Officials Consider Joining KenaiSoldotna SewerWater Lines

first_imgWhile the discussions are preliminary, both community leaders expressed a need to work together moving forward to see if sharing water and wastewater lines makes sense. A trade of Soldotna water for Kenai sewer may pencil out in the future. While the determination of the impact to the Kenai River’s minnows and other feeder fish hasn’t yet been quantified, Anderson says in the long run other options should be considered. Kenai Vice Mayor Tim Navarre: “Is there savings to the two cities to working together on sewer and water? We will flush that out and see what happens.” Soldotna Mayor Nels Anderson: “It bothers me, at least, that we are dumping anything into the Kenai River.” Kenai Vice Mayor Tim Navarre: “We do treat it, we do have good water now…but there is a cost associated with that year after year.” Both cities also treat their wastewater to standards, but the discharge of the effluent may become a problem for Soldotna. While both cities treat their water streams, Soldotna has a head start in getting to standards.center_img Soldotna Mayor Nels Anderson: “It’s just what’s there naturally from the dissolved minerals and things that we don’t happen to have in ours.” Kenai Vice Mayor Tim Navarre: “That costs them, to be able to dump it into the Kenai River, ’cause that is where their sewer treatment plant is. Ous is out at the inlet, it gets mixed with the tide.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Soldotna Mayor Nels Anderson: “Kenai and Soldotna have competed on things for so long, it really doesn’t make sense. We need to work together for the common good of all citizens, and that is what I see happening.” Story as aired:Audio PlayerDorene-on-officials-consider-joining-kenai-soldotna-sewer-water-lines-1.mp3VmDorene-on-officials-consider-joining-kenai-soldotna-sewer-water-lines-1.mp300:00RPd City of Soldotna Public Works Director Kyle Kornelis says the current system meets EPA standards for copper and zinc in the river, metals that are picked up from plumbing, but they want to stay ahead of potential regulatory changes in the future.last_img read more

Middlesex Sheriff Announces Completion Of 19th Annual Youth Public Safety Academy 1050

first_imgCHELMSFORD, MA – Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian thanked the cadets, families and community partners involved in the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office 19th Youth Public Safety Academy (YPSA) this summer. Over 1,300 youngsters applied for this year’s summer camp, with over 1,050 participating.“YPSA is a true community program – it’s about our kids, our officers and firefighters, and our hometowns,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “I am so happy we could welcome over 1,000 children to the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office this year to learn safety skills, challenge themselves and make new friends with classmates and officers alike.”YPSA cadets experience a week full of activities structured around team building, safety education and engagement with law enforcement officials. This year, cadets came from forty-four Middlesex County communities, including Acton, Arlington, Ashland, Ayer, Bedford, Belmont, Billerica, Boxborough, Burlington, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Everett, Framingham, Groton, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Littleton, Lowell, Malden, Marlborough, Maynard, Medford, Melrose, Natick, Newton, North Reading, Reading, Sherborn, Shirley, Somerville, Stoneham, Stow, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Waltham, Watertown, Wakefield, Westford, Woburn and Wilmington.Officers and firefighters from many of these communities joined cadets throughout the camp. Several public and private organizations also provided educational resources, including AT&T of Massachusetts, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services (DFS), the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC), and the National Park Service (NPS).This year, a $23,500 grant from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) allowed the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office to accept an additional 146 cadets from its waitlist as well as hire additional staff.“We are incredibly grateful for the support of EOPSS and all of the72 public and private organizations who assisted with this year’s Academy,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “They truly make YPSA the success that it is, and we hope to have all of them back next summer as we celebrate our 20th year.”Registration for next year’s YPSA is expected to open in early March, 2019. For information on the Academy and the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office’s other community-based programming, please visit middlesexsheriff.org/community.(NOTE: The above press release is from the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related51 Wilmington Students Graduate From Middlesex Sheriff’s Youth Public Safety AcademyIn “Government”Attorney General Awards Middlesex Sheriff’s Office A Healthy Summer Youth Jobs GrantIn “Police Log”Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Receives State Grant For Popular Youth Summer CampIn “Police Log”last_img read more

