to go further Somalia is ranked 164th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the National Union of Somali journalists (NUSOJ) call on the Somali authorities, including federal member states and Somaliland, to refrain from claiming a monopoly of information about the coronavirus crisis and ensure that reporters can fulfil their vital role of informing the public in a free and independent manner. RSF and NUSOJ call for release of a journalist held in Somalia’s Puntland region RSF_en RSF requests urgent adoption of moratorium on arrests of journalists Access to state-held information about the coronavirus crisis is becoming more and more difficult and closely controlled in Somalia. In Mogadishu, the federal government’s ministry of health and human resources set the tone on 3 March when it summoned journalists to explain what to do and not to do during Covid-19 crisis. The minister told them that Covid-19 related information could only be obtained from the deputy minister and the coronavirus task force spokesperson. But reporters have found it difficult in getting the information they need from these sources. At the same time, NUSOJ and RSF have established that other relevant sources have been told not to talk to journalists. This means that journalists have either been unable to report vital information to the public or have been forced to use pre-recorded video clips and statements prepared by the health ministry. Similar steps have been taken in Hargeisa, the capital of northwestern Somalia’s self-proclaimed independent state of Somaliland, where Vice-President Abdirahman Abdillahi Sayli’i told journalists on 30 March not to cover the coronavirus crisis “negatively” and to relay “government’s messaging only.” In Garowe, the capital of the semi-autonomous northeastern region of Puntland, the information minister has told journalist to obtain Covid-19-related information only from Puntland’s newly appointed coronavirus task force. News March 2, 2021 Find out more April 7, 2020 – Updated on April 8, 2020 Somali officials cannot claim Covid-19 information monopoly, RSF and NUSOJ say Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk, added: “Even if the authorities remain essential sources of information on which journalists are invited to rely on to cover the epidemic, they cannot claim a monopoly of information on any subject, including this one. Journalists should have unrestricted access to official information while being free to consult other sources they consider credible. If censorship can kill, the independent production of information by professionals constitutes, on the contrary, a major asset in combatting this scourge effectively.” News Help by sharing this information Radio reporter gunned on city street in central Somalia January 8, 2021 Find out more AfricaSomalia Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsMedia independence Freedom of expression February 24, 2021 Find out more News Organisation An ambulance driver wearing protective gears walks near the isolation unit for the patients of the COVID-19 coronavirus at Martini hospital in Mogadishu on March 29, 2020. Abdirazak Hussein FARAH / AFP “Journalists are frontline workers who are putting their lives at risk in order to carry out an essential public service by informing citizens about the Covid-19 pandemic and its dangers to the public,” NUSOJ secretary general Omar Faruk Osman said. “At times of national crisis, trust and credibility are the government’s most precious assets. As the Somali people are asked to make increasing sacrifices in their daily lives for the greater good of public health, the legitimacy of public decision-making requires a renewed commitment to a free flow of information and transparency in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.” Follow the news on Somalia RSF and NUSOJ call on Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire to ensure that the Somali authorities facilitate unfettered access to information about the Covid-19 pandemic, especially as the announced restrictions have been accompanied by aggressive measures in the field. When SomaliCable TV reporter Abdullahi Farah Nur interviewed members of the public about the coronavirus crisis in Mogadishu on 19 March, he was stopped by the security forces, who manhandled him, accused him of “spreading fear in the community” and told him leave. News AfricaSomalia Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsMedia independence Freedom of expression
Barcelona and Manchester United will face each other in the pick of the Champions League quarterfinal matchups.United defied the odds in reaching the last eight, as it progressed past Paris Saint-Germain on away goals after a 3-3 aggregate draw despite losing the first leg at home, 2-0. If United is to get to the semifinals it will certainly have done so the hard way, as it is due to face LaLiga champion Barcelona and Lionel Messi in the quarterfinals.Ernesto Valverde’s men trounced Lyon, 5-1, on Wednesday — Messi starred with two goals and assists – to ease into the next round, having played out a goalless stalemate in France.Whoever progresses from the Barca-United repeat of the 2008-09 and 2010-11 finals will play the winner of Liverpool vs. Porto, who defeated Bayern Munich and Roma, respectively, in the round of 16.Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are among the favorites having gone all the way to the final last year before losing to Real Madrid.The quarter-final drawMost exciting tie? #UCLdraw pic.twitter.com/bpkwkVKvdH— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 15, 2019Ajax impressively beat the defending champions, 5-3, owing much of that to a virtuoso display from Dusan Tadic in the 4-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu last week.Their reward is another major challenge, as they prepare to go up against Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo, who inspired their turnaround against Atletico Madrid — scoring a second-leg hat-trick to secure a 3-0 win as they battled back to progress 3-2.The other tie is an all-English affair, with Manchester City and Tottenham set to tussle for the right to play against Ajax or Juve in the last four. Champions League quarterfinal draw:Ajax vs. JuventusLiverpool vs. PortoTottenham vs. Manchester CityBarcelona vs. Manchester United
NT Energy UK, its empowerment partner Bataung Oil and the state-owned Central Energy Fund are to begin exploration for coalbed methane reserves as part of a project to develop sustainable sources of alternative energy for the country.Engineering News reported last week that GascoSA, which is exploring for the gas in three South African provinces, could be in commercial methane production in 18 months, spending US$169-million (about R1.1-billion) by the end of that period.GascoSA is 60% owned by NT Energy Africa, which comprises NT Energy UK and local empwerment company Bataung Group, and the state-owned Central Energy Fund (CEF).According to its website, CEF is involved in the search for appropriate energy solutions to meet the future energy needs including oil, gas, electrical power, solar energy, low-smoke fuels, biomass, wind and renewable energy sources.It also manages the operation and development of the oil and gas assets and operations of the South African government.According to BuaNews, the project, which is endorsed by the Department of Minerals and Energy as part of its mandage to secure energy for the coutry, represents a potential investment of U$10-billion over the next seven to 10 years in infrastructure and a pipeline rollout.Bataung Group chairman Billy Modise said that for the country to meet its development and job creation targets as outlined by the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgi-SA), developing a sustainable source of alternative energy had become non-negotiable.“The development of sustainable sources of alternative energy has become a strategic priority for South Africa, especially as current demand continues to outstrip capacity,” Bataung Group MD Kinesh Pather told BuaNews. “Coal bed methane and the conversion of gas to liquid fuels provide a real, clean and long-term alternative to the current energy crisis.”NT Energy official Chris Mumby told Mining Weekly Online last week that the company had spoken informally with state-owned electricity utility Eskom about methane uptake, while it was also open to partnering with independent power producers.According to Engineering News, studies to reveal gas content would be completed by the middle of 2008, and viability studies by the fourth quarter of the year. If viable reserves are found, production drilling would take a further year.
