Australia targets social media cos in new extremist footage laws

first_imgSydney: Social media executives could be jailed if they fail to remove extremist material from their platforms quickly, under controversial Australian laws adopted Thursday, in the wake of the live-streamed mosque shootings in Christchurch. Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favour of the laws, which make it illegal not to remove footage of “a terrorist act,” murder, torture, rape and kidnapping, and spell out that internet service, content and hosting providers will be held culpable. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USPlatforms like Facebook and YouTube could face fines approaching billions of dollars — or 10 percent of global annual turnover — for failing to allow the “expeditious removal” of the offending material, while executives could face 3 years in jail. Technology companies, policy experts and lawyers pilloried the legislation — which was jammed through parliament in two days and faces an uncertain future beyond elections expected in May. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is facing a difficult reelection battle, said: “Big social media companies have a responsibility to take every possible action to ensure their technology products are not exploited by murderous terrorists.” The opposition Labor party expressed serious misgivings but voted in favour of the legislation. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsAustralia’s Law Council described the legislation as “knee-jerk” and warned it could have “serious unintended consequences.” President Arthur Moses warned the laws could be used to curb whistleblowers, and “could also lead to censorship of the media, which would be unacceptable.” Attorney-General Christian Porter said the legislation could be used to target platforms used by the far-right like 4Chan and 8Chan. It will be up to a jury to decide whether the platforms acted with good speed to take down offending content, raising questions about how the law will be implemented. The Institute of Public Affairs described the legislation as a “blatant attack on the freedom of the media.” “Throwing media executives in jail will increase costs to taxpayers without improving community safety or addressing concerns about violent content being shared on social media platforms,” said researcher Andrew Bushnell. “Companies and executives may respond to the threat of criminal penalties by erring on the side of censorship.” The laws are expected to be followed by steps toward treating social media giants more like publishers, which would make them legally responsible for the content on their platforms.last_img read more

Argument of fair play

first_imgAttracting tumultuous response from parties over its recent exploits, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has been proactively exercising authority as the custodian of elections. With the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in effect with the upcoming elections, there have been several infringements forcing ECI to advocate norms and act accordingly. Naturally, it is the duty of ECI as a custodian to safeguard elections and maintain a free and fair environment so that the sanctity of the electoral process is not jeopardised under any circumstance. With ECI, the sense of autonomy that we presume it exercises has been at par with the judiciary, especially in recent past where other institutions have been subverted. And, since ECI is the referee to the contest, it invariably enjoys the highest respect from voters and parties alike. Now, while ECI has issued notices to those flouting rules, acted vehemently and authoritatively owing to its strong policy of ensuring the electoral process’ sanctity, it has attracted criticism as well as applause for its decisions. Enforcing MCC, ECI has been vocal on issues where it identified any violation, appropriately responding to letters complaining of violations, to maintain a level playing field. While a lot of criticism has been directed by the opposition parties over Modi’s biopic which is, as of now, scheduled to release on April 11 which also happens to be the first day of polling in the Lok Sabha elections 2019. Putting aside the astonishing coincidence of the biopic’s release and polling season, ECI did not raise objections over this and further left the decision of film’s release on Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). CBFC gave the nod and the film shall release on April 11 unless the Supreme Court says otherwise in a hearing today after a Congress worker filed a plea demanding a delay to its release claiming that it disturbs the level-playing field for other candidates in the fray. ECI has reserved its response and will make a decision after evaluating the developments in the apex court. ECI, while ambiguous in the biopic issue, expeditiously transferred four top cops of West Bengal and replaced Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary on Friday apart from sounding a cautionary note to UP CM Yogi and NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar for their violation of MCC norms. While Mamata and Naidu grew livid over ECI’s decision, demanding an explanation for the same, Yogi and Rajiv Kumar were reminded of their “oops” moment. Having been posted just two months ago, Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma along with three other cops were transferred in an urgent notice to the state’s chief secretary in which they were also barred from poll duty. With no explanation cited, as expected, speculation spread wide whether it was done because Anuj Sharma was considered as a close aide of Mamata. Meanwhile, down south, Chandrababu Naidu grew anxious over the fact that first a district Collector was transferred, then the Intelligence DG and two district SPs, and now the Chief Secretary. ECI further directed that outgoing Chief Secretary Anil Chandra Punetha be posted to a non-election post. ECI’s decision to transfer Punetha comes right after he had filed a writ petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court on March 27 challenging the ECI order, transferring the Director General of Intelligence AB Venkateswara Rao. He contended that the EC did not have any “untrammelled powers” to interfere with the course of administration that is unconnected to polling. Yet, ECI, bypassing the jurisdiction argument and unmoved by Punetha’s petition which was rejected by the High Court, transferred him as well. Also Read – A compounding difficultyWhile ECI rocked Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal with unexplained transfers, its soft approach towards UP CM and NITI Aayog vice-chairman confuses the public over its intentions. ECI’s apprehensions that these civil servants might influence the polls in any manner (evident from the fact that these transferred officers are barred from poll duty) might be a probable justification of its surprise orders and hence, gives them the benefit of the doubt to not allow even an iota of suspicion to exist when it comes to polling. However, approaching the UP CM Yogi Adityanath with just a cautionary note asking him to be careful next time and conveying just “displeasure” while expecting NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar to “exercise caution in future” reverses ECI’s stance over its apprehensions. If on one hand, ECI contended civil servants as dubious and hence transferred them, then on other it could only express displeasure over serious flout of MCC. In public interest, ECI’s preferential treatment invites abject criticism of double standards. To add to this, ECI’s response on Namo TV – which also seemingly violates MCC owing to promoting events related to Modi being broadcasted 24 hours on it – is awaited. Elections are just around the corner and ECI must justify its decisions or the public faith might falter. If the one tasked with maintaining fair play is unfair, then how fair is the play after all?last_img read more

