava flow had missed The Settlement by not much more than the length of a football field, that the eruption had terminated, and that repatriation of the islanders was an option, the Tristanians celebrated. They were given the choice to stay in England and be subsidized wards of the British Welfare State, or return to Tristan and fend for themselves again. All but five voted to return – which they did in 1963. The kids brought back rock n’ roll and the Twist with them, but for the most part, the plethora of lunacies comprising the Sixties passed Tristan by. Everyone went back to work, although with the rock lobster and postage stamp businesses going better than ever, that work was more profitable. The Settlement soon had a movie theatre, a pub, a community swimming pool; everyone had a modern kitchen, video recorders, and family car – even though there are less than four miles of road on the island. Today there’s an Internet cafe, and many kids have a Facebook page or even their own websites. The island maintains its own well-done website, www.tristandc.com. Now we come to the interesting part. If exposure to and immersion in the culture of Western degradation has spoiled and ruined the culture of Tristan, it is indiscernible. To this day, in almost 200 years of history since Tristan’s founding in 1816, not one Tristanian has ever murdered another. Murder is unknown, it has never happened on Tristan. Rape is unknown. There has never been a single case of rape in anyone’s memory or on record. Divorce is unknown. Marriage is for life. No one can recall any couple ever getting divorced (save for marriage to an outsider who couldn’t handle life on Tristan and left the island). Pre-marital sex is abundant, but once a girl gets pregnant, she marries the father and that’s that. Abortion is unknown. Aborting a baby is indescribably horrific to a Tristanian. Crime is unknown. There is no theft. Everyone keeps his home unlocked. There are no fights in the pub, no drunken brawls. There is a peacefulness and serenity to life on Tristan that has to be experienced to be believed. And there is no socialism. Tristan’s economy and society is based on private property. People have their own sheep, their own cows for milk, their own cattle for beef, their own cultivated patches for potatoes and vegetables. Fishermen are paid according to the amount of lobsters they personally haul in. For the most part, Tristanians govern themselves. There is a resident British Administrator, as Tristan is a British Overseas Territory, appointed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. Yet, with the exception of rare emergency circumstances such as the decision to evacuate the island in 1961, he can only act with the approval of the Island Council, composed of islanders elected by the community. In fact, Tristanians pay little attention to the “Hadmin,” as they call the Administrator, who manages to spend much of his time in London. They look instead to their own elected leader and head of the Council, called the Chief Islander, for guidance. Currently, he is Ian Lavarello, and I was fortunate to have dinner with him. His home is like everyone else’s. He goes fishing, manages his potato patch, and works like everyone else. “Tristanians learned long ago,” he told me, “to be a cooperative people, to resolve our disputes peacefully and with goodwill. We are all family on this island, and we use problems to bring us together, not divide us. I don’t think you’ll find a more agreeable people anywhere than Tristanians. They make it easy for me to find solutions to situations that we all can agree on.” Tristan has one policeman – Conrad Glass, a direct descendant of founder William Glass. Over a Castle Lager at the world’s remotest pub, the Albatross Bar, I asked him what a policeman does in a place where there’s no crime. “My job is to help people,” he explained. “Ian (Lavarello) helps with community-wide issues. I talk to people about their individual disagreements. And I help them be careful. “There’s a place on the road to the Patches (an area of tiny walled fields two miles from the Settlement in which everyone grows their potatoes and vegetables) where some people drive fast and there’s been a couple of accidents. I’ll park my police car behind this curve – you Yanks would call this a ‘speed trap,’ I believe – so when someone is speeding and they see me, they quickly slow down. We smile and wave at each other, although sometimes I have to shake my finger at them.” Conrad asked me why I had come here. “People who live in the remotest community on earth, and have been determined to do so for two centuries,” I answered, “have to be uniquely interesting. I came here to meet them, and try to understand something about them.” He smiled. “The most important thing to understand about Tristanians is what they value most in life is freedom. We have a freedom here in Tristan like nowhere else. That’s why we found England suffocating, rules everywhere, someone always telling you what you can and cannot do. We couldn’t wait to get back here where we are free and we live by our own rules. “On Tristan, no one tells you what to do. No one tells you when to get up, when to milk your cows or go fishing or help your neighbor fix his house damaged in a storm. But… if you don’t do these things, your cow will die, you won’t have fish to eat, your neighbor won’t help you when you need to fix your house. We’ve learned that when you’re free, when no one forces you to help others, everyone ends up helping everyone else – and cheerfully. There’s no obligation – we just are happier together that way.” A young fellow, George Swain, joined us. He had gone to high school in Cape Town and then received training in wildlife conservation. Now, at age 20, he had returned to the island to work for Tristan’s Conservation and Fisheries Office. I asked him if most young people left the island to study or work elsewhere today, and how many ever came back. “Most all of us leave at some time,” he said. “We want to learn something of the world. After a few years or even several, just about everybody returns to live. We miss Tristan’s freedom.” So – ready to kiss all the fascist craziness in the world goodbye and live in peace and freedom on Tristan da Cunha? That’s the catch: you can’t. The world’s remotest, most isolated community on the planet wants to keep it that way. You can visit here between ships, arriving on one and departing on another – although there are no hotels or restaurants, so you’d have to arrange a homestay – but you can’t live here. Tristan is for Tristanians. There is only one way to become a Tristanian – and that’s to marry