19 February 2014 The South African government plans to build at least 43 hospitals and 213 clinics in the next five years for the country’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) system, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said at a media briefing at Parliament in Cape Town on Tuesday. The Department of Health also plans to refurbish and re-equip 870 clinics in the 11 NHI pilot districts, Motsoaledi said. The building of 43 brand-new hospitals would facilitate a seamless referral system upwards, he said. The minister said that, since 1994, access to health services had been a priority for the government: “Many areas, especially black rural areas, did not even have primary healthcare facilities in the form of clinics. Hence, a lot of clinics were constructed in the rural areas under a special programme foreseen at the national level but implemented at provincial level. “Today, more than 40% of all clinics existing in South Africa were built after Tata Nelson Mandela became our first democratically elected president,” Motsoaledi said. According to Stats SA, the number of people who go directly to clinics had increased from 44.5% in 2004 to 55.6% in 2012. Motsoaledi said this was an indication of increased access to primary healthcare facilities.Human resources for health According to the World Health Organisation, adequate numbers of medical staff are among the six building blocks of a healthcare system. Motsoaledi said that by January 2014, 44 000 community-service health professionals had been placed in rural and underserved areas since the introduction of community service in 1998. “This has greatly increased access to health care. We have asked our medical schools to try and over stretch themselves and we are happy that they have obliged,” he said. “In 2012, 220 additional medical students, who would ordinarily not be admitted to medical schools, were enrolled. This figure increased to 425 across our medical schools.” There are currently 2 074 South African students from rural areas and disadvantaged backgrounds studying medicine in Cuba. The department has increased the number of students studying in Cuba to 1 000 a year, compared to 60 at the programme’s start. Motsoaledi said support from the Public Health Enhancement Fund should produce 1 000 PhDs in 10 years time. Most of the recently registered PhDs are in the field of HIV and Aids and TB research. SAinfo reporter and SAnews.gov.za
Erik North, the owner of Free Energy Maine, is an energy auditor and home performance specialist in Westbrook, Maine. He is also the author of the Energy Auditing Blog. Cold water pipes absorb heatIf the basement space is insulated, cold water pipes may absorb heat. The basement air temperature would be in the high 50s while the cold water pipes would be 10-12 degrees colder.If the pipes were left uninsulated, this would be a continual, low-level draw of heat from the building. Normally this might be too small to bother, but the cost of insulating pipes is so minimal it becomes worth discussing. Protect pipes from freezing and limit condensationThere are a few good reasons. If the basement or crawl space has uninsulated walls (and really, you should insulate your basement walls), insulated cold water pipes would be less prone to freezing in cold climates.If the basement is conditioned space, an insulated cold water pipe won’t absorb heat. If it is in a 1000% humidity climate like Georgia, cold pipes can be prone to condensation issues. A fully taped and insulated cold water pipe won’t condense moisture on its surface. Insulating the hot waters pipes in your house is something of a no-brainer. Why let the heat escape willy-nilly? Pipe insulation is inexpensive, and the project is one that any homeowner could finish on a Saturday afternoon.Whether to insulate the cold water pipes is less clear-cut. The project is still pretty inexpensive and easy — but does it have a point? Insulation retains heat, and these are cold water pipes. So why do it? Cold water pipes are a condensing surface for moisture in the airLastly, condensation concerns can be alleviated with pipe insulation. (Or rather, the possibility of condensation would be gone — you’re free to remain concerned.)Basements and crawl spaces are embedded in damp soil, surrounding the permeable concrete with moisture. The spaces under houses often have elevated humidity levels and cold water pipes are a natural condensing surface. Stick any paper or valuables or valuable paper (perhaps your original run of Claremont X-Men issues) under a pipe elbow, and you’re in for a nasty surprise down the road.The key for preventing condensation is to be sure that the pipe is insulated and that the insulation is sealed along the seams. Moisture-laden air must be kept from contacting the pipe surface. The pipe insulation should be a vapor-impermeable foam with all the seams and edges taped tight.Insulating hot water pipes in a cold climate is a no-brainer. But there is a lot to be said for insulating cold water pipes as well. Many houses in Maine and similar heating climates have uninsulated copper and PEX pipes running through the basement ceiling joists. With winter temperatures routinely dipping below 0°F, it’s no surprise that cold water pipes can freeze.Insulation is simply a material with above average resistance to thermal energy movement. The water comes out of the ground below 50°F into a winter environment that could be below 0°F. Wrapping those cold water pipes would keep what heat energy the water possessed in place, protecting against freezing. RELATED ARTICLES Q&A: Pipe insulationKnauf Fiberglass Pipe InsulationGBA Encyclopedia: Efficient Plumbing Supply LayoutsHow to Insulate a Basement WallBuilding an Unvented Crawl Space BLOGS BY ERIC NORTH Why I Hate, Hate, Hate SkylightsBan the CanThe Street-Side Energy AuditSpray Foam in Cold ClimatesProblems with Crawl SpacesHow to Avoid Mold Should cold water pipes be insulated in cold climates?My father grew up in houses where pipe freezing was a common occurrence. Since he slept in the basement bedroom of his childhood home, it’s not a surprise. That was one cold basement.From USGS groundwater temperature data, we know that groundwater temperatures in Maine are generally below 50°F.
How to Soften Your Sharp 4K DSLR Video FootageInvisibility: The Secret to Editing and Shooting an InterviewPost-Production Tips: How to Save Corrupted Footage5 Faster Editing Tips for Premiere Pro + Free FootageFree Practical Lighting Techniques for a Cinematic LookCover image by wellphoto. For more videography and editing tips, check out these additional resources. Learn to fuse the best of both filmmaking worlds with these tips for mixing camcorder and DSLR (or mirrorless) camera footage.While mixing camcorder and DSLR or mirrorless camera footage is rarely ideal, in the world of professional filmmaking and videography, it does happen more often than you’d think. The most common example comes from recording longform events, like weddings or stage performances, with a wide camcorder that can record uninterrupted for long periods of time — combined with shooting stylized close-ups and side shots with a faster-lensed prosumer digital camera.What results is a frustrating combination of image quality and competing codecs and recording formats. However, mixing the two is possible. It may mean some sacrifices, but if you plan accordingly, you can still get the best combined footage possible. Let’s look at some tips and tricks on how to do it.Pick the Right CamerasImage by MaeManee.In an ideal world, you’d get the chance to at least pick the best camcorders and digital cameras to combine. (However in the real world, you may just be working with what you have available — or what footage was sent to you as an editor.) If you can, try to pick a camcorder that can record as close as possible to 1080p Full HD with the largest available sensor for your budget. For your digital camera, you can chase large-sensor 4K recording as much as you’d like, but you may also need to be aware of recording time and storage for long shoots.Match Recording SettingsImage by SKphotographer.Once you have both your camcorder and digital camera(s) ready to go, try your best to match the recording settings. If you’re looking to use your digital cameras’ cinematic looks as much as possible, you’ll want to record at 24fps. Camcorders typically default to 30fps or higher, so you can go ahead and change that to match. From there, if you can match the shutter speed you’ll be in better position to start mixing in the edit.Outside Audio RecordingImage by Maksim Fesenko.Neither camcorders nor digital cameras have the best reputations for recording quality audio. I’d recommend using an outside option like a Zoom H1, Zoom H4, or a TASCAM DR-40. If you’re shooting an event that has a board operator working with microphones, try to find a direct link to the board.Find a Middle Ground in the EditImage by Gorodenkoff.After you’ve recorded your footage with both your camcorder and digital camera, you can begin the process of matching the footage in your edit. If the goal is to create a seamless match so both formats look identical, you have your work cut out for you — but it is doable. You’ll just need to find a happy middle ground.For the DSLR or mirrorless digital footage, the name of the game is retrograding. You’ll want to keep your shallow depth of field, but you’ll be looking to soften your contrasts and even adding grain and distortion at times.For your camcorder, you want to push your footage as far as you can to add sharpness, contrast, and definition. You can even add blur to objects in the background to simulate a shallower depth of field.Export at Lower ResolutionImage by iamwayclick.At the end of the day, your final export may have to reflect the lower of the two resolutions. If your video is destined for online streaming or social media, this won’t be a big deal and may even reduce file sizes and upload times. If you shot 4K with your digital camera but 720p with your camcorder, you’re probably going to want to export at 720p for best results.Get CreativeImage by Gorodenkoff.However, working with quality footage on a smaller sequence timeline isn’t the end of the world. If you view it with a creative mindset, you’ve actually opened a whole world of possibilities for how to work with your larger-sensor footage to match. You can also consider not exactly matching each format and instead embracing their differences and contrasting their strengths.Here are some creative editing techniques and tricks to consider as inspiration.How to Clean up Noisy Video and Audio in 30 SecondsUnderstanding the Opacity Blend Modes in Adobe Premiere ProWhat Are Contrast Ratios and How Do You Use Them?
