GUWAHATI: Assam is scheduled to launch a cancer care foundation, the first for any State government in India, on Monday for making treatment of the disease more affordable and ensuring care for patients till survival.The Indian Council for Medical Research had in 2016 reported 31,825 new cancer cases in Assam. But health officials in the State said the actual number of cancer cases could be twice that number since most of those who are detected with the disease leave the State in order to access better cancer care.“A recent study found that more than 70% of the cost incurred by patients getting treated is due to peripheral expenses such as stay, travel and food. This was the reason our government initiated the non-profit Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF), a pioneering model for making cancer care more affordable and address all aspects from awareness to end-of-life care,” Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam Health Minister, said.ACCF is in partnership with Tata Trusts, which has committed to providing Rs 830 crore for the programme while the State government will provide ₹1,080 crore, Mr. Sarma said.The cancer care project has been designed to address three aspects of cancer care – service, education and research – with the objective of shifting care closer to patients’ homes. Accordingly, five district hospitals would be providing diagnostics and day care follow-up. These hospitals are in Darrang, Dima Hasao, Goalpara, Golaghat and Sivasagar districts. Cancer centres adjacent to four existing and eight upcoming medical colleges across Assam will also provide comprehensive treatment and education, Mr. Sarma said.Cancer centres at two major medical college hospitals – Guwahati and Dibrugarh – have been tasked with advance and complex care along with cancer research.“The facilities will provide treatment at rates on par with or below the Central government health scheme rates. It is expected that a large number of patients will receive cashless treatment at these facilities through Atal Amrit Abhiyan and Ayushman Bharat schemes,” a health officer said on Sunday after Mr. Sarma and industrialist Ratan Tata inaugurated a digital information nerve centre at Guwahati Medical College Hospital.
The Maharashtra Sugar Commissioner on Wednesday served revenue recovery certificates (RRCs) to 39 errant sugar factory operators for failing to pay the fair and remunerative price (FRP) arrears to sugarcane farmers.The move comes days after Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) chief and Hatkanangale MP Raju Shetti, along with the Swaraj Party’s Yogendra Yadav, staged an agitation in front of the Sugar Commissionerate here on Monday, demanding action against 180-odd sugar mill operators who have not paid the FRP amount to farmers.While Mr. Shetti called off his proposed indefinite fast, which was to be held on Wednesday, he has warned that unless RRCs are issued to other defaulting sugar factory owners, the SSS would resume its agitation next month. Around 20 of the factories that have been served RRCs are located in the ‘sugar heartland’ districts of Sangli, Kolhapur, Satara and Solapur, while the rest are in Marathwada. The respective district collectors can now authorise seizure of sugar stock in the godowns of these defaulting factories, preventing them from selling it.Speaking to The Hindu from New Delhi, Mr. Shetti said the SSS would file a caveat in the Bombay High Court if the defaulting factory owners attempted to put pressure on Sugar Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad by urging the State Cooperation Minister not to withdraw further RRCs.He said that most of the sugar factories are in the hands of members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “Despite the tall promises given by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the sugar conclave in Kolhapur in October last year, there has been no communication from him on this issue for the last three months. There was one meeting between the Chief Minister and the mill owners, where it agreed that only 80% of the FRP amount would be paid to farmers and that factory owners would not be investigated,” he claimed. SSS spokesman Anil Pawar said that only nine of the 190 sugar mills in the State had paid the full FRP to farmers. “Of the 180-odd defaulting factories, 77 are owned by BJP leaders, 53 belong to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders, 43 are owned by Congress members, and the others belong to Shiv Sena leaders,” Mr. Pawar said.Mr. Shetti said that of the FRP arrears of ₹5,320 crore, a total ₹1,505 crore was owed to farmers by factories belonging to BJP leaders, while ₹1,502 crore was due from those run by NCP leaders. The factories owned by Congress leaders had pending dues of ₹1,341 crore, he said.“The question is, whom do farmers turn to for justice when ruling party leaders are the biggest defaulters? Cooperation Minister Subhash Deshmukh’s sugar factory has pending FRP arrears amounting to ₹104 crore, while Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde’s factory has a backlog of ₹64 crore,” Mr. Shetti said.However, bigwigs in the Opposition parties were even bigger defaulters, with factories controlled by NCP leader Ajit Pawar yet to pay ₹245 crore to farmers. Similarly, factories controlled by senior Congress leader Harshawardhan Patil owe a whopping ₹141 crore, while those run by Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, owe ₹68 crore to farmers.Mr. Shetti’s agitation just before the general election is expected to strengthen Mr. Shetti’s hand in the sugar belt districts in western Maharashtra. A former ally of the NDA, the two-time MP is now being backed by the NCP as part of the Congress-NCP’s ‘grand alliance’ strategy to oust the BJP.Projecting itself as the mascot of sugarcane and dairy farmers, the Swabhimani Paksha, the political arm of the SSS, is hoping to expand its presence in the State. “While we are confident Mr. Shetti will resoundingly win from Hatkanangale, we hope to field [Swabhimani Paksha State president] Ravikant Tupkar from the Buldhana constituency this time. Our aim is to win at least two seats in the Lok Sabha election and 12 in the Assembly election,” Mr. Pawar said.