Pochettino – We are happy to play at Wembley

first_imgTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says it’s a “gift” for his team to play at Wembley after their extended stay at the stadium.The North London club has had issues with their new stadium, meaning they have to play at Wembley longer than they anticipated, and Pochettino has praised the England national stadium and says it’s an ‘honor’ to be playing there.“Everyone who is there is entitled to give their opinion. If you ask me, I am so, so happy to play at Wembley,” Pochettino told Sky Sports.“When I was born in Argentina and heard about England for the first time, it was with all the problems with the Falklands – it was very sad news when I heard it for the first time when I was in Argentina in my hometown.“Then when I arrived in Europe and when I played the World Cup against England (in 1998), and then after when I arrived at Southampton six years ago, I changed my mind completely in the way I see this country.“For me, it’s an honor to be here and a pleasure to be here. I have discovered amazing people and an amazing country – very close to us.Victor Wanyama, Tottenham Hotspur, Premier LeaguePochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.“We are always comparing Argentina with Spain and Italy, but we have more [similarities] with English people than maybe Spain or Italy.“When you, like we, love football, always you hear about Wembley. It was always a dream to play at Wembley. I played with the national team in 2000 at the old Wembley. It was a dream come true.“Now every week or two weeks we have the possibility to play at Wembley. For me, it’s a gift.“When I take the north circular when I look and see the [arch], I say thank you because every game I play at Wembley is a gift.“We always say, one game more, how lucky we are. For me, it’s the best place in the world to play football, and of course, after that will be shared with our new stadium as the best place to play.“Of course, the disappointment from our fans, I understand. But for me, I take it as a positive to play there and a gift that I want to enjoy every time I’m there.”last_img read more

Lightning puts on show no damage cited

first_imgLightning put on a show over Clark County late Thursday and early Friday, but appeared to spare the region of any damage, fires or headaches, local officials said.About 40 lightning strikes lit up the sky in Clark County, said Andy Bryant, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Portland. Most of those flashed between 8 and 10 p.m. Thursday, he said, largely in east county near Camas and Washougal.Despite the potent storm, fire officials in the two cities reported no major calls associated with the weather.“Frankly, I’m surprised, as prolific as the lightning was,” said Scott Koehler, fire chief at East County Fire & Rescue.Lightning lasted until around 11 p.m. Thursday, and then started again around 5 or 6 a.m. Friday, Koehler said.Though no injuries or property damage were reported Thursday night or Friday morning, Koehler advised residents to remain vigilant. Lightning strikes can cause roots underground to smolder for days before a fire ignites, he said.Camas-Washougal Fire Chief Nick Swinhart was out of town Thursday night, but noted he did not receive any calls notifying him of any major weather-related events. People should stay inside, avoid standing near tall metal structures and remain on the bottom floor, if they’re in a multifloor building, when lightning storms occur, he said.last_img read more

