House Finance Advances Bill Protecting 8 Billion Of Permanent Fund Earnings

first_imgThe earnings reserve account has an $18.4 billion balance and is subject to simple majority appropriation of the Legislature. HB 31 would transfer $8 billion from the earnings reserve into the principal. For background, two sub-accounts constitute the Permanent Fund. The principal, which has a $46.1 billion balance, is constitutionally protected from appropriation and generates investment-related earnings. Representative Gary Knopp (R-K-Pen), and member of the House Finance Committee voted in favor of the bill: “We are trying to get it protected so it’s not spent, there is almost $19 billion in the account. But, we are just concerned that where we’re at that some legislator in time will start spending more out of that than the proposed structured draw.”  Knopp: “It will now go to Rules, to the floor, then we will get it passed and to the Senate. I know the sponsor of the bill has worked with the governors office on it, so I think they will be receptive to it as well.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The House Finance Committee on Monday passed House Bill 31, a proposal that would transfer $8 billion from the Permanent Fund earnings reserve account into the constitutionally-protected principal of the Permanent Fund.last_img read more

I accidentally spent a day using my phone as my wallet Heres

first_img Sprint Best Buy Apple Pay vs. Samsung Pay vs. Google Pay 7:31 Mentioned Above Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (64GB, Lilac Purple) Tags See it $699 See It Read next: Everything we know about Samsung’s foldable phone for Feb. 20Read also: New phone designs aim to shake up MWC 2019 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. See It 11 Photos See It I was 30 miles from home when it hit me that my purse was at home, and I’d have to spend the day without my credit cards, ID or any cash. The only thing I had — apart from my backpack and puffy purple jacket — was my Samsung-loaned Galaxy S9 Plus review unit as my only source of money and ID. Good thing that months before I had loaded my credit card number into Samsung Pay, Samsung’s mobile wallet for contactless payments. That would have to do.Samsung Pay and I are old friends. More powerful and more forgiving than Google Pay and Apple Pay, it works on almost every terminal that reads a payment card’s magnetic stripe, which means I’d be able to pay for more things in more places than with either mobile payment rival alone. Only one thing worried me. I’ve used Samsung Pay all over the US, Asia and Europe, but I’ve never been forced to use it solo. I’ve always had the benefit of my credit and ATM cards as backup, and my driver’s license for ID. Being forcibly removed from them, without any sort of safety net, would be a real-life test of mobile payment’s power and influence. The best thing about ride-hailing services like Lyft is that you don’t need to carry a card or cash. Lyft We always talk about leaving the wallet at home, but does the infrastructure exist to make that work? Could I really get through a day using Samsung Pay and nothing else? It’s not Samsung’s fault that the answer was no, not quite.The ride, checkMorning travel wasn’t a problem, and that’s probably why I didn’t discover my mistake until I was 30 miles from home. Ordinarily, I’d have realized my purse wasn’t with the rest of my stuff a few minutes after leaving, slapped my forehead and sheepishly gone back to fetch it. Not this time. Share your voicecenter_img Phones Online You can only do these cool things with Samsung Pay in Korea — for now (pictures) Preview • Why the Galaxy S9 Plus is the ‘better’ Samsung phone this year Amazon $349 Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Review • Galaxy S9 Plus is still worth buying, but wait a month — here’s why Mobile payments Samsung Comments 24 $699 $354 Now playing: Watch this: This time I’d called a Lyft to take me where I needed to go. That requires just my phone, not a travel card like the Bay Area’s Clipper system for the trains, ferries and buses. Already, that’s a sign of the phone standing in for the contents of my purse.Breakfast, checkI obviously needed something to clear the cobwebs clouding my sanity: coffee. I could have tried Samsung Pay with the classic-style swipe reader at the Marriott-owned Starbucks franchise across the street, but the Starbucks app on my phone did the trick simply and quickly. Whew. No purse needed there, either.google-payPortable payment terminals make tableside mobile payments easy. Google Lunch, not so muchFast-casual eateries around the Bay Area have gotten good at outfitting their point-of-sale terminals with mobile payment readers. There’s often an attachment on top of the customer-facing payment terminal, or a white plastic puck from Square that you can hover your phone over. But there was no mobile payment option at my lunch spot, a sit-down affair I had planned with a friend.Restaurants here that value traditional service seem to keep their swipe terminals out of sight from customers. When I asked if this business could accommodate mobile payments, our server shook his head. No, no it could not. I didn’t want to press the matter, offering to go back to the cash register so I could activate Samsung Pay. But I did wish the US followed Europe’s model, where servers bring a handheld payment terminal to your table, a method that nearly always works with Samsung Pay (often to the server’s surprise).Fortunately my friend was there to foot the bill. Well, I suppose this is what peer-to-peer payment services such as Zelle and Venmo are for. The Zelle mobile app lets you send money from one bank account to another.The Zelle mobile app lets you send money from one bank account to another.  Zelle Cash withdrawal: Genius strikes, then fizzlesLeaving lunch on the way to pick up supplies at the Walgreens pharmacy and convenience store, I spied an outpost of my bank. That’s when I remembered that I could use the banking app on the Galaxy S9 to initiate an ATM withdrawal. If I could take out some cash, I wouldn’t feel so unilaterally reliant on my phone, especially if it lost battery power. Feeding the bank card from Samsung Pay to my banking app wasn’t a problem. There was a clear method for that in the Wallet subsection of the app itself, and a bank attendant was there to get me started on the right path. There was just one problem — I had set up Samsung Pay with a credit card, but not my ATM account, so a cash withdrawal through the credit card would come with a hefty penalty if I went that route. Not worth it. That’s when my lunch companion shoved a $20 bill into my hand, just in case. Put it on my tab.Shopping at Walgreens is all winwalgreens-balance-rewards-apple-pay.jpgWalgreens terminals accept payments when you hover the phone near the top. Not all US stores have this feature turned on, even if the terminal is capable. Scott Stein/CNET I’ve used mobile payments at the Walgreens store multiple times, but as I stood in line with my arms full of tissue paper, cards and gift bags, a part of me wondered what would happen if the terminal was offline today. This has actually happened to me before, but I’ve always had the contents of my purse to back me up when a card reader was down or the point-of-sale terminal was simply too old to work with the phone. That’s something I was worried about even though I’ve witnessed Samsung Pay working with readers when Google Pay and Apple Pay wouldn’t.  Mobile payments did work this time, smooth as butter. Now all I had to worry about was how to get home.The commute back, big failThe time was coming to reunite with my purse, but the train still stood in my way. This wasn’t the first time I wished my Clipper transit card worked on my phone, as transit cards do in so many places. And it wasn’t the first time I wondered why you can’t tap the transit card reader to charge the payment card stored on your phone, as you can on the London Underground.Still, I wanted to see if I’d overlooked a way to buy my ticket through NFC, the near field communications system that makes contactless mobile payments work. When I got to the BART station, I checked the contactless pad that lets you tap your Clipper card to add more value, but tapping a phone against it does nothing. Because it’s clear that trying to do that is as futile as trying to buy a bagel with a key card: You’ve got to fully insert your credit card into the hungry mouth of the ticket machine to pay for your fare. What hurts most is that this system is so close to contactless. Grateful for the $20 stuffed into my jeans pocket, I inserted the cash, praying the machine wouldn’t immediately spit it out. These are old rigs, prone to monetary indigestion. I didn’t even realize I was holding my breath until the machine coughed up dollars worth of change in quarters. If I hadn’t been able to buy my ticket with the machine, I’d have had to find another way home, probably at great expense.bart-no-mobile-payment-credit-cardNoooooope. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET Saved? Mobile payments over NFC aren’t a slam dunk yetMy purse and I are reunited now, and after a severe self-scolding, I can think about the state of mobile payments around me: Apps on my phone can shuttle me around by car and keep me fed. Once I add my ATM card to Samsung Pay, I’ll also be able to get to my cash. So long as the phone’s battery is charged and I’m connected to a data or Wi-Fi network, I know I’ll never be truly stuck. (You can use mobile payments offline as long as you have active “tokens,” which contain your encrypted identity verification, but you need a connection to update these periodically. I once got stuck in South Korea for running out of tokens on a phone in airplane mode.) And even in the event of a large purchase, mobile payments already verify your identity, so you don’t need to fish out your ID.But there were problems during my few purse-less hours that could have led to a sadder ending. If my phone had run out of battery or hit a dead data or Wi-Fi zone, I’d have found myself in a tight spot. And with no way to verify my identity on my phone, I wouldn’t be able to get into a bar or buy a bottle of wine for dinner if I chose to leave my wallet at home.The fact that I couldn’t buy a train ticket or a sit-down meal without cash or card, the fact that I worried whether the NFC terminal was on the fritz, all speak to a larger insecurity. My day wasn’t unlike many of the city’s commuters’, but the infrastructure isn’t robust enough for us to rely on mobile payments alone. Maybe tomorrow I’ll wind my purse around the front door knob so I can’t forget it. Because I’m not ready to venture forth without my wallet again. And neither is San Francisco.Originally published Feb. 12 at 5 a.m. PT.Update, 8:11 a.m. PT: Added more detail on payment tokens.Update, Feb. 15 at 3:00am PT.last_img read more

