Sharjah’s many offerings, from cultural and historical treasures, such as the Museum of Islamic Civilisation to the oldest souk in the region, from luxury stays in boutique hotels to fascinating displays of the age-old tradition of birds of prey displays all add up to an unforgettable array of memories. However, Sharjah also offers more for those travellers who wish to get off the beaten path and find even more unique experiences.Here are some of the more wide-ranging locations of the emirate, totally worth the trek:Khorfakkan: Set on a splendid bay flanked by photogenic rock formations and backed by the rugged Hajar Mountains, Khorfakkan is a wonderful spot for day trips and weekend breaks. The crescent beach has playgrounds and football goals dotted among the palm trees. At the northern end, resorts with private beaches, outdoor pools, a dive centre, local playgrounds for the kids and waters ports for all your water sports and activities, are open to non-resident guests.Kalba: Meandering for a good 7 km along Kalba’s coastline, Kalba Beach is often scattered with footballers, picnickers and fishermen and their Toyota trucks. Bookended by a small marina and the tidal KhorKalba, it is a great place to feel the sand between your toes. At the southern end, the coastal sands and adjacent mangrove forest are part of a protected area. It is an important nesting site for hawksbill turtles and the only place in the UAE where the beautiful Arabian-collared kingfisher bird breeds. One can also enjoy the 5-star luxurious eco-friendly lodges and resorts in Kalba with private pools and various water activities on offer.Nahwa Enclave: Nahwa is a rare ‘counter-enclave’ – a tiny territory belonging to Sharjah that curiously sits within the Omani enclave of Madha, which is in turn surrounded by the UAE, an interesting geographical quirk. The original village was abandoned in 1999 for New Nahwa, built on a bend of the Wadi Shis. Surrounded by mountains, it is a scenic spot with lush date palm plantations, rocky peaks and a gorge with freshwater pools hidden at the end of Wadi Shis. There are plenty of places to camp, hike and bike. Off-road driving through the wadi is also popular.Dibba Al Hisn: Named after its fort (hisn), Dibba Al Hisn is part of a trio of seaside towns that share a beautiful bay. Green palm trees, serene mosques and bountiful produce markets add character and colour to the town. Take an afternoon stroll around the harbour to see the fishermen hauling in the day’s catch, and charter a fishing boat or dhow for a cruise along the coast. Dolphins are often sighted and the boats can take you to deserted coves and secret snorkelling spots.
Demand Fannie Mae Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey 2015-01-26 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, News, Origination, Servicing Despite Challenges, Lenders Plan for Growth Regulatory challenges and an expected drop in demand haven’t turned mortgage executives from their plans of growing their businesses in the coming year, according to results from a recent survey.In a review of Fannie Mae’s November survey of senior mortgage executives, Li-Ning Huang, senior manager of the company’s Economic & Strategic Research Group, found that though respondents are concerned about compliance issues and weak borrower demand, most are still optimistic about the year ahead, particularly when it comes to their growth plans.”Most lenders surveyed said that they are looking to either grow or maintain their origination and servicing businesses,” Huang said in a post on Fannie Mae’s website.In fact, the company found, 88 percent of lenders surveyed said they’re looking to grow their origination business, and 70 percent said they intend to expand their servicing. Only four percent said they plan to downsize their servicing business, and none expect to dial down their origination operations.In an email, Steve Deggendorf, director of business strategy for the group, explained that while lenders’ short-term outlook for mortgage demand is pessimistic, their growth strategies take a longer view.”Although lenders have become increasingly concerned with weak consumer demand over the last year, they are still optimistic about the mortgage business for the longer term,” Deggendorf said. “We speculate that, in Q1 2014 when many regulatory changes took effect, lenders invested a lot of resources on compliance and were more pessimistic on their profitability. Now, lenders seem to have adjusted to handling compliance issues and can focus more on their firm’s longer-term strategy and business.”When it comes to lending, more executives said they plan to increase the number of retail branches or loan officers than any other answer. “Expanding market outreach” was another frequently cited tactic.A major part of that marketing strategy includes increasing outreach to first-time homebuyers, who market-watchers hope will play a more active role in the housing market this year. Fifty-two percent of executives in the survey said they’re going to step up their marketing to first-timers. (Forty-two percent said they want to increase their marketing to move-up homebuyers, who are coming back as equity improves.) Share January 26, 2015 590 Views
February 4, 2011Welcome to the first workshop of the year 2011:[from left]Anthony Weston [ seminar week]Guy Flagg [construction intern]Tony D’Archangel [scholarship program]Colin Evans,Dahong Choe from South Korea,Edwina Harrison from Australia [seminar week],[seated]Special guest Paolo Soleri.
