Points Table

first_imgFirst RoundGroup ATeamM WLPtsNRRChennai Super Kings 4316+2.050Warriors 4316+0.588Victoria4316+0.366Wayamba4132-1.126Central Districts4040-1.844Group BTeamM WLPtsNRRSouth Australia 4408+0.589Royal Challengers Bangalore 4224+0.759Lions4224+0.401Mumbai Indians4224+0.221Guyana4040-2.083last_img


Saudi oil minister makes second visit to India in less than 3

first_imgNew Delhi: Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih is making his second visit to India in less than three weeks to attend the wedding of richest Indian Mukesh Ambani’s son Akash. Akash Ambani is tying the knot with Shloka Mehta, daughter of diamantaire Russell Mehta and Mona Mehta at a grand ceremony in Mumbai on Saturday. Sources privy to the development said the Saudi oil minister will visit Mumbai for the wedding and will also make a brief stopover in the national capital to have a conversation with Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and other industry leaders. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepAl-Falih, who has known Ambani for over a decade now, had previously travelled to Udaipur in December last year to attend the pre-wedding festivities of Ambani’s daughter Isha’s marriage with industrialist Ajay Piramal’s son Anand. Akash and Isha’s wedding will take place at the newly built Jio World Centre in Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. The wedding festivities kickstarted on February 23 with a grand bash in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The couple got engaged in June 2018 and celebrated the occasion with a string of lavish parties in Mumbai. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsAl-Falih last visited India on February 20 as part of the high-level delegation that travelled with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for a bilateral visit. When he last visited the Ambanis in December 2018, the Saudi oil minister had tweeted that the world’s largest oil exporter Saudi Arabia and Ambani-run Reliance Industries are discussing joint investments in petrochemicals, refinery and communications projects. At the time of the February 20 visit, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Al-Nasser had spoken about talks with Reliance for investments in refinery and petrochemical projects. Reliance operates two refineries at Jamnagar with a total capacity of 68.2 million tonnes per annum. Reliance plans to expand its only-for-exports SEZ refining capacity to just over 41 million tonnes from the current 35.2 million tonnes but does not have any plans to set up a new refinery in the country. It is presently focused on expanding petrochemicals and telecom business, industry sources said. Crude oil is the basic raw material for the manufacturing of petrochemicals. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is keen to get a foothold in the world’s fastest-growing fuel market so as to get a captive customer for the crude oil it produces. Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, and its partner Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) have picked up 50 per cent stake in a planned USD 44-billion refinery in Maharashtra but the project is facing problems in land acquisition. Aramco and ADNOC will together hold 50 per cent stake in the 60 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) refinery and adjacent 18 MTPA petrochemical complex planned to be built at Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra by 2025. The two will supply half of the crude oil required for processing at the refinery. Like other major producers, the two are looking to lock in customers in the world’s third-largest oil consumer through the investment. Kuwait too is looking to invest in projects in return for getting an assured offtake of their crude oil. Saudi Aramco is also keen on retailing fuel in India. A refinery in India can also be a base for it to export fuel to deficit countries in Europe and the Americas. India has a refining capacity of 247.6 million tonnes, which exceeds the demand of 206.2 million tonnes. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this demand is expected to reach 458 million tonnes by 2040.last_img read more


Seven Pak posts destroyed as Indian Army retaliates

first_imgJammu: Seven Pakistani posts across the LoC were destroyed as the Indian Army retaliated to cross border shelling by Pakistani troops who targeted border areas in Rajouri and Poonch districts, officials said Tuesday.There have been several casualties to Pakistani troops too, they said. As a precautionary measure, all schools along the borderline in Poonch and Rajouri districts have been closed by authorities in view of the Pakistani shelling. On Monday, a BSF inspector and a five-year-old girl were among three persons killed while 24 others were injured as Pakistani troops heavily shelled forward areas along the Line of Control in Poonch district, prompting the Indian Army to retaliate “befittingly”, said officials.last_img read more