Stating that the Shiv Sena’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was strong as ever, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said that the seat-sharing arrangements for the Assembly elections had already been decided.“We have satisfactorily sorted out the seat-sharing arrangements. The media need not worry about it at this moment. They will come to know at the right time,” he said, adding that all parties in the BJP-Sena ‘Mahayuti’ would be satisfactorily accommodated in the arrangement.Mr. Thackeray further said that the Sena’s demand for the post of the Deputy Speaker in the Lok Sabha ought not to be misconstrued as ‘disgruntlement’ on its part.“The Sena does not believe in doing anything by sly means…Expressing a wish or demanding something by rights [Deputy Speaker’s post] does not mean that we are upset with the BJP. We have made this alliance [with the BJP] on the principles of Hindutva, not for the sake of merely securing two or four union cabinet berths,” Mr. Thackeray remarked.Rebuking the opposition, the Sena chief drily remarked that he had no wish to participate in “the disappointment of those hoping for a rift” within the ‘Mahayuti’.Quashing suggestions of any disaffection with the BJP, he said, “Now that everything between the two parties is going fine, we will ensure that this alliance remains firm.” Mr. Thackeray emphasized his point by stating that he was satisfied with the Sena being only one berth in the cabinet.Sena MP Arvind Sawant is the lone MP to be given the Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise Ministry portfolio.When asked whether he would be touring drought-hit areas in the State, Mr. Thackeray said that the term ‘drought tour’ was a misnomer.“Let us hope that this drought is on its last legs… Our [BJP-Sena] government’s aim has not been to provide empty succor to the afflicted but to ensure that the farmers and locals are well-provided in terms of fodder and food. I think the government has done its best to ameliorate the plight of the drought-afflicted,” he said.Mr. Thackeray announced that he, along with Aditya Thackeray, planned to visit and review the situation in afflicted areas in western Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha this Sunday.Earlier in the day, the Sena president received a rousing welcome by local Shiv Sainiks as he landed in Kolhapur.Mr. Thackeray, his wife Rashmi and son, Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray prayed at the Mahalaxmi Temple in Kolhapur with the party’s newly-elected MPs to celebrate the BJP-Sena’s victory in the Lok Sabha elections. 16 of the 18 newly-elected Sena MPs were present on the occasion. Also present was senior BJP leader and State Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil.“It was the late Balasaheb’s [Bal Thackeray] dream that the MP from Kolhapur should be from the Shiv Sena. Today, the people of Kolhapur have helped realize that dream by electing Sena MPs from both the Lok Sabha constituencies in the district and I am grateful to them,” Mr. Thackeray said.
Dashing opener Virender Sehwag’s availability will be the bone of contention when the national selectors meet in Chennai on Saturday to select the Test squad for the cricket tour of England.While Sachin Tendulkar (rested from the ongoing tour of the West Indies), Zaheer Khan and Gautam Gambhir (recovering from injuries) will be back to bolster the squad, there hasn’t yet been any concrete information about the status of Sehwag’s injured shoulder that underwent a surgery in May.A source close to Sehwag said that the opener may just struggle to get fit in time for the first Test as “he is yet to get back the desired strength in his shoulders.”The first Test starts from July 21 at the Lord’s. India are scheduled to play four Tests and five ODIs during the tour of England.”We have no information as of now on the status of Sehwag’s injury. We will only get to know once we are in Chennai. We have heard that Gautam and Zaheer are fit,” said a selector.There is speculation that selectors may just take a gamble by including Sehwag in the team and wait for him to get fit by the time the second Test starts in Nottingham from July 29.Asked about the poor show by Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund in the three innings so far, the selector retorted, “These two (Vijay and Mukund) are the best available replacements for Viru and Gauti. We don’t have too many options in opening. Only Parthiv can be another option.”advertisementParthiv is a certainty as a second wicketkeeper.If Sehwag fails to make it then Vijay, by sheer experience of having a longer stint in the team, may get another international lifeline.While the other places in the batting order are almost sealed after Raina’s back-to-back 50s, the extra middle-order batsman’s slot may be a three-way battle between Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and senior-pro Yuvraj Singh.While Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma have sealed their places after impressive show in the West Indies, the young Abhimanyu Mithun may have to battle it out with S Sreesanth for the fourth pacer’s slot.- With inputs from PTI
TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening MOST READ Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion It’s not just the basketball that’s entertaining—what with all the pure athleticism and physical play between two teams—but also the verbal exchanges between head coaches Alex Compton and Chito Victolero.Alaska won Game 4 90-76 to tie the series at 2-2 in a heated game that prompted Compton to call out some of Hotshots for allegedly throwing punches at his players.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chief“Jio [Jalalon] punched us, somebody punched Mike in the testicles, somebody punched Chris in the testicles, at what point is that going to be called? I don’t know,” said Compton during his post-game press conference Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Victolero, who accused Compton of calling the referees’ attention after Game 2, hit back saying the Alaska coach doesn’t have the right to make calls during the game. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting “Both players are only being physical, there’s nothing wrong with that,” said Victolero. “Still coaches cannot decide on what’s a foul. The referees are doing their jobs so I think they did a good job today. If we keep on complaining against the referees then there won’t be an end to this series.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue MANILA, Philippines—The finals series between Magnolia and Alaska in the PBA Governors’ Cup has officially provided action from all fronts.ADVERTISEMENT “He’s just saying it, he’s not a referee, he’s a coach,” said Victolero in Filipino. “I think it’s beyond our control and the referees will decide what’s a foul, what’s a flagrant foul, and what’s not a flagrant foul.”There was no question that Game 4 was one physical matchup with Magnolia import Romeo Travis needing a couple of stitches near his right eye to close a wound he suffered when he drove to the basket in the third quarter.What made the fourth game of the series truly remarkable was the heated exchanges between Alaska guard Chris Banchero and Magnolia floor general Mark Barroca.The two went at it for much of the second half but it was Barroca who landed the decisive blow when replays showed he hit Banchero in the groin with less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter.Victolero said there’s nothing wrong with being physical especially in a championship atmosphere like the one they’re in, but what he can’t accept is the constant complaining on the referees.ADVERTISEMENT Looking to snag best available talent, PBA coaches size up aspirants at Draft Combine SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Rudi Garcia lined up for AC Milan moveby Paul Vegas25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveRudi Garcia is being lined up for a return to Italy.The former AS Roma coach is available after being forced out of Olympique Marseille last season.And Gazzetta dello Sport says Garcia is wanted by AC Milan.After their defeat to Fiorentina, Milan coach Marco Giampaolo is under great pressure. Indeed, defeat to Genoa this week could see him axed.And among those contacted by intermediaries about the job is Garcia.Milan is currently sitting in 12th place in Serie A.