Cardinals Fall 41 to No 17 Virginia in ACC Opener

first_img“UVA played mistake-free doubles to open up the match,” said UofL head coach Rex Ecarma. “They won four deuce points early and we were fighting from behind. After they won No. 1 singles, the rest of the matches could have gone either way. David won and Sergio was winning. Fabien was up in the second set early. It’s obvious we have a special group of freshmen. UVA added two players in their top four. They are very improved team from last year.” #17 Virginia 4, Louisville 11/20/2019 at Charlottesville, Va.(Boar’s Head Sports Club)Singles1. Carl Soderlund (VA) def. #104 Brandon Lancaster (LOU) 6-1, 6-02. Brandon Nakashima (VA) vs. Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff (LOU) 6-3, 6-5, unfinished3. #38 Gianni Ross (VA) def. Fabien Salle (LOU) 6-2, 7-54. Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. Federico Gomez (LOU) 6-3, 6-45. Aswin Lizen (VA) vs. Sergio Hernandez Ramirez (LOU) 3-6, 5-5, unfinished6. David Mizrahi (LOU) def. Matthew Lord (VA) 1-6, 6-2, 6-3Doubles1. Carl Soderlund/Matthew Lord (VA) vs. Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff/Fabien Salle (LOU) 5-3, unfinished2. Aswin Lizen/Gianni Ross (VA) def. Brandon Lancaster/Alex Wesbrooks (LOU) 6-33. Brandon Nakashima/Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. Federico Gomez/Sergio Hernandez Ramirez (LOU) 6-1 The match was decided on court three where No. 38 Gianni Ross defeated freshman Fabien Salle 6-2, 7-5 for the 4-1 final. Virginia (2-0, 1-0 ACC) started the match by taking the doubles points with wins on courts 2 and 3. The Cavalier duo of Brandon Nakashima and Henrik Wiersholm defeated Lousville’s Federico Gomez and Sergio Hernandez Ramirez 6-1 at No. 3 and clinched the point at the two-spot where Aswin Lizen and Gianni Ross topped Brandon Lancaster and Alex Wesbrooks 6-3. Matchup History Preview The University of Louisville men’s tennis team fell 4-1 to No. 17 Virginia in its ACC opener Sunday in Charlottesville, Va.center_img In singles action, Carl Soderlund defeated No. 104 Lancaster at the No. 1 seed to give Virginia a 2-0 lead. Wiersholm defeated Gomez 6-3, 6-4 at the four-spot to make the score 3-0. David Mizrahi put the Cardinals on the scoreboard with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Matthew Lord at No. 6. With the victory, the freshman improves his dual match record to a team-best 4-0. Up next, the Cardinals (3-1, 0-1 ACC) will travel to Gainesville, Fla., to face Florida Atlantic in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Next Match: vs. Florida Atlantic 1/26/2019 | 11:00 a.m. Match Notes:Louisville 3-1, 0-1 ACCVirginia 2-0, 1-0 ACC; National ranking #17Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (1,4,6,3)T-2:00  A-257  Print Friendly Version Full Schedule Roster last_img read more

