Crystal Palace show interest in Rangers striker Alfredo Morelosby Paul Vegas3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveCrystal Palace are the latest team to show an interest in Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos.Palace Sporting Director Dougie Freedman was at Tynecastle on Sunday to watch the Gers’ 1-1 draw with Hearts, according to the Scottish Sun.Freedman wanted to run the rule over the 23-year-old as he draws up plans for the January transfer window.Aston Villa are also extremely keen on the former HJK man, who has scored 15 goals across all competitions this season.It will take an offer of at least £20m to entice the Gers to sell their star player. TagsSerie A NewsAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 24: General view of footballs used by the Iowa Hawkeyes before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on November 24, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)Your Guinness world record didn’t last very long, Odell Beckham. The New York Giants’ wide receiver set a world record on Thursday, catching 33 of New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees’ passes in a minute with one hand on ESPN’s Super Bowl set in Scottsdale, Ariz. Iowa wide receiver Tevaun Smith one-upped the NFL star on Friday, snagging 41 passes using only one hand. .@TevaunSmith goes for @OBJ_3‘s one-handed catch world record and snags 41 in a minute! #GoHawks #Swarm2015 http://t.co/BnLBmRNutP— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) January 30, 2015Smith had two less catches in that one-minute video than he did during the entire 2014 season, during which he caught 43 passes for 596 yards and three touchdowns.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 10: Herky the hawk, mascot for the Iowa Hawkeyes performs against the Michigan State Spartans during the first round of the 2011 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 10, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Michigan State won 66-61. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)Something needs to be done about Adam Woodbury, Big Ten. During the first half of Iowa’s game against Maryland Sunday afternoon, the Hawkeyes’ big man poked Terrapins’ freshman guard Melo Trimble in the eye. Trimble collapsed to the floor and had to leave the game for several minutes as his eye swelled up. No foul was called during the action, but the referees charged Woodbury with a Flagrant 1 after looking at the replay. It’s possible this specific incident was not an intentional play from Woodbury, but that seems unlikely since the 7-footer has done this before. During Iowa’s game against Wisconsin, he did it twice. This is happening far too many times for it to be unintentional. Some type of punishment – a suspension, perhaps – needs to be given to Woodbury from Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.
Duke KyrieDuke is just three days away from beginning its national title defense. The Blue Devils open up Friday night against Siena, but there are over a dozen former players currently in action in the NBA.Like other programs with a large number of NBA alumni, Duke does a good job of playing up its track record on social media. It did so again tonight with a quick “Duke in the NBA” graphic on Twitter. Pretty self-explanatory. There’s background music, as images of ex-Dukies in NBA gear appear and flow from one to the next. Duke forever. #DukeintheNBA #BannerHunters #TheBrotherhood #DukeFam pic.twitter.com/3DnvM2cVcF— Duke Basketball (@dukeblueplanet) November 11, 2015How many members of the 2015-16 Blue Devils will join these guys in the professional ranks next year?
There wasn’t much excitement swirling around Buckeye nation after the football team’s 24-6 loss in Miami on Sept. 17, but a change at the quarterback position followed by a win might have been just enough to get the fans back into it. The excitement began last Thursday, when coach Luke Fickell announced that true freshman Braxton Miller would be replacing redshirt senior Joe Bauserman as the starting quarterback. With his new responsibility, the young freshman impressed the crowd of more than 105,000 fans Saturday at Ohio Stadium as he earned his first career win as a starter, throwing two touchdowns to fellow freshman Devin Smith, while cruising to a 37-17 win over Colorado. Miller’s performance put a little swagger in the Buckeyes step and rallied the fans and his teammates. “His (Miller) stats are great, but the moves he was putting on guys, just making people look stupid — it was fun to watch,” said Kyle Morrison, a first-year in business. Fickell expressed his own excitement with Miller and his team. “We had to play with some emotion,” he said. “I think that’s what we wanted, to get back home and get that feel of emotion, get those guys on the sidelines, gets the students into it. And I think that’s what we saw out there today from the beginning of the game, really, to all the way to the end. We’re excited about those things.” And the students were into it. “It was electric,” Morrison said. “I thought they did a great job, the crowd was incredible.” For first-year Alex Allen, Saturday’s game marked his first visit to the ‘Shoe. “It was breathtaking,” Allen said. “It was overwhelming to see it all and realize I’m finally watching a game at The Ohio State University.” As for the intensity of the crowd, “It was crazy,” Allen added. “It’s Block ‘O’ so we had to be.” Fickell again mentioned the impact of the student body at home games in a press conference on Tuesday. “I think the one thing our guys enjoyed as much as I did is having students back on campus … Obviously the way we played is a boost, but it’s nice to have that behind you,” Fickell said. “Really want to thank them. Hopefully they continue to do the same things and get better each and every week.” That electric and crazy crowd will need to stick around Saturday as the Buckeyes play host to Michigan State (3-1), coming off of a blowout win against Central Michigan. “The crowd is going to be fantastic,” said Alex Grant, a second-year in actuarial science. “I know it’s going to be crowded like always.” But Buckeye fans are looking for more than positive energy in their first conference game. They’re looking for a win. “Hopefully we win,” said Andrew Scholl, a second-year in marketing. “It will be exciting. I mean, it’s Ohio State football, It’s always exciting.” And the Buckeyes have more excitement on the way. Not only does Big Ten play begin Saturday, it also marks a one-week countdown to the return of suspended key players, Dan “Boom” Herron, DeVier Posey, Solomon Thomas and Mike Adams. But it’s the return of another starter that has some fans excited for Saturday’s game. “Braxton Miller,” said Tyler Edwards, a first-year in exercise science. “We’re (students) going crazy about him.”
Indian cardiologist Devi ShettyAwami League joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif on Monday said that renowned Indian cardiologist Devi Shetty will come to Dhaka to see the condition of ailing minister Obaidul Quader, reports UNB.The AL leader came up with the information while talking to reporters after visiting Quader at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) around 11:00am.Hanif said, ” Qauder’s condition is gradually improving. Now, the condition is somewhat better. I talked to physicians. They are optimistic over his recovery.”The medical board will decide whether the minister will be taken to Singapore. BSMMU vice chancellor Kanak Kanti Barua will brief reporters over the decision at 1:00pm, he said.Obaidul Quader was admitted to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) of the hospital on Sunday morning following his breathing complications.Later, physicians found three blockages in his coronary artery following an angiogram.
