State To Settle Backlogged TAPS Tariff Cases

first_imgUnder the proposed settlement, the State will retain the $224 million already collected, and will collect at least $165 million of additional revenue. Chief assistant attorney general for regulatory affairs and public advocacy, John Ptacin: ”Over time, we believe that’ll translate into over a billion dollars additional revenue to the state.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The State of Alaska has agreed to settle dozens of cases involving Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) tariff rates for the years 2009-2015. In addition, the carriers will agree that approximately $625 million of costs associated with strategic reconfiguration, a project which automated and electrified equipment along the TAPS pipeline, will never be placed in TAPS tariff rates, keeping rates low into the future. According to a release from the State Department of Law, this settlement will likely increase the value of Alaska North Slope (ANS) crude for tax and royalty purposes.center_img Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennifer-on-Tarrif-settlement.mp3VmJennifer-on-Tarrif-settlement.mp300:00RPd To help keep future disputes about TAPS tariff rates to a minimum, the State and the carriers also agreed to use a settlement methodology to calculate interstate TAPS tariff rates through 2021. The settlement is subject to regulatory approval before it is final. In the legal settlement announced earlier in December, the State asserted that TAPS tariff rates were too high, resulting in reduced royalty and tax obligations by the shippers who utilize TAPS.last_img read more


FEMA Opens Temporary Office In Nikiski

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享FEMA representatives have opened a temporary office at the North Peninsula Recreation Center in Nikiski. The FEMA temporary office is open 10am to 7pm Monday through Friday and 10am to 1pm on Saturday, this week and next week ending March 2. You must apply for Federal Individual Assistance even if you have already applied for State Individual Assistance. The major disaster declaration issued on January 31 for the state of Alaska makes federal funding available to eligible affected individuals in the Municipality of Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and Kenai Peninsula Borough. Residents whose homes were affected by the 7.0 earthquake on November 30 are encouraged to apply for the Federal Individual Assistance program. The deadline to apply for FEMA Individual Assistance is April 1. Announcements will be provided for locations in Homer and Seward. You may also apply online at www.disasterassistance.gov.last_img read more


FERC Adds 4 Months To EIS Schedule For AKLNG Project

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has extended the schedule for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Alaska LNG project by four months. “The revised schedule for the EIS is based upon AGDC meeting its commitment to provide complete responses to outstanding data requests on the dates it has identified.”  The notice also stated, that the regulatory commission would not issue a final impact statement until March 6, 2020, instead of November 2019. But March 2020 depends on the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (AGDC) answering all of FERC’s questions in full this summer. In a notice issued by FERC on February 28, they now plan to issue the draft EIS in June. The commission did not specify a date in June. The scheduled release date had been the end of February. Some of the responses that the AGDC still owes FERC includes information on fire safety, spill-containment safeguards and hazard-mitigation designs at the gas treatment plant, liquefaction plant and LNG storage tanks in Nikiski. FERC cited the state’s timeline for answering federal regulators’ questions and fulfilling data requests as the reason for the extension. Also, federal regulators are waiting for information from the state on pipeline crossings at active earthquake faults, and a more detailed route map showing all seismic hazards within 5 miles of the pipelines.last_img read more


House Schedules Final Vote On Capital Budget

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska House of Representatives on Monday will hold a third and final vote on legislation funding the capital budget. The vote on Senate Bill 2002 is scheduled to occur two days before a key July 31 deadline and comes after two prior votes fell short of achieving the needed three-quarter supermajority. A vote earlier this week fell just one shy of the needed 30-member support. The House is only allowed to vote on the bill three times. Edgmon: “Now is the time to act and prove that Alaska is truly open for business. This capital budget provides our private sector the resources needed to build our state, gives an incentive to keep our most qualified students from pursuing opportunities outside, and equalizes power costs so individuals and small businesses can survive whether they operate in large urban centers or rural communities.” House Speaker Bryce Edgmon (I-Dillingham) on Thursday announced the planned vote to rescind previous action on S.B. 2002 in order to get the thirtieth vote. This motion is the final opportunity for the capital budget to pass the Legislature and to then be transmitted to the governor.last_img read more


2020 Ford Escape SE Sport Hybrid debuts to split the difference

first_imgGuys, it comes in green. Ford Ford has been slowly working to change the perception of hybrid and electrified vehicles. Take the forthcoming Lincoln Aviator for example. In its top-spec Grand Touring trim, a plug-in hybrid powertrain is standard with 494 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque. Thrifty and sporty, no?Clearly, that ethos has seeped into the 2020 Ford Escape SE Sport Hybrid, which the automaker revealed on Tuesday alongside the compact crossover’s build configurator. We’ve known the SE Sport trim was coming with a standard hybrid powertrain but this is our first look at how Ford plans to draw those looking for racier looks while delivering efficient drives.Digging through the configurator, the SE Sport Hybrid builds upon the standard SE trim but replaces the 1.5-liter turbo-3 engine with a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle inline-4 and electronically controlled CVT. Ford estimates the powertrain will make 198 hp and the EPA projects drivers will go more than 550 miles on a single tank. With a base price of $29,450, after a hefty $1,195 destination charge, the perky and efficient crossover is pretty well equipped.There’s a standard 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 10-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and keyless access with push-button start. The digital instrument cluster and leather-wrapped steering wheel are extras atop the regular SE trim.Outside, the 2020 Escape SE Sport Hybrid gets black 17-inch wheels, trim molding and grille accents to look the part. Honestly, the black accents look good with any color that’s part of the Escape’s palette and you should be delighted to know there’s a green hue available — Dark Persian Green, to be specific. Rapid Red is the only extra-cost color and adds $395 to the SE Sport’s price. All-wheel drive is also optional and costs another $1,500.Overall, the SE Sport seems like a pretty well-packed value with most of the popular options included. For $3,395 more, buyers can also add a Premium Package that bundles fancier 19-inch wheels, a power liftgate, adaptive cruise control and other comforts.Elsewhere, those looking for the least expensive 2020 Escape will be shown an Escape S that will start at $26,080. At the top of the lineup is the Escape Titanium at $34,595. Note, the hybrid powertrain is also standard here, but a 2.0-liter turbo-4 with 250 hp is available for another $2,885. Opting for the more powerful engine also nets AWD standard.We’re eager to get some seat time with the 2020 Escape, but perhaps just as eager to see what Ford has cooking for those who feel the new Escape is too car-like. There’s a “Baby Bronco” coming for that crowd. Tags 83 Photos News • 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid sips its way to EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined 2020 Ford Escape gears up for city living 2 4:27 Now playing: Watch this: 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid: Plugging in for performance Share your voice More about 2020 Ford Explorer Base FWDcenter_img More From Roadshow Ford 2020 Ford Escape is a citified slicker SUV Preview • 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid first drive: A new kind of Explorer Comments Crossovers Hybrids Ford 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid second drive: The best of both worlds 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon: Der überwagenlast_img read more


