TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Fiorentina swoop for Sevilla attacker Luis Murielby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFiorentina have signed Sevilla attacker Luis Muriel.Milan had been touted as favourites to sign Muriel, but he has personally chosen to join the Viola.He joins Fiorentina on-loan to the end of the season. There is an option to make the deal permanent for €13m.Fiorentina will be Muriel’s fourth Italian club after previous spells at Lecce, Udinese and Sampdoria.
The Bob Hope Legacy has extended its commitment to EasterSeals Southern California with a three-year, $750,000 grant to further support the development and expansion of the Bob Hope Veterans Support Program.“Since its founding in 2014, the Bob Hope Veterans Support Program has grown quickly to become an effective and celebrated provider of employment transition services for local veterans,” said Miranda Hope, Legacy member and Vice President of the Bob and Dolores Hope Foundation. “This program is a great tribute to the legacy of my grandfather, Bob Hope, who cared deeply about veterans and their families for six decades.”Launched with a three-year $1.1 million dollar grant from The Bob Hope Legacy to begin serving veterans in San Diego County, the program has since expanded to serve veterans in Orange County as well. The additional funds will allow the program to increase coverage in those counties and extend services throughout Southern California.“To date more than 700 veterans have gone through the program. We are thrilled to support an organization that empowers veterans with access to the tools, support and resources they need to gain meaningful employment and thrive,” Hope added. “I know my grandfather would be proud to have his name and foundation’s funds tied to such an effective and meaningful program.”The program will receive $250,000 per year for the next three years from the Legacy, facilitating the hiring of more Employment Specialists, providing veterans with unique one-on-one coaching and employment support and referrals to other resources such as ongoing education, VA benefits, physical and mental health support, housing and financial assistance to smooth the transition to civilian life.“The Legacy’s continued commitment to the Southern California veteran community has had a direct and positive impact on the lives, well-being and employment success of hundreds of veterans and their families,” said John Funk, director of the Bob Hope Veterans Support Program at Easterseals Southern California. “It is our incredible honor and privilege to serve this community and honor the Bob Hope Legacy.”Updates on the program’s expansion and stories of success will be posted on easterseals.com/ESSCBobHopeVeterans. Veterans or potential employers interested in learning more about the Easterseals Bob Hope Veterans Support Program can also call (760) 737-3990.
Greater Noida: Gautam Buddh Nagar police have arrested a rewarded criminal, carrying bounty of Rs 25, 000 on his head, from Mamura area of Noida on late Thursday night. Police said that the accused was wanted in a gang rape case with a minor girl by Jewar police. According to police, the arrested accused has been identified as Furkan Qureshi, native of Jahangirpur area of Jewar. Cops said that Qureshi, along with his accomplice Nanhe allegedly abducted a girl student from Jewar area in a car after making her consume a drink laced with sedatives, in the month of June last year. The duo of accused kept the girl at a secluded place and gang raped her for a couple of days. Later they let her go and threatened her with death consequences if she tells about the incident to anyone. However, the minor rape victim reached home and narrated her ordeal to parents, following which a case was registered.
Urban Meyer looks on during the OSU Spring Game April 12 at Ohio Stadium. The Gray defeated Scarlet, 17-7.Credit: Mark Batke / For The LanternThe most publicized position in all of sports is arguably the quarterback position, and at Ohio State, even the backup spot is a point of emphasis.With senior Braxton Miller out for the spring after undergoing minor shoulder surgery in February, the competition to see who would be his backup became a big storyline throughout spring practice.The two players most likely to fall next in line behind Miller — redshirt-sophomore Cardale Jones and redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett — both got their chances to shine in front of 61,058 people Saturday, and neither seemed comfortable for a majority of the game.Neither quarterback accounted for a touchdown. However, Barrett nearly broke free twice after keeping the ball on designed run plays before being whistled down. Both he and Jones sported black, no-contact jerseys once the game got under way.Barrett finished the game 17-33 passing for 151 yards, also rushing for 25 yards on six carries. He led a pair of 80-yard scoring drives, while also leading a 90-yard drive that stalled on fourth and goal.Jones, who coach Urban Meyer said after the game is in position to be Miller’s backup, got off to a very slow start. He headed into halftime just 6-15 passing for seven yards, including a pass play that resulted in a loss of 12 yards. After losing the ball in the end zone, Jones was forced to find a receiver in order to avoid a safety and dumped it off to junior wide receiver Kato Mitchell, who was well behind the line of scrimmage.Jones improved his game in the second half, as he finished the game 14-31 passing for 126 yards while also rushing for 21 yards on four carries.Meyer said he was unhappy with Jones’ performance.“Cardale was disappointing,” Meyer said after the game. “I thought he made some misses today, but I’m not going to let that ruin his spring. He’s had a good spring for us.”Despite a poor performance, Jones said he was excited to finally be on the field.“It was pretty cool,” Jones said after the game. “I’ve been waiting for a long time and I’ve still got work to do to enhance my ability.”Junior offensive lineman Taylor Decker, who sits as the lone returning starter on the OSU offensive line, said he was pleased that under the pressure of performing in front of a large crowd, the young quarterbacks didn’t buckle.“To see that calmness in a quarterback, even though they may be a new guy, it’s still good to see from an offensive lineman standpoint,” Decker, who hardly saw time on the field Saturday, said.The lone turnover committed by a quarterback was early on when Barrett — despite wearing the no-contact jersey — was hit from behind, forcing him to lose the ball in his own end zone. Redshirt-senior defensive lineman Rashad Frazier forced the fumble, then pounced on it, resulting in the Scarlet’s only touchdown of the game.When asked if he thought he had locked up the backup spot, Jones was concise.“Oh no, not at all,” Jones said.The Buckeye quarterbacks have all summer to improve before fall camp opens, and OSU is scheduled to open the 2014 season at M&T Bank Stadium against Navy on Aug. 30 at noon.