Equal Pay Day Women in tech are still making less than men

first_img Tags Tech Industry 15 Commentscenter_img Tuesday is Equal Pay Day. Getty Images While Equal Pay Day might sound like some kind of holiday, it’s actually a stark reminder that men and women don’t always get paid equal money for equal work.In fact, when looking at part-time and full-time workers in the US, women earned about 85 percent of what men did in 2018, according to data released in March from the Pew Research Center.The annual marker, which falls on Tuesday this year, symbolizes how far into this year women would have to work in order to have earned as much as men did in the previous year. Usually around Equal Pay Day, there’s a new offering of research from various sources shedding light on how and why that is. In the tech industry— which regularly grapples with numbers that show it’s predominantly made up of white men— disparity in pay is shrinking, but slowly. Glassdoor, a site that corrals employment information on companies, looked at more than a half million salary reports and found that at the pace we’re going, it’s going to take 51 years to close the pay gap.  In its March report, called Progress on the Gender Pay Gap: 2019, Glassdoor found the adjusted pay gap in tech is 5.4 percent, above the national average of 4.9 percent. The adjusted pay gap incorporates factors such as experience and education when comparing the earnings of men and women. While it’s improving, the gap has closed just 0.5 percentage point since 2016.”It’s not a surprise that there’s still a fairly large gap when you consider the fact that most of the highest paying jobs are still predominantly male,” said Daniel Zhao, a senior economist who worked on the report.Tech recruiting platform Hired also put out a report last week called The State of Wage Inequality in the Workplace, and found that when men are offered the same job role women, they’re offered higher salaries 60 percent of the time. The report also found that in the tech industry, white and Asian women made 97 cents for every dollar white and Asian men made. The amount dropped for black (89 cents) and and Hispanic women (91 cents).Meanwhile, not all tech workers are convinced there’s a problem. The reported stated that “64% of female survey respondents believe a racial wage gap exists due to racial identity, while 54% of men believe it exists.”Over the years, some companies have set goals to close their pay gaps. Tech companies like Salesforce, Intel and PayPal have all said they’ve closed their pay gaps. “There’s a cultural phenomenon where women are paid less,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told 60 Minutes in April 2018, when recounting how the company conducted an audit to correct its pay imbalance. (Editor’s note: 60 Minutes is owned by CNET’s parent company, CBS.)One reason progress in tech might be slow, Zhao said, is because there are so few women in the field to start with. He said that industries making quicker progress, like the nonprofit world, tend to be already more gender-balanced.It isn’t just money that women are missing out on. “People spend a third of their lives at their jobs,” Zhao said, “a lot of their overall happiness and satisfaction with life is tied up into how they feel about their job… reducing the amount of discrimination and stress is really important.”  Share your voicelast_img read more

Ken Starr Says He Will Resign As Baylor Chancellor

first_img Share Marjorie Kamys CoteraKen Starr during a Texas Tribune symposium on higher education in Waco.Days after he was stripped of his job as Baylor University president over a scandal about how the school handled accusations of sexual assault, Ken Starr said he will also resign as chancellor of the private Baptist school. In an interview with ESPN published Wednesday, Starr said he will remain as a law professor at the university. It’s unclear when the resignation will go into effect. A school spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Until last week, Starr held the job of president and chancellor. He was removed from his president post by the school’s board of regents after an investigation commissioned by the school found that Baylor failed to sufficiently investigate allegations of sexual assault against students, and football players in particular. The school also didn’t provide sufficient support to victims who reported those assaults, the report said.This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2016/06/01/ken-starr-says-he-will-resign-baylor-chancellor/.last_img read more