APTN National NewsTen months after Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised the dawn of a new day with relations between First Nations and the federal government nothing has been done to back it up says the Assembly of First Nations.In a letter to Harper, AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo laments on the lack of the perceived progress made at a summit in January. The goal of the meeting was to boost the prosperity and independence of First Nation peoples.With the AFN, Harper and members of his cabinet at the table, Atleo said at the time there appeared to be the potential for “real change” but it was agreed then the talks required a sincere follow-through to keep the wheels of progress turning.That hasn’t happened said Atleo.“At this point in time given the rate and pace of the follow up on key items, our January 2013 report will be disappointing,” wrote Atleo in the Oct. 24 letter to Harper. “Regrettably, there has been a loss of momentum and sense of frustration is being felt by the First Nation leadership.”Atleo said Harper promised to address several long-standing issues, including education, the implementation of treaties and economic development.“Actions are needed to build confidence,” he wrote. “Stripping aside blame and denial, the conditions speak for themselves. Families struggling under a myriad of health and social challenges, inadequate housing, youth deeply and disproportionally impacted by addictions and crime, growing statistics of our peoples missing, disposed and murdered.”He said First Nations are overwhelmed by unprecedented pressures on their lands and resources and “utterly lacking the capacity to effectively protect and advance their interests.”Atleo also wrote Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan the same day, in a more detailed letter.He said in despite of the summit “your ministry has continued to proceed with its previous legislative and policy agenda, as if the commitments at the gathering to fully involve, to build genuine partnership, had not taken place.”Atleo said Duncan and Harper have failed to address each area of concern agreed upon at the summit.
Willow Fiddler APTN National NewsBarbara Kentner, an Indigenous woman who was seriously injured after being hit by trailer hitch thrown from a passing car in Thunder Bay, has died, according to her sister.Melissa Kentner said Tuesday that her sister Barbara Kentner died this morning shortly after 5 a.m.“I heard her take her last breath,” said Melissa Kentner, who was with her sister when Barbara Kentner was hit by a trailer hitch thrown by a passenger in a moving car on Jan. 28.Thunder Bay police initially charged Brayden Bushby with aggravated assault following the incident.Melissa Kentner, left, with her sister Barbara Kentner on June 27, 2017, St. Joseph’s Hospital, hospice unit. Willow Fiddler, APTNMore to come
New Delhi: Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police on Saturday registered multiple FIRs against Amrapali Leisure Valley Pvt Ltd and its Director Anil Kumar Sharma for cheating multiple investors over the last decade by promising them flats and villas and misappropriating the booking amounts while not delivering the projects.According to one complainant, the accused approached him with a villa project to be constructed in Greater Noida. The accused was selling a villa with parking space to the complainant for a price of Rs 60.5 lakh at a booking amount of Rs 4 lakh. The complainant subsequently transferred the booking amount and signed an allotment/buyer agreement in August 2010. He was promised to get the delivery of the property within 18 months of receiving the booking amount. The complainant eventually had to take a loan of nearly Rs 36 lakh in order to pay the remaining amount for the villa, for which he is still paying interest. According to the complainant, the developer failed to even finish construction of the project. And in addition to this, the developer also charged close to Rs 1 lakh under the pretext of having to pay Noida Authority. In another FIR against the aforementioned accused, the complainant alleged that the developer duped investors by assuring them that they had necessary permissions from concerned authorities for the construction. And based on that, several advertisements were taken out in newspapers, inviting members of the public to invest. Complainants in both FIRs said that company employees and Director Sharma were coy about arranging meetings at the site office after receiving the necessary booking amounts. Even when the complainant from the second FIR went to the Delhi Government Mediation Centre, the accused kept avoiding them. In addition to this, she also alleged that the accused developer has not yet paid outstanding arrears to concerned authorities in as many as three other construction projects in the Greater Noida area. The complainant from the first FIR also alleged that after being handed an unfinished villa, he was further asked to pay Rs 8 lakh to a third party developer for the completion of his property. Both complainants have alleged that the accused have continuously duped multiple investors in such projects and misappropriated crores in the name of collecting booking amounts and paying relevant authorities. A case has been registered u/s 406/420/120B of the IPC against the accused and his accomplices at EOW.
Kolkata: Marking the International Day of Forests on Thursday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said forest cover in the state has gone up by 4.29 per cent. “Today is #InternationalDayOfForests. In #Bangla, the forest cover has been growing — between 2010 and 2015, it has gone up by 3,810 sq km, one of the highest in the country, up by 4.29 per cent. My best wishes to all,” Banerjee tweeted. On March 21, the International Day of Forests is celebrated worldwide to increase public awareness about the values, significance and contributions of forests to balance the life cycle on the earth. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAlso, the day also celebrates the arrival of spring with the World Planting Day. This day gives an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of the world’s plant species. “Today is World Planting Day. In Bangla, we distributed 15 lakh saplings to every new born child. This is done under the unique Sabujshree scheme to inculcate emotional bonding between the child and nature,” Banerjee wrote. The Chief Minister further mentioned how the above initiative “provides an incentive for the future.”
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday sought response of the Election Commission on a plea by a Congress MP alleging Model Code of Conduct (MCC) violations by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah on their alleged hate speeches and using armed forces for “political propaganda”. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the poll panel was free to pass orders on complaint of Sushmita Dev, Congress Lok Sabha MP from Silchar in Assam and President of ‘All India Mahila Congress’. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework The bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, fixed Dev’s plea for hearing on Thursday. Dev has alleged that “inaction” by EC on complaints against top BJP leaders was “a sign of invidious discrimination” as also “arbitrary, capricious and impermissible” as it was destructive of the integrity of electoral process. The plea listed out several alleged instances of MCC violations by Modi and Shah in their meetings and referred to as the first violation the speech of Modi at a rally at Wardha, Maharashtra, on April 1 where he had allegedly raised the issue of ‘bhagva aatankwad’ (saffron terror).