Ohio State redshirt senior wide receiver Terry McLaurin (83) catches a pass in the first half of the Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 1. Ohio State beat Northwestern 45-24. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorThe second Ohio State wide receiver came off the board at the 2019 NFL Draft as Terry McLaurin was taken with the No. 76 overall pick to the Washington Redskins in the thirdround Friday.McLaurin pulled in a Big Ten second-most 11 touchdowns in 2018, along with 701 yards on just 35 receptions for team-high 20 yards-per-catch average.His 11 touchdowns this past season bring McLaurin to a career total of 19, which both rank No. 6 in program history for season and career receiving scores.McLaurin would go onto play in four victories over Michigan, three bowl game wins and assist in back-to-back Big Ten Championships in the past two seasons.The five-year receiver was a primary contributor to a Ohio State receiving core that assisted former Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins in setting new records for Big Ten passing yardage and touchdowns in a single-season, along with school records for yards and touchdowns through the air in a single game.From 2015 to 2018, McLaurin did not miss any of Ohio State’s 54 games, which displays a durability that should help him at the next level, along with the 4.35-second 40-yard dash time he posted at the NFL Combine.
Ohio State redshirt junior defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones (86) leads the Buckeyes out on the field to start the 2018 Spring Game on April 14, 2018. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignOhio State produced its fifth defensive line prospect in two years Friday, when former defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones heard his name called as the No. 71 selection by the Denver Broncos in the 2019 NFL Draft.Jones finished his Ohio State career with 114 tackles (22 TFL), 9.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and a pick-six this past season against TCU.The former Buckeye earned third-team all-Big Ten honors at defensive tackle in 2017, followed by first-team all-Big Ten honors in 2018.Jones’ redshirt junior season was arguably his best, as he finished with career-highs in tackles for loss (13) and sacks (8.5).The St. Ignatius product declared for the NFL Draft in the weeks prior to Ohio State’s contest against Washington in the Rose Bowl, but still participated in the game.
Bangladesh Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader. File PhotoRuling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) general secretary Obaidul Quader on Friday said the BNP has sensed that they have no scope to go to power normally.That is why they along with their fundamentalist ally are planning to topple the government, he added, reports BSS.“They (BNP) should keep in mind that it is not 2014, it is 2018. The people of the country will give befitting reply to the BNP if they want to create anarchy centering the forthcoming parliamentary polls,” he told newsmen after attending a mass-contact programme of AL in city’s Gabtoli area.Earlier, Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, distributed leaflets in the area on the fifth day of AL’s week-long mass contact programme for showcasing the development works by the government and highlighting acts of terrorism and violence of the BNP and its ally Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami.He said the BNP is pursuing dirty politics over the health issue of its chief Khaleda Zia.Quader also said the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University is the right place for the treatment of Khaleda Zia.The court has also given the directive to this end, he said, adding the government is not doing any dirty politics on Khaleda Zia’s health issue.But, Quader said, the leaders of the BNP are indulged in nasty politics on Begum Zia’s treatment.The ruling party general secretary said, “I didn’t tell any party to make unity with us. I said that the left-leaning parties believe in the spirit of the liberation war and they respect father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”“I urged them to be united. We want unity against fundamentalist evil forces, against the dirty politics and against the enemies of the liberation war.”About the use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), Quader said his party wants the EVMs to be used in a limited scale in the upcoming national polls. AL also made a demand for using EVM to the election commission (EC), he added.