PSG And Real Madrid Werent Supposed To Have This Many Problems

Few clubs came into this season with grander ambitions than Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain. Both clubs were among the top contenders to win the Champions League when the competition began. Now, one will be eliminated from competition after the two face off Tuesday in the second leg of their round of 16 matchup. And the problems run deeper than just elimination — PSG is looking to survive an injury to its superstar Neymar, and Real Madrid has already fallen out of title contention in La Liga. Whichever team fails to advance from the match will have questions to answer about what went wrong.So how did we get here? Let’s start with the summer transfer window after the 2016-17 season. Real quite reasonably avoided making major changes to its roster after winning three of the last four Champions League trophies. PSG, having once again been eliminated from the Champions League before the semifinals, embarked on an unprecedented spending spree — laying out hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire Neymar from Barcelona and Kylian Mbappe from Monaco.Despite these purchases, PSG is once again struggling in the Champions League. A 3-1 first-leg defeat in Madrid has left the French with a roughly 25 percent chance of advancing to the quarterfinals, according to FiveThirtyEight’s club soccer predictions. To reach the quarterfinals, PSG must win by three or win by two while holding Real scoreless. If PSG wins 3-1, the teams will be tied in both aggregate and away goals over the two legs, and the match will go to extra time and possibly penalty kicks to decide who will advance. For PSG, the Champions League appears to be slipping away. And worse, Neymar recently broke a bone in his foot, which will sideline him for at least six weeks.For both ball progression through midfield and shot creation around the penalty area, PSG runs through Neymar. He has scored 19 goals and assisted 13 in Ligue 1, with a non-penalty scoring and assist rate of 1.34 per 90 minutes played. These numbers are no fluke: Neymar hasn’t benefited particularly from good fortune in either his own or his teammates’ finishing. Neymar has taken shots valued at around 13 expected goals, a statistical estimate of the quality of scoring chances, and created chances worth about 11.5 expected goals. His expected goals and assists rate of 1.18 per 90 minutes is the highest of any player in the top five European leagues1The English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1. (that means he’s doing better than Lionel Messi).Neymar also moves the attack forward through midfield or into the penalty area before the shot more effectively than anyone else in the top leagues. He has provided about 7.7 progressive passes and runs per 90 minutes, just edging out Messi, who has provided 7.2. (Progressive passes and runs occur when a player either moves the attack forward by 10 or more yards beyond its furthest point of progression or moves the ball into the penalty area for the first time in a possession. A progressive run must also include a successful take-on of an opponent.)These comparisons to Messi are not superfluous — Neymar’s production at PSG has reached such a high level that Messi is his only peer. This chart shows the company that Neymar is keeping this season. It displays all 9,000-plus player-seasons in the top five leagues in which a player had at least 1,500 minutes. There are 10 seasons in the top right corner, where players have more than 0.9 expected goals plus expected assists per 90 minutes and more than five progressive passes and runs per 90 minutes. Eight of them are Messi, starting with his 2010-11 season and running through the current one. And nestled among them is Neymar’s current season. This analysis might suggest that Paris Saint-Germain should abandon hope — the attack has been totally dependent on Neymar, and now he’s out. However, PSG may be the only club in the world that is rich enough to have a reasonable Neymar replacement sitting on the bench. Angel Di Maria, who played in Neymar’s wide forward position this weekend against Troyes, put up similarly huge numbers for PSG in 2015-16 (before Neymar’s arrival). While that season was a career-best for Di Maria, he has consistently put up more than 0.5 expected goals and assists per 90 minutes (averaging over 0.7) and 4 to 6 progressive passes and runs per 90 minutes. Most clubs would have to reshuffle their tactics upon losing Neymar, transferring some of his scoring load to one player and some of his ball progression work to others. But PSG can plug in Di Maria and keep everything else roughly the same. If PSG is to get the big win it needs on Tuesday, the man in the center of it is likely to be Di Maria.Scratching back from a two-goal aggregate Real Madrid lead might normally seem like an insurmountable task, but Real hasn’t been the same team this season. Los Blancos have already fallen 15 points off Barcelona’s pace at the top of the La Liga table, effectively conceding the league title with months to go in the season. Real’s defense has been unusually permeable this season, conceding 29 league goals. That’s the club’s worst defensive record through 27 matches since 2010-11. Real has conceded 43 clear scoring chances — defined as a situation like a one-on-one in which a player is expected to score — also its highest number since 2010-11.On the attacking side, the team appears to be reeling as well — but these numbers are a little misleading. Typically, the very best teams in the world outperform expected goals. After all, these teams have the best strikers, and the best strikers convert the easy chances and also score more often in situations when goals are not expected. Real Madrid is getting their normal amount of chances this season: The team has 63 expected goals and has averaged 61 through 27 matches over the past seven seasons. What has changed then is that the finishing has gotten worse. This year, Real has converted only 58 nonpenalty goals from those chances. Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been uncharacteristically unproductive with his chances, accounts for most of the gap, with 13 nonpenalty goals and 17 expected goals.These statistics provide the context for Real Madrid’s disappointing position in La Liga. The weakened defense is enough to make Real fall short of first-place Barcelona, but it is uncharacteristically poor shooting from superstars like Ronaldo that has dropped Los Blancos out of title competition entirely.The stakes could not be higher for this match. PSG is desperate and missing its star. Real Madrid appears more vulnerable than usual — even if the attack is most likely better than its relatively disappointing top-line numbers show.Neither team has much to play for this season other than Champions League glory, and both clubs were constructed precisely for this task. The stage is set for a great European clash between two of the richest and most successful clubs — even if it’s not what these two heavyweights envisioned when this all started.Check out our latest soccer predictions. read more


Ivan Rakitic dropped from Croatia squad

first_imgIvan Rakitic has been dropped from Croatia’s squad for the upcoming game against England due to injury.The Barcelona midfielder will miss the all-important UEFA Nations League game against the Three Lions at Wembley on Sunday due to injury, according to Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic.Rakitic came off injured in the 67th minute of Croatia’s 3-2 home win over Spain on Thursday which gave the World Cup runners-up a chance to top League A Group 4 and claim a place in next year’s semifinals.“He will go to Barcelona, it’s a serious injury. You know that I usually take no risk. If there is a doubt that the injury could be serious, then we let him rest,” Dalic told Sky Sports.Dalic refused to reveal the type of injury but Rakitic was taken off, suffering discomfort in the back of his right thigh.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“We want healthy players and Ivan in this moment is not 100 percent ready. Unfortunately, we are going to play without him.”The 30-year-old has featured in 102 games for his country, but Dalic said they have players capable of filling in.“We will see who will replace him. We have [Mateo] Kovacic, we have [Josip] Brekalo, we have [Milan] Badelj,” he added.“There is always a solution and we should stop whining about someone who’s not going to be there. We will find a solution and we are going to Wembley to enjoy football.”The winner of Sunday’s game with England will progress to the semis of the Nations League with the losers being relegated to League B.last_img read more


ONeill focuses on the positives

first_imgDespite being relegated in the UEFA Nations League, Michael O’Neill is optimistic his Northen Ireland side is improving.Northern Ireland have failed to win a single point from their opening three matches in Group B3 and will be relegated to Group C when the Nations League returns, and Michael O’Neill knows that.Bosnia and Herzegovina are expected to win the group, with Austria in second place, but O’Neill feels they are improving as they try to focus on next year’s Euro 2020 qualifiers.“We played the other night with a starting line-up of five core players and six who are in single figures in terms of caps – Gavin Whyte, Liam Boyce, George Saville, Jamal Lewis, Michael Smith and the goalkeeper [Bailey Peacock-Farrell],” O’Neill told Sky Sports.The Netherlands have a walk in the park in Estonia’s pitch Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 9, 2019 With a stellar performance from Ryan Babel, the Netherlands won their second consecutive UEFA Euro Qualifier against Estonia.After the impressive performance they offered in…“We’re progressing, those boys are stepping up in international football and playing against a lot more experienced players.“I’ve been delighted with how the players have come in. We’ve got good competition for places in a lot of areas on the pitch, at times we haven’t had that.“So despite the fact the three games have gone against us, we were disappointed to lose the games but I’m not devastated or despondent.”last_img read more