Apple needs to fix the iPhone 11s buttons so accidental screenshots go

first_img See it All the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11R and 11 Max rumors Apple iPhone XS See It Now playing: Watch this: Apple iPhone 11: The top 5 rumors Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it $999 14 hidden iPhone features in iOS 13 you need to know about 12 Photos See All Aug 31 • Verizon vs AT&T vs T-Mobile vs Sprint: Choose the best 5G carrier $999 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 14 Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Apple Pencil Mini for iPhoneOn Aug. 7, Samsung launched the absolutely stunning Galaxy Note 10 and 10 Plus. A key feature of the Note is its S-Pen stylus. Over a decade ago, when companies first released capacitive touchscreen phones like the iPhone, a big selling point was that you didn’t need a stylus to navigate them. Though I have fond memories of using a stylus on the resistive touch display of my Palm Treo 680, as soon as I tried that screen on the original iPhone, I was immediately hooked on the fact that my finger became, to quote Steve Jobs, “the best pointing device in the world.”iphone-x-apple-pencil-compatibleIn its current form, the Apple Pencil might be a bit unwieldy to use on an iPhone. But a mini version might not. Oscar Gutierrez/CNET But it’s no longer 2007 and despite Jobs’ stand against the stylus, there’s now the Apple Pencil, which provides a fantastic experience on the iPad. As the iPhone’s screen has grown over the years, I can’t help but imagine how wonderful an Apple Pencil Mini would be. Doubly wonderful would be if I could also use it on an iPad.Symmetrical buttons have got to goThe button layout on the iPhone X, XS and XS Max is a one-handed obstacle course. Whenever you don’t have a solid hold on the phone or want to change the volume, you risk dropping the device. Recalling the iPhone 4 “antennagate” controversy, I wonder if I’m holding it wrong. But I’m not. The volume buttons don’t need to be directly across the screen from the power button. Seriously, I take so many accidental screenshots, my gallery is full of images of my lock screen. Stagger the buttons so there’s room to put a finger for the extra leverage I occasionally need to change the volume.Or place all of the buttons on one side. Google took a similar approach with the Pixel 3 and I’ve never had issues on it.Backside reverse wireless chargingNow that Apple has wireless charging for the iPhone and on certain AirPods cases, it makes sense that the back of the iPhone 11 could have reverse wireless charging to juice up your headphones.apple-airpods-2Imagine being able to juice up your AirPods on the back of your iPhone. Angela Lang/CNET Of course, if Apple added this feature, the natural progression would be to wonder about the Apple Watch. Imagine how wonderful it would be to only need only one charger while traveling. You’d charge your iPhone and simply place your Apple Watch on the back to top off the battery.A rainbow of colors or high-end finishesThe iPhone XR, besides being the best value iPhone you can currently buy, comes in six colors just like Apple’s original logo. But it would be great for the flagship models to come in more colors and finishes, too. Yes, most people keep their phones in a case, so who cares about colors? I do and I know I’m not alone.I’m not saying the iPhone 11 needs to be offered in the same bold colors as the iPhone XR line, but what about trying out something other than black and white? Sure there are the occasional variations of gold or Product Red models, but those still aren’t quite enough. And there’s a fine line between pushing Apple to look past its tasteful black-and-white scheme and pushing the company to offer a powder blue version like a tuxedo maker in the ’70s. Luckily Apple’s design team has much better taste than a ’70s tuxedo maker.samsung-galaxy-note-10-plus-13The back on the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10. Angela Lang/CNET But when I see the gorgeous finish on the Huawei P30 Pro or the vibrant iridescence of the Galaxy Note 10, I have to wonder what Apple could bring to the table for the iPhone Pro. Maybe it’s not coloring at all. Maybe it’s materials like ceramic, which was used on a special edition of the Apple Watch several years ago, or titanium and ceramic like we saw on the stunning Essential Phone.I hate the notchI get it. Since late 2017/early 2018, every new phone has seemed to adopt a notch. The idea behind it was to increase the amount of screen and reduce bezels. The iPhone notch’s utility and the way the screen wraps around it are an incredible feat of engineering. But it’s ugly. I get used to it in daily use, but there are still moments when I see a video or photo of the phone and realize how ridiculous the notch is.I don’t think iPhones will keep the notch forever. But when companies such as OnePlus and Samsung offer better options, there must be a notchless future for Apple at some point. Years from now when we look back at photos and videos of the iPhone X and XS we’ll wonder, “What the hell happened in 2017 to cause this?” iCloud basic storage needs to grow upThe smallest storage capacity of the current generation of iPhones is 64GB. And yet, the free tier of iCloud comes with only 5GB,  which isn’t enough to back up most iPhones. I’m not saying Apple needs to offer unlimited iCloud storage or even 64GB. But give us enough to back up a full iPhone to iCloud for free. Another option would be to include upgraded iCloud storage as part of an Apple Music subscription or maybe even the Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade subscriptions when those finally roll out. There are a handful of features I want Apple to add to the next iPhone to make it more convenient and have more utility. Angela Lang/CNET The iPhone 11 doesn’t need a radical redesign to do well financially, critically or culturally, but it will take several significant improvements and upgrades for it to remain competitive in an increasingly crowded phone industry. Despite the fact that iPhone sales were down 12% in the last quarter, Apple still made $26 billion. It’s as if Steph Curry didn’t make 300 three-pointers in a single season and somehow the Golden State Warriors still got to the playoffs.There will be an Apple event in the second week of September and it doesn’t take a mind reader to know that it’s to launch the next iPhone. And as I sift through last-minute rumors and ponder the possibilities, I realize that there is a lot I want Apple to add to the iPhone 11 to make it more convenient and give it better value and utility. Best Buy See It 17 Photos Tags $999 Apple Aug 31 • Apple iPhone 11 launches Sept. 10, Disney Plus in big demand Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Sprint USB-C on the iPhoneApple’s most recent iPad Pro came with a significant surprise: the lightning port was swapped for a USB-C. This move seemed like it was the company pushing the iPad Pro into the realm of laptops. But it would be lovely and convenient if the iPhone had a USB-C port, too.In-box ‘cheap’ Bluetooth AirPodsWhat’s most shocking about the loss of the headphone jack across most phones is that Bluetooth isn’t ready to be a viable replacement on its own. Apple and its W1 chip make Bluetooth more reliable, but AirPods cost $159 for a pair — $199 if you want a pair with a wireless charging case.If Bluetooth audio connectivity is the future, there should be an affordable pair of Bluetooth headphones in every iPhone box. For years, Apple included a pair of earbuds that sold separately for $29. But Apple also sold a higher end version with dual drivers and swappable ear tips for $79. I’m not sure what the affordable version of AirPods is, but it still seems like we need something. See It $999 Originally published Thurs. Aug. 22 Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) 3:47 • Share your voice Boost Mobile reading • Apple needs to fix the iPhone 11’s buttons so accidental screenshots go away Comments Mobile Phones Bluetooth Google Huawei Samsung Apple OnePluslast_img read more

2 schoolboys drown in Ramna Lake

first_imgTwo schoolboys drowned in the Ramna Lake in the city on Sunday afternoon, reports UNB.The deceased were Adnan, 15, and Mahfuz, 15, class-IX students of Willes Little Flower School and College.The two students drowned while taking bath in the lake around 4:00pm, said sub-inspector Bachchu Mia, in-charge of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) police camp.Local people rescued the teenage boys and took them to DMCH where physicians declared them dead around 4:20pm, he said.last_img

2 JSS leaders shot dead in Rangamati

first_imgJSSTwo leaders of Jana Sanghati Samity (MN Larma reformist faction) were shot dead at Babupara in Baghaichhari upazila on early Monday.The victims were identified as Shatosiddhi Chakma, 38, general secretary of JSS-backed Jubo Samiti’s central committee, and Eno Chakma, 35, general secretary of its upazila unit.Jasi Chakma, a leader of the faction, said the two were resting after dinner when cadres of Santu Larma faction shot and killed them around 12:30am.But the attackers could not be traced yet.Police recovered the bodies and sent them to Khagrachhari Sadar Hospital for autopsy, said AM Manjurul Alam, officer-in-charge of Baghaichhari police station.last_img read more

UPDATE California Gunmans Wife Found Dead Death Toll Climbs To 5

first_img Share Photo via Twitter Victor StoddardTehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said the shooter was facing charges of assaulting one of the feuding neighbors in January and that she had a restraining order against him.The wife of a gunman who went on a shooting rampage in a Northern California town was found dead inside their home, authorities announced Wednesday, raising the death toll from the attack to five.Investigators discovered the body of Kevin Janson Neal’s wife hidden under the floor with several gunshot wounds. They believe her slaying was the start of the rampage, said Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston.Neal shot and killed four other people and wounded 10 at different locations around the rural community of Rancho Tehama Reserve. Police later shot and killed him.At the time of the attack, the gunman was out on bail after he was charged with stabbing a neighbor. Court records also show that Neal was barred in February from having guns after the assault.Neighbors had complained about him firing hundreds of rounds from his house, and the assistant sheriff acknowledged officers had visited the home on several occasions.“Every time we responded, we would try to make contact with Mr. Neal,” Johnston said. “He was not law enforcement friendly. He would not come to the door. His house was arranged in a manner where we couldn’t detect him being there.”“We can’t anticipate what people are going to do. We don’t have a crystal ball,” Johnston said.Yet Neal was free and able to use a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns Tuesday to shoot 14 people, including at an elementary school, before he died in the shootout with police.Court records obtained by The Associated Press show that Neal surrendered his weapons as required by law in February, but Johnston said they recovered two illegally made semi-automatic rifles and two handguns, registered in someone else’s name.At a news conference Wednesday, Johnston said that Neal’s rampage lasted about 25 minutes, correcting an earlier estimate that it went on for 45 minutes.Neal shot two of his neighbors in an apparent act of revenge before he went looking for random victims.Authorities believe his wife was killed Monday.“We are confident that he murdered her,” Johnston said.______________The gunman behind a rampage in Northern California was out on bail charged with stabbing a neighbor, others had complained about him firing hundreds of rounds from his house, and he had been the subject of a domestic violence call the day before the attack.Yet Kevin Neal was free and able to use a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns Tuesday to shoot 14 people, killing four, in seven different locations across his rural community, including an elementary school, before he died in a shootout with police.It’s not yet clear what the terms of Neal’s bail were, and whether he would have been allowed to possess and fire the weapons on his property at the end of a dirt road in Rancho Tehama Reserve. Nor did sheriff’s officials give details on the domestic violence call.But his many contacts with authorities raised questions of why he was out of custody and able to go on the 45-minute rampage that began with the killing of two neighbors in an apparent act of revenge before he went looking for random victims.Cristal Caravez and her father live across a ravine from the roadway where the gunman and his first victims lived.She said they and others heard constant gunfire from the area of the gunman’s house, but couldn’t say for sure it was him firing.“You could hear the yelling. He’d go off the hinges,” she said. The shooting, “it would be during the day, during the night, I mean, it didn’t matter.”She and her father, who is president of the homeowners association, said neighbors would complain to the sheriff’s department, which referred the complaints back to the homeowners association.“The sheriff wouldn’t do anything about it,” said Juan Caravez.The gunman’s sister, Sheridan Orr, said her brother had struggled with mental illness throughout his life and at times had a violent temper.She said Neal had “no business” owning firearms.Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said the shooter was facing charges of assaulting one of the feuding neighbors in January and that she had a restraining order against him.Johnston did not comment on the shooter’s access to firearms.Johnston declined to identify the shooter until his relatives were notified, but he confirmed the gunman was charged with assault in January and had a restraining order placed against him. The district attorney, Gregg Cohen, told the Sacramento Bee he is prosecuting a man named Kevin Neal in that case.Neal’s mother told The Associated Press her son, who was a marijuana grower, was in a long-running dispute with neighbors he believed were cooking methamphetamine.The mother, who spoke on condition she be named only as Anne because she fears for her safety, lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she raised Neal. She said she posted his $160,000 bail and spent $10,000 on a lawyer after he was arrested in January for stabbing a neighbor. Neal’s mother said the neighbor was slightly cut after Neal grabbed a steak knife out of the hand of the neighbor who was threatening him with it.She wept as she told The Associated Press she spoke to Neal on the phone on Monday.“Mom it’s all over now,” she said he told her. “I have done everything I could do and I am fighting against everyone who lives in this area.”She said Neal apologized to her during their brief conversation, she thought for all the money she had spent on him, saying he was “on a cliff” and the people around him were trying to “execute” him.“I think the motive of getting even with his neighbors and when it went that far — he just went on a rampage,” Johnston said.Police said surveillance video shows the shooter unsuccessfully trying to enter a nearby elementary school after quick-thinking staff members locked the outside doors and barricaded themselves inside when they heard gunshots.Johnston said the gunman spent about six minutes shooting into Rancho Tehama Elementary School before driving off to continue shooting elsewhere. Johnston said one student was shot but is expected to survive.He said the 45-minute rampage ended when a patrol car rammed the stolen vehicle the shooter was driving and killed him in a shootout.Johnston said officials received multiple 911 calls about gunfire at an intersection of two dirt roads. Minutes later, more calls reporting shots flooded in from different locations, including the school.Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and children screaming at the school, which has one class of students from kindergarten through fifth grade.The shootings occurred in the rural community of Rancho Tehama Reserve, a homeowners association in a sparsely populated area of rolling oak woodlands dotted with grazing cattle about 130 miles north of Sacramento.Many there live in poverty, but others are better off.“It’s not a bad community at all,” said Harry Garcia, who was minding his parents’ convenience store La Fortuna Market. “Some people keep their properties nice- some don’t. They rough it out here. Some go with minimum stuff. Some don’t even have power out here.”___Elias reported from San Francisco. Associated Press writers Jocelyn Gecker, Janie Har and Olga Rodriguez in San Francisco, Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles and researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York also contributed to this story.last_img read more