5 Things You Can Learn From a Poorly Designed Website

first_img Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. How Success Happens 3 min read My son has just started middle school, and along with becoming oriented to an unfamiliar school environment, he now has “homework like never before,” and it is not just the amount of homework.His teachers no longer send home printed homework sheets. Students are expected to visit the teachers’ individual websites to download assignments, study guides, and watch lectures. And while going online is not normally a problem for technophile middle schoolers, it becomes a problem when the websites are poorly designed.Visitors come to a website to satisfy goals, to perform tasks, and to get answers to questions. If users cannot find what they’re looking for on a website, they will go elsewhere. But my son can’t go elsewhere. He has no choice but to muddle through the unclear navigation and bad design to find what he needs. It is maddening.Still, you can learn a lot from being forced to use a poorly designed website, including ways to improve your own or a client’s.1. Do everything you can to reduce the number of clicks.From the “Sixth grade homework” page, where he was told all assignments would be linked, he has to click through three pages to reach the math assignments. Those math assignments should be directly linked from the main page. When navigating, site users don’t want to stop and read along the way. They want to keep moving until they find the right link.2. Make the links meaningful.Links should be descriptive. Don’t tell readers to “Read more,” “click here,” or “more.” Tell them what they will read if they click. “Math homework October 6-10” is an example of a descriptive link.3. Make copy easy to scan with subheads and bullets.Lists make information easy to grab and help people skim through the information. If possible, keep lists short. But if your list must be long, use white space to break it up.4. Heading content should be concise and descriptive.It should stand out from the rest of the text. Well-written headings facilitate scanning so users can find exactly what they need. They can also make the information less dense and more readable, allowing users to get a quick overview of the page.5. Keep in mind that less is often more on the Web.Eliminate distracting site features such as flash animation or scrolling text. Use animation where it helps, not just for show. Listen Now October 17, 2014 This story originally appeared on PR Dailylast_img read more

Dont Let Fear Keep You From Building That App

first_img Register Now » 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Look around you: Everyone is on their phone. All day long. This is a symptom of the times. Some call it the information age, or the digital era. I call it the age of the mobile phone.It probably won’t last forever, and I have no idea what’s going to come next. But with more and more of the internet access coming from mobile, it’s a fact we have to accept.This is the mobile age.So, as an entrepreneur, what’s your mobile presence like? Are you an app CEO? Or, do you only have a physical store? Are you web only? Are apps something you’ve always talked about getting into, but you didn’t know how to get started?Related: Apple Wants to Teach You How to Make AppsIf so, that’s fine — you’re not alone. I bet you’re still killing it. But you could probably do more. Remember: This is the mobile age.This is your app idea.I’ll make an assumption and say you’re already sold on how bad you need an app. I’ll take it you’ve already got a big app idea. So the next logical step is learning to code it out. DIY, right? No. Absolutely, 100 percent wrong. That’s like building your own house with your own two hands.I mean, why not? You have the idea, the vision of what your perfect house looks like. Supplies are readily available at a big-box store. Wood, nails, tools, go buy some! Hell, you can even find a ton of books and courses on home building. There are entire websites and YouTube channels dedicated to this!So, can you build your own house from scratch? Sure, it will simply take ten times as long to move in. Oh, and don’t ask me to step foot in that death trap.This is how to do it.Seriously, if you’re not a pro already, hire one. There are tons and tons of people who want to build your app. People that know what they’re doing, and can do it pretty damn good too. The bonus is that if you know what you’re looking for, it won’t even cost you close to the $50,000 you probably think it costs to build out your idea!Related: 8 Steps to Hire Best Freelance App DeveloperIf you don’t hire a someone that knows what they’re doing, if you don’t delegate this out to a true professional, congrats! You’ve just taken on a new hobby.Not a business. A hobby. Learning to code takes years to master. Yes, I’ll admit: You can get a prototype out by learning a few things and using some cool tools that you find, but I still think that’s a hobby. So if “learning to code” is your one reason why you’re not in the app game right now, you need to admit that you’re just afraid. This is your obstacle.That’s because learning to code is a roadblock invented by fear. Fear of success (imposter syndrome), fear of delegation (control freak, like me) or fear of something else. It’s all just fear.My favorite pro tip for dealing with fear in your business is simply to examine it. Is it a reasonable fear? Meaning, should you be afraid? If so, you can fix that. There’s something that is wrong with the plan or idea, so fix it. If not, ignore it. Find a mentor to guide you through the process, get a pro to build it out for you and just ignore your fear. You probably have no good reason to be afraid anyway, so why not build your app without learning to code it yourself?Related: 4 Reasons to Leverage DIY Website BuildersThere are millions of apps earning billions of dollars in the app stores of the world, and as an entrepreneur, you should be staking your own claim in the gold rush of our generation. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global October 2, 2017 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more

