Jaylon Smith Injury Jaylon Smith InjuryFew players had a worse NFL Combine than Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith, through no fault of his own. Smith was failed by multiple teams on his physical due to potential nerve damage stemming from the significant knee injury he suffered against Ohio State, which included a torn ACL and LCL.Smith, once viewed as a potential top 10 draft pick, will probably fall out of the first round altogether, but he’s doing whatever he can to prove that he is healing up. In an interview with Yahoo Sports, he revealed that he is currently leg pressing over 600 pounds, and squatting over 400.Can Smith feel a tangible difference physically in the past five weeks?“Oh yeah, absolutely,” Smith said. “A few weeks have made a huge difference, even the past two weeks. I can feel it.“Rehab is going great. I am leg-pressing over 600 pounds right now. I am squatting over 400 pounds. I am getting that strength back. It’s just a matter of time.”Asked whether it has been determined if he suffered nerve in the injury, Smith was a bit vague, but he remained upbeat.“We’ll see when I go back there [to the medical recheck],” Smith said. “We’ll see what the doctors say then. I feel like I’ve regained some of it. I’m happy where I am at right now.”When healthy, Smith is an incredibly impressive prospect. Hopefully he finds a team that will take a chance on him.[Yahoo Sports]More: Vote In Our “Most Annoying People In Sports Media” Championship >>>
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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — President Trump kicks off two days of diplomacy at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina on Friday after his abrupt decision to cancel a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin overshadowed the proceedings before they even started.Trump barrelled into the two-day meeting by announcing via Twitter that he was cancelling on Putin over Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian vessels. His agenda Friday is expected to include meetings with world leaders, the signing of a revamped trade deal with Canada and Mexico, as well as a number of group activities for the gathering of rich and developing nations.Coming into this G-20, Trump faces a series of diplomatic challenges — most notably whether he can strike an agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) to ease trade tensions.Catherine Lucey And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
MONTREAL — Alimentation Couche-Tard and CrossAmerica Partners LP have signed a deal to swap convenience and gas station assets in the U.S.Under the agreement, Couche-Tard has agreed to sell 192 U.S convenience and fuel retail stores to CrossAmerica, with an aggregate value of about US$184.5 million.Meanwhile, CrossAmerica has agreed to sell Couche-Tard assets valued at US$184.5 million, including the real estate property for 56 U.S. company-operated convenience and fuel retail stores leased and operated by Couche-Tard and 17 stores owned and operated by CrossAmerica in the U.S. Upper Midwest.Couche-Tard says the deal is expected to take place through a series of transactions over a period of up to 24 months.The closing of each transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.Couche-Tard’s wholly owned subsidiary CrossAmerica GP is the general partner for CrossAmerica Partners LP.“We believe this transaction will be beneficial to both parties,” Couche-Tard chief executive Brian Hannasch said in a statement.“The transfer of Couche-Tard’s retail stores to CrossAmerica will help optimize the long-term value of these assets, further strengthens Couche-Tard’s core retail business and is a win-win for both sets of stakeholders.” The Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:ATD.B)
The Czech Republic has become the first country in central and eastern Europe to complete digital switchover following the implementation of digital broadcasting at the Tlustá hora and Plostiny transmitters near the city of Zlin in south-eastern Moravia.Digital TV is now available to 99.6% of the Czech population, offering 11 TV and nine radio channels via three multiplexes. Transmission services providers Radiokomuikace has invested over CZK1 billion (€40 million) in 69 transmitters and 100 repeaters over the last four years. The completion of switchover sets the stage for the next phase of development, involving the implementation of DVB-T2 and the launch of HD services ahead of the London Olympics next year.