one. You could visit here in hopes of meeting and marrying a local gal if you’re a guy or vice versa (and just to be clear: any mention of “same-sex” marriage is considered a stupidly tasteless joke here). Or you could by chance or tracking them down, bump into a young Tristanian studying or working abroad, marry him or her, and move to Tristan. Once you establish a home in the Settlement, have children and start to raise a family, you can become a Tristanian – that’s the only way. The bottom line is that Tristanians are self-contained. They are cheerful, friendly, approachable, nice and easy to talk to. But they don’t need us. Outsiders from other countries and cultures have their values and lifestyles, and that’s fine – live and let live. But they don’t need them. Tristanians have a freedom and shared humanity that is unique in this world. There is a calmness in their souls, what I would call a gravitas of serenity, that I have never witnessed elsewhere in all the places on earth I have been. You and I cannot be a part of it – but it is enough to know that it exists. At least there is one place on our planet this free, this peaceful, this happy together. It is not ironic that this place is a tiny village on a tiny island in a vast stormy sea farther away from other people than anywhere else. The latter has to be part of the cause of the former. No matter. We know now that such peace and freedom isn’t a fantasy ideal but something human beings are actually capable of. It has been such a privilege to be here and meet these wonderful people. The short weather window that allowed us to be here has closed. A major storm is approaching and we must board the Zodiac motorized inflatable rafts in the tiny harbor – so tiny a couple of Zodiacs or motorized rowboats is all it has room for – to get back to the ship anchored offshore. I must finish one last Castle Lager here in the Albatross Bar where I’m writing this and say goodbye to my Tristanian friends. For the rest of my life, I’ll treasure having been here and having met them. There is such a place as Tristan da Cunha. It’s real, and that should mean a lot to all of us. [Editor’s Note: Once called “Indiana Jones of the Right” by The Washington Post, Dr. Jack Wheeler is the founder of To The Point, a website that serves as “The Oasis for Rational Conservatives”. Learn more at www.tothepointnews.com.] Freedom Paradise Found by Dr. Jack Wheeler
Over the holidays, a dear friend asked for help—the sort of help you might need too. She’s retired, lives alone, and has a modest nest egg. But the thought of losing any of her life savings terrifies her. Let’s call my friend “Sally.” Sally doesn’t trust stockbrokers or any commission-based investment advisors. I was flattered to learn that she reads all of our material; but considering how often we lambaste low-interest cash accounts, I was surprised when she confided that all her money is in a cash account, earning 0.01% interest. Sally understands that at that rate, she’ll likely outlive her nest egg. She knows she needs to do something but is understandably afraid and feeling vulnerable. Now, I know she wasn’t just flattering me when she said she reads all of our material. She played it right back to me… The stock market is near an all-time high. The government, not solid business fundamentals, is propping up the stock market. It’s on thin ice. Junk bonds have a higher rate of default than top-quality bonds and are currently paying some of the lowest interest rates in several decades. Preserving capital and earning decent yields are both essential to making a lifetime portfolio last, well, a lifetime. CDs are risky because they tie up your money and might lose against inflation. These are real fears. Sally understands the risks of investing; however, she underestimates consequence of doing nothing. Several subscribers have expressed similar concerns. So, to answer Sally and company we’re sharing a conversation between analysts Andrey Dashkov, Chris Wood, and me.Dennis Miller: Andrey, I’ll start with you because I know you’re something of a financial advisor to your mother. What would you say if she asked these questions? Where would you tell her to start?Andrey Dashkov: Dennis, yes, my mother does indeed turn to me for financial advice. Let me start by giving you a little context. She still lives in Belarus, where I was born. I will not get into great detail about the country’s crumbling economy, but as we speak, the Belarusian National Bank has hiked its interest rates (called refinancing rates) by 5 percentage points, from 20% to 25%. You can get 50% annually on a bank deposit denominated in rubles; consumer credit rates go upward of 70%. You heard me right. I never stop admiring people who can navigate an environment like this. Granted, some go the obvious route and spend their money as fast as they can, while others try to save. But despite the attractive deposit rates, few are willing to trust the banking system. Most of the people just buy foreign currency in cash, really. Almost every new year, rumors about another devaluation start popping up, and people line up at ATMs to withdraw US dollars and euros. At the beginning of this year, the ruble was devalued by 7% in an instant. So Belarusians are natural risk avoiders and natural hedgers. Earning interest is less of a concern; preserving buying power and liquidity is what matters. Most people just buy US dollars and euros, hoping that if one of the two depreciates, the other will move up. Compared to the local currency, they feel more comfortable. Back to your friend, though. Since her main concerns are liquidity and stability, I would recommend she try one of the six Stable Income funds in the Money Forever portfolio. She isn’t mentally prepared to take on risk, so she needs to start slowly and build confidence. As you know, these funds function as cash alternatives. One in particular—a fund we’ve held since November 2012—comes to mind. While it pays a low rate of return, it’s still 80 times more than she’s currently earning. It’s a step in the right direction. Diversification is important, though, so I’d also recommend that she add other vehicles to her portfolio. Her well-being shouldn’t depend on any single position. This idea is easy to understand; my mother totally gets it. Many people of her generation have acted as amateur currency hedgers for the better part of the last decade. I’d start by taking easy steps, allocating some of your friend’s cash into our cash-like investments. While they aren’t as safe as cash or top-quality bonds, the additional returns would have an immediate, positive impact on her savings with minimal default