Otto Warmbiers Parents Sue North Korea Alleging Torture Of Their Son

first_img Share Photo by Reuters/PBS NewsHourThe parents of U.S. college student Otto Warmbier have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against North Korea, saying its government tortured and killed their son.Updated at 5:45 p.m. ETThe parents of an American college student who died after more than a year in North Korean custody have sued North Korea, accusing the regime of torture and mistreatment.Otto Warmbier was returned to the U.S. last June in a coma. He died soon afterward. A coroner concluded that his death was “due to an unknown insult more than a year prior to death.”North Korea has denied torturing Warmbier, whom they accused of trying to steal a poster and sentenced to 15 years hard labor. Pyongyang says the student’s coma was caused by botulism.Cynthia and Fred Warmbier, his parents, say that’s a lie.In the lawsuit, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C., they say North Korea “brutally tortured and murdered” their 22-year-old son.The Cincinnati couple accuses the regime of hostage-taking, torture, extrajudicial killing, wrongful death, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and assault and battery.“North Korea’s conduct was willful, outrageous, extreme and dangerous to human life, and violates applicable criminal law and all international standards of civilized human conduct and common decency,” the lawsuit states.The Warmbiers are asking for punitive damages. The lawsuit comes just weeks before President Trump is due to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, an extraordinary and unprecedented meeting. And it was filed just days after the administration announced that Mike Pompeo — then CIA director, now secretary of state — met with North Korea earlier this month.In general, countries are immune from lawsuits in other countries. “We prefer that disputes between sovereigns really be resolved at the diplomatic stage, as opposed to the private civil litigation stage,” law professor Stephen Vladeck of the University of Texas explained to NPR in 2016. And then there’s the question of reciprocity, he said: “Otherwise you’d have a race to the bottom where countries would hail each other into each other’s courts.”But there are exceptions — including, in the U.S., an exception for countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism. That’s what allowed Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian to sue Iran for torture in 2016.North Korea was on that list until 2008, when it was removed by the George W. Bush administration. But Trump put Pyongyang back on it in November, making the Warmbiers’ lawsuit possible.Theirs is not the first lawsuit against North Korea. Several U.S. citizens sued in the 2000s — and won default judgments, after Pyongyang declined to show up to defend the cases.The brother and son of Kim Dong Shik, a U.S. permanent resident who was abducted in China and disappeared, sued, alleging that North Korea was responsible. The U.S. District Court in D.C. ordered North Korea to pay $330 million.Relatives of two Americans who were killed in a 1972 terrorist attack in Tel Aviv sued North Korea for providing material support to the terrorist group behind the attack. The U.S. District Court for Puerto Rico awarded a judgment of $378 million.Thirty American citizens injured in or affected by a Hezbollah strike in northern Israel sued North Korea and other entities over the attack, receiving a total judgment for some $169 million.Members of the USS Pueblo and their families sued North Korea over the 1968 torture of the crew, receiving a $65 million judgment.Of course, getting a judgment is one thing. Getting money is another. Federal courts would have the right to seize North Korean assets to pay the judgments — if there were any North Korean assets on U.S. soil not already frozen.The crew of the Pueblo never managed to collect their money from Pyongyang, but they ultimately received $9 million from the U.S. Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism fund. The relatives of the victims in Tel Aviv have attempted to collect that money by seizing North Korean assets related to the registration of Internet domains; so far, that has been unsuccessful.As for the family of Kim Dong Shik, the last entry in that case’s court docket is an attempt to mail a notice of default judgment to North Korea.The envelope was returned as undeliverable.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Shiloh Baptist Church 30th Pastoral Anniversary Gala for Bishop Heber M Brown

first_imgThe 30th Anniversary Gala for Bishop Heber M. Brown of Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore County will be held on April 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at the Grand Lodge of the Masonic Temple, 304 International Circle, Cockeysville, MD where the Gala Preacher will be Bishop Dennis V. Procter, bishop of AME Zion of Alabama & Florida. The culminating celebration service will occur on May 1 at 3:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of Shiloh Baptist Church of Baltimore County where the Anniversary Preacher will be Bishop Walter Scott Thomas, Sr. of the New Psalmist Baptist Church. For more information call 410.477.8886.last_img read more

Bengal in sight as part of our move to boost bilateral ties

first_imgKolkata: Vietnam is looking at Bengal as a major gateway in its stride for developing trade relations with the Eastern states of the country, Ambassador, Embassy of Vietnam in India, Ton Sinh Thanh said on Wednesday.”Vietnam has received investment of 320 billion US dollars from across the world for 25,000 projects. But investment from India has been only 1 billion US dollars for 130 projects. This is a small amount and we want things to move. We want to attract more tourists to Vietnam from India as well as Bengal,” Thanh said at an interactive session on “Bila-teral Trade between India and Vietnam: Prospects and Way Ahead” at MCCI. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsSadhan Pande , state minister for Consumer Affairs, Self Help Group and Self Employment, who was the special guest at the event, urged the Ambassador to consider making Bengal a hub for the country. “Bengal is at the crossroad of South East Asia and you can move to any Eastern state from here. So, you may consider making Bengal a hub as part of your efforts to develop relationship between the two countries,” Pande said.He added that Vietnam needs to play a more positive role in attracting tourists from the country. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”People from the country as well as Bengal travel a lot to Bangkok and Bali. Vietnam should also come in the picture of wooing tourists from here,” he added.According to the Ambassador, only 1,10,000 Indians visited Vietnam, while a little over 1 million Indians went to Thailand. Pointing out connectivity as a constraint, he said, “We are working on improving connectivity between the two countries. A direct flight from Delhi to Vietnam is going to commence in September 2018. Bengal is also very much on our radar. The Indian government is promoting a Look East policy and developing closer business ties with South East Asia and Bengal is the gateway to the Eastern states,” Thanh said.last_img read more