Netflix has ordered its first Chinese-language original series from Taiwan, a “jailbreak thriller” named Bardo.The eight-episode series will become available to all Netflix members worldwide at the same time, but the official date has not been annoucned.Netflix is teaming up with prodco IFA Media and writer/director Sam Quah to produce the show.Bardo follows the journey of Ah Quan, a good man who has descended into crime awaiting execution. Netflix describes the title as a “jailbreak thriller with a karmic dimension”.Frank Smith, executive producer of Bardo, said: “Taiwan’s film and TV industry is full of amazing creativity and Sam’s a new Asian talent who is open to pushing the boundaries and trying new things but with a strong insight into local and regional themes.“The combination of this range of skills from across the region and the chance to work with a global platform like Netflix that is producing amazing content we’d all love to create, made this a great partnership for IFA. The story itself is steeped in local realities and dilemmas but the approach, the script and the dramatic feel is something completely new.”The move sees Netflix invest in further global productions after announcing new moves in Latin America and India earlier this week.
ShareTweet “It needs to be scrapped altogether,” added the Foyle MLA.‘Universal Credit should be scrapped not stalled’ – Mullan was last modified: January 7th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: “It was supposedly designed to simplify the benefits system but the roll-out so far has clearly shown that it is riddled with faults, complications and delays.“And while the mitigation measures secured for the North have gone some way to alleviating the worst aspects of Universal Credit, the fact remains that people are suffering hardship and poverty as a result of this disastrous policy.“Despite this, the British Government is still insisting that all claimants will be on Universal Credit by 2023.“They need to start listening and stop ignoring the evidence on the ground that Universal Credit has been a disaster. Stalling it won’t fix it. Delaying it won’t bring people out of poverty. UNIVERSAL Credit should be scrapped not stalled, says Sinn Féin’s Karen Mullan.The Foyle MLA was commenting after the British Government confirmed that the next stage of rolling out the controversial welfare benefit is to be scaled back after it was beset with a string of problems. “This latest move by the British Government is further evidence that Universal Credit is simply not fit for purpose,” said Karen Mullan. British GovernmentFOYLE MLAKAREN MULLANUNIVERSAL CREDIT‘Universal Credit should be scrapped not stalled’ – Mullan
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… $1,767.00 That’s it for today… Well… the end of February is almost here… And one of my fave months, March will begin! Spring Training, spring begins, we begin to get some warmer days, and I get to spend a couple of weeks in South Florida! Actually I’m heading that way on Wednesday this week, but will be back next Monday. Chris will have the conn on the Pfennig while I’m gone this week… I’m not going to complain about the “homer officiating” during the Missouri / Kansas game on Saturday… But anyone watching it knows what I’m talking about… My beautiful bride returned home sometime last night. At one point before I headed off to bed, I saw that her flight was delayed… So welcome home! And with that… I’ll get this out the door… I hope you have a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.com
In This Issue… * China’s weaker GDP hurts risk assets… * A$ to be underpinned… * Japan to get serious with deflation? * Retail Sales today… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! China Widens Trading Band… Good day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! A very rainy weekend here, but at least we didn’t experience any tornadoes like they did in other parts of the country… I hope all are safe… Friday’s Home Opener was cold and rainy… Thanks to my friend Sandra, for getting me in a room so that at least it was dry… More on that later… Well… Friday, quickly turned around regarding the currencies and metals rally, and sent them to the woodshed… Stocks also retreated, thus making it a triumvirate of risk assets getting sold… That makes it a Risk Off day… Apparently, the slower than expected (but still 8.1%) GDP in China really scared the bejeebers out of the stock jockeys, and once the selling began there it carried over to the currencies and metals. Personally… I think that we’ll find that the first quarter GDP for China will represent a low-water mark for Chinese economic growth… But that’s just me… I could be wrong… But, thinking what I’m thinking about China’s GDP going forward, makes me think that the Aussie dollar (A$) will be well underpinned by China… You know… all the talk last week was about