Govt to develop Gandhi Bhavan into major tourist destination

first_imgKolkata: Following the direction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the state Government is taking a major step in developing Gandhi Bhavan in Beliaghata as one of the favourite tourist destinations in Kolkata.It may be recalled that the state government has set up a 46-member committee with the Chief Minister as its chairperson to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The first meeting of the committee was held on April 23 and decision to undertake necessary task for proper renovation of the heritage structure was also taken. The state Public Works Department (PWD) carries out the maintenance work of the structure at present. A programme is also scheduled to be held at Gandhi Bhavan in Beliaghata on October 2. It may be mentioned that the structure in Beliaghata is of immense importance as Gandhiji had spent around 25 days in that bhavan. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsSources said Vivek Kumar, Principal Secretary of the Information and Cultural Affairs department, visited the place last week and held a high-level meeting with concerned officials. A senior official from the state PWD was also present in the meeting, where detailed discussions on tasks that need to be carried out were held.An official said foreign tourists often visit the place. Hence, initiative has been taken to ensure that it gets a proper place on the state’s tourism map. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedA roadmap will be chalked out and based on the same, task will be carried out to develop the place as a destination for people visiting Bengal from different parts of the country and abroad.There is garden all around the house and it is properly maintained. Now, steps will be taken to develop the area around Gandhi Bhavan. Since a lot of foreign tourists often visit the place, steps will also be taken to ensure that they reach the place easily without facing any trouble, sources said. All the tasks will be taken up only after the roadmap is prepared. According to an officer, the work of preparing the same has already started. Help of the concerned PWD officials would also be taken, if needed, to prepare the roadmap. It may be mentioned that to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of mahatma Gandhi, the state government will publish a booklet named as “Father of the Nation” containing speeches of Gandhiji.last_img read more

State to raise issue with NIOS over DEIEd exams new dates

first_imgKolkata: State Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Monday expressed his displeasure over the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS)’s decision in cancelling the D.El. Ed examination in Bengal, citing leakage.”The test has been cancelled only in Bengal but not in any other state where the examination was held. When an examination is cancelled for alleged leakage, it should be done in all the states where the examinations are supposed to be held. Why only in Bengal? Is the NIOS regulated by the Centre,” Chatterjee questioned. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe rescheduling of the examination on February 3 in which candidates have to appear for two subjects each of three hours’ duration has also been an area of concern for those who have already sat for the examination held on December 20 and 21 respectively. The state Education secretary has already written a letter to the concerned authorities either to revoke its decision of cancellation or reconsider the rescheduled date. “The teachers have submitted a deputation to me citing their difficulty to appear for two papers on a single day. So we have decided to raise the issue with the NIOS,” Chatterjee said. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe teachers who have been already teaching in institutions but do not have B.Ed degree can clear D.El. Ed examination and accordingly meet the requisite criteria for teaching as mandated by the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE). Meanwhile, the state Education department has decided to raise the salary of Siksha Bandhus from Rs 5,994 to Rs 8,392 a month. There are presently 3,925 Siksha Bandhus working at the grass-root level of Sarba Siksha Abhiyan (SSA). “The salary of those associated with project management related work under the SSA will also be enhanced by 40 percent on an average,” Chatterjee said. The minister expressed his optimism that induction of Class V in primary education will be completed by 2020 with some areas to be worked upon.last_img read more

New Canadian travel insurance brokerage caters to snowbirds seniors

first_img Share Friday, August 3, 2018 Travelweek Group Tags: Seniors, Snowbird Advisor Insurance, Travel Insurance << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img TORONTO — Canadian snowbirds, boomers and seniors can travel with added peace of mind thanks to a new travel insurance service designed exclusively for their needs.Snowbird Advisor Insurance, a new player in the Canadian travel insurance market, offers a number of benefits for seasoned travellers, including personalized travel medical plans with no stability period requirement for pre-existing conditions, and an exclusive 5% member discount.The company also offers the services of insurance agents who can help clients compare and combine travel insurance options to find the right coverage suited to their budget.Also, launching later this year, the Travel Insurance Learning Center will provide snowbird and senior travellers with transparent travel insurance tips and information to help them make informed coverage choices and avoid pitfalls, regardless of where they purchase their travel insurance.“At Snowbird Advisor, our mission has always been to educate our members about topics and issues related to the snowbird lifestyle,” said Stephen Fine, President of Snowbird Advisor and Snowbird Advisor Insurance. “We plan on bringing the same approach to Snowbird Advisor Insurance by pulling back the curtain and educating our audience about how travel insurance works so they can make smart coverage choices.”More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Fine also added that the company has been able to fine-tune its product offering based on member feedback.“The feedback we received from Snowbird Advisor members made it clear that many of their travel insurance needs weren’t being met. We listened to that feedback and created a travel insurance brokerage to meet those needs.”For more information go to snowbirdadvisorinsurance.ca. Posted by New Canadian travel insurance brokerage caters to snowbirds & seniorslast_img read more

Mr Jorge Ganoza Durant is a geological engineer w

first_imgMr. Jorge Ganoza Durant is a geological engineer with over 12 years experience in exploration, mining, and business development throughout Latin America. Jorge graduated from the New Mexico Institute of Mining in 1994. He is a fourth-generation miner from a Peruvian family that has owned and operated several underground gold, silver, and base metal mines. His professional experience is vast and varied – before Fortuna he was involved in business development at senior levels for several private and public Canadian junior mining companies working in Central and South America. Jorge’s experience extends through various countries including Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Peru, and Colombia.last_img read more

Just a few weeks ago it was revealed that the FBI

first_imgJust a few weeks ago, it was revealed that the FBI will be going through a huge stack of emails they stole from a free service, to find some peaceful people they can publicly prosecute. The service was called Tor Mail…and their advertising slogan was Free Anonymous Email. Supposedly, this system was ironclad and immune from government attacks. And, presumably, the operators would do this very hard thing, forever, and for free. That’s just not rational, regardless of the operator’s intentions. Nonetheless, a small army of people signed up and used the service. It was free, after all! Now, they are being burned, and maybe badly. That sucks, and they almost certainly don’t deserve it, but it was also rather predictable. Free is for suckers. Always has been, still is. Jump at “free,” and you volunteer to pay the piper eventually. Free Contributions Versus Free Services There is a fundamental difference between free contributions and free services. Free contributions can be honest, important, and noble. Phil Zimmerman gave us PGP, Tim Berners-Lee gave us HTTP, and Satoshi Nakamoto gave us crypto-currency. All of these were gifts, for which we should be grateful. Operating a service, however, is something different: Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS Zuck: People just submitted it. I don’t know why. They “trust me” Gifting something to the world is wonderful and deserves our gratitude. There’s nothing wrong with it. Nor is there a real problem with the shareware model, or with a free trial before buying, or the donations model. Doing the daily grind that is necessary to run a service, however, is something very different. These are not acts of passion; they are acts of determination and endurance. Sure, there can be moments of passion, but an ongoing service requires far more than that. And, any service provider that can’t deal with “grind it out” work doesn’t survive. The Free Service Game Right now, free services rule the Internet. Yahoo, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, and all the rest… their business model involves getting people to use their systems for free. But if you use something for free, you are NOT the customer. These companies DO have customers who pay them money, but that’s not you… which means that you are the product! Let’s not forget what Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg famously texted his friend: Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard, just ask. Friend: What? How’d you manage that one?center_img A service requires daily work, most of it less than exciting. And there is no end to it. The contribution – the gift – requires a specific and limited expense of time and passion. Zuck: Dumb f*cks Anything you run through a free service goes beyond your control, immediately and permanently. These companies are monetizing your life, and the lives of your family and friends. Again, you are the product, and they’re selling you to anyone who will pay. No one really runs a service for free. The same thing goes for smartphone apps, by the way. They give them to you for free, or for almost free, and they also sell your life to anyone who will pay. The primary purpose of most apps is to spy on you. Read their privacy statements sometime. “Nothing Bad Will Happen” This is said every day, as it has been by more or less all the victims of history. I’m not for walking around in fear of course, but if you grab at “free” products, you are stepping into a trap. If you don’t know the price in advance, you’ll be charged anyway (in this case, by having your life sold), and you’ll overpay. And bad things do happen, as they did to Brandon Raub. Is ‘saving’ a couple bucks really that big a deal? Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.comlast_img read more