Share Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesPresident Trump has hailed his appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, but Gorsuch sided against the administration Tuesday in an immigration case.The U.S. Supreme Court declared a clause in federal law, requiring the deportation of immigrants convicted of a “crime of violence,” unconstitutionally vague Tuesday.It’s a blow to the Trump Justice Department and came at the hands, ironically, of conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, who sided with the court’s liberals in a 5-4 decision.In 2015, the court also held that a clause alluding to a “violent felony” in the Armed Career Criminal Act was unconstitutionally vague.For background on the case, Sessions v. Dimaya, here’s Oyez‘s summary:“James Garcia Dimaya, a native and citizen of the Philippines, was admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident in 1992. In 2007 and 2009, Dimaya was convicted under the California Penal Code for first-degree residential burglary; both convictions resulted in two years’ imprisonment. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a non-citizen convicted of an aggravated felony is subject to deportation. The INA definition of aggravated felony includes a ‘crime of violence,’ which is any offense that involves the use or substantial risk of physical force against another person or property.The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) subsequently initiated deportation proceedings against Dimaya and claimed that his burglary convictions constituted crimes of violence under the Act. The Immigration Judge held that Dimaya was deportable and that burglary constitutes a crime of violence because it always involves a risk of physical violence. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed.“While Dimaya’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was pending, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Johnson v. United States, which held that the definition of a ‘violent felony’ in the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) was unconstitutionally vague. As a result, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the INA’s crime of violence provision was unconstitutionally vague because it was largely similar to the violent felony provision in the ACCA that the Supreme Court struck down in Johnson. The appellate court found that both provisions denied fair notice to defendants and failed to make clear when a risk of violence could be considered substantial.”Overseas emails case vacatedAlso, given that President Trump signed the CLOUD Act, the court officially vacated the major U.S. v. Microsoft case dealing with whether email stored in servers abroad could be compelled to be turned over to law enforcement.That move was largely expected at some point.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
When monsoon hits in, its prudent to take care of your swimming pools for your health.Though a proper circulation will ensure cleanliness by default, one may have to make just a bit of an extra effort to continue the delightful swimming experience during the monsoons. Vivek Mishra, MD of Premium Pools suggests some ways to go about it.When it rains, the pH levels of the water in the pool needs to be monitored all the more as the first rain at times is acidic, can play havoc in addition to getting dirty and contaminated water. It can get dangerous as well since harmful and toxic substances from the atmosphere may get mixed with the pool water. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’So overall, the imbalance in the chemical composition of the pool water may rise. The rains will also bring along a lot of organic materials like pollen etc that gets accumulated in the pool. Within hours of the first shower of the monsoon, a significant variation in pool’s water quality can easily be noticed. For extreme weather conditions including monsoons, one can go for a pool enclosures or covers to eliminate any kind of water contamination. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixA few more things can be done on an ad-hoc basis:Brushing the pool walls : this helps in eliminating the wild shrubs that might grow within the wall tiles. Also, this would help remove any fungal growth on the tiles surrounding the pool even deck area. Regular Chlorination : Adding chlorine tablets will help in preventing the growth of bacteria and even algae. Although the main cause of algae is stagnant water, routine chlorination would help prevent against health hazards like ear infections, athlete’s foot, skin rashes etc which become quite common with bacterial growth in water. Filtration : running the filters to clean the water on a daily basis is a good practice during rains. This way the debris and dirt can be completely cleared. Also, filtration helps in circulating the fresh water added to the pool as well. the said filter should also be regularly cleaned by the maintenance personnel.
Kolkata: Stressing the importance of cyber security, State IT Minister Bratya Basu on Wednesday said the compilators of various social media channels must be stricter to curb fake news.He was speaking at Cybercon 2018 and Technology Excellence Awards organised by the ASSOCHAM at a city hotel on Wednesday. Basu said the compilators of social networking sites must be on high alert to prevent such incidents.”We cannot take action against those who circulate fake news on social media. We can only identify them. It is the responsibility of the internal teams of various social networking sites to ban those who are involved in social crime from using their platforms. The nature of cyber crime is different from the others,” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeBasu maintained.Earlier on the day, State Additional Chief Secretary of IT department Debashis Sen said Blockchain technology, which the Bengal government has embraced, and the introduction of Fintech hub in New Town will bring a new dimension to the field of cyber security in the state. Nowadays, people are exposed to cyber threats. The onion server also poses a threat to people. Sen stressed on the need of Blockchain technology to check the cyber threats. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”If the introduction of Blockchain technology and fintech hub works out well, we will be able to tackle cyber crime. We have to pull our resources together and maintain cooperation between various fields like Telecom, E-commerce, emerging technology like Blockchain,” Sen said.Fintech hub is the brain child of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that will give a big boost to the IT department in fighting cyber threats. It is the Banerjee government that introduced Blockchain technology in the state. It may be mentioned that Blockchain provides secure public databases that are free from cyber attacks. There is a deep connection between Blockchain and Fintech, data sciences and cyber security and all of this are related to each other.Sen also sought co-operation from our neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and others to fight cyber security issues as they go beyond boundaries. He also had a detailed discussion with Information and Communication Technology Minister of Bangladesh Zunaid Ahmed Palak on how both the countries can work together in this regard. Bengal has selected Blockchain as a technology for the future. The state IT department has tied up with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-Dac) and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology to provide training and awareness about cyber security.A 24-hour online help-desk has also been thrown open by the department so that people can report any cyber security issues that they might have encountered.The state government is going to organise an international conference on how to check human trafficking in the digital arena. The event is scheduled to take place in December this year and state Women & Child Development and Social Welfare department will host the programme.