Varun Beverages IPO PepsiCo bottler gets Sebi nod for public issue

first_imgPepsiCo’s bottler Varun Beverages Ltd has won the stock market regulator’s approval for its Rs. 1,000 crore worth Initial Public Offering (IPO). The company secured clearance from the Securities Exchange Board of India or Sebi’s on August 31.Varun Beverages, which is the flagship firm of Delhi-based businessman Ravi Jaipuria, had filed its Draft Red Herring Prospectus with Sebi on June 21, Mint reported. Confirming the latest development, the firm told the publication that “the timing of the opening the IPO will be decided by the Book Running Lead Managers.”The management of the Gurugram-based firm are currently travelling across the country giving presentations to potential investors, analysts and fund managers and may launch the IPO sometime in October, a source told Mint.According to previous reports earlier this year, it was reported that the company might raise about Rs. 1,000 crore through its IPO.In October last year, the PepsiCo’s bottler had raised Rs. 600 crore from Aion Investments, which is a Singapore-based company. During that time, the company had said it would utilise the fund for expanding its business and “refinancing debt,” Business Standard had reported.PepsiCo had earlier announced that it would invest about Rs. 33,000 crore in the country by 2020. It had sold its entire bottling units in North India to Varun Beverages in November 2014.Varun Beverages is PepsiCo’s product distributor in 17 states and two Union Territories across India. It is also PepsiCo’s second largest bottler in South Asia and has, apart from India, operations in Nepal and Sri Lanka. It also sells PepsiCo’s products in parts of the African continent.last_img read more


Heres why NIA court sentenced fake Jet hijacker Birju Salla to life

first_imgSalla had done all this in the name of love and over affection. A married Salla allegedly had an affair with a woman working with Jet Airways and had married her three months before he planted the threat letter. He wanted her to stay with him and take care of his ailing father which made him take this extreme step. He reportedly planted the letter since he wanted the woman to quit her job with the airline.It is reported that the threat letter was filed from Salla’s office in Mumbai. He typed the letter and translated it into Urdu with the help of Google to make it seem like a potential terror threat. He planted it in the tissue holder inside the lavatory of the aircraft’s business class section, which was later found by a crew member.”Flight No. 9W339 is covered by hijackers and aircraft should not be land and flown straight to POK. 12 people on board. If you put landing gear you will hear the noise of people dying. Don’t’ take it as a joke. Cargo area contains explosives land Delhi. Allah is great,” read the threat letter made by Salla.A B.Com graduate from Mumbai’s Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in Churchgate, Salla had ventured into several businesses including gold and construction after separating from his father’s business in 2006.Salla was arrested by Ahmedabad’s Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) and the case was transferred to the NIA. Birju Kishor SallatwitterA 38-year-old Mumbai-based businessman has become the first person in India to be convicted under the Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016. Birju Kishor Salla has been sentenced to life in prison and fined Rs 5 crore by a special court of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).Salla was found guilty of placing a hijacking note in the washroom of a Mumbai-New Delhi Jet Airways flight in October 2017.The money from the fine will be distributed among the pilots, crew and passengers of the flight. The pilots will get Rs 1 lakh each, the cabin crew members will be given Rs 50,000 and each of the passengers will be given Rs 25,000.Punishment under Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016:(a) with death where such offence results in the death of a hostage or of a security personnel or of any person not involved in the offence, as a direct consequence of the office of hijacking; or (b) with imprisonment for life which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life and with fine, and the movable and immovable property of such person shall also be liable to be confiscated.The rules are in line with the Hague Convention of 1971 and the Beijing Protocol of 2010 of the UN body International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The incident took place on October 30, 2017, when captain Jay Jariwala and co-pilot Ashutosh Newase were informed about the threat letter on board Jet Airways flight 9W-339. They had to make an emergency landing at Ahmedabad without informing the passengers. The threat later turned out to be a hoax.The NIA had filed the chargesheet under sections 3(1), 3(2)(a) and 4(b) of Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016, which stated that Salla had intentionally planted the threat letter to disrupt the airline operations. Planting of the threat note amounted to credible threat to commit the offence of hijacking.”There are only two kinds of punishment under the new anti-hijacking law — life imprisonment until death, or a death sentence. If a hostage is killed, the punishment is death. In lesser circumstances the sentence is life. So the judge had only these two options,” Salla’s lawyer Rohit Verma told The Times of India.last_img read more


Santa Fe ISD Approves New Safety Measures

first_img Share Photo: Harris County Sheriff’s Office via Twitter / @HCSOTexasLaw enforcement agencies are deployed at Santa Fe High School, located in Galveston County, because of the shooting incident that happened in the morning of May 18, 2018.Trustees of Santa Fe Independent School District approved new safety measures, last night.Media outlets report the board decided to install new locks inside classrooms, remodel the front entrance to the school with bulletproof glass, and install new alarms and panic buttons in classrooms.The Galveston County Daily News reports about 1.5 million dollars will be spent on a series of updates, many to be completed before the school year begins. The district will reportedly relocate the classrooms where the deadly shooting took place last May.The board did not vote on whether to install metal detectors donated to the district.last_img read more


SimmsMiller Family Reunion

first_imgThe Simms-Miller Family.The Simms-Miller family reunion, celebrated Aug. 16, marked 106 years at Druid Hill Park, and is now branching into their sixth generation. As on every third Saturday in August, there was face painting, soccer and football, table games, raffle, line dancing and music by DJ Zack. A procla mation from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake hailed Simms Family Reunion Day in Baltimore City.Rachel McClellan, 85 celebrates with Marie Simms, 100.Family members came from as far away as Australia. Family members include internationally known Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson fame and the internationally known Softones and the late musical duo and actors in Paris, John and Arthur Simms.A highlight of the event was the attendance of Marie Simms who celebrated her 100th birthday, July 14. She is the grandmother of a member of the “Softones” and mother of John and Arthur.Family member, Trevor Jakes, will be playing drums at the Apollo Theatre in N.Y. City on Sept. 11.Reunion committee members are Rachel Simms McClellan, Trina Williams, Monique Williams, Cherie White, Stephanie Simms, Margo Simms Johnson, Lorraine Scott, Joseph Scott, Delores Kenny, Gale McClelland, Louise Lewis, Pamela Burgess, JoAnn Simms & Linda Bakerlast_img read more


National Museum of Women in the Arts Hosts Free Community Day

first_imgVisit the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave., NW, on Jan. 7 from noon to 5 p.m. for Community Day. Community Day is free for participants. Residents can take the opportunity to explore the museum’s newly reinstalled collection and current exhibitions, including the Magnetic Fields exhibition. The Magnetic Fields expands American Abstraction from the 1960s to present day, places abstract works by multiple generations of Black women artists in context with one another—and within the larger history of abstract art—for the first time.Maren Hassinger, Wrenching News, 2008.  (Courtesy Photo: E. G. Schempf/National Museum of Women in the Arts via Facebook)last_img read more


Varsity at Mungpoo to be named Darjeeling Hill University

first_imgDarjeeling: The name of the State University to come up at Mungpoo, Darjeeling will be undergoing a change in nomenclature from “Greenfield University” to “Darjeeling Hill University.”Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee talking to media persons in Darjeeling on Tuesday stated: “It was a long standing demand of the people that a University come up in the Hills. The foundation stone of the new university ‘The Darjeeling Hill University’ will be laid on Wednesday. The university will come up at Mungpoo.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIncidentally, the Government programme at Darjeeling Chowrasta that was supposed to take place at 3pm on Wednesday has been rescheduled to 11am.Mamata Banerjee will lay the foundation stone of the University from this programme and head for Kolkata. “However, during the discussion on the bill we had requested that the nomenclature be changed as it is the sentiment of the Hill masses that a University come up which bears the identity of the region. The Chief Minister has honoured the sentiments of the people. Now, an amendment has to be brought in the winter session of the Assembly to change the nomenclature,” stated Amar Rai, MLA, Darjeeling.”We have already earmarked a land of 100-acre at Yogighaat in Mungpoo for the University. A new 8-km long road will be built through which the distance between Siliguri and the University will be a mere 45 minutes drive,” stated Binoy Tamang, Chairman, GTA.last_img read more