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 >>>
Story Highlights Other summer interns were offered part-time placements, while others were given extensions based on their levels of impact during their period of engagement. They are Pauline Nelson, who has been employed to Suretime Emergency Medical Services; Shamari Drysdale, at Stand Up for Jamaica (SUFJ); Mickelle Hall at Money Masters Limited; Trudi-Ann Cunningham, at the Jamaica Observer, and Bianca Cummings, at Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa. Five of 650 participants in the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) 2018 summer internship programme have been offered permanent jobs, following the programme’s conclusion. Five of 650 participants in the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) 2018 summer internship programme have been offered permanent jobs, following the programme’s conclusion.They are Pauline Nelson, who has been employed to Suretime Emergency Medical Services; Shamari Drysdale, at Stand Up for Jamaica (SUFJ); Mickelle Hall at Money Masters Limited; Trudi-Ann Cunningham, at the Jamaica Observer, and Bianca Cummings, at Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa.Other summer interns were offered part-time placements, while others were given extensions based on their levels of impact during their period of engagement.An awards ceremony was held at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston on August 28 to single out approximately 90 of them deserving of special awards.In his address to the interns at the ceremony, Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said the aim of the programme was “to give them an experience that would help define (them) and create a purpose”.“It is not just about enabling you to get a stipend, a salary and remuneration to assist you to buy books or provide some basic creature comforts. The purpose is to create character and build integrity, to be given a task and to complete it well,” he said.The Minister emphasised that investment must be made in the “human capital” and in the “enhancement of the human capacity”, as the people are “Jamaica’s richest resources”.It is for that reason that the Ministry invested approximately $53 million in the internship programme to “enable more people… to deliver more”, the Minister said.“Young people, the future for you is not to be what you are, it is to be what you must become. It is to grow beyond your moment and to accept that what you do today is only to make tomorrow a better experience for you,” Mr. Bartlett advised.In his remarks, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Suretime Emergency Medical, Dr. André McDonald, hailed the internship programme and urged the Minister to ensure “it is replicated in larger companies in Jamaica”.Suretime has partnered with the TEF over the last five years and took four interns this year in the areas of pharmacology, nursing, customer service and human resource.Head of the Summer Internship Programme, Diane Brown-Allen, said that this year, the internship programme saw the largest cohort of participants in its 11-year existence.She explained that it was made possible due to an increase in the budget, the duration of the periods of employment offered to the interns to give each of them a chance, and the partnership forged with 11 new companies.For next year, she informed that plans are in the offing to partner with the Abilities Foundation and to include more wards of the State.During the ceremony, Jared Braham and Kerone Ross were awarded prizes for being Top Boy and Top Girl, respectively, in the programme.
Joely Lambourn is missing from a healing lodge in Saskatchewan.Dennis WardAPTN NewsThere’s been an escape from the Indigenous healing lodge at the centre of recent public outcry.Correctional Services of Canada says Joely Lambourn has escaped from the Okimaw Ochi Healing Lodge in Maple Creek, Sask.It’s the same healing lodge where convicted child killer Terri-Lynne McClintic was being housed until she was transferred to an Edmonton prison on Thursday.Correctional Service of Canada says more information will follow as soon as it’s available.McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in 2010 for her involvement in the murder of eight-year-old Tori Stafford.Tori’s father, Rodney Stafford, has called for an tougher rules for healing lodges during a recent appearance on APTN’s InFocus.Lambourn is 45 years old, stands 157 cm (5’2″) tall and weighs 57 kg (126 lbs). She has a fair complexion, brown eyes and brown hair.She is serving a sentence of two years, six months, and 17 days for dangerous operation of motor vehicle – cause death, and unlawfully at firstname.lastname@example.org@denniswardnews
LONDON – The trade body representing British music warned Thursday that the industry’s financial fortunes, currently sky-high as a result of the popularity of the likes of Ed Sheeran, could be damaged in the event of a “bad Brexit deal.”The BPI, which has been championing the interests of big players such as Sony Music U.K. as well as more than 400 independent music companies for decades, said a failure to strike an adequate deal would prevent the industry becoming an “international calling card” in a post-Brexit world.“With Brexit approaching, music can help to showcase what is exciting about the U.K. as we forge new trading relationships, but only if our government supports us by ensuring a strong Brexit deal that enables artists to tour freely, robustly protects music rights, and prevents physical music products being impeded in transit,” said Geoff Taylor, the chief executive of BPI.Taylor’s warning came as the BPI reported booming British music exports last year, when they rose 12 per cent to 408.4 million pounds ($530 million). That’s the highest level since records began 18 years ago and means the total generated since 2000 is over 5 billion pounds.The BPI said U.K. artists accounted for one in every eight albums globally in 2017. And the world’s bestselling album was British in nine of the past thirteen years, most recently with Ed Sheeran’s “Divide.” Other British success stories in 2017 were Rag’n’Bone Man, whose debut album “Human” came in fourth, and Sam Smith’s “The Thrill of it All” at five.Revenue growth was particularly strong across Europe, up 29 per cent since 2015, with France doing particularly well. Europe remains the U.K.’s biggest export market for music, though the United States is the single biggest national market by a significant margin, accounting for more than 35 per cent of U.K. music earnings. Exports to China were also strong in 2017.Buoyant sales in Europe highlight the fact that British exporters are in a so-called “sweet spot” at the moment — British exporters have been able to benefit from the 15 per cent or so fall in the pound following the Brexit vote in June 2016 while still having full and unimpeded access to the European single market.With less than 30 weeks to go to Brexit, it’s still unclear how Britain will trade with the other 27 countries in the EU. Both sides have said they want to maintain smooth trade but the EU has insisted that Britain cannot continue to have the same sort of tariff-less access as it enjoys now if it doesn’t abide by the rules governing the single market, including the freedom of movement for people.