4th Of July Parade Will Close Spur Hwy

first_imgThe route for the parade starts down Fidalgo Ave, left on Willow Street, right on the Kenai Spur Hwy, and then a right on Main Street Loop. Kenai Chamber of Commerce President Johna Beech says the parade lineup will be from 8-10 a.m., on Trading Bay Road with the parade itself starting at 11 a.m. Beech: “Be mindful that we will be closing down the Spur Hwy from 11-12:30pm for the Parade. KPD does a great job of  rerouting traffic, but if you are in a hurry that’s not the day to be in a hurry. I can’t believe we are almost here, but it looks like it’s going to be another great 4th of July.”  Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Kenai’s annual Fourth of July Parade will close the Kenai Spur Highway for close to two hours on Wednesday. The midway festivities are from noon to 4 p.m., with various vendors, a beer garden sponsored by Kassiks Brewery, and a kids carnival.last_img read more


Kasilof Man Wanted After Burglary On KBeach Road

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska State Troopers responded to a reported burglary in progress off of Kalifornsky Beach Road in Kasilof, on Sunday. Charges have been filed and warrants have been requested for Deboard for two counts Burglary 2nd and one count each of Burglary 1st, Theft 1st and Criminal Mischief 4th. Anyone with information about the side by side or the whereabouts of Deboard is urged to call Alaska State Troopers at 262-4453 or Peninsula Crimestoppers at 283-8477. Still missing, is a green 675cc Honda Pioneer side by side ATV.  It has four seats and a full roll cage, as well as a distinctive crack in the windshield. In addition, three ATVS had been stolen.  The majority of the items, including two of the ATVs were recovered nearby in two separate caches in a wooded area. According to an online Trooper dispatch, the suspect fled minutes prior to AST arrival.  Investigation led to the suspect being identified as Scott Allan Deboard, age 23 of Kasilof. Deboard was found to have made forced entry into the residence, a woodshed and a detached garage.  Numerous items were stolen, to include thousands of dollars in camping/outdoors equipment and power tools.last_img read more


Avengers Endgame sank Titanic director James Cameron says

first_img Now playing: Watch this: TV and Movies Marvel Disney The Avengers Step inside Disney’s Pandora – The World of Avatar 3:41 “To Kevin and everybody at Marvel,” he wrote in an Instagram post, which shows the ill-fated ship hitting the Avengers logo. “An iceberg sank the real Titanic. It took the Avengers to sink my Titanic. Everyone here at Lightstorm Entertainment salutes your amazing achievement. You’ve shown that the movie industry is not only alive and well, it’s bigger than ever.” How to watch every Marvel movie in the perfect order 0center_img Cameron apparently changed his tune since last year, when he expressed hope that people would start feeling Avengers fatigue.The superhero epic earned $2.189 billion in the first 12 days since its release in late April, passing Avengers: Infinity War, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the $2.187 billion Cameron’s 1997 movie made in their theatrical runs. Now it’s second only to 2009’s Avatar — also from Cameron — which earned $2.788 billion during its run.Regardless of which movie ends up holding the crown, Disney wins. It owns the Marvel and Avatar franchises (as well as Star Wars). There are eight Marvel movies coming before the end of 2022, with Avatar sequels coming in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027.First published at 5:45 a.m. PT.Update, 6:16 a.m.: Adds more detail. Post a comment 56 Photos Tags Share your voice Titanic director James Cameron has congratulated the team behind Avengers: Endgame on the movie’s box office success. Speed Media/ Icon Sportswire Watch out, Avatar.Titanic director James Cameron on Wednesday congratulated Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and his team for the box office success of Avengers: Endgame after it snatched his movie’s spot as the second highest-grossing film of all time.last_img read more


Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Alia Bhatt Deepika Padukone Akshay Kumar not allowed

first_imgDeepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt and Akshay Kumar.Instagram / TwitterThe Indian General Elections 2019 have begun and a lot of Bollywood celebrities have been urging citizens to come out and cast their vote. In fact, Bollywood actors and filmmakers have never shied away from casting their ballot, always seen outside the polling booth posing with their inked finger.But do you know, there are some superstars in Bollywood who are not allowed by the Government of India to cast their vote in any Indian election? As per reports, these names are Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, Akshay Kumar, Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif, to name a few. Let’s take a look at the Bollywood celebs who cannot cast their vote in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, and why.Alia Bhatt: The 26-year-old actress cannot cast her ballot, as she holds a British passport. Alia Bhatt had revealed the same during the General Elections 2014, when she had told Hindustan Times, “Unfortunately, I can’t vote because I have a British passport. I am past the date (to get the official documents for voting) this time around, but I will try and get my voting card the next time (elections) once I get my dual citizenship.”Well, since India does not allow for dual citizenship, it’s obvious that Alia Bhatt can’t exercise her franchise in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 as well. Or never, unless the rules change or she holds an Indian passport. Alia Bhatt in RaaziPR HandoutDeepika Padukone: Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, this daughter of badminton champ Prakash Padukone has brought many laurels to the country with her acting skills. But being born outside India and holding a Danish passport, she cannot cast her vote here.Akshay Kumar: Our Punjabi puttar Akshay Kumar is now a Canadian citizen and hence cannot cast his vote here in India. We wonder if he goes all the way to Canada during the elections there.Imran Khan: The handsome Bollywood actor who turned director with a short film cannot vote in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019. The reason being Imran Khan holds an American passport, as he was born in Madison, Wisconsin, United States to his father Anil Pal and mother Nuzhat Khan (actor-filmmaker Aamir Khan’s cousin). Imran has taken his mother’s surname. Imran Khan.PR Handout.Katrina Kaif: This Bollywood beauty may make every heart in the country skip a beat, but she is not allowed to cast her ballot in India. Well, that is because Katrina Kaif is a British citizen. Katrina KaifInstagramThere are many other Bollywood celebrities who only work in India but are not Indian citizens, like Sunny Leone, Jacqueline Fernandez and Nargis Fakhri. They, too, are not allowed to cast their ballot in the country.Pakistani singer Adnan Sami would be an exception, as he had applied for Indian citizenship and was granted the same. Let’s see if we see him at the polling booth as a registered voter during General Elections 2019.The Lok Sabha Elections 2019 are scheduled to be held in seven phases in India, from the date April 11 to May 19, 2019. The Election Results will be declared on May 23, 2019.last_img read more