A bipartisan plan approved by the Michigan House last week has the potential to dramatically improve the way young people are treated in our state’s legal system.Right now, any 17-year-old who breaks the law in Michigan is required to be processed through the adult legal system, regardless of the severity of the crime. That means high school juniors and seniors – who can’t legally vote, sign a contract or serve on a jury – are charged, tried and even sent to serve in prison alongside adults.Michigan is one of just four states where this law remains, despite all of the research that shows placing 17-year-olds in adult prison hinders their ability to re-enter society and lead successful, productive lives.Teenagers in prison face a greater chance of being sexually assaulted and subjected to other forms of violence. They’re also more likely to attempt suicide.Instead of bringing the full weight of the adult legal system down on 17-year-olds, the solution I support will help them turn their lives around by giving them access to the rehabilitation programs available in the juvenile justice system. These programs are already designed to help young people by focusing on education, career and technical training, and family involvement.Including 17-year-olds in the juvenile system has been shown to reduce recidivism by 34 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control.This plan does nothing to prevent minors who commit heinous crimes from being charged as adults. Prosecutors and judges will continue to have discretion – just like they do right now with other teenagers who commit violent crimes.However, most teenagers who commit a crime in Michigan are first-time, non-violent offenders. They deserve a chance to fix their mistakes and straighten out their lives.In addition to producing better results for Michigan teens, raising the age for juvenile justice in Michigan will save public tax dollars, freeing up funds to be invested in schools, roads and other services critical to Michigan families.Connecticut, Illinois and Massachusetts are among the states that have experienced millions of dollars in savings, decreases in the number of reoffending youth and declines in judicial costs after raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 18.Putting 17-year-olds with non-violent records into adult prisons is harmful to young people, expensive for taxpayers and does absolutely nothing to make our communities safer. I’m pleased to be able to report that change could soon be on the way.###— State Rep. Sarah Lightner is serving her first term in the Michigan House representing residents in portions of Jackson, Lenawee and Eaton counties. 29Apr COLUMN: Juvenile justice reforms will result in brighter futures for troubled teens Categories: Lightner News
Netflix will have more subscribers outside of the US by 2018, according to new research.IHS Markit noted Netflix’s subs base grew 30% between 2014 and 2015, and is forecasted to grow 21% this year, as the SVOD service reaches a “territorial expansion” peak.International subs will grow 38% this year, the research claimed, with more than 2.8 million of these coming from the 130 new territories Netflix expanded into in January when it went virtuallyglobal (notably excluding China).“At the moment, Netflix has 79.9 million total paying subscribers,” said Irina Kornilova, senior analyst at IHS Technology. “By 2018, international subscribers will over-take the number of subscribers in the US for the first time, and by 2020, Netflix will have 75 million international subscribers.”Furthermore, Netflix will break the 100 million subs mark by 2018.IHS claimed Netflix’s revenues would reach US$13 billion by 2020, with 53% coming from international markets. Domestic revenue will hit US$6.2 billion, with international taking around US$7 billion.Unsurprisingly, western Europe will be among the leading regions outside the US for Netflix by the end of this year, with more than six million subscribers in the UK. There will also be a combined 5.4 million subs from the Netherlands and the Nordics.Germany will reach 2.2 million paying subs by the end of 2020 despite strong competition from Amazon Prime Video, IHS predicted.Markets such as Poland and Turkey, which are expected to be soon ‘localised’ by Netflix, will drive further uptake in their surrounding regions, but the effect will not happen immediately, said IHS.“With the worldwide launch, Netflix has launched a platform upon which it can build and differentiate the service to fit specifics of every region in the future,” Kornilova said.“Netflix is starting this localisation process in Poland and Turkey this year. Subscribers in these countries can expect an addition of local languages to the user interface, subtitles and dubbing of content. This will help drive new subscriber numbers dramatically.”Localisation will continue through to 2018, with these new territories forecasted to grow paying membership 133% in 2017 and 62% the following year.Subscribers from countries Netflix debuted in this year will reach 19 million by 2020, IHS predicted.