Rabat – The African Leadership Academy ALA is a pan-African institution founded by Ghanaian-born entrepreneur, Fred Swaniker, Chris Bradford, Peter Mombaur and Acha Leke in 2004.It educates some of the most talented youngsters on the African continent. It has about 550 young leaders in its network and its scholars have won bursaries and scholarships at leading global universities.The institution whose motto is “Developing the next generation of African leaders & entrepreneurs” is now looking for future leaders in Morocco. The goal of ALA is to create 6000 leaders over the next 50 years. The initiative is designed to bring prosperity and hope to the continent by fighting the brain drain. ALA also believes that the most valuable natural resource available to Africa is the minds of its youth. Therefore education of these young minds and providing them with the tools they need to become future African Leaders in all disciplines is the goal of the academy.Mr. Elmahdi Oummih the Strategic Relations Director – North Africa said “ALA students are ultimately expected to leverage their leadership experience and bring to life projects they believe in passionately”. “These ALA leaders are to become the agents of change that will transform Africa into an economic powerhouse that is politically stable and a beacon of hope to the rest of the world”.ALA’s supporters span 25 countries on six continents. Some of the leading supporters include Omidyar Network, The Robertson Foundation, The Bezos Family Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation, Hakeem and Myma Belo-Osagie, Gbenga and Aisha Oyebode, James Mwangi, Oppenheimer family, The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Equity Bank, Cisco Systems, The WK Kellogg Foundation, The Google Foundation, the CNN, and the General Electric GE that made a donation of $ 5 million recently, among others.According to Mr Elmahdi the ALA has been searching for future leaders in Morocco for the past five years. Each year, ALA Admissions officers and Partners on the ground scour Morocco in search of the best and brightest Morocco has to offer.For the 2014 timeline therefore the academy is looking for the best and brightest applicants between age limit of 15-19 years old students Morocco has to offer. Students from all over Morocco with in the age limit can apply using the following online procedure to be selected for the scholarship or contact the admission through the given E mail address.The Application ProcedureALA’s application and selection process is very rigorous to ensure that we select the most outstanding students from across Africa with the potential to drive change.First Round: September 1 – November 30ALA’s selection process is extremely competitive. The Academy receives approximately 4,000 applications from most African countries each year. These applicants come from a wide range of social, economic, cultural & educational backgrounds. The application includes short questions and essays and must be submitted with academic transcripts.Finalist Weekends: JanuaryAt this stage approximately 400 finalists are selected to attend Finalist Weekends held across the continent. At these events, finalists write entrance exams, participate in group activities & are interviewed one-on-one by the ALA Admissions team. Finalists are also required to submit teacher recommendations.2014 Timeline:30 November 2013: Application deadline – all applications must be received by ALA.January 2014: All applicants notified of status; finalists invited to attend Finalist WeekendsMay 2014: Finalists notified of admissions decisionsMay – June 2014: Admitted students notified of any financial awardsJune 2014: Admitted students confirm acceptance of admissionClick this link to go to the application page click below link:ALA Admissions: E mail: email@example.com@africanleadershipacademy.org. Tel: +212 613301735
LAWRENCE, Kan. — All eyes are on Ohio State men’s basketball’s sophomore forward Jared Sullinger, whose availability is unknown as the Buckeyes prepare for their first road test of the season against the University of Kansas Jayhawks. After suffering back spasms in a Nov. 29 victory against Duke and missing No. 2-ranked OSU’s last game, Sullinger may miss consecutive games for the first time in his college career when the Buckeyes battle the No. 13-ranked Jayhawks Saturday in Lawrence, Kan. Sullinger’s health was the first topic OSU coach Thad Matta addressed during a Thursday press conference. “(Sullinger) is feeling better,” Matta said. “He’s doing more every day, but quite honestly, I don’t know if we’ll know until Saturday whether he’s going to play or not.” An OSU athletic department spokesman did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s Saturday request for comment regarding Sullinger’s status. OSU sophomore guard Aaron Craft said Sullinger was walking around gingerly at the start of the week, but made noticeable improvements in the days that