the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to cut rates at their next meeting in May… But did you hear that ANZ Bank actually hiked their mortgage rates last week? Hmmm… Maybe the RBA will cut rates next month, and maybe they won’t! If they do, I believe the rate cut will have been priced in the A$… and if they don’t, then watch out, the A$ will be running loose! I say that because, as I’ve explained in the past… when a rate cut is priced in, that means there have been lots of shorts in the currency that have been entered, as investors look for weakness with a rate cut… But if the rate cut doesn’t materialize, then all those shorts get covered, which means the A$ gets bought… I would have to think though that with all the talk the RBA has given toward the future of rates, that they will do the dirty deed… Dirty Deeds done dirt cheap… Did you see what the Japanese had to say after their cabinet meeting late last week? Get this… the Japanese Gov’t. issued a statement outlining their intention to beat deflation. Hmmm. Now? The Japanese are going to go after deflation now? What’s it been… 20 years that deflation has cast is net over the Japanese economy, and the Gov’t is going to go after deflation now? Personally… I see this as just window dressing… curb appeal… They are just trying to let the markets know that they are going to attempt to inject inflation in the economy, so that maybe, just maybe, the markets will sell yen… You see… in my opinion, there’s no way the Japanese can inject inflation as long as the yen is so strong… I’ve told you for years now, that a strong currency goes a long way in fighting inflation… And unless the Japanese can figure a way to weaken their currency to say 125… They are up the creek without a paddle… There was some BIG NEWS from China this past weekend… The People’s Bank of China announced this past weekend that it will enlarge the USD/CNY trading band to +/- 1%, from +/- .5% previously in place. This means the daily moves in renminbi can be wider… It’s just another step folks, to gaining wider distribution of their currency, for the Chinese know all too well that by allowing greater moves, it will gain more buyers and sellers… I was surprised when I saw the news story, because I had the understanding that when the peg to the dollar was dropped in July of 2005, that the daily band was +/- .3%… I read where the increase to +/- .5% came in May 2007… Ok… that explains why I didn’t have that in my brain… I had other things on my mind in May of 2007… So… I think this news from China plays well with my earlier thought that the 1st QTR GDP was the low water mark for the economy this year… The Chinese obviously believe the economy will expand at a faster clip going forward, and they want their currency stronger to combat the accompanying inflation… The euro briefly dipped below 1.30 overnight for the first time in two months… But immediately rebounded and has remained above 1.30 the remainder of the overnight markets and through ½ of the European market. … I believe that the initial downturn in the single unit was caused by a story in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that had a headline that said, “Downgrades Loom for European Banks”… So… here’s what happened… the story seemed to have information that no one else did, but when read, it was simply the author’s opinion, and offered no facts… So, the euro got sold, but once somebody took the time to read the story, the rebound was in… I guess more important to the markets is the fate of Spain, and further of Italy… Solvency concerns are like the Sword of Damocles hanging over the euro these days… And we’re only talking about the “Club Med” peripheral countries, and the Eurozone leaders need to address this up front and center, before the negativity begins to become the norm. Remember the LTRO’s? Long Term Recovery Operations… the LTRO’s were loans that the European Central Bank (ECB) made to inject liquidity… Well, the ECB is going to have to go back to the well here folks, and prove to the markets that liquidity is in place… The ECB also needs to provide further easing, and all this would go a long way in showing the markets that Spain is solvent… Of course rate cuts will hurt the euro’s value… but that should only be temporary, until the markets feel better about Spain, and Italy… There is 300 Billion euro that’s yet to be used by the ECB, folks… I would think that to be enough liquidity for both Spain and Italy… I don’t like any of this… but, it is what it is, and we have to deal with ways to keep countries from defaulting… because one default will beget another and so on… Ok… onto other things this morning… The New Zealand dollar / kiwi really took it on the chin last Friday… going into the day kiwi had reached 83-cents! But, once the China GDP number printed, A$’s weren’t the only currency to weaken… And since kiwi had really outperformed