risk. It’s as simple as this. If she earned 4% interest and had a 1% default, her net gain would be 3%—300 times what she’s earning now. When she’s ready, I’d encourage her to buy some stocks, too.Dennis: Chris, where would you suggest she start?Chris Wood: Dennis, you aren’t the only one who gets these types of questions. Once your friends and family learn what you do for a living, it’s natural that they start asking these questions. Much like your friend, they know they should “do something.” They just don’t know how to go about it. I tread carefully here because advising a friend in his or her 30s is much different than advising family elders. But back to your friend—I think Andrey is spot-on. Her primary goal should be preserving capital, but she really does need to go into the market to have any chance of keeping up with inflation, actually growing her nest egg in real terms, and generating enough income to continue to live a long and happy life. A good way to start is to dip your toes into safe, cash-like instruments that provide a better yield than a cash account at a brokerage. Then branch out into dividend-paying stocks that also provide the opportunity for robust capital appreciation (diversified geographically and across sectors, of course). Finally, add in some higher-yield income vehicles, like floating-rate funds, preferred stocks, and even high-quality venture-debt BDCs. This three-tiered approach should provide the capital appreciation and income necessary for her nest egg to live as long as she does, and it should do that as safely as possible. Speaking of safety, as she adds to her positions, she should limit each investment to a small portion (say 2-5%) of her entire portfolio. Other things like rebalancing on a regular basis, using limit orders so she doesn’t buy an investment at a price above what she’s comfortable with, and setting trailing stops to prevent catastrophic losses and lock in gains are important too.Dennis: One of my fears with friends is giving good advice that later goes stale. A decade ago I showed a friend how to set up a CD ladder. He recently mentioned that the process works well but complained about the low interest rates. The advice was good at the time, but it’s not something I’d recommend in today’s market. While I also recall suggesting he work closely with a licensed financial professional, he seems to have forgotten that part. How do you update friends and family? Chris, do you want to go first on this one?Chris: Sure. Unfortunately, there’s no “set it and forget it” way to deal with markets à la the Ronco Rotisserie. Probably the most important thing to communicate to friends and relatives who ask for advice is that it will take some work on their part. Vigilance is paramount. Even if you’re working with a financial professional, it’s important to know what’s going on, because the decisions you’re making now will affect the rest of your life. Obviously, there are cost/benefit tradeoffs in terms how much time you have to dedicate to such things. But in general, the more self-directed you are, the better the outcome. That’s basically the whole reason our organization exists, by the way: to help self-directed investors with unbiased research and analysis.Dennis: Andrey, do you have anything you want to add to Chris’ remarks?Andrey: Sure. As Chris says, it’s important to stay informed about what’s going on around you, both in the economy and on the stock market. The caveat, though, is that there is just too much information around, and most of it is useless. So when people ask me how to become better informed, I recommend consuming less information, not more; however, you have to be selective. Pick a couple of weekly magazines that cover the economy and business from different angles, and you’ll do two things: first, you’ll dramatically reduce the amount of information you need to consume per week; and second, what you read will often be better researched and more comprehensive than the bite-sized, out-of-context crap scattered around the Internet in the form of news and blog posts written with speed in mind, not comprehension. Also, treat all TV as entertainment. So that’s step one. Step two is finding reliable investment advice. Granted, there are excellent people in the business, but they’re often slow to adapt to the changing environment. They keep selling you “100 minus your age,” “60/40,” or other schemes, even though they won’t produce the results you need.Dennis: Okay guys, we’ve talked about putting your toes in the water with the safer, cash-like investments. How do you deal with concerns about the stock market? When we put together the bulletproof income portfolio, we started by asking, “What’s the smallest amount we can put in the market and still safely make enough yield to ensure the money lasts?” With the S&P 500 at all-time highs, the prices of companies like Apple are soaring. It’s pretty hard to say, “Buy high and hope to sell higher.” What are your thoughts in this regard? Andrey?Andrey: I don’t think about the stock market in terms of aggregates; in a sense, I don’t care how expensive the S&P 500 is. What I do care about is helping our subscribers enjoy the opportunities the market brings—and minimizing the risks. The first risk is in following the crowd. Most retail investors tend to hold the same 20-30 stocks in their portfolio: companies they know—or think they know about. This means brands like Apple, Chrysler, Coke, Ford, and now possibly Facebook, since it’s so pervasive. This approach is a losing proposition for two reasons. First, buying what everybody else does is irrational investing. Crowds buying (and then selling) stocks en masse creates volatility and hurts returns. Second, brands are not companies: if you like your Apple computer (or your Ford car or your Diet Coke), it doesn’t mean Apple or Ford or Coke are good investments. Investors should look at companies with as little emotion as possible. I read once that if you’re excited about any of your investments, you’re doing it wrong. Staying objective and disciplined is the way to go. In short, the market does what it wishes while we cut our own path. I think the Money Forever way, with our emphasis on risk management, income, and individual opportunities, is the right one. There are still opportunities out there for great appreciation and returns. It’s a matter of finding them ahead of—and while mostly ignoring—the emotional crowd. When the crowd starts buying is when we start looking to lock in profits. In 2014, we did this in several ways: tightening up stop losses; selling off part of our position; and in the case of HES, selling it all for a nice 78% gain.Dennis: Chris, anything to add?Chris: No, I think Andrey summed that up very nicely.Dennis: Guys, thank you both for chiming in here. To distill it down, there are three basic steps my friend and those in similar predicaments should take: stop doing nothing; start small; and, start now.On the Lighter Side Jo and I are making our way across the country, moving from Florida to Arizona just in time for Chicago Cubs’ spring training. While some friends are surprised by our eagerness to uproot our lives, I say it’s never too late to begin a new adventure with your bride. Until next week…