followed. Craft added that he was uncertain of Sullinger’s availability the Kansas game. “(Sullinger) has got the bounce back in his step,” Craft said. “We’ll just see how it goes.” Matta said he was amazed at how much better Sullinger was moving around, but that he doesn’t want to jeopardize his player’s health. “I’m thinking ‘big picture’ here,” Matta said. “Much more than Saturday’s game, or anything along those lines.” Sullinger started all 37 games OSU played last season and had started in each of OSU’s first seven games during the 2011-12 campaign until he was forced from the lineup for the team’s 64-35 win against Texas-Pan American last Saturday. Should Sullinger miss the Kansas game, Matta said the team will not deviate from its usual game plan. “To reinvent the wheel — we’re not going to do that,” he said. “I like the progress we’ve made this week.” Without Sullinger, guarding Thomas Robinson, Kansas’ 6-foot-10, 237-pound junior forward, may be complicated. “(Robinson) is a phenomenal basketball player, and probably the best that we’ve gone against this year,” Matta said. That task of defending Robinson would likely fall to junior forward Evan Ravenel or sophomore forward Deshaun Thomas, and then OSU still has the Jayhawks’ 7-foot, 235-pound redshirt junior center Jeff Withey to contend with. Ravenel said hard work could help nullify Robinson and Withey. “Getting early position, boxing out — things you learn when you first start playing basketball,” Ravenel said of his likely defensive assignments. “(Robinson) is a great athlete and he works hard.” With or without Sullinger, Craft said he thinks that playing on the road against Kansas is a great opportunity for OSU. He also thinks the Buckeyes can win. “If Jared doesn’t play, Jared doesn’t play,” he said. “We’re not going to miss a beat. We have great guys like (Ravenel) … that have come in and practiced just as hard as Jared has.” Ravenel agreed. “We work on execution,” Ravenel said. “We’re going to get in there and do everything we can.” OSU (8-0) tips off against Kansas (6-2) at 3:15 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
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).
PixabayIn an interesting development, two glowing orbs were spotted in the skies of Kansas. The sighting soon went viral on online platforms, and even weather authorities are completely clueless about the bizarre sighting.The National Weather Service (NWS) wrote on Twitter that they literally have no explanation for the mysterious sighting. As NWS failed to give a proper explanation, several social media users started alleging that alien spaceships have reached the earth to monitor human activities. Some users even went a step ahead and assured that extraterrestrials are gearing up for an invasion.We honestly have no explanation for the floating objects over Kansas City.— NWS Kansas City (@NWSKansasCity) June 21, 2019Popular UFO researcher Scott C Waring also analyzed the clip, and he alleged that the government is trying to cover up realities of alien life.”Thousands of eyewitness in Kansas City saw huge UFO orbs in the sky over the city two days ago. Even the local news recorded a few and posted to Twitter what they had seen. This prompted DARPA to respond saying that they had released three lighter than air objects in the area. I believe since DARPA is a government agency that it is lying to the public and trying to cover up an actual UFO fleet over Kansas City. The US government will try anything and everything to cover up actual UFO sightings and here is 100% proof that they are doing it again here,” wrote Waring on his website ET Date Base.The new UFO sighting has been reported just a few days after United States president Donald Trump expressed his thoughts about extraterrestrial existence. While interacting with ABC, Trump revealed that he does not believe in aliens. It should be noted that Pentagon had earlier confirmed that they had carried out a secret investigative mission to unveil the secrets surrounding UFO sightings. Recently, several US Navy officials had also revealed that they saw flying objects speeding in hypersonic speed, and performing weird maneuvers on the skies.Even though several Navy officials suggested otherworldly possibilities, Leon Golub, a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics claimed that extraterrestrial origin of these flying objects is very unlikely. As per Golub, several factors that include atmospheric effects, and neurological overload from continuous flights could be the real cause of these sightings, especially among pilots. In the meantime, a section of other conspiracy theorists had started arguing that these glowing orbs could be secret anti-gravity military vessels developed by superpowers like the United States, Russia or China. As per these conspiracy theorists, the flying orbs spotted in Kansas could be spying crafts sent by Russia or China to learn more about US geography and activities.