The theatre fraternity came together on Friday night for a red-carpet awards gala at the 12th Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) Festival. Curated by the Mahindra Group and Teamwork Arts, the week-long extravaganza came to an end as the best from the world of theatre were awarded the META at The Taj Mahal Hotel, Mansingh Road.The annual awards, which recognise excellence in theatre nationally, celebrate the intrinsic diversity and rich cultural traditions of India. The META is India’s most comprehensive award and a premier honour for the theatre fraternity, awarding on-stage and off-stage talent across 14 award categories, including the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfLike every year, this year’s short-list of META was diverse and showcased the best of Indian theatre. For a week, the festival staged 10 nominated plays that revolved around motifs ranging from mythology and caste to complex love stories and human emotions. The line-up featuring plays in English as well as several Indian Languages including Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, etc., received an overwhelming response from the audience as the shows ran to packed houses. The Jury for META 2017 comprised theatre stalwarts Dolly Thakore, Mahesh Dattani, Sachin Khedekar, Seema Biswas, Avijit Dutt and Maya Krishna Rao. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWhile ‘Mahabharata’ bagged the award for Best Production along with Best Director and Best Choreography, ‘I Don’t Like It As You Like It’, won Best Ensemble, Best Stage Design and Best Actor in Supporting Role (Female), and ‘Elephant in the Room’ won Best Actor in a Lead Role (Female), Best Costume Design and Best Light Design, giving them three awards each. The award for Best Actor in a Lead Role (Male) was jointly presented to Anirban Bhattacharya (Awddyo Shesh Rajani) and Rajendra Panchal (Katha Sukavi Suryamall Ki). Noted theatre veteran, Arun Kakade was conferred the META Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Indian theatre. He got a standing ovation as he received the Lifetime Achievement Award. He said, “I am so happy that META has been promoting Indian theatre for the last 12 years. There is diverse variety in the plays that come here. I have staged my plays here thrice before, but at the age of 86, I wasn’t expecting any award really. I am thankful to the META Festival organisers for this prestigious honour.”Hosted by Prateik Babbar and Shilpa Shukla, the scintillating awards night saw several luminaries, including Manoj Bajpayee, Sushma Seth, M.K Raina, Sachin Khedekar, Bubbles Sabharwal, Dadi Pudumjee, Vinod Nagpal, Sanjana Kapoor, Nicholas Idier and Jim Hollington. Performances by the band Samarpan, Harpreet, Neil Madhav and Rachna Yadav further enlivened the proceedings.Veterans from theatre, cinema, music, and dance presented the coveted awards to the ecstatic awardees and noted personalities like Manoj Bajpayee, Meera and Muzaffar Ali, Aditi Mangaldas and Seema Biswas were among those who gave away awards.Commenting on the awards, Jay Shah, Head, Cultural Outreach, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd said, “The 12th META has concluded with all the drama, fanfare and applause it deserves. The 10 best productions from across India vied for the top honours in the nation’s capital. While awards were presented to just a few, each META participant has been a winner. The Mahindra Group too feels a great sense of victory for being able to establish a platform that defines excellence in Indian Theatre. A proud moment for us all!”
The tech world has spent the last 24 hours or so pretty confused at semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom’s purchase software company CA Technologies. The deal, which Broadcom sealed with $18.9 billion in cash, was, according to the company, a way of adding to its portfolio “mission critical technology businesses.” However, it seems the deal was just a little too left-field. Yesterday (Thursday 12 July), Broadcom’s shares dropped 13.8%. This equates to a drop of $14.5 billion. Why did Broadcom purchase CA Technologies? This is the question that everyone seems to be asking. Ostensibly, the move is really about consolidating and driving Broadcom’s position in the tech space forward. However, as The Register pointed out, a quarterly review between executives in June made no mention of an acquisition. It certainly didn’t mention CA Technologies. Speaking to Bloomberg, Cody Acree said “It’s the lack of obvious connection between the two businesses. What does Broadcom know about improving CA’s efficiencies?” However, there may be some method in Broadcom’s apparent madness, even if investors don’t see it. Broadcom’s business in semiconductors – Silicon chips – is more unstable than the type of software solutions offered by CA Technologies. The semiconductor market depends a lot on fluctuations in the consumer gadget market. However, even if this makes sense to the Broadcom excecutives, communicating this strategy would surely be absolutely essential. Surprising feints might look good in the long run but they can spook investors. A tale of two markets: consumer tech and software solutions It will take some time to see if Broadcom’s move actually does work out. But it demonstrates the vast difference between the consumer and B2B markets in technology. It doesn’t seem outrageous to suggest that at the very least Broadcom feels anxious about the volatility of its core market at the moment; its acquisition of CA Technologies might be the insurance policy it has been searching for.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W Return travellers to the Whitsunday Coast Airport (in Proserpine) won’t recognise it now the $9 million upgrade has been completed.Located about 25 minutes from Airline Beach, the airport has undergone a significant expansion and refurbishment while still keeping its small regional airport charm.The Departure lounge is bigger including the check in and baggage claim areas that received a new baggage claim carousel inside the terminal building. Other upgrades include a new-look café and bar, new and refurbished security screening and arrival areas, relocated and refurbished airport offices and customs quarantine facilities for potential international carriers in the future.The Whitsunday Coast Airport along with Hamilton Island Airport opens up the Whitsundays with flights from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns servicing the area.From Proserpine travellers have the option of buses and other public transport to Airlie Beach and ferry services operate to the various Whitsunday Islands.