Allinclusive pioneer Club Med now going allin with Groups business

first_img TORONTO — In seven years Club Med’s Groups business has tripled out of the Canadian market.Not only that, the Club Med team dedicated to Group sales has also doubled in the past few years.Last night’s Meetings & Events by Club Med reception, presented with partner Air Transat in Toronto, was hosted by one of those new additions to the Club Med Groups team, Lori de Montmorency.For several months now Montmorency has served as Club Med’s MICE BDM based in Toronto, dedicated to Club Med’s MICE sales for English Canada.And in 2016 the department launched a new brand identity, to better translate how Club Med can offer different types of group experiences. More details are at en.meetings-events-clubmed.ca/.Already the all-inclusive pioneer, Club Med has gone all-in on Groups business too. Why? “The MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) market is very important for Club Med as we are able to offer experiences for corporate clients that want to bring their team at destination,” says Melanie St-Germain, Groups Sales Manager for Meetings & Events by Club Med.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemShe added: “Companies value more and more their colleagues working with them. Companies are looking to share a message through corporative events (eg. trainings, meetings), reinforce ties through team buildings activities (creative, social, active) and bring together their teams through pleasant moments including entertainment and dinners.“In one location, Club Med can provide all those aspects thanks to our MICE and leisure offer at destination.”Agents can position Club Med’s product “as a great asset for the company to create immediate return on investment, in regards to employee loyalty,” she adds.The MICE market is a big piece of Groups business but it’s not the only piece and St-Germain wants agents to know that plenty of Groups opportunities exist beyond MICE. “Welcoming groups at Club Med is very diversified and not only for MICE groups,” says St-Germain. Examples include training & educational programs, product launches, sports programs (eg. ski, golf, scuba diving, tennis, etc.) and, of course, family reunions and destinations weddings.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionClub Med resorts have Groups coordinators on site and together with the property’s G.O.s, “we are able to offer tailored experiences to different types of groups and provide specific atmospheres in different parts of the resort.”Club Med’s dedicated Groups team in Canada can organize and coordinate the program for the client, from activities to booking and setting up meetings rooms, to dining logistics, private dining and excursions, plus flights, she adds. << Previous PostNext Post >> Wednesday, April 25, 2018 Share Travelweek Group center_img Tags: Club Med Posted by All-inclusive pioneer Club Med now going all-in with Groups businesslast_img read more

Video streaming service Netflix is in advanced tal

first_imgVideo streaming service Netflix is in advanced talks with UK broadcaster ITV with a view to making its library content available on its soon-to-launch UK and Ireland service, according to a UK press report. The report on the Guardian website also said that Netflix has also held discussions with Channel 4 and with Warner Bros.
A Netflix deal with ITV would give it access to the broadcaster’s library content, where it owns the rights. ITV’s distribution arm, ITV Studios, has a deep catalogue although it is not clear what shows would be included in any deal with the US company.Yesterday Netflix announced it had inked an exclusive content deal for UK rights to MGM feature films in the first pay TV window and it has already agreed a programming deal with Lionsgate. If it inked a Warner Bros deal, it could mean taking the SVOD rights from BSkyB, the UK pay TV provider that currently holds them.
The UK and Ireland service will launch in early 2012.Separately, Netflix in the US has added the Barnes & Noble retail chain’s Nook Tablet to the list of devices that can access its service.New Nook Tablets will ship with Netflix pre-installed. The device will be able to stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix on its seven-inch touchscreen via Wi-Fi. Nook Tablet users who aren’t already Netflix members can sign up for a free 30 day trial.last_img read more