European flags flutter as uncertainty over Brexit continues, in London, Britain ob 10 April 2019. Photo: ReutersEuropean Union leaders will grant prime minister Theresa May a second delay to Brexit at an emergency summit on Wednesday but will argue over how long and on what terms as they struggle to end Britain’s troublesome membership.French president Emmanuel Macron is pushing to withhold any commitment to extend Friday’s deadline much beyond elections to the European Parliament on 23-26 May unless May binds herself, and any potentially more anti-EU successor, not to disrupt the workings of Brussels in the final months of Britain’s membership.But three weeks after Macron’s impatience with France’s historic cross-Channel rival dominated the last summit, when Brexit was put back by a fortnight, diplomats said he again will face a more cautious line from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said she favours an extension of “several months”.Just two days before Britain will otherwise leave the bloc with no treaty to clarify legal matters and no transition to new trading arrangements, EU diplomats suggest the 12 April deadline will be pushed back.Other leaders, too, insist they will not force Britain out against its will and May has asked them to wait until 30 June as she seeks help from her Labour opponents to build an elusive majority in parliament behind her plan for leaving the EU.Much will hang on how May handles her peers.”It is not certain there will be a delay and it is not certain what that would mean,” Belgian prime minister Charles Michel said before hosting Macron and other leaders from Britain’s neighbours at pre-summit talks to discuss how to cope with the disruption of a no-deal Brexit.Summit chair Donald Tusk has proposed a “flextension” of nine months to a year to give Britain time to end deadlock over parliament’s refusal to ratify the treaty May agreed with the EU in November.May has given herself an option to accept that by announcing she is ready to hold an election in Britain for EU lawmakers on 23 May. If Britons do not vote, they must leave, deal or not, on 1 June, according to a draft summit agreement seen by Reuters.Otherwise, Britain would leave as soon as it ratifies the deal, or without one when the extension ends.Macron WaryMacron is not happy with that permissive approach and is seeking a further “backstop” to any deal with May that would entail a further summit once it was clearer whether early ratification or a British EU election were happening or not.For Britain to extend its membership beyond June, Macron will argue, it must sign up formally to forswear its right to block key decisions taken by the other 27, notably on the EU budget and key executive appointments. Fearing “blackmail” by pro-Brexit Conservatives seeking to take over from May, Paris will insist on stricter conditions for the longer the extension.Anti-Brexit protesters display a banner near the Parliament in London, Britain on 10 April 2019. Photo: ReutersOnce granted an extension to, say, the end of this year, a new British government would be unable to leave earlier unless it signed up to the withdrawal agreement, something Europeans are well aware that some of May’s rivals are unwilling to do.As leaders and officials gather for yet another Brexit summit with no sign of Britain’s political paralysis ending, other participants are less keen on committing to meet again. Diplomats said the outcome would depend on the “mood of the room” after May addresses the 27 at 6.30pm (1630 GMT).Previous presentations have not gone well, participants have said, with May struggling to persuade fellow political leaders that she has real faith in her own ability to find a majority.In preparatory meetings, diplomats say, all governments have seen pros and cons to shorter and longer extensions. Both the French and German envoys spoke on Tuesday in favour of using a short delay to keep pressure on London to reach a deal.The Dutch, among others, argued that a long extension would increase pressure on pro-Brexit critics of May’s deal to accept it for fear that a long delay would increase the chances of Britons changing their minds and staying in the EU.May AloneEU leaders are exasperated with May’s handling of a tortuous and potentially expensive divorce that many in Brussels feel is a distraction from ensuring the bloc can hold its own beside the United States and China.Once she has addressed the 27, May will have to withdraw while they debate her country’s fate. She spent the evening at the March summit in Britain’s delegation rooms in the EU summit building while the others dined together. Once they reached their conclusions, she was called to meet Tusk for a briefing on the Union’s conclusions before they were made public.The Northern Irish party which props up her minority government said May was embarrassing the United Kingdom.”Nearly three years after the referendum the UK is today effectively holding out a begging bowl to European leaders,” Democratic Unionist Party deputy leader Nigel Dodds said.After a pledge to resign failed to get her deal over the line at a third attempt, May launched crisis talks with Labour in the hope of breaking the domestic deadlock. But when she arrives in Brussels, May is unlikely to be able to trumpet any breakthrough with Labour – after Tuesday’s round of talks, it said it had not yet seen a clear shift in May’s stance.
