Semedo hails Barcelona fight-back to defeat Inter Milanby Carlos Volcano23 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNelson Semedo hailed Barcelona’s fight-back for their Champions League win over Inter Milan.Luis Suarez struck twice in the 2-1 victory.”We were strong enough to turn the result around,” said the Portuguese full-back. On Luis Suarez and Leo Messi, who scored or created the goals, he added: “They are two players who make the difference.”He also praised Arturo Vidal, who crossed for Suarez’s opener.”Arturo Vidal was really good, we’re used to the fight he gives and he was key in the team’s comeback.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Beijing: Remarks by the head of Chinese online business giant Alibaba that young people should work 12-hour days, six days a week if they want financial success have prompted a public debate over work-life balance in the country. Jack Ma is one of China’s richest men and his comments last week brought both condemnation and support as China’s more mature economy enters a period of slower growth. Newspaper People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s mouthpiece, issued an editorial, saying mandatory overtime reflects managerial arrogance and was also impractical and unfair to workers. Online complaints included blaming long work hours for a lower birth rate in the country. Ma has responded to the criticism by saying work should be a joy and also include time for study, reflection and self-improvement. (AP)
In order to celebrate the living bridge of cricket between Bengal and Britain, British Deputy High Commission Kolkata hosted a UK-Kolkata Cricket Carnival at Spring Club, EM Bypass on May 18.The cricket carnival was in association with Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), SKAL International Kolkata, VFS Global and British Council. A team of 8 players (including men and women) from British Deputy High Commission Kolkata and all of these 5 different organisations went on to the pitch to play against each other to create some unforgettable and memorable cricket moments for the ‘City of Joy’. Also Read – The Puja carnivalBruce Bucknell, British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata said: “I am delighted to join hands with the travel and tourism trade in Kolkata to celebrate the living bridge of cricket between Bengal and Britain. The World Cup in the UK will be the biggest cricket tournament to date. It is a chance to showcase the best of England and Wales on the global stage, and is a once in a generation chance for cricket fans in England and Wales to see the world’s greatest players in action.” Also Read – Wave City brings special offers this NavratraAnil Punjabi, Director, ARES Travels and Chairman East, Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) said: “History of Indian cricket has its major link to Britain. We have come close to each other to enhance our business and overall growth. As it’s often said – Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. I wish UK-Kolkata Cricket Carnival a huge success. Such events will boost travel to Great Britain.” The player of the match in the finals won a return trip ticket (Kolkata to London) courtesy Sri Lankan Airlines. The Woman of the Tournament (highest score) won a return trip (domestic ticket in India) from Spice Jet. The cricket carnival was interspersed with cricket trivia and quizzes which included prizes and giveaways from the tourism and hospitality sector of Kolkata such as Novotel, Thai Airways, Country Road Resort, Vivada cruise, Pride Hotel, HHI hotel among others. Sanjeev Mehra, President, SKAL International Kolkata said: “The game of cricket is a great unifier in India and the British High Commission in Kolkata has chosen the right medium to connect with the tourism and travel trade. SKAL International Kolkata 127 welcomes this wonderfully inclusive initiative that brings together all our colleagues from the travel agencies, hotels, airlines, cruises and other spheres of this buzzing industry. We participated with gusto, played the game with the friendly spirit that underlines all SKAL activities, and see this as a precursor to a very exciting and successful ICC World Cup later this summer.” Indians travel to attend all sorts of sporting events. It is not just cricket, but other sports like football – the English Premier League, tennis at Wimbledon as well as cricket at Lords and the other main grounds in England and Wales. Estimates for the numbers planning to travel to the UK from India for CWC 2019 range from 50,000-80,000.