Rape incidents increase alarmingly

first_imgProthom Alo illustrationTwo minor girls have reportedly been raped in Dinajpur and Jhenaidah while a teenage boy has been arrested in Chattogram for killing his niece after rape, reports UNB.Besides, a schoolteacher has been held in Natore for sexually harassing a girl while police have arrested a youth in Khulna over the rape attempt on a minor girl and the husband of a rape victim has come under an acid attack in Noakhali.In Dinajpur, a six-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a youth at Matikata village in Hakimpur upazila on Sunday.The alleged rapist is Sagar Mia, 19, son of Abdul Malek of Panchbibi upazila in Joypurhat.Quoting family members and locals, Rezaul Karim, officer-in-charge of Hakimpur police station, said Sagar took the girl to a field while she was playing in front of her house in the afternoon and raped her there.Locals rescued the girl hearing her screams while the rapist managed to flee the spot.The victim’s father filed a case against Sagar with the police station on Sunday night.In Jhenaidah, a five-year-old girl was violated by a sexagenarian man at Nawdapara village in Kaliganj upazila on Sunday.OC of Kaliganj police station said Ansar Ali, 60, took the girl to his room while she was going to school in the morning and raped her.The girl, a nursery student, narrated the incident to her mother, he said.In Chattogram, police arrested a teen for reportedly killing his nine-year-old niece after rape in Bandar Milermatha area of the port city.Son of Siddiqur Rahman of Koralia in Sadar upazila of Bhola, the accused is a Class-IX student of Begumjan High School.Police said the boy violated the minor girl, a Class-II student, when she was alone at the house on Sunday.Later, he strangulated her to death when she passed out after the nefarious act. He also hanged the body from a ceiling fan to make it appear that she committed suicide.OC of Bandar police station Sukanta Chakrabarty said they arrested the accused after victim’s mother filed a case in this regard.In Khulna, police on Monday arrested a young man who allegedly tried to rape his minor cousin in Sheikhpara area of the city on Sunday.The accused is Shariful Islam Ashique, a maternal cousin of the victim.The victim’s mother said she and her sister’s family live in a single house and Ashique used to molest the girl which she never disclosed.On Sunday, victim’s relatives came to know about the matter after the girl raised hue and cry when Ashique tried to violate her.The victim was sent to the one-stop crisis centre of Khulna Medical College Hospital as she fell sick.The victim’s mother filed a case with Sonadanga police station in this regard, said sub-inspector Bidhan Chandra Roy.They arrested the accused from Lohapatti area around 10am, he said.In Natore, police arrested a schoolteacher on charge of sexually harassing a third grader girl.The arrested person was identified as Abdul Hakim, an assistant teacher of Natore Govt Girls’ School.Jalal Uddin, officer-in-charge of Natore police station, said Hakim harassed the girl sexually during a class on Sunday.Later, the girl informed the matter to her mother when she submitted a written complaint to the police station.Police arrested the accused teacher on Monday noon, the OC added.Meanwhile, a three-member probe body was formed to look into the matter.In Noakhali, the husband of a rape victim came under an acid attack at Uttarcharbaga village in Subarnachar upazila early Monday as he took part in a human chain against rape and torture on women on Sunday.The victim, Nasir Uddin, sustained 9 per cent burns on his hands, chest and thighs and he was taking treatment at Sadar Hospital, said Khalil Ullah of the hospital.On 2 August, Nasir filed a case against a local – Joynal – who allegedly raped his wife several times through blackmailing her. Joynal used to violate the victim threatening to make the video of the rape incident viral on social media.The accused also fined a counter misappropriation case against him and the witnesses of his case.The victim’s mother said Nasir joined the human chain in front of the Naokhali Press Club protesting separate incidents of rape in the district.Around 2am on Monday, a group of 6-7 people hurled acid on Nasir when he came out of their residence to respond to the call of nature.Officer-in-charge of Char Jabbar police station Shahed Uddin said no complaint has yet been lodged in this regard.last_img read more