Share 00:00 /01:04 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Al OrtizMayor Sylvester Turner (center) presides the Houston City Council meeting held on September 20th, during which some members voiced frustration and concerns over the clean-up process after hurricane Harvey.Some Houston City Council members are showing their frustration over the post-Harvey clean-up process.One of the biggest items on the Council’s Agenda this week was an increase of 60 million dollars in the amount the City agrees to pay DRC Emergency Services, one of the companies that perform clean-up operations with which it has a contract.For Mayor Sylvester Turner, the increase is justified because of the overwhelming amount of debris that has to be removed.However, during the debate, Council Member Larry Green –who represents neighborhoods in southwest Houston– complained the City is not telling him clearly where in his district they are cleaning up.“If I don’t know where the trucks are, how can I vote on something and how can I tell my constituents if this Administration fails to tell me where these trucks are going?” Green asked Mayor Turner.Other Council Members like Jerry Davis and Mike Laster also expressed doubts about giving the green light to the 60 million dollars and ultimately the vote was postponed until next week.Turner wasn’t pleased with that and commented: “Some are operating as if this is not an emergency.”Nonetheless, the Mayor noted he understands the concerns and added the City will try to give Council Members better information.According to Turner, clean-up crews have already picked up around 400,000 cubic yards of debris. X Listen
KOLKATA: Dunlop flyover, which remained closed for light motor vehicles since the collapse of a height bar on early Saturday morning, has been thrown open to small cars from Sunday morning after the repair work was done on a war footing.It is assumed that the height bar collapsed after it was hit by a truck on Saturday morning. The incident caused traffic congestion in the area for a few hours. Senior officials of the state government, engineers from various departments and police personnel carried out the repair works throughout the day on Saturday and it was erected early on Sunday morning. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe vehicles were allowed to ply from Sunday. The Barrackpore police have decided to conduct stringent vigil to ensure that no goods vehicles enter the flyover. There was major traffic congestion in the area on Saturday following the incident. The traffic movement was diverted through BT Road after the vehicles on their way from Dakshineswar were caught in traffic snarl. There was congestion on BT Road as well because of the diversion. The top cops of Barrackpore police were out on the streets till late Saturday night managing traffic. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to a senior police officer at Barrackpore Police Commissionerate, the normalcy was restored since early Sunday morning when the fly over was thrown open to light vehicles. The busy flyover had been closed for all types of vehicles for the past one-and a-half-month, following the Majerhat bridge incident. The height bar was constructed to restrict the movement of some vehicles and some repair works were also carried out. It was later opened for small vehicles. It may be mentioned here that Dunlop flyover was mentioned on the list of bridges prepared by the state government whose health condition was not up to the mark. After the Majerhat mishap, various government agencies carried out examination in order to check the health conditions of some bridges and flyovers in the city and also in the districts. Bengal government has taken up preventive measures to check the occurrence of a similar incident that occurred in Majerhat on September 4. A portion of the Majerhat Bridge caved in leading to the death of three persons. It may be recalled that some representatives from the RITES had submitted a report to the state government saying that the condition of bearings situated on the top of the pillars were not in stable and some repair works needed to be done. Police are conducting a probe to ascertain the exact cause of the collapse of the height bar. Preliminary investigation suggests that a heavy duty vehicle might have hit the height bar and it eventually collapsed.
Redoing your office interiors? Try out some of the must-have elements in office spaces like the right furniture, adding nature to the surroundings and activity-based settings. Below, experts have recommended a few things to keep in mind if you are going for a change:The right furniture: This plays a pivotal role in any kind of workspace setting. Offices need to invest in the right kind of furniture to increase their employees’ efficiency. Opt for something that has high functionality over ordinary designs. Adjustable desks and chairs can be a good choice; multipurpose furniture can also be added to save space. Another new entrant in the space is reconfigurable furniture that can be customized as per need. It provides both the required flexibility as well as privacy. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfGo back to nature: Add in a little nature to your premises with biophilic designs. The latest trend in the office space, the presence of plants and other natural elements can add positivity to the environment and improve the air quality.Activity-based settings: It is exciting to be at a workplace that engages you with a diverse group of people and gives you the opportunity to network and collaborate. Flexible workstations, new age cabins, activity-based settings including comfortable couches and beanbags, breakout zones, meeting lounges and pods are some of the attractions in an office that provide a natural crossroad for employees to meet and share ideas, thereby enhancing their motivation levels and productivity. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveErgonomic lighting: Our cortisol level drops significantly under artificial and poor lighting conditions and dimly lit workplaces strain the eyes, causing headache and drowsiness. This can lead to poor productivity. Natural light is the best. Daylight that filters through space not only affects employee well-being but also boosts the energy and mood level. Consider making the best use of natural light and swap the fluorescent bulbs with personal lamps, string lighting, and soft coloured bulbs to keep your employees alert and attentive. Aesthetic appeal: Everything from layout to furniture and even artwork is subject to appeal in a workplace. The idea is to create a transcendental experience for the user and to design a warm casual space that works as an incubator for ideas. Materials like wood and metal bring warmth and rustic feel to space. Keeping in mind the fact that the office workspaces today are dynamic in nature and are witnessing rapid changes, the workplace style should be bold, industrial and vibrant with new age materials, technology and decluttered design vocabulary.Technology: A modern office space is incomplete without the right technology. Integrated systems, fast-speed internet connections and latest hardware and software are things your office must have to appeal to the incoming tech-savvy generations. Not only that, an office can also invest in mobile devices or rather agile settings to help one switch easily from one place as to another. The new workforce prefers more flexibility which will, in turn, result in enhanced productivity.