Just as a matter of interest here are Nicks 12m

first_img Just as a matter of interest, here are Nick’s 12-month rolling intraday price average charts for gold and silver—and as you can tell at a glance, these longer-term charts bear no resemblance whatsoever to the June charts in either metal.  What does it mean, you ask? The shorts answer is—I don’t know.  I’m just pointing it out for informational purposes. I strongly suspect that it will be an interim price top The gold price was under quiet selling pressure right from the open in Far East trading on their Thursday—and by 1 p.m. Hong Kong time, the price was down $5.  From that point it chopped sideways until shortly after 11:30 a.m. in London—and then the selling pressure got a little more serious.  The low came right at 8:30 a.m. on the release of the jobs number. From there gold rallied until the London p.m. fix was in—and that was pretty much it for the remainder of the day, as the U.S. traders headed out the door for an early start to their long weekend. The high and low ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,329.00 and $1,309.40 in the August contract. Gold closed on Thursday in New York at $1,319.60 spot, down $7.60 from Wednesday’s close.  Net volume wasn’t exactly light at 133,000 contracts. Both platinum and palladium really wanted to fly after Zurich opened yesterday, but their attempts, like on Wednesday, were met by a willing not-for-profit seller.  Here are the charts. Sponsor Advertisement Here’s Nick Laird’s Long-Term Silver 7/Sentiment chart—and as you can see, June was a very good month for the silver stocks.  But last month’s gains should be put into some sort of perspective when framed against how far these same equities have to go to get back to their old highs. The silver price had a very similar chart pattern except for the fact that the rally off the 8:30 a.m. EDT jobs number was somewhat more robust but, like gold, the rally ended at the London p.m. gold fix—and silver chopped sideways into the close. The high and low ticks in silver were reported as $21.23 and $20.82 in the September contract. Silver finished the Thursday session at $21.125 spot, down 2.5 cents from its Wednesday close.  Volume net of July and August was way up there once again at 43,000 contracts. Not that I want to rain on anyone’s parade—and I’d love to be be wrong at the top of my voice on this—but the current price action has all the hallmarks of a price top.  It’s a theme I’ve been harping on for the last week or so.  I strongly suspect that it will be an interim price top, but this overbought condition must be relieved before prices can power higher.  The only question remaining, at least for me, is how severe—in both speed and duration—will this engineered price decline be? And as I type this paragraph, the London market has been open for just a couple of minutes.  None of the four precious metals did much in Far East trading on their Friday—and all four are at, or a hair above, their Thursday closes in New York.  Considering the fact that the New York traders are MIA, I’m surprised that the volumes are this high.  Gold’s volume is just over 11,000 contracts—and silver’s volume is 5,500 contracts.  The dollar index, like the precious metal prices, is comatose. I’ve decided that since the markets are closed in New York today—and there is no Commitment of Traders Report or companion Bank Participation Report to discuss—a Saturday column just isn’t worth the effort, as there won’t be a thing of interest in it.  But I can tell you in advance that my Tuesday column will be the equivalent of my Saturday column—a really big read—but minus the “blasts from the past.” Here’s a chart that Nick Laird slid into my inbox late Thursday evening Mountain Daylight Time.  It’s the “Global Indices” chart—and what it shows should come as no surprise, as the biggest stock market bubble in the history of Planet Earth rages on. And as I send this off to Stowe, Vermont at 5:05 a.m. EDT, there’s still not much going on now that London has been open a hair over two hours.  Gold volume is up about 40% from the numbers posted in the previous paragraph—which isn’t much for this time of day—and silver’s volume is up less than 20% from two hours prior, so it’s obvious that the remainder of the Friday trading session should be quiet as well.  However, there’s always that black swan out there.  The dollar index is now up 8 basis points. That’s all I have for today.  Enjoy your weekend—and I’ll see you here on Tuesday.center_img The gold stocks gapped down two percent at the open—and hit their lows of the day less than ten minutes later.  From there they made every attempt to rally back to unchanged, but the markets closed at 1 p.m. EDT—and the best the HUI could do was finish down only 0.60%. However, it should be obvious to all except the willfully blind—and those whose jobs depend on them not seeing it—is that I can absolutely guarantee that there’s nothing free market about the price patterns on any of these four charts. I have very few stories for you today—and I hope you’ll find one or two that interest you. While the same 100 million ounces of metal is, effectively, available for investment in both gold and silver annually, because of the great price difference, that translates into a markedly different comparison on a dollar basis. 100 million oz of gold equals $130 billion, while 100 million oz of silver equals $2 billion. These are the dollar amounts required to be expended by the world’s investors in order to absorb the new gold and silver produced annually. Not only is it, obviously, easier for the world to come up with $2 billion than $130 billion, it is also easier for the world to come up with more than the $2 billion required in silver to strongly propel silver prices higher. That’s the key to precious metals prices – investment demand. That silver requires such a small amount of investment dollars to ignite prices to the upside compared to gold is the key difference between the two metals. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 02 July 2014 Since I won’t have a column on Saturday, here are your weekly “blasts from the past.” The pop one was a smash hit the same summer that I graduated from high school—1966.  The Lovin’ Spoonful was a hot band in the mid-1960s—and made a huge impression on me.  Their biggest hit is linked here. Today’s classical selection is a short piano work composed by child prodigy Frédéric Chopin in 1834.  It’s his Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op. 66.  You have to be one of the giants of the piano world to do this work justice—and Evgeny Kissin is more than up to it.  I heard this on CBC FM yesterday—and thought it worth sharing.  It’s one of his most popular compositions—and you’ve probably heard it in one form or another at least once in your life.  The link is here. When I turned on my computer yesterday morning, I couldn’t figure out what the down/up price spikes in gold and silver were all about until Ted Butler gently reminded me that because of the July 4 holiday, the jobs number had come out a day early, so that explained the price action—as counterintuitive as it is, because there’s no real reason why the jobs numbers should affect the precious metal prices. Here are the charts from yesterday—and once again I wasn’t happy with the volume numbers for either gold or silver—especially silver—but I’ll chock it up to yesterday’s price action.  However, once the p.m. gold fix was done—and London closed for the day, volumes vanished as prices flatlined for the remainder of the New York trading session. The agreement with Sumitomo on the Fourth of July project is a great compliment to our recent agreement with Newmont Mining on the Wood Hills South project. We also have the Arabia, Golden Shears and some generative efforts being funded through our joint venture business model. We have enough capital in the bank to last two more years and no debt. The share structure remains at 33.5 million fully diluted. We are very well positioned to have a major win with an incredible share structure. Renaissance Gold has proven through the joint venture business model what exploration success with a tight share structure can do. Renaissance is the spinout of AuEx Ventures that sold in 2010 and made just shy of 100x their first private placement. It takes technical strength and fiscal conservatism to generate meaningful share holder returns in the high risk exploration business. Please visit our website for more information. It was more or less the same price pattern for the silver equities, but the rally of their lows was much more vigorous—and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 0.61%. The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 25 gold and 135 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday.  In gold, ABN Amro was the short/issuer on all 25 contracts—and Canada’s Scotiabank and Morgan Stanley split them up between themselves.  In silver, the only two short/issuers were Jefferies and ABN Amro with 114 and 21 contracts respectively.  Not surprisingly, it was the biggest silver shorts on Planet Earth as the largest long/stoppers—JPMorgan with 63 for its client account and Canada’s Scotiabank with 45 contracts.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. There were no reported changes in GLD—and as of 9:59 p.m EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either. Since yesterday was Thursday, Joshua Gibbons, the “Guru of the SLV Bar List” updated his Web site with the weekly goings-on within the SLV/span> ETF—and he had a lot to say in this week’s report: “Analysis of the 02 July 2014 bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list:  2,544,213.2 troy ounces were removed (all from Brink’s London)—and no bars were added or had a serial number change.“ “The bars removed were from: Jiangxi Copper (0.6M oz), Solar Applied Materials (0.4M oz), Russian State Refineries (0.3M oz) and 18 others.  As of the time that the bar list was produced, overallocation could not be calculated (due to the inaccurate bar list).“ “The list shows 864,675.8 oz of bars as being in SLV, that iShares.com reported as having been removed on Monday. That is very unusual. So did an A.P. not get their silver right away (why?) or is the bar list several days out of date (why?).” “There was a withdrawal of 127,074.4 oz yesterday that should be accounted for on next week’s list.“ “There was another unusual timing of an update last Thursday (June 26) at 11:15 p.m., whereas updates almost always occur between 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET.”  The link to Joshua’s Web site is here. There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday, there was almost no in/out action in gold worthy of the name, as only 402 troy ounces were received—and nothing was shipped out.  But silver made up for it once again, as 602,891 troy ounces were reported shipped in—and 1,309,274 troy ounces were shipped out the door.  Virtually all the silver action was at CNT or Canada’s Scotiabank.  The link to the silver action is here. Nick sent me the intraday price charts for June for both gold and silver.  Both have very similar shapes.  The average of all trading days in both metals indicated that once the daily trading noise is removed, it shows that [in June] both metals began to rally shortly before the Comex open—and these rallies ended at the 1:30 p.m. Comex close. The dollar index closed at 79.94 late on Wednesday afternoon in New York—and crawled up to the 80.05 mark by the time the jobs number was released at 8:30 a.m. EDT.  The index then blasted higher—and 30 minutes later it was at 80.30.  It slid a bit from there into the London p.m. gold fix—and then traded flat for the remainder of the New York session.  The index closed at 80.21—up 27 basis points.last_img read more