In 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.com
The price pattern in silver was similar, except the sell-off after the price spike in New York on Thursday evening was much more intense—and the spike low didn’t occur until around 11:40 a.m. EDT in New York trading. The price bounced back quickly, but then traded quietly higher into the close. JPMorgan et al obviously wasted little time in getting silver back below the $21 spot price mark. The high and low tick were recorded as $21.315 and $20.78 in the September contract. Silver closed in New York yesterday at $20.89 spot, down 27 cents from Thursday’s close. Volume, net of July and August, was 36,000 contracts. When it does, it will be ugly The gold price showed signs of going parabolic in what had all the hallmarks of a ‘no ask’ market shortly after trading began at 6 p.m. EDT in New York on Thursday evening. But, as I mentioned in The Wrap yesterday, “da boyz” were at the ready—and within a couple of hours, the gold price was in full retreat. The low tick came about 9:15 a.m. in New York yesterday morning—and from there the price chopped quietly higher until shortly before 2 p.m. EDT. From there it traded basically flat into the 5:15 p.m. close. The high and low tick were recorded by the CME as $1,325.50 and $1,305.00 in the August contract. Gold closed in New York on Friday at $1,310.90 spot, down $7.30 from Thursday’s close. Volume, net of roll-overs, was around 98,000 contracts. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 25 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday. I was happy to see that after two days of withdrawals from GLD, there was an increase yesterday—as an authorized participant added 57,741 troy ounces. And as of 8:16 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. To tell you the truth, dear reader, I’m not expecting to see any deposits into SLV for a considerable period of time, as the authorized participants are still attempting to cover their short positions in lieu of metal they never deposited during the June rally. The U.S. Mint had a tiny sales report yesterday as 1,000 troy ounces of gold eagles were sold—and 30,000 silver eagles. Month to date the mint has sold 24,500 troy ounces of gold eagles—4,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—and a pitiful 1,025,000 silver eagles. Ted Butler nailed this a month ago, as it’s obvious to anyone who wishes to objectively examine the U.S. Mint data, that silver eagles sales have crashed by at least two thirds in July, as the ‘big buyer’ that has been sucking up silver eagles [and Canada’s silver maple leaf] for the last several years, has obviously stepped away from the table for the moment. Whether this is going to turn into a permanent withdrawal remains to be seen—and because the Royal Canadian Mint only provides quarterly sales reports for their bullion products—we won’t know what’s going on there for about another three months. But the crashing silver eagles sales don’t bode well for silver maple leaf sales going forward, either. It’s certainly my suspicion that it’s the same buyer at the trough in both. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, there was a decent amount of gold received—103,561 troy ounces to be exact. Virtually all of it went into the Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, Inc. depository. Nothing was reported shipped out. The link to that activity is here. It was another big day in silver again, as nothing was reported received, but 999,492 troy ounces were shipped out the door. All the activity was at the CNT Depository—and HSBC USA. The link to that action is here. Since the 20th of the July falls on a weekend, the always punctual and predictable Central Bank of the Russia Federation updated their website with June’s data on Friday. Included in that update was the amount of gold bullion they purchased for their reserves that month. It turned out to be a chunky 500,000 troy ounces. It was more or less the same chart pattern in the silver stocks, but because “da boyz” were more aggressive with silver to the downside, the rally off their 1:30 p.m. lows was only able to get Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index back up to a loss of 0.70%. The gold stocks gapped down a bit less than 2 percent at the open—and then chopped sideways until the 1:30 p.m. Comex close. A rally commenced at that point which lasted right into the close, as the HUI cut its losses on the day to only 0.30%. Platinum spiked up as well, but also got sold down until about noon in Zurich. The subsequent rally ended/got capped shortly before 9 a.m. in New York—and from there it got sold down to its low of that day, around 1 p.m. EDT. From there it rallied a few dollars into the close. Platinum closed down 13 bucks on the day. The palladium price chart was a mini version of the platinum price chart. Palladium closed down only 5 bucks from Thursday’s close. In the last three months, the central bank has purchased 1,500,000 troy ounces of gold, which is pretty close to 100 percent of their own production. If you look at Nick Laird’s excellent chart above, you’ll note that Russia has stepped up its gold purchases in the last three months. One wonders