Photo via Twitter @MultCoBridgesFreezing temperatures and below-zero wind chills socked much of the northern United States on Wednesday, and the snow-hardened city of Erie, dug out from a record snowfall.The post-Christmas prolonged, dangerously cold weather across half the country has advocates for the homeless scrambling to get people off the streets and local officials urging residents to assist their elderly neighbors.Residents from the Midwest to the Northeast were dealing with sub-freezing temperatures and wind chills, while those in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies were bracing for storms that forecasters warn can cause heavy mountain snow and freezing rain.The cold is expected to continue through the holiday weekend and likely longer, according to the National Weather Service, prolonging a stretch of brutal weather blamed for vehicle crashes, emergency room visits and at least one death.Wind chill advisories remained in place for many areas. Animal owners were urged to bring their pets indoors if possible or at least make sure they have sufficient warmth.Forecasters warned people to be wary of hypothermia and frostbite from the arctic blast that has gripped a large swath from the Midwest to the Northeast, where the temperature, without the wind chill factored in, dipped to minus 32 (minus 35 Celsius) Thursday morning in Watertown, New York. Temperatures rose to minus 7 (minus 22 Celsius) early Friday morning.Heavy snow is expected Friday in the Pacific Northwest, across the Cascade mountains and into the northern Rockies before gradually tapering off Saturday. As much as 2 to 3 feet of snow is possible in the highest terrain, while coastal regions were expected to see heavy rainfall.About 30 crashes were reported on icy roadways Friday morning in Michigan, where below-freezing temperatures continue to envelop parts of the state.A woman trying to maneuver her wheelchair on a cold, snowy night in Nebraska got a firetruck escort. Snow and construction items on the sidewalk forced her into a busy Omaha thoroughfare Tuesday. Firefighters returning to their station noticed her. They flipped on their lights and followed the woman until she reached her destination. She gave them a thumbs-up as they departed.In South Dakota, an 83-year-old woman died from exposure to the cold. Police believe she crashed her car on a gravel road near the tiny rural town of Revillo then left the vehicle to look for help. They found her body in a ditch on Sunday.Warming centers have been set up in some locations, including recreation centers across Cincinnati. Boston’s Pine Street Inn sent a van with outreach workers around to persuade people to spend the night inside, but some said they prefer the streets.Segundo Rivera and Sean Stuart told the Boston Herald they were not comfortable spending the night in a shelter.“We’ve lived out here so long it’s like honestly, this is comfortable for us,” Rivera said.A shelter spokeswoman said that if people don’t want to go to a shelter, they’re given blankets, warm clothing and a hot beverage, and informed of the dangers of extreme cold.The Ohio Department of Aging said older people are at increased risk from such severe cold, from medication side effects to falling risks. The department encouraged people to check on family members, friends and neighbors to make sure they’re warm enough and have their needed medications and sufficient food and water.On Thursday, cold weather records were set from Arkansas to Maine, and the freezing air will linger through the weekend, reaching as far south as Texas and the Florida Panhandle.In New Hampshire, the cold set a record for the day of minus 34 (minus 37 Celsius) atop the Northeast’s highest peak, Mount Washington.In the Midwest, temperatures in Minneapolis aren’t expected to top zero (minus 18 Celsius) this weekend, and it likely will be in the teens (minus 11 Celsius to minus 7 Celsius) when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve in New York City.A winter storm warning was in effect for much of Montana, calling for significant snowfall followed by dangerously cold temperatures as 2017 comes to an end.“People like to think of themselves as being prepared for the weather and things like that,” Billings forecaster Dan Borsum said, “but this one will get your attention.” Share
In addition, the OTT channel will include behind-the-scenes footage from the Wired25 event this weekend, as well as interviews with such tech notables as Bill Gates, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, Google’s Sundar Pichai, and Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom (who recently left the Facebook-owned company).The Wired and Condé Nast Entertainment teams will continually evaluate the performance of the programming on the OTT channel, making adjustments and launching new series down the road. Initially, Wired has produced three episodes each of “[De]constructed” and “Wired Masterminds,” but there could be more in the series, Woo said.Thompson also noted that Wired is looking at the OTT programming as something of an experiment. “Every time you come to a new platform, you encounter different behaviors. It took us some time to figure out what people wanted on YouTube.”In February 2018, Wired adopted a paywall for its website, limiting non-subscribers to five articles. “If you look at the magazine strategy we’re going toward publishing longer stuff, to drive subscriptions,” Thompson said. “Our video strategy is heading in a similar direction — although I have no idea if OTT will be subscription-based.”Wired’s paywall strategy has paid off, he said: The publication has 850,000 now has subscribers total, and is on pace to add 150,000 subs in 2018 (versus 50,000 last year). In the U.S., the current annual rate for a Wired bundled subscription is $29.99; digital-only subscriptions are $19.99. Wired is offering new subscribers a print-plus-digital subscription at $10 for the first year. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Starting Tuesday (Oct. 9), all 64 episodes of “Click” — available for the first time in North America — along with the first episodes of the two new Wired original series, are available on the channel.“The thing that attracted us about ‘Click’ is it’s very smart, and the BBC’s journalistic standards really click with ours,” said Sarah Lash, senior director of acquisitions for Condé Nast Entertainment. “We’re interested to see how viewers will respond to the binge-viewing opportunity.”The Wired OTT Channel is available on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Roku devices. The channel will continue to feature the most popular content from Wired’s YouTube channel and Wired.com, including episodes from “Autocomplete Interviews,” “Tech Support” and “Almost Impossible” hosted by Wired writer Robbie Gonzalez.With the additional content, the Wired OTT Channel will have more than 125 hours of curated video. While the in-house originals are expected to eventually be windows on other platforms like YouTube, “Click” will be available exclusively on the OTT channel.“I feel like with OTT, where people sit back, deliberately choose Wired, will develop into a platform where high-quality stuff wins,” said Nicholas Thompson, Wired’s editor-in-chief, who oversees the video department.In “[De]constructed,” with episodes running about 30 minutes, Wired takes apart and explains the hardware used to build popular vehicles and gadgets, including a Harley Davidson motorcycle (pictured above). The shorter-form “Wired Masterminds” series shows experts demonstrating and explaining their craft, with subjects including a CIA disguise master, members of shadow-art dance troupe Pilobolus, and a New York Times crossword puzzle constructor.“We looked at a lot of the things our audience likes, and we thought about what we like to watch when we sit on the couches,” said Wonbo Woo, executive producer of video for Wired, who oversaw the originals projects. Tech and culture publication Wired is adding about 40 hours of licensed and original programming to its recently launched over-the-top video channel, as Condé Nast angles to drive up viewing time on big-screen TVs.New content launching this week includes two original series, “[De]constructed” and “Wired Masterminds”; two seasons of the BBC World News tech/gadget series “Click,” acquired from BBC Studios; along with other programming including content from Wired25, the publication’s 25th anniversary celebration in San Francisco from Oct. 12-15.Condé Nast wanted to build dedicated OTT destinations for Wired along with GQ and Bon Apetit to give it a bigger creative canvas and reach users on platforms like Roku and Apple TV — but it’s also eager to mine the opportunity to sell premium ad sponsorships. The Wired OTT Channel launched in July with initial sponsors Audi, Verizon, Quicken and HP; those deals have expired and a new batch of sponsors will be coming soon, per a Condé Nast rep.
As a preview of the United Art Fair 2013, Peter Nagy and his curatorial team of Dr. Alka Pande, Ram Rahman, Meera Menezes, Heidi Fichtner, Mayank Kaul have assembled a diverse group of art works by some of the most promising up-and-coming talents of the Indian contemporary art scene. A mix of mediums and styles will give just the slimmest of hints of the diversity of art works that will be on display at the UAF 2013.The exhibition has got eclectic mix of works by sixteen contemporary artists from different parts of the country. New Delhi-based Nidhi Agarwal paints aggressive, muscular abstractions that harbour figurative passages and landscape tendencies. Violently expressionistic, her colour palette is both complex and acrid and her subject matter often perverse. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Anand Jaiswal, Kurukshetra based artist has magnificently used different objects and images from historic time symbolising them in contemporaneity in his works.Santiniketan based artist Basist Kumar’s paintings are interestingly simple yet full of woven thoughts. Isolated figures, anonymous and without civilization, hover in containers of weather and light. He fuses singular portraits with iconic landscapes, resulting in paintings that are indebted to both Science Fiction and Symbolism. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTauseef Khan’s new series of paintings renders history as reflected through prisms of glass and memory as a distortion of perception. While he weaves together both representation and abstraction, he also melds architectural landscapes with still life, creating paintings steeped in prodigious antecedents. Portraits of some of India’s best known monuments like the tombs of Humayun and Lodhi Gardens, the Jantar Mantar, the Taj Mahal are glimpsed through scrims of decorative glassware which turn their stoic masonry into a melting array of pigments. Devangana Kumar, is a Delhi based artist and designer. She layers her work with painting, printing and decoupage, juxtaposing images from popular culture, colourful Indian kitsch and even old photographs, transforming mundane objects into edgy collectibles.Anita Ghei Malhotra’s works are culmination of several years of studio-practice and doctoral research at Teachers College, Columbia University New York City and her spiritual experiences while she lived in Manhattan and then back again in New Delhi. Shiv Kumar Verma, alumni of the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S.University, Baroda, was born and brought up in a small village in the Bastar district, a region famous for its traditional arts. He uses natural materials like bronze and local mud to create sculptural works that represent human emotions and reveal shades of everyday living.Suresh K. Nair an artist based in Banaras is better known as a contemporary muralist, though it’s not on walls of temples and palaces that he paints, but on canvas. The natural colours of an old-world muralist, elaborately prepared with organic matter, have been replaced with acrylic.Manil-Rohit artist duo from Lucknow based in Noida do some quirky works. They use various iconographies which are sourced from the surroundings and popular media: graffiti, comics, packaging and animation. Yet art historical references are also there while they successfully conquer the age-old battles between figure and ground, abstraction and figuration. The painterly manoeuvres they employ to do so are both skilful and self-conscious: line, colour and shape coalesce into highly charged fields of energy; the soft-focus blur of aerosol paint is juxtaposed with an impasto heaped on like cake frosting.The United Art Fair will be happening from 14 to 17 September in Halls 8,9,10,and 11 of Pragati Maidan.DETAILWhen: 28 April to 4 May, 10 am to 7Where: Lalit Kala Academy
Travelweek Group Share Tuesday, November 15, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Tags: Flight Centre TORONTO — Flight Centre is on track to achieve Associate numbers of over 1,000 and an annual turnover of over $500 million by the year 2023, said Lee Zanello, FCA Brand Leader.During his opening speech at the FCA annual conference and Gala Awards at the Hyatt Ziva, Los Cabos earlier this month, Zanello praised the Flight Centre business model, and later admitted that initial numbers may actually be achieved earlier than expected – by 2020.“Without a doubt we are the most supportive host agency in the marketplace; there’s no other company set up with our infrastructure and access to support teams,” he said. “Our small team structures break down our bigger business, allowing us to grow without sacrificing that hard-wired, emotional connection to belonging to a team. Our Associates can leverage off of the same support network that supports the entire Canadian Flight Centre business.”Those in attendance at this year’s conference learned about Flight Centre Associate’s new direct-to-consumer marketing platform, making it easy for Associates to directly communicate the sales and deals that Flight Centre puts on every month. Other highlights included training on the importance of creating unique product and the launch of a new airfare booking tool that takes full advantage of Flight Centre’s global relationships with airlines.More news: CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionThe Gala Awards recognized and rewarded Associates for both their sales and for the work they have done to improve the overall support structure within the business, further adding to that sense of community. The team was also very generous in their donations to a trio of local children’s charities in Los Cabos, filling a truck with much-needed school supplies, clothes and toys as well as donating over $650 towards the causes.“It’s hard for people to believe that our Associates feel they matter,” Zanello concludes. “From the outside, Flight Centre seems like a giant company where it’s easy to just be a number and be ignored; however, our culture is built around these small teams, meaning we will be the largest Home-Based Agency in the country before too long and never, ever, lose the heart or the caring for the individual.” Flight Centre: “We are the most supportive host agency in the marketplace”
SupergirlNetflix will remain the exclusive US subscription on-demand home of programming from broadcast network The CW following a new agreement.The pair have concluded a deal that will see shows such as The 100, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin made available to Netflix subscribers in their entirety eight days after their finale.Also included are new season shows No Tomorrow, Riverdale, and Supergirl, which recently transferred to The CW from CBS.Netflix and The CW, which is co-owned by CBS Corp. and Warner Bros. Entertainment, first struck a content agreement five years ago.“Netflix members in the US love the great lineup of series from The CW, and we are thrilled to extend the relationship and bring those shows to our members exclusively now, just eight days after their season finales,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix.“Since the initial landmark deal in 2011, The CW’s programming has enjoyed tremendous success and increased exposure through Netflix, and our new agreement not only continues but enhances this valuable relationship,” said Mark Pedowitz, president, The CW. “The CW has positioned itself for the future by transforming into a true hybrid network, rooted in broadcast while fully embracing the digital and streaming habits of the viewers.”CBS’s executive VP and chief corporate licensing officer, Scott Koondel, said the deal “recognises the value” of the Hollywood studio’s content.“This unique windowing will further extend the CW brand and fan base throughout the television season while providing better in-season exclusivity for our broadcast affiliates, MVPD partners and potential OTT opportunities,” he added.