Disney has hired former BBC Children’s exec Louise Bucknole to replace Jonathan Boseley, who left the studio earlier this year.Bucknole, who was previously part of BBC Children’s scheduling team, becomes director of programming for the UK and Ireland and she will look after the Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior. Bucknole had previously worked at Disney between 2007 and 2009 and has also held roles at ITV and its kids channel arm CITV. Boseley left his role as VP of programming and production in January.
Netflix has begun rolling out a new search experience on its website to complement its recommendation engine.The new search interface features cover art for titles to give a more visual presentation. Potential matches of TV programmes and cover art apprear predictively when users type in the search field, while a list of actors, directors and content creators matching the query is shown on the left hand side of the screen.Users can also now type in ‘Netflix’ to make the page display all Netflix original programmes and films.
The dollar index opened at the 81.40 mark…and closed around 81.53. The low of 81.24 came just before 8:00 a.m. Eastern time. There was a big 50 point intraday move in less than an hour during the New York lunch hour…and I guess that would partially explain some of the price moves in gold and silver during that time period…but it certainly doesn’t explain all of it. And it certainly doesn’t explain some of the price patterns in the other two precious metals, either.The gold stocks gapped down at the open…and hit their low of the day at the low price tick for gold at 12:40 a.m. Eastern time. Then they blasted into positive territory from there, but couldn’t hold those gains once the sell-off began after the 2:20 p.m. high tick in gold was in. Still, the HUI only finished down 0.82%…which isn’t too bad, all things considered.It was mostly down for the silver stocks yesterday…but I did have a decent number of green arrows mixed amongst the red ones. Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index actually closed up a hair…0.09%.The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 42 gold contracts were posted for delivery on Friday.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV…and the U.S. Mint didn’t have a sales report, either.The Comex-approved depositories reported that 543,869 troy ounces of silver were added on Tuesday…and only 1,004 ounces were withdrawn. The link to that action is here.As usual, The Central Bank of the Russian Federation updated their website yesterday. It showed that they had added another 500,000 ounces of gold to their reported reserves in May…which now sit at 29.3 million troy ounces of fine gold. The excellent chart below is courtesy of Nick Laird, for which I thank him on our behalf.(Click on image to enlarge)I have more than the usual number of stories for a midweek column…and I hope you have to time to read the ones that interest you.It is clear that China intends to be the world center for buying and selling gold…The plus in all this for Americans is that the price of gold will be out of the grip and manipulations of the Federal Reserve and the Comex. – Richard Russell, 20 June 2012Well, it was certainly a different day yesterday. I suppose that it’s possible that it was entirely free-market forces at work in all the precious metals on Wednesday. But if I had to bet a ten spot…that’s not the way I would bet it.Of course, all this had to happen on a Wednesday…and none of that price action will be in tomorrow’s Commitment of Traders Report. We’ll have to wait until the COT report on the 29th to get some idea of what may, or may not, have transpired.Yesterday at this time I was mentioning that silver had not been allowed over the $29 spot mark for several weeks running. Twenty-four hours later in Far East trading on their Thursday, silver is now a hair under the $28 mark. Here’s the 1-year silver chart…(Click on image to enlarge)You may have also noticed that gold ‘failed’ in its attempt to break solidly above its 50-day moving average. Here’s the 1-year chart for gold…(Click on image to enlarge)I’d be happy to bet a fair amount of money that this price action is not accidental…and where we go from here is a big unknown, at least to you and I. But I’d guess that JPMorgan et al have a much clearer picture, since they’re running this precious metals show. As a matter of fact, the two above charts were painted by JPMorgan. They haven’t signed them per se, but their footprints are everywhere…and you don’t even have to look that closely to fnd them.In Far East trading on their Thursday, the gold price dipped below the $1,600 mark on a few occasions…and about thirty minutes into the London trading day, the gold price is hanging onto that round number by its fingernails. Silver tried to rise above the $28 spot price…but obviously ran into the same sellers that prevented it from rising above the $29 spot price mark. Gold’s net volume is pretty light for this time of day…3:37 a.m. Eastern time…and silver’s net volume is more elevated, as the roll-overs out of the July delivery month gather momentum. The dollar index isn’t doing a thing.As I hit the ‘send’ button at 4:21 a.m. Eastern time, I note that gold has now slipped below the $1,600 price mark…and is down about eleven dollars from Wednesday’s close in New York. Silver is now down 42 cents from yesterday’s close…and was down well over 50 cents at one point. The dollar index is up about 20 basis points in the last hour or so, but doesn’t explain the magnitude of the sell off, as the metals were declining long before the dollar index showed any signs of life to the upside.And as I said in this space yesterday, most of the relevant price action would occur during the Comex trading session on Wednesday…and that certainly turned out to be the case. And unless something out of the ordinary develops during the morning trading session in London, I expect the same again today.I’m off to bed. I hope your Thursday goes well…and I’ll see you here tomorrow. The China CatastropheChina