its kissin cousin across the Tasman (A$’s) it got sold at a quicker pace than the A$… A reader from New Zealand sent me a note last week, and said that it looked like the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) was ready to remove the emergency rate cuts made last year after two devastating earthquakes hit the two island nation… If that thought was bought by the markets then that explains kiwi at 83-cents… The problem with the thought is that the rest of the world is cutting rates again… So, unless you want all the attention and a currency that gets driven higher in value, you had better put those rate hikes in your back pocket for now… For we all know that RBNZ Gov. Bollard is no fan of a strong kiwi! In Sweden this morning… the Gov’t lowered their forecasts for economic growth… That’s not a good thing, but at least they recognize it and don’t try to paint pretty pictures with the data like our Fed Heads do… Speaking of Fed Heads… St. Louis Fed Head, James Bullard, he of at least a couple of sound bites, will be speaking today. He’ll be speaking on Monetary Policy and the Economy right here in St. Louis… And the Fed’s balance sheet must be ballooning again… The 10-year Treasury’s yield is back below 2%… Just a month ago it was soaring higher to 2.38%… I would bet a dollar to a Krispy Kreme, that the Fed came in then, and hasn’t stopped buying since! Here in the U.S. we will see the color of March Retail Sales data this morning… The BHI (Butler Household Index) tells me that Retail Sales while positive will be much weaker than February’s +1.1%… I did my best to spur March Retail Sales while in Florida… But, I truly believe that the high gas prices are beginning to pinch U.S. consumers… So, while March’s Retail Sales will be positive, they will not be what makes an economy like the U.S. move forward… I read a story this weekend about unemployment here in the U.S. and yes, we continue to see individuals leaving the work force, thus allowing the unemployment rate to fall, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)… But this researcher found that looking at the Employment to population ratio and the Unemployment rate we find somehow last year these two de-coupled… Hmmm… The Employment to population ratio rate remains at 10.5%, while according to the BLS the Unemployment rate has fallen to 8.2%… This can’t be folks… it’s that simple… So… this is data that proves the BLS is simply doing their best to make things look good… Long time readers know of my lack of affection for the BLS, so this revelation in the data doesn’t surprise me one iota… not one iota folks… I’ve told you for years now that the BLS uses smoke and mirrors… Then There Was This… for all those that don’t believe that Gold & Silver keep up with inflation… a reader sent me a picture from a gas station in Montana… The gas station had a sign that said, “Gasoline 20-cents A Gallon… If paid with pre 1964 dimes, quarters, halfs or dollar coins” That about says it all there, eh? I always go back to friend, Bill Bonner’s qualification of Gold… Saying that 100 years ago, a man could buy a good suit of clothes with a 1 oz. Gold Coin… The same can be said today… To recap… The Chinese slower growth really deep sized the risk assets on Friday and in the Asian markets last night. The euro briefly dipped below 1.30 on a story headline in the WSJ that was found to not have facts but instead opinion… China announced a wider trading band for the renminbi, and Japan is NOW going to get tough with deflation… And Retail Sales print today. Currencies today 4/16/12… American Style: A$ $1.0355, kiwi .8185, C$ $1.0010, euro 1.3025, sterling 1.5840, Swiss $1.0830, .. European Style: rand 7.9750, krone 5.8050, SEK 6.8230, forint 229.15, zloty 3.2160, koruna 19.0445, RUB 29.67, yen 80.75, sing 1.2510, HKD 7.76, INR 51.67, China 6.3150, pesos 13.23, BRL 1.8375, Dollar Index 80.08, Oil $102.55, 10-year 1.98%, Silver $31.41, and Gold… $1,648.28 That’s it for today… Well… Friday the 13th wasn’t kind to the Cardinals on Opening Day, but they rallied back to win 2 of 3 from the Cubs… The Blues rallied to win Saturday night… I was watching the game at home, and there right before my eyes was Chris Gaffney! Chris was “on the glass” at the game, and fight took place right in front of him… Well… after all the baseball games I’ve attended in my life… I finally went home with a baseball that was hit into the stands… This one off of a foul by David Freese… I once knocked down a wicked line drive in Wrigley stadium but before I could bend over to grab it, someone else grabbed it… So I had the stinging hand, and he had the ball… UGH! But not this time! We had D & E (Delaney & Everett) Saturday evening and early night… that was fun… I think! And with that, I’ll get out of your hair for today, and thank you for reading the Pfennig… Now go out and 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/.