In This Issue Dollar bias throughout Friday C

first_imgIn This Issue.*Dollar bias throughout Friday. *Currencies & metals try to rebound today. *Aussies still forecasting budget surplus. *IMM short dollar positions increase.And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!Corporate Profits Plateauing?Good day. And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well. it was an absolutely beautiful weekend, weather-wise, here in St. Louis, too bad it was an absolutely awful sports weekend, with the Cardinals falling on their collective faces, and the Rams losing again! UGH! But the weather is here, I wish you were beautiful, as Jimmy Buffett says. And with that, it’s on to what you opened the letter to read.The Friday action in the currencies and metals began the day with a bias to buy U.S. dollars, and that remained in place as we finished the week on a high note for the dollar.  Gold got taken down again on Friday. You can’t tell me it was anything other than a manipulated take down!  And given the grotesque large short positions that the price manipulators hold, there could be even more downward movement in Gold & Silver. But. one has to wonder if they (price manipulators) have the intestinal fortitude to conduct another take down at this point, I mean their take down on Friday brought Gold & Silver below their 50-day moving averages. I think if they go for more downward movement, that even the CFTC will be able to see it for what it is.The currencies & metals are attempting to rebound this morning, but the upward moves have been small to this point.  But there’s not much in the way of news that would cause this turn-around.  An ECB (European Central Bank) member told reporters over the weekend that the ECB oversight for Eurozone banks would be gradually phased in during 2013. There will be much “back and forth” even between Eurozone members on this ECB oversight, but it’s coming. Besides that news, the data cupboard for Europe is pretty bare until later this week, so the euro will be on its own, and of course any words that swing it one way or the other, by speakers, of which there appears to be quite a few in the next few days.  Spain still hasn’t requested assistance, and pretty soon, the markets are going to forget about Spain, and move on to someone else.Could that someone else be the U.S.?  Well. that’s been the M/O of the markets for some time now. We are about 2 weeks away from a Presidential election here in the U.S. and we’re also about 2 weeks away from dealing with a debt ceiling again. This debt ceiling problem has taken longer to get here than I thought it would, when I first mentioned it this last spring. I thought for sure that by the end of August, we would be having those wonderfully joyous discussions about raising the debt ceiling! But NOOOOOOO! But it will get here, soon.Speaking of U.S. debt. I was doing some research for an article that I’m writing on Debt, and what to do with it. When I came across 3 things that makes you stop and scratch your head, wondering why we do this when we don’t have the funds to pay for it? And. don’t get mad at me about the time frames here, this is how the data was presented.1.    Welfare spending has topped $1 Trillion per year2.    There has been a 64% increase in the Food Stamp Program in the last 4 years3.    There has been a 114% increase in the Food Stamp Program costs in the last 4 years.Now. last week I made a generalization about people receiving Gov’t assistance. And I apologize for that generalization.  And discretionary spending, like these programs aren’t going to make or break us. But the general thought on my part is simply, if we don’t have the funds to pay for something, we don’t buy it. no spending without funds in the bank. if we follow that , we can at least slow down the annual additions to the national debt.Did you see this weekend’s Pfennig & Pfriends? It was a video of the Big Boss, Frank Trotter’s presentation at the Freedom Fest this year. In the presentation, Frank shows why we believe that the dollar is in for a long term problem, given the Gov’t’s propensity to want to devalue the dollar to pay back debts with cheaper dollars. OK. Japanese leaders must be jumping with joy, as the Japanese yen is finally showing some weakness. Japanese yen moved through its 200-day moving avg (DMA) last night, and is sliding toward 80. I think if we see yen go through the 80 figure, we could very well see a prolonged slump for yen, and one that I’ve been waiting to see for some time now. I haven’t read anything that says that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) was in selling yen, so this is just investors, traders, hedge funds, growing tired of waiting for further movement (stronger) in yen, and deciding to blow out of positions.In Australia overnight, the Aussie Treasurer, Swan, released the Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook reports. The good news in the report is that the Aussies are still forecasting a budget surplus in the current fiscal year. Cool beans!  Now. one would think that investors would find this to be a good reason to buy Aussie dollars (A$) but not today, thank you! And I told you previously about how the markets are forecasting more rate cuts for next year, with the total being around 75 Basis points (3/4%) .  