Finding the Keywords Your Competitors Use

first_img 5 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. In his book Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website, SEO and online marketing expert Jon Rognerud shows you how to build a high-performance website and get top ranking on all search engines. In this edited excerpt, the author explains how to find out what keywords your competitors are using and how you can use that data to improve your search engine rankings.It’s important when analyzing keywords that you know which keywords your competitors use and if you’re in the proper league to either continue to use them or try for keywords that are still popular yet not used as often.Some paid keyword analyzers can tell you which competitors use which keywords, but this is often limited to what’s used for Google AdSense campaigns. A good way to determine what keywords your competitors are using is to use keyword research tools to extract keywords from their pages, and then copy and paste your selected keyword into a search engine such as Yahoo! or Google to see where they show up.An easy way to find target keywords for your competitors is to see what Google thinks they are by using the new interface to Google Keyword External tool (updated to look and act like the version supplied within Google AdWords.) The new keyword tool allows you to select languages, local search targets and more.Use these steps to discover keywords from competitor domains:Access the keyword tool and log in.Input your competitor’s web address.Review the listings, and scroll down to view all and see the collection of keywords including ad group ideas.You would pick the keywords that have (exact) search counts and that closely match your site as a starting formula. A combination of head and long-tail keywords should be included in an Excel tracking sheet. As you enter some of these keywords into Google, you’ll see varying results for paid results. These will help you understand how “commerce viable” a keyword is. The more ads, the more you can consider it to be a moneymaker. You can further input top keywords into Spyfu.com and Keywordspy.com to discover more detail, including potential paid campaigns and their resulting landing pages. This will give you a broad view of your competitor’s use of keywords, pages and overall strategy.For each of the top five sites, select keywords that seem reasonable, match your market and have search volume, and then take a look at the results that come up. Don’t worry as much about the sponsored listings, as these spots are out of your league if you have limited funds. Expand the research, and focus on the first ten direct listings of the search engine results. Ask yourself: Do these listings relate to the keyword at hand?Having the exact keyword phrase in your title helps you rank better with search engines. Additionally, you can check on the number of inbound links of these sites. Use LinkVendor to do this. If you have a Google webmaster account (you should!), your incoming links will be revealed there. Rather than simply hunting down links, however, search for quality links back to you, which are of higher priority. The search engine will return how many inbound links the website has. Make sure to select the “Except from this domain”–we want to show only external links, not links within the site.Now, what do you do with all this information, particularly if the number is high? Even if the number of inbound links is in the thousands, you don’t necessarily have to discount a keyword. In order for inbound links to be useful for search engines, they must relate to the keywords used throughout your website. For example, if you’re looking to rank well for refinancing loans yet your inbound links are for subprime mortgage loans, you’ll get a good search engine ranking for subprime mortgage loans rather than what you originally wanted, which was refinancing loans. A solid information architecture with keyword research to build out your pages will help avoid this problem. You’ll make sure that you target pages across your site, not just your homepage.You’ll get some legitimate traffic, since some subprime loans are also refinancing loans, but the traffic wouldn’t be as relevant as if you had inbound links that related directly to refinancing loans. If this is what’s happening with your competitor’s keywords, you can take advantage of it by creating a site with the appropriate inbound links.How can you determine if a competitor’s inbound links relate to the keywords used on its site? OpensiteExplorer.org will show your competitors’ anchor text and a lot more around domain authority, diversity of linking domains, which is important, and total links.A powerful tool that you can try on a 30-day free trial is Market Samurai. It provides a complete, integrated system for all online marketing efforts, and it’s a killer tool. The link analysis can show you all incoming links sorted by page rank or by anchor text use, and can easily be exported. Find out who they are, and submit for a link. You may be surprised to find out that top, or first page, listings of Google have low page rank values but extremely targeted page and anchor text matches. This is a big secret to success.You can effectively compete even if a site has a smaller number of legitimate inbound links. The key is to ensure that your links directly relate to the keywords used on your site; if your competitors don’t, you may be rewarded with top placement. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. March 18, 2014 Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