is about to make an announcement that will shake the world to its foundations – and that will destroy everything you’ve ever worked for.So says a renowned financial journalist on assignment in Asia – and the crazy thing is, he’s famous for being right. He was one of the few to warn of the great tech stock meltdown of 2000 … the housing and banking bust of 2007 … and the recent boom in gold and commodity prices.Is he right again? Watch this shocking video for free and judge for yourself. Of course, all this had to happen on a Wednesday…and none of that price action will be in tomorrow’s Commitment of Traders Report.The gold price did nothing during the Far East trading day on their Wednesday…and this sideways price action lasted until a few minutes before 10:00 a.m. in London. At that point the engineered price decline began, with the most egregious part of the take-down coming during the New York lunch hour…around 12:40 p.m.This turned out to be the low price tick of the day…$1,589.20 spot. From that low a $30 short covering rally commenced. This rally lasted for about thirty minutes…and from there the gold price traded sideways into the close of Comex trading at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. Gold’s New York high tick of the day [$1,622.20 spot] came around 2:20 p.m…and from that high, the gold price got sold down $16 into the close of electronic trading.Gold finished the Wednesday session at $1,606.80 spot…down $11.10 from Tuesday’s close. Net volume was an enormous 205,000 contracts.But, as always, it was silver that drew the short straw once again yesterday. I’m not even going to bother calling the price action, as it’s more than visible on the Kitco chart below…and little of the New York action had anything to do with free markets.From its New York high of $28.76 spot…to its low of $27.60 spot, silver had an intraday price move of $1.16…4.03%…in less than ninety minutes.By the time the dust had settled, silver closed at $28.12 spot…down 30 cents from Tuesday. Net volume was a very chunky 45,000 contracts.Here are the charts for platinum and palladium, so you can see that the price shenanigans didn’t just occur in gold and silver. Sponsor Advertisement
With the FOMC minutes out on Wednesday, it was a fairly wild day in US markets. First, the S&P 500 jumped to 1,687, only to retreat to the 1,654 territory by the close. The headlines were almost comical throughout the day. In the first half, they announced, “Stocks Rise on Fed Comments.” By the end of the day, the same news sources proclaimed, “Stocks Fall on Fed Comments.” So what did the Fed minutes actually say? Apparently a lot of people are confused out there. There’s good reason for the confusion. Essentially, the Fed said that it will continue to play things by ear. If the economy starts doing better, it will start to scale back on the stimulus. If it gets worse, the stimulus will continue. In a way, that statement bolsters any point of view. If one sees the glass as half full, then this means the Fed could stop the stimulus early, as things are going pretty well. If one sees the glass as half empty, it means the Fed will keep stimulating the economy. Here’s a key part of the FOMC minutes: “A number of participants expressed willingness to adjust the flow of purchases downward as early as the June meeting if the economic information received by that time showed evidence of sufficiently strong and sustained growth; however, views differed about what evidence would be necessary and the likelihood of that outcome. One participant preferred to begin decreasing the rate of purchases immediately, while another participant preferred to add more monetary accommodation at the current meeting …. Most participants emphasized that it was important for the Committee to be prepared to adjust the pace of its purchases up or down as needed.” Notice the lack of a clear message here. Some members suggested pulling back in June. One person says to add more stimulus now, but another says to stop it immediately, while others can’t agree on the evidence necessary to make a decision. The market is confused, but can you really blame traders with a Fed statement like that? Your reaction to the Fed minutes depends more on whether you’re an optimist or pessimist, rather than the language itself. Let’s take a look at a few more parts of the FOMC minutes worth noting. Again, there were issues involving a bond bubble: “At this meeting, a few participants expressed concern that conditions in certain U.S. financial markets were becoming too buoyant, pointing to the elevated issuance of bonds by lower-credit-quality firms or of bonds with fewer restrictions on collateral and payment terms (so-called covenant-lite bonds). One participant cautioned that the emergence of financial imbalances could prove difficult for regulators to identify and address, and that it would be appropriate to adjust monetary policy to help guard against risks to financial stability.” What does the Fed mean here? First, consider the problem at hand. As the minutes note, this is a situation where regulators have difficulty addressing the issue, and monetary policy could provide assistance. If I’m offering a junk bond for a very low yield, regulators can’t really do anything about that. Prices are set by markets, which are heavily influenced by the Fed’s low rate policy. As yield seekers search for yield in this environment, they’re taking more risks with junk bonds but are getting less compensation and safeguards through lower yields and weaker bond covenants. What the minutes are saying is that maybe the Fed should start raising interest rates to deter investors from those bonds. Obviously, regulators can’t force rates up nor encourage more prudence with junk bonds – only the Fed can influence markets in such a direct manner. While on the subject of low interest rates and yield seekers, the FOMC members also had a debate sure to infuriate anyone collecting ultra-low yields at the moment. See their view on inflation (all emphasis mine): “Accordingly, participants generally continued to expect that inflation would move closer to the 2 percent objective over the medium run. Nonetheless, a number of participants expressed concern that inflation was below the Committee’s target and stressed that future price developments bore careful watching. … A couple of participants expressed the view that an additional monetary policy response might be warranted should inflation fall further. It was also pointed out that, even absent further disinflation, continued low inflation might pose a threat to the economic recovery by, for example, raising debt burdens.