Justin’s note: As regular Dispatch readers know, every Friday we feature no-filtered insights from Doug Casey. You see, Doug isn’t just a world-class speculator. He’s a rare, independent thinker and a walking encyclopedia. Best of all, he isn’t afraid to speak his mind. It’s no surprise that these interviews have been a favorite among our readers.Today, Doug and I talk about why the “politically correct” or “PC” movement is destroying America…Justin Spittler: Doug, I want to ask you about political correctness. Obviously, PC culture’s nothing new, but it kind of seems like it’s spreading like cancer these days. Terms like “gender inclusivity,” “cultural appropriation,” and “white privilege” are everywhere.A good example is last year’s announcement by the University of Minnesota… saying it was dropping the names “Homecoming King and Queen” in favor of “Royals.” It did this in the name of “gender inclusivity.”Is PC culture getting totally out of hand, or am I going crazy?Doug Casey: Parts of the culture are borderline insane. There’ve been news items regarding this on scores of different colleges and universities across the US. What you mentioned at the University of Minnesota was just part of a greater movement. Although I’ve got to say that I find the use of “Royals” objectionable. I dislike the idea of a hereditary aristocracy—kings and queens and royals. They’re basically just successful, silk-clad gangsters. Why the royal family in Britain is looked up to is a mystery to me. They, like all royals in the world, historically are just descendants of successful thugs.But that’s not the point that the PC people are making. They don’t want to see people identified by their birth sex. They would rather that people “identify” as whatever gender—and I understand there are supposed to be about 40—you feel you belong to. You can say you are whoever you think you are. And oddly enough, I’m somewhat sympathetic to that. I think you should be able to call yourself what you want, do what you want, say what you want, this is all fine. And let people judge you by how you identify yourself. Say that you’re a hermaphrodite dinosaur who was born on Mars, if you want. I don’t care; it’s your problem. But these PC types want to legislate that people have to treat the psychologically aberrated as if they were normal. They want laws and punishments governing what you can and can’t do and say and even feel. They want to force you to respect, and pay for, the fantasies of a minority. And change—overturn actually—the whole social culture of the country. It’s a very disturbing trend. It’s likely to end in violence. I believe I first heard the term “political correctness” used on a Saturday Night Live show back in about 1980. And I thought it was just a joke—like most of the things on SNL. But it turned out to be a real thing, and it’s been building momentum, for at least the last two generations. Where is it going to end? I’m not sure, but it’s just one more termite eating away at the foundations of Western civilization itself. People that go along with this stuff aren’t just crazy. They’re actually evil. They’re the same types who rallied around Robespierre during the French revolution, Lenin during the Russian Revolution, Hitler in ‘30s Germany, and Mao in China. It’s a certain personality type.The fact that the average American still puts up with this kind of nonsense and treats it with respect is a bad sign. PC values are continually inculcated into kids that go off to college—which, incidentally, is another idiotic mistake that most people make for both economic and philosophical reasons. It’s a real cause for pessimism.Justin: I agree 100%, Doug. But here’s something our average reader might not realize.The PC “movement” is actually happening across the world.For example, Cardiff Metropolitan University in the U.K. banned words like “mankind,” “homosexual,” “housewife,” “manmade,” and “sportsmanship” in an effort to “promote fairness and equality through raising awareness about potentially discriminatory vocabulary.”Here are some of the University’s approved alternatives…Instead of “manpower,” students and faculty should say “human resources.”Instead of “mankind,” “humanity.”Instead of “sportsmanship,” “fairness.”Instead of “polio victim,” “polio survivor.”So here we have another university trying to legislate what people can and cannot say in the name of fairness and equality.But I really don’t see how this accomplishes anything. Would you agree?Doug: Completely. The words you use control the way you think. These people don’t have good intentions, they have bad intentions. Destructive intentions. They’re opposed to all the things that, starting with Ancient Greece, made Western Civilization unique, and better than any other on Earth. They’re opposed to the concepts of individualism, personal freedom, capitalism, economic liberty, free thought, and the like. And it starts with controlling the words you use. George Orwell pointed that out in 1984 where he created “Newspeak,” which was a new version of the English language that used all kinds of different new words in order to change the way people think. And to make it impossible for them to think clearly, because the words were purposely misdefined, often to the opposite of the meanings that they actually have. So, sure, this is part of the continuing corruption of Western civilization itself.And you’re right, it’s not just in American universities. It’s in universities everywhere, because the culture of universities everywhere has been controlled by this whole class of progressives, social justice warriors, cultural Marxists, socialists—they go under a number of names. I don’t know what’s going to be done about it, quite frankly, because the average person doesn’t have A) the backbone and B) the philosophical knowledge to counter these people. So there’s great cause for pessimism, watching this happen and accelerate. It’s not slowing down, it’s accelerating everywhere.For instance, some years ago I sat on the Board of Trustees of two different universities. The