if that has anything to do with the Crimea/Ukraine situation? Now if they could be convinced to buy all their silver production as well, then the fox would certainly be amongst the pigeons, as Russia’s 1,700 tonne yearly production represents a bit over 6.5 percent of yearly world silver production, which is a material amount. Well, the Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday, July 15 was certainly not what I had hoped for, at least in silver. The Commercial net short position in silver increased again, this time by 678 contracts, or 3.4 million ounces. The Commercial net short position now sits at 293.5 million troy ounces. The Big 4 trader’s short holdings [read JPMorgan] increased by around 1,200 contracts—and Ted Butler pegs JPMorgan’s short-side corner in the Comex silver market at about 19,000 contracts, or 95 million troy ounces. The ‘5 through 8’ largest short holders covered about 3,000 contracts of their short position during the reporting week. In gold, the Commercial net short position actually improved by 9,097 contracts, or 909,700 troy ounces. The Commercial net short position in gold has obviously declined by that amount—and is down to 15.69 million troy ounces, which is still a horrendously large number. The 8 largest short holders added 1,000 contracts to their short positions—and Ted says that JPMorgan sold another 3,000 contracts during the reporting week—and their long-side corner in the Comex gold market continues to shrink, and is now down to 2.2 million troy ounces, or 22,000 Comex contracts. Ted said—and I agree—that probably not all of the decline on Monday and Tuesday was reported to the CFTC in a timely manner, so hopefully there’s some spill-over into next Friday’s Report. If that doesn’t prove to be the case however, it’s a given that next Friday’s COT Report will be even uglier than even I imagined it might be, because in my comments in The Wrap yesterday, I stated that JPMorgan et al threw everything they had at that spike in gold and silver prices in New York Thursday morning. That data alone should be enough to curl your hair. Of course we have two more reporting days between now and the Tuesday cut-off—and anything can happen between now and then—but as it stands at the moment, the next COT will be pretty horrific, because almost the entire technical fund short positions in both metals are still in place, plus there will be more to add. This does not bode well for gold and silver prices somewhere down the road. Here’s Nick Laird’s “Days of World Production to Cover Comex Short Positions“—and it looks just as grotesque as it always does in all four precious metals. It’s also obvious that the situation in the precious metal market—and particularly in silver—is getting stranger by the day. 1] There’s no physical silver available to deposit in SLV, so the authorized participants have had to short the shares in lieu of depositing real metal. 2] The frantic in/out movement in silver within the Comex-approved warehouse system is approaching the absurd. According to Ted Butler’s calculations from the Comex warehouse reports, the extrapolated turnover year-to-date is somewhere between 200 and 300 million troy ounces per year at the moment. 3] The big buyer of silver eagles [and probably silver maple leafs as well] has stepped away from the table. Silver eagles sales have imploded as a result—and we’ll find out in October whether the same applies to silver maple leafs. 4] The silver charts show a neutral RSI, but the Commercial net short position is sky high—and back where it was about four years ago—and the technical funds net long positions are almost at a record high. 5] With all of this going on, silver is sitting under $21 the ounce—and below the cost of production of most primary silver producers. One can scarcely imagine what the price will be when JPMorgan et al get through harvesting this near-record technical fund long position for fun, profit and price management purposes. How all this is going to resolve itself—and over what time period—is unknown, but when it does, it will be ugly. How did it come to this? After almost twelve hours of writing this column, I’m done for the day—and the week. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend—and I’ll see you on Tuesday. I have a decent number of stories for you today—and I hope you can find the time in what’s left of your weekend to read the ones you like. “The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers.” – Edgar R. Fiedler, author of The Three Rs of Economic Forecasting—Irrational, Irrelevant and Irreverent Today’s pop ‘blast from the past’ is by a Canadian rock group that needs no introduction, as their name is known world-wide. This hit dates from the early 1970s—and has an unusual story behind it. The link is here. Today’s classical ‘blast from the past’ is an old chestnut from Peter I. Tchaikovsky. It’s the Polonaise from his opera Eugene Onegin. I’d be the most surprised person in the world if you haven’t heard this piece in one form or another during your lifetime. The link is here. Except for the brief price spikes shortly after the precious metal market opened early in Far East trading on their Friday, it was a nothing