Gujarat’s Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Saturday issued ultimatum to Congress party to clear its stand on the Patidar community’s demand for quota by November 3 or else face the consequences.“Congress must clarify how it proposes to give reservations constitutionally by November 3, 2017. If it does not make its stand clear, an episode similar to Amit Shah could repeat in Surat,” Mr Patel tweeted. November 3 is when Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will be in Gujarat to campaign for the party. Mr Patel maintained that if the Congress supports their demand and grant the quota in constitutionally acceptable way, then he and the Patidar community will support the party in the Assembly polls.By referring to the Amit Shah episode, the 24-year-old leader spearheading the quota agitation, meant that Mr Shah was forced to curtail his speech within minutes in Patidar-dominated Surat in September 2016 when the community members disrupted the event and tossed the chairs, forcing the organisers to wind up the event in 30 minutes.Dinesh Bambhaniya, a PAAS convener, said the organisation and the community it represented would take a call on whether to support the Congress in the Assembly polls only after the opposition party made its stand clear on the issue.“First, let the Congress party makes its stand clear on the issue and then will reveal our strategy,” Mr Bambhania said.It may be noted that the Congress has maintained that once voted to power in Gujarat, its government would bring a Bill in the Assembly granting 20 % quota benefits to economically backwards among the upper castes from the general category quota.The Gujarat Assembly polls are scheduled to be held in two phases — on December 9 and December 14.
Over the next four years Touch Football Australia (TFA) will have numerous representative teams competing in various international events. The cycle will culminate in the 2015 World Cup being hosted in New South Wales, Australia. Leading up to 2015 Australia will compete on the international stage annually at various events in various divisions. TFA is therefore seeking expressions of interest (EOI) from suitably qualified, currently accredited and active coaches to fill a number of coaching positions. For full information please see the attached doucment. Related Files2011_tfa_hp_coaching_advertisement-pdf
Chelsea boss Lampard pleased with 2-goal Batshuayi: We need himby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard was pleased with striker Michy Batshuayi for his two goals in their Carabao Cup win over Grimsby.The Blues ran out 7-1 winners to set up a round of 16 tie with Manchester United.Lampard said, “He has worked hard and trained well. He came on at Wolves and made an impact, came on against Liverpool and nearly made an impact and that is great for me when you give a message and someone shows they can train daily and improve there. “Michy has talent, he can hold the ball up and use both feet and can score goals, and he is important for us. He got his chance and scored goals tonight which is good because we need options up front.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
New Delhi: Girls outshone boys in the ICSE Class 10 and 12 examination, with two students scoring 100 per cent marks.This is the first time that students have scored 100 per cent marks in the ISC exam. The results of the ICSE class 10 and ISC class 12 were announced on Tuesday by Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) chief executive and secretary Gerry Arathoon. While girls achieved a pass percentage of 99.05 per cent in class 10 examination as against 98.12 per cent by boys, the pass percentage achieved by girls in class 12 examination is 97.84 per cent as against 95.40 per cent of boys. Mumbai’s Juhi Rupesh Kajaria and Muktsar’s Manhar Bansal topped the class 10 ISCE examination with 99.60 per cent. The second rank has been shared by ten students with 99.40 per cent marks and the third rank has been shared by 24 students with 99.20 per cent marks. Kolkata’s Dewang Kumar Agarwal and Bengaluru’s Vibha Swaminathan topped the class 12 ISC examination with 100 per cent marks.
Friday, Feb 27, 3:28 p.m.The panel: “Commissioner’s Perspective: 1 on 1 with Rob Manfred”The panelists: Brian Kenny, Rob ManfredRob Manfred has a long history with Major League Baseball. And Major League Baseball has long tried to avoid letting its history weigh it down. In a wide-ranging interview at Sloan on Friday, one month into his tenure as league commissioner, Manfred sounded like a man trying to make sense of how to reform a game without hollowing it out.A few days ago, Manfred said that there was a universe in which baseball could shave eight games off its regular-season schedule “sometime down the road.” A reduction in the current 162-game schedule could make the sport’s playoff timing a little more flexible, and might increase fan interest in each game. At Sloan, Manfred said he chose the 154-game mark because it would take the majors “back to a number that’s already in our record books.” Could he see MLB going even lower, to 150? No, because then “you’re going to go have a record book with 150, 154, 162 …” Only in baseball, a sport hallowed enough to get the Ken Burns treatment, could the record book be more important than the ledger. Integrity is paramount. (Or as Manfred, who has worked for the league for nearly two decades, put it when talking about whether to reform gambling laws around sports betting: “Integrity, it’s Rule One.”)Yet this is a commissioner who clearly wants to find ways to change the game. Manfred has introduced rules to speed the pace of play, and said Friday he’s very happy with the replay system MLB added last year. He said that in the future — “past Rob Manfred” — the league could have a team outside North America, and before that, maybe even one in Mexico. Now that would be historic. — Chadwick Matlin Sunday, March 1 12:17 a.m.After what conference co-organizer Jessica Gelman said was a “heated discussion,” voters for the top research paper at Sloan reached a split decision and split the $30,000 prize pool between two papers. The winners:Who is Responsible for a Called Strike? by Joe Rosales and Scott SprattCounterpoints: Advanced Defensive Metrics for NBA Basketball by Alexander Franks, Andrew Miller, Luke Bornn and Kirk GoldsberryRosales and Spratt, both of Baseball Info Solutions, presented work suggesting that pitch framing, which has traditionally rewarded most of the credit to catchers alone, is actually a function of three independent participants: the catcher, pitcher, and umpire.Franks, Miller, Bornn, and Goldsberry — all members of Harvard’s XY Hoops group — used player tracking data to quantify individual defensive play in the NBA. The academic version of this group’s paper has been accepted at the statistics journal Annals of Applied Statistics.The groups behind the winning papers each received $15,000 for their efforts. Additionally, Bornn and Goldsberry, along with co-authors Alex D’Amour and Dan Cervone, received the conference’s top poster prize of $1,000 for “Move or Die: How Ball Movement Creates Open Shots in the NBA.” — Mike Lopez Friday, Feb 27, 11:55 a.m.Daryl Morey has been as instrumental to the rise of the Sloan conference as he has been to the rise of the Houston Rockets. Morey, the general manager of the Rockets, has steered the team to third place in the Western conference — behind MVP-candidate James Harden, whom he acquired in a now-legendary 2012 trade — and helped start the Sloan conference in 2007. At Sloan on Friday, I boxed him out to ask a few questions about advanced basketball analytics, specifically player-tracking data from companies like STATS’ SportVU technology. While he can’t divulge the details of the Rockets’ private statistics, Morey’s remarks about the publicly available numbers are especially insightful because the Rockets are one of the most stats-savvy teams — not just in the NBA, but in all of sports. — Andrew FlowersAudio Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/flowers_morey.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Saturday, Feb. 28 3:15 p.m.Will sports betting inevitably become legal in the U.S.? It sure seems like it.Momentum behind legalization has grown since NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times in November 2014 explicitly endorsing legal sports gambling. The facade of professional sports leagues that oppose sports betting is beginning to crack. And it’s clear why: money.Silver estimated the market for illegal sports wagering is currently $400 billion per year, though it’s likely that figure is inflated. But even lower-end estimates of around $80 billion still represent a huge market. Sports betting is already enormous in Europe, Australia and many other regions. State governments want in because of the potential revenues.Professional sports leagues are intrigued because they see gambling interest as a ratings driver, much like fantasy sports have been. (And, coincidentally, daily fantasy sports sites – with cash prizes – bear an eerie resemblance to gambling anyway.) Gambling is already inherently analytical; but the appetite of stats-savvy fans for geeky coverage about odds is growing. Jeff Ma, a contributor to ESPN’s new sports-betting site, Chalk – said gambling analytics would meet the demand from those with a “high-brow” interest.But there are major risks to legalization. The revelations that former NBA referee Tim Donaghy owed gambling debts and bet on games he officiated was a reminder of the long, scandalous history of how gambling can challenge the integrity of sports. Here, too, analytics can help. Ryan Rodenberg, a professor at Florida State University, suggested statistical scrutiny of betting markets would combat fraud and fixing. Several private European firms already specialize in such analytics.The panelists were asked that if they had to bet on legalization sweeping the country, when it would happen. The lines offered by the panelists ranged from 2-to-10 years. Dan Spillane, the Assistant General Counsel for the NBA, didn’t offer a timeline, however. He just said “years, not months.” — Andrew Flowers Saturday, Feb. 28, 1:00 p.m.The session: “Analytics of the Tommy John Injury Epidemic”The speaker: Glenn FleisigWe’re in the midst of an epidemic of elbow injuries among major league