other trustees weren’t academics, but normal, successful middle-class people. And they were completely snowed by these crazy trends. They were of good will, but they’d been brainwashed by their own educations, and the culture around them, into thinking that although perhaps the SJWs and such were going “too far,” they didn’t actively oppose them. I’m afraid the intellectual and psychological battle has been lost. Click to read more Good News for Retirees in Spending BillA jaw-dropping $100 million will be paid out every hour of every day – for the next year. Recommended Link Justin: Exactly, it seems people across the world are waging a war on their own freedom of speech. Meanwhile, you have the government waging a war on people’s privacy…Facebook and internet service providers are hawking private browsing data, Google is listening in on our conversations, the CIA is hacking people’s smartphones…As disturbing as this all is, I can’t say I’m surprised. Are you?Doug: No, I wasn’t at all surprised by it. But people’s reaction to these horrible things is that, “Well, the CIA should be reined in a bit, they should be brought under control.” But this is the wrong reaction. The CIA—along with the NSA, the DEA, and a bunch of others—should be abolished, because the CIA has become an actual Praetorian guard. It’s become a government within a government. They have their own armed forces, they have their own sources of income. You can go rogue within the CIA, and if you’re powerful enough or clever enough you can basically do what you want because you’re an armed government agent that’s a member of a very powerful group.These people are completely out of control. And they have a powerful propaganda machine that works around the clock to convince ignorant and paranoid Boobus americanus that they’re actually good guys, working for his interests against the rest of the world.The CIA should be abolished because it’s dysfunctional, but also because it serves no useful purpose. It’s never ever predicted, through its so-called “intelligence gathering,” anything of value—ever. The Korean War, the rise of Castro, the fall of the Shah, the rise of Islam, the fact that the Soviet Union was just an empty shell—you know, they thought the Soviet Union was actually competing with the US from an economic point of view. They’re always absolutely wrong on everything. It defies the odds of pure chance. They’re not just useless, but extremely dangerous. All the coups and revolutions they’ve plotted were disasters.Can you abolish them? Can you get rid of them at this point? No, they’re far too powerful. And anybody that tries is either going to be killed and/or discredited by their black propaganda. At this point the situation’s completely out of control, and we just have to see where it ends. As an individual American, you should try to insulate yourself from these people. Because they’re not going away; they’re going to become even more powerful.Justin: How can the average American do that? Should they flee to another country? Delete their Facebook? Is this something people can even escape?Doug: It’s now a very small world, so it’s very hard to escape. But you just mentioned something to consider. I spend two-thirds of the year in South America, and travel a lot. Believe it or not, I don’t personally have a cell phone, because I don’t like to feel tethered to an electronic device. Societies down here aren’t nearly as electronically oriented as they are in the US. Though my internet connection in Cafayate, Argentina is much better than the one I have in Aspen. So, yes, that’s one thing. It’s easier to be out of sight and out of mind of the bad guys if you’re out of the US, which is the epicenter of all of this. I think that’s important. And being physically absent and trying to limit your use of electronic devices and be careful when you do use them. That’s about all you can do at this point.Or you can be a good little lamb, and never think out of the box. To mix metaphors, you can act like an ostrich and stick your head in the sand, believing you have nothing to hide, because you’re one of the herd who never does anything wrong. Too few people have read Harvey Silverglate’s book where he points out how the average American often commits about three felonies a day.But that book is surely inaccurate. It’s 10 years old. Now it’s probably like five felonies a day.Justin: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, Doug.Doug: My pleasure, Justin.Justin’s note: This October, you’re invited to meet Doug, along with all of our Casey gurus—including Nick Giambruno, E.B. Tucker, Dave Forest, and Marco Wutzer—at the first-ever Legacy Investment Summit in Bermuda. You’ll also have the chance to hear from some of the brightest minds in our business, including Bill Bonner and Teeka Tiwari… and special guests John Stossel and Glenn Beck.This is unlike anything we’ve done before. And we’d like to give you $1,000 in bonuses just for attending. Click here to learn more.P.S. Doug just gave a fantastic interview with Sprott Media and shared his thoughts on bitcoin, gold, and much more. Click here to hear why Doug says bitcoin is better than the US dollar… but not better than gold.Reader MailbagToday, a reader responds to Doug’s recent interview on China’s exploitation of Africa…Writing from Europe… I wish to thank Mr. Doug Casey and his team for their excellent articles. Your most recent musings about Africa and the Chinese expansion there were pretty much spot on. China will be a major factor in Africa for the foreseeable future. This process will be accelerated by the declining American influence, while Europe is falling apart. China is preparing for dominance of this continent, especially the central and southern parts, and more indirectly the Northern African countries.– HendrickAs always, you can send any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch right here.In Case You Missed It…Until now, 99% of the largest hedge funds and banks wouldn’t touch pot. That’s about to change… The “Trillion Dollar Mainstream Marijuana Takeover” begins as soon as November 6.And well-positioned investors could see gains of 7,500%… 9,329%… even 12,547% if these companies get taken over. Click here to learn more about this rare opportunity. Discover the full story here — Recommended Link — Is “$7 Internet” Coming to Your State This Year?America’s “most hated” cable companies are mad as hell. A brand-new internet technology with the code name “Halo-Fi” promises to be faster than cable, yet, by my estimates, over 7 times cheaper, which could save you an easy $19,494. Everything shifts on September 22, so there’s no time to lose.