I know my style of singing is the future Indeep Bakshi

first_imgThe music sensation Indeep Bakshi, who has to its credit the popular number Saturday Saturday from Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania’ said that he is not intimidated by his contemporaries as he believes that every artist has his own style. Since when did you develop an interest in music?Academically, I come from ‘Architect’ background but always loved singing. It all began eventually because I studied about buildings, designs and construction but had a good hobby of writing poems or quirky lines which made me to think to get into music industry. I tried experimenting with my voice when I was young and as I had my writing samples and talent to write poems which provoked me to sing professionally also. My writings needed just a touch of tunes or surr. And when I saw today’s generation enjoying music be it of any kind that encouraged me to continue with my decision of entering into singing. All I needed is music, tunes and raps which were combined with my song Saturday Saturday and you see; it went on to become a blockbuster hit amongst youth and everyone.Singing came naturally to me and I’ve spent years honing that ability.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’On what basis do you pen down your songs?My lyrics are very conversational, and I write them to cater to the youth and the way that youngsters talk today and my music style is mostly R&B.My first sad song Tere Liye’ it’s a slow track and was in the movie Delhi Wali Zalim Girlfriend. This track was not to sale it out and nor was meant to be released, the song was one of the incidents of my life which turned out to be a fallout in a relationship and I wrote this song when I was in Shimla. At that time I wrote two songs one is Tere Liye and other one is 2 AM which is soon to be released.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTere Liye was bought by T-Series after they listened to my track which was set as my ringtone. Also another song which came was Billionaire and was based out of my real life story which lately Raftaar gifted me at the launch.How did ‘Indeep Sound’ happen?I used to listen to international and bollywood music both, then I try recreating bollywood music by putting my own music in it. After that I started writing songs and then I came up with Saturday Saturday, this happened when I was teasing my friend one day who had come from Punjab and was excited to see the nightlife of Delhi. Uski ek baat hoti thi, every Saturday party karni hai! I used to tease her ki Saturday Saturday karti raheti hai. I made a rough dummy of that track and my friend encouraged me to release it. Then I met Badhsah bhai and did it professionally.   Tell us about your Bad Wali Feeling song.This is song has an adult certificate and the video content is strictly 18+. This song is in another genre of RNB mix only like Saturday Saturday was first house music.For this particular song, we had shot the video three times as I was not satisfied with the kind of video I wanted. At last the final video was shot in Dubai with a lot of entertainment in it.Sharing the platform with your contemporary artists like Yo Yo Honey Singh and Badshah how do you think the competition will affect you?As such there is no competition and nor do I take any singer as my competition. Every artist as his own style of singing and genre of music is also different. Secondly, more than profession it’s my passion and if we see the competition is more in the profession as compared to passion. Moreover, I know my style of singing is the future and the kind of music I produce will be the future.What are the other aspects of life which interest you?Music, cars and bikes are my interests for which I can go to any lengths. Also I possess a large classy collection of the same. I am an extreme junkie and have an attitude to try sports and also I’m willing to try my hand at new things. Though my interests keep changing, ultimate passion is luxury and music and yes I am constantly on the hunt for something bold and adventurous.What are your future projects? I am coming up with a new track Bad Wali Feeling which is an 18+ track. Also since my Sikh fans are saying that I am not wearing turban in the videos so for them I am coming up with a special track Singh honde Badhsah te Kaur hondi Queen. This is a pure bhangra track which has Punjabi culture in it. Besides this, my new track 2 AM which is very close to me will be out soon. Also, for the first time I will be featuring with Sunny Leone in the title track Paheli Bari Ki of the movie Tina and Lolo. This will be my third track in bollywood after Saturday Saturday and Tere Liye.I was not doing live concerts and performances for a long time but now I am planning them. I will be soon seen performing live in concert at the CEOL Festival at Metro Walk, Rohini.last_img read more


Man stabbed to death by son in North Dinajpur

first_imgKolkata: Ranjit Das (52), a resident of Indran village under Itahar police station in North Dinajpur, was stabbed to death inside his house on Sunday night.Locals have alleged that the victim’s son Rajesh might have killed him to take revenge on his mother’s death. It was also stated that Ranjit had killed his wife a few years ago. Police have started a detailed probe to ascertain the exact cause behind the murder. According to the preliminary investigation, police also suspect that the victim was killed by his son. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalThe villagers told police Rajesh often got involved in fights with his father over the death of his mother, Rupa Das. The woman was murdered five years ago. Ranjit was arrested on the charges of killing his wife and later released on bail. It was learnt that when the incident had occurred, Rajesh lived in Delhi for professional reasons. After returning home, a year ago, he came to know about this father’s involvement in his mother’s death. The equation between Rajesh and his father had changed since then but nobody in the locality could expect that it would lead to such a crime. It was learnt that the accused son hit his father’s head with a sharp weapon following a quarrel. The injured father was taken to a hospital in Raigunj on late Sunday night. He succumbed to his injuries at the hospital on Monday morning. The accused, Rajesh, has been absconding since the incident took place. Police have started a probe into the incident and are raids are being conducted to nab the culprit.last_img read more


helloworld add more locations

first_imgThe additional agreements equate to a further 70 locations in the space of one week. More than 300 helloworld locations are already on board, while a further 420 location agreements are underway, placing the new travel brand ahead of its transformation targets. “As a result of our business transformation, our new travel brand, helloworld, is now being introduced to travellers across the country… this puts us in a very strong position as we move into 2014,” helloworld chief executive Rob Gurney said. helloworld has revealed agreements for 720 retail locations across Australia. helloworld recently revealed the layout of their concept store to media and partners in Melbourne and have also launched their new consumer website, powered by Orbitz Worldwide technology. helloworld has assisted agents returning retail agreements by providing a range of launch incentives. Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more