pitchers. Twenty-five percent of current MLB pitchers have had an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (“Tommy John surgery”) and 15 percent of minor league pitchers have undergone the procedure. Over the last decade, the problem has trickled down to high school and little league players. In 1990, none of the baseball players coming to the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center clinic Tommy John surgery were kids. Today, one third of them are high school age or younger, said Fleisig, the research director at the American Sports Medicine Institute.What’s to blame for the epidemic of torn elbow ligaments? Are more players getting hurt? Or are we just better at diagnosing these injuries? Are doctors more willing to do the procedure? Or are patients more eager to have it?The answer, said Fleisig, is all of the above. Some players assume they should go in for surgery at the first sign of elbow pain, just “to get it over,” but that’s the wrong attitude. Best case scenario, the surgery can return a player to the career trajectory he was on before he got injured, but it won’t improve performance and not every player makes it back to play, Fleisig said.About 80 percent of major league players who get Tommy John surgeries make it back to the mound, but only two thirds of those who undergo the procedure make it back and stay there.Most elbow ligament injuries occur due to overuse. During the middle part of the pitch when the elbow is held upright at a right angle, the joint experiences severe torque. “It’s like holding a string with five 12-pound bowling balls,” Fleisig said. (That’s why doping raises the risk of an elbow injury — “If you’re on the juice you’re making your muscles too strong for your tendons and ligaments to handle.”)There’s a common notion that curveballs are dangerous, but the research doesn’t bear that out, Fleisig said. “We expected the curveball to have more torque than the fastball, but it turns out it has less.”Four things determine which players get injured — biomechanics, how much a player pitches, training and recovery. “It’s not one of these things or the other, it’s all of them,” Fleisig said.Wear and tear on the elbow is one of the most important factors, and when Fleisig’s group followed a group of 500 kids over a ten-year period, they found that pitching more than 100 competitive innings more than tripled the risk of needing a Tommy John surgery. Likewise, more than 80 pitches per game quadrupled the risk of injury, and kids who pitched when fatigued had 36 times the risk of having surgery.In an effort to cut the rates of elbow injuries among young pitchers, Fleisig and his colleagues have teamed with Major League Baseball to create Pitch Smart, age-appropriate guidelines to avoid injury. Suggestions include limits on the number of pitches thrown and not pitching when fatigued. “The best computer we have is right here,” Fleisig told me, pointing to his head. — Christie Aschwanden Saturday, Feb. 28 4:05 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, 11:20 a.m. Friday, Feb 27, 12:21 p.m.The Panel: “Valuing Franchises: How Sports Teams Break the DCF”The Panelists: Lyle Ayes, Aswath Damodaran, Joe McNulty, Randy Vataha, Abe Madkour (moderator)The recent sales of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clippers for over $2 billion have opened up a new paradigm in sports franchise valuations. As shocking as the price of those transactions may have been, the mood at this Sloan panel was buoyant. In fact, panelists seemed to be most worried about prices getting so high that billionaires would be priced out of the market. As Lyle Ayes, managing director of the investment bank Evercore’s sports advisory practice said, “how many people can pay $4 billion for an asset?”Panelists thought the seemingly inexorable rise in franchise valuations was driven by the increasing value of media and content rights. Aswath Damodaran, an NYU professor who focuses on valuation (and FiveThirtyEight contributor), commented that across the entertainment industry, owning content is becoming king. Ayes cited the NBA’s massive new TV deal as evidence of this trend. He noted that advertisers put a large premium on live content like sports because viewers are relatively captive during the event. Interestingly, none of the panel members thought that a team’s performance had a large impact on valuation. The most important factor, according to the panel, was metro area population and GDP. The New York Knicks can command significantly more from their local TV rights for bad basketball than the San Antonio Spurs can command for good.Despite the increase in the real earnings of teams as media deals improve, panelists (with the exception of Ayes), broadly agreed that sports franchises still do not make sense as actual businesses. While they are relatively low-risk and uncorrelated with other potential investments, almost any analysis of the current cash flows — or lack thereof — will not find them to be great investments. As Damodaran noted, the supply of franchises is relatively fixed, while demand has been growing. The panelists did not see this dynamic changing any time soon. — John Ezekowitz Friday, Feb 27, 2:20 p.m.The panel: “Basketball Analytics: Push the Tempo”The panelists: Shane Battier, Mike Zarren, Sue Bird, Mike D’Antoni, Pablo TorreAre basketball teams now so saturated with data and analytics that it’s hard to use them for a competitive advantage?Mike Zarren, assistant general manager for the Boston Celtics, raised an interesting point about what qualifies as analytics in an analytics age. “If I know how well a player slept last night, is that analytics?” The breadth of topics discussed — injuries, biometrics, pace, traditional positions, rest, incentives, shot selection, team chemistry — reveal what a truly broad spectrum of questions and answers fall under the umbrella of basketball analytics. However the field is defined, it all serves the same master: talent. Shane Battier, the poster boy for the adoption of analytic ideas at the player level, summed up the mission perfectly: “It’s about creating space to allow talent to do what they do.”Zarren returned to a well-worn focus at this conference — communication of insights — and defended that arena as the place where a competitive advantage still exists: “You have to use it, it has to affect the decisions you make. I don’t think there is a saturation of that yet.” — Ian Levy Friday, Feb 27, 10:40 a.m.The panel: “Innovators and Adopters”The panelists: Shane Battier, Michael Lewis, Daryl Morey, Jeff Van Gundy and Jackie MacMullanPity Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant. Out for the season with injuries after performances well below their high standards, they’re now punching bags in Boston, at least according to the first session of the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday.The other panelists treated the retired Battier more or less as Lewis depicted him in a New York Times Magazine article in 2009: the platonic ideal of the intelligent NBA player, one who incorporates insights from advanced statistical analysis to optimize his game for team success. (Battier initially resisted that framing, saying “it was about winning,” before eventually letting on that yeah, he was a pretty smart player.) LeBron James, with whom Battier won two titles in Miami, was the more typical player, open to occasional tastes of analytics-based tips.Anthony and Bryant, though, were depicted as the anti-Battiers, in a question by moderator MacMullan (who, like Battier, works for ESPN, which owns this website and sponsors Sloan). MacMullan noted their selfishness and focus on scoring over other ways of contributing to their teams. (To which my boss, Nate Silver, would respond that Anthony’s shooting makes his teammates better.) Battier made clear how much he relished having those two stars as foils, learning their tendencies so that he could neutralize their strengths when playing defense. MacMullan pointed out that Battier blocked more of their shots than any other player’s. Anthony also topped the Battier leaderboards for balls stolen and offensive fouls drawn. And the pair led another personal leaderboard Battier innovated: They gave him the most “looks of disdain” when they found out he’d be guarding them. — Carl Bialik Friday, Feb 27, 4:35 p.m.At last year’s Sloan conference, Dean Oliver was our ESPN colleague, leading analytics at the Stats & Info Group. This year, he’s here as the Sacramento Kings’ director of player personnel and analytics. I spotted him Friday huddled with a few of his peers from other NBA franchises. Oliver has been in the sports analytics business for three decades, and has seen it grow from a field wrestling with a lack of data to one with more data than it knows what to do with. He spoke with me about the similarities in working for teams and working for sports media, and about what it takes for a franchise to succeed at using analytics. — Carl Bialik Friday, Feb. 27, 6:10 p.m.Walking into a conference at Sloan today I walked by yet another guy in a sports coat — and then did a double take, because this guy’s blazer sleeves were rolled up…and he was a 13 year-old. There are some teenagers running around Sloan but none looked younger than Sam Hafetz and his friends, Manu Hurskovitz, 14, and Jonah White, 14. After calling their parents for permission (hi, Mr. Hurskovitz!), I dragged them to our podcast table. There, Jody Avirgan asked what brought them to Sloan (it’s their second year attending), why they love sports analytics, and what they’d do if they became GMs of the Celtics. — Chadwick MatlinAudio Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/kidsatsloan.