OSU redshirt freshman quarterback Joe Burrow (10) hands the ball off during the spring game on April 16 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Lantern File PhotoIn 2015, redshirt junior Cardale Jones and then-redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett were firmly No. 1 and No. 2 on the depth chart at quarterback. It was a matter of who would win the job. But there was another quarterback behind them. Enter sophomore Joe Burrow who is now the most likely among potential candidates to serve as backup to starting quarterback Barrett this season.In the spring, the race appeared to be a much more tightly contested battle between Burrow and redshirt junior Stephen Collier. But a season-ending ACL tear to Collier gave Burrow his opportunity in the spring game.In his first action with the Buckeyes, Burrow led the Gray team to victory while impressing the crowd of 100,000-plus with 196 passing yards for three touchdowns.“I took a big step this spring,” Burrow said following the spring game. “And I’m going to have to take a big one before fall camp.”Freshman quarterback Dwayne Haskins arrived on campus in June for the summer to battle for the No. 2 quarterback spot behind redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett. At least in the eyes of quarterback coach and co-offensive coordinator Tim Beck, Burrow is viewed as the favorite.“That battle is moving along,” Beck said. “I think Joe is ahead because of his experience. I’m really pleased by his development right now.”Coach Urban Meyer knows better than anyone that a consistent backup quarterback is a vital piece in the team’s success.In Meyer’s first season with OSU in 2012, then-quarterback Braxton Miller went down with a shoulder injury in a home game against Purdue. Backup Kenny Guiton stepped in to deliver an improbable come-from-behind victory to preserve an undefeated season.In 2014, Barrett took over the starting role just a couple weeks before the first game when Miller reinjured his shoulder. Barrett racked up the Big Ten offensive player of the year accolade and then was replaced by Jones who led the team the rest of the way to a national title.The No. 2 quarterback must constantly be prepared to enter into the game and perform at an adequate level once called upon or his team could suffer for it. At the moment, Burrow said he’s still making strides to get to that level.“The backup’s job is to be ready at any moment, and if I’m not ready then I’m not doing my job,” Burrow said. “I’m not ready yet.”There are many things a quarterback must do to prepare for this situation. As Burrow has noted, it is important that to be ready, he must put in “more reps, more studying, just everything” to be sure he is ready to get in the game should he receive the call.“After spring, I still had a lot to prove and I still have a lot to get better,” Burrow. “I think it was like the second scrimmage in the spring when I threw three or four touchdowns. That’s when I knew I could play here and play here at a high level.”A big part of his preparation process is to learn from the veterans on the team. That starts with taking notes from Barrett.“(Barrett’s) really understanding and he’s a really smart guy,” Burrow said. “How he goes about the game, how he watches film, how he takes notes, how he reads the defense.”Of course as exciting as Barrett is, many have been waiting to see what the new guy brings to the table. 247sports.com ranked the four-star Burrow 305th best of all class of 2015 prospects and 14th best in the state of Ohio. Of course, acquiring the nickname “Mr. Football” in the state of Ohio has done little to lessen the excitement.But despite all the hype from evaluators, he has somehow flown under the radar. To Burrow, this has not been a hinderance, but rather something to help his performance.“From the start in high school recruiting, I was under the radar from Athens, Ohio,” Burrow said. “That’s how I kind of played my entire career. I played with a chip on my shoulder.”From a scouting perspective, Burrow is not the typical college-style quarterback. Instead of a dual threat like Barrett, Burrow has been described as a ‘Pro-Style Quarterback’ by 247sports, and most evaluators agree that his legs are not as much of a threat as most other college signal-callers.This is further enhanced by his stats from high school. Between 2012 and 2013, Burrow accumulated 94 touchdowns and 6,971 yards while completing 420 passes in 631 attempts. In that time span, Burrow attempted 262 rushing attempts and racked up 1,425 rushing yards, an average of 5.44 yards per carry, a modest average for most high school quarterbacks. “No, I can’t be a run-first guy,” Burrow said. “I could break one for maybe 15 or 20, but I won’t break one for 40, 50 or 60. I can be effective, but I can’t break a big one.”Burrow and the rest of the OSU football team will take on Bowling Green on Sept. 3 at noon.
When a professional sports team in America has a bad season, as the old saying goes, there’s always next season – but not in European soccer. End-of-season discussions around some European professional soccer leagues are about survival. Mainly, which teams are going to survive to play another year in a given country’s top league. The English Premier League, the world’s most prominent soccer league, is among those leagues where suspense almost always carries into the final minutes of the season. The EPL has a stipulation in place that relegates or downgrades its bottom three teams in any one season to the Football Association’s Championship division. In return, the top three teams of the Championship are promoted to the Premier League. Conceptually, it would be like the Columbus Clippers having the best record in Triple-A baseball and then moving up to play Major League Baseball the following season. And the same goes for the Championship, as well as the two divisions below it – the FA’s League One and League Two. The top and bottom three teams from each of England’s four divisions shuffle back and forth season after season. With its season concluding on Sunday, this year’s EPL relegated teams are Wolverhampton F.C., Blackburn F.C. and Bolton F.C. No club is safe from the relegation rule as Blackburn (1995 EPL Champions) becomes the first former Premier League champion to be relegated. How harsh is that? 17 years removed from a championship and you’re deemed not good enough to compete in the league. Harsh or not, the rule is ingenious on some levels. It creates a level playing field and makes every game in a season matter. There certainly isn’t any talk of “tanking” game in the Premier League for any reason. So, what if American sports leagues adopted its European counterparts relegation and promotion rules? Would it be a good thing? Is it even possible? Would the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats have lost 23 games in a row to end the season? Whether it would be good for leagues like the NFL, MLB, NBA and the NHL to adopt the relegation-promotion rule is purely subjective. It would be good in the sense teams likely wouldn’t tank, and every regular-season game matters, but at what cost? Would the playoffs have to be eliminated? The EPL crowns its champion based solely on regular season performance. If there were no Super Bowl or World Series, would that be a good thing? The question of whether it’s even possible to have a relegation-promotion rule in American professional sports is interesting. As it stands now, only two of the top four leagues have the type of minor-league system in place to piggyback off the system used English soccer. The NHL has the American Hockey League (AHL) below it as an incremental level and MLB has Triple-A baseball with the International League and Pacific Coast League. Even then, those leagues would need adjustment. The NHL or MLB teams couldn’t have ties to the AHL or Triple-A teams as they do now using the lower level teams as a means of producing players within a farm system. The Premier League’s relegation and promotion rule is something American sports fans envy, and although some fans wish it would be adopted tomorrow by America’s sports leagues, it’s not a simple as it may seem.
“There is a little nudge around here because they beat us, and really the way they beat us,” he said. “Offensively right now there is a lot of distaste for the way that thing happened.”In last year’s meeting between the schools, OSU was decimated by the talent of the Virginia Tech defense. Then-redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett, making the second start of his collegiate career, completed just nine of 23 passes and was sacked seven times. He also threw three interceptions, including two by then-senior safety Kyshoen Jarrett and a late 63-yard pick-six by then-junior safety Donovan Riley.Powell said a big reason for the Buckeyes being unprepared for Virginia Tech last year was their season opener the weekend before against Navy. The safety said the Midshipmen, a team known for running the triple option on nearly every play, forced the Buckeyes to spend their entire practice time preparing for that untraditional offense rather than a more typical one used by teams like Virginia Tech.“Last year we spent a lot of time trying to master that triple option offense. It was really difficult to go from that then jump straight to a regular spread offense,” Powell said. “It’s good to finally just focus on one thing and that’s kind of what we’re going to see all year, instead of focus on one thing for one game that we’re never going to see again.”Schutt added that with no Navy game ahead of Virginia Tech in 2015, he expects the team to be better adjusted and then some, when the extra motivation is factored in.“For this game specifically, I think we put in more than we would for a normal game just because of what happened last year,” Schutt said. “We felt unprepared last year coming into that game, both offensively and defensively, and this year we’ve been working on this game plan all summer and are excited about next week.”OSU’s rematch with Virginia Tech is scheduled for an 8 p.m. kickoff on Monday in Blacksburg, Virginia. Then-redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) lies on the ground after being tackled during a game against Virginia Tech Sept. 6 at Ohio Stadium. OSU lost, 35-21. Credit: Lantern File PhotoOhio State might have won the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship in 2014, but the one thing the team cannot hang its hat on is a perfect season.While the Buckeyes won 13 straight games to end the season, a 35-21 defeat at home to Virginia Tech on Sept. 6 put an early but permanent mark in their loss column.Now, 366 days after the upset loss, OSU is set to have a chance to return the favor to the Hokies on their home field of Lane Stadium.“Due to the fact that we did lose to them last year … that’s something that we can’t get back at them, because although we won it all last year, still in our loss column there was a ‘one’ in there, and they’re the ones that unfortunately gave it to us,” redshirt junior safety Tyvis Powell said. “So it’s just about going out there and making sure that doesn’t happen again.”While members of the team said they vividly remember the 2014 matchup and have been studying tapes from that game for weeks, senior defensive lineman Tommy Schutt said the extra motivation the team feels is not completely revenge-based.“I wouldn’t necessarily call it revenge, but it’s something that’s been in the back of our heads since that game,” he said. “I think we definitely have a little extra chip on our shoulders knowing what happened last year, how we finished the season last year knowing they were the one team that was able to beat us, so we definitely have a little extra chip on our shoulder going into this one.”OSU coach Urban Meyer echoed his players’ sentiments and said Monday’s game is one the Buckeyes have been looking forward to for a long time.