DEADLINE ALERT Midnight Tomorrow New Years Day

first_img DEADLINE ALERT: Midnight Tomorrow (New Year’s Day)… Tomorrow at midnight, we’re closing our lifetime membership offer, Casey Platinum, to the public. The doors won’t open again for perhaps an entire year. If you would like to get all of our stock research for a tiny fraction of what others might pay, CLICK HERE NOW. Recommended Links Editor’s note: Today and tomorrow, to close out our special holiday series, we’re sharing a brilliant two-part essay from Casey Research founder Doug Casey on the corruption of the English language. It’s been one of Doug’s most popular essays this year. One longtime reader even wrote in to tell us, “as an avid reader of your columns for years, I would say this is the most outstanding piece I have read.” We think you’ll enjoy it as well… Let’s discuss words. Many of the words you hear, especially on television and other media, are confused, conflated, or completely misused. Many recent changes in the way words are used are corrupting the language. The corruption of language is adding to the corruption of civilization itself. Words are extremely important because they provide the most important means we have to communicate with each other. If you don’t mean what you say and say what you mean, then it’s impossible to communicate accurately. Do you remember that famous line at the end of Cool Hand Luke, when Paul Newman gets shot? “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate”? That’s what I want to talk about. Where shall I start, because there are over a million words in English? I’ve rather arbitrarily chosen a few that are especially relevant to investors and freedom lovers. Many of these words are popular with the political classes. For instance, stimulate the economy. That phrase came out in the ’60s. It really just means “print up money.” They don’t use it much anymore because they can see it no longer results in stimulus; rather, the opposite. Now it’s called quantitative easing. And everybody uses it without questioning the fact that it means “print money,” “inflate the currency,” or “debase the currency.” They say “quantitative easing” with no irony. It makes me think the chattering classes are actually, in reality, quite stupid. I’ll discuss that word—“stupid”—later. The “powers that be” use a word, and all the jabbering monkeys follow their lead using the same word. I advise you to call them on it. When you use the enemy’s language, you’re playing the enemy’s game on his field. And you can’t win a battle when you do that. You may have noticed, for instance, that over the last 10 years, they only talk about gold in terms of tonnes. Not ounces, tonnes. This is doubly confusing to the average guy. Because they’re basically innumerate. Most people are unaware that there are two kinds of tons. There are metric tonnes, which are 1,000 kilos, or 2,204 pounds. And English, or short tons, of 2,000 pounds. And a lot of times, when I see things written, they’ll write “a ton of gold,” and they spell it T-O-N. It’s totally different from a T-O-N-N-E of gold, but nobody knows that, including the ignorant journalists. But they shouldn’t be using either “tonnes” or “tons.” If you’re going to price something in ounces, and use something in ounces, and miners report it in ounces, it’s idiotic to insert “tonnes” into the conversation. Nobody buys or sells or uses a tonne of gold. Even though gold is priced in dollars per ounce, you have fools who talk about tons or tonnes—not having a clue how many troy ounces are in either of them. Or even vaguely knowing what a tonne of gold is worth. But it serves to make the subject of gold more confusing, and more irrelevant, to the average guy. Let’s talk about bonds. I’m short bonds right now. But do you remember when debt instruments used to be called bonds and debentures? That is a critical but totally lost distinction. A bond is a debt instrument that is guaranteed by a specific asset in addition to the company’s credit. A debenture is a debt instrument that is just guaranteed by the issuer’s general credit. Whatever happened to debentures? Apparently, they don’t exist anymore. Why? Because although almost all debt instruments are debentures today, they’re now called bonds—which are better than debentures. It’s subtle, dishonest, and indicative of what’s happened to the credit universe in general. Things are made to look better than they, in fact, are. Another one. Time deposits and demand deposits. Some of you may remember the proper use of those terms. But, now, they’re completely conflated. Banking is actually two totally separate and different businesses combined into one. With time deposits, you give the bank X number of dollars for a specific length of time, and then the bank guarantees you a specific amount of interest. Why? So it can lend it out at a higher rate of interest for an identical amount of time, generally in a self-liquidating, secured business loan to somebody of substance. Consumer and mortgage loans are out of the question to a sound banker. Time deposits still—kind of—exist in the form of CDs, but they’ve generally morphed into savings accounts in the common vernacular. And even those have disappeared and have been conflated with demand deposits—called checking accounts by most people. They are totally different animals. At least if you’re running a sound bank. Historically, with checking accounts, the bank doesn’t pay you interest; you pay the bank a fee. Why? For the service of storing your money, and the convenience of writing checks against it. It’s as if you gave your furniture to Allied Van and Storage, paying them to store it. Now, this distinction is totally lost, and they can, in effect, lend your furniture out. This, plus the fractional reserve system, is why all the world’s banks are illiquid, and most are basically bankrupt. Investment. Savings. Everybody uses these words, often interchangeably. But nobody ever defines them, because they don’t understand what they actually mean. So, they’re misused and conflated. What is investment? “Investment” is the allocation of a certain amount of capital to a productive enterprise, intended to create more capital. It’s like planting a seed. “Savings” is simply putting aside the fruits of past production. You should produce more than you consume. When you set aside the excess, that is savings. Saving creates capital, and with capital, you can invest. But now, the concepts of savings and investment are conflated. The difference between them is undefined and therefore uncertain in the public’s mind. Speculation. A lot of people think, “Speculation? Oh, that’s gambling.” Well, actually no. Speculation is allocating capital not to create more capital, but to take advantage of distortions and misallocations created in the market—usually by government interference. Gambling is to engage in a game of chance—roulette, dice, or the like. Since most people in the markets have no idea what they’re doing, they actually are gambling—just using their brokerage house as a casino. Perhaps that’s why people conflate the two things. Shareholders and stakeholders. We all know that a shareholder actually owns a share in a company, but have you noticed that over the last generation shareholders have become less important than stakeholders? Even though stakeholders are just hangers-on, employees, or people who are looking to get in on a shakedown. But everybody slavishly acknowledges, “Yes, we’ve got to look out for the stakeholders.” Where did that concept come from? It’s a recent creation, but Boobus americanus seems to think it was carved in stone at the country’s founding. We’re told to protect them, as if they were a valuable and endangered species. I say, “A pox upon stakeholders.” If they want a vote in what a company does, then they ought to become shareholders. Stakeholders are a class of being created out of nothing by cultural Marxists for the purpose of shaking down shareholders. Inflation. This is one of the most misused words; few even think about its actual meaning. What is inflation? “Well, that’s prices going up.” No, it’s not. To say that is to confuse cause and effect. Inflation is an increase in the money supply. You inflate when the money supply is increased by more than real wealth increases. Prices go up as a result. People have forgotten about that. Today, inflation seems to come from out of nowhere, like a freak storm. No cause. Unless it’s blamed on the butcher, or the baker, or an evil oil company. Nobody ever thinks it’s a central bank—the Fed in the U.S.—that actually creates more money, and causes inflation. You’ve heard that the Federal Reserve is trying to create a little bit of inflation because, they say, “A little bit of inflation is good.” No, even a little bit of inflation is deadly poisonous. For two reasons: It creates the business cycle. And it destroys the value of savings. Saving is the basis of capital creation. People who say that a little inflation is a good thing are dangerous fools. Well, what about deflation? That’s a bad thing, they say. Well, is it? In fact, deflation is a natural thing in a healthy capitalist economy. Why? Because in a healthy capitalist economy, every year, more wealth is created. An increase of wealth means prices, denominated in a sound money, will go down. And when prices go down, it means that the money you saved is worth more. Your standard of living will rise. Deflation encourages saving. And that’s a good thing, not a bad thing, because remember, savings represents the excess of production over consumption. That’s how you get wealthy, by producing more than you consume and putting aside the difference. And when you have deflation, where your money becomes more valuable every year, you’re encouraged to save. When the government destroys the currency by inflating it, saving is discouraged. Of course, at this point, because of the unsound monetary system, we might get a catastrophic deflation. A credit collapse. Another misused word is money. Money can be defined as a medium of exchange and a store of value. Historically, it’s always been something tangible. For instance, cows or salt. The word pecuniary comes from pecus, which is the Latin word for cow. We get salary from the Latin word for salt. But gold and, sometimes, silver have always been preferred as money. What you’ve got in your wallet, however—those dollar bills—are currency. Currency is a relatively recent invention. It’s the government’s substitute for money. It originated as a receipt for money, i.e., gold. Currency no longer has any relationship to money. And now, forget about even having currency; it’s all about credit. Even currency is going out of circulation with the War on Cash. Soon you’ll only have credit, ephemeral digits in the ether. Everything you buy or sell will go through your bank account, so the powers that be can know exactly what you’re doing. It’ll be pretty much impossible to evade taxes. Or maintain any privacy. The world’s rapidly going in that direction. It’s a huge mistake, and we should not do that. Wait a minute—what did I just say? I said, “We should.” Those are perfectly fine English words except when they’re used together. We should. You remember Tonto and the Lone Ranger? Do you remember the joke about when they were surrounded by a bunch of hostile Indians—excuse me, Native Americans—and the Lone Ranger says to Tonto, “Tonto, we’re in a lot of trouble.” And Tonto looks at the Lone Ranger—incidentally, Tonto means “stupid” in Spanish—and says, “What do you mean we, white man?” We is a dangerous word. Especially when combined with “should.” It often occurs in political speeches or in comments by talking heads. Listen to the imbeciles on TV, and see how many times the words we should occur. I’m sympathetic to Tonto. Another word the political class uses a lot lately is diversity. “We’ve got to have diversity.” No, we don’t have to have diversity. I don’t see why every room has got to have a few blacks, Hispanics, or women. Well, of course, half of the human race are women. But I occasionally like to go to a men’s club. It’s odd that men are never invited to ladies’ functions—and don’t care. In fact, birds of a feather usually flock together. This is perfectly natural. I don’t think you need diversity. If you want it in your club, fine. But freedom of association is far, far more important. I form my friendships based upon neither diversity nor a lack of diversity, although there’s a natural tendency to associate with people like yourself. I form my friendships based upon the character and the beliefs that a person has. The attributes that create diversity are stupid accidentals. The fact that diversity is emphasized draws attention to incidentals like race, sex, and gender, and diverts it from important things like character and beliefs. Diversity has become destructive. Cultural Marxists love it because they hate people. Unity has also become poisonous. That’s another one moronic politicians love to invoke: “We’ve gotta have unity.” No, we don’t have to have unity. In fact, we shouldn’t have unity. Unity is dangerous. It’s what happens when all the chimpanzees get together and start hooting and panting to create a war. People like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao required unity. Remember when it was okay to have bank secrecy, or any kind of secrecy? And then secrecy became somehow wrong. So, moral cowards said, “Let’s just have privacy; the word sounds less threatening.” Well, you can forget about privacy, too. Now, you’re just supposed to have transparency. That’s another word that’s just been revitalized in the last politically correct generation or two. It’s promoted by busybodies as a good thing. Transparency is a condition where everybody can see everything. Frankly, in my life, I don’t want everybody, or anybody for that matter, to see anything; it’s none of their damn business. The ability to maintain privacy or secrecy is one thing that separates civilized men from primitives living in mud huts. I don’t acknowledge either the necessity or the automatic goodness of transparency. Now, if I own shares in a publicly traded corporation, as a shareholder, I’ll demand transparency from the management. Generally speaking, management shouldn’t be trusted. They’re hired suits, and shareholders should keep them on a short leash. But nobody other than shareholders has a right to demand transparency from a corporation. In general, forget about this word. It’s popular. Everybody uses it. But it should be expunged from your vocabulary simply because it’s become such a favorite of cultural Marxists and busybodies. Editor’s note: As you know, Doug is among the most respected investors in the world. Since 1979, he’s called some of the biggest financial events of our time. And now, until tomorrow night only, you can get all of Doug’s future moneymaking research—as well as everything we publish here at Casey Research—as part of our exclusive Casey Platinum Membership. If you’ve wanted to see the many different products we offer, this is a way to save tens of thousands of dollars over the years. To learn more about this incredible opportunity, click here. Just remember, this offer ends tomorrow at midnight. — Our Government Is Corrupt!  This is the most sophisticated case of political corruption we’ve ever seen… But it’s not happening in Russia… Ukraine… or even China. The biggest offenders are right here, in the United States of America. Click here for details. –last_img read more