The population of Madagascar has more than doubled over the past generation, from 11.8 million in 1990 to 25 million today. And with more mouths to feed, residents are cutting down rainforests so there will be more land for agriculture.That’s a threat to the rainforest ecosystem. Madagascar rainforests are home to rare and endangered species like the black-and-white indri, the largest known lemur, topping out at about 20 pounds.Responding to concerns from environmental groups, in 2015 the government restricted the clearing of virgin forest for agriculture as well as logging or mining activities.That would mean that people in rural areas could lose their ability to make a living.So Conservation International and the government of Madagascar came up with a plan. The non-governmental group would give supplies and training to locals to help them find new ways of earning a living, from chicken farming to beekeeping to fish farming. They called these initiatives “livelihood projects.”Researchers have looked at how this compensation plan is working out and published their findings in a study published last week in PeerJ, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.What they found is that good news for lemurs might be bad news for humans.”As well as bringing benefits there are also private costs of conservation restrictions,” says Julia Jones, professor of conservation science at Bangor University and one of the paper’s authors. “These tend to be felt by the people right at the forest frontier, the people whose livelihoods depend on clearing a small patch of land to feed their family.”The study examined a rainforest in eastern Madagascar called the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor (CAZ). Local Malagasy villagers have been farming in and around the CAZ for generations. Most of the forested land in Madagascar, including the CAZ, legally belongs to the state.Conservation International administered the compensation in partnership with the Malagasy government, but funding is provided by the World Bank through the REDD+ program. REDD+ (Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) is an international effort to slow carbon dioxide emissions by preventing deforestation in developing countries.To find out if the so-called “livelihood projects” were helping locals cope, a team of researchers from the U.K. and Madagascar conducted a series of interviews with villagers.Walking for many days to reach villages, climbing mountains and crossing rivers, the researchers eventually spoke to 450 households.The results were not encouraging.The project targeted approximately 2,500 households. But thousands of people affected by the new restrictions did not receive “livelihood projects,” because the original World Bank report had significantly underestimated how many people would be affected.And when communities did receive “livelihood projects,” their value wasn’t enough to make up for what they were losing by not being able to clear new land for farming.According to the paper, Conservation International made a one-time investment of $100 to $170 on each household’s livelihood project, with the hope of seeing long-term benefits. But when villagers were asked to assign a dollar value to the aid, their rough estimate was less than $80.And while many of the recipients were appreciative of the efforts to help them, the projects did not always pan out, says Rina Mandimbiniaina, a Malagasy native who was hired as a research assistant and is one of the paper’s authors.”One family got chickens, just a few poultry,” she says. Raising chickens “was very of hard for them. They got about ten or so. But most of the poultry died.”For its part, Conservation International seems to recognize that it may need to modify its approach. “We always aim for improvements that benefit people and nature,” the organization said in an email to NPR. “Research such as this helps us improve our work on the ground.”Still, Conservation International notes that the study does not fully account for the long-term value of an intact rainforest. When other intrinsic benefits of conservation are included, such as clean water, the compensation gap may shrink.Robin Naidoo, a senior conservation scientist at the World Wildlife Fund who was not involved in the study, agrees that there are other conservation benefits the study didn’t take into account. For instance, villagers can forage for fruit and medicinal plants in intact forests.”They excluded wild harvest products from income calculations,” Naidoo says. “It’s difficult to value those but they are nevertheless a benefit.”So what’s the next step?”They [Conservation