In This Issue   Dollars allout assault is st

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Dollar’s all-out assault is stopped.. *  Euro rebounds on cease fire news. *  Aussie 2nd QTR GDP beats expectations! *  China to spend some reserves on shipping. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Ukraine / Russia Agree To Cease Fire. Maybe. Good Day! .  And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Man, I had better get my eye checked! I think I’m beginning to read stuff that’s not the way it’s presented! Here’s the skinny: I woke up from a quick and not long enough nap to answer the door yesterday afternoon, and after welcoming the ATT guy into the house, I brought up my work email on my mobile device, and there was an email from our office managing guru, Danielle, telling me about elevator work that would take place around the time I arrive in the morning. “Great! I said, for I had some blood work that I needed to get done tomorrow, so I’ll just stay home, write and then go get the blood work done, rather than get all dialed in at work to leave right away.  Unfortunately, the email said Sept 4.. not Sept 3. UGH! So, I’m writing from home today, when I didn’t have to! The elevator work is tomorrow! What a dolt I am sometimes! Front and Center this morning, there was word earlier that Russia and Ukraine had agreed to a cease-fire. But then the “official word” from the Kremlin came out, and said that the Russian and Ukrainian Presidents had only discussed steps toward peace. There’s been no further discussion on what that meant, or maybe it was just a matter of semantics, but it sounds to me that the Kremlin wants their say before any “agreement” is made. The Currency traders are taking this “non-agreement in stone” as a good sign, and the euro has rallied a little bit. In fact the dollar’s all-out assault on the currencies and metals yesterday, (Gold lost $24) has backed off a bit this morning, albeit the moves are small. I forgot to mention yesterday that there is a bevy of Central Bank meetings this week, and that all gets started today with the Bank of Canada (BOC) meeting.  I don’t expect any surprises from the BOC today, and their neutral bias should remain in place. The recent data from Canada, as chronicled here in the Pfennig, has been upbeat, but I doubt it’s enough. yet that is. Oh, and before I forget again. which, I might add, seems to be happening to me more and more these days, the other central bank meetings this week include the European Central Bank (ECB), The Bank of England (BOE), and the Bank of Japan (BOJ). And we can’t take our eye off the ball with regards to the Jobs Jamboree, which will take place on Friday this week! So, an event-full week, but in the end it will be just a bunch of boondoggles and cooked booked. The Biggest mover overnight, is the Aussie dollar (A$).  Australia printed their 2nd QTR GDP last night, and it showed a solid number of .5% for the QTR and 3.1% year on year. That beat the expectations, and the A$ has reversed yesterday’s selling on the news. I did see “something” as a doctor might say to a patient, that we’ll have to keep our eye on. The Personal Income component of the GDP report showed a -.6% decline in disposable income.  That’s not a good sign for the 3rd QTR. Just like I told you yesterday about how the Personal Income decline in the U.S. was not good for 3rd QTR GDP, the same will hold true for Australia, unless.. this was just a blip, and the next two months turn around, which is why I say we’ll have to keep our eye on this.  But for right here ,right now, the A$ is in rally mode, so don’t stop it now, it’s on a roll!  Remember when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? The Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Don’t Stop him he’s on a roll.  HAHAHAHAHA! One of the funniest scenes ever in a movie. On a side bar.  A few years ago,  used that line about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor, and I actually had a few readers send me notes telling be that it was Not the Germans, but the Japanese that bombed Pearl Harbor. That made the whole line even more funny! Of course the actual bombing is not, was not funny. I’m strictly talking about the line in the Animal House movie! Back to Australia for a minute. Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Gov. Stevens, made some comments after the 2nd QTR GDP report printed last night, and in his speech, he made a tactical error, and sound hawkish. I’m certain that he didn’t mean to do this, but h did, and the A$ was the beneficiary. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him come out with a retraction. There’s news this morning from two of my fave currencies / countries. Sweden and Norway, and none of the news is good.  In Sweden, the markets are calling for the Riksbank to implement unconventional methods to reach their target inflation rate. Read, Quantitative Easing / QE. I shake my head in disgust, for this Central Bank USED to be prudent and kept their eyes on price stability. And in Norway, the latest data from Statistics Norway, their latest survey of Oil producers and explorers suggest an 18% drop in investments next year. So far in 2014, they’ve seen a 14% decline in investments. So a further drag on the Norwegian economy next year, folks. Of course this is where you reach back in the memory bank and recall that Chuck told you of the huge cash reserves from Oil that Norway is holding, and you say, “But, Chuck, doesn’t the Norwegian Gov’t have a 140.9 Billion krone revenue pile that they could use to plug deficits and support growth during this slowdown?” And I would say, yes! You, dear reader, get a Gold Star! Both the Eurozone and he U.K. printed their latest Services PMI’s this morning, and it was like two ships passing in the night. the U.K. Services industry printed above expectations, while the Eurozone’s print was slightly weaker. But still above 50 (actually at 52.5) But this morning is all about the cease-fire, no cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia.  And any sign that the sanctions could be removed would be HUGE for the Eurozone! Gold has found a bid this morning, albeit a small bid, after losing some major ground yesterday. So, Gold loses $24 on a day when the U.S. announces air strikes in Somalia, and Russian President, Putin rates his saber, and then turns around and gains a couple of shekels when a cease-fire is announced. Now, you tell me, where the logic is in all of that! And the metal that has had the best performance so far this year, gaining 22% to date, Palladium, is getting whacked badly this morning on the cease-fire news. I have to say that I’m taken back a step or two watching this price movement in Palladium, given the need of the metal in industrial use hasn’t changed. But, the interruptions of delivery that hung over the metal like the Sword of Damocles, from strikes, earlier this year in S. Africa, and now the conflict in Russia/ Ukraine, seem now to be a thing of the past. But, I don’t think this is anything to get upset about! Look at this whacking of Palladium’s price as an opportunity to buy at a cheaper price. That’s how I look at it! The Chinese renminbi was allowed to appreciate last night.. You know how I always tell you, be yourself, no wait! No time for Mr. Wizard Chuck! I always tell you about China’s treasure chest of reserves that they can use to help the economy when they see a problem ? Well, here’s a classic case of what I’m always telling you. It was reported by the State Council overnight, that Beijing plans to build an efficient shipping system by 2020. Don’t you love it when a country makes investment in their future? So, besides the BOC meeting this morning which will most likely be a non-even, the U.S. Data Cupboard has the conn today.. Since Friday will be the Jobs Jamboree, we’ll see the ADP Employment Report for August today. the ICSC-Goldman Store Sales report, and Factory Orders. The Gallup Poll people are putting together an index on U.S. Job Creation, which should be interesting.. The U.S. Data Cupboard did produce a stronger than expected ISM Manufacturing Index (59 in August VS 57.1 in July), just as I thought, and said it would probably do, given the weakness in the dollar, but, as I also said, I would expect this index number to come down in the coming months given my expectation of a short-term dollar rally.  You see, the dollar’s value goes a long way toward whether Manufacturing cooks or not. The last time the ISM Index was this strong was March 2011.  And we had QE up to our eyeballs, so everything gets thrown out of whack as far as looking at fundamentals and history. But think you get the picture. For What It’s Worth.Well, I’ve told you all about the agreement that China and Russia signed a couple of months ago whereas Russia agreed to supply China with gas.. Well, there was news this weekend that I found at www.zerohedge.com  on this story, and it involves the largest gas pipeline in the World to link the two countries.  here’s a snippet. “If after months of Eurasian axis formation, one still hasn’t realized why in the grand game over Ukraine supremacy – not to mention superpower geopolitics – Europe, and the West, has zero leverage, while Russia has all the trump cards, then today’s latest development in Chinese-Russian cooperation should make it abundantly clear.  Overnight, following a grand ceremony in the Siberian city of Yakutsk, Russia and China officially began the construction of a new gas pipeline linking the countries. The bottom line to Russia – nearly half a trillion after China’s CNPC agreed to buy $400bn in gas from Russia’s Gazprom back in May. In return, Russia will ship 38 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually over a period of 30 years. The 3,968 km pipeline linking gas fields in eastern Siberia to China will be the world’s largest fuel network in the world.” Chuck again. yes, it’s happening right before us folks. the “shift” away from a dependence on the U.S. But then long time readers will say to themselves, Hey! But Chuck has been telling us this was going to happen because of the debt buildup and history for a long time! And you would be correct! To recap. the dollar’s all-out assault on the currencies and Gold yesterday has backed off this morning with the news that maybe a cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia has been made and maybe not. Australia printed a strong 2nd QTR GDP, well stronger than expected, and RBA Gov. Stevens ended up on the hawkish side of statements, and I’m sure he didn’t mean to! Gold got whacked yesterday, but has wrapped a tourniquet around the bleeding this morning, while Palladium takes over at the bloodletting table for Gold. Not good news from Sweden and Norway this morning, and the Bank of Canada meets today, should be a non-event. Currencies today 9/3/14. American Style: A$ .9325, kiwi .8325, C$ .9175, euro 1.3160, sterling 1.6460, Swiss $1.0895, . European Style: rand 10.6965, krone 6.2045 ,SEK 6.9915, forint 238.75, zloty 3.1870, koruna 21.0315, RUB 36.92, yen 105.05, sing 1.2520, HKD 7.7505, INR 60.49, China 6.1697, pesos 13.09, BRL 2.2435, Dollar Index 82.83, Oil $93.71, 10-year 2.45%, Silver $19.17, Platinum $1,409.88, Palladium $879.00, and Gold. $1,267.80 That’s it for today. What  a dolt I am for that elevator repair mix up. UGH! It looks really froggy out this morning.  Spell checker didn’t like my version of foggy, but I told it to deal with it! Another exciting win by my beloved Cardinals last night, I sure hope this time it’s for real, and no false dawn like we’ve seen all season long! Speaking of froggy, it reminds me of many years ago, when Kathy & Chuck were driving to St. Louis from Des Moines, Ia. The fog was so thick that the only way I could continue to drive was to crack the door open so I knew where the white line on the road was. That was dangerous, yes, I know it. Just shows how desperate we were to get out of Des Moines and back home to St. Louis!  Well, after about 6 years, I finally had to have a new wireless modem put in the house. I was going crazy with all the interruptions to my TV! Hey! It’s college football season, baseball playoffs are around the corner, and the NFL starts tomorrow night, I had to get that fixed! HA! I noticed at the grocery store this past weekend that they had HUGE displays out of Halloween candy already.. UGH!  What? I next week too early to get the Christmas stuff out?  Our Hockey Blues were showing off their new jersey last week. Everything runs together now I guess! Oh well. I’ve got to get this to Mike for the finishing touches, I hope everyone has a Wonderful Wednesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more