ACV now the only tour op to offer allinc privileges at Curaçao

first_imgACV now the only tour op to offer all-inc privileges at Curaçao resort MISSISSAUGA — Got clients looking for an all-inclusive stay in Curacao? ACV has just announced that it’s now the only tour operator to offer the three-star Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club as an all-inclusive property.Selling features of the resort include two bars, a pool, playground, tennis court and fitness facility, and three restaurants –two of which are at an additional cost. Guests also have free use of snorkelling equipment, one free diving lesson, free shuttle service to downtown and access to facilities at nearby property Sonesta Kura Hulanda Village & Spa.Kura Hulanda is part of ACV’s Privileges program, which offers clients preferred room locations, early check-in and late checkout, free Internet and three guaranteed à la carte dinners.Another featured property in Curaçao is the four-star Kunuku Aqua Resort. Exclusive to ACV, this resort is ideal for families and groups, and includes 114 rooms and apartments that can accommodate up to six guests. It also features an outdoor pool, a children’s pool with waterslides as well as a playground.  Complimentary shuttle service is also available to nearby Sambil, Willemstad and Daaibooi beach.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaKunuku is part of ACV’s Play program, which offers a free eat, play and stay for kids aged 12 and under. With Play, families also receive an exclusive flight experience including free seat selection, priority boarding and a $10 in-flight meal voucher for every member. For more information, visit vacations.aircanada.com. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, February 21, 2017 Travelweek Group center_img Tags: Air Canada Vacations, Curacao Share Posted bylast_img read more

European channel group SPI International has acqui

first_imgEuropean channel group SPI International has acquired programming from NBCUniversal, while preparing for the launch of its first 4K network.The NBCU deal gives it close to 100 first-run film titles in the Czech Republic and Slovakia including Fast and Furious 6, Despicable Me 2 and 47 Ronin and run on the FilmBox Premium channel.Meanwhile, the Ulta HD channel will be called 4K FunBox UHD. Acquisitions for the channel are being sought an finalised here in Cannes at MIPTV, and SPI has already secured more than 200 hours of content for it.“Our new Ultra HD library will initially offer very diverse content such as visually stunning nature documentaries, breath taking videos of San Francisco skyline and eye-popping CG animations,” said Berk Uziyel, executive director of FilmBox International, an SPI subsidiary.last_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