International] recognize that there is limited money out there for the community development side,” Jones says. “So yes, there are all these policies saying don’t harm local people, but the money available is very limited.”She believes that the international community needs to provide more funding for such conservation efforts.In the end, Malagasy people are open to conservation, says Sarobidy Rakotonarivo, a post-doctoral researcher at Scotland’s University of Stirling and another study author who did research on the ground. But they want respect just like anyone else. “They know that conservation is important, and they want their kids to see lemurs,” Rakotonarivo says. “But they’re very frustrated when they realize that lemurs are more important than they are.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
A disabled peer secured investigations into a series of key disability-related issues when she took over as editor of BBC Radio’s flagship news programme on New Year’s Day.Baroness [Jane] Campbell (pictured) was one of six guests who took editorial control of Radio Four’s Today programme for a day each between Christmas and 2 January.Among the issues covered in her stint on 1 January were an examination of the impact of the Disability Discrimination Act, 20 years after it became law; a discussion of the potential impact of new technology on disabled people; and a conversation between disabled comedians Jack Carroll and Simon Minty about whether it is ever acceptable to make jokes about disabled people.The most controversial segment of the programme was Baroness Campbell’s interview with journalist and former Tory MP Matthew Parris who has argued publicly in favour of assisted suicide.He suggested in the interview that those people who were no longer useful “should tend to ask ourselves how much longer we want to carry on”, and added: “I don’t think that those people that don’t have the ability because of their physical limitations to end their lives themselves should have that right removed from them by their disabilities.”He compared those cases with Baroness Campbell, who he said was “immensely useful”, but he also said that her wheelchair and other equipment were “very expensive” and that there would come a time when there had to be “a limit” put on the “slice of the cake” apportioned to disabled and older people.Baroness Campbell told him that his limits were “too low” and that “the future will not be as gloomy as maybe you predict”.She later told Today presenter Justin Webb that Parris had “a very dystopian, gloomy view of the world, and the world of people who are incapacitated” and that “he knew nothing about us”.She also criticised his stereotypical views about the expense and dependency of disabled people.She said: “My electric wheelchair costs less than a replacement hip. My wheelchair gives me independence and allows me to contribute in my job.“When Matthew Parris needs a hip replacement which costs more [than my wheelchair] will he be asking himself the question: am I too expensive?”She added: “I truly believe that if you invest in disability, the gains will pay for themselves, and that’s shown to be the case and that’s why I’m in the House of Lords.”The programme also included a discussion on the effectiveness of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) since it took over from the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) and other equality bodies in 2007.One former disabled EHRC commissioner, Diane Kingston, now vice-chair of the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, said the current state of the commission was “quite shocking”.She said she had had a “fantastic team” working around her on disability rights when she was at EHRC, and they had been able to “commission a lot of research, produce some fantastic reports and do a lot of outreach work”.But she said the commission’s funding was now “quite pitiful”, and equivalent to the budget of the DRC alone at the time it closed.One of EHRC’s current commissioners, Sarah Veale, told Today that the commission did “a very, very good job” despite its funding being cut to an annual budget of just £19 million, and had become “very good at prioritising”.The EHRC’s budget reached £62 million in 2010-11, although it was cut to £55 million by the new coalition government during 2010.But Veale dismissed suggestions that the government might want to scrap EHRC entirely, and said: “I think we are respected and accepted and no government is going to want to get rid of an organisation that is a success now and is delivering for a wide range of people in a very diverse community that we live in.”