Bill Cosbys Day of Reckoning Arrives

first_imgBy The Associated PressFacing the possibility of prison at 81, Bill Cosby arrived at a suburban Philadelphia courthouse Tuesday to learn his punishment for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman over a decade ago in what became the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.Prosecutors on September 24 asked a judge to give the comedian five to 10 years behind bars, while his lawyers asked for house arrest, saying the legally blind Cosby is too old and helpless to do time in prison.Bill Cosby will learn today what his punishment will be after being convicted of sexual assault. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said the former TV star planned to remain silent when given the opportunity to address the court. Cosby did not testify at either of his two trials.The once-beloved entertainer dubbed America’s Dad for his role as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the top-ranked, 1980s-era “Cosby Show” faced anywhere from probation to 10 years in prison for violating Temple University women’s basketball administrator Andrea Constand at his estate near Philadelphia in 2004. She went to police a year later, only to have a prosecutor turn down the case.In the years since Constand first went to police in 2005, more than 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, though none of those claims have led to criminal charges.Cosby became the first celebrity of the #MeToo era to be convicted.Tuesday’s sentencing was a reckoning accusers and prosecutors said was decades in the making.“The victims cannot be un-raped. Unfortunately, all we can do is hold the perpetrator accountable,” said Gianna Constand, the victim’s mother, who testified Monday that her daughter’s buoyant personality was forever changed after the attack.The hearing was set to conclude Tuesday after testimony from a defense psychologist who says Cosby is no longer a danger, given his age, and should not be branded a “sexually violent predator.”Defense lawyer Joseph Green Jr. urged the judge ignore the protests and activism surrounding the case, and send Cosby home on house arrest.“The suggestion that Mr. Cosby is dangerous is not supported by anything other than the frenzy,” Green said as demonstrators gathered outside the courthouse.Being labeled a sexually violent predator would make him subject to mandatory lifetime counseling and community notification of his whereabouts.On Monday, Kristen Dudley, a psychologist for the state of Pennsylvania, testified that Cosby fits the criteria for a sexually violent predator, showing signs of a mental disorder that involves an uncontrollable urge to have nonconsensual sex with young women.Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said Cosby would no doubt commit similar crimes if given the chance, warning that the former TV star seemingly gets a sexual thrill out of slipping women drugs and assaulting them.“To say that he’s too old to do that — to say that he should get a pass, because it’s taken this long to catch up to what he’s done?” Steele said, his voice rising. “What they’re asking for is a ‘get out of jail free’ card.”Cosby, he said, has shown repeatedly that he feels no remorse over his actions. And he said the sentence should send a message.“Despite bullying tactics, despite PR teams and other folks trying to change the optics, as one lawyer for the defense put it, the bottom line is that nobody’s above the law. Nobody,” the district attorney said.After testifying for several hours at two trials, the first of which ended in a hung jury, Constand spoke in court Monday for just two minutes.“The jury heard me. Mr. Cosby heard me. Now all I am asking for is justice as the court sees fit,” said Andrea Constand, who submitted a much longer victim-impact statement that wasn’t read in court.The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, which Constand and other accusers have done.Cosby’s side didn’t call any character witnesses, and his wife of 54 years, Camille, was not in court.Cosby became the first Black actor to star in a prime-time TV show, “I Spy,” in 1965. He remained a Hollywood A-lister for much of the next half-century.Monday’s proceedings took place as another extraordinary #MeToo drama continued to unfold on Capitol Hill, where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces allegations of sexual misconduct from more than three decades ago.last_img read more


Why You Should Hire Independent IT Consultants

first_img Register Now » March 20, 2008 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 5 min read By Mike BohlmannStrategic IT is the use of information technology to play a vital role in an organization’s business plan by improving efficiency, creating opportunities, and interacting with customers and vendors. Whereas operational IT is the use of information technology to support the functions of the business with such things as accounting software, e-mail systems, and electronic file storage.How do smaller businesses choose between strategic and operational IT? I addressed this issue in an earlier column critiquing Nicholas Carr’s “IT Doesn’t Matter.” But before smaller organizations can pursue potential projects with an operational or strategic IT perspective, they often need to look outside for IT resources if they don’t have them in-house. But where do you get IT expertise?In smaller organizations that use IT as an operational tool, there will be times that new IT capabilities need to be implemented to stay in the game. For example, just about every business has at least a basic Web site with information about the company, how to contact it, and the products or services it offers. An organization with an operational IT approach might talk to people they know who are IT savvy to discover what they needed to do and how to get it done as quickly and cheaply as possible. By contrast, another organization might look beyond operational IT capacities to consider the strategic potential of a Web site and recognize that it needs more than a mere electronic brochure.Recently, a friend of mine who works at a small print publisher faced exactly this issue. The publisher needed to overhaul its Web site, but the internal staff didn’t have Web skills beyond basic HTML and image editing, so they knew they needed to hire a person or company to do the work. But they were unsure how to do that, so I offered act as an independent IT consultant on the project.For organizations without IT management skills, independent IT consultants can be valuable allies who help identify needs, find potential service providers, advise on provider selection, and help plan and manage the project. Smaller businesses without skilled IT management can bring this expertise in-house temporarily for specific projects by hiring independent consultants, and that’s the role I played for my friend’s company.Hiring a consultant is an investment. Moreover, it’s tempting to cut costs by talking directly to service providers without input from a consultant. After all, quality service providers will gather requirements, plan the project, and manage it, so why spend more money to have a consultant do the same thing? Though a service provider and a consultant may indeed duplicate roles, they do so with distinctly different perspectives — the consultant advocates for the best interests of the client. A service provider will act in its own interest, and that may result in higher project costs or solutions that don’t meet the project objectives or both. An independent consultant plays a vital watchdog role to ensure that the service provider delivers what the client needs, not what the provider wants to deliver.An organization shopping for IT services needs to have an objective insider who’s working for it and its interests and can also identify the vendors that do not have good practices. Relying on service providers can be risky as they will have their own vision of how things should be, what add-ons they can sell to the customer, and how best to go about completing the project; and, that’s after the challenge of choosing which company to use for the project.Despite the obvious benefits of retaining an independent IT consultant, finding one who’s qualified isn’t easy. The best advice I can offer is to rely on your network of contacts. Most people know at least someone who works in IT who either has the right IT management skills or knows someone else who does. If you ask around enough, you’ll find someone who’s able and willing to help you. You’re looking for an IT leader and not for the best PHP programmer your network can find. With that in mind, here are four traits you should try to find in your independent IT consultant:Business savvyTranslating business needs into technical requirementsVendor assessment capabilitiesProject management skills (if you don’t want to rely on the service provider)I include project management as an optional skill because most vendors have worked with non-IT people as their main contact at a customer and have their own project mechanisms in place. Being business savvy and being able to translate business needs into technical needs are critical to making strategic, rather than purely operational, IT decisions. A business-savvy IT person understands issues like return on investment, cost management, revenue generation, and marketing. Having the ability to identify potential service providers and evaluate their ability to successfully complete the project is not to be looked over either. By getting someone with these skills to help out, an organization can more safely move forward on an IT project when IT is not a strategic component of the organization.So what happened with my friend’s printing company? It decided to use a vendor that someone in the company was familiar with rather that considering multiple vendors. In the end, it went over budget, over schedule, and didn’t get some of the features it wanted.Mike Bohlmann has more than 10 years of experience as a Web developer and an IT manager. He is an IT manager at the University of Illinois, where he is in the process of completing work toward his master’s degree. His research is focused on IT management, leadership, and services. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more