first_img— Recommended Link Recommended Link “Here’s How I Became a Pot Stock Millionaire… and You Could Too” Justin’s note: Yesterday, Doug Casey and I talked about the decline of nation states. Today, we continue our discussion… and look at what could ultimately replace them…Justin: Will politicians allow this to happen? Or will they use the next crisis as an opportunity to seize more power and wealth from everyday people?Doug: There’s no question about that. The prime directive of every living entity—including governments—is to survive. They’ll try to do so at any cost. They’re like giant dinosaurs in their death throes, thrashing around wildly. They’re very dangerous. You’re going to have to be a very smart little mammal that hides in a hole to not get crushed by them.The best template for how this is probably going to evolve was laid out in Neal Stephenson’s book, The Diamond Age. In that book, which is a work of genius, Stephenson explains how the world is likely to reorient itself. He expects most nation states will dry up and blow away.Sure, some will still exist, but most will be replaced by what he calls “phyles.” These are support groups based on whatever you value most. These phyles will provide services like defense and insurance. So, they’ll offer all the benefits that nation states offer today but they’ll necessarily do a much better job, because they’re private, voluntary, and cohesive.More and more people will discover who their real countrymen are. You’ll find out who you really want to associate and ally yourself with. And it won’t be people who just so happened to have been born in the same area as them, many of whom you have nothing in common with except proximity or government ID. Some may even be enemies or parasites… Wall Street wants THIS Because it’s been data-proven to predict stock market wins with 93.5% accuracy… A full 365 days in advance. We call it the “K Sign” indicator—and you simply won’t believe what it can do… But you can easily find out by clicking right here.center_img Justin: And he thinks these phyles will replace governments completely?Doug: There will still be governments that control certain geographical areas. After all, governments have lots of force. And most people are like chimpanzees; they crave, or at least accept, leadership by the biggest and most aggressive monkey. But I expect many will eventually be replaced by phyles. This will be technology driven.And with migration unfolding the way it is, Africa is going to have hundreds of millions of Han Chinese changing the situation on that continent. They’re basically going to take over that continent. At the same time, scores of millions of African migrants will take over Europe.Those are two big trends that I feel certain about. Who knows what other side shows will happen? But the nation state in its present form is a dead duck. And good riddance to it.Justin: I find the concept of phyles fascinating. But can you help me better understand how they’d work? How big would they be? Would they span across countries and continents?Doug: Well, again, people naturally fall into groups of the like-minded, joined by the things that are most important to them. They could be their philosophy, their religion, or their occupation. In prisons, for instance, it’s race. Inmates self-segregate. The concept is a perversion of the phyle concept, in a way. But to many people race is the most important thing in their lives.Every individual has several, or a dozen, or perhaps a score of things that are important to them. In my case, my friends are people who share my worldview. They believe in maximum social and economic freedom. Those are good qualifiers. I also prefer—I’m quite exclusionary, actually, no “diversity”—people who are honest and competent. And I tend to associate with people of the same economic status because I frankly find that poor people mostly don’t usually bring much to the party.Justin: Why do you say that?Doug: Poor people are usually poor for a reason. They have bad habits. I know all the excuses and sob stories, and some of them are even true. But I don’t want to associate with people who have bad habits, whether they’re rich or poor.I can probably put my finger on about 25 or 30 people in the world that I’d want standing next to me when it’s time to fix bayonets. But that doesn’t, incidentally, include the average guy that lives in Aspen, Colorado, which is where I spend the northern summer. For that matter, it doesn’t apply to the average guy anywhere. In today’s world, “average” doesn’t cut it.In most cases people maintain an acceptable social veneer. But they’re not reliable or trustworthy enough to be part of a phyle that I’d join.There will end up being thousands of phyles, everything from the Hell’s Angels to the Rotary Club. And that’s a good thing. It’s much better than just dealing with the people who happen to live in your area. — Lots of folks hound me to know how I became a pot stock millionaire. I’ll tell you up front, the way I did it is too risky for most. But we’ve discovered a much safer way to play pot stocks. It’s obvious marijuana will soon be legalized everywhere and we’re on the ground floor of a pot bull market. In this video, I reveal how you should play the pot stock bull market. Justin: How long could it be before nation states start going up in smoke? It seems like this is already happening in Europe where many countries appear eager to break off from the European Union (EU).Doug: No question about that. The EU is a complete dog’s breakfast, and has become totally counterproductive. One thing that you can plan your life around is that the EU will break up, dry up, and blow away. It’s completely dysfunctional. It makes absolutely no sense to have 50,000 bureaucrats, useless mouths, in Brussels making everybody’s life miserable.The EU started out as a free trade zone for iron and coal. Good, but unnecessary. And then it metastasized. The idea of a political group managing free trade is a contradiction, idiotic actually. You only need each individual government to drop its barriers, duties, and quotas—unilaterally. The US, and any other country, should have zero of these things, for its own benefit. Otherwise it’s like putting yourself under embargo.Free trade is wonderful and natural. But having the EU or NAFTA facilitate trade is ridiculous and counter functional. The same goes for the United Nations, which is nothing but a corrupt club for bureaucrats. It serves no purpose, and should be abolished. It’s just a drain on the world economy, the EU on steroids.One of the nice things about the Greater Depression, which we entered upon in 2007, is that these governments will become unaffordable. The United States will soon find out that its giant military/industrial/security complex is not only bankrupting the country, but putting it in serious danger. It doesn’t “defend” the US, but draws attacks and creates enemies. And it certainly doesn’t defend freedom, rather the opposite.All their domestic welfare programs are not only unaffordable but—even if they were free—are actively destructive. They’ll fall apart during the coming time of economic stress. And that’s a good thing, although the period of change will certainly be inconvenient and unpleasant for many people.What scares me is that people will act like chimpanzees during this chaos. They’ll be afraid. And they’ll want somebody to protect them. But that, of course, is asking for real trouble.Leaders that promise the most freebies, and the most safety, usually end up being someone like Stalin, Hitler, or Mao. That will happen in the States, too. We’re no longer the country we once were not so long ago.I mean, a lot of people hate Trump. I don’t have any particular animosity toward him. Sure, he’s done some pretty stupid things; his foreign policy of late borders on the criminally insane. But at least the Deep State—which really exists, should any naïfs have any doubt—hates him. And that shows he’s doing a few things right…But what really scares me is the next president, because that person will be elected in the middle of a gigantic crisis. And I’m afraid that Americans will pick someone very, very dangerous.Justin: What will happen to public services when nation states get wiped out? Will phyles provide things like defense and education? Who will be responsible for public infrastructure like roads and bridges?Doug: Well, there’s absolutely nothing that the government does that entrepreneurs couldn’t do better and cheaper.The only justification for the State is its pure coercive power. People seem to think it’s necessary to have an organization with massive coercive power on top of society. That’s the essence of the state. It’s supposed to protect you from force initiated by other people. The army is there to protect you from people outside your geographical area. The police are there to protect you from criminals within your geographical area. And a court system that allows you to adjudicate disputes without resorting to force.That’s what governments are supposed to do, at least in theory. I could live with a government that did that, and only that. But many governments, including the U.S. government, do these jobs incompetently, and at inordinate cost. Worse, they try to do absolutely everything else.In fact, I don’t believe the State should do anything. It’s innately dangerous, incompetent, and always draws the worst kind of people.It certainly shouldn’t be in charge of education. That’s the responsibility of parents. Education is the last thing that should be handed over to the State, if only because the public schools always tend to indoctrinate kids rather than educate them. Public schools also take responsibility away from parents. That makes them irresponsible, which is disastrous.What else? Welfare? Before the Roosevelt regime, Americans used to provide charity on a one-to-one basis. You found somebody who was worthy of help and you helped them. Or you joined something like the Rotary, Optimists, Lions, Knights of Columbus, or what-have-you. There used to be 1,000 organizations like that. Their business was to help people who deserved help.But all these organizations have been minimized because of the huge amounts of capital the State draws out of society. The State has replaced them. In the process the State has cemented the proles to the bottom of the barrel with their institutionalized programs.And this is true of absolutely everything and everywhere the government sticks its tentacles.Justin: Thanks for speaking with me today, Doug.Doug: You’re welcome.Justin’s note: Most know Doug as a legendary crisis investor. But he’s also a “marijuana millionaire.” And on Thursday, April 26 at 8 p.m. ET, he’s joining me and Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno to discuss why investors will be handed a rare second chance at investing in this market.This second wave is expected to be 8 times bigger than the first, when pot stocks were gaining 3,986%, 17,300%, 69,000%… even 299,000% and 399,000%.To hear from Doug himself on this exclusive FREE event—and why the time to strike is now—click here.Reader MailbagDo you agree with Doug’s take on nation states? Do you think they’ll ultimately be replaced with phyles? Let us know here.A Fed-Issued Digital Currency? As soon as July 21st, governments around the world plan to send the entire crypto market through the floor. They aim to take control of your wealth and what it’s worth. But there are simple things you can do today to protect yourself… Find out here.last_img read more

Watching an infant propel herself across the floor

first_imgWatching an infant propel herself across the floor on wheels in a saucer-shape baby walker may be as entertaining as a comedy episode. But because hospital emergency rooms treat more than 2,000 babies a year for injuries sustained while using these walkers, American pediatricians are repeating their decades-old call for a ban.”I view infant walkers as inherently dangerous objects that have no benefit whatsoever and should not be sold in the U.S.,” says Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, a pediatrician who chairs the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention.More than 230,000 children under 15 months old were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for skull fractures, concussions, broken bones and other injuries related to infant walkers from 1990 through 2014, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics published Monday.The walkers are designed to mobilize babies not yet able to walk on their own, but moving on four wheels sometimes sends them on dangerous paths or tumbling down stairs.Pediatricians have long warned against using baby walkers, and consumers groups joined them to call for a ban in 1992. Publicity about the hazards has led some parents to stop using infant walkers and manufacturers to voluntarily tighten safety standards. In fact, the number of injuries related to baby walkers dropped dramatically from nearly 21,000 in 1990 to 3,200 in 2003, the study notes.In 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission strengthened safety requirements on the manufacture and testing of infant walkers, such as installing brakes to prevent stair falls. Injuries dropped an additional 23 percent in the four years after the federal mandatory safety standards took effect compared with the four years prior, the study found.The study is the first to examine the impact of these regulations on emergency room visits. The researchers conclude that the rules probably slowed the number of injuries, but thousands of children are still getting hurt.”Despite this great success, there are still 2,000 children a year being treated for injuries, many of them serious injuries, in emergency departments,” says Dr. Gary Smith, the study’s senior author and the director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “Therefore, we support the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics that baby walkers should not be sold or used. There’s absolutely no reason these products should still be on the market.”Smith and Hoffman, who practices at the Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, agree that the study provides further proof that the CPSC should follow Canada’s lead and ban the manufacture, sale and import of infant walkers. Canada banned the devices in 2004.The CPSC, an independent government safety agency comprising five presidential appointees, notes that the study shows that injuries have decreased significantly since the 2010 regulation. “CPSC continues to monitor the products’ safety,” it says in a statement to NPR.But doctors say the damage infant walkers can do to children’s brains and bodies is not worth the risk of keeping them on the market. Smith has treated babies who landed head-first on concrete after falling down a flight of stairs while strapped into an infant walker. So has Dr. Jerri Rose, a pediatric emergency physician and professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.Rose, who was not involved with the study, says she has seen a slight drop in the number of babies coming into the hospital after being injured in infant walkers. But she continues to treat infants who get into accidents in walkers.”They’re really not safe,” she says, especially because parents often use them as baby sitters so they can turn away and focus on other tasks.The walkers can allow babies to toddle into areas they ordinarily could not reach — stairways, pools, bathtubs and kitchens. Some have drowned, and some have suffered burns after pulling boiling food off stoves, Rose says.A previous investigation identified eight babies who died from 2004 to 2008 as a result of injuries sustained in infant walkers.Smith estimates that babies strapped into infant walkers can travel 4 feet in one second — faster than their parents.”Parents bought the myth that if they watched their children carefully they wouldn’t get into trouble,” he says. “But that was a myth.”Also, many parents mistakenly believe that infant walkers can speed their children’s ability to walk. But studies have shown that they might slow motor development, Rose says.Many families still buy infant walkers despite the warnings, though, and some families hand them down from generation to generation, the authors of the Pediatrics study write. Stores stock a colorful selection of walkers decorated with an array of animals and Disney or Sesame Street characters.As a safer alternative, Rose recommends stationary activity centers, which provide babies entertainment without mobility.It’s not just infant walkers that cause injuries. Improper use of infant walkers, baby carriers, strollers, changing tables and bath seats brings children 3 years or younger into U.S. hospitals to be treated for injuries every eight minutes, a recent study showed, and these injuries are on the rise.Ronnie Cohen is a Northern California journalist who frequently writes about health. Follow her on Twitter @ronnie_cohen. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