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Friday, Feb. 27, 4:43 p.m.The panel: “Commissioner’s Perspective: Growing Soccer with Don Garber”The panelists: Don Garber, Grant WahlMLB and MLS share two letters and the pickle of how to balance tradition and innovation. Baseball’s struggle comes from within, as Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred showed earlier Friday. Major League Soccer isn’t as conflicted about changing rules and trying new technologies, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. Its burden, unlike MLB’s, is its peripheral place in a global game.Garber said he wanted goal-line review technology, extra time put on scoreboards (instead of only a ref with a “Timex that probably cost 20 bucks” knowing how much time remains) and a whole lot more. “If I were king, we would have instant replay, we would have cameras on our players, we would be putting them on goalposts.” He’d put a microphone on the field. Players would wear GoPro cameras. He watched hockey players wear GoPros at the NHL All-Star Game and thought it was cool.But Garber can’t have all those things. Other sports’ U.S. pro leagues just need to get the owners to agree, but MLS needs the approval of IFAB, the International Football Association Board — or, as Garber called it, the International Federation of Somebody Who Has Something To Do With the Rules That’s Not Me. Garber’s message to IFAB: “Let us be the Guinea pigs.” He worries that the world’s most popular sport could lose its lead “just because of our structure. We should be able to use the power of our influence to lead.” — Carl Bialik Saturday, Feb. 28, 9:50 a.m.There are bold-faced names headlining the ninth annual Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, sure. But for academics like myself the real action is in the research paper contest, where academics and researchers are hoping to create the kinds of insights that the bold-faced names one day treat as gospel. For these researchers, Sloan marks the culmination of what can be more than a year’s worth of work. The stakes are high: top prize is $20,000, with second place worth $10,000. For some of the PhD students submitting papers, that may equal their annual salary.But until now, the mechanics of how this contest is judged have largely been cloudy (see an overview of the 2015 contest here, or my personal experience submitting a paper to the 2014 contest here). On Friday, conference co-lead Paul Campbell helped clarify how Sloan makes its picks. “We try to be consistent about what we solicit,” said Campbell. “We kind of have our perspective on the validity of the method, and making sure that the academic and mathematical rigor is there. Also, do the results make sense?”The 2015 research paper contest began back in September, when Campbell and this year’s judging committee, comprised of various MIT student organizers and academic advisers, received 189 abstracts. Of that total, 68 were invited to turn in a formal paper for submission in mid-December. Paper submissions were placed into one of four tracks: basketball, baseball, other sports or the business of sport. The top two submitted papers from each track were given the opportunity to present at this year’s conference. In addition, 11 papers were given a poster in the halls of the convention center.Each of the eight finalists were allotted a 20-minute presentation on Friday. The judging committee identified the top presentation in each of the four categories based on a 50-50 split of the presentation itself and the originating paper.“We have an idea of what the best analytically rigorous paper is, but we want to see if it is presented well. It’s an equal weighting with [the presentation] and the paper,” said Campbell. The four papers still in the running for the top prize, are:Baseball: Who is Responsible for a Called Strike? by Joe Rosales and Scott SprattBasketball: Counterpoints: Advanced Defensive Metrics for NBA Basketball by Alexander Franks, Andrew Miller, Luke Bornn and Kirk GoldsberryOther Sports: Assessing the productivity of NHL players using in-game win probabilities by Stephen PettigrewBusiness of Sports: Diamonds on the Line: Profits Through Investment Gaming by Clayton Graham.Those four finalists are given an additional 10 minutes with which to make their case, this time in front of a larger and more general audience, including Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey and FiveThirtyEight’s own Nate Silver.Those judges, according to Campbell, are asked to judge by something different than the last committee. “Which of these [papers] seems like the most applicable or potentially transformative within the industry?” $20,000 rides on the answer. — Mike Lopez Saturday, Feb. 28, 1:46 p.m.The panel: “Beating the Shift: Baseball Analytics in the Age of Big Data”The panelists: Sandy Alderson, Dan Brooks, Dave Cameron, Ben Lindbergh, Jonah KeriSloan’s flagship baseball panel largely focused on teams’ reactions to sabermetric findings. Alderson, the general manager of the New York Mets, spoke about the proliferation of defensive shifts, and how it has led to changes in the way certain players are valued — specifically right-handed power hitters.Along the same lines, no discussion of baseball analytics would be complete without some mention of strike zone analysis and catcher pitch-framing metrics. Despite the volume of research on the subject in recent years, the consensus of the group was that the market may still not be properly valuing catchers who “steal” strikes on the edge of the strike zone at a higher rate than their peers. Then again, part of that may relate to a theory that pitch-framing is a taught skill. (We’d have liked to hear more thoughts about how umpires doing better at calling an accurate strike zone has led to baseball’s aforementioned drop in run-scoring.)Finally, Keri asked the panel their thoughts about wins above replacement (WAR). The panel agreed WAR was a valuable framework, even if its individual parts can always stand to be improved. For his part, Alderson confirmed that teams use at least some version of it, even with its imperfections, because the idea of creating a cumulative statistic is appealing. — Harry Enten and Neil Paine FiveThirtyEight’s delegation made the pilgrimage to this year’s Sloan conference, a kind of mecca for anyone who’s obsessed with sports, data and retelling how they first felt when they read “Moneyball.” We updated all of Friday and Saturday from Boston, where Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and our own Nate Silver roamed the halls. Read on for highlights from the weekend. CORRECTION (Feb 28, 9:47 a.m.): A previous version of this article misstated the ages of Sam Hafetz and Jonah White.
The famous Mino Raiola has now reportedly offered Paul Pogba to Paris Saint-Germain for next season, claims the Daily MailThe football agent is aware that Pogba is growing increasingly unsettled at Manchester United with the midfielder looking set to be dropped from the starting line-up by Jose Mourinho once more for today’s Premier League match against Bournemouth.Raiola is aware that PSG are looking for some extra star power in the upcoming summer transfer window in a bid to mount a successful challenge for the Champions League title next season. Upon learning this, the Dutchman has offered the newly crowned Ligue 1 champions Pogba.It is understood that Raiola is trying to find a suitable solution for Pogba’s worsening situation at Old Trafford with the Frenchman having only scored 10 Premier League goals since his then-world record transfer of £89.3m two summers ago.Maguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…Pep Guardiola has already revealed that Raiola had offered him the opportunity to sign the 25 year-old for Manchester City in the January transfer window.But the Mail reports that Pogba’s prospective move to PSG may be in doubt with the French club already over the Financial Fair Play(FFP) limit of €260m due to the signings of both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe last summer.
Bayern Munich are prepared to pursue their reported interest in Paulo Dybala in this summer’s transfer window if Robert Lewandowski chooses to leave the club, claims The SunThe Poland international has been strongly linked with a move to the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United over the past year with Lewandowski believed to be growing frustrated by Bayern’s continued failure to win the Champions League title since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund in 2014.Should the 29-year-old choose to leave in the summer, Bayern will then target Dybala and the German club are convinced that they can sign the star from Juventus for a club-record transfer fee of £88million.Report: Bayern are held by Leipzig George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Bayern Munich was held to another draw, this time by RB Leipzig.Bayern Munich finds themselves in the unfamiliar position of sitting third in the…However, Bayern are not the only ones interested in signing the Argentine forward with Atletico Madrid also keen on signing Dybala at the end of the season.The two-time Europa League winners are resigned to losing Antoine Griezmann to La Liga rivals Barcelona and believe that the signing of Dybala will help soften the blow of losing their star striker.The 24-year-old has scored an impressive 21 goals in 30 Serie A games this season.
Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos was awarded the Seven Stars of Madrid prize for the best sportsman on Thursday afternoonThe 32-year-old defender’s successes both on the pitch and in promoting sports across Spain over the years was acknowledged at the Real Casa de Correos in Madrid.The head of Madrid’s regional government, Angel Garrido, was the one who presented Ramos with the prestigious award.“It gives me a real sense of both joy and pride to have been named best male athlete at the Seven Star of Madrid awards,” said Ramos at the ceremony, as quoted on the club website.“I am even more thrilled to get a prize for promoting and embodying sporting values.Mourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“I am from Seville, Andalusia and I certainly feel it, but the region of Madrid welcomed with open arms 13 years ago and it is here where I have grown as a person and a professional, and I feel at home at here.“I am proud to be Real Madrid captain and we have represented the region throughout the world in the best way possible, winning titles, providing the people of Madrid real moments of joy and always trying to live up to what the region represents.“Thank you all. I will keep working hard and giving my all to represent what this award means and the seven stars of the region of Madrid.”Ramos, who has scored seven goals in 28 appearances for Real Madrid this season, will now turn his focus to tonight’s Copa del Rey return leg against Leganes.Los Blancos hold a 3-0 aggregate lead from last week’s first leg with tonight’s game to begin at 21:30 (CET).