sort of day all around. But it should be obvious to all but the willfully blind that “da boyz” were involved in gold and silver yesterday when they had to be. Here are the 6-month gold and silver charts updated with Friday’s data. Sponsor Advertisement The dollar index closed at 80.53 late on Thursday afternoon in New York and, like Thursday, didn’t do much during its respective trading session. It chopped sideways in a 2 basis point range until around 9:40 a.m. EDT, when a spike took it up to 80.68—but by 2 p.m. it was back to unchanged on the day—and that’s where it closed, at 80.53. That’s the third day in a row that the dollar index has closed at that value. Here’s the 3-day chart so you can see it for yourself. Avrupa and Antofagasta intersect copper-rich VMS in Pyrite Belt, Portugal • First Greenfields discovery of massive sulfide mineralization in 20 years in the Iberian Pyrite Belt • 10.85 meters of massive and semi-massive/stockwork sulfide mineralization grading 1.81% Cu, 2.57% Pb, 4.38% Zn, 0.13% Sn, and 75.27 ppm Ag • Including 7.95 meters @ 2.21% Cu, 3.05% Pb, 4.82% Zn, 0.15% Sn, 89.8 ppm Ag • Followed by 2.90 meters @ 0.71% Cu, 1.27% Pb, 3.17% Zn, 0.092% Sn, 35.4 ppm Ag • Avrupa and Antofagasta sign an amended Joint Venture Agreement Please visit our website to learn more about the company and current exploration program.
An E. coli outbreak that sickened people in 36 states and triggered warnings not to eat romaine lettuce this spring has been traced to water in a canal in the Yuma, Ariz., region – and the outbreak is now officially over, federal officials say.”Suspect product is no longer being harvested or distributed from this area and is no longer available in stores or restaurants, due to its 21-day shelf life,” the Food and Drug Administration says.Five people have died because of the outbreak and 96 were sent to hospitals, the FDA says in its latest update. Overall, the agency says, 210 people were made ill by the E. coli outbreak.Alarm over the outbreak was relaxed somewhat in late May, after regulators confirmed that the harvesting season for romaine in Yuma had passed, and that the main U.S. source for romaine had shifted to California’s Salinas Valley. The first cases in the outbreak were reported on March 13; one month later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had traced the E. coli to lettuce that was grown in the area around Yuma.Citing the CDC’s analysis of water samples that were taken from a canal in the Yuma region, the FDA says the investigation found E. coli in the water “with the same genetic finger print as the outbreak strain.”Investigators are now working to learn how the E. coli got into the water, and how the water, in turn, contaminated the romaine lettuce from several farms.As he announced the news of the breakthrough in tracing the cause of the illnesses, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb also addressed the notion that U.S. consumers are seeing more foodborne outbreaks than they have in the past.”The answer to that question is that we don’t believe we are seeing more outbreaks,” Gottlieb said. “In fact, we believe food is safer than perhaps ever before and today we’re better at finding outbreaks when they occur.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
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Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Enroll Now for $5 The rules for dealing with violent and disturbing images often require moderators to ask whether they are ‘newsworthy’ or ‘raise awareness.’ May 22, 2017 Image credit: JaysonPhotography / Shutterstock.com Add to Queue Entrepreneur Staff Nina Zipkin 3 min read Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. Next Article There is no doubt that it takes a huge effort to moderate all the content that gets uploaded to Facebook. But over the past few months, the social giant has shown signs of strain.Back in August, shortly after the company fired a team of human editors overseeing the Trending section of the site in favor of an algorithm, a false news story found its way to the top of the queue.In February, CEO Mark Zuckerberg published a wide-ranging open letter on his Facebook page about the direction he hopes to take the company, touching on the need for more vigilance in the face of “fake news” and also a stronger infrastructure to handle the raft of content that is posted by users on a daily basis.Related: After Murder, Facebook to Hire 3,000 People to Review Videos“There are billions of posts, comments and messages across our services each day, and since it’s impossible to review all of them, we review content once it is reported to us,” Zuckerberg wrote. “There have been terribly tragic events — like suicides, some live streamed — that perhaps could have been prevented if someone had realized what was happening and reported them sooner. There are cases of bullying and harassment every day, that our team must be alerted to before we can help out. These stories show we must find a way to do more.”This spring, after a murder in Cleveland was livestreamed on the platform, Zuckerberg announced that over the course of the year, 3,000 people would be hired to better tackle and improve that