In June an unusual email arrived in the inbox of

first_imgIn June, an unusual email arrived in the inbox of an NPR global health correspondent.The headline was: “Merck Foundation together with First Lady of Burundi release ‘Plus Qu’une Mere’ an empowering French Song as courtesy to all infertile women in Burundi and Africa.”The email had a link to a video of a performance with an all-female choir. Wearing traditional African clothing printed with the Merck Foundation’s logo, they sing a song with lyrics that encourage people not to blame women for infertility.They’re performing before an audience of maybe a hundred people, most of them in similar Merck garb.The video raises a number of questions: Can a song be helpful to women who are infertile? What is the role of the First Lady of Burundi in this project? And … why is nearly everyone in the choir and audience wearing the Merck logo? To learn more, NPR spoke to the Merck Foundation and to specialists who deal with infertility and the impact of musical health messages.A Musical MessageThe song is part of an ongoing campaign called “More Than A Mother” from Merck Foundation, the charitable arm of the pharmaceutical company Merck KGaA Germany.Since 2016, the Foundation has been staging music videos, performances and songs (as well as fashion shows and media trainings) to send the message to African countries that a woman should not be blamed if she is unable to bear children.The campaign messaging also notes that for those women and men who do seek fertility treatments, Merck has options.(As for the garb of the choir singers, one global health researcher interviewed by NPR was not concerned. In parts of sub-Saharan Africa, explains Jocelyn E. Finlay, a senior research scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, it’s common for community leaders to celebrate special events by printing large swaths of traditional African fabric with the logo of a sponsoring group for guests to turn into clothing.)Neglected TopicMerck’s efforts are important because infertility is an under-researched issue around the world, says Finlay, who studies reproductive health in low-income countries.”The overall message is not a bad one,” she says of Merck’s campaign. “Not much [in terms of funds and research] is going on for maternal health right now — priorities are shifting elsewhere. Merck is one of the few organizations that prioritize women’s health in developing countries” through research, partnerships with local health care institutions and public education.And Merck is doing more than hosting fashion shows and making music videos.The Foundation also sponsors an Embryology & Fertility Training Program, a three-month course in clinical and practical matters in more than 30 countries across Africa and Asia. Since 2015, the program has trained 109 fertility specialists.Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation, said she could not share the budget of the program because the figure is “hard to extract.” It is part of Merck’s larger effort to provide training to health-care workers in the developing world on such medical concerns as cancer, diabetes and rehabilitation, she says. And that broader effort includes support and financial contributions from its partners, including the Manipal Academy of Higher Education in India and the International Institute for Training and Research in Reproductive Health in the form of free tuition and other donations.The infertility program is especially critical in sub-Saharan Africa. While the region has some of the highest birth rates in the world, it also has one of the highest rates of infertility globally, according to the World Health Organization. Around the world, more than 180 million couples face infertility. In the poorest countries, the 12-month infertility prevalence rate — failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sex — ranges from 6.9 to 9.3%, according to WHO.As in many parts of the world, women in sub-Saharan Africa who can’t have children often feel a sense of shame. “There is an expectation that women can bear children. And when they don’t get pregnant, then it’s assumed it’s the woman’s fault,” says Finlay.Most cases of infertility in this region are caused by infections, for example STDs or pelvic infections, according to a 2011 study in Facts, Views and Vision in OB-GYN. Some of these causes are treatable, but the techniques are often too expensive for the majority of the population. And there are few fertility specialists and treatments on the continent, says Finlay.Infertility Care For AllMerck Foundation, says Kelej, is ramping up fertility services to people from all income levels. In addition to its training program, it has teamed up with the International Federation of Fertility Societies to provide fertility services to public hospitals across Africa. The idea is to provide low-income patients who are trying to conceive with basic treatments — for example, removing fibroids or treating infections.In this partnership, Merck connects African fertility specialists to technical experts who travel to the local clinic. They demonstrate how to use the medical equipment or provide assistance in setting up an in-vitro fertilization center. So far, Merck and IFFS have helped set up fertility clinics in public hospitals in Uganda and Guinea.”We want women and couples to have access to everything: information and health. We want to change their mindset around infertility and let them know they have a choice,” says Kelej.Songs To ‘Empower’ WomenThe “More Than A Mother” campaign has so far launched 14 local songs with singers from Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. Merck says the songs were created to “empower” women with the message that there is more to life than being a mother. Men shouldn’t blame women if they aren’t able to have children. One lyric goes, “Life is bigger than having children, my friend.”And the songs point out that infertility can also be an issue for men. In a song called “Life Is Bigger,” Rwandan artist Tom Close, sings: “Yes, she might be the one with the problem. But you might as well be the one with the problem.”Close is one of the many artists that the Foundation enlisted to create songs and music videos to reflect local culture and language. The musicians also include the local all-female choir from Burundi, a singer named Sunita from Gambia and a Kenyan rapper (with more than a million Instagram followers) known as Octopizzo.And of course, there is the song written and performed by the First Lady of Burundi, H.E. Madam Denise Nkurunziza. Kelej says that Nkurunziza is a singer in her own right and put out versions of her “More Than A Mother” song in French, English and Kirundi, a Bantu language spoken in her country. Some of the videos can be found on the Foundation’s YouTube channel. The goal is for the songs to get local TV and radio airplay.If done well, musical messaging can be a good strategy, says Carlos Chirinos Espin, a professor of music and global health and the director of New York University’s Music and Social Change Lab. “There is a body of literature that shows entertainment education has a strong ability to change behaviors in health.”According to the 2019 SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture, music has helped change attitudes and inform the public about diseases from HIV/AIDS to malaria. Espin himself helped develop a campaign during the Ebola crisis called Africa Stop Ebola, to raise awareness about the pandemic.But some global health advocates and ethnomusicologists interviewed for this story say that the “More Than A Mother” music videos fall flat. In one video from August 2018, for example, Merck Foundation teamed up with Octopizzo and Rozzi, a singer from Sierra Leone.Titled “Octopizzo ft. Rozzi, Remix of Merck More Than A Mother Song,” it shows an African man kicking his wife out of a house because she can’t have children. A few scenes later, the woman — wearing an African print garment and visibly disheveled — goes to meet with a woman sitting behind a big desk and computer at an office building. That woman is Kelej, CEO of the Merck Foundation. Kelej, an Egyptian national with blonde hair and Western clothing, lifts the woman’s downcast face with her hands. Seconds later, the African woman is walking down the hall of a building wearing Western clothing. In the next scenes, her fortune changes. She starts her own business, meets the man of her dreams, gets remarried and — with the support of her husband, begins infertility treatments.The video is “problematic,” says Austin C. Okigbo, an associate professor of global health and ethnomusicology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. It makes it seem as if the biomedical intervention solves all problems, but it “does not solve the culturally rooted problem of blaming women for infertility.””A medical solution [only works] when the cultural biases have been addressed,” he adds. “It can be an option for those who wish to go that route. It means that Merck is out to sell their product and not there to address the problem of infertility stigma.”Kelej disagrees with the criticism. “I don’t believe there is a dual message,” she says. “We want women and couples to have access to everything: information and health. We want to change their mindset around infertility and let them know they have a choice.”Power DynamicsThe Octopizzo and Rozzi video raises other concerns. Some social justice advocates are uneasy with the imagery in the video featuring Kelej. The African woman’s life is only transformed after meeting Kelej and working with the Merck Foundation.The power dynamic between Kelej — who works for a Western multinational pharmaceutical company — and the African woman evokes the white savior complex, says Nora Rahimian, the co-founder of #CultureFix, a global network of artists who use the arts to create social change. It feels “neocolonial. There are power dynamics at play.”Whether or not the music was effective in helping to change public opinion on infertility is a matter of time and research, says Okigbo. “The only way you can know is to deploy a qualitative analysis before and after the campaign to see if the level of awareness has changed, maybe after one or two years.”One thing is certain, say the five researchers interviewed for this story: The Merck Foundation represents a business — and it has the company’s bottom line in mind.”They are not going to be able to create a demand for their product unless they educate their consumers that they should demand a product,” says Usha Sundaram, a senior lecturer in consumer and digital marketing at the Norwich Business School at the University of East Anglia. “It’s textbook marketing.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