Prime minister and ruling Awami League president Sheikh Hasina addresses a programme organised to mark the 27th founding anniversary of the party’s voluntary wing, Awami Swechchhasebak League, at the prime minister’s official residence Ganabhaban in Dhaka on Friday. Photo: BSSBangladesh Awami League (AL) president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday alleged her arch rivals Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami would “just destroy the country with their unbridled looting and corruption if they return to power as they did in the past”, reports UNB.”… they’ll just eat up the country through their looting if they get back to power…there’ll be no change in people’s fate,” she said.The prime minister said this when leaders and activists of AL’s voluntary wing Awami Swechchhasebak League met her on the occasion of the founding anniversary of their affiliated body at the prime minister’s official residence Ganabhaban in the capital.She claimed that Khaleda Zia could not restrain herself from embezzling even orphans’ money. “How they’ll give anything to people returning to power…they won’t be able to give anything to people, they’ll just engage themselves in looting and corruption.”Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League, mentioned that the BNP chief is now in jail for embezzlement of orphans’ money. “We didn’t put her in jail for political reason. Had we wanted to do that we could have done that in 2013, 2014 and 2013.”She said the people of the country have no trust and faith in the BNP-Jamaat clique. “This has been proved,” she said.Talking about the unabated corruption and money laundering during the BNP-Jamaat regime, the prime minister said these have been proved in the USA, too.She also said Awami League brought back the confidence of people in government after its return to power through the 2008 election.”If anyone does politics for personal gains that politics cannot give anything to the country, and that person takes everything for himself or herself…history never pardons such person,” Hasina said.The prime minister also said if the politics is just in the interest and welfare of people, then the politicians can give something to the country. “And we’re doing that.”She said the main aim of the Awami League is to build the fate of people, not its own. “I’m not there in politics to make own fortune… I just want one thing-to change the fate of people.”Hasina said the government has already ensured food security in the country and want to make it a poverty-free one. “We’re implementing programmes to that end.”
Sohel RanaFirefighter Sohel Rana, who sustained severe injuries during Banani FR Tower fire rescue operation, died at a hospital in Singapore early Monday, reports UNB.He succumbed to his injuries at 4:17am ( Singapore time), said Mahfuz Riven, duty officer of Fire Service and Civil Defence headquarters.Rana was flown to Singapore from Combined Military Hospital (CMH) on Friday.Sohel Rana, a staff of Kurmitola Fire Service and Civil Defence, sustained serious injuries on 28 March while rescuing people from FR Tower where a deadly fire claimed 26 lives and left many injured.
Kolkata: The West Bengal Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Bill 2018 and the Howrah Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Bill 2018 was passed in the state Assembly on Tuesday. The West Bengal Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Bill 2018 empowers the state government to extend the term of a person through a notification for a period of six months if, for any reason, it is not possible to hold the general election of the Corporation before the expiry of the period of five years. The person, however, after being appointed as Mayor, has to get elected as a corporator of the civic body within six months. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Howrah Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Bill 2018, empowers the state government to appoint a person or persons as an administrator in the event of a possibility of not holding general election of the Corporation within the statutory time limit. “It often becomes difficult to hold elections of urban local bodies across the state at different times. We want the election of all Corporations together and this will save our time and the developmental work will not be hampered. For this, it might become necessary for us to run the Corporation by an administrator for the time being,” state Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim said while placing the Bills at the state Assembly. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedBoth the Bills have been framed to ease out the banking related processes for the people in various municipal areas. Earlier, transactions could not have been possible in the banks which were situated outside the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation one stays in. There is a provision in the Amendment which will allow the people to transact with the banks, both nationalised and private, outside the jurisdiction of the municipality.
Kolkata: The state Public Works Department has instructed all its field level engineers to take suitable measures for repair of roads ahead of the monsoon season that usually begins from June.The department wants to ensure that all potholes or damages in roads are repaired before the monsoon so that daily commuters and vehicular traffic face no trouble. A circular issued by state Principal Secretary, PWD Arnab Roy directs all field level engineer officers to inspect the roads under their jurisdiction thoroughly during this month and take measures in repair of roads. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe concerned executive engineer has been instructed to inform the headquarter chief engineer about the condition of the existing roads. “The concerned executive engineers have also been instructed to send action taken report for poor condition of roads to the concerned superintending engineer who will send consolidated report to the chief engineers of his zone and the latter will send the same to the concerned headquarter chief engineer,” a senior official of the department said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateRoy has also prodded the department to take immediate action against an agency as per contract agreement if the road is found to be in poor condition under defect liability period. The circular further directs all field level engineer offices of the department to be alert so that there should not be any damage in the roads under PWD. “If it is found that roads are in damaged condition and no action has been taken for repair, necessary disciplinary action may be taken against the errant officers,” the circular mentions. The superintending engineers have been requested to monitor the matter and submit report on fortnightly basis to the respective zonal chief engineer in respect of condition of roads under their jurisdiction. Zonal chief engineers have been directed to send consolidated report to the department through respective headquarter chief engineer every fortnight till the end of September 2019. State Principal Secretary, PWD, Arnab Roy had instructed his engineers a few months back to immediately repair roads. The junior engineers were also directed to inspect the roads fortnightly throughout the year and weekly during monsoon period. The concerned engineer was asked to report on the condition of potholes to his superior officers after inspection. He was directed to maintain a register, which may be periodically checked by higher officials.
The makers of Citra, an emulator for the Nintendo 3DS, have released a new emulator called yuzu. This emulator is made for the Nintendo Switch, which is the 7th major video game console from Nintendo. The journey so far for yuzu Yuzu was initiated as an experimental setup by Citra’s lead developer bunnei after he saw that there were signs of the Switch’s operating system being based on the 3DS’s operating system. yuzu has the same core code as Citra and much of the same OS High-Level Emulation (HLE). The core emulation and memory management of yuzu are based on Citra, albeit modified to work with 64-bit addresses. It also has a loader for the Switch games and Unicorn integration for CPU emulation. Yuzu uses Reverse Engineering process to figure out how games work, and how the Switch GPU works. Switch’s GPU is more advanced than 3DS’ used in Citra and poses multiple challenges to reverse engineer it. However, the RE process of yuzu is essentially the same as Citra. Most of their RE and other development is being done in a trial-and-error manner. OS emulation The Switch’s OS is based Nintendo 3DS’s OS. So the developers used a large part of Citra’s OS HLE code for yuzu OS. The loader and file system service was reused from Citra and modified to support Switch game dump files. The Kernel OS threading, scheduling, and synchronization fixes for yuzu were also ported from Citra’s OS implementation. The save data functionality, which allowed games to read and write files to the save data directory was also taken from 3DS. Switchbrew helped them create libnx, a userland library to write homebrew apps for the Nintendo Switch. (Homebrew is a popular term used for applications that are created and executed on a video game console by hackers, programmers, developers, and consumers.) The Switch IPC (Inter-process communication) process is much more robust and complicated than the 3DS’s. Their system has different command modes, a typical IPC request response, and a Domain to efficiently conduct multiple service calls. Yuzu uses the Nvidia services to configure the video driver to get the graphics output. However, Nintendo re-purposed the Android graphics stack and used it in the Switch for rendering. And so yuzu developers had to implement this even to get homebrew applications to display graphics. The Next Steps Being at a nascent stage, yuzu still has a long way to go. The developers still have to add HID (user input support) such as support for all 9 controllers, rumble, LEDs, layouts etc. Currently, the Audio HLE is in progress, but they still have to implement audio playback. Audio playback, if implemented properly, would be a major breakthrough as most complicated games often hang or go into a deadlock because of this issue. They are also working on resolving minor fixes to help them boot further in games like Super Mario Odyssey, 1-2-Switch, and The Binding of Issac. Be sure to read the entire progress report on the yuzu blog. Read Next AI for game developers: 7 ways AI can take your game to the next levelAI for Unity game developers: How to emulate real-world senses in your NPC agent behaviorUnity 2018.2: Unity release for this year 2nd time in a row!