review process.But now, an investigation conducted by the Guardian has identified some of the standards that Facebook operates from when it comes to moderating content, and they are perhaps more confusing than you might expect.Related: Facebook Wants to Help You Spot Bogus News StoriesWith regard to the videos of violent deaths or suicides, they are designated as disturbing content, but the reasoning Facebook has for not necessarily taking them down is because they can build awareness about mental illness, according to The Guardian’s findings.Specifically in cases of suicide, documents that The Guardian has been privy to explain that the current company dictate is “to remove them once there’s no longer an opportunity to help the person. We also need to consider newsworthiness, and there may be particular moments or public events that are part of a broader public conversation that warrant leaving up.”When it comes to violent language, a call to action to harm the president would be taken down because he is a head of state, but directions about how to snap a woman’s neck would be allowed to remain on the site because it is not “regarded as credible threats.”Related: Facebook Pledges to ‘Do Better’ After Posting of Murder VideoFor instances of animal abuse and graphic violence, those images and videos are also designated as disturbing, but are allowed if they are being used to educate and raise awareness, but they are not if there is an element of “sadism and celebration.” For images or photos pertaining to child abuse, that rule is also applied.According to the Guardian, moderators often have seconds to make a determination about how to characterize or whether to remove the content.It’s clear that Zuckerberg and his team have a daunting task in front of them, so Facebook’s rules will need to constantly evolve to meet the challenge. –shares Facebook Facebook’s Content Moderation Rules Are Both Careful and Shocking
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 5 2019Even among cancers, pancreatic cancer is an especially sinister form of disease. The one-year survival rate is extremely low, and treatment progress has lagged behind that of many other malignancies.A study published today in the journal Nature Medicine led by researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) describes a new therapeutic approach with potential for patients with pancreatic cancer. These researchers discovered a combination drug therapy that may effectively combat the disease. HCI researchers first observed anti-cancer impacts in a laboratory setting and, subsequently, in its first use in a human patient.The study has already progressed to a clinical trial that is now open at HCI and will soon be open at other sites in the United States. Details about the clinical trial, called THREAD, are available under National Clinical Trial Number 03825289. The combination therapy uses two drugs already approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration for other diseases, including cancer. The new drug combination is administered through pills taken orally.Pancreatic tumors are characterized by mutations in a gene called KRAS. When KRAS is mutated in this way, it sends constant signals that promote abnormal cell division and growth in cancer cells. As a result, tumors grow out of control. At the same time, like all cells, pancreatic cancer cells must recycle their components to provide building blocks for new growth in an essential cell function known as autophagy. Previous studies to combat pancreatic cancer that were focused either on the role of KRAS or on impacting autophagy were not effective.The new HCI study, using an approach that simultaneously targets both abnormal KRAS signaling and the autophagy process, shows a strong response in mouse models and may be a promising therapy for patients with pancreatic cancer. Conan Kinsey, MD, PhD, a physician-scientist at Huntsman Cancer Institute and the Department of Internal Medicine at the U of U and Martin McMahon, PhD, a cancer researcher at HCI and Professor of Dermatology at the U of U, led the study.”We were able to observe that the combination of these two drugs – which, when used individually, don’t have much of an impact on the disease – appears to have a very potent impact on the growth of pancreatic cancer,” says McMahon. “We have observed this in the lab in petri dishes, then in mouse models, and now in a pancreatic cancer patient on a compassionate use basis. Indeed, we proceeded from a petri dish to a patient in less than two years – a timeline that is rarely seen in medical science.”Related StoriesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryThe HCI-led research is bolstered by a separate study published in the same issue of the journal. This study outlines complementary findings regarding the effects of autophagy in pancreatic cancer in the laboratory setting and was led by Channing Der, PhD, Sarah Graham Kenan, PhD, and Kirsten Bryant, PhD, at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. McMahon and Der learned about the parallel nature of their research programs at a scientific meeting one year ago. Given the critical need for advances in pancreatic cancer therapies and