OCEANSIDE (KUSI) – A 17-year-old Mission Vista High School student was in custody Friday following his arrest on suspicion of posting a vague but ominous online statement insinuating the North County campus was about to be targeted by violence.The Oceanside Police Department received a report about the alleged Snapchat threat about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, OPD spokesman Tom Bussey said.The message warned students to stay away from the Melrose Drive school Friday and included a photograph of the suspect along with the statement “the cleansing shall commence.”Officers contacted the teen at his Vista home and took him into custody later in the evening, Bussey said.The suspect, whose name was withheld because he is a minor, was booked into juvenile hall on suspicion of issuing a criminal threat.The incident prompted an increased police presence in the area of the campus Friday morning and afternoon, according to Bussey. May 10, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, North County teen jailed for alleged online threat of campus violence Posted: May 10, 2019 KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville men’s soccer head coach John Michael Hayden announced the hiring of Bryan Green as associate head coach.Green comes to Louisville after spending the past five seasons as the head coach at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. While at Belmont, Green guided the Bruins through two conference changes and led the program to their first postseason win in the Southern Conference and the first overall since 2008. Green produced eight All-Freshman conference team selections, three All-Conference selections, and one Freshman of the Year recipient. “We are so thrilled to add Bryan Green to our coaching staff,” said Hayden. “His past experiences of leading a Division I program and assisting at other nationally ranked programs certainly stood out in the hiring process.”Prior to Belmont, Green coached for Drexel University. Starting as the first assistant in 2010, Green was promoted to associate head coach in 2012. Green helped guide the Dragons to their first Colonial Athletic Association Tournament championship in 2013, the same season they were also regular season champions. Green also assisted in earning the program back-to-back NCAA Championship bids in 2012 and 2013, the program’s first bids in 40 years.”I want to thank John Michael for this opportunity to be a part of the success of Louisville Athletics. From the first time I spoke with him about his vision for the UofL men’s soccer program, I was inspired to be a part of it,” said Green. “The program is coming off a great year and an ACC Championship, yet everyone is still hungry for more. I am thrilled to be a part of a group with that mentality and helping John Michael, the staff and team build on that history of success.”Prior to Drexel, Green played an integral part of the coaching staff at West Virginia from 2003-10, where he was the first assistant and recruiting coordinator. Green helped direct the program to three consecutive NCAA Championship bids from 2005-07 and four consecutive top 30-ranked recruiting classes from 2006-09. Green was a part of the 2006 Big East Coaching Staff of the Year, which was awarded to the Mountaineers staff after a Big East regular season championship title and runner-up finish in the Big East Tournament. “When looking to bring individuals into our program, we look to those who possess high integrity and a desire to be successful. Without question, Bryan will help us achieve our goals because of these qualities,” explained Hayden. “He joins assistant coach Donovan Dowling, volunteer coach Robbe Tarver, analyst Nick Blackwell and director of operations James Kusak in rounding out our coaching staff. Together, these individuals make up what I consider to be the best staff in the country. We’re all driven, hardworking and eager for success. Our players will benefit tremendously from working with these talented individuals and I am so fortunate to work with each of them as we continue to pursue championships.”Keystone College gave Green his first head coaching opportunity, where he guided the Giants for three seasons from 2000-02. While in charge, Green lead the program to their first NJCAA Region XIX regular season title and advanced to the Region XIX tournament championship game. His 2002 team was ranked as high as No. 2 nationally.Green spent one season as an assistant coach at East Stroudsburg University in 1999, helping guide the team to an NCAA Championship appearance and producing an All-American. Green began his coaching career in 1997 at his alma mater, Elizabethtown College, where he served for two seasons. The National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) has recognized 13 of Green’s teams for academic excellence with the Team Academic Award. A native of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Green played collegiate soccer at Elizabethtown College where he earned All-American and All-Mid Atlantic Conference honors. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Elizabethtown College in 1997 and a Masters of Education in Health and Physical Education from East Stroudsburg University in 2000. He holds a USSF ‘B’ License. Green and his wife Ehren have two sons, Henry and Nathan.Fans can follow Louisville men’s soccer on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram at @UofLmenssoccer. Print Friendly Version Story Links
Share Tags: Indonesia, Travel Alert By: Stephen WrightSource: The Associated Press Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Bali airport reopens, but volcano still spewing ash KARANGASEM, Indonesia — The airport on the Indonesian resort island of Bali reopened Wednesday after an erupting volcano forced its closure two days ago, but the country’s president said the danger had not passed and urged anyone within the mountain’s exclusion zone to get out “for the sake of their safety.”Volcanic ash reaching 25,000 feet (7,600 metres) in the air began drifting south and southeast of Mount Agung, leaving clean space above the airport for planes to land and take off, said airport spokesman Arie Ahsannurohim.The airport, which handles more than 400 flights a day, had closed Monday, disrupting travel for tens of thousands of people trying to enter or leave the popular vacation destination. Thick ash particles are hazardous to aircraft and can choke engines.Despite the all-clear from authorities, flights are unlikely to rapidly return to normal levels and a change in the direction of the ash or a new more powerful eruption could force the airport’s closure again.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo ordered all concerned ministries and agencies, as well as the military and police, to help Bali’s government deal with the disaster.“I hope there will be no victims hit by the eruption,” he said.More news: Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyAuthorities have told 100,000 people to leave an area extending up to 10 kilometres (6 miles) in places from the volcano as it belches grey and white plumes. Nearly 40,000 people are now staying in 225 shelters, according to the Disaster Mitigation Agency in Karangasem. But tens of thousands more have remained in their homes because they feel safe or don’t want to abandon their land and livestock.In the village of Tulamben inside the exclusion zone, farmers were plowing their fields with cattle Wednesday, seemingly unbothered by the smoking mountain behind them swelling with orange lava.In Sukadana village, about 8 kilometres from the crater, a few remaining residents said mudflows of volcanic debris and water had passed through the area for a couple of days before solidifying.Some stranded tourists managed to get off the island before the airport reopened, but they faced an arduous journey involving crowded roads, buses, ferries and sometimes overnight waits in yet another airport in Surabaya on the island of Java.“This is a very unforgettable experience for us. So much hassle and definitely one for the books,” said Sheryl David, a tourist from Manila, Philippines, who arrived Saturday in Bali with three friends and was supposed to leave Tuesday. She remained stuck in a third airport on Wednesday in the capital, Jakarta, waiting for a flight home that required buying a new ticket, but said the experience didn’t dampen her feelings about the island.More news: Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portal“Yes, still a paradise,” she texted.The volcano’s last major eruption, in 1963, killed about 1,100 people, but it is unclear how bad the current situation might get or how long it could last. A worst-case scenario would involve an explosive eruption that causes the mountain’s cone to collapse.“An analogy would be the twin towers collapsing in New York on 9-11,” said Richard Arculus, a volcano expert at Australian National University. “You saw people running away from the debris raining down and columns of dust pursuing people down the street. You will not be able to outrun this thing.”Indonesian officials first raised the highest alert two months ago when seismic activity increased at the mountain. The activity decreased by late October, and the alert was lowered before being lifted to the highest level again Monday.Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and has more than 120 active volcanoes. << Previous PostNext Post >>