Freegold Ventures Limited is a North American gold exploration company with three gold projects in Alaska. Current projects include Golden Summit, Vinasale and Rob. Both Vinasale and Golden Summit host NI 43-101 Compliant Resource Calculations. The 2012 exploration program includes additional drilling on both Golden Summit and Vinasale. An updated NI 43-101 resource was calculated on Golden Summit in December 2011 and using a 0.35 g/t cutoff is 14,840,000 tonnes @0.66 g/t Au – hosts 316,000 ounces in the indicated category and 50,0460,000 tonnes @0.61 g/t Au – hosts 991,000 ounces in the inferred category. Drilling has been underway on this road accessible project since mid January. To date over 36,000 feet have been drilled since January on the project, of which 30,000 feet have been aimed at resource expansion. Drilling remains ongoing. An updated NI 43-101 is expected to be completed in Q3. Additional drilling is also underway on Vinasale. Vinasale currently hosts recently updated NI 43-101 resource calculation of 49,320,000 mt @1.09 g/t for a total of 1,735,000 contained gold ounces in the inferred category using a 0.5 g/t cutoff. Please visit our website for more information. Sponsor Advertisement All we can hope for is that we’ve covered all the bases in our own personal efforts to protect ourselves from what lies ahead.Gold got sold off about ten bucks during the morning trading session in the Far East. But the bottom was in by 1:00 p.m. Hong Kong time…and the gold price crawled higher from there until the jobs numbers were released at 8:30 a.m. in New York. The rest, as they say, is history.Gold blasted thirty dollars higher in about fifteen minutes…and this had all the hallmarks of a short-covering rally. Once that was done, the gold price worked its way higher from there until it ran out of gas…or into a not-for-profit seller…about ten minutes before London closed for the weekend. From there it more or less traded sideways into the 5:15 p.m. Eastern close.Gold finished the Friday trading session at $1,735.50 spot up $34.20 spot. Volume was an absolutely gargantuan 230,000 contracts.The silver chart looks the same as the gold chart, so I’ll spare you the play-by-play on that. Silver’s low tick [under $32.00 spot] came during the Hong Kong lunch hour…and the high tick [$33.80 spot] came shortly before the Comex close in New York.Silver closed up 98 cents at $33.69 spot…but had an intraday move of 5.5%. Volume was way up there at 57,000 contracts.The dollar index opened at 81.12…and began to slide lower starting at the open of London trading. The real decline began at 8:30 a.m. in New York…and by 10:40 a.m. most of the decline was in…and the dollar more or less traded sideways into the close. The dollar index finished the Friday trading session at 80.17…down 96 basis points, or 1.23%.Gold and silver prices were almost the inverse of the move in the dollar index…but to say that there was an exact relationship between the two is a bit of a stretch.The gold stocks gapped higher at the open…moved a bit higher from there…and only sold off a hair into the close. The HUI finished up 2.77%.Despite the big move in silver yesterday, the stocks didn’t do as well as one would expect…and a few actually finished down on the day here in Canada, with Silver Standard Resources being the most prominent…although a few junior producers put in a first-class showing. But, overall, I was underwhelmed. I felt the same with Thursday’s silver stock price action as well. But, having said all that, Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed up 2.99%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 23 gold and 3 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday. Nothing to see here.For the second day in a row, there were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV. One can only imagine just how much metal is owed to both these ETFs…especially SLV. I’m sure that the authorized participants were forced to short the shares again both Thursday and yesterday.In an e-mail from Nick Laird in the wee hours of this morning, he informed me that Sprott did an offering on their Physical Gold Trust…and added 172,270 troy ounces of gold to it yesterday…along with another 89,848 troy ounces of silver to PSLV. I have more on Sprott’s gold offering in the ‘Critical Reads’ section further down.The U.S. Mint had a sales report yesterday. They sold 4,000 ounces of gold eagles…1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 304,000 silver eagles. For the first four business days of September, the mint has sold 10,500 ounces of gold eagles…1,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 679,000 silver eagles. The silver/gold ratio based on these sales is just a bit under 57 to 1.It was a rather quiet day over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday. They reported receiving 600,848 troy ounces of silver…and shipped a smallish 30,599 ounces of the stuff out the door. The link to that activity is here.Here’s a rather interesting chart that Nick Laird sent me early this morning…and the chart title says it all. The ‘click to enlarge’ feature comes in handy here.(Click on image to enlarge)For the second week in a row, the Commitment of Traders Report was not happy reading. The Commercial net short position increased by another 6,346 contracts, or 31.7 million ounces. Ted Butler said that JPMorgan went short an additional 4,000 contracts…and the raptors sold another 1,000 long positions…and the rest of the increase was spread related. The Commercial net short position now stands at 224.6 million ounces.The ‘big 4’ shorts in the Commercial category are short 210.9 million ounces of silver…and the ‘5 through 8’ big shorts add another 40.6 million ounces. In total, the ‘Big 8’ are short 251.5 million ounces of silver.On a net basis, the ‘big 4’ are short 43.0% of the entire Comex futures market…and the ‘5 through 8’ add another 8.3 percentage points to that total. Adding it up, eight traders are short 51.3% of the entire Comex futures market in silver.Ted said that JPMorgan’s short position is now 26,000 contracts [130 million ounces] at a minimum…and that represents 26.3% of the entire Comex futures market in silver. Ted was incensed…and you should be as well, dear reader. One trader holding such a position is outrageous beyond belief. The CFTC and CME should be doing the perp walk for this…along with Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan.In gold, the Commercial net short position increased another chunky 15,762 contracts, or 1.56 million ounces. Ted Butler said that all of the increase was the ‘Big 4’ traders going short against all comers. The Commercial net short position now sits at 21.94 million ounces.The ‘big 4’ traders are short 11.51 million ounces of gold…and the ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 5.29 million ounces. The ‘big 8’ are short 16.8 million ounces of gold, or 76.6% of the Commercial net short position.On a net basis, once you subtract the market-neutral spread trades out of the Non-Commercial category, the ‘big 4’ are short 27.7% of the entire Comex futures market in gold…and the ‘5 through 8’ are short an additional 12.7 percentage points. Straight addition shows that the ‘Big 8’ are short 40.4% of the entire Comex futures market in gold.Without doubt, the situation has deteriorated significantly once you consider the price action during the Friday trading session in both silver and gold.Here’s Nick Laird’s “Days of World Production to Cover Short Contracts“. Over two thirds of the red bar in silver is JPMorgan’s short position. At 26,000 Comex futures contracts…130 million ounces…that’s about 65 days of world silver production. The tiny difference between the red and green bar in silver, is the short position of the ‘5 through 8’ largest traders. It’s easy to see that the bulk of the short position in silver is held by only four traders…and almost all of that is held by JPMorgan.(Click on image to enlarge)It should come as no surprise, that the September Bank Participation Report, which is derived from the same data set as yesterday’s Commitment of Traders Report, was pretty ugly as well. During the prior month, the 4 U.S. banks that hold Comex futures contracts in the silver market, increased their short position by 8,295 Comex futures contracts…and I’m guessing that most of that amount would have been JPMorgan.The BPR states that these four U.S. banks are now net short 28,760 Comex silver contracts…29.3% of the entire Comex futures market. Don’t forget that Ted figures that JPMorgan is short 26,000 Comex silver contracts on its own, so that doesn’t leave too many short positions left to be divided up between the other three U.S. banks in this category, now does it?Reader E.W.F…who sends me a complete set of COT charts based on the Disaggregated Commitment of Traders Report made the following comment…”The U.S. bank net short position in silver hasn’t been this large since 11/2/2010, the day before QE2 was announced.”The 13 non-U.S. banks that hold Comex futures positions in the silver market were net long 828 Comex futures contracts in silver in the August report, but in the September report, they now are net short 2,801 contracts…a swing of 3,629 contracts in one month, but only 215 Comex contracts per bank on average, which is a rounding error in the grand scheme of things…especially when JPM is short 26,000 Comex silver contracts on its own.So, in one month, the world’s banks have increased their short position in the Comex silver futures market by 11,924 contracts…or 59.6 million ounces of silver. But it’s still a “Made in the U.S.A. by JPMorgan” silver price management scheme from top to bottom.In gold the situation is just about as egregious. The 4 U.S. banks that hold Comex futures contracts are now