the promise of their collective findings, they worked together to push their studies forward on a companion basis.”In our paper, we show the response of a pancreatic cancer patient who had received surgery and multiple lines of chemotherapy prior to this combination,” said Kinsey, who was also the patient’s physician. “This patient, who has since succumbed to the disease, nevertheless had a remarkable response to these drugs for several months. We need to carefully evaluate this new combination therapy in the context of clinical trials to better understand if good responses might be seen in multiple patients. We also need to identify the specific features of any patient who may benefit, before any recommendation can be made about use on a larger scale.”These preliminary findings are being rigorously scrutinized in clinical trials to observe and understand whether the combination of these drugs is safe and effective for pancreatic cancer patients. The trial is underway at HCI and is underway or planned at the University of California, San Francisco, and Columbia University in New York.Source: https://huntsmancancer.org/newsroom/2019/03/promising-new-pancreatic-cancer-treatment.php
Explore further This is a new development in the field of computational linguistics. The research was funded by a Russian Science Foundation grant. The findings were published in the Procedia Computer Science journal.Many scientific studies show that writing style can reflect certain characteristics of a writer – gender, physiological personality traits, and level of education. Speech patterns are a valuable psycho-diagnostic tool, and are often used by human resources professionals and security services. By analyzing a person’s speech, researchers can diagnose certain illnesses such as dementia and depression, and the person’s inclination toward suicidal behavior. The demand for identifying certain characteristics of a writer’s personality is increasing against the backdrop of the development of internet communications—companies want to know which demographics like their products and services.Using the numerical values for various parameters in a text, researchers in this area (linguists, psychologists, IT experts) have created mathematical models to identify certain traits in the writer’s personality. Using neural networks, the researchers analyzed the effectiveness of various machine-learning algorithms for text analysis.During the research, the scientists compared the accuracy of gender identification by text based on two types of data-driven modeling: first, machine-learning algorithms (such as a support vector machine and gradient boosting), and, second, a deep learning neural network (such as convolutional neural networks and the long short-term memory recurrent neural networks).”Using these advanced neural network models, we have achieved great results in identifying the gender of the writer based on text, under conditions in which the author is not attempting to hide his/her gender,” said Alexander Sboyev, assistant professor at MEPhI. “Our next step is to teach the neural network to identify the gender of a writer who is deliberately trying to hide it.”Thus, in the following texts, originally published on dating websites, the neural network easily identified the writer’s gender 10 out of 10 times, despite the fact that authors were free to sign their texts with a name typical of the opposite gender.This text was written by a female: “I am a handsome, fit 30-year-old man. I have a high-paying job at a large oil and gas company. I live in my own flat in Moscow, and also own a small but nice house in an Italian village. I am into sports, mainly football. I love going out on weekends, I can’t stand homebodies. My perfect girl would be modest and beautiful, and would have an attractive body, based on today’s standards. She would share my interests and would not be jealous or try to make me jealous. In the future, I do not plan to be the sole provider in a family, as I believe that when it comes to families, both men and women must earn the money. I would like to have separate budgets as well. I will not tolerate cheating.”This text was written by a male: “Hello! I am very angry, very! Why do you keep treating us like this?! We are people, too, all of us are equal! Are you sexist? I will not tolerate this anymore! I’m going to smash your car into pieces; I will spray paint all over it. You just wait, you monster. It sucks to be you.”This research indicated that the approach based on using convolutional neural networks and methods of deep learning to identify a writer’s gender, is the most optimal. The team of researchers is currently working on identifying a writer’s age. 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. A team of researchers from the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, the National Research Center Kurchatov Institute and the Voronezh State University has developed a new learning algorithm that allows a neural network to identify a writer’s gender by the written text on a computer with up to 80 percent accuracy. Citation: Scientists teach neural network to identify a writer’s gender (2018, April 27) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-scientists-neural-network-writer-gender.html Provided by National Research Nuclear University More information: Alexander Sboev et al. Deep Learning neural nets versus traditional machine learning in gender identification of authors of RusProfiling texts, Procedia Computer Science (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.procs.2018.01.065 Introducing Cloud Text-to-Speech service for developers