An activist is seeking election onto Labour’s ruling national body as part of a campaign to improve the representation of disabled people throughout the party.Sarah Taylor is one of two disabled members of the new Project 125 campaign who are seeking election to Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), which oversees the party’s policy-making process.She said it was “ludicrous” that there were no disabled members of the NEC and its equality committee.Project 125 is seeking to improve the participation and representation of disabled people at all levels of the party, and aims to persuade Labour to select 125 disabled parliamentary candidates to fight the next general election.They say that because 20 per cent of the population are disabled people, the party should select 125 disabled candidates, roughly 20 per cent of Westminster seats. At present, the campaign says, just 0.8 per cent of Labour MPs identify as disabled people.Project 125 is linked to the separate Disability Equality Act Labour (DEAL) campaign, which is pushing the party to implement the Equality Act 2010 in how it treats disabled party members.Taylor (pictured) and fellow Project 125 campaigner Nicola Morrison secured enough support from local Labour constituency parties (CLPs) – Taylor was nominated by 11 local parties and Morrison by seven – to stand as candidates in the NEC election among party members.The election is being held because members agreed at the party’s annual conference in Brighton in September to add three more constituency representatives to the NEC, which currently has 40 members.But the conference also saw calls from DEAL members and others for the party to end years of “blatant discrimination” against its own disabled members, while there were also complaints about “inexcusable” access failings at the conference.Taylor, a former nurse, from Norwich, told Disability News Service (DNS) that Labour was “the party of equality” and its aim was to help disabled people “have a more equal life” and address discrimination.But she said: “I don’t know how we can do that if we haven’t got disabled party members throughout the party.”She said her message to party members deciding who to vote onto the NEC was: “It’s our party, let us in.“Let us be part of it, let us represent ourselves and let us work with all of the Labour party members to actually pursue greater equality for all Labour party members.“We are the party of equality, we are better than all the other parties on that already, but we could be better still.”And she warned that if there were no disabled people on the NEC, the party could not say – as shadow chancellor John McDonnell has promised – that disabled people and their organisations will “go into government just as much as we do”, and that they will “determine” and “implement” the next Labour government’s disability policies.Taylor said: “The fact that 18 CLPs have nominated us between us really does show that the message is getting out there.”But Project 125 is not just about ensuring disabled people are represented in positions within the party, and selected as candidates, she said, but also about ensuring they can participate at the grassroots level.She said it was “the most empowering thing in the world” when her local party makes the reasonable adjustments necessary for her to meet voters on the doorstep.Because of her health condition, she has to carry an emergency injection with her at all times, cannot be left on her own, and needs to take regular breaks.She said: “It’s great, and I feel really good and I feel valued [when those adjustments are made], but when it’s not done well and you’re left stranded on your own, which is quite dangerous, it’s very demoralising.”On occasions, she has been told the local party cannot accommodate her and that she should make phone calls instead, which she said makes her feel “quite worthless”.Taylor said she does not believe discrimination in the party is “widespread”, although “there are cases where people in the party do feel they have been discriminated against because of their disability and that is something we have to take seriously as well”.Many of the problems can be solved by better policies, education and training within the party, she believes.In her pitch to party members, she says: “Despite often having great skills, Labour Party members with disabilities are not equally represented when it comes to positions within the party both locally and nationally and are often excluded and undervalued.”Taylor told DNS that she does not believe she will find it hard to secure votes on a platform that is criticising the party about its attitude to disability.She said Labour was going through a period of “positive change” and the leadership was “encouraging people to become more involved and represent themselves and be part of that positive change.”Voting for the election closes at noon on 12 January 2018.