Recommended Links

first_img Recommended Links Editor’s Note: In yesterday’s Weekend Edition, Casey Research founder Doug Casey explained why gold stocks can offer 10 times or even 100 times returns on your money. Today, Doug explains how to stack the odds in your favor when buying gold stocks… Doug Casey: You know, I first started looking at gold stocks back in the early 1970s. In those days, South African stocks were the “blue chips” of the mining industry. As a country, South Africa mined about 60% of all the gold mined in the world, and costs were very low. Gold was controlled at $35 per ounce until Nixon closed the gold window in 1971, but some South Africans were able to mine it for $20 an ounce or less. They were paying huge dividends. Gold had run up from $35 to $200 in early 1974, then corrected down to $100 by 1976. It had come off 50%, but at the same time that gold was bottoming around $100, they had some serious riots in Soweto. So the gold stocks got a double hit: falling gold prices and fear of revolution in South Africa. That made it possible, in those days, to buy into short-lived, high-cost mining companies very cheaply; the stocks of the marginal companies were yielding current dividends of 50-75%. They were penny stocks in those days. They no longer exist; they’ve all been merged into mining finance houses long since then. Three names I remember from those days were Leslie, Bracken, Grootvlei…I owned a lot of shares in them. If you bought Leslie for 80 cents a share, you’d expect, based on previous dividends, to get about 60 cents a share in that year. But then gold started flying upward, the psychology regarding South Africa changed, and by 1980—the next real peak—you were getting several times what you paid for the stock in dividends alone, per year. Louis James: Wow. I can think of some leveraged companies that might be able to deliver that sort of performance if gold goes where we think it will. So, where do you think we are in the current trend or metals cycle? You’ve spoken of the Stealth, Wall of Worry, and Mania Phases of a bull market for metals—do you still think of our market in those terms? Doug: That’s the big question, isn’t it? Well, the last major bottom in this sector was from 1998 to 2002. Many of these junior mining stocks—mostly traded in Canada, where about 75% of all the gold stocks in the world trade—were trading for less than cash in the bank. Literally. You’d get all their properties, their technology, the expertise of their management, totally for free. Or less. L: I remember seeing past issues in which you said, “If I could call your broker and order these stocks for you, I would.” Doug: Yes. But nobody wanted to hear about it at that time. Gold was low, and there was a bubble in Internet stocks—why would anyone want to get involved in a dead duck, 19th century, “choo-choo train” industry like gold mining? It had been completely discredited by the long bear market—but that made it the ideal time to buy them, of course. That was deep in the Stealth Phase. Over the next six to eight years, these stocks took off, moving us into the Wall of Worry Phase. But the stocks didn’t fly the way they did in past bull markets. I think that’s mostly because they were so depleted of capital, they were selling lots of shares. So their market capitalizations—the aggregate value given to them by the market—were increasing, but their share prices weren’t. Not as much. Remember, these companies very rarely have any earnings, but they always need capital, and the only way they can get it is by selling new shares, which dilutes the value of the individual shares, including those held by existing shareholders. Then last fall hit, and nobody, but nobody, wanted anything speculative. These most volatile of stocks showed their nature and plunged through the floor in the general flight to safety. That made last fall the second best time to buy mining shares this cycle, and I know you recommended some pretty aggressive buying last fall, near the bottom. Now, many of these shares—the better ones at least—have recovered substantially, and some have even surpassed pre-crash highs. Again, the Wall of Worry Phase is characterized by large fluctuations that separate the wolves from the sheep (and the sheep from their cash). Where does that leave us? Well, as you know, I think gold is going to go much, much higher. And that is going to direct a lot of attention toward these gold stocks. When people get gold fever, they are not just driven by greed, they’re usually driven by fear as well, so you get both of the most powerful market motivators working for you at once. It’s a rare class of securities that can benefit from fear and greed at once. – Remember that the Fed’s pumping up of the money supply ignited a huge bubble in tech stocks, and then an even more massive global bubble in real estate—which is over for a long time, incidentally—but they’re still creating tons of dollars. That will inevitably ignite other asset bubbles. Where? I can’t say for certain, but I say the odds are extremely high that as gold goes up, for all the reasons we spoke about last week and more, a lot of this funny money is going to be directed into these gold stocks, which are not just a microcap area of the market but a nanocap area of the market. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: When the public gets the bit in its teeth and wants to buy gold stocks, it’s going to be like trying to siphon the contents of the Hoover Dam through a garden hose. Gold stocks, as a class, are going to be explosive. Now, you’ve got to remember that most of them are junk. Most will never, ever find an economical deposit. But it’s hopes and dreams that drive them, not reality, and even without merit, they can still go 10, 20, or 30 times your entry price. And the companies that actually have the goods can go much higher than that. At the moment, gold stock prices are not as cheap, in either relative or absolute terms, as they were at the turn of the century, nor last fall. But given that the Mania Phase is still ahead, they are good speculations right now—especially the ones that have actually discovered gold deposits that look economical. L: So, if you buy good companies now, with good projects, good management, working in stable jurisdictions, with a couple years of operating cash to see them through the Wall of Worry fluctuations—if you buy these and hold for the Mania Phase, you should come out very well. But you can’t blink and get stampeded out of your positions when the market fluctuates sharply. Doug: That’s exactly right. At the particular stage where we are right now in this market for these extraordinarily volatile securities, if you buy a quality exploration company, or a quality development company (which is to say, a company that has found something and is advancing it toward production), those shares could still go down 10%, 20%, 30%, or even 50%. But ultimately, there’s an excellent chance that same stock will go up by 10, 50, or even 100 times. I hate to use such hard-to-believe numbers, but that is the way this market works. When the coming resource bubble is ignited, there are excellent odds you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank in a few years. I should stress that I’m not saying this is the perfect time to buy. We’re not at a market bottom as we were in 2001, nor an interim bottom like last November, and I can’t say I know the Mania Phase is just around the corner. But I think this is a very reasonable time to be buying these stocks. And it’s absolutely a good time to start educating yourself about them. There’s just such a good chance a massive bubble is going to be ignited in this area. L: These are obviously the kinds of things we research, make recommendations on, and educate about in our metals newsletters, but one thing we should stress for nonsubscribers reading this interview is that this strategy applies only to the speculative portion of your portfolio. No one should gamble with their rent money nor the money they’ve saved for college tuition, etc. Doug: Right. The ideal speculator’s portfolio would be divided into 10 areas, each totally different and not correlated with each other. Each of these areas should have, in your subjective opinion, the ability to move 1,000% in price. Why is that? Because most of the time, we’re wrong when we pick areas to speculate in, certainly in areas where you can’t apply Graham-Dodd-type logic. But if you’re wrong on nine out of 10 of them—and it would be hard to do that badly—then you at least break even on the one 10-bagger (1,000% winner). What’s more likely is that a couple will blow up and go to zero, a couple will go down 30%, 40%, 50%, but you’ll also have a couple doubles or triples, and maybe, on one or two of them, you’ll get a 10-to-1 or better win. So, it looks very risky (and falling in love with any single stock is very risky), but it’s actually an intelligent way to diversify your risk and stack the odds of profiting on volatility in your favor. Note that I don’t mean that these “areas” should be 10 different stocks in the junior mining sector—that wouldn’t be diversification. As I say, ideally, I’d have 10 such areas with potential for 1,000% gains, but it’s usually impossible to find that many at once. If you can find only two or three, what do you do with the rest of your money? Well, at this point, I would put a lot of it into gold, in one form or another, while keeping your powder dry as you look for the next idea opportunity. And ideally, I’d look at every market in every country in the world. People who look only in the U.S., or only in stocks, or only in real estate… they just don’t get to see enough balls to swing at. L: Okay, got it. Thank you very much. Doug: A pleasure, as always. Editor’s note: Doug Casey recently put $1 million of his money in penny gold stocks using the “Casey Method”…a proven way of selecting gold stocks with 5x upside, 10x upside, or more. And now, for the first time ever, he is revealing the secrets behind this lucrative strategy in this free video presentation. The last time we saw a gold market like today’s, the Casey Method found 16 stocks. The stocks more than doubled in 12 months, with an average gain of 313%. And Doug believes that today’s gold boom will even be bigger…the biggest gold mania we’ve ever seen. To learn more, watch this short presentation. As you’ll see, there’s never been a better time to own gold stocks. Don’t buy gold bullion. Do this instead. Your wife and broker might think you’re crazy… But a controversial new gold secret could make you 5 times your money this year, starting with just 60 cents right now. Details here. — “Universal Antidote” Set to Generate $1 Billion in New Revenues One under-the-radar company just created a “universal antidote” that could save up to 1.5 million lives this year… and every year thereafter. It could add $1 billion to its revenues… and send the stock soaring 8,233% over the long term… To find out how you could play this opportunity for maximum profits, click here now.last_img read more