Dopamine A Tensorflowbased framework for flexible and reproducible Reinforcement Learning research by

first_imgYesterday, Google introduced a new Tensorflow-based framework named Dopamine, which aims to provide flexibility, stability, and reproducibility for both new and experienced RL researchers. This release also includes a set of colabs that clarify how to use the Dopamine framework. Dopamine is inspired by one of the main components in reward-motivated behavior in the brain. It also reflects a strong historical connection between neuroscience and reinforcement learning research. Its main aim is to enable a speculative research that drives radical discoveries. Dopamine framework feature highlights Ease of Use The two key considerations in Dopamine’s design are its clarity and simplicity. Its code is compact (about 15 Python files) and is well-documented. This is achieved by focusing on the Arcade Learning Environment (a mature, well-understood benchmark), and four value-based agents: DQN, C51, A carefully curated simplified variant of the Rainbow agent, and The Implicit Quantile Network agent, which was presented last month at the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML). Reproducibility Google has provided the Dopamine code with full test coverage. These tests also serve as an additional form of documentation. Dopamine follows the recommendations given by Machado et al. (2018) on standardizing empirical evaluation with the Arcade Learning Environment. Benchmarking It is important for new researchers to be able to quickly benchmark their ideas against established methods. Following this, Google has provided the full training data of the four provided agents, across the 60 games supported by the Arcade Learning Environment. They have also provided a website where one can quickly visualize the training runs for all provided agents on all 60 games. Given below is a snapshot showcasing the training runs for the 4 agents on Seaquest, one of the Atari 2600 games supported by the Arcade Learning Environment. The x-axis represents iterations, where each iteration is 1 million game frames (4.5 hours of real-time play); the y-axis is the average score obtained per play. The shaded areas show confidence intervals from 5 independent runs. The Google community aims to empower researchers to try out new ideas, both incremental and radical with Dopamine ’s flexibility and ease-of-use. It is actively being used in Google’s research, giving them the flexibility to iterate quickly over many ideas. To know more about Dopamine in detail visit the Google AI blog. You can also check out its GitHubrepo. Read Next Build your first Reinforcement learning agent in Keras [Tutorial] Reinforcement learning model optimizes brain cancer treatment, reduces dosing cycles and improves patient quality of life OpenAI builds a reinforcement learning based system giving robots hhuman-likedexteritylast_img read more


Qatarbased teleco Ooredoo has partnered with Star

first_imgQatar-based teleco Ooredoo has partnered with Starz Play for the launch of its mobile TV app Ooredoo TV Go.The recently released iOS and Android app gives users access to more than 6,000 hours of TV shows and movies, with Starz’s catalogue of on-demand content available alongside live TV channels.“Being able to watch your favourite movie or TV show any place, any time and on any device, live or on-demand is now a reality and soon will become a way of life,” said Ooredoo chief commercial officer, Johan Buse.“This is only the beginning for Ooredoo TV Go. We will have more content and channels added in the future and we also have ambitious plans to have it optimised for television.”Starz Play CEO, Maaz Sheikh, said that the Ooredoo TV GO deal is a “solid example of how to deliver the maximum value and convenience to customers.”“The combination of SVOD platforms and telecom operators now brings Arab consumers the premium content they want at an affordable price, and offers them greater control over what they watch, when they watch, and what device they watch it on.”last_img read more


Vivendi has explicitly criticised Mediasets plans

first_imgVivendi has explicitly criticised Mediaset’s plans to combine its Italian and Spanish units in a single Netherlands-based company as the foundation for the creation of a pan-European broadcast outfit.Vivendi, which directly holds a 9.6% stake in Mediaset and a further 19.9% through Simon Fiducaria, in which it was forced to vest the shares to comply with Italian regulatory requirements, said that the price offered to shareholders that wish to exercise their withdrawal rights is too low and contrary to the interest of minority shareholders.A Vivendi spokesperson, cited by Reuters, said that the company “denounces the real objective of Mediaset” which is to “overturn the fundamental principles of shareholder democracy”.The intervention comes after Vivendi moved to take legal action against Mediaset to assert its shareholder rights following attempts by the Italian broadcaster to block it from participating in shareholder meetings.Mediaset revealed last week that it had received a writ of summons from the French media giant via a Milan court requesting the annulation of a resolution approved in April at an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting and demanding the right to be registered in the shareholders’ list thanks to its 9.6% holding.Vivendi wants recognition that it is the legitimate owner of the shares it holds and can exercise the rights associated with that.The media outfit also wants to be able to exercise certain rights related to the 19.9% of Mediaset held by Simon Fiducaria, the group in which it placed all shares above a 10% threshold to meet the requirements of Italy’s TUSMAR rule, which holds that companies may not simultaneously hold large stakes in telecommunications and media companies.last_img read more