“ In short, some of the participants think that inflation should be higher. In fact, they wouldn’t mind further monetary expansion to make it so. And if inflation rises while yields remain low, savers basically get creamed. But who cares about savers, right? Certainly not the Fed – but it does care about debtors. The minutes note that low inflation poses a threat by “raising debt burdens.” Since higher inflation helps consumers and businesses inflate away their debts, the Fed essentially wants to help debtors at the expense of savors, which seems the opposite of common sense: one should be rewarded for saving and thrift, rather than spending and debt. In summary, these weren’t the most earth-shattering FOMC minutes in the world. We basically received more affirmation of what was already known – the Fed will play it by ear and at this point, it’s willing to either push for more stimulus or withdraw it. The ultimate outcome depends on an uncertain future.
For many breast cancer patients, one of the most difficult treatment decisions is whether or not to go through chemotherapy.Now, the choice is getting easier for some patients. A study published Sunday finds that many women with early-stage invasive breast cancer could safely forgo chemotherapy, if they score in the midrange or lower for risk that their cancer will recur, as measured by a commonly used genomic testThe study, published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine, finds that patients who fall in the intermediate risk zone do as well with hormone therapy alone as with chemo plus hormone therapy after surgery. “[The findings] are both important and significant, and also practice-changing,” says, Dr. José Baselga, a medical oncologist and physician in chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, who was not involved with this research. “Basically, it’s going to spare a lot of unnecessary chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer.”The genomic test for this type of breast cancer, called Oncotype DX, measures the expression of 21 genes in tumor tissue removed at the time of surgery and predicts risk of recurrence on a scale of 0 to 100.Oncotype DX first hit the market in 2004. Earlier research found that a patient with a high-risk case, or score of 26-100, would benefit from chemotherapy, while a patient at the lower end with a score of 10 and under would not. This left a lot of women, an estimated 65,000 in the U.S. each year, in a gray zone, unsure if they would benefit from chemo.The new study, called TAILORx, is a large, randomized trial involving thousands of patients. It found that for patients in the middle, with scores between 11 and 25, there is a similar rate of cancer-free survival for those who had chemo combined with hormone therapy, and those who had hormone therapy alone, after nine years. Women younger than 50 still saw some benefit from chemotherapy, especially with scores between 21-25.This means in practice doctors can tell 70 percent of these patients they don’t need to agonize over whether to get chemo, says study co-author Dr. Kathy Albain, a hematology and oncology professor at Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois. “Our uncertainty is over,” she says.In the trial, researchers gene tested more than 10,000 patients across six countries with the most common form of early breast cancer, hormone-receptor positive, HER-2 negative breast cancer that hadn’t spread to the lymph nodes. Nearly 7,000 patients’ scores fell into the middle range, between 11 and 25.This researchers split the middle-scoring group into two randomized subgroups: one treated solely with estrogen-blocking hormone therapy, and one with chemo combined with hormone therapy. The researchers tracked the patients’ health outcomes over nine years.In the U.S., the most recent data shows around 135,000 new cases yearly of the specific breast cancer studied, says Dr. Joseph Sparano, an oncologist at Montefiore Medical Center, a professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the lead author of the study. Twenty-five percent of those patients won’t qualify for chemotherapy because of age or medical problems.Out of the 100,000 or so patients who could take the gene test to help make a decision about chemotherapy, he says at least two-thirds fall into the middle range that can benefit from the study findings.”This information really addresses a major unmet medical need to have a very high level of evidence to make potentially life-saving decisions,” Sparano says. “This has very important public health implications. It helps direct patients to the right therapy, so that we’re treating the right people with the right therapy at the right time.”This research, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, comes at a time when rates of chemotherapy for breast cancer are already decreasing. A 2017 study showed that for breast cancer that hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes, the rate of chemotherapy has dropped from around 27 percent in 2013 to 14 percent in 2015.This decline likely came about thanks to earlier research into gene testing, showing that chemo wasn’t helpful for low-risk patients and of marginal benefits for others, says Baselga.All the same, he says, the message of the new study isn’t that chemotherapy is irrelevant.”Chemotherapy has saved a tremendous amount of lives, and will continue to do so,” Baselga says. “But we need to be precise on when to use it and who to recommend it to. The era of one- size-fits-all