News and Trends Unstoppable Nostalgia: Netflix Said to Be Developing a ‘Legend of Zelda’ Series 2 min read –shares February 9, 2015 Nina Zipkin Add to Queue Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Next Article Pop open a can of Surge and settle in because nostalgia can’t be stopped. On the heels of news and rumblings that beloved 90s properties like Twin Peaks and The X-Files are being revived, another enduring fan favorite may be getting a second life: Nintendo’s fantasy adventure series Legend of Zelda.Video-game enthusiasts are probably beside themselves with excitement right now.The long running video game, first released in 1987, is reportedly being adapted into a series for Netflix. The game follows the protagonist Link as he travels through the world of Hyrule to save Princess Zelda from the evil Ganon.Related: From TLC to The X-Files: How the ’90s Are BackNintendo hasn’t had much luck when it comes to adaptations, and hasn’t attempted one in more than two decades. There was a Legend of Zelda animated series that ran for 13 episodes in 1989, and a live-action Super Mario Brothers movie in 1993 that was something of a critical misfire. Though, all that happened a world before movies like Wreck it Ralph and The Lord of the Rings win Oscars, while Game of Thrones inspires Internet pandemonium every spring.In 2013, Eiji Aonuma, a central Zelda designer and producer told Kotaku that he envisioned a Zelda film with an element of audience interaction, so it’s hard to say what the project could ultimately look like. Netflix did not have a comment, and Nintendo did not immediately respond to a comment request.Related: 3 Ways Brands Are Marketing Nostalgia in the Age of Throwback Thursday Entrepreneur Staff Register Now » Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business
The Purdue University glaucoma drainage device is built with microactuators that vibrate when a magnetic field is introduced. Credit: Hyowon Lee/Purdue University Explore further Provided by Purdue University New glue could make millions of medical procedures safer, less invasive for patients Glaucoma can be treated only with medications or surgical implants, both of which offer varying degrees of success in helping to improve sight and to relieve pressure buildup inside the eye. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 3 million Americans have glaucoma.Implantable glaucoma drainage devices have grown in popularity over the past years, but only half of the devices are still operational after five years because microorganisms accumulate on the device during and after implantation. This problem is known as biofouling.”We created a new drainage device that combats this problem of buildup by using advances in microtechnology,” said Hyowon “Hugh” Lee, an assistant professor in Purdue’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and a researcher at the Birck Nanotechnology Center, who led the research team. “It is able to clear itself of harmful bio-buildup. This is a giant leap toward personalized medicine.”The Purdue glaucoma drainage device is built with microactuators that vibrate when a magnetic field is introduced. The vibrations shake loose the biomaterials that have built up in the tube.”We can introduce the magnetic field from outside the body at any time to essentially give the device a refresh,” Lee said. “Our on-demand technology allows for a more reliable, safe and effective implant for treating glaucoma.”The Purdue technology is published in the latest issue of Microsystems and Nanoengineering. Another unique aspect of the Purdue device is its ability to vary flow resistance, which allows the drainage technology to customize treatment for each patient at different stages of glaucoma with varying degrees of pressure buildup inside the eye.Other members of the Purdue research team include Arezoo Ardekani, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Simon John from the Jackson Laboratory.The work aligns with Purdue’s Giant Leaps celebration, acknowledging the university’s global advancements in health as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. This is one of the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.Researchers are working with the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization to patent the technology. They are looking for partners to license it. Citation: Purdue’s giant leap toward personalized medicine helps eyes drain themselves (2018, November 8) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-purdue-giant-personalized-medicine-eyes.html More information: Hyunsu Park et al. Towards smart self-clearing glaucoma drainage device, Microsystems & Nanoengineering (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41378-018-0032-3 Purdue University researchers have invented a new smart drainage device to help patients with glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the world, as they try to save their eyesight. 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.
LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) – Eni (ENI.MI) has filed a fraud complaint against its former head of oil trading over a suspect Iraqi crude oil shipment, amid concerns inside the Italian oil major that the failed delivery may have included Iranian crude targeted by U.S. sanctions. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Italian energy company Eni is seen at a gas station in Rome, Italy August 16, 2018. REUTERS/Max RossiIn the filing to the Milan prosecutor’s office Eni accused its former head of trading and operations, Alessandro Des Dorides, of misleading all parties to the deal and hiding the role of a small Italian oil trading firm, Napag. Two other senior employees were either demoted or suspended as a result of the failed shipment, sources familiar with the matter said. Eni said it had suspended dealings with Napag in February over a separate investigation by Milan prosecutors into suspected obstruction of justice by members of Eni’s former legal team. Eni said it fired Des Dorides at the end of May, after he had been in his job about six months, for what it said was an unrelated petrochemical deal with Napag in 2018. Napag did not respond to an emailed request for comment or answer phone calls. Des Dorides did not respond to several requests for comment from Reuters via email or LinkedIn. Reuters could not locate legal representation for him. Eni also declined to comment. Eni said it “does not comment on ongoing investigations and internal due processes.” INTERNAL PANIC The crude arrived aboard the White Moon tanker at the end of May for offloading at the Milazzo refinery in Sicily, which is part-owned by Eni. The Italian oil major, which produces oil in Iraq and is a regular buyer of Iraqi crude, was solely responsible for the cargo. However, Eni said it rejected the delivery because it did not match the Iraqi Basra Light crude it expected from its counterparty, the Dubai-based trading arm of Nigerian firm Oando. After sitting offshore for three weeks, the White Moon sailed back to the Gulf. The tanker manager did not respond to a request for comment. Two sources at Eni said the White Moon’s 1 million barrel cargo created panic within the company over fears the crude could be, at least partially, Iranian. Handling Iranian oil would have breached sanctions the United States reimposed or extended last year after quitting a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. Washington aims to reduce Iran’s exports to zero and force the Islamic Republic to renegotiate that nuclear deal, curb its missile programme and modify its behaviour in the Middle East. Iran has called on other parties to the accord to shield it from the effects of U.S. sanctions and has sought to circumvent U.S. restrictions by selling more of its oil undercover. ENI ACTION Following the rejection of the White Moon shipment in June, the head of the Italian Senate Industry Committee wrote to Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi to clarify the origin of an oil cargo labelled as coming from Iraq, the head of the committee said. The head of the committee declined to comment to Reuters on the oil’s possible origins. Eni said it bought the crude from Nigerian firm Oando, who in turn bought the oil from the London branch of Italy’s Napag. Oando said it took back the cargo from Eni but declined to comment further on the origins of the cargo as it was “in the middle of a resolution” over the rejected oil. Oando said the terms of the deal were “normal for the trading industry.” Italian prosecutors cannot legally comment on any investigation unless there is an exceptional circumstance. Trading sources familiar with the deal said the offer terms for the crude should have raised alarms internally even before its arrival off Sicily. The offer was at a significant discount to typical Iraqi trades, was paid for in euros and was from a firm that is new to the region, they said. Physical oil is commonly traded in dollars. Eni said that the mismatch in the crude’s chemical composition “coupled with other red flags led to the decision to terminate the transaction.” The oil loaded onto the White Moon came via two ship-to-ship transfers that makes the origin harder to track, according to sources with direct knowledge of the deal. The crude bought from Oando was loaded onto the White Moon from another vessel, the New Prosperity, but that vessel itself had been loaded with oil from a third tanker, the Abyss, the sources added. The Abyss makes regular voyages through the Mideast Gulf with its transponder switched off for days at a time, according to Refinitiv Eikon ship tracking. The transponder was switched off between April 24 and May 3 when it transferred oil to the New Prosperity. For safety reasons, it is unusual for ships to turn off their tracking systems. In addition to the termination of Des Dorides, the CFO of Eni trading, Mauro Cavagna, was removed from his post in late June and replaced by head of compliance Francesco Metrangolo, the company said. Cavagna is still employed at Eni. Three sources familiar with the matter said Cavagna’s removal was related to the White Moon and that operations manager, Francesca Delladio, was also suspended in relation to the same matter. Cavagna and Delladio referred Reuters’s requests for comment to Eni. Additional reporting by Stephen Jewkes in Milan and Libby George in Lagos, Editing by Jon BoyleOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.