ATHENS — Celestyal Cruises has unveiled its brand new Aegean cruise brochure, which invites travellers to ‘Sea More’ in 2017.Running from March through September, Celestyal’s Aegean program features all-inclusive cruises to 13 destinations in Greece and the Greek Islands, the most it has offered in its history. Readers will find information on three-, four- and seven-day Eastern Mediterranean itineraries, new ports of call, plus full-page deck plans of the Celestyal Olympia and the Celestyal Nefeli, the cruise line’s newest vessel.Season highlights include the new ‘Euphoric Aegean’ cruise, which visits Chania and Nafplion (both new), Cesme, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini and Izmir onboard the 400-cabin Nefeli. Meanwhile, the 724-cabin Celestyal Olympia will continue to operate the ‘Iconic Aegean’ cruises, taking passengers to ancient cities like Ephesus and Rhodes.Celestyal’s special cruise programming entitled ‘Stories of Greek Hospitality’ returns for its second year. Plus, travellers should note that all 2017 cruises offer all-inclusive package options, which include cabin accommodations, all service, charges, unlimited international beverages and local Greek wines and spirits, meals prepared by master chefs and shore excursions led by local guides.More news: Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaThe 2017 Aegean cruise brochure is now available for digital download on celestyalcruises.com. Requests for print copies can be made to Sales Manager Cindy Burton at firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Share ‘Sea More’ in 2017 with Celestyal Cruises’ new Aegean cruise brochure Tags: Celestyal Cruises Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Share Travelweek Group Blow dry bar: As the first standalone blow dry bar at sea, To Dry For will offer blowouts, hairstyling and polish changes, plus a selection of wines and champagnes. This will be the perfect place for a quick beauty fix before a night out.More news: Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaMore family fun: Glow-in-the-dark laser tag, mini-golf and the Royal Escape Room: The Observatorium will all provide endless hours of fun. Plus, the Adventure Ocean youth program will boast a newly designed open, free play space, while the teen areas will be refreshed with a new ‘hidden’ entrance and outdoor deck.When the Navigator arrives in Miami after its modernization, it will sail a series of five- and nine-night Caribbean itineraries before embarking on short getaways to The Bahamas starting in May 2019. It will become the first ship to visit Perfect Day at CocoCay, the debut destination in the cruise line’s recently announced private island collection. Following a $200 million makeover, the destination will be home to Thrill Waterpark featuring the tallest waterslide in North America, the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool, a helium balloon that floats up to 450 feet in the air, as well as numerous water sports and activities. MIAMI — What’s a blow dry bar? Book a cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas to find out.Following a US$115 million modernization, the ship will feature a record-breaking number of new experiences on three- to four-night Caribbean cruises, starting with a Feb. 24, 2019 departure from Miami. From May 2019 onward, the Navigator will offer short Caribbean itineraries that include a visit to Royal Caribbean International’s highly anticipated private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.“Each Royal Caribbean ship brings a new adventure uniquely designed to deliver on our guests’ preferences from A to Z,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “After launching our Royal Amplified modernization program with Independence of the Seas and then redefining short getaways with Mariner of the Seas, we are challenging ourselves to take it to the next level. Every detail matters, and we’ve mapped out an unmatched combination of innovative features and experiences for this top-to-bottom transformation of Navigator of the Seas.”Enhancements on the Navigator of the Seas include the following:Two new waterslides: The Blaster, the line’s first-ever aqua coaster and the longest waterslide at sea, will include a two-person raft that floats through over 800 feet of hills, drops and straightaways. Meanwhile, Riptide will plunge guests down the industry’s only head-first mat racer.More news: Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoReimagined poolscape: The resort-style deck will take on a new look with a Splash Pad for tots and the two-level ‘The Lime and Coconut’ bar. Grab-and-go eateries will also be available, including El Loco Fresh for Mexican street fare and Johnny Rockets Express for American classics. More nightlife: The Bamboo Room, first introduced on Mariner of the Seas, is the cruise line’s Polynesian-themed watering hole with kitschy cocktails and tiki-chic décor. Guests hoping to catch the big game can do so at Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, featuring 50 big screens, tabletop games, tournaments, trivia and a new Owner’s Box VIP room. Tags: New Ship, Royal Caribbean International Posted by Waterslides & industry’s first blow dry bar coming to Navigator of the Seas Elevated dining: Having originally debuted on Voyager Class, the line’s signature Royal Promenade will boast new restaurants including Jamie’s Italian by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. There’ll also be Hooked Seafood and a new Starbucks. Friday, November 2, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories 13. Dallas Cowboys (5-4)Shift: ▼6Hi: 13Lo: 14Comment: I’m no coach, but CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP OUT THE LEFT TACKLE? — MarottaNext: vs. Philadelphia14. Detroit Lions (4-4)Shift: ▲1Hi: 13Lo: 15Comment: With a win over the Bears, Detroit could set up a very big game against Minnesota the following week at Ford Field. — MorganNext: at Chicago15. Buffalo Bills (5-4)Shift: ▼2Hi: 14Lo: 17Comment: Loud cheer when Nathan Peterman replaced Tyrod Taylor. — BurnsNext: at LA Rams16. Oakland Raiders (4-5)Shift: ▲1Hi: 15Lo: 19Comment: The AFC West is suddenly up for grabs… but they get the Patriots next. — LapinskiNext: vs. New England17. Green Bay Packers (5-4)Shift: ▲3Hi: 15Lo: 18Comment: Credit the Packers for staying alive with a win in Chicago, but this playoff chase is going off the rails very soon. — MorganNext: vs. Baltimore18. Washington Redskins (4-5)Shift: ▼4Hi: 15Lo: 18Comment: The Redskins aren’t very good, but they’re entertaining. — MarottaNext: at New Orleans19. Baltimore Ravens (4-5)Shift: ▼1Hi: 17Lo: 21Comment: With games against the Packers, Texans, Browns, Colts and Bengals left, the Ravens are somehow still in this. — LapinskiNext: at Green Bay 20. Arizona Cardinals (4-5)Shift: ▲1Hi: 19Lo: 25Comment: Very easily could win Sunday feeding delusionary dreams of a possible playoff berth. — BurnsNext: vs. Seattle (Thursday night)21. Los Angeles Chargers (3-6)Shift: ▲2Hi: 19Lo: 25Comment: If you got rewarded for just barely losing, the Chargers would be unstoppable. — LapinskiNext: vs. Buffalo22. New York Jets (4-6)Shift: ▼3Hi: 20Lo: 24Comment: Just when you think the Jets will break through on the road, they soil themselves in Tampa. — MarottaNext: Bye Week23. Houston Texans (3-6)Shift: ▼1Hi: 21Lo: 26Comment: Bill O’Brien: “I haven’t done a very good job of coaching this football team.” World: “Duh.” — MarottaNext: vs. Arizona24. Denver Broncos (3-6)Shift: —Hi: 21Lo: 27Comment: The Broncos have dropped back-to-back games to the Patriots in Denver for the first time since 1966. — MorganNext: vs. Cincinnati25. Miami Dolphins (4-5)Shift: —Hi: 20Lo: 27Comment: 0-3 in prime time game this year. Outscored by 67 in those games. — BurnsNext: vs. Tampa Bay26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6)Shift: ▲3Hi: 23Lo: 28Comment: Ryan Fitzpatrick is 1-0 as a starter this season. — LapinskiNext: at Miami 2 Comments Share Here’s a look at our 1-32 pecking order heading into Week 11.Ties will go to the team that receives the majority of higher rankings from our panel.Burns | Lapinski | Marotta | MorganWeek 11 CompositeBiggest Risers: Atlanta Falcons ▲4Biggest Fallers: Dallas Cowboys ▼6 27. Cincinnati Bengals (3-6)Shift: ▼1Hi: 23Lo: 27Comment: Surprise: Vontaze Burfict was ejected in the second quarter of a loss to Tennessee after pushing the arm of an official. — MorganNext: at Denver28. Chicago Bears (3-6)Shift: —Hi: 25Lo: 29Comment: If John Fox challenges this ranking, we’re moving the Bears down even further. — LapinskiNext: vs. Detroit29. Indianapolis Colts (3-7)Shift: ▼1Hi: 28Lo: 29Comment: It’s Week 11 and Andrew Luck is in Europe. That pretty well sums up their season. — LapinskiNext: Bye Week30. San Francisco 49ers (1-9)Shift: —Hi: 30Lo: 30Comment: Did Beathard make it tough to make the Garoppolo switch during the bye week? (answer…no) — BurnsNext: Bye Week31. New York Giants (1-8)Shift: —Hi: 31Lo: 31Comment: Can the Giants catch the Browns? Such intrigue. — MorganNext: vs. Kansas City32. Cleveland Browns (0-9)Shift: —Hi: 32Lo: 32Comment: This team is an argument for Premier League-type relegation. An embarrassment in every way. — MarottaNext: vs. Jacksonville Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Through 10 weeks of the NFL season, we’re finally getting a separation between the haves and the have-nots of the league.However, after about the top 10 teams, there’s 22 mediocre-to-bad squads right now.The Philadelphia Eagles hold on to the top spot for another week even though they were on their bye. The New England Patriots won their 12th straight road game, taking apart the Denver Broncos in the process. The Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings all kept chugging along, notching wins varying in impressiveness. 1. Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)Shift: —Hi: 1Lo: 2Comment: Putting some serious distance between themselves and rest of the NFC East. — BurnsNext: at Dallas2. New England Patriots (7-2)Shift: —Hi: 1Lo: 2Comment: Tom Brady’s 86th regular-season road win was well timed. He broke a tie with Peyton Manning for most all-time — in Denver. — MorganNext: vs. Oakland3. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2)Shift: —Hi: 3Lo: 5Comment: Lackluster win over Colts — maybe spend less time coordinating celebrations? — MarottaNext: vs. Tennessee (Thursday night)4. Los Angeles Rams (7-2)Shift: —Hi: 3Lo: 6Comment: McVay coaches like a millennial playing Madden – just keep scoring, no matter how much you’re up. — LapinskiNext: at Minnesota5. Minnesota Vikings (7-2)Shift: —Hi: 3Lo: 6Comment: Keeping waiting for Case Keenum to wake up and realize he’s Case Keenum. — BurnsNext: vs. LA Rams Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 6. New Orleans Saints (7-2)Shift: —Hi: 3Lo: 6Comment: New Orleans set a franchise record by scoring 6 rushing TDs against Buffalo. The Saints totaled 298 yards on the ground. — MorganNext: vs. Washington7. Kansas City Chiefs (6-3)Shift: ▲1Hi: 7Lo: 8Comment: Curious to see how the bye week affects the slumping Chiefs. — MarottaNext: at NY Giants8. Carolina Panthers (7-3)Shift: ▲2Hi: 7Lo: 10Comment: Cam is playing well and the defense is getting after it. — BurnsNext: Bye Week9. Seattle Seahawks (6-3)Shift: —Hi: 8Lo: 9Comment: How far can they go in the absence of Richard Sherman if the offense doesn’t step up? — LapinskiNext: vs. Atlanta (Monday night)10. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3)Shift: ▲1Hi: 8Lo: 11Comment: The Jaguars needed OT, but they beat the Chargers for their first three-game winning streak since 2013. — MorganNext: at Cleveland11. Tennessee Titans (6-3)Shift: ▲1Hi: 10Lo: 12Comment: Haven’t lost in a month. Then again, they’ve played the Colts, Browns, Ravens and Bengals in that stretch. — LapinskiNext: at Pittsburgh (Thursday night)12. Atlanta Falcons (5-4)Shift: ▲4Hi: 11Lo: 12Comment: I hope Adrian Clayborn is leaving Chaz Green a really nice tip. — BurnsNext: at Seattle (Monday night)