I have the usual number of stories for a Saturday column…and quite a few fall into the must read category, so I hope you can find the time for the ones that interest you.As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last…and the White House will be occupied by a downright moron. — H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920Today’s pop ‘blast from the past’ is by the Queen of Soul herself. This hit was recorded in 1968…and you will know it instantly. The link is here.Last week’s classical selection was by German composer Max Bruch…and this week’s is as well. Last week it was his Scottish Fantasy…and this week it’s his Violin Concerto No. 1, in G minor, Op. 26…composed in 1866. I have a lot of ‘favourite’ violin concertos…and this is certainly one of them. Here’s the incomparable Sarah Chang doing the honours in a posting over at youtube.com…and the link is here. Neither the video quality, nor the fidelity, are the greatest…but it’s the only recording that I could find that has all three movements.After yesterday’s big run-up in the silver price, it’s easy to see that there is no real liquidity in the precious metals market, as most of the trading is of the high-frequency variety. There are really no legitimate buyers and sellers present in the Comex futures market…just the machines.If left to their own devices, there isn’t a “free market” that wouldn’t melt down, or melt up, if given the opportunity to do so. Chris Powell was oh, so prophetic with his quote…”There are no markets anymore…only interventions.”The Commitment of Traders Report, especially in silver, was a sight to behold…and with the way things are currently configured in all four precious metals, copper…and the dollar index…they are an ‘accident’ waiting to happen to the upside.However, since there are no free markets, when something does blow up…or melt down…it won’t be by accident. JPMorgan et al were in full control of this market on the short side…and there’s no reason at all to assume that they won’t continue to hold the power when the smoke clears to the upside.JPMorgan will not only control the ‘when’…they will also determine how high and how fast we get to the new precious metal prices, which are all but baked in the cake. They didn’t go to all this trouble over the last six months or so to extricate themselves from the short side of the gold market, to put their head back in the lion’s mouth again. They’ll control things from the long side from now on.Even if you only read all the stories I have posted in this column this weekend, you should be able to tell from their contents that the entire planet is about to come unglued economically, financially…and monetarily. It’s only the time line that is uncertain…and whether or not it will be a controlled event, or will events and circumstance quickly spiral out of the control of the powers that be?I don’t know the answer to that…and neither does anyone else. So we wait.Here’s Nick Laird’s “Total PMs Pool” chart updated with data from the week just past…and it doesn’t require any further explanation from me. As I said a week ago, I felt that we were done for liquidations out of the big ETFs with last week’s report…and it appears that this is the case.(Click on image to enlarge)Before heading off to bed, I’d like to point out that Casey Research has another FREE ON-LINE VIDEO EVENT in the works. This one is entitled “GOLD: Dead Cat…or Raging Bull?”It will feature Jim Cramer, Eric Sprott, Doug Casey, Steven Feldman, Rob McEwen and Jeff Clark. They explore the recent fluctuations of the gold price and what it means for investors. Does gold’s drop signal the end of its bull run, or is it just taking a breather? Should investors load up on or unload gold? The free online event Gold: Dead Cat…or Raging Bull? hosted by The Street and Casey Research, with Jim Cramer, Eric Sprott, Doug Casey, and others will provide some answers.This free video will air on June 25th at 2:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time. It will be available for viewing after the initial stream for those who have schedule conflicts. You can check it out…and then sign up for it here. It pretty much goes without saying that it will be worth your time.That’s all I have for the day…and the week. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend…and I’ll see you here on Tuesday. When something does blow up…or melt down…it won’t be by accident.The gold price didn’t do much of anything in Far East trading…and then got sold down five bucks starting at 9:00 a.m. BST in London, with the low of the day coming minutes after 11:00 a.m…about two hours later.From there, the gold price was flat until five minutes before trading began on the Comex in New York. The subsequent rally got chopped off by a short seller of last resort about twenty minutes later, when it appeared the market was about to go “no ask”…and the gold price was about to punch through the $1,400 spot price ceiling. A second rally at the London p.m. gold fix suffered the same fate…and after that the price didn’t do much until after the Comex close.Then starting around 2:30 p.m. EDT, the gold price began to slowly tick higher for the rest of the New York Access market. The low tick in London looked to be around the $1,378 spot mark…and the high tick in New York was recorded by Kitco as $1,393.60 spot…and that occurred at the London p.m. gold fix.Gold finished at $1,3191.50 spot…up $5.80 on the day…and net volume was a very light 106,000 contracts.Here’s the New York Spot Gold [Bid] chart that shows the New York action in far more detail.Silver traded in a very tight range in both Far East and London yesterday…and was down about 20 cents when the price blasted off at 8:15 a.m. in New York yesterday morning. The market went “no ask” fifteen minutes later…before the usual not-for-profit seller[s] showed up. By 9:20 a.m. the price was back down to $22.07 spot…and barely moved for the remainder of the trading day.Kitco recorded the high tick as $22.68 spot…and if “da boyz” hadn’t shown up when they did, we would be looking at a very big silver price right now.But when all was said and done at the 5:15 p.m EDT close in New York, silver was only up 23 cents on the day…and closed at $22.08…and above the $22 price ceiling. Volume, net of roll-overs out of the July delivery month, were a bit heavier than normal…close to 33,000 contracts.Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart, so you can see the dramatic action in the first 15 minutes of Comex trading for yourself.The dollar index closed in New York late Thursday afternoon at 80.72…and then fell to 80.61 by 10:00 a.m. in Tokyo. From there it rallied to its high of the day…80.99…just minutes after 8:30 a.m. in New York. At that point, the index fell completely out of bed…hitting a low of 80.65 by 11:40 a.m. EDT. The subsequent rally was tiny…and very short. From there the dollar index headed lower, finishing the Friday session on its low tick…80.62…and down 10 basis points from Thursday.You should carefully note that vertical price spikes in both gold and silver got hammered flat at the precise moment that the dollar index fell off a cliff just minutes after 8:30 a.m. EDT. There’s absolutely no chance that this was a coincidence. As Chris Powell’s famous quote goes…”There are no markets anymore…only interventions”.The gold stocks opened in the black…but quickly began to sell off…and they kept right on going down despite the fact that the gold price finished in positive territory yesterday. The HUI finished down 1.66%.The silver stocks didn’t do well, either…and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 1.82%.(Click on image to enlarge)Here’s Nick’s Silver 7 chart that shows the near-term price action in a longer term perspective.(Click on image to enlarge)The sell-off in the precious metal stocks probably had more to do with what was happening in the general equity markets in New York at the time.The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that a surprisingly large 414 gold contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday within the Comex-approved depositories. The two big short/issuers of note were Barclays with 324 contracts out of its client account…and ABN Amro with 88 contracts. The three largest long/stoppers were HSBC USA, Barclays…and Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia, with 234, 94 and 69 contracts respectively. The long/stoppers at Barclays were in the bank’s proprietary [in-house] trading account…the bank betting against its customers again.There were only 4 silver contracts posted for delivery on Tuesday…and the link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday…and no sales report from the U.S. Mint, either.