How to use MomoPay to Pay Your Merchant

first_imgMomoPay is a cashless payment system that allows MTN customers to pay for their goods/services directly from their mobile money accounts. Photo by Olupot Nathan Ernest/PC TECH MAGAZINE Advertisement MomoPay is a cashless payment system from telecommunication firm; MTN Uganda. Launched in Aug. 2018, the payment platform is according to MTN – their latest addition to Mobile Money’s Arsenal, and so far registers about 80,000+ merchants. Merchants range from Supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants, fuel stations, salons, even small shops/kiosks among others.The introduction of MomoPay is to combat the pain experience by customers while making transactions – especially when it comes to customer’s change. Therefore, the telco through MomoPay is committed to simplifying financial transactions by enabling people transact comfortably and conveniently.The system is launched and set-up in major cities and towns countrywide with Arua town being the latest. MTN today officially launched the service in Arua town at the Winner Classic Supermarket, following the recent launch in Kampala at Shoprite.A customer pictured walking out of Shoprite at the Lugogo Mall in Kampala, as MTN ushers look on. Photo by Olupot Nathan Ernest/PC TECH MAGAZINE. – Advertisement – So, how do customers actually use MomoPay when/while paying for the goods or services?Well, first things first. For customers to be in position to use the MomoPay system, they’re should be registered to MTN mobile money. Why? MomoPay is a cashless payment system that allows customers to pay for their goods/services directly from their mobile money accounts. The biggest advantage, customers are not charged any extra cost – while merchants, earn commissions from selling airtime.Tip! For merchants that want to register to use the system can contact MTN Uganda customer care service at 122. Or you could write email MTN at MoMoPayRegistration.Ug@mtn.com with the following information, full name, business name, contact number and location of business.How to use the system as a customer:Dial *165# and choose option 3 – which happens to be MomoPay. In case of different number, look out for option MomoPay.Enter the merchant’s code in the pop-up dialog.After entering the code, it will automatically ask you to verify payment by entering your mobile money pin.After confirmation, you payment will be made instantly.The above process differs from merchants with POS such as supermarkets. What happens? In this case,Using the scenario of Shoprite, from the POS machine, the option to pay using MomoPay is option 2.Once selected, it will prompt for your mobile phone number.Then confirm payment from your phone using your mobile money pin.last_img read more

FCC Chairman Pledges to Undo Net Neutrality Rules

first_img Add to Queue Ajit Pai, chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Next Article Image credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images Reporter 2 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Angela Moscaritolo The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. President Donald Trump’s newly appointed Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is serious about undoing current net neutrality regulations.During a speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Pai called Obama administration net neutrality regulations a “mistake” as he pledged to “embrace what works and dispense with what doesn’t.” “The torch at the FCC has been passed to a new generation, dedicated to renewal as well as change,” Pai said. Calling for a “light-touch Internet regulation,” he said the FCC is “on track to returning to that successful approach.”With former President Barack Obama’s support, Pai’s predecessor Tom Wheeler in 2014 pushed to classify broadband as a telecom service under Title II of the Communications Act rather than an information service. That gave the FCC more authority to regulate ISPs, and provided its net neutrality rules a stronger legal footing after years of court battles. The commission voted 3-2 in Feb. 2015 to approve the proposal.During his speech at MWC, Pai likened the move to “last-century, utility-style regulation.”Rules developed to tame a 1930s monopoly were imported into the 21st century to regulate the internet,” he said. “This reversal wasn’t necessary to solve any problem; we were not living in a digital dystopia. The policies of the Clinton Administration, the Bush Administration and the first term of the Obama Administration had produced both a free and open internet and strong incentives for private investment in broadband infrastructure.”He argued that current regulations “injected tremendous uncertainty into the broadband market,” and said that stymied growth.Going forward, “America’s approach to broadband policy will be practical, not ideological,” Pai said.Pai’s comments come after the FCC last week officially voted to exempt ISPs with 250,000 or fewer subscribers from the transparency requirements in the agency’s net neutrality rules. The move, the FCC says, will free these ISPs “to devote more resources to operating, improving and building out their networks.” 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Apply Now » –shares March 1, 2017 ‘The torch at the FCC has been passed to a new generation,’ Ajit Pai said. FCC Chairman Pledges to Undo Net Neutrality Ruleslast_img read more

Amazon Offers Employees 10K and 3 Months Pay If

first_img The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Senior Editor Next Article Amazon Offers Employees $10K and 3 Months Pay If… 2 min read –shares Amazon’s shopping experience and Prime subscriptions rely heavily on the company’s ability to deliver orders extremely quickly. With that in mind, Amazon is now offering existing employees a big incentive to quit their job and become entrepreneurs focused on running a successful delivery business.As TechCrunch reports, Amazon is rolling out a new offer to its employees. In return for setting up their own product delivery service, the company will fund your start-up with $10,000 and pay three months of the salary they earned while working as an Amazon employee.The thinking here is to make the transition to delivery business as smooth and cost-free as possible, while covering those first few difficult months any business suffers by continuing to offer an income. It’s sure to prove very popular with employees who’d like a change of career or a bit more control over what they do every day at work.The incentives don’t just stop at cash, though. Amazon is offering a complete package which it calls the Amazon Delivery Service Partner program. It includes hands-on training, on-demand support, Amazon’s existing delivery technology, access to leased Amazon Prime-branded delivery vans, and discounts on fuel costs, insurance cover, and branded uniforms for delivery personnel to wear.Amazon doesn’t just want the former employee to drive a van, the company envisions each delivery partner growing to run multiple vans and employing lots of drivers. As a way of enticing such expansions, Amazon claims a delivery service running 40 vans is capable of earning $300,000 in profit every year. We can only imagine what a fleet of 40 vans delivering parcels all day means for Amazon’s profits.Anyone interested in becoming a Delivery Service Partner, regardless of whether they are an Amazon employee or not, should start by reading the brochure. After that, it’s just a case of creating an account and applying to the program. With one-day shipping set to become the norm for Prime, all applications are surely going to be looked upon kindly as Amazon attempts to grow its fast delivery options. May 13, 2019 This story originally appeared on PCMagcenter_img Amazon …they quit their job and start a delivery business instead. Image credit: via PC Mag Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Matthew Humphries Apply Now »last_img read more

Why Amazon is sending you pictures of your front porch

Explore further ©2018 USA Today Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Have you suddenly started getting porch snapshots from your Amazon delivery person? You’re not alone. Amazon has been quietly expanding a program over the past few months in which some of its delivery providers take a picture of where they put your package. The photo is included in the notice of delivery—either in an email or accessible in their Amazon account—received by shoppers so they know when it arrived and where to look for it.The new service helps with a common customer pain point when getting deliveries at home—finding where a package was left while they’re at work, especially if it was tucked behind a bush or flower pot to make it less visible to would-be thieves. It also has the advantage of forcing drivers to prove that they’ve indeed brought the package to a customer’s address.Amazon Logistics Photo On Delivery is “one of many delivery innovations we’re working on to improve convenience for customers,” Amazon spokesperson Kristen Kish said.The service also highlights the growing, if still small, reach of Amazon Logistics, the Amazon-controlled delivery network that is distinct from companies such as UPS, the U.S. Postal Service and FedEx with which Amazon contracts for the lion’s share of its U.S. deliveries.The Photo on Delivery program has existed for at least six months, but recently Amazon updated the delivery device and app used by delivery personnel in its Amazon Logistics delivery system—called Rabbit by drivers—so all Logistics drivers can take a photo. This has made the program more visible to a broader geographic swath of Amazon customers nationwide. It’s currently available at least in the Seattle, San Francisco and Northern Virginia metro areas and only comprises a small portion of U.S. deliveries.The photo notifications can also be kind of creepy, especially if customers don’t realize delivery drivers have been taking these photos. While part of the Amazon Logistics protocol since May, previously customer could only find the photo by searching on their Amazon account and order history.The feature rolls out as Amazon increasingly asks its customers to accept its constant presence in their homes, from a voice-activated speaker that records snippets of commands to a high-tech entry system that allows delivery personnel to enter their home. For those who’d prefer not to have photos of their doors or shrubbery sent to them, customers can opt out of the service on the Amazon website under the help and customer service tab.More: New Amazon Key lets the delivery driver leave packages inside the front doorMore: Curb how Facebook, Google and Amazon use your personal data in a quick privacy clean-upNot a fix for theftPhotos still don’t thwart thieves, an increasing problem as more shoppers take advantage of home delivery. In San Francisco, Annette Hurst recently got a photo of an Amazon package behind the planter at her front gate. Unfortunately, the text from the driver said it had been left on back porch.Not only that, but the box disappeared before she got home. On the positive side, getting a replacement was no problem and the photo seemed to help when she described the theft to Amazon customer service, she said.Amazon on Tuesday announced it was buying video doorbell maker Ring, which claims its product can deter package theft by allowing the homeowner to speak through the device’s speaker to warn thieves they’re on camera.More: Amazon agrees to buy Ring, maker of video doorbellsMore: Package theft hits nearly one-third of Americans. Is video surveillance the answer?You may be a frequent Amazon customer and never get a photo. The service is only active with packages delivered via Amazon’s Amazon Logistics delivery system, which include Amazon Delivery Service Providers and Amazon Flex drivers. You can tell them apart because Amazon DSP deliveries usually come in white vans while Flex drivers use their personal vehicles.The service isn’t available for packages delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx or OnTrak because they use their own delivery routing and notification software. Most Amazon deliveries use these.Amazon Logistics is Amazon’s small but growing network of its own contractors. Most of the drivers for Amazon Logistics are local companie with as few as 10 vans.The other type are short-term gig worker drivers who use the Rabbit app and deliver through the Amazon Flex program. They typically work three- to four-hour shifts.Photos taken while delivery shouldn’t have a life beyond the Rabbit device and app. Drivers upload them to Amazon’s servers and never have access to them, it says. Amazon said it does not use the photos for any purpose but to send them to the customers and sometimes by customer service to troubleshot delivery problems.As more Americans shop online, they’re finding the convenience of never battling a parking lot comes with unexpected trade-offs. Such as hunting for delivered packages. Another Amazon customer in San Francisco, Joanne Pearlstein, recently got an Amazon notification showing “a photo of my package … at my neighbor’s house.”In Oakland, Jack Whalen likes the feature because it tells him which of several obvious places a package might have been left at his house, on the porch at the side, a gate by the sidewalk or another gate that leads to the front door.”We have had packages left at them all,” he said.Amazon says orders shipped to an address marked confidential, such as a Wish List or Registry address, don’t include delivery photos to protect the privacy of the recipient or a surprise gift.Roiling the delivery watersThe service is somewhat similar to what has been available in transportation management systems for several years, said John Haber, CEO of Spend Management Experts, an Atlanta-based supply chain management consulting firm.As proof of delivery, firms will photograph pallets of freight before they are loaded, when they are loaded onto a vehicle and at the final destination. These photographs are typically used as not only proof of delivery but also for dealing with questions over damage claims.Offering it to consumers could be a game-changer for the package delivery world because Amazon isn’t charging for it.”For UPS and FedEx, getting a delivery confirmation signature costs about $5, it’s a huge revenue generator. If Amazon’s just offering it as standard proof of delivery, will the other parcel carriers have to match it?” Haber said. Citation: Why Amazon is sending you pictures of your front porch (2018, March 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-amazon-pictures-front-porch.html Not at home? Amazon wants to come in and drop off packages This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more