Never leave a child unattended in the bath or play

first_imgNever leave a child unattended in the bath or playing in a paddling pool – even for a second, bath seats are not a safety aid, use a non-slip mat in the bath. Always pull the plug as soon as bath time is over;Turn your pond into a sandpit, fence it off or securely cover it while your children are small;Always empty your paddling pool after use and remember to store it upside down – this also applies to buckets and pots that can collect water.Mayor Boyle reminds parents of the drowning risks for children was last modified: June 19th, 2018 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet ChildrenDrowning Prevention WeeMayor Boyle reminds parents of the drowning risks for childrenMayor John Boyle DERRY City and Strabane District Council are highlighting the dangers of water, particularly for children under 5, as part of the Royal Life Saving Society Drowning Prevention Week.The Council want to remind parents and carers that it is never okay to leave children unattended in and around water.Accidents can happen so quickly but can easily be prevented. Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle added: “Very often when we think of children and the risk of drowning we relate this to a swimming pool or open waters however.“But the stark reality is that most babies and young children who drown do so at home in the bath or in the garden and it can happen in as little as 3-5cm of water.“Young children don’t yet appreciate the risks posed by water so are relying on adults to keep them safe. We are asking parents to take simple steps to reduce the risk of drowning.”Top tips to ensure safety include: last_img read more