net short 84,583 contracts, or 8.46 million ounces…an increase of 26,894 contracts [2.69 million ounces] from the August Bank Participation Report.The 20 non-U.S. banks are short 53,434 Comex contracts in gold…5.34 million ounces, an increase of 12,861 contracts [1.29 million ounces] since the August BPR.On a net basis, the 4 U.S. banks are short 20.3% of the entire Comex futures market…and the 20 non-U.S. banks are short 12.8%…making the grand total 33.1% of the entire Comex futures market in gold.The short positions in gold are much more spread out between all the world’s banks…but in silver, it’s all U.S.A…and virtually all JPMorgan.Reader Scott Pluschau has posted commentary over at his Internet site headlined “Bull Pennant” forms as the “Triangle” target gets nailed in Gold…and the link is here.With some ruthless editing on my part, I managed to keep the number of stories down to a reasonable level, so I hope you have the time to at least skim them all over what’s left of the weekend.I have a couple of musical selections for you today. I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘child prodigy’ a few times in your life. Gifted children can be a blessing…and a curse. Having spent eleven years on the board of directors of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, I’ve met quite a few of various ages…and abilities.But this four year old piano prodigy is something else. His playing skills are only limited by the fact that his hands are too small to play any chord larger than three or four notes…and full octaves are still a long way off in this child’s life…but the gift this little boy has should be obvious to anyone…and he’s already a little showman to boot!I ran the video past reader George Miladin, who is a world-class pianist in his own right…and he, like me, was totally blown away. I thank Roy Stephens for sending me this video last night…and it’s certainly worth your time. It runs for 3:53 minutes…and the link is here.Today’s ‘blast from the past’ is a 1970’s classic by a group that I’m sure just about everyone on Planet Earth has heard at one time or another in their lives. The story behind the group’s name is amazing…and the link to one of their many hits from that era, is here. While I’m at it, here’s another.Well, there weren’t too many shades of grey yesterday, as it was up, up, up and away for gold and silver on the jobs report. But, on the flip-side of all that fun, was the fact that except for some early short covering, JPMorgan et al were the not-for-profit sellers again and, without doubt the Commitment of Traders Report will be even uglier when it comes out next Friday.Of course, there’s still that possibility they could be over run this time around…and there’s a very long list of people that would love to see that happen. My name is near the top.There’s not a person out there, including this writer, that really knows how this will all unfold in the short term…but one way or another, sooner or later, this will all end up like the London Gold Pool of the 1960s…and that’s very badly if your a bullion bank massively short the gold and silver markets. And there’s a very special place reserved in hell for the big silver shorts.But they certainly won’t give up without a fight…and there’s nothing meaner than a cornered ‘junk-yard dog’…and I’m sure that Jamie Dimon and the CME Group will leave no stone unturned in their frantic efforts to avoid a melt-down of their respective companies…and a melt-up in the precious metal prices.The problems with the mining industry in South Africa have not gone away…and will probably get much worse before they get any better. This is just another straw piled on the camel’s back as far as the bullion banks are concerned…along with imminent and ongoing debasement of world currencies as the various central banks try to fix an international solvency problem via the printing press.As everyone with two synapse to rub together already knows…you can’t borrow your way out of debt, or spend your way to prosperity…but this is precisely what they are attempting to do.Here’s a graph the Nick Laird sent me yesterday. You may recall the very recent stories about India trying to curb its citizens’ never-ending demand for gold. Well, if you look at the chart of their currency vs. the yellow metal, it’s obvious why they prefer it over their central bank’s crappy paper…and it won’t be too much longer before all the world’s currencies have a chart that looks similar.(Click on image to enlarge)As I’ve said a couple of times already this week…all we can hope for is that we’ve covered all the bases in our own personal efforts to protect ourselves from what lies ahead. I’m still ‘all in’…with fingers crossed.I’m off to bed. See you on Tuesday.
Not surprisingly—and for the second day in a row—there was a decent rally in palladium, as news about the two new palladium ETFs in South Africa hit the Internet. The rally began just before 10 a.m. GMT in London—and just as obviously got capped less than an hour later. Then shortly after 9 a.m. in New York, the price went vertical—and a seller of last resort [probably JPMorgan] showed up and prevented the price from taking out the $800 spot level, which it would have certainly done if left to its own devices. As it turned out, the high tick in palladium was 800.00 right on the button—and the low tick was $768.20—in the June contract, which is the current front month. Sponsor Advertisement The gold stocks gapped up about a percent at the open—and hit their highs of the day about 20 minutes later. Despite the fact that the gold price traded flat in New York for most of yesterday, the stocks continued to sell off quietly into the red, right up until the tiny gold rally that began around 2:30 p.m. EDT in electronic trading. From there, the gold stocks rallied quietly right into the close, despite the fact that gold got sold down pretty hard during the last 30 minutes of trading. The HUI finished down a smallish 0.27%. The fact that the general stock market sold off starting around 11 a.m. EDT may have had something to do with the sell-off in the gold shares as well. The silver equities performed in a similar manner up until about 2:30 p.m EDT. Then, despite the continued weakness in the underlying metal, the equities rallied quietly into positive territory. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment index eked out a gain of 0.46%. This is the third day this week that the silver equities outperformed not only the metal itself, but gold equities as well. As I’ve been saying for the last few days, does someone with deep pockets know something we don’t? Once again I have a lot of stories and, as always, I’ll leave the final edit up to you. You pretty much have to have to have been born stupid, willfully blind, or be a bought and paid for whore of the World Gold Council and/or Silver Institute, not to see that JPMorgan et al prevented an upside explosion in the precious metals yesterday. If Russia really wanted to screw the U.S. over real good, all they would have to do is put an end to this price management scheme in all four precious metals, as they’ve known about it for at least a decade now—and China has, as well. If these two countries wanted to be heroes to all the poor resource-producing countries of Africa, South America and elsewhere, they could change these country’s fortunes virtually overnight—if Russia and China thought it in their own respective best interests to do so. – Ed Steer: Gold and Silver Daily—21 March 2014 Today’s pop “blast from the past” is only 15 years old—and one of the few modern pop songs that I think is worth listening to. Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas do the honours—and the link is here. Today’s classical “blast from the past” is another Jean Sibelius number, but it’s totally different from the one that I posted in this space last week. The Swan of Tuonela is an 1895 tone poem—and is the second part of Op. 22 Lemminkäinen (Four legends), tales from the Kalevala epic of Finnish mythology. It’s a melancholy piece—and the solo by the cor anglais is perhaps the best known for this instrument in all of orchestral literature. The link is here. Well, I’ll be the first one to admit that yesterday’s price rally shortly after the London open came as a big surprise to me. What wasn’t a surprise—and a disappointment—was the immediate explosion in open interest as JPMorgan et al, as sellers of last resort, were there to kill the rallies stone cold dead. Of course they had to give a little ground in palladium because of the announcement of the two new South African palladium funds, but even then, their footprints at the $800 mark were obvious for anyone who cared to examine the price chart carefully. As I said in The Wrap in yesterday’s column, it didn’t appear that “da boyz” were about to give up control of the precious metal market any time soon—and this turned out to be prophetic within hours of me writing it. Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. The roll-overs out of the April delivery month in gold have to be all done by next Friday—and I’m sure that JPMorgan would still dearly love to take out both the 50 and 200-day moving averages in that precious metal before then, but yesterday’s price action sort of threw a spanner into the works. And as I mentioned in the first part of today’s column, the dichotomy between the gold and silver equities is still something I’m keeping an eye on—and Friday’s numbers only reconfirmed my suspicion that someone with very deep pockets is taking a very large position in silver equities using the engineered price decline as cover. Taking a look at the preliminary volume report from the CME yesterday, I note that there are only about 35 gold contracts and just under 200 silver contracts still open in the March delivery month—and those have to delivered into, or rolled over, by next Friday as well. I’m only speculating here, but it appears that it may be anything but “business as usual” next week—and for that reason I’ll be watching the 6 p.m. EDT open in New York on Sunday evening with more interest than normal. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend—and I’ll see you here on Tuesday. You pretty much have to have to have been born stupid, willfully blind, or be a bought and paid for whore of the World Gold Council and/or Silver Institute, not to see that JPMorgan et al prevented an upside explosion in the precious metals yesterday. If Russia really wanted to screw the U.S. over real good, all they would have to do is put an end to this price management scheme in all four precious metals, as they’ve known about it for at least a decade now—and China has, as well. If these two countries wanted to be heroes to all the poor resource-producing countries of Africa, South America and elsewhere, they could change these country’s fortunes virtually overnight—if Russia and China thought it in their own respective best interests to do so. The dollar index closed on Thursday afternoon in New York at 80.19—and then spent all of Friday quietly chopping lower in a very tight range. The index close yesterday at 80.12, which was down 7 basis points on the day. It was more or less the same price pattern in silver, so I’ll spare you the play-by-play. The high and low price ticks were recorded at $20.585 and $20.265 in the May contract. Silver closed in New York at $20.275 spot, up a whole half a penny. Volume, net of March and April, was pretty low at 28,000 contracts but, like gold, it’s a good bet that almost half of that volume was JPMorgan et al throwing Comex paper at the price during the rally in early trading in London. The platinum chart was a mini version of the gold and silver charts—and the metal managed to close up a few dollars. Here’s the chart. JPMorgan et al, as sellers of last resort, were there to kill the rallies stone cold dead It was pretty quiet in gold in Far East trading on their Friday, as it rose and fell about five bucks between the Tokyo open and up until 30 minutes after the London open. At that point, the gold price took off to the upside, only to be met with a firestorm of selling by the sellers of last resort. JPMorgan et al managed to put the fire out by shortly after 11 a.m. GMT in London—and from there the price traded quietly lower until around 10:30 a.m. EST in New York. After that it didn’t do a lot, although a tiny rally that began around 12:30 p.m. EDT got sold down at 3:30 p.m. before it could get anywhere. The CME Group recorded the high and lows ticks as $1,328.00 and $1,343.00 in the April contract. The gold price finished the week at $1,334.70 spot, up $6.20 from Thursday’s close. Net volume was very quiet at 87,000 contracts, with at least 50% of that used to kill the morning rally in London. Just to show you the dichotomy between the gold share price action and the silver share price action—consider the week-over-week changes in the price of both metals vs. how well the HUI and Silver Sentiment Index did. For the week, gold was down $47.30—or 3.4%—and the HUI lost 8.60%. Silver was down $1.185 for the week—or 5.52%—and the Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed lower by only 2.93%. Does it mean anything? I don’t know for sure, but this particular dichotomy is beyond obvious, as it appears to me that a buyer with deep pockets is using this engineered price decline in silver to pick up a substantial position in the silver equities. The CME’s Daily Delivery Report drew a blank yesterday, as no gold or silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday within the Comex-approved depositories. There was activity, but it was all in palladium. Much to my surprise, an authorized participant added 134,905 troy ounces of gold to GLD yesterday. I’m only speculating here, but based on the price action all week, I’d guess that this deposit was being used to cover an existing short position. And as of 10:10 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. The good folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their gold and silver ETFs for the week ending Friday, March 14. Their gold ETF continues to slide. During this reporting week, it declined by another 29,224 troy ounces. But their silver ETF showed an increase of 123,009 troy ounces. The U.S. Mint had a sales report yesterday. They sold 3,500 troy ounces of gold eagles—1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—and 140,500 silver eagles. They also sold 300 one-ounce platinum eagles sometime during the reporting week as well. Month-to-date the mint has sold 16,500 troy ounces of gold eagles—10,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—9,000 one-ounce platinum eagles—and 3,283,500 silver eagles. Based on these numbers, the silver/gold sales ratio for the month so far stands at 124 to 1—and it’s about 200 to 1 if you just compare silver eagles sales to gold eagles sales. These are incredible sales ratios. There was a fairly large gold deposit—160,750 troy ounces—over at the Comex-approved warehouses on Thursday, all of which went into JPMorgan’s depository. Nothing was shipped out. The link to that activity is here. In silver, nothing was reported received, but 302,242 troy ounces were shipped out of four of the six depositories—and the link to that action is here. The Commitment of Traders Report was a mixed bag. Silver was way better than I expected, but gold was terrible—and I’ll leave the discussion about copper up to Ted Butler in his commentary to paying subscribers later today. In silver, the Commercial net short position actually improved by 1,734 contracts, or 8.67 million ounces. The Commercial net short position now sits at 179.5 million ounces. That’s the ‘good’ news. The bad news is that of the 2,700 short contracts put on/bought by the Big 8 short holders, Ted figures that 2,000 of those contracts were done by JPMorgan. This brings their short-side corner in the Comex silver market up to around 20,000 contracts, or 100 million troy ounces. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the Commercial net short position in silver was 179.5 million ounces, so this means that JPMorgan holds about 55% of the Commercial net short position all by itself—and about 33% of the short position held by the eight largest traders on the short side combined. This is a short-side corner by definition. As an aside in silver, the raptors—the Commercial traders other than the Big 8—bought 4,400 long contracts during the reporting week. Gold was ugly. The Commercial net short position blew out by 20,567 contracts, or 2.06 million troy ounces. The Big 8 increased their short position by about 8,500 contracts—and the raptors [the Commercial traders other than the Big 8] went short about 8,000 contracts—and Ted Butler said that JPMorgan sold between 7-8,000 of their long-side corner, which is now down to somewhere between 39 and 40,000 contracts, or 3.9 to 4.0 million ounces of the stuff. All of this was done in gold [and silver] by JPMorgan et al in order to prevent prices from blowing sky high during the reporting week, just like these same precious metals attempted to do again yesterday. As you already know, “da boyz” are the not-for-profit sellers—and the sellers of last resort. If they weren’t there 24/7, then precious metal prices would be just outside the orbit of Pluto by now. Here’s a chart from Nick Laird that I haven’t posted for many a moon. It’s the “Days of World Production to Cover Comex Short Positions“. It still looks much the same as it has for the last couple of years. Silver, except for a few weeks, has always occupied the far right position on this chart, with palladium and platinum not that far behind. To give you some idea of JPMorgan’s short position in silver compared to the total short positions of the Big 4 or Big 8 shorts—their 100 million ounce short-side corner in Comex silver translates into roughly 50 days of world silver production. The numbers on this chart are a graphic representation of the short positions of the 4 and 8 largest traders in all physical commodities on the Comex—and the data for this chart came straight out of yesterday’s COT Report. Here’s the New York trading session up close and personal—and you can see the not-for-profit selling show up at 3:30 p.m. in electronic trading. Drilling Intersects 102 Meters of 1.97 gpt Gold at Columbus Gold’s Paul Isnard Gold Project; Drilling Confirms Depth Extension of Gold Mineralization Columbus Gold Corporation (CGT: TSX-V) (“Columbus Gold”) is pleased to announce results of the initial five (5) core drill holes at its Paul Isnard gold project in French Guiana. The holes confirm depth extension of gold mineralization below shallow holes drilled on the 43-101 compliant 1.9 million ounce Montagne d’Or inferred gold deposit at Paul Isnard in the 1990’s and support the current program of resource expansion through offsetting open-ended gold mineralization indicated by the earlier holes. Robert Giustra, CEO of Columbus Gold, commented: “These drill results validate Columbus Gold’s approach to adding ounces with a lower-risk drilling program designed to infill and to extend the mineralized zones to 200 m vertical depth from surface; a depth amenable to open pit mining.” Fourteen (14) holes have been completed (assays pending) by Columbus Gold in the current program and drilling is progressing at the rate of about 3,000 meters per month with one drill-rig on a 24 hour basis. Columbus Gold plans to accelerate the current program by engaging a second drill-rig as soon as one can be obtained. Please visit our website for more information about the project.