Cant cool off this summer Heat waves can slow us

first_imgCan’t cool off this summer? Heat waves can slow us down in ways we may not realize.New research suggests heat stress can muddle our thinking, making simple math a little harder to do.”There’s evidence that our brains are susceptible to temperature abnormalities,” says Joe Allen, co-director of the Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment at Harvard University. And as the climate changes, temperatures spike and heat waves are more frequent.To learn more about how the heat influences young, healthy adults, Allen and his colleagues studied college students living in dorms during a summer heat wave in Boston.Half of the students lived in buildings with central AC, where the indoor air temperature averaged 71 degrees. The other half lived in dorms with no AC, where air temperatures averaged almost 80 degrees.”In the morning, when they woke up, we pushed tests out to their cellphones,” explains Allen. The students took two tests a day for 12 consecutive days.One test, which included basic addition and subtraction, measured cognitive speed and memory. A second test assessed attention and processing speed.”We found that the students who were in the non-air-conditioned buildings actually had slower reaction times: 13 percent lower performance on basic arithmetic tests, and nearly a 10 percent reduction in the number of correct responses per minute,” Allen explains.The results, published in PLOS Medicine, may come as a surprise. “I think it’s a little bit akin to the frog in the boiling water,” Allen says. There’s a “slow, steady — largely imperceptible — rise in temperature, and you don’t realize it’s having an impact on you.”The findings add to a growing body of evidence that documents the effect of heat on mental performance, both in schools and workplaces.For instance, a 2006 study from researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab found that when office temperatures rise above the mid-70s, workers’ performance begins to drop off. Researchers reviewed multiple studies that evaluated performance on common office tasks. The study found that worker productivity is highest at about 72 degrees. When temperatures exceeded the mid-80s, worker productivity decreased by about 9 percent.Another, more recent study compared worker performance in green-certified buildings and typical office buildings. They found a dip in cognitive function linked to conditions in the indoor environment, including higher indoor temperatures and poor lighting.And, when it comes to performance in the classroom, a study funded by the Harvard Environmental Economics Program finds that taking a standardized test on a very hot day is linked to poorer performance. The study includes an analysis of test scores from students in New York City who take a series of high-school exams called the Regents Exams.The author, R. Jisung Park, assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, writes that compared with a 72-degree day, “taking an exam on a 90◦F day leads to a 10.9 percent lower likelihood of passing a particular subject (e.g. Algebra), which in turn affects probability of graduation.”There’s still a lot to learn about how our brains and bodies respond to heat. “We all tend to think we can compensate, we can do just fine” during heat waves says Allen. But he says the “evidence shows that the indoor temperature can have a dramatic impact on our ability to be productive and learn.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more