I’m of the opinion that these forecasts are too aggressive, but I wouldn’t rule out rate cuts next year. The reason I’m of the opinion that these forecasts are too aggressive, is I truly believe that China has turned the corner, and by next spring, when I head off to Cardinals Spring Training, it will be very evident that China is growing and demanding raw goods and materials again. and we all know who they go to for these raw materials, right?  That’s right Australia.I was dong some reading this weekend, and came across an article that expressed what I truly believe to be the upcoming case. And that is the Corporate Earnings in the U.S. will begin to show rot on the vine. The reason I believe this, is you can only squeeze so much blood from a turnip. In other words, most of the profits they had been booking for the past couple of years, came as a result of reduced overhead, and not improving machinery, etc.   David Nicklaus of our St. Louis Post Dispatch said it best.. “The plateauing of profits isn’t a surprise. Cost-cutting efforts generated much of the boom, and there’s a limit to how much efficiency companies can squeeze out of their workers and equipment.”Going further with the thought that company profits have topped out, you have to think about how the U.S. economy is growing at less than a 2% clip, and now the multinational companies have a recession in the Eurozone and a slowdown in China to contend with. Sure, the QE3 stimulus can give life support here for a while. but as I previously stated about QE3. I think the markets, and the people have become comfortably numb, and QE3 doesn’t have the same bang for the buck as the previous rounds of Quantitative Easing. This is similar to what Japan found out nearly 2 decades ago. But, here in the U.S. our Fed Heads don’t believe that we’re on the same road that Japan went down and that “our QE is different”.The IMM futures positions report from last week, showed that dollar short positions rebounded, this after two weeks of being closed out. The euro was the biggest beneficiary of these dollar short positions, and the record level of Canadian dollar long positions were pared back after the dovish comments by Bank of Canada Gov. Carney.And U.S. Existing Home Sales fell by 3.3% in September. This obviously gives us conflicting thoughts on the Housing Market, as New Home starts were stronger.  Home prices rose in September from a year ago, by 11.3%… And THAT, my friends, is probably why the Home Sales fell.Then There Was This. From The Economist. “The renminbi / yuan is displacing the dollar as a key currency. In a speech on the same day, a deputy governor of China’s central bank pointed out that China no longer hovers up dollar reserves with its past abandon. And according to a new study by Arvind Subramanian and Martin Kessler of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC, the dollar’s influence is waning in the emerging world. Currencies that used to shadow the greenback are no longer following it so closely. Some are floating more freely. But in other cases they are steadily falling under the spell of a different currency: the yuan.The greenback has in the past played a dominant role in East Asia. But if anything, the region is now on a yuan standard. Seven currencies in the region now follow the yuan, or redback, more closely than the greenback.”Chuck again. Well, this doesn’t surprise me. for you’ll remember that I was the first to say that the Chinese were making moves to replace the dollar standard.  it now appears that, especially in Asia that the renminbi/ yuan will continue to grow in stature as its economy and trading activity grow in size, once again.To recap. The bias to buy dollars held true throughout Friday’s trading session, but appears to be giving back gains this morning. That is, except the Japanese yen, which is showing the rot on its vine as it heads toward 80. Dollar short position is futures increased last week, reversing the previous two weeks of dollar short positions being pared back.  U.S. Existing Home Sales fell 3.3% in September, and Chuck talks about U.S. debt again. and again. and again.Currencies today 10/22/12. American Style: A$ $1.0330, kiwi .8185, C$ $1.0065, euro 1.3070, sterling 1.6050, Swiss $1.0805, . European Style: rand 8.6170, krone 5.65, SEK 6.5715, forint 213.50, zloty 3.1410, koruna 19.0585, RUB 30.89, yen 79.80, sing 1.2215, HKD 7.75, INR 53.47, China 6.2540, pesos 12.85, BRL 2.0265, Dollar Index 79.50, Oil $90.58, 10-year 1.79%, Silver $32.32, and Gold. $1,726.15That’s it for today. Well. it comes down to Game 7 tonight in San Francisco. I couldn’t watch the game unfold last night, turned it off and went to bed. So frustrating. I guess we’re having our “Indian Summer” as the days are very warm. I’m sure that will change quickly! The 3 grandkids were over Friday night, my two grandsons, Everett and Braden, (about 6 months apart) are beginning to acknowledge each other, and they are off doing something. In a couple of years, they are going to be a handful! Friday night, all our neighbor friends showed up at the patio door to watch the game with me. A great surprise! We had fun, even though the Cardinals lost! Alvin Lee is playing “I’m Going Home” on the iPod, right now, which tells me it’s time to get this out the door! So. I hope you have a Marvelous Monday!Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 www.everbank.comlast_img read more