The country’s largest disability charities have been accused of “selling out” disabled people, as they look set to play a significant role in providing back-to-work services under the government’s new Work and Health Programme.Disability News Service (DNS) has contacted seven of the largest disability charities – most of which are not user-led – and none of them has ruled out seeking contracts from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).Disabled activists say this means the charities will be unable to campaign effectively on welfare reform, because of the size of contracts on offer.All seven – the group that in past years were known as the “big seven” disability charities – insist that any contracts they win from the government will have no impact on their campaigning work, including whether they speak up about social security reform, including cuts to disability benefits and back-to-work policies for disabled people.But their generally supportive responses to the government’s work, health and disability green paper – which was published on 31 October – could suggest otherwise.One of the seven – Mind – has already been caught lying about its interest in seeking DWP contracts under the Work and Health Programme.Paul Farmer, Mind’s chief executive, told protesters on 31 October (pictured) that the charity had “no contracts with DWP” and that he was “not interested in future contracts at this stage”.His lies were exposed when a disgruntled employee leaked internal documents showing that Mind was applying to join a DWP framework that would allow it to bid for contracts.Last month, the charity’s policy and campaigns manager, Tom Pollard, joined DWP on secondment as a senior policy adviser.Asked whether winning DWP contracts would impact on its campaigning work, Mind told DNS last week that it “always speaks out about the issues that we believe impact on people with mental health problems, and we don’t enter into financial relationships which would prevent us from doing this”.The DNS investigation comes as the Charity Commission confirmed that it has written to Mind’s trustees following a complaint about the charity’s close links with the government – and about Farmer’s lies – by Dr Minh Alexander, an NHS whistleblower and former consultant psychiatrist.She told the commission that she was “concerned that Mind’s independence has been compromised through collaboration with the government which goes beyond constructive joint working”.A Charity Commission spokesman told DNS: “The Charity Commission can confirm that a concern was raised with us regarding the charity Mind.“The commission is in correspondence with the trustees to highlight the concern and to request more information.“We have provided the trustees with the appropriate guidance and we are awaiting a response which we will consider in due course.”But there are also concerns about the future independence of the other six charities.Leonard Cheshire Disability said that it already provides services under the government’s Work Choice programme, but refused to say if it was seeking contracts under the Work and Health Programme, or if any such contract would impact on its campaigning work.RNIB said that it was “exploring” possible involvement in the Work and Health Programme as a “specialist sub-contractor”, although only if any programme was “entirely voluntary” because “we don’t support the sanctioning of individuals’ benefits if they do not attend a programme”.An RNIB spokeswoman said: “We will continue to represent and campaign on behalf of people with sight loss as part of our constructive dialogue with the DWP.”Action on Hearing Loss said that it “may consider DWP contracts in the future”, but denied that this would impact on its campaigning work.Scope said that it had “yet to make a decision regarding upcoming opportunities to deliver employment support but hope to make an announcement in the new year”.A Scope spokeswoman said: “We have been and will continue to speak out on the issues that matter to disabled people.“We believe that the work capability assessment is fundamentally flawed and doesn’t accurately identify the barriers disabled people face in entering or staying in work and will continue to speak out against this.”Disability Rights UK (DR UK) said it was too early to say if it would bid for contracts, but if it did “it would likely be in partnership with other disabled people’s organisations”, and that it would “never compromise on being able to speak out about issues of welfare reform”.Mencap’s head of employment, Mark Capper, said the charity was “disappointed” to see that the framework for the main contracts “appears to favour large businesses rather than third sector providers who can offer specialised support”, and that it would not want to be involved “unless significant changes were made to involve third sector providers”.But a Mencap spokesman said the charity “may” consider smaller contracts “if we believe they will allow third sector providers to support people with a learning disability into employment”.Capper said that Mencap wanted to “ensure disabled people receive the support they need to realise their ambitions, and that the government meets its commitment to halve the employment gap experienced by disabled people”.He added: “Whether this is achieved by working with the government or speaking out against them when we believe they are failing, we will continue to do both.”But Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) dismissed the suggestion that the charities would speak out strongly against DWP if they won multi-million pound contracts under the new programme.Linda Burnip, DPAC co-founder, said: “It is clear to everyone that organisations taking money from the government to provide services of any kind will not be in a position to campaign in any effective way against the policies on welfare reform.“These contracts are rumoured to be worth between £2 million and £30 million and once part of propping up the system, any independence to criticise it will be lost.“It is shameful that organisations supposedly existing to benefit disabled people are willing to sell them out in such an abhorrent way.”Freedom of information responses secured by DNS show that six of the “big seven” were invited to DWP’s national launch of its green paper, while the seventh – Scope – hosted the event. Five of the six, plus Scope, attended the event.The freedom of information response also shows that the government’s guest list of 79 organisations included just six disabled people’s user-led organisations, five of which, including DR UK, attended the launch event.The green paper includes the possibility that DWP could in future force all sick and disabled people on out-of-work disability benefits to take part in “mandatory” activity, including those in the employment and support allowance (ESA) support group.But despite this measure – and the horrified response from many disabled people – the reactions of the “big seven” to the green paper last month were generally positive.Scope even welcomed the green paper’s publication in DWP’s own press release, allowing work and pensions secretary Damian Green to claim in the House of Commons that criticism of the government’s plans was “completely out of touch with those who represent disabled people”.Leonard Cheshire Disability also welcomed the green paper, and said the government had taken “an important first step towards reducing the disability employment gap”.RNIB said it welcomed the government’s “aim to tackle the barriers that disabled people face in employment”, although it said that “the proof of the pudding will be in the eating”.Action on Hearing Loss – formerly RNID – also welcomed the green paper, praising the “collaborative focus of the Department of Work and Pensions and the Department of Health on integrated support for work and health”.The other three charities were more critical, although none of them could be said to have attacked the green paper.Disability Rights UK criticised elements of the green paper, pointing to its failure to announce any new incentives or requirements on employers, calling for more enforcement of the Equality Act, and warning that the government appeared to be cutting funding for employment support.Mencap welcomed much of the green paper but was critical of the planned £30-a-week cuts to ESA, and said that the possible changes to the support group “could cause deep concern to sick and disabled people”.Mind also welcomed parts of the green paper but, like Mencap, was critical of the support group measure, while it also criticised the government’s failure to consider “a fundamental rethink of the way conditionality and sanctions are used”.