Celebrity Endorsement Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. Image credit: Brian Ach | Getty Images Next Article 1 min read –shares Download Our iOS App Shawn Carter, better known as the rapper Jay-Z, will be “chief brand strategist” for California cannabis company Caliva, working to boost the benefits of the legalization of cannabis in communities that were hit hardest by the War on Drugs.Related: 23 Celebrities in the CannabizHigh Times first reported Tuesday that Jay-Z has agreed to a multi-year partnership with the company and will focus on increasing opportunities resulting from legalization for “citizens returning from incarceration.” The rapper released a 2016 film that called the War on Drugs an “epic fail.”“With all the potential in the cannabis industry, Caliva’s expertise and ethos make them the best partners for this endeavor,” Jay-Z told High Times. “We want to create something amazing, have fun in the process, do good and bring people along the way.”Caliva and Jay-Z will work on issues surrounding job training and workforce development in communities heavily hit by drug incarcerations. The legendary rapper/entrepreneur got 99 problems but a bud ain’t one. Free Green Entrepreneur App This story originally appeared on Benzinga Dave Royse Jay-Z Gets Into the Pot Game Add to Queue July 10, 2019
Former Staff Writer Register Now » Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. June 17, 2014 Add to Queue Your Customers Can Now Direct Message You on Yelp 1 min read Customer Relationship Management Geoff Weiss With a just-announced direct messaging feature, Yelp is aiming to make communication between business owners and customers even more seamless.For specific inquiries unlikely to appear on general listings — or for when customers simply don’t feel like picking up the phone — users can now click on a link appearing beneath each claimed company’s contact information to compose a direct message.Business owners receive these messages as emails but can respond directly without having to log in to their Yelp accounts, the company explained in a blog post.Related: Facebook Lets Restaurants Post Menus to Pages; Yelp Announces New Video FeatureUpon sending a message, consumers will be notified of each business’ average response time.Though the feature bypasses in-person interaction, one business owner found that it actually increased contact. “It almost always leads to further correspondence or a phone conversation,” said Wade Lombard, founder of Square Cow Movers in Austin, Texas.The feature is optional for businesses and can be disabled, Yelp said.Related: Yelp Now Points Users to Businesses That Accept Bitcoin as Payment –shares Next Article Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business
Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Uber to Let Londoners Book Journeys Weeks in Advance This story originally appeared on Reuters Uber Next Article Image credit: Neil Hall via Reuters Register Now » Add to Queue Ride service Uber, which enables users to instantly hail a taxi ride using their smartphone, will allow customers to book trips days or weeks in advance in London, the first European city to get the option.Uber began offering scheduled rides in June in Seattle, targeted particularly at business customers.Earlier this year, the San Francisco-based app avoided having a mandatory waiting time of five minutes imposed upon it and other private hire car firms in London as part of proposals by transport bosses to regulate the sector.Advance booking will be introduced from Thursday and available within two weeks to all two million Uber users in London, who will be able to book journeys from 15 minutes to 30 days before they travel.”Many of our riders, especially business customers, have asked us to introduce this feature and we’re really excited to bring it to Londoners,” the firm’s London General Manager Tom Elvidge said.Rapidly expanding tech start-ups such as Uber have faced opposition from some unions and longer-established competitors around the world, including in London where drivers of traditional black cabs have held a series of protests.Allowing advance bookings would allow Uber, whose investors include GV, formerly known as Google Ventures and Goldman Sachs, to further compete with established cab firms and some other apps.Uber recently launched legal action in London against new rules such as written English tests for its drivers in one of the latest battles between regulators and the app.(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Giles Elgood) –shares August 25, 2016 2 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Reuters
Source:https://www.bfr.bund.de/en/press_information/2018/40/resistant_bacteria__can_raw_vegetables_and_salad_pose_a_health_risk_-207788.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 16 2018Salad is popular with people who want to maintain a balanced and healthy diet. Salad varieties are often offered for sale ready-cut and film-packaged. It is known that these types of fresh produce may be contaminated with bacteria that are relevant from the point of view of hygiene. A working group led by Professor Dr. Kornelia Smalla from the Julius Kühn Institute (JKI) has now shown that these bacteria may also include bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.”We have to get to the bottom of these findings”, said Professor Dr Georg Backhaus, President of the Julius Kühn Institute. Antimicrobial-resistant bacteria are known to occur in manure, sewage sludge, soil and bodies of water. “This worrying detection of these kinds of bacteria on plants is in line with similar findings for other foods”, adds Professor Dr Dr Andreas Hensel, President of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). “We are now assessing as a matter of urgency what this finding means with regard to the health risk for consumers.”Link: The transferable resistome of produceFor the purpose of analysis, the working group headed by Professor Smalla purchased mixed salads, arugula and cilantro in German supermarkets. The samples were then analyzed in order to determine the total quantity of transferable antimicrobial resistance genes (the researchers use the term “transferable resistome”) in Escherichia coli, a mostly harmless intestinal bacterium, on these foods. In their analyses, the experts focused on the part of Escherichia coli bacteria that are resistant to the active substance tetracycline. This is because tetracycline antibiotics are used in livestock farming, where they can promote the development and propagation of resistant bacteria in organs such as the intestine. These bacteria as well as part of the antibiotics are excreted and then find their way onto the fields via organic fertilizers like manure. Smalla says that “the results of the comprehensive tests clearly show that a wide variety of transferable plasmids – gene carriers in bacteria that occur outside the chromosomes – have been found with resistance genes in the E. coli from fresh produce. Each of these plasmids carries resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics. E. coli bacteria with these properties have been found on all three analysed foods.”Related StoriesRaw meat can act as reservoir for bacteria associated with hospital infectionsNew research could help design algae that produces fuels and cleanup chemicalsHigh prevalence of multiresistant intestinal bacteria in Vietnamese hospitalsIf these in themselves harmless bacteria occur on vegetable foods, they can enter the human intestine due to the consumption of raw vegetables. Once ingested, the bacteria can pass on their plasmids to any pathogenic bacteria that may be present in the intestine. This is known as horizontal gene transfer. In nature, horizontal gene transfer enables bacteria to rapidly adapt to changing environmental conditions. If a patient is treated with antibiotics, bacteria that have incorporated these kinds of transferable resistance genes into their genome have an advantage and multiply more than their less well-equipped competitors. Due to the low level of contamination of salad with E. coli, it is not known how frequently resistance genes are transferred in the human intestine. There is also little knowledge as to whether and to what extent diseases are caused by such resistant bacteria.Consumers should always wash raw vegetables, leaf salad and fresh herbs thoroughly with drinking water before eating them in order to minimize the risk of ingestion of pathogens or antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.Pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems as a result of advanced age, pre-existing conditions or medication intake should additionally refrain from eating pre-cut and packaged salads as a precaution against foodborne infections and should instead prepare salads themselves using fresh and thoroughly washed ingredients shortly before consumption.However, washing alone is not sufficient to reliably remove the disease pathogens or antimicrobial-resistant bacteria that may be present on vegetable foods. Therefore, in rare individual cases it is necessary that especially immunocompromised persons heat vegetables and fresh herbs sufficiently (at least two minutes to 70°C inside the food) before consumption according to the instructions of their attending physicians.