is basically coming to an end, which is great news.”These results provide assurance that getting gene tested is a valuable first step for patients with this type of breast cancer.Knowing a patient’s recurrence risk can spare them from enduring chemotherapy, but also can direct them towards it if they discover that they are at a higher risk, Sparano says.The Oncotype DX test costs $4,600 and is typically reimbursed by insurance, according to Dr. Steven Shak, chief medical officer of Genomic Health, the maker of Oncotype DX. Currently only about 60 percent of U.S. patients who could potentially benefit from it are taking the gene test, he says.These gene tests are only applicable to patients with early-stage invasive breast cancer, Loyola’s Albain says. Chemotherapy could still be on the table for people who fall outside of this group.Albain is excited to share the study results with her clients in her practice. One of them, a 59-year-old woman came to her office recently with a recurrence score of 17, and was seriously considering chemotherapy.”My first clinic when I get back, she’s on my schedule and it’s going to be fun showing her this,” she says.Women can have the tendency to turn towards chemo, even if the results have a relatively small benefit, Albain says. A little boost can outweigh the risks of the treatment for these patients. “Now, we’re not going to have to have that long discussion,” she says.Looking ahead, Sparano hopes to see if this research could be applied to patients whose cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes, which is prognostic for a higher rate of recurrence. Further research could mean sparing some higher-risk patients from chemotherapy.Sara Kiley Watson is NPR’s Science Desk intern. Her Twitter handle is @SaraKileyWatson. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
A disabled activist who has campaigned to save the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) is celebrating after the Welsh Labour annual conference voted to back his campaign.Nathan Lee Davies has led a campaign to force the Labour-run Welsh government to reverse its decision to scrap the grant, which was introduced to support disabled people with high support needs in Wales to live independently after the UK government closed the Independent Living Fund in 2015.An estimated 1,300 people in Wales receive support through the WILG scheme.And this week, at their annual conference, members of Welsh Labour voted in favour of a motion that called on their government to maintain WILG, at least until the next Welsh assembly elections in 2021.Before the vote, Davies had also secured support from Labour’s UK leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who posed for a picture holding one of the campaign’s “WHERE THERE’S A W.I.L.G. THERE’S A WAY” tee-shirts (pictured).After the vote, Davies posted a blog in which he described his “emotional day” following a victory he said was “key for disabled rights across Wales and throughout the UK”.He added: “We should all rejoice while remembering the fight is far from over as we need to ensure Welsh Labour listen to the will of their members.”Davies has previously described his terror at the prospect of his cash-strapped local authority taking over full responsibility for providing his care package, having been told that without WILG his own care package would be reduced from 86.5 hours to just 31 hours a week.He has described the campaign as a “life or death” fight.He told Disability News Service yesterday (Wednesday) that the passing of the motion was “obviously the high point of our ever-growing campaign” but that it “does not mean that we have succeeded in securing WILG”.He said: “We must continue with our campaign and ensure the Welsh government listen and act upon the wishes of their members.“One thing is for sure, we won’t rest until we preserve and improve the Welsh Independent Living Grant.”He thanked the cross-party and union support for his campaign – including the “wonderfully supportive” Clwyd constituency Labour party, which proposed the motion – and the other recipients of WILG.He particularly praised members of Welsh Labour Grassroots – which represents the Momentum movement in Wales – who he said had “worked tirelessly to ensure independent living remains an option for those with high care and support needs”.Davies is hoping that the Welsh government – which will have a new first minister in the autumn after Carwyn Jones announced that he would be standing down – will now reverse its decision to scrap WILG.A spokeswoman for Welsh Labour said: “As with all motions passed at conference, this will now be considered by Welsh Labour’s policy process ahead of the next assembly elections.”The Welsh government announced in 2016 that, after a two-year transition period, it would transfer all the £27 million-a-year provided by the UK government to support former ILF-users in Wales directly to councils.It decided there would be no continuation of the interim WILG scheme it had been running as a stopgap since the Department for Work and Pensions closed ILF in June 2015, and would not set up a new Welsh ILF, even though such a scheme had been set up in Scotland.All the £27 million-a-year funding is set to be transferred to Welsh local authorities this year, and they will be solely responsible for meeting the support needs of all former ILF-recipients by 31 March 2019.The Welsh government’s new Social Services and Wellbeing Act is supposed to provide new rights for people to access a re-assessment of their support at any time, with local authorities under new legal duties to support independent living.It believes that this is a more progressive system than the one operating in England.But Davies has said previously that the decision to transfer the £27 million to councils and close WILG meant the Welsh government had “sold disabled people down the river” and was “washing their hands of all responsibility for social care to former ILF recipients and transferring the pressure onto local authorities”.Picture by Delyth Lloyd Williams