The Department of Health (DH) has refused to say why it failed to warn NHS bodies and other local services that claimants of out-of-work disability benefits are at a hugely-increased risk of attempting to take their own lives.DH published the latest version of its national suicide prevention strategy in January this year.The strategy was published four months after NHS Digital produced the results of its Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS), which showed that more than 43 per cent of claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) had said (when asked in 2014) that they had attempted suicide at some point in their lives.But the suicide prevention strategy fails to mention these figures or to highlight ESA claimants as a high-risk group, even though it briefly mentions Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) guidance for dealing with ESA claimants who may be at risk of suicide or self-harm.This week, a DH spokeswoman refused to explain why the figures were not mentioned in the strategy or why ESA claimants were not highlighted as a group at particularly high risk of suicide.Instead, she said: “As I know you’ve discussed with the DWP, suicide is a very complex issue, so it would be wrong to link it solely to anyone’s benefit claim.“There is clear guidance in place for DWP staff members to follow if a claimant expresses a desire to self-harm, to ensure the claimant receives appropriate care and support.“We updated the National Suicide Prevention Strategy to strengthen delivery of its key areas for action to reduce suicides. “This includes ensuring that every local area has a suicide prevention plan in place by the end of the year to ensure that all local services are working together to implement tailored approaches to reducing suicide in their communities. “Good suicide prevention plans include action to address the wider determinants of suicide risk including unemployment and living with long-term conditions or disabilities.”The DH refusal to explain its failure to highlight ESA claimants in its suicide prevention strategy comes as Disability News Service this week publishes new figures (see separate story) which show that the proportion of people claiming the main out-of-work disability benefit who have attempted suicide doubled between 2007 and 2014.The figures show that in 2007 – a year before the introduction of the much-criticised work capability assessment, which tests eligibility for ESA – 21 per cent of incapacity benefit (IB) claimants told researchers they had attempted suicide at some point in their lives.IB began to be replaced by ESA under the New Labour government the following year, in 2008.But by 2014, following four years of social security reforms under the new coalition government, and austerity-related cuts to disability benefits and services – and six years of the WCA – more than 43 per cent of ESA claimants were saying they had attempted suicide.The figures were calculated for DNS by Sally McManus, who leads research on the survey for the independent social research institute NatCen, on behalf of NHS Digital.It is unclear if the government has ever made the same calculation, and if it has, why these figures have never been published.But the DH failure is just the latest evidence that the government has ignored, and even covered up, links between its efforts to force people with mental health conditions into work, and increased levels of suicide, attempted suicide, suicidal thoughts and self-harm.Letters written by coroners, which blamed the WCA process for triggering two suicides and called for changes to the assessment process, were ignored by ministers.They also failed to pass the first of those letters, written in April 2010, to the independent expert who was reviewing the WCA, Professor Malcolm Harrington.Ministers also failed to pass on the results of internal reviews into the deaths of ESA claimants that were linked to the WCA to Professor Harrington.As a result of these failures to act to improve the WCA, many other claimants are believed to have died, including Mark Wood, Paul Donnachie, David Barr, and a woman known only as Ms D E.The strongest evidence until now that there was a link between the WCA and an increase in mental distress came in November 2015, when public health experts from the Universities of Liverpool and Oxford showed in a study that, for every 10,000 IB claimants in England who were reassessed for ESA between 2010 and 2013, there were an additional six suicides, 2,700 cases of self-reported mental health problems, and an increase of more than 7,000 in the number of anti-depressants prescribed.In all, across England, the reassessment process from 2010 to 2013 was “associated with” an extra 590 suicides, 279,000 additional cases of self-reported mental health problems, and the prescribing of a further 725,000 anti-depressants.DWP dismissed the findings of that report in 2015 and said it was “wholly misleading”.Samaritans can be contacted free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by calling 116 123 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.orgPictured: The Department of Health’s Whitehall offices
Source:https://www.aftau.org/page.aspx?pid=974&storyid4704=2442&ncs4704=3 Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 12 2019All stem cells can multiply, proliferate and differentiate. Because of these qualities, leukemic stem cells are the most malignant of all leukemic cells. Understanding how leukemic stem cells are regulated has become an important area of cancer research.A team of Tel Aviv University researchers have now devised a novel biosensor that can isolate and target leukemic stem cells. The research team, led by Dr. Michael Milyavsky of the Department of Pathology at TAU’s Sackler School of Medicine, discuss their unique genetically encoded sensor and its ability to identify, isolate and characterize leukemic stem cells in a study published on January 31 in Leukemia.”The major reason for the dismal survival rate in blood cancers is the inherent resistance of leukemic stem cells to therapy,” Dr. Milyavsky says. “But only a minor fraction of leukemic cells have high regenerative potential, and it is this regeneration that results in disease relapse. A lack of tools to specifically isolate leukemic stem cells has precluded the comprehensive study and specific targeting of these stem cells until now.”Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyNew shingles vaccine reduces outbreaks of painful rash among stem cell transplant patientsTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerUntil recently, cancer researchers used markers on the surface of the cell to distinguish leukemic stem cells from the bulk of cancer cells, with only limited success. “There are hidden cancer stem cells that express differentiated surface markers despite their stem cell function. This permits those cells to escape targeted therapies,” Dr. Milyavsky explains. “By labeling leukemia cells on the basis of their stem character alone, our sensor manages to overcome surface marker-based issues.”We believe that our biosensor can provide a prototype for precision oncology efforts to target patient-specific leukemic stem cells to fight this deadly disease.”The scientists searched genomic databases for “enhancers,” the specific regulatory regions of the genome that are particularly active in stem cells. Then they harnessed genome engineering to develop a sensor composed of a stem cell active enhancer fused with a fluorescence gene that labels the cells in which the enhancer is active.The scientists were also able to demonstrate that sensor-positive leukemia stem cells are sensitive to a known and inexpensive cancer drug called 4-HPR (fenretinide), providing a novel biomarker for patients who can potentially benefit from this drug.”Using this sensor, we can perform personalized medicine oriented to drug screens by barcoding a patient’s own leukemia cells to find the best combination of drugs that will be able to target both leukemia in bulk as well as leukemia stem cells inside it,” Dr. Milyavsky concludes. “We’re also interested in developing killer genes that will eradicate specific leukemia stem cells in which our sensor is active.”The researchers are now investigating those genes that are active in leukemic stem cells in the hope finding druggable targets.
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 17 2019The Trump administration is pushing ahead with its reproductive health agenda. It has rolled out changes to the Title X program, which funds family planning services for low-income people, that are designed to have a chilling effect on organizations that provide abortions or include this option in counseling. It also has nominated federal judges widely believed to support state-level abortion restrictions.Against that backdrop, Planned Parenthood, known as a staunch defender of abortion rights, is working to recast its public image. Under its president, Dr. Leana Wen, who took office in November, the nation’s largest reproductive health provider is highlighting the breadth of care it provides — treating depression, screening for cancer and diabetes, and taking on complex health problems like soaring maternal mortality rates.This strategy, analysts say, could buttress Planned Parenthood against the efforts by the White House and other abortion opponents. But it’s complicated. Even as the organization leans into its community health work, Wen isn’t abandoning the abortion-related services that have helped form the organization’s identity — and its opposition.”We cannot separate out one of our services. That’s not how medicine works,” Wen told Kaiser Health News.This effort to thread the needle could, if successful, change the public’s perception of Planned Parenthood. But if it backfires, it could make the organization even more vulnerable. Some people are skeptical of the payoff, given how polarizing abortion politics are.”The minute you start talking about abortion, it’s a risky strategy,” said Karen O’Connor, a political scientist at American University who studies the politics of reproductive health care. It’s likely to attract strong reactions from people who see abortion providers not as reproductive health professionals but as “baby killers,” she said.”If I was doing it — and this is as somebody who studies social movements and women’s organizations — I would take abortion out of the equation and talk about ‘reproductive health is health care.'”Already, the new strategy is drawing fire from abortion opponents, who dismiss Planned Parenthood’s positioning as a frontline community health provider.”This framing is simply a PR exercise,” said Mallory Quigley, vice president of communications at the Susan B. Anthony List, a Washington-based anti-abortion group. “I don’t think this campaign will be successful, and I don’t think it will last long.”Reproductive health experts have a different view, saying Planned Parenthood’s effort to promote its array of health care offerings — including abortion — is consistent with reality and in line with top medical standards. To bolster this message, Wen, a former Baltimore health commissioner and the first physician to take the group’s helm, has embarked on a national listening tour.”It’s who we are. We are a health care organization,” Wen said. “That’s what all of our affiliates do around the country, is meeting people where they are with the health services they need.”So far, Wen and other Planned Parenthood officials have visited 17 affiliates in locations around the country. They plan to visit several more, Wen’s staff confirmed.The idea is not to standardize what Planned Parenthood sites offer, Wen said, arguing that each clinic should take the lead in devising its own public health programs, based on its patients. Even so, the organization’s national leadership is working to identify the health programs that could be expanded and encouraging clinics around the country to consider implementing those best practices.Recently, Wen and her team visited the organization’s Rhode Island clinic to investigate how it is planning to expand its primary care offerings.The clinic, a 10-minute walk from downtown Providence, serves patients of all genders and ages, its staff noted. It has upped its focus on things like wellness visits, along with its programs to make sure patients who want to have children are healthy before they get pregnant.Wen also focused on the clinic’s efforts to reduce the area’s maternal mortality rates, a problem that afflicts low-income and black women at far greater rates. In 2018, 18.3 Rhode Island women per 100,000 births died from causes related to the pregnancy; for black women, the figure was 47.2 per 100,000, and for white women, 18.1. Planned Parenthood leadership touted proposed state legislation that would extend Medicaid coverage to doulas, non-medical birth coaches often seen as a valuable resource in reducing maternal deaths.Related StoriesEngineered stem cells offer new treatment for metastatic bone cancerObese patients with Type 1 diabetes could safely receive robotic pancreas transplantSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyDr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood, speaks with staff from Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.