Legislation approved Wednesday with bipartisan support in the Michigan House of Representatives provides a framework for transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, to operate in Michigan.House Bills 4637-4641 establish procedures allowing TNCs to operate under a uniform statewide regulatory system. HB 4640, sponsored by state Rep. Tom Barrett, amends the Insurance Code to allow for TNC passengers to be treated the same as taxicab passengers in cases of accidental injury.“This bill provides a common-sense safeguard for passengers and other drivers,” said Rep. Barrett, R-Potterville. “Passengers will now be treated the same as if they were in a taxicab or bus.”Under this legislation, TNC passengers will be covered by their own auto insurance in the case of an injury. Those who do not have insurance will be covered by the driver’s insurance.The bill package also exempts TNCs from the limousine transportation act, and allows TNCs to operate in Michigan through a permit issued by the state’s department of transportation.The TNC legislation now moves to the Senate for further consideration.### 18Jun Michigan House approves TNC package Categories: Barrett News
In This Issue… * A closer look wipes out euphoria… * Gillard defeats challenger… * The Eye of the Storm… * Swiss / euro cross watch time… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Mom, They’re Doing It Again! Good day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! My “unsupervised” weekend went well, except for the ending of the Missouri / Kansas basketball game! Caught up with one of my oldest friends on earth, (Mike) and we tried to quickly forget the ending of the game… UGH! But, it was just a game, right? Not like the game that the Fed keeps playing with Treasuries… and I’ll talk about that in a bit, but first we have to get caught up on the goings on from Friday, and in the overnight markets. Well… Friday’s price action was interesting in that, the euro held onto the 1.34 handle, but Gold was down $7… Hmmm… One anti-dollar doing well, while the other one weakens… The other anti-dollar, so proclaimed by me last week, Oil, saw continued interest in pushing the price higher… And with that higher price in Oil, the emerging countries, and the Asian countries with their nascent recoveries, are all feeling squeamish, about their growth prospect, given that elevated price in Oil… But you can’t blame it all on the price of Oil… Ever since the deal to give Greece the next bailout fund payment last week, the markets have been trying to look under the hood at the deal… And if Greece meets all the requirements in the deal, well… it will work… If they don’t, if they slip up just once, this whole thing comes crashing down like a house of cards… And yes, from what I read, the Greek Gov’t has allowed their Gold Holdings to be confiscated should they slip up… There are a ton of “other things” but at the end of the day, this worry about the “other things” has the currencies weaker today… That’s right, even the euro, which is hanging on to 1.34 is weaker by ½-cent today… So, all the euphoria in the risk markets that came about with the Greek deal approval last week, has turned out to be a case of buy the rumor, sell the fact… One thing that should help the euro as we go along here is the fact that the review of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) LTRO (long term refinancing Operations) is working, right now, precisely as the ECB would have hoped for… You may recall me telling you back in December, that the LTRO introduction included 3-year loans to Eurozone banks. The ECB was hoping to see an increase of credit / loan and credit growth has increased from 3.5% annualized to 4.8% annualized… There are other things the ECB is hoping for here, but this could get really long in explanation… So, I’ll just say that while the ECB is getting the response it wants, we’re only 3 months into this… This is not time to relax… Well… I read on Bloomberg this morning that the number of contracts betting on commodity prices will rise this year, have reached 1 million in total! WOW! So, it sure looks to me that the investors, hedge funds, traders, etc. are catching up to what you dear Pfennig Readers have been hearing about for some time now! And that, with all the Quantitative Easing, easy money, zero interest rates, and everything else, that inflation for the U.S. was on the other side of all that, and all we needed was for banks to begin to withdraw the cash they have been getting paid interest on at the Fed Reserve, and put it into the economy… Well… here’ s how I see this folks… As I’ve told you, I believe that we are in the “eye of the storm” where everyone breathes a sigh of relief, and things begin to look better… The Washington Post printed a story that said “economists predict business spending, employment, and house construction will pick up this year, pushing GDP to 2.4%.” Those that don’t believe in the “eye of the storm” and that’s most, will begin to go back to the bad habits they developed before the financial meltdown, and that will mean putting that money into the economy among other things… Do you know about the “velocity of money”? Well, that’s what will kick in and inflation will begin to soar, and just about the time the Fed sees this happening and they react with rate hikes, the economy will enter the other side of the storm… Now… I could be wrong about this, I would love to be wrong about this! But, long time readers know that I don’t sugar coat this stuff, and I have been pretty bang on with just about everything else that I’ve talked about over the years… But, past performance is not an indicator of future performance! If you agree with what I’ve said, then you’ll want to be sure you protect your wealth from inflation… Of course you know how to do that! All these years of writing, I might have mentioned the ways to protect your wealth and purchasing power, a time or two! OK… back to currencies… The Aussie dollar (A$) got the wind knocked out of it again this weekend, when a vote for leadership was called… PM Gillard fended off a challenge from former PM Rudd… And as long time readers you know that any time a currency has to deal with elections, uncertainty, and election outcomes, that it loses steam… And that’s what happened to the A$ last night… It may take a couple of days for it to get legs again… A quick trip across the Tasman to Australia’s kissin’ cousin, New Zealand, leads us to a report that did not help the New Zealand dollar / kiwi, one iota… New Zealand, which had been on a real good roll with regards to narrowing their Trade Deficit, saw it slip back and post an unexpected deficit for January of NZ$ 199 million (or in U.S. dollars $167 million)… And immediately the stronger kiwi was blamed! It was immediately pointed out that kiwi had gained 11.4% in the past year, one of the best performers in the past 12 months… But before the Chicken Littles begin to run around screaming that the sky is falling in New Zealand, let me point out that aircraft purchases pretty much skewered this report to a deficit, because exports of milk powder, butter & cheese, which make up a third of all exports, increased 25% in January, VS last year! This could end up being a one & done for the Trade Deficit… So hopefully calmer heads will prevail here… The Swiss franc is stronger trading in the $1.11 handle this morning… The cross to the euro is 1.2050, which is getting too close for comfort for the Swiss National Bank (SNB), who placed a ceiling on the 1.20 on this cross back in September, and has said emphatically that they will defend the level… Well, they had better be ready at a moment’s notice… Because the only thing keeping this cross above 1.20 right now is that the euro has rallied… And we all know just how tenuous that is, right now… Mom… they’re doing it again! Thanks to the dear reader that sent me this story… from Reuters… “The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the United Arab Emirates’ financial hub, expects to permit transactions in Chinese yuan from this year, industry sources told Reuters on Thursday. The change would represent an important step in China’s drive to encourage international use of its currency, since the UAE is one of the world’s top five oil exporters and the second largest Arab economy in the Gulf.” Chuck again… yes… As I’ve told you for more than a year now, China is taking the baby steps to remove the dollar as the reserve currency of the world, and gaining a wider distribution for its currency is one of those steps… Come on folks… can you blame the Chinese? We as a country have destroyed out currency’s value with debts and deficits, Corporate Scandals, and, the bubble economy… Speaking of Corporate scandals… Not to be outdone by the Japanese (I told you that story on Friday), I found this in the Wall Street Journal on Friday… “federal regulators and the Massachusetts attorney general are investigating whether a fund that was part of Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. overstated