Heres a chart that Washington state reader SA s

first_img Here’s a chart that Washington state reader S.A. shamelessly ripped from a Zero Hedge piece yesterday—and I thought I’d offer it with no comment. I was amazed by the big withdrawal from SLV yesterday The gold price chopped sideways in a five dollar price range up until shortly before 1 p.m. GMT in London on their Thursday.  Then, in a minute or so, the price got sold down about six bucks, before rallying strongly after that.  The rally got capped less than an hour later at 8:30 a.m. in New York.  From there, gold traded sideways until about noon—and at that point it developed a slightly positive price bias, which really developed some legs at 2:30 p.m. in the thinly-traded New York Access Market.  That rally lasted until just about 4 p.m. EST—gold’s high of the day—and then the price didn’t do much after that going into the electronic close. The CME Group recorded the low and high ticks as $1,307.10 and $1,325.30 in the April contract. Gold finished the Thursday session in New York at $1,323.00 spot, up $12.10 from Wednesday.  Volume, net of February and March, was very decent at 144,000 contracts. The silver price had much more of a roller coaster ride in Far East and morning trading in London—but after the sell-off just before 1 p.m. GMT in London, the silver price action followed the gold price action like a shadow, including the rally in the thinly-traded electronic market after the Comex close—and silver’s high price tick of the day just before 4 p.m. EST. The low and high prices were reported as $21.515 and $21.90 in the March contract. Silver finished the Thursday session at $21.82 spot, up 28.5 cents from Wednesday’s close.  Net volume was less than on Wednesday, but a still very decent 32,500 contracts. Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart for yesterday—and as I said, it looks almost identical to the spot gold chart posted above. After getting sold down early in Far East trading on their Thursday, both platinum and palladium rallied to finish in the green, but only by a few dollars each.  Here are the charts. The gold stocks rallied right from the open, with a big chunk of the gains in by the London p.m. gold fix.  After that, the stocks rallied continued to rally higher, but at a much more modest rate.  Then, when gold had its rally in the thinly-traded electronic market after the Comex close, the shares rallied a bit more—and the HUI finished up 3.89%—virtually on its high of the day, gaining back all of Wednesday’s losses and a bit more.  I was impressed. The silver equities rallied right from the open as well—and most of their gains were in by precisely 11 a.m. EST.  After that they traded sideways, but caught a bit of a tail wind as well when silver rallied in after hours trading in New York before the equity markets closed.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 4.03%—not gaining back everything it lost on Wednesday, but pretty close. Skyharbour Resources (TSX-V: SYH) is a uranium exploration company and a member of the Western Athabasca Syndicate which controls a large, geologically prospective land package consisting of five properties (709,513 acres) in the Athabasca Basin of Saskatchewan. The properties are strategically located to the north, south, east and west of Fission Uranium’s (TSX-V: FCU) Patterson Lake South (“PLS”) recent high grade uranium discovery on the western flank of the Athabasca Basin. $6,000,000 in combined exploration expenditures over the next two years is planned on these properties, $5,000,000 of which is being funded by the three partner companies. Numerous high-potential drill targets have been identified with drilling to start in March, 2014. The Company has recently acquired a 60% interest in the Mann Lake Uranium Project on the east side of the Basin strategically located 25km southwest of Cameco’s McArthur River Mine. The ground adjacent to this property is Cameco’s Mann Lake Joint Venture where an aggressive 13,000 metre, 18-hole drill program is about to commence and previous grades of up to 7.12% uranium have been intersected in drilling. The Company has 43.6 million shares outstanding with insiders owning over 25% of the outstanding shares. Skyharbour’s goal is to maximize shareholder value through new mineral discoveries, committed long-term partnerships, and the advancement of exploration projects in geopolitically favourable jurisdictions. Please visit our website to learn more about the company and request information.center_img The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 145 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Monday.  The short/issuer on 140 of those contracts was Barclays.  They also stopped 50 contracts as well.  HSBC USA stopped another 65 contracts.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. There were no reported changes in GLD on Thursday—but over at SLV there was a big surprise in store.  After a huge deposit of 3.85 million troy ounces on Tuesday, there was a big withdrawal of 2,212,315 troy ounces yesterday. The only answer I have for this, is something that Ted Butler has been talking about for the last couple of years.  He suspects that a big buyer has been purchasing shares by the truckload [read JPMorgan Chase] and has been continuously redeeming their shares for physical metal so they don’t exceed SLV reporting requirements.  In a nutshell, this means that JPM is using SLV as a vehicle to load up on the shares—and the physical metal at the same time—without having  to report it to anyone.   This is over and above what they show in their Comex-approved depository. This may also have been what’s happening in GLD since the start of they year as well. As I mentioned yesterday, the big rallies in both silver and gold have not been matched by corresponding deposits in either SLV or GLD—and Ted Butler’s explanation as to why it’s not happening is the only theory that holds any water., at least for me.  If you have another idea, I’d love to here from you. Over at the Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank for the week ending Friday, February 14, they reported a smallish decline in their gold ETF of 5,611 troy ounces.  Their silver ETF showed a small increase of 29,353 troy ounces. Joshua Gibbons, the “Guru of the SLV Bar List” had this to report on the weekly goings-on within the SLV ETF for the week ending at the close of trading on Wednesday:  “Analysis of the 19 February 2014 bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list—9,670,272.5 troy ounces were removed (all from Brinks London), 13,037,078.1 troy ounces were added (all to Brinks London), no bars had a serial number change.“ “In reality, 5,290,714.0 oz were added—and 1,923,884.0 removed. The other 7.7M oz appears to be a ‘substitution’ (JPM removed bars, such as 6.7M oz of Russian State Refineries and Met-Mex bars, and replaced them with different ones, such as Kazakhmys and Valcambi bars).“ “As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was overallocated 557.5 oz.  All daily changes are reflected on the bar list.”  The link to Joshua’s website is here. For the second day in a row, there was no reported in/out movement in gold at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday—and is almost always the case, there was more in/out activity in silver, as 74,150 troy ounces were reported received—and 303,398 troy ounces were shipped out.  The link to that activity is here. Here’s a three-year chart of the Continuous Commodity Index, the CCI, which is the new name for the old CRB Index—and look at it fly as of the start of the year.  It’s hugely overbought, but worth keeping an eye on.  If the central banks of the world are looking for inflation, here’s the first sign that it’s on its way.  The new CRB chart looks similar. Here’s a chart that Casey Research’s own Jeff Clark sends our way every few weeks.  It’s the latest monetary base numbers from the St. Louis Fed.  Soon the line will break through the $4.0 trillion mark. I have another bunch of stories for you today—and you can cherry pick from the selections offered. Undoubtedly, we’ll get a measure of what they may be up to in Friday’s Commitments of Traders Report. Specifically, what JPMorgan has done, particularly in silver, will likely be the key feature. JPM hasn’t sold on higher prices over the past two reporting weeks in either gold or silver and that has been the big standout so far. If JPMorgan turns out to have sold some of its long gold position on higher prices, there’s not much to say. But if this crooked bank starts adding short positions in silver, there will be plenty to say, namely, overt price manipulation. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 19 February 2014 To tell you the truth, I don’t know what to make of yesterday’s price action in either gold or silver.  Don’t get me wrong, I was more than happy to see both metals do as well as they did—and as Ted Butler has told me on many occasions, it’s a mug’s game trying to forecast what might happen in day to day price action. As Ted mentioned in his quote above, we get the latest Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday—and I will be awaiting the numbers with some anticipation; hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.  Whatever the numbers show, I’ll have it all for you in tomorrow’s column. Once again I was amazed by the big withdrawal from SLV yesterday.  As I said in yesterday’s column, with gold up $100—and silver up 2 bucks so far this year, metal should be pouring into both GLD and SLV.  They are to a certain extent, but no sooner does metal get deposited, when some is taken out. Ted has his explanation for this, which I posted further up—and it makes perfect sense to me.  If you wish to refresh your memory, you can scroll up and read it again, as I don’t wish to repeat myself in this space. One thing I have noticed is that the further down the road we get on this price management scheme in all four precious metals, the more inexplicable it gets.  Whatever is happening out of sight of the general public, which includes us, appears to be well organized—and sooner or later it will all come to an end.  At that point we should have some sort of dénouement on all of this—and that day can’t come soon enough for me, although it does fall into the category of “be careful what you wish for.” We did have the usual sell-off in both gold and silver in early trading in the Far East on the their Friday morning—but both platinum and palladium emerged unscathed.  Both gold and silver struggled higher later in the day—and as I write this paragraph, London has been open for 10 minutes.  Both silver and gold are down from Thursday’s close in New York—and both platinum and palladium are basically unchanged.  Volumes in both metals are considerably lighter than they were this time yesterday—and the dollar index is up a handful of basis points. And as I put the finishing touches on today’s efforts shortly after 5 a.m. EST, I note that prices haven’t changed by much in all four precious metals.  Gold volume is still on the lighter side—and mostly of the HFT variety.  Silver’s volume is decent as well, but once the roll-overs are subtracted out, the real volume is not overly heavy, either—and the dollar is still up the same handful of basis points. Since today is Friday, it’s hard to know what to expect as far as price action is concerned for the rest of the day.  But as is almost always the case, it’s what happens during the New York trading day that really matters—and I don’t expect today will be any different. By the way, with what appears to be the start of a major up-trend in the precious metals, it might be worth your while to jump back in, or increase your exposure to the precious metals once again, as the HUI is already up over 22% year-to-date.  Your best bets for that are Casey Research’s monthly BIG GOLD newsletter—and Casey Research’s flagship publication—Casey International Speculator.  If you go for Casey International Speculator, it includes a subscription to BIG GOLD at no extra charge. It costs nothing to check them out—and Casey Research’s 90-day money back guarantee applies to both. That’s all I have for today.  I hope you enjoy your weekend, or what’s left of it if you live west of the International Date Line—and I’ll see you here tomorrow. Sponsor Advertisement Here’s the New York Spot Gold [Bid] chart so you can see the Comex price action in more detail. The dollar index closed late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 80.21—and once the trading day began in the Far East on their Thursday, the index slid down to its 80.04 low shortly before 2:30 p.m. Hong Kong time.  From there it rallied to its 80.41 high at noon in New York in a broad trading range.  After that it gave up some of its gains by 4 p.m. EST—and then didn’t do much after that, closing the day at 80.28—up a whole 7 basis points from Wednesday’s close.last_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


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