In many ways, Thursday’s pivotal Game 5 between the Raptors and Bucks embodied the topsy-turvy nature of this Eastern Conference finals series as a whole. Milwaukee, the winner of the first two games, dominated the early portion of the contest, only for Toronto, which took Games 3 and 4, to come storming back.But down the stretch, three things broke what had been a stalemate in both the series and the game: the Raptors’ ability, once again, to grind Milwaukee’s fast-paced offense to a halt in the half-court; Leonard’s playmaking reaching new, impressive heights; and Toronto’s knack for repeatedly winning a handful of key 50-50 plays during the final five minutes. Those factors lifted Toronto to a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series as things head north for Game 6 on Saturday.Early on Thursday, it looked like the Bucks might run Toronto out of the gym, with Milwaukee taking an 18-4 advantage before closing the first quarter with a 10-point lead.But even in winning that quarter, the reality was that the Bucks still hadn’t solved their biggest issue. While Milwaukee generally scored at will when it managed to get out in transition — where Giannis could have his way, Eurostepping around people like a Lamborghini making aggressive lane changes — the club still wasn’t productive enough when forced to run its half-court offense.According to advanced stats site Inpredictable, Milwaukee’s offense is scoring a dismal 96 points per 100 possessions when forced to take the ball out after a basket in this series — way worse than the 114 points per 100 plays the Bucks get following a defensive board, and way way worse than the 132 points per 100 plays they score after forcing a Toronto turnover.The Bucks can score in the half-court much of the time, but it has been far more of an uphill climb when Toronto throws down its trump card by deploying neutralizer Kawhi Leonard on Giannis. The Bucks have been almost 29 points less efficient per 100 possessions this series1From 114.4 points per 100 possessions to 85.6 points per 100 possessions. when Antetokounmpo is guarded by Kawhi, according to data from Second Spectrum. (There were hints in the regular season that Leonard — a break-in-case-of-emergency defensive option because of all the offensive weight he shoulders for the Raptors — could limit the Greek Freak. According to the NBA’s matchup data, the likely MVP took just three shot attempts in the 31 regular-season possessions Leonard guarded him.)Milwaukee again got nothing out of Nikola Mirotic, who’s been ice cold this series at just 19 percent (6-for-31) from deep and is a -37 through five games. (The Bucks are +37 in the series with Mirotic on the bench.) It also didn’t help to get a bad shooting night from Khris Middleton, who finished with 10 rebounds and 10 assists but had just 6 points after scoring 30 in Game 4.By contrast, the Raptors got another great performance from reserve Fred VanVleet, perhaps feeling less burdened now after the birth of his child; VanVleet hit seven triples, all uncontested.If Toronto comes back from its 2-0 hole to win this series — something that’s only happened five times in 72 tries since the conference finals moved to a best-of-seven format — VanVleet will have played a huge role in the feat. In the last two games alone, he’s hit more threes than he did over his first 15 games of this postseason. And after shooting just 28.6 percent from deep in last year’s playoffs, and 20 percent from three over the first two rounds of this year’s playoff run, he’s hitting better than 52 percent of his attempts (12 of 23) in the Eastern Conference finals.Speaking of 3-pointers, Kawhi hit five Thursday night, including a couple late, where he punished the Bucks for switching (something they don’t often do) center Brook Lopez onto him at the top of the key.More noteworthy than Leonard’s triples, though, were the career-high nine assists he logged — every single one of which led to a Raptors’ 3-pointer. (Toronto finished with a franchise playoff record 18 threes on the night.) Those nine threes he assisted are tied for the most by a single player in a playoff game over the last 20 years, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group.2With Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams and Blake Griffin.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/KAWHI-2.mp400:0000:0002:17Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.On some level, that assist total — along with VanVleet’s scoring — is perhaps the toughest box-score stat for Milwaukee to swallow, given that Leonard’s play-making for others was the one area that seemed safest to test. He also finished with 35 points of his own, making him just the sixth player in NBA postseason history to log seven 35-point games before the NBA Finals.Despite all this, though, the Bucks still had a chance at the end. But Toronto seemingly made every big play down the stretch. Over the last five minutes alone:The Raptors nabbed two offensive rebounds before capitalizing on the extra chances with a Marc Gasol triple, which put Toronto up by 7 points, 92-85, with 4:54 left.VanVleet hit a wide-open 3-pointer that Middleton couldn’t contest because of a great back-screen Gasol set on him during a kick-out pass from Kawhi. The shot broke a tie game with 2:21 left.Kawhi missed a three but then raced in to get his own board while Gasol was grappling with Antetokounmpo. The play resulted in Kawhi getting fouled and