At the beginning of 2018 we made predictions abou

first_imgAt the beginning of 2018, we made predictions about what the year in global health and development might look like in the countries we cover.The pundits we interviewed forecast that 2018 would bring a decline in the number of health workers around the world, inspire more humanitarians to share their #MeToo stories and see more conflict that would drive the world’s humanitarian crises.Our predictors didn’t do too badly. The Lancet’s latest Global Burden of Disease study noted: “The global shortage and unequal distribution of health workers requires urgent attention.” In October, international charities gathered in London to try to tackle sexual harassment in the aid sector. And a 2018 report from UNOCHA found that “conflict remains the main driver of humanitarian needs.”So what should we expect in 2019? We reached out to pundits in global health and development and they came up with nine bold predictions.1. Positive social change will be contagious in Africa.Over the past year, Ethiopia has gone through a historic transformation at breakneck speed, reports NPR correspondent Eyder Peralta. The country welcomed a new reformist prime minister, who forged peace with former enemy Eritrea and freed thousands of political prisoners.Tobias Denskus, a professor of international development communications at Malmo University and the founder of Aidnography, a global health and development blog, thinks that could inspire other African countries. “Eritrea is one of the most isolated, autocratic and dictatorial nations,” he says. “I’m hoping that positive social change in neighboring countries like Ethiopia will lead Eritrea to do the same.” – Malaka Gharib2. Urban slums will grow.The majority of Africa’s population is young — and that so-called youth bulge will mean “more and more people will make the shift from rural to urban centers in search of jobs and opportunity and driven by changing climate,” says Kennedy Odede, co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit SHOFCO, which provides education, grassroots organizing and services like health care and water in the slums of Kenya.The changing urban landscape will be a challenge for governments. They “will have to be responsive to rapid change or risk humanitarian crises and destabilization,” Odede says. If governments do not provide better services for this new urban population, Odede says there could be an “urban spring” — protests and chaos from angry, uneducated, marginalized youth. But he is an optimist: “There is opportunity in this to harness the energy and intellect of young people.” – Marc Silver3. More countries will follow the U.S. example of pulling out of U.N. funding. On January 1, the U.S. formally left UNESCO, the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization. At the end of World War II, the United States helped found UNESCO to preserve the world’s heritage sites and promote the flow of ideas to prevent future conflicts. But then, UNESCO granted full membership to the Palestinians, and the U.S. stopped funding it, NPR reported.This is not the first time that the U.S. has left the U.N. heritage agency. It withdrew once before, in 1984, citing corruption and an ideological tilt toward the Soviet Union against the West, according to Foreign Policy. Tobias Denskus of Malmo University predicts that the U.S. will make further cuts: “I’m worried that as we move closer to U.S. elections, U.N. funding will suffer even more and ultimately weaken [the U.N.].” And he worries the U.S. precedent will cause other countries to reduce their contributions based on their political agenda. – Malaka Gharib4. There will be more significant infectious disease outbreaks — maybe even a pandemic … “We’re seeing a global increase in the spread of infectious diseases,” says Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security who leads the Outbreak Observatory, a group that collects information about outbreaks. And she doesn’t expect a change in that pattern.”In fact,” she says, “there are worrying signs that the conditions favoring the emergence of a pandemic — and the impact it would have — are ever more present and possibly getting worse.”These conditions include increased migration that’s exposing people to diseases they’ve never encountered before, densely populated megacities and resettlement camps, vaccine refusals, compromised infrastructures as a result of humanitarian crises like conflict, natural disasters and instability as well as climate change that’s exacerbating disasters and pushing disease-bearing wildlife into new habitats. – Joanne Lu5. … but the odds are good we can beat back a bad outbreak.The ability to respond quickly to pandemics is also increasing, says Nuzzo. For example, the DRC was able to control the first phase of its Ebola outbreak in a couple of months, and there’s now an Ebola vaccine that didn’t exist four years ago when the virus swept West Africa.Still, the second phase of the outbreak – which is now the second largest and second deadliest in history – shows that political instability can stand in the way of such advances.”The case for optimism is that the emergence and spread of diseases may be inevitable, but the impacts that they have on society aren’t,” she says. “We should count on there being very significant outbreaks. Whether they become pandemics is up to us.” – Joanne Lu 6. People who need mental health help will find it on their phone.The fields of mental health and substance abuse treatments are about to take a great leap forward into the digital world, predicts psychiatrist Vikram Patel, professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard University. The solution to fighting stigma and the lack of trained counselors could be right in your pocket – a smartphone or even a plain old flip phone. Counselors with a web connection could learn about effective diagnosis and treatment online. They could ping their patients with online tips. People with depression or schizophrenia or substance abuse in rich and poor countries could use their phones to check in with a counselor, receive guidance or touch base with others facing the same issues. Researchers around the world are also testing a variety of apps. The University of Washington is working on a variety of cellphone-based training and treatment programs in Ghana, where cellphones are common and there’s a broad 3G network. The FDA is working on ways to approve digital programs for cognitive behavioral therapy. And the National Institute of Mental Health in the U.S., which is also predicting greater use of digital technology in the future, already provides a guide for finding effective mental health apps. – Joanne Silberner7. Nonprofit leadership will become more diverse.Bullying, sexual harassment and sex scandals in the humanitarian industry made headlines in 2018, from big aid agencies like UNAIDS to small nonprofits like More Than Me.One solution to this, critics have said, is to hire more diverse and qualified candidates. “Many organizations are realizing that they should diversify to represent views that have been traditionally sidelined,” says Tobias Denskus of Malmo University. “The pressure is increasing to hire more female leaders and hire capable managers from the global south, from the LGBT community who haven’t been included before.””More qualified, diverse candidates from Africa and beyond are knocking at the door,” adds Denskus — now it’s up to the aid organizations to let them in. – Malaka Gharib8. There will be fewer food crises.Dry season has begun in sub-Saharan Africa — the period from roughly November through April or May when the rains stop. As climate change has affected weather patterns, droughts have become increasingly severe.By February, “you see the faces of hungry people from Ethiopia to Kenya to South Sudan,” says Esther Ngumbi, a researcher at the University of Illinois and an Aspen Institute New Voices food security fellow.But in 2019, she is hopeful that the impact of the dry season will not be as dramatic. The reason, she says, is that countries are doing a better job equipping their farmers with water storage systems and encouraging them to plant drought-resistant crops like millet and sorghum, both highly nutritional grains, and cowpeas (aka black-eyed peas), whose seeds are high in protein.Famine and food insecurity will still be part of the 2019 landscape, especially in conflict-torn areas. But Ngumbi is predicts fewer hunger emergencies: “It’s already January, and we haven’t seen new calls for emergency relief.” – Marc Silver9. Wealthy countries will turn away more people seeking asylum. Paul Spiegel, director of the Center for Humanitarian Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, worries that there will be “an increase in denial for people seeking asylum in high-income countries.”As a result of increasing anti-immigration and anti-refugee sentiment, some countries in Europe have begun to “pay off” lower-income countries to shoulder the burden of taking in refugees, he says. In 2016, for example, Germany struck a deal with Turkey to quell the flow of refugees from Syria. In exchange for $6.8 billion, Turkey created facilities to detain refugees in camps while their asylum claims in Germany were being processed. In 2017, Italy followed suit, establishing a similar deal with Libya.Spiegel worries that programs like these will ramp up in 2019 in the U.S. and beyond. “In the U.S., we’re already having trouble with the Mexican border. What’s going to happen when Venezuelans start making their way over here?” he says. For U.S. government officials to stay in power, he predicts they too will take a tougher stance on immigration policy — adopting the idea that the U.S. must “be strong at the borders.” – Malaka GharibYour TurnGot a big, bold prediction for global health and development in 2019? Reply to this Twitter thread with your thoughts, and we’ll share a few in Goats and Soda’s newsletter next week. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more