Infosys recently announced its partnership with Siemens to build applications for Siemens’ open cloud-based IoT operating system, Mindsphere. Mindsphere connects real-world objects (industrial machinery, systems, equipments and so on) to the digital world with the help of IoT using advanced analytics. It provides industry applications and services to help businesses achieve success. With this collaboration, Infosys and Siemens will enable customers to leverage the true power of data generated by their devices. The initial focus as company plans will be on customers in the manufacturing, energy, utilities, healthcare, pharmaceutical, transportation, and logistics industry. How Infosys plans to help Siemen’s Mindsphere: Infosys plans to offer end-to-end implementation services and post-implementation support for Mindsphere It will be using its repository of Industry 4.0 accelerators, platform tools, etc. to help customers get quickly on board Will enhance customers to have an efficient experience by using data analytics features such as predictive maintenance and end-to-end factory visibility Customers will also benefit by monetizing new data-driven services Ravi Kumar S, President and Deputy COO, Infosys, says, “There is an increasing need for enterprises to accelerate their digital journey and to deliver new and innovative services. This partnership will help us bring exciting solutions to our customers that will combine strategic insights and execution excellence.” With Infosys’ expertise in the field of industrial engineering, industrial analytics, AR and VR and with Siemens’ strength in manufacturing industrial assets brings valuable digital services to customers from different sectors. Know more about the partnership alliance on the Infosys Blog post. Read Next 5 DIY IoT projects you can build under $50 Build an IoT application with Google Cloud [Tutorial] Google releases Android Things library for Google Cloud IoT Core
Russian service provider MTS lost 12% of its pay TV subscribers last year, potentially knocking it out of the list of the top three fixed line pay TV operators in the country, according to the latest figures from iKS Consulting.MTS had 2.58 million TV customers at the end of 2013, down from 2.94 million in 2012, according to iKS, as reported by Vedemosti.MTS said that the fall was largely attributable to a dropping off in the number of people taking its social TV packages via collective antenna systems as the operator migrated services from analogue to digital.According to iKS, MTS now has over 600,000 digital subscribers, triple the amount at the end of 2012, meaning that the proportion of digital subscribers in MTS’s base is higher than that of other fixed line providers.The operator said that its TV ARPU grew over the same period.According to iKS Consulting, the pay TV market in Russia grew by 16% last year, with total sales of RUB54 billion (€1 billion). The research group predicts that grow will slow to 11% this year as the market reaches maturity.According to the group, satellite TV operator Tricolor TV remains the market leader with 10.1 million subscribers, growing 14% last year, followed by Rostelecom, which also grew by 14% to reach 7.51 million. ER-Telecom is now snapping at MTS’s heels with 2.57 million subscribers, up 9%, followed by satellite TV player Orion Telecom, which saw 89% growth in its base last year to reach 1.98 million. Akado and VimpelCom make up the top seven, with 1.13 million and 1.04 million TV customers respectively.
The number of cable homes in Europe grew year-on-year in 2017 to reach their highest level since 2009, according to new research by IHS Markit.The ‘European Broadband Cable Yearbook’ report said that the number of cable homes in Europe grew to 69.2 million last year, accounting for 36.3% of all TV homes. The figure was just under the 70 million recorded in 2009, with 2017 marking the second consecutive year of growth following a period of stagnation.Annual cable revenue also continued to grow, reaching €25.9 billion last year – up 2 percent compared to 2016. TV services accounted for 46% of cable revenue in 2017, followed by internet at 35% and telephony at 19%.Revenues for video-on-demand services increased in 2017, returning to growth following a slight downturn between 2012 and 2014. However, internet showed the most growth with revenue up 4% to €9 billion in 2017. Telephony revenue shrank for the second consecutive year, declining 0.7% to €5 billion.Total revenue generating units (RGUs) rose 2% year-on-year to 127.5 million, largely driven by an increase in internet subscriptions. At the end of 2017, cable customers in Europe subscribed to an average of 1.8 services.The total number of cable TV service subscribers in Europe in 2017 remained flat at 58.9 million, while Germany continued to be the largest cable TV market in Europe, with 18.7 million subscribers – more than triple the number of unique subscribers in the next biggest markets of Romania, the UK and Poland.“Broadband internet is a key factor in European cable TV revenue growth,” said Maria Rua Aguete, executive director of media, service providers and platforms for IHS Markit. “Triple-play and quad-play strategies are also being implemented. They strengthen operators’ status as a multi-platform point to anytime, anywhere content.”IHS Markit research and analysis manager, Martyn Hannant, added: “The European cable industry continues to show resilience. The industry has made significant progress in the switchover from analogue to digital cable signals.”
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.