getting two free throws out of it.Confusion between Lopez and Malcolm Brogdon on who had VanVleet in the corner. Middleton, guarding Kawhi in a 1-on-1 scenario, pushed Leonard to his left, thinking he had sufficient help behind him at the rim. But because Lopez had moved toward the corner to cover VanVleet, the help wasn’t there, and Leonard got to the line again, where he made one of two.Kawhi missed an end-of-clock jumper, which glanced off the rim and somehow ended up in the hands of Gasol, who was subsequently fouled by Lopez with about 35 seconds left in the game. (It’s worth mentioning here that the Raptors were elite at coming up with loose balls all season.)Down by 3 points, the Bucks blew their last opportunity to tie things up when Brogdon dribbled the ball off his leg, and out of bounds, with just under 27 seconds left.The result, of course, was the 60-win Bucks — who hadn’t had a three-game losing streak all year, and entered Thursday 33-0 when leading going into the fourth quarter — snapping both those streaks at the worst possible time. Now they’ll head north, with their backs against the wall, while the Raptors seek to make history by clinching a spot in the NBA Finals on their home floor.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
When Vic Fangio was named defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears in 2015, he took the helm of a ship that was essentially already at the bottom of the ocean. Not only were the Bears mired in a four-season playoff drought, but Chicago was also coming off consecutive seasons in which it fielded arguably the worst defense in franchise history.“We obviously aren’t a good team,” defensive end Jared Allen succinctly put it in 2014 after the Bears allowed consecutive opponents to pile up 50-plus points, a feat that had no precedent in modern professional football.Now, Chicago is under the direction of head coach Matt Nagy, atop the NFC North and in the midst of a three-game winning streak for the first time since the beginning of the 2013 season. But seemingly all anyone can talk about is Fangio’s defense.In its most recent victory, Chicago dismantled Tampa Bay’s then-league-best offense in a 48-10 bloodletting. Chicago’s front seven had Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston, who made his season debut, running toward the nearest airport.Fitzpatrick and Winston haven’t been Chicago’s only victims, though.When it comes to getting at the quarterback, the Bears are off to the third-best start in franchise history. Even though the team had a bye in Week 5, its 18 sacks rank second in the league, one shy of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 19. One-fourth of Chicago’s 16 best single-game sack performances since 2015 came in the first four weeks of this season. At 4.5 sacks per contest so far, Chicago is on pace to tie the NFL single-season sack record of 72, a record the Bears set in 1984.Chicago’s 11.6 percent sack rate1Sack rate is the number of sacks of the opposing quarterback divided by the quarterback’s total dropbacks, including passing attempts and sacks. is 1.5 percentage points ahead of the next-best team. If the Bears can maintain that pace, they would set the the fifth-best mark since 1980, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com. Chicago’s defense is collapsing the pocket better than perhaps any team.But here’s the remarkable thing about the Bears: They are racking up the sacks despite hardly blitzing.The Bears rank last in the league in blitzing, defined as sending five or more pass rushers at a quarterback who’s dropping back to throw, with 5.0 per contest, according to data from ESPN Stats & Information Group. If Chicago maintained its blitz average for the rest of the season, it would be the sixth-lowest rate since 2006, the first year for which data is available. Other teams have used this formula before. Most notably, Jacksonville last season was able to get to the AFC championship game and field one of the best defenses in football while ranking second in sacks and last in blitzes. Chicago’s defense is 7.6 points better than average this season, according to Pro-Football-Reference’s Defensive Simple Rating System. That’s the franchise’s best mark since the 1985 and 1986 campaigns, when the Bears went a combined 29-3 and won a Super Bowl.Blitz-less defenses aren’t always dominant; the 2006 Indianapolis Colts blitzed the least of any team for which data is available and were the fourth-worst defense in the AFC. But Chicago’s defense is dominating, leading the league in Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average,2DVOA is a statistic that “measures a team’s efficiency by comparing success on every single play to a league average based on situation and opponent.” while ranking no lower than third in pass and rush defense.This weekend, Chicago travels to Miami to take on a Dolphins outfit missing several offensive linemen, setting the stage for more defensive highlights from the Bears. A franchise long synonymous with hard-nosed defense and strong play from the linebacker corps has re-established its identity under Fangio.Check out our latest NFL predictions. This is in no small part a function of the Bears’ new $141 million linebacker. Khalil Mack, who became the highest paid defensive player in NFL history after the Bears traded for him last month, is tied for fifth in the NFL in sacks (five) and tied for first in forced fumbles (four). In terms of pressure