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

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

Role of memories in people with and without hoarding problems

first_img The Bath team is currently leading work to explore the potential of immersive VR technologies in modelling treasured items, giving those with hoarding tendencies a form of exposure therapy and the opportunity to discard items in a virtual world. We can all relate to the experience of being flooded with positive memories when we hold valued possessions in our hands. However, our findings suggest that it’s the way in which we respond to these object-related memories that dictates whether we hold onto an object or let it go. The typical population appears to be able to set aside these memories, presumably to ease the task of discarding the objects, and so manage to avoid the accumulation of clutter. The hoarding participants enjoyed the positive memories but reported that they got in the way of their attempts to discard objects.” Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 20 2019New research conducted at the University of Bath has demonstrated important differences in how people with and without hoarding problems discard objects and the role their memories play.It was already known that hoarding behavior is driven by a strong emotional connection with objects. But the new experimental findings, published online in the journal Behavior Therapy, show that for people who hoard this connection may be in part attributable to the vivid, positive memories associated with those objects.In essence, for those with hoarding problems, individual items become an extension of a given memory, becoming a barrier to decluttering and hence exacerbating an individual’s problems. Drawing on the new findings, the team behind the study hope that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for hoarding might be enhanced by training individuals to respond differently to those memories.Hoarding describes a problem where individuals have considerable difficulty letting go of possessions. Consequently, rooms can become so cluttered over time that living spaces becomes no longer usable for their intended purpose.According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, hoarding can be a mental health problem in its own right (known as ‘hoarding disorder’). The clutter associated with hoarding can have profound negative effects on the lives of people living with the problem and those around them, particularly with respect to emotional and physical well-being, health and safety, and finances. The fire risks associated with clutter are also be of particular concern.Lead researcher Dr Nick Stewart, who now works as a Clinical Psychologist at Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, explains: “People who hoard are often offered CBT to help them understand the thoughts and feelings associated with their saving and acquiring behaviors. This approach is very beneficial for some people, but not all. Our aim is to understand better the psychological factors that drive hoarding behavior, to give us clues for how therapy for hoarding might be improved.”The researchers conducted structured interviews with 27 people with clinically-significant hoarding problems, and 28 without such difficulties (the ‘control’ group).Participants were asked to recall the memories that came to mind the last time they discarded, or tried to discard, items at home.Both groups reported positive memories while discarding possessions that they valued (which may describe most possessions in the case of people who hoard). These memories included recollections of acquiring the object, or memories of an event or person associated with the object. Crucially, the control participants (those without a hoarding problem) reported attempts to avoid this positive imagery, while the hoarding participants did not.Dr Nick Stewart, Lead Researcher: Related StoriesParticipation in local food projects may have positive effect on healthHospitals’ decision to transfer kids with mental health emergencies is based on insurance typeTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTIn the paper, the researchers have suggested ways in which this new insight could be used to enhance CBT for hoarding.Dr James Gregory, Clinical Research Tutor and Clinical Psychologist at the University of Bath, who supervised the research, said: “Where positive memories, and the mental images associated with them, are getting in the way of discarding objects, therapists could work with people to develop an alternative image to ‘compete’ with the one that’s causing difficulty. This competing image could capture the positive consequences of discarding items, for example, eating a meal with loved ones at a dinner table once it is clear of possessions.”The next step is a follow-on experimental study to see if helping people to ‘rescript’ memories in this way is helpful for enabling people to let go of objects more easily.Dr Gregory added: “While memories associated with objects can afford a sense of comfort and security to people who hoard, the resulting clutter can rob people of their quality of life.”This study is part of a wider effort at Bath to to better understand the special relationship that people have with their possessions. Ultimately we hope to use this knowledge to improve psychological support available and to enhance the wellbeing of people who hoard.”Notes on hoarding: On hoarding research at Bath: Up to 1.3 million people in the UK may have a significant hoarding problem (or develop one in the future); People with hoarding problems may keep items for sentimental reasons or because they find objects beautiful or useful. Most people with hoarding problems have a very strong emotional attachment to objects; Hoarding can become problematic for several reasons. It can take over a person’s life, making it very difficult for them to get around their house. It can also affect work performance, personal hygiene and cause relationships to suffer; Household clutter can also pose a health risk to the person and anyone who lives in or visits their house. For example, it can become a fire risk and block exits in the event of a fire, or cause trips and falls; The main treatment is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The therapist will help the person to understand what makes it difficult to throw things away and the reasons why the clutter has built up. This will be combined with practical tasks and a plan to work on. Source:University of BathJournal reference:Stewart, N. et al. (2019) The Role of Intrusive Imagery in Hoarding Disorder. Behavior Therapy. doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2019.04.005last_img read more

Amazon and Casino to roll out grocery delivery in France

first_imgDon’t forget the croissants—Amazon is expanding its partnership in France with grocery retailer Casino US online retailer Amazon and French food giant Casino said Tuesday they would roll out their partnership in rapid delivery of groceries to further French cities in the coming months. Last year members of Amazon’s Prime Now service in Paris were able to order a selection of products from Casino’s upscale Monoprix supermarkets for free delivery to their homes in under two hours.Casino said in a statement that this service would now be offered in additional cities within the next 12 months, but did not specify the name or number of those cities.They will also deepen their partnership by adding several thousand Casino label products and adding Amazon delivery lockers in 1,000 Casino group stores.”With this new partnership, we will be able to offer the greatest number of customers the best products and services whenever and wherever they wish,” Casino chief executive Jean-Charles Naouri said in the statement.Grocery delivery in France has developed at a slower pace than in Britain and the United States.But rival French supermarket chains, which often sell a selection of clothes, household goods and electronics in their larger stores, have recently begun stepping up delivery services for groceries as Amazon has expanded its service. Explore further Amazon delivers boost to French grocery giant Monoprixcenter_img 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. Citation: Amazon and Casino to roll out grocery delivery in France (2019, April 23) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-amazon-casino-grocery-delivery-france.html © 2019 AFPlast_img read more