Its that time of year again You wake up with a s

first_imgIt’s that time of year again. You wake up with a scratchy throat, stuffy nose, a little achy — maybe a fever. Is it a classic head cold, or do you need to be more concerned? Could it be the flu?”There’s lots of confusion out there, because both are viral respiratory illnesses,” says Dr. Yul Ejnes, an internal medicine specialist in private practice in Rhode Island and spokesperson for the American College of Physicians. “No one likes to get a cold, but people are more fearful of the flu.”And rightly so.Last year’s influenza season was particularly severe, resulting in an unusually high number of hospitalizations and deaths from flu complications.So, if you do have the flu, it’s important to consult with your health care provider about treatment. And distinguishing between a cold and flu may be easier than you think, Ejnes says. There are some clear distinctions between the two similar types of viral illness in terms of symptoms — how quickly they appear and how severe they become.Suddenly flattened? Think fluFlu symptoms, Ejnes says, usually start abruptly — though you can spread the virus before symptoms surface.”Patients can pretty much tell you when the symptoms hit them — after lunch, for example, or yesterday afternoon,” says Ejnes.A cold, on the other hand, takes a couple of days to build up. You may have a scratchy throat one day and then the nose starts to get stuffy the next day.You may also develop a fever with a cold. But typically, it’s a “low-grade” rise in temperature, hovering around 99 or 100 degrees Farenheit.With flu, that fever is usually significantly higher — at least 101 degrees. Chills and body aches are another flu hallmark or, as Ejnes says, “feeling like a truck ran you over — where you can’t even move a muscle.”Dragging yourself out of bed can seem impossible when you have the flu. “You’re just wiped out with total body fatigue,” he says, whereas with a cold, people often “soldier on” and get out of bed for work or social activities.Heading to work isn’t a good idea, of course, even with a mild cold, because it exposes others to the virus — but lots of people do it. (Colds tend to be most contagious in the first several days of illness.)There can be congestion and cough from the postnasal drip of a head cold, but it’s not nearly as severe as with flu. Influenza can trigger long bouts of coughing and even trouble breathing.So, when patients tell Ejnes that their symptoms developed suddenly, their fever is high and their body aches severe, he assumes flu, he says.But should those symptoms send you to the doctor? That depends, Ejnes says. If you’re a healthy adult without any chronic health problems, you may instead do fine with merely phoning your doctor, who can quickly prescribe any of several antiviral medications. That medicine is most effective when given within two days of symptoms.”It’s not a miracle drug by any stretch,” cautions Ejnes, but it can offer some relief by reducing the severity of symptoms and the duration of the illness by a day or so.Ejnes says he prefers a phone chat to a visit in such cases — partly to limit the number of people in his waiting room who have the flu.”I’ve had the most ironic scenarios, where somebody’s coming into the office to get a flu shot and — while they’re waiting to be called in — they’re sitting next to someone who’s coming in with symptoms that might be the flu.”So call first.’Red flags’ that escalate riskHowever, doctors do want people who are at high risk of developing complications to be seen by the health team when flu is suspected, says infectious disease physician Dr. Matthew Zahn. He’s the medical director of the Division of Epidemiology and Assessment for the Orange County Health Care Agency, in Southern California, and spokesperson for the Infectious Disease Society of America.This at-risk group includes children under age 5, whose immune systems are still developing; adults 65 and older, whose immune systems are waning; pregnant women; and individuals who have certain underlying medical conditions. These pre-existing conditions include asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, kidney disorders and liver disorders — all are known to diminish the strength of the immune system and the ability to fight off influenza.Antiviral medicine can be helpful for this group, he says, even if it is given more than two days after flu symptoms appear.And whether you get treatment or not, there are some important “red flags” to be aware of with the flu, says Zahn.Watch for “any sort of breathing problems,” he says. Coughing occasionally is one thing, but if you’re having trouble catching your breath, go see your doctor “really quickly.”Breathing problems can be symptomatic of pneumonia, a common and serious complication of the flu, in which the air sacs of one or both lungs become clogged.A sudden and significant change in mental health status with the respiratory symptoms is also a red flag, Zahn says. If you or a loved one have trouble focusing or are not as alert as normal, make your way to a doctor right away.Flu shots aren’t just for the kids and grandpaWhile antiviral medication can reduce symptoms, infectious disease specialists agree that the best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine.”Each year we have tens of thousands of people die of flu,” Zahn says, and the vaccine can help prevent that. While flu seasons are unpredictable and strains of the virus mutate from year to year, vaccines can still be anywhere from 40 percent to 60 percent effective in preventing severe complications and hospitalization.Vaccination rates against flu are highest among Americans 65 and older and among children 4 and younger, he says, but most others could benefit from a flu shot, too. And that’s not happening — among American adults aged 18 to 64, typically less than half get immunized.Of course, it’s best to get your flu vaccine at the beginning of flu season — in the fall — but it’s not too late. The influenza season runs throughout winter.As for treating a cold, well, you’re pretty much out of luck.”The reality is nothing is available to shorten the duration of a head cold,” says internist Ejnes.Over-the-counter medication can ease symptoms, he says. Decongestants can help reduce cough, nasal sprays can help reduce stuffiness, and lozenges can help relieve a sore throat.”Some folks have more luck with these OTC remedies than others,” Ejnes says.Then there is the ever-popular chicken soup, which can help you feel better — especially if there’s lots of steam, which can help clear up nasal congestion.But, bottom line, Ejnes says patients just have to do whatever they can to ease symptoms until the cold runs its course — usually in seven to 10 days. “There’s nothing we can do to speed that process up.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more


Health officials in Washington have declared a sta

first_imgHealth officials in Washington have declared a state of emergency and are urging immunization as they scramble to contain a measles outbreak in two counties, while the number of cases of the potentially deadly virus continues to climb in a region with lower than normal vaccination rates. Washington Department of Health officials announced that as of Monday afternoon there have been 36 confirmed cases and 11 suspected cases of the disease. That is a significant increase from Friday’s reported numbers when Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency. At the time there were 26 confirmed measles cases. In Friday’s statement, Inslee said, “Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children. The existence of 26 confirmed cases in the state of Washington creates an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties.”Since then nine new cases have been confirmed, all in Clark County, which borders Portland, Ore., creating concern in that state as well. Washington state epidemiologist Scott Lindquist told NPR’s Patti Neighmond this is likely only the beginning of the epidemic since many of the families with infected children traveled to very public places, including Costco, Ikea, the Portland International Airport and the arena where the Trail Blazers play. Lindquist added that officials are particularly concerned that “folks that are immuno-compromised — pregnant women, young kids and those that are unvaccinated — could be at risk for this disease” without realizing it because the telltale measles rash might not appear for four days into the sickness. As a result, people may not know they are carrying the disease and could easily unwittingly expose others to the extremely contagious virus.Measles virus travels through the air. It can be contracted without even being near a person with the virus because it lingers for up to two hours in the air of a room where a person with the measles has been. It can cause serious complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis, and can be deadly. Inslee notes, “Almost everyone who is not immune will get measles if they are exposed.”Clark County Public Health has identified 35 confirmed cases and 11 suspected cases since Jan. 1, when it first began investigating the outbreak. In all but four instances, the person who had contracted the disease had not been immunized. In the remaining cases, authorities had not yet verified their immunization status.The majority of those infected were children, with 25 of the 35 confirmed cases impacting children under 10 years old. Children under the age of one cannot be immunized. So far, King County has reported the only adult case, a man in his 50s who was hospitalized but has since recovered. Although it’s not clear where he became infected, the man said he’d recently traveled to Clark County. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who have not been immunized but believe they have been exposed to the airborne virus, get the MMR vaccine. It explains, “If you get MMR vaccine within 72 hours of initially being exposed to measles, you may get some protection against the disease, or have milder illness.” Before the vaccine was introduced in 1963 measles was the single leading killer of children in the world. To this day, it still kills 100,000 children a year worldwide, most under the age of five. Measles was declared completely eliminated within the U.S. in 2000 due to the country’s widespread vaccination program. However, state laws allowing parents to opt out of mandatory vaccinations quickly began eroding those statistics, leading to outbreaks across the nation.The number of measles cases nearly tripled in 2018 to 349 over 2017, when only 120 cases were reported. The CDC attributed the jump to primarily unvaccinated people in the Orthodox Jewish communities in New York state, New York City and New Jersey. The agency noted the outbreaks were associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel.And, in 2017, low vaccination compliance rates among the Somali-American community living in Minnesota led to a cluster of 75 cases. As NPR reported, “In 2014, there were 667 cases in the U.S., including a large outbreak among Amish communities in Ohio. In 2015, there were 188 cases, including some linked to an outbreak that started at the Disneyland amusement park. Prior vaccination is critical to keeping people from contracting the virus if they are exposed to it.”Washington and Oregon are among the country’s many states that allow parents with a personal or philosophical objection to decline the measles vaccination, among some others. And Seattle, Spokane and Portland are among 15 U.S. cities considered “hot spots” for their high rates of non-medical exemptions to vaccines that cover measles, mumps and rubella. Pediatrician Peter Hotez, dean of Baylor College of Medicine’s National School of Tropical Medicine, told NPR there is a very-aggressive anti-vaccine lobby throughout the Pacific Northwest that have effectively driven up the rates of vaccine non-compliance, leaving scores of children vulnerable to the infection.The groups often spread misinformation claiming a link between vaccines and autism. A claim that has been wholly refuted by the Centers for Disease Control.Washington state officials are now beginning the arduous and costly task of tracking down everyone who might have been exposed to the infection and cautioning them to be on the alert for symptoms, including runny nose, red eyes, fever and rash. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more