NPR’s “Take A Number” series is exploring problems around the world — and solutions — through the lens of a single number.One of the places many people are first prescribed opioids is a hospital emergency room. But in one of the busiest ERs in the U.S., doctors are relying less than they used to on oxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin and other opioids to ease patients’ pain.In an unusual program designed to help stem the opioid epidemic, the emergency department at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., has been exploring alternative painkillers and methods. That strategy has led to a 58 percent drop in the ER’s opioid prescriptions in the program’s first year, according to numbers provided by St. Joseph’s Healthcare System’s chair of emergency medicine, Dr. Mark Rosenberg.”There is a complete change in philosophy, a complete change in culture in the department,” says Rosenberg, who launched the Alternatives to Opiates program in 2016 with Dr. Alexis LaPietra, the medical director of pain management in the emergency department.Last year, the program was highlighted during a visit to the hospital by the chair of President Trump’s commission to study the national opioid crisis, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.Patients are experiencing the shift in care for painful symptoms related to various diagnoses, including kidney stones, broken bones and muscle spasms.It was a muscle spasm and a deep bruise from a subsequent fall that brought Jonathan Milton, a 43-year-old forklift driver from Jersey City, N.J., hobbling into St. Joseph’s ER one morning in January.A couple nights earlier, Milton was at home, lying on the floor and watching TV. He accidentally fell asleep on his left side. When he woke up the next morning, he could barely get up. From his left hip down to his leg, he says, the spasm left him feeling “like somebody just came into that room, just kicked me and kept moving.” Later at work, when he tried to get up into the forklift, he fell.”I was so much in pain — tears were coming out my eyes,” he said as he waited in a hospital chair for more instructions from his doctors.Milton has come into this ER in pain before.”I did see from your visit you were here for that shoulder sprain,” said LaPietra, after checking the hospital’s records about Milton’s 2011 visit. “You did get opioids. You got Percocet.”Back then, opioid painkillers were part of the emergency department’s first line of offense against pain. Today, opioids are not banned, but LaPietra says sometimes the best way to reduce the pain from a muscle spasm, for example, is dry needling of a trigger point, not a pill.”Because it’s so contained, it’s hard for that medication to actually get into the spasm,” she explains, adding that the dry needle can break up the muscle tissue and mechanically stop the spasm and the pain — with no medication needed. The dry needling is followed with a small injection of a local anesthetic for the soreness caused by the needle.The ER team at St. Joseph’s employs a number of other pain-relieving strategies, too: using patches of lidocaine (a non-opioid painkiller); ultrasound to find nerves so they can inject numbing agents; laughing gas for patients to breathe in through a mask, and even a harpist to roam the halls to soothe patients, who are then often sent home with instructions to use ibuprofen, acetaminophen or a warm compress rather than opioids.”We have to go back to times when things were a little more simple,” LaPietra says. “Those easy, at-home techniques — good patient education, really — they help a lot with some of that pain that patients have to deal with when they go home.”But what may sound like common sense now — in light of the increased awareness of how addictive opioids can be — still requires a major culture shift among ER doctors who have prescribed these pills for years.”It took a little bit of getting used to,” says Dr. Ninad Shroff, an attending physician in St. Joseph’s ER. “I’ve been doing this for about 20 years, so for me, it was a big change.”Two years into the alternatives-to-opioids program, however, Shroff says during some shifts in the ER, where he mainly treats bumps, bruises and other musculoskeletal injuries, he doesn’t prescribe a single opioid. He still finds that “unbelievable,” he says.Rosenberg, who runs the ER, says doctors at other hospitals nearby are noticing the shift at St. Joseph’s. He says he’s been asked, “Why are all the drug users from your area coming to my emergency department?””It’s because they’re not going to get opioids at our emergency department unless they’re absolutely needed,” Rosenberg says.One challenge his program has had to work through is the cost of using alternatives to opioids. A few times, doctors had to work with pharmacists to find more affordable alternatives to the alternatives. For example, instead of prescribing lidocaine patches for patients to put on at home, doctors have switched to lidocaine ointment or cream, which is often covered by insurers.”The insurance companies don’t embrace all the alternative treatments and instead would rather frequently have us prescribe opioids because they tend to be inexpensive and readily available,” he says.Other emergency departments have rolled out alternatives to opioids at a smaller scale. But the model that St. Joseph’s has developed is now being copied at other facilities, including some in the UCHealth system in Colorado.”A lot of people now are very sensitive to the opioid epidemic,” says Dr. Thomas Brabson, chairman of emergency services at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, N.J., where he launched a similar opioid-alternative program in 2016.”The pleasant feeling of the opioids was something that people presumed was what the patients wanted, and that would help with your customer service scores,” Brabson explains, adding that now more patients are asking physicians not to prescribe any opioids.It’s a change in expectations about the painkillers that you also hear from patients.”Don’t give me that,” says Milton, the forklift driver with a muscle spasm. “I’d rather just keep dealing with the Motrin or the Advil.”For his shoulder sprain back in 2011, doctors at St. Joseph’s gave Milton a dose of Percocet in the ER and more pills to take home. But during his recent visit, Dr. Jessica Lim put a patch of lidocaine on his left side and told him to take Motrin and Tylenol and to stretch at home.”We were considering giving you a muscle relaxer,” Lim explained to Milton, “and I know you don’t like that feeling. So we’re not going to give it to you. This is even more on you to do the work yourself at home, and I know a lot of patients don’t like hearing that.”But Milton was OK with her advice — and glad to leave the ER with no opioids. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.