Source:https://c-path.org/c-path-and-fara-launch-friedreichs-ataxia-integrated-clinical-database-to-advance-the-development-of-treatments-for-fa/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 28 2019Critical Path Institute’s (C-Path) Data Collaboration Center (DCC) and the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) today announced the launch of the Friedreich’s Ataxia Integrated Clinical Database (FAICD). The new platform will enable collaborative research and data sharing to support the understanding of natural history, potential biomarkers and clinical endpoints, and promote research into novel clinical trial design in Friedreich’s ataxia (FA). By making this data available to researchers, the organizations hope to enable the development of tools that will help design and interpret efficient clinical trials — leading to effective treatments for FA as soon as possible.Related StoriesComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSys”FA is a rare, progressive and fatal disease that affects multiple organ systems, and those living with the disease are in urgent need of effective treatments,” explained FARA’s Executive Director Jennifer Farmer. “FAICD addresses this need by providing a platform to share data and making it available to qualified researchers to expedite the drug development process. We believe this resource will inform and give future clinical trials of potential therapies the best chance of success.”FAICD contains data contributed by collaborating companies that have carried out clinical trials in FA, as well as natural history and clinical outcome measure data from the Friedreich’s Ataxia Clinical Outcomes Measures Study (FACOMS) collected by the Collaborative Clinical Research Network in FA and funded by FARA.All data contributed to this project is de-identified, mapped to standards defined by the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC) and curated by C-Path’s DCC before inclusion in FAICD.”C-Path has a long history of expertise in data standards development, curation, and oversight of multiple data sharing initiatives,” said Richard Liwski, Director of the DCC and C-Path’s Chief Technology Officer. “We are proud to be part of the effort to coordinate collaborative contributions from data owners and integrate that data into a single database for this rare, degenerative and life-shortening neuromuscular disorder.”
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Egyptian court rules Uber, Careem illegal; appeal expected An Egyptian court on Saturday suspended a ruling banning the use of ride-sharing apps Uber and Careem until an appeal is exhausted, a judicial source said. Citation: Egypt court suspends ban on Uber and Careem (2018, April 7) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-egypt-court-uber-careem.html © 2018 AFP In March Cairo’s administrative court banned the ride-sharing services following a lawsuit by a lawyer representing cab drivers. Uber and Careem appealed the ban, and Saturday’s decision by the urgent matters court suspends the ruling until the higher administrative court makes a final verdict. The ride-sharing apps sparked protests by taxi drivers who complained that ride-share service drivers do not have to pay the hefty fees usually necessary to operate transportation vehicles.Many Egyptians who complain about taxi services, including drivers who refuse to turn on their meters or their air conditioning during the summer heat, had switched to the ride-sharing apps.Ride-share giant Uber works in countries across the globe. Careem, a start-up headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, operates in the Middle East and Asia. An Egyptian taxi driver navigates the streets of Cairo on November 7, 2016
Spurred by a nine percent increase in passengers, net profit soared to 1.45 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in the year to March 31, a statement said, identifying Germany, Italy and Spain as the three largest growth markets.This was despite “a three percent cut in air fares, during a year of overcapacity in Europe, leading to a weaker fare environment, rising fuel prices, and the recovery from our September 2017 rostering management failure,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said.The crisis led to the cancellation of 20,000 flights so far. The airline however said it expected profit after tax to fall to between 1.25 and 1.35 billion euros in the current financial year due to a rise in petrol prices.”Fuel will be a major cost headwind for the next 24 months,” it said.”Air fares tend to follow oil prices (as they have downwards over the last three years) but with a lag of up to 12 months before higher oil prices feed through to higher air fares. Accordingly, we expect unit costs over the next year to rise by nine percent.”However the company said it expected to “grow traffic by seven percent to 139 million.”Since recognising unions, Ryanair has reached agreements with pilots in Britain and Italy but is still working towards deals with unions in other major centres such as Ireland and Spain. Irish budget carrier Ryanair said Monday its net profit had risen 10 percent in 2017-2018 despite the cancellation of thousands of flights, but forecast a fall this year due to higher oil prices. Citation: Ryanair profits up 10% despite cancellations crisis (2018, May 21) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-ryanair-profits-cancellations-crisis.html Ryanair’s flight cancellation crisis led to at least 20,000 flights being axed Budget airline Norwegian says profits grounded by fuel, expansion costs Explore further © 2018 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.