Climate activists find warmer reception at shareholder meetings

first_img Nation 08 Jul 2019 Environment group holds climate change rally in KL “The weather is worse, so the climate for these climate proposals is better. Companies are more receptive,” he said.For a graphic click here : https://tmsnrt.rs/2GgUWDBAlong with climate resolutions, those focused on other areas like director nomination rules have also found traction, said John Roe, head of ISS Analytics, part of proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services.ISS data shows among the roughly 820 resolutions of all types filed in each of the past three years, withdrawal rates were 23% in 2017, 31% in 2018 and 30% so far in 2019. ISS’ data does not capture how withdrawals were tied to deals. The counts by ISS and Ceres both include mainly U.S. companies.Stephen Giove, partner at law firm Shearman & Sterling who represents large companies, said executives prefer to settle in private rather than confront shareholders at annual meetings, especially after high-profile wins for activists at several energy companies. In several areas “There’s now more leverage on the side of the proponents,” Giove said. The trends match how companies have responded to other criticisms, such how some banks have pulled back from private prisons and gunmakers.The tallies will inform a debate over proposed rule changes sought by business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable to make proxy resolutions harder to file. Representatives for each group did not comment on Ceres’ tally.A regulatory filing shows staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could recommend rule changes next April.Danielle Fugere, president of activist organisation As You Sow, said rule changes are not needed. “Its become very clear that shareholders appropriately care about climate change,” she said.Fugere cited resolutions by her group calling for grocer Kroger Co to report on renewable energy use, winning 25% investor support in 2017 and 31% in 2018. This year she said As You Sow made a deal with Kroger and withdrew the proposal. Via e-mail, Kroger Group Vice President Jessica Adelman said the company spoke with As You Sow about cutting energy use and that it is getting ready to set a new carbon reduction commitment.”We always engage with investors,” she said. (Reporting by Ross Kerber in Boston; Editing by David Gregorio) Related News BOSTON (Reuters) – Climate activists found companies more receptive to steps like cutting emissions or buying clean power this year, a new tally of shareholder resolutions shows, a trend proponents said undercuts the case for proxy rule changes sought by business groups.Of the 145 climate-related proposals filed for this year’s springtime annual meeting season, 39 percent led to deals and were withdrawn, according to Ceres, a Boston-based advocacy group that coordinates and tracks the resolutions. Last year the rate was 36 percent, and 21 percent in 2015.For instance restaurant parent Yum! Brands Inc in April agreed to track its emissions and to identify ways to reduce them, leading activists to withdraw a shareholder proposal before a shareholder vote, a company spokeswoman confirmed.Executives are more inclined to compromise as extreme weather shows the impact of climate change, said Rob Berridge, Ceres’ director of shareholder engagement. Metro News 12 Jul 2019 Raising awareness of climate changecenter_img Related News World 10 Jul 2019 U.S. Democratic lawmakers declare climate emergency {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

BJP MLAs daughter Dalit partner likely to marry in court next week

first_img Next BJP MLA’s daughter, Dalit partner likely to marry in court next weekSources said BJP MLA’s daughter Sakshi Misra and her partner will get their marriage registered in court on July 16 after making a request to the court.advertisement Indo-Asian News Service LucknowJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 10:16 IST Their inter-caste wedding created a huge controversy.Sakshi Misra, the daughter of a BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh, and her husband were now expected to opt for a registered marriage in court, after their inter-caste wedding created a huge controversy.Sakshi is a Brahmin, while her husband Ajitesh Kumar belongs to a Dalit family.This is being done after the priest of the Ram Janki temple in Prayagraj, where they reportedly exchanged vows and even have a certificate to prove that they tied the knot, denied the marriage, adding that the certificate was fake.According to sources, the couple will be appearing in the Allahabad High Court where their petition will be taken up for hearing on July 15.”They will get their marriage registered in court on July 16 after making a request to the court itself,” the sources said.Sakshi and her husband, who have been on the run since July 3 when they left their respective homes, made an appearance on Friday on a news channel where they again alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Bareilly, Rajesh Misra was against their marriage purely on caste grounds.The couple and Ajitesh’ father Harish Kumar have alleged that SSP Bareilly Muniraj G had refused to respond to their calls for protection and security.However, after the matter hit the headlines, the SSP has now said that the couple would get police protection so that they can safely appear before court.READ | Bareilly BJP MLA’s daughter who married Dalit moves court, seeks protectionALSO READ | Soch badlo papa: BJP MLA’s daughter who married Dalit boy makes emotional appeal to dad on live TVALSO WATCH | Please change your thinking: BJP MLA’s daughter’s emotional appeal to her fatherFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byKritika Bansal Tags :Follow BJP MLAlast_img read more