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, they reported receiving 701,662 troy ounces of silver…and 21,763 troy ounces were shipped out the door. The link to that activity is here.In gold on the same day…9,027 troy ounces were reported received…and 12,210 troy ounces were shipped out. The link to that activity is here.The Commitment of Traders Report was pretty much as expected, as there were improvements in the Commercial net short position in both gold and silver…but particularly silver…and several new records were set.In silver, the Commercial net short position [the total Commercial short holders subtracted from the total Commercial long holders] declined by 16.9 million ounces…and is now down to a shockingly low 25.1 million ounces. Reader E.W.F. said that “In silver, the Commercial traders hold their smallest net short position since 29 July 1997.” That’s almost 16 years ago!!!The four largest traders are short 196.5 million ounces of silver…and the next ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 55.9 million ounces of silver. Ted says that he’s no longer sure what JPMorgan’s short position in silver might be.As far as concentration goes, once you remove all the market-neutral spread trades from the total open interest, the Big 4 are short 35.3% of the entire Comex futures market in silver. The short positions of the ‘5 through 8’ traders adds another 10.0%. So the Big 8, in total, are short 45.3% of the entire Comex futures market in silver.Reader E.W.F. says that “the silver raptors [the small commercial traders other than the Big 8] hold their largest net long position in the history of the data.”In gold, the Commercial net short position declined by 333,000 troy ounces…and is now down to 5.83 million ounces. Reader E.W.F. says that..”the Commercials hold their smallest net short position in gold since 31 May 2005.”The four largest traders are short 9.94 million ounces of gold…and the ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 4.67 million ounces.As far as concentrations go, once the market-neutral spread trades are removed from gold’s total open interest, the four largest traders are short 31.0 percent of the entire Comex futures market in gold…and the ‘5 through 8’ traders add another 14.6 percentage point. So the Big 8 in total are short 45.6% of the entire Comex futures market in gold.Reader E.W.F. pointed out that “the gold raptors are net long 87,851 contracts. This is their largest net long position since April 10, 2001. On that date the gold raptors were net long 95,984 contracts.”Here’s Nick Laird’s “Days of World Production to Cover Comex Short Positions” chart for all physically traded commodities on that exchange.(Click on image to enlarge)Here’s your “cute quota” for the day…and don’t forget that the “cute quota” will be included with “The Funnies” starting with Tuesday’s column.
A federal judge in Texas issued a ruling Friday declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, apparently setting the stage for another hearing on the health care law by the U.S. Supreme Court.The ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor invalidates what’s commonly referred to as Obamacare nationwide, and casts into doubt the survival of the law on the eve of the deadline for tens of millions of Americans to sign up for health care coverage in 2019.The ruling comes in a lawsuit brought against what was one of the major domestic achievements of the Obama administration. An alliance of 19 Republican attorneys general and a governor led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton challenged the law.As NPR’s Alison Kodjak explained on All Things Considered,”The lawsuit had to do with whether when Congress last year repealed or eliminated the penalty for not having insurance — it was a tax penalty for people who didn’t have insurance — whether that meant the rest of the law didn’t apply anymore. The court case argued that all of the pieces of the law were dependent upon each other, so by eliminating the penalty the rest of the law fell apart. The judge agreed with that opinion.”In his 55-page opinion, Judge O’Connor said the debate over the ACA’s interlocking provisions is “like watching a slow game of Jenga, each party poking at a different provision to see if the ACA falls.”In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders praised the ruling.”Obamacare has been struck down by a highly respected judge. The judge’s decision vindicates President Trump’s position that Obamacare is unconstitutional. Once again, the President calls on Congress to replace Obamacare and act to protect people with preexisting conditions and provide Americans with quality affordable healthcare. We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court. Pending the appeal process, the law remains in place.”Shortly afterwards, President Trump tweeted, “As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster! Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions.”California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led the coalition of states that defended the ACA promised to continue the court fight to preserve the law.Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to be House speaker when Democrats come into the majority next month, tweeted, “Tonight’s absurd ruling exposes the monstrous endgame of the GOP’s all-out assault on people w/ pre-existing conditions & the ACA. When @HouseDemocrats take the gavel, the House will swiftly intervene in the appeals process to #ProtectOurCare!”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Labour’s policy on universal credit has again become mired in confusion after its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, promised to scrap the government’s “catastrophic” and “iniquitous” benefit system if his party wins the next general election.Such a move would be seen as a significant victory for disabled activists and allies who have pushed the party to promise to scrap universal credit, instead of pledging only to halt the rollout of the system and fix its many flaws.Interviewed after the party’s success in last week’s Peterborough by-election, Corbyn told Channel 4 News (pictured): “We are ready for a general election, and that general election will deliver a Labour government.”He added: “If you voted Remain in 2016, and you’re on universal credit, if you voted Leave in 2016 on universal credit, you actually want to get rid of universal credit. That’s what Labour offers.”Despite Corbyn’s comments, what seemed to be a significant change in policy appeared not to have been noticed by any mainstream media.And the party’s press office today (Thursday) issued a statement that conflicted with what Corbyn said, merely stating again that a Labour government would pause the rollout of UC and try to make it fit for purpose.A party spokesperson said: “Universal credit isn’t working and cannot continue in its current form.“Labour will stop the roll-out, and ensure our social security system genuinely protects people from poverty.”Disabled activists, particularly Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), have campaigned for the government – and any future Labour government – to “stop and scrap” universal credit (UC).Only last week, DPAC released new research which detailed media articles on UC published between January and May this year, which it said was “a damning record of UC systemic and catastrophic failures”.It said that UC had reached a point where it was “unable to adapt to claimants’ complex circumstances, and is forcing people with the least resources into further poverty, homelessness, and hunger”. DPAC said it was calling for UC to be scrapped because it had become a social security system “which not only does not offer security, but actively undermined people’s ability to cope with the hazards of life”.A DPAC spokesperson said last night (Wednesday), in response to Corbyn’s comments, but before the party had released its statement: “We welcome it as it’s the only credible position that Labour or any other party can take given UC’s well-evidenced fundamental failings, enormous waste and terrible harm but we remain unsure of Labour’s position until there is a firm public commitment.”It is not the first time that Labour has appeared to call for UC to be scrapped and then retreated from that position.Last October, the party had to back-track after deputy leader John McDonnell said in a television interview that UC was a “shambles” and “iniquitous” and added: “I think we are moving to a position now where it is just not sustainable. It will have to go.”But the party’s press office later stressed that Labour’s position was that “universal credit in its current form simply isn’t working”.Labour’s work and pensions secretary, Margaret Greenwood, was also heavily-criticised by disabled activists after telling the party’s annual conference in Liverpool last September that the government must “stop the rollout of universal credit and fix its many flaws”, rather than calling for it to be scrapped. A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…