BJP president Amit Shah on Friday projected the Lok Sabha polls as a clash of ideologies and likened it to the third battle of Panipat between Marathas and the Afghans army, saying the election results will be equally significant for the country. In his inaugural address at a party convention here, he dismissed the proposed grand alliance of opposition parties against the BJP as a “sham”, saying they are a disparate group with neither a leader nor any policy and have been brought together by their greed of power. The BJP must win the elections to pursue its agenda of cultural nationalism and the poor’s welfare, he said.The party has the “world’s most popular” leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he asserted, asking thousands of BJP delegates to go with the pledge of bringing the government back to power.War cry In his speech, which lasted over an hour, Shah repeatedly emphasised the significance of the upcoming polls, stressed on a number of Modi government’s measures — especially those related to security, curbing corruption and welfare programmes- and hit out at the Congress for its dare to target Modi on the issue of graft when its president Rahul Gandhi is on bail in a “case of corruption”.Modi and other top leaders of the party were on dais as he gave the party war cry to win the next polls, claiming that people like the BJP want a “majboot sarkar” (strong government) and the opposition wants a “majboor sarkar” (helpless government). “Nobody other than Modi can give a strong government,” Shah said, adding that it will be an election to give stability to the country’s development and the party’s expansion.Opposition parties know that it is impossible to “defeat” Modi, who has emerged as the “nucleus” of politics like the Congress was for many decades, he said, claiming that people continue to stand behind the prime minister like a rock and that the BJP is sure to win under him.Underlining the election’s significance, he said battles are of different kinds; consequences of some are confined to win and defeated, of some others are felt for a decade of so while of some others are felt for centuries. “I believe the 2019 battle is going to be like this,” he said, drawing a parallel with the third battle of Panipat. “This is an example in history which matches with the situation today,” he said, asserting that it is a must for the party to win the polls.Under king Shivaji, Marathas had started freeing different parts of India and won over 131 battles under various kings before losing the third battle of Panipat. “It was not merely a loss in one battle… India was sunk in slavery for 200 years and the English ruled it for two countries. It was a decisive battle,” he said.Noting that from six states in 2014, when it came to power at the Centre, the BJP is ruling 16 states now, he said it will rule south India and form its government in Kerala if the Modi government is re-elected.Amid a growing challenge from opposition parties and the BJP’s defeat in the recent state polls, Shah sought to reassure the party cadres about its prospects in the general elections, saying he knew Modi since 1987 and not a single election has been lost under him.He also claimed that the party is on its way to win more than 50 per cent votes in Uttar Pradesh, asserting the saffron alliance’s tally will improve from the 73 seats it had won in 2014 out of the state’s 80.Referring to the passage of a bill in Parliament to give 10 per cent quota to the general category poor, Shah said the Modi government has “fulfilled” the dreams of crores of youths and described the constitution amendment bill as one of the most important legislations passed by Parliament.He also asserted that the party wants Ram temple to be constructed at the earliest in Ayodhya, noting that the matter is in the Supreme Court. He accused the Congress of creating hurdles to delay a verdict.On the OppositionMocking the “bua-bhatija” alliance of Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party and Mayawati’s BSP, he said they could not stand each other but have now joined hands due to the BJP’s fear. Dismissing “Rahul baba and company’s” allegation of corruption against the Modi government on the Rafale issue as baseless, he said somebody told him that the Congress could not face elections without levelling charges against the prime minister whose image, he added, remains unblemished.Mocking Gandhi for his dare to attack the government on the issue of corruption, he said he and his mother Sonia Gandhi are out on bail in a case of graft, a reference to the National Herald matter. SHARE Vasundhra Raje, Shivraj Chouhan and Raman Singh now in Central BJP RELATED Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL File Photo – The Hindu COMMENT January 11, 2019 COMMENTS