the value of one of its holdings. The potential exaggeration in the fund grew to more than $4 million, according to documents shared with Oppenheimer investors. The bulk of this markup came as the fund was reaching out to potential investors in the fall of 2009, and helped push the fund’s reported internal rate of return to 38%, after fees, from a loss of 6.3%.” And Treasuries… UGH! The 10-year yield fell to 1.95% late last week… Riddle me this Batman, the need for a safe haven was reduced by the Greek deal, but Treasuries rally any way? How or why would that be? I bet some enterprising journalist with some time could get a good look at the Fed’s balance sheet last week, and probably tie the alleged increase to the Treasury auction… But that would not be new news to me… but at least would explain the riddle… Then there was this… Well folks just like a rented baseball player, I’ve moved on from the Currency Capitalist… And now I’m proud to be a part of a brand new monthly letter that will be published by good folks at Casey Research… The World Money Analyst, is the name of the new letter, which will be a collection of well respected analysts in several different investment choices. So, I’m excited to be a part of such a great group of writers/ analysts/ traders. I’ll provide a link to sign up for the letter, when it becomes available… Pfennig Readers, will not gain any additional knowledge from my part of the letter, but they will from the other writers’ sections… I can’t begin to tell you just how great I think this letter is and will be… So… as soon as I have that link, I’ll get it to you! To recap… The currencies, which rallied on Friday, are seeing that rally wiped out in the overnight and morning sessions, as the euphoria from the Greek deal, is fading, as the devil in the details is being exposed. Gold was down on Friday and again this morning. But the price of Oil continues to look strong and like it wants to go higher. The higher Oil price is dampening the outlook for global growth, and… Chuck talks about being in the eye of the storm… Currencies today 2/27/12… American Style: A$ $1.0675, kiwi .8340, C$ .9965, euro 1.3405, sterling 1.5860, Swiss $1.1120, … European Style: rand 7.6325, krone 5.5950, SEK 6.5885, forint 217.95, zloty 3.1195, koruna 18.6955, RUB 28.98, yen 80.60, sing 1.2605, HKD 7.7555, INR 49.23, China 6.3015, pesos 12.94, BRL 1.7119, Dollar Index 78.57, Oil $108.48, 10-year 1.95%, Silver $35.17, and Gold… $1,767.00 That’s it for today… Well… the end of February is almost here… And one of my fave months, March will begin! Spring Training, spring begins, we begin to get some warmer days, and I get to spend a couple of weeks in South Florida! Actually I’m heading that way on Wednesday this week, but will be back next Monday. Chris will have the conn on the Pfennig while I’m gone this week… I’m not going to complain about the “homer officiating” during the Missouri / Kansas game on Saturday… But anyone watching it knows what I’m talking about… My beautiful bride returned home sometime last night. At one point before I headed off to bed, I saw that her flight was delayed… So welcome home! And with that… I’ll get this out the door… I hope you have a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.com
It’s my opinion that the rallies in all four precious metals were met by short selling by JPMorgan et al.Not surprisingly, there was little price activity in gold on Thursday during the Far East trading day, or in the London market that followed.This sideways price action continued well into the New York session, but once the London p.m. gold fix was in at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, the gold price tacked on a bit more than ten bucks right up until London closed for the day, which was 4:00 p.m. local time in London…11:00 a.m. in New York. Then it got sold off a hair before trading sideways for the rest of the day.Gold’s high tick of the day was $1,666.40 spot…and it’s low tick was somewhere around the $1,653 price mark.Gold closed the Thursday session at $1,662.90 spot…up $3.50 from Wednesday. Volume was light…around 111,000 contracts…with the lion’s share of that occurring during the Comex trading session around the big price jump. It would be my bet that the “usual suspects” were going short on that rally, as it didn’t look like a short covering rally to me.Here’s the New York Spot Gold [Bid] chart on its own, so you can see the Comex trading action in more detail.The silver price chopped sideways within a dime of the $30.00 price level before developing a negative bias going into the noon London silver fix…7:00 a.m. in New York…where there was a sharp spike down to its low of the day. From there it rallied higher before taking off [along with gold] at around 10:25 a.m.This rally also ended in flames at the London close…11:00 a.m. in New York…before getting sold off further going into the 1:30 p.m. Comex close. From there it traded more or less sideways during the electronic market.Silver’s high tick of the day was recorded by Kitco as $30.59 spot.Silver closed at $30.14 spot…up a dime on the day…but like just about every other day this week, would have closed a lot higher if it hadn’t run into not-for-profit sellers once again. Volume was decent at 37,000 contracts, as the big rally that began at the London silver fix did not go unopposed. I’m sure that JPMorgan et al were buying the short side of that rally right up until the London close.The New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart is shown below.Platinum and palladium had even more interesting price paths yesterday. Not only completely different than gold or silver, but completely different from each other…and here are the 3-day Kitco charts for each. Sponsor Advertisement The dollar index opened around the 79.60 mark…and then spiked up a hair at 1:00 p.m. Hong Kong time…and then slid about 30 basis points down to 79.40 a few minutes after the 8:00 a.m. GMT London open. It then traded more or less sideways until precisely 10:00 a.m. in New York…the London p.m. gold fix…and from there it took off to the upside…topping out around 79.78 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. Then it slid a little into the close…finishing the Thursday session around 79.66…up a whole 6 basis points.The rally in gold and silver in New York yesterday mostly coincided with the rally in the dollar index as well…and I’ll let you read into that whatever you wish.The gold stocks started in the red at the 9:30 a.m. Eastern time open, but followed the gold price higher. The stocks peaked out at precisely 11:00 a.m…and then sold off a bit going into the New York lunch hour. But from there they worked their way slowly higher once again…and hit a new high for the day around 3:30 p.m. But then a thoughtful seller appeared and sold the stocks down over a percent in less than fifteen minutes. As a result, the HUI only finished up 0.58%.Pardon me for thinking so, but it sure looked like someone was painting the tape going into the close. But maybe it’s just me looking for black bears in dark rooms that aren’t there.The silver stocks finished mixed on the day as well, but most of the seven stocks that make up Nick Laird’s intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed in the green…finishing up 0.40% on the day. Note the sell-off in the silver stocks as well. Maybe there is a black bear, and I just haven’t found it yet.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 43 gold and 57 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday…the last day of 2012. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.With only one more delivery day left in the December contract, there are still a fair number of gold and silver contracts still left open. Silver’s December open interest dropped a huge 412 contracts yesterday…and another 100 contracts the day before…leaving the above mentioned 57 contracts left…and I sure would like to know why someone backed out of deliveries these sizes at such a late date.Then checking the CME’s preliminary volume and open interest report from yesterday’s trading day in the wee hours of this morning, I note that another 175 gold, along with 49 silver contracts were added at the very last moment to the December delivery month, so someone has to come up with those amounts by the end of trading on Monday. It will be interesting to see who the short/issuers are on those contracts…and I’ll have that info for you tomorrow.The CME should post the First Day Notice numbers for delivery into the January contract for both gold and silver on their Internet site late this evening. They shouldn’t be overly large, as January is not a regular delivery month for either metal. But whatever the numbers are, they’ll be in my Saturday column as well.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV…and the U.S. Mint had no sales report yesterday, either.The shortsqueeze.com Internet site updated the mid-month short positions for both GLD and SLV on Wednesday evening…and there weren’t any big changes. The really big changes in both ETFs occurred after the cut-off for this latest report from the shortsqueeze.com…and that data won’t be available until around mid-January. This is already “yesterday’s news” as Ted Butler would say.What the new report showed was that the short position in SLV only declined by 5.46%…or about 1,047,000 shares/ounces. The total short position in SLV now sits at 18,118,000 shares/ounces…or just a bit over 563 metric tonnes…about 9 days of world silver production.The short position in GLD shares fell by 4.11%…about 977,000 shares, or approximately 98,000 ounces of gold. The short position in GLD now sits at 22.82 million shares, or 2.28 million ounces.With the big 3-day engineered price sell-off in gold and silver that took place between December 18-20 not in this data…along with the millions of ounces of silver deposited in SLV over that same time period…it’s obvious that the shortsqueeze.com data would look a lot of different if they could take a snapshot right now. As it stands at the moment, we’ll have to wait until mid January.The other amazing thing that hasn’t happened, is that there have been no major redemptions in either GLD or SLV since the current sell-off really got started on December 12th. And now that I’m looking at the hard numbers, GLD has only shed about 19,000 ounces of gold …and SLV has actually added 7.0 million ounces of silver during that same time period. I’m only speculating at this point, but it looks like some entity is covering a monster short position that they may have in SLV…and GLD…and they were buying all the shares that others were selling into the engineered price decline that JPMorgan et al created in the first place. But I’m sure that was all part of the plan. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday, they reported receiving 623,726 troy ounces of silver…and shipped a smallish 2,949 ounces of the stuff out the door. The link to yesterday’s activity is here.It was a slow news day yesterday, which is no surprise considering the time of year, so I hope you have the time to run through most of the stories posted below.Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian. – Henry FordWell, even though volume was ‘light’ yesterday…it was far more substantial than the volume on Wednesday…and as I said further up, it’s my opinion that the rallies in all four precious metals were met by short selling by JPMorgan et al…or it could have been their high-frequency traders just ‘spoofing’ these markets lower. Of course nothing will be known for sure until the COT Report on January 4th, but that’s the way I see it at the moment.Today’s COT Report will be posted on the CFTC’s website at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time sharp…and I’ll be more than interested in what the numbers have to say. I’ll also glean whatever I can from Ted…and I’ll have that data for you in tomorrow’s column as well.Take your pick of either “watching paint dry…or grass grow” as that pretty much sums up the trading activity during the Far East session on their Friday. Of course with the weekend here…and the year winding down…I’m not expecting much for the remainder of today in London or New York…as I’m sure what few traders there are left, will be out the door early…and won’t show up at their desks again until next Wednesday…the first trading day of the New Year in Europe and here in North America.As I hit the ‘send’ button at 4:35 a.m. Eastern time, the prices of both silver and gold aren’t doing much of anything…volumes are light, especially in silver…and the dollar index barely has a pulse. Of course it was more or less like this yesterday at this time…and look what happened the moment that the London silver fix was in at noon GMT. So, despite what I said in the previous paragraph, I’ll reserve judgment for the moment.Enjoy your weekend…or what’s left of it if you live west of the International Date Line…and I’ll see you here tomorrow. Bayfield Ventures Corp. (TSX.V: BYV) is exploring for gold and silver in the Rainy River District of NW Ontario. The Company’s 100% owned “Burns” Block property adjoins the immediate east of Rainy River Resources’ (TSX.V: RR) world-class gold deposit which includes an indicated resource of 5.72 million ounces of gold, averaging 1.18 g/t, in addition to an inferred resource of 2.25 million ounces of gold, averaging 0.79 g/t. Drilling to date on Bayfield’s Burns Block demonstrates that the ODM17gold zone extends from Rainy River Resources’ ground onto the Burns Block. Bayfield is currently carrying out 100,000 metres of diamond drilling on its Rainy River properties. Drill results thus far have been very encouraging. Notable drill results include 60.05 grams per tonne gold and 362.96 grams per tonne silver over 11.2 metres within 26.70 grams per tonne gold and 170.69 grams per tonne silver over 25.5 metres, as well as 35.93 grams per tonne gold and 359.65 grams per tonne silver over 10.0 metres. Bayfield also holds a 100% interest in two other properties in the Rainy River District. Claim blocks “B” and “C” are well located to the immediate east and west (respectively) of Rainy River Resources’ #433 and ODM17 gold zones. Please visit our website to learn more about the company and request information.
When Muhammad Zaman came to the United States in 1996, he asked around for pharmacy recommendations. Friends kept telling him the same thing: filling a prescription at Walgreens was as good as filling it at CVS. Duane Reade was as safe as the Main Street drug store in any small town. The medicines sold in all of them would contain the chemicals and active ingredients that their labels claimed.He was shocked. That wasn’t the case in his native Pakistan, he says.Zaman is now a professor of biomedical engineering and international health at Boston University. The contrast in the levels of trust of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. versus Pakistan stuck with him. He started investigating why getting a properly formulated drug was hit-or-miss in much of the developing world. His research resulted in the book Bitter Pills: The Global War on Counterfeit Drugs.As a child in Islamabad, he writes, his family drove at least a half-hour to get to a large pharmacy called D. Watson in the heart of town. They’d pass dozens of smaller drug stores on the way, but D. Watson was “polished, well stocked, well staffed, and very clean.” For their pharmaceuticals, his parents trusted D. Watson.”We didn’t trust the stores closer to our home. You expect some coffee shops to be better than others. Some bakeries are better than others,” he says in an interview with NPR. “That’s how I thought pharmacies work. Some, like D. Watson, are better than others. If money was not a problem, you went there for drugs.”Years later, he learned what could happen to people for whom money was a problem. In 2012, a news story broke in Lahore, Pakistan, about people suddenly dying at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology. “The people were ill, but not so ill that they were expected to die. But then 213 people died in a week and a half. They were in the same hospital, the same ward,” says Zaman. “Some people said it was arsenic, others said it was terrorism or tainted water. People were just making things up because no one knew what was happening.”Finally, samples of an anti-hypertensive drug all the patients took were sent to a lab in the U.K., Zaman says, because the population did not trust local testing facilities. The results showed that it was tainted with ingredients from a drug intended to treat malaria. According to later investigations, two barrels of white powder got mixed up in the pharmaceutical plant, Efroze, which made both drugs.”Up to 14 percent of the antimalarial was mistakenly added to the anti-hypertensive drug,” says Zaman. “That would be a lethal amount, given the patients’ cardiac history.”As Zaman continued his research, he kept spotting news reports related to fake or faulty drugs. In one story, 16 people, also in Pakistan, died after drinking a cough syrup. In another report, a shipment of 1.4 million doses of a counterfeit antimalarial drug was seized in Angola. “There is a new story every week,” he says.Tainted, counterfeit or degraded drugs on market shelves in the developing world is a problem that’s hard to measure, says Dr. Ramanan Laxminarayan, founder and director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy in Washington, D.C..India, for example, has a 3 percent rate of substandard drugs, according to national surveys that randomly spot check pharmacies, says Laxminarayan. “I’m in Bangladesh right now, and they have a 3 percent to 5 percent rate of substandard drugs,” he says. “That means the drug, when it reaches the patient, is not of a quality that can do any good.” Some countries are in really dire straits: “In Nigeria, it’s as high at 20 to 30 percent. Imagine if one in every five times you get a drug, it doesn’t have an active ingredient.”Those numbers could be even worse than reported because the national surveys are sporadic, many countries don’t have the technology to properly test drugs, and some pharmacists, when they see an inspector coming, shutter their windows and close up shop, says Zaman.Mistakes in formulating drugs can happen anywhere, including wealthy countries, and Zaman writes about that, too. In 2012, tainted steroids made by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., sickened 753 people in 20 states and resulted in the deaths of 64 people. “The compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts is emblematic of the fact that the problem is universal,” Zaman says.Consequences for drug makers vary among countries. In the Massachusetts case, the compounding center’s owner, one of 14 people who faced criminal charges in the case, was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2017, according to the Food and Drug Administration. A fund of $200 million was established to compensate the injured or the families of those who died. The New England Compounding Center is no longer in business.In the Lahore case, the families of those who died are to receive $4,000 per person, paid at the rate of $150 a month for just over two years, Zaman says. He notes in his book: “…the company did not have to pay any penalties to the government or lose its license, and its senior executives did not face any serious disciplinary action.” And it remains in business.”In poor countries, punishment doesn’t exist in a way that can be a real deterrent,” says Zaman.It’s poor countries that suffer the most, and yet there is very little information on how many people get sick or die because of substandard drugs. “It’s not easy to estimate,” says Zaman. “Many countries have a culture of immediate burial, and they don’t do autopsies, so we don’t know if they died because of a bad drug. It’s massively underreported.”But there are some rough estimates. “One of the best studies looked at a sliver of a sliver of the problem,” says Zaman. The report concluded that of the more than 3 million children who die before age 5 in 39 sub-Saharan countries, about 120,000 die each year because of substandard antimalarial drugs.The World Health Organization also estimates that between 72,000 and 169,000 children may die each year because of substandard or fake antibiotics. But, says Zaman, there is no worldwide estimate of deaths caused by substandard drugs for all ages, all diseases.Zaman wants to increase awareness of this little-discussed problem. “The World Health Organization says that an average of 10 percent of drugs are substandard,” he says. “But that’s an average. In some parts of the world, it’s much higher. We don’t have a proper estimate. It’s quite large, but how bad is it? We have no idea.”Susan Brink is a freelance writer who covers health and medicine. She is the author of The Fourth Trimester and co-author of A Change of Heart. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.