(Anna Maria Barry-Jester)Wen tours a lab in the basement of a San Jose, Calif., clinic that processes tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia. “When I was in college, we did all the pipetting manually,” she told the staff.(Anna Maria Barry-Jester)At a Planned Parenthood Mar Monte clinic in San Jose, Calif., staff members highlighted the facility’s mental health services — keeping behavioral health professionals in the building to help patients transition seamlessly into care — and its in-house testing center for sexually transmitted infections.At both clinics, staffers talked about helping patients who face a threat of domestic violence find safe housing resources, and steering them toward available resources for things like healthy food.Even while promoting that work — often overlooked by the public — Wen, a 36-year-old emergency doctor by training, emphasizes abortion services at each stop, trying to weave the message into the public health narrative.In Providence, the Planned Parenthood team stopped by a news conference to talk about a local bill that, if the Supreme Court scales back Roe v. Wade, would explicitly legalize abortion protections in Rhode Island.”Abortion is part of the spectrum of full reproductive health care, and we know reproductive health care is health care,” Wen said to applause. “And health care is a human right.”But it’s unclear how the listening tour and messaging efforts will pan out politically. While a majority of Americans have positive opinions of Planned Parenthood, they are, polling suggests, evenly split on abortion.”Planned Parenthood to some extent is taking a risky strategy by trying to thread these two. I see these as very different messages,” said O’Connor, the political scientist. “If you take out the ‘abortion is’ and go to reproductive health, you have a winning message that is very simple.”In other ways, though, this branding effort perhaps comes at the right time, suggested Lucinda Finley, a law professor at the University at Buffalo. She ties the organization to what polling suggests is voters’ No. 1 concern, especially going into the 2020 election: health care.Framing it as “‘Abortion is health care, health care is a human right’ links it to the larger debate about health care, and how we should provide health care to people in this country,” Finley said.When asked if this messaging could politically insulate Planned Parenthood from conservative attacks — or win the organization new supporters — Wen suggested the community health emphasis is simply a response to medical needs.”I don’t want people to think we are doing this because it’s politically the right thing to do,” she said. “It’s the right thing to do because that’s what our patients are requesting.” This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 7 2019Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso now performs a safe and minimally invasive treatment for a heart birth defect that affects up to 25% of people.The procedure that closes the defect known as an atrial septal defect, or ASD; and a smaller defect which causes stroke, called patent foramen ovale, or PFO takes a much different route than the past use of open-heart surgery. Doctors open a vein/vessel near the groin and insert a long, thin tube called a catheter. The catheter, loaded with an alloy device called an Amplatzer septal occluder, is guided into the interior of the heart. Once in place, the occluder is released, and it expands into a circular coil that closes the hole.About 15 years ago, almost 90% of these type of congenital heart defects were repaired through open-heart surgery, said TTP El Paso interventional cardiologist Harsha Nagarajarao, M.D., who serves as co-director of the Cardiovascular Catheterization Laboratory at University Medical Center of El Paso. Today, the transcatheter coil occlusion procedure is widely used across the world to treat heart holes.Related StoriesImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasTeam approach to care increases likelihood of surviving refractory cardiogenic shockDr. Nagarajarao and other TTP El Paso interventional cardiologists perform the procedure at UMC. TTP El Paso is the clinical practice of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.Dr. Nagarajarao said up to 25% of people are born with this kind of hole in the heart. Not all of them will require surgery, but those that present with stroke will need to have the hole closed, he said.Dr. Nagarajarao, who also serves as an assistant professor in the division of cardiology at TTUHSC El Paso, adds that there is a large, unmet need in the area for treating this type of heart defect. To help increase the numbers of physicians capable of treating the defect, Dr. Nagarajarao is helping train TTP El Paso physicians for certification in the procedure.Earlier this year, a 36-year-old man who suffered multiple strokes over two years with no indication of a cause was referred by TTP El Paso’s neurology department to Dr. Nagarajarao’s cardiology team. The doctors determined he had a PFO which was responsible for his stroke and scheduled him for the coil occlusion procedure.The surgery, performed by Dr. Nagarajarao, was a success and significantly reduced the risk of stroke for the patient. The surgery took about two hours and required only light anesthesia.Source: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso
Provided by The Conversation This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Efforts to build the nation’s first “advanced small modular reactor,” or SMR, in Idaho, are on track for it to become operational by the mid-2020s. The project took a crucial step forward when the company behind it, NuScale, secured an important security certification from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. But the first ones could be generating power by 2020 in China, Argentina and Russia, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The debate continues over whether this technology is worth pursuing, but the nuclear industry isn’t waiting for a verdict. Nor, as an energy scholar, do I think it should. This new generation of smaller and more technologically advanced reactors offer many advantages, including an assembly-line approach to production, vastly reduced meltdown risks and greater flexibility in terms of where they can be located, among others. How small is small?Most small modular reactors now in the works range between 50 megawatts – roughly enough power for 60,000 modern U.S. homes – and 200 megawatts. And there are designs for even smaller “mini” or “micro-reactors” that generate as few as 4 megawatts.In contrast, full-sized nuclear reactors built today will generate about 1,000-1,600 megawatts of electricity, although many built before 1990, including over half the 99 reactors now operating in the U.S., are smaller than this. Explore further NuScale Power aims to build the nation’s first advanced small modular reactor. Credit: U.S. Department of Energy UAE says its first nuclear reactor complete Until now, generating nuclear power has required massive facilities surrounded by acres of buildings, electrical infrastructure, roads, parking lots and more. The nuclear industry is trying to change that picture – by going small. Citation: The nuclear industry is making a big bet on small power plants (2018, June 8) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-nuclear-industry-big-small-power.html But small nuclear reactors aren’t actually new. India has the most, with 18 reactors with capacity ranging between 90 and 220 megawatts, which were built between 1981 and 2011.The U.S., Russia, China, India, France and the U.K. operate hundreds of nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers. Russia has dozens of nuclear-powered icebreakers cruising around the Arctic, and its first floating nuclear power plant has been completed and will be deployed in 2019 near the town of Pevek in East Siberia. The Siberian plant will replace four 12-megawatt reactors the Soviets built in the 1970s to power a remote town and administrative center, as well as mining and oil drilling operations.Even though the reactors will be small, they may operate at much bigger power plants with multiple reactors. NuScale, for example, wants to install 12 reactors at its initial Idaho site. Based on the company’s latest projections, it will have a total capacity of 720 megawatts.A global trendPrivate and state-owned companies are seeking to build these small power plants in about a dozen countries so far, including the U.S. and the U.K.France, which gets three-quarters of its electricity from nuclear energy, and Canada may soon join the fray.This global interest in small modular reactors comes as more standard nuclear reactors are being decommissioned than are under construction. Some advantagesProponents of these advanced small modular reactors say they will be easier to build and more flexible in terms of where they can be located than the larger kind. The word “modular” refers to how they will be built in factory-like settings, ready for hauling either fully assembled or in easily connected parts by truck, rail or sea. These reactors can potentially power rural towns, industrial plants, mountainous areas and military bases, as well as urban districts and ports. Small modular reactors may also prove handy for industrial uses.Small modular reactors will differ from the smaller reactors already deployed because of their new technologies. These advances are intended to make it less likely or even impossible for them to melt down or explode, as happened during Japan’s Fukushima disaster.The power plants where these small reactors will be located will have added protections against sabotage and the theft of radioactive material. For example, they may be equipped with cooling systems that continue working even if no operators are present and all electric power is lost. In many cases, the entire reactor and steam-generating equipment will be below ground to safeguard these facilities during natural disasters like the earthquake and tsunamis that led three Fukushima Daiichi reactors to melt down. Like renewable energy, nuclear power emits no carbon. And compared to wind and solar power, which are intermittent sources, or hydropower, which is affected by seasonal changes and droughts, it operates all the time and has a much smaller footprint.As a result, small modular reactors could be paired with renewable sources as a substitute for coal-fired or natural gas plants. Yet they will probably have to compete with advanced energy storage systems for that market. Concerns and costsWhether these advantages materialize, obviously, remains to be seen once these reactors are deployed. Some experts are skeptical of the industry’s promises and expectations.Although small modular reactors are designed to produce less radioactive waste than standard, bigger reactors for the same amount of power, the issue of where to safely dispose of nuclear waste remains unresolved. Small modular reactors face other challenges, some of their own making.Strong interest in the potential global market has led many companies to propose their own individual reactor designs. In my opinion, there are already too many versions out there. Before long, a shakeout will occur.And, especially in the U.S., there is currently no clarity regarding the length of time required for licensing new reactor designs lacking any commercial track record – creating a lot of regulatory uncertainty.It’s also unclear what small modular reactor-generated power will cost. That will probably remain the case for at least the next 10 to 15 years, until a few designs are actually built and operating.Some experts foresee small modular reactors penciling out at levels that could be higher than for full-sized reactors which generally cost more to build and operate than other options, like natural gas, for the same amount of power. NuScale, however, predicts that its SMRs will be more competitive than that in terms of their cost.And some observers fear that reactor owners might cut corners to reduce costs, compromising safety or security.Although their costs are unclear and their advantages relative to other energy choices remain unproven, I believe these small reactors, as non-carbon sources, are needed to help resolve the energy challenges of our time. And the rest of the world seems ready to give them a try with or without the U.S.