applied, Mack is ahead of the pace he set in 2016 when he was named defensive player of the year. In Week 3 of this season, during the Bears’ 16-14 win over Arizona, the Cardinals went as far as tasking three men with containing Mack. Late in the second quarter, after Mack beat every last one of those Cardinals, his teammate Akiem Hicks swooped in for the sack.Mack is not only a transcendent talent capable of getting to the quarterback on seemingly every snap; his play has also raised the performance of his teammates. Mack, Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Aaron Lynch and Roy Robertson-Harris have accounted for at least 1.5 sacks apiece this season. “Those boys inside can raise so much hell, it’s outrageous,” said hell-raiser Richard Dent, a Hall of Fame defensive end and a member of the vaunted 1985-86 Bears defense, in an interview with The Athletic.Blitzing requires a defensive player to eschew coverage in favor of pressure. Like so many other aspects of football, the blitz is a risk-reward proposition. Get to the quarterback quickly enough, and the play is over — and you may have even created a takeaway. Get to the quarterback a step late, and he will likely find a target in the hole you’ve left.Leaguewide, blitzing is trending down, largely because the game has gotten faster and offensive efficiency continues to skyrocket. It seems that defensive coordinators are content to send fewer pass rushers at the quarterback and instead rely on their secondary in coverage. In four consecutive seasons, the number of blitzes faced by quarterbacks has dropped, according to data from ESPN Stats & Information. Opposing quarterbacks saw a 17 percent decrease from 2013 to 2017 in total five-man blitzes.Long a proponent of blitz-scarce schemes, Fangio oversees an optimal situation in Chicago, where the Bears largely abstain from blitzing — yet they still manage to get to the quarterback.“I think the ideal thing is you’d like to pressure when you want to and not feel like you have to,” Fangio told The Athletic. “If you can get to that point, then you feel pretty good.”Fangio was well ahead of the trend of blitz-less defenses. He has held an NFL defensive coordinator role each season since 2011, when he took that job with the San Francisco 49ers, and over that stretch, his defenses have always been among the league’s most blitz-reluctant outfits.
James Milner is urging his Liverpool teammates to step up their game after losing two successive games in the League and Cup ties.The Reds slumped to another 2-1 loss at Wolves in the cup on Monday after losing to Man City at the Etihad.With a trip to Brighton next, Milner expects his side to crank up the pressure on City by beating the Seagulls to go seven points clear before their clash with Wolves.“Back-to-back defeats isn’t really good enough for us but you have blips in a season,” said the 33-year-old via Sky.“It’s not something you want, especially at Liverpool, we know what’s expected. We have to make sure we bounce back and look at where we can get better.Top 5 Premier League players to watch for next weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Premier League’s Top 5 players to watch this weekend.After…“It’s not about blips, they are expected but it’s how you respond and bounce back. You’ve seen the character in the squad over the last few years, and the players we have, to know we will bounce back.“It’s easier saying that but we have to do that at the weekend.”He said: “I should do better. The pitch all night was a bit tricky and lively. It’s the same for both teams. It was my mistake for the first goal and it’s cost us, if not it’s 1-1 and we get a replay.“It was a pretty good finish from their lad but they didn’t have many chances. We didn’t either but that’s what separated the teams, my mistake and a very good finish for the second goal.”
When the board is making their determination, they consider the seriousness of the offense, the offender’s criminal record, adjustment and treatment while incarcerated, and an offender’s future plans. The board also considers the crime’s impact on the victim and the victim’s future safety. Victims and survivors are notified of all discretionary parole hearings. The victim may express feelings and concerns to the Board in writing or testify before the board in person. 629 Discretionary parole hearings were held in 2017, of those 5% were from Wildwood Correctional Facility. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The total discretionary hearings, prior to Senate Bill 91, were on average around 179 per year. With theimplementation of SB 91 the total amount of parole discretionary hearings more than tripled in 2017. This means that if an inmate has exceeded the court’s mandatory minimum sentence or has served a quarter of their total sentence, they can ask the parole board for release. SB 91 expanded discretionary parole eligibility to all persons who have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of at least 181 days, except for those convicted of unclassified sex offenses, those serving a mandatory 99-year term for murder in the first degree, those serving less than one year pursuant to a suspended imposition of sentence, or those who have been deemed ineligible by the court. To receive discretionary parole, an offender must complete one-third of his or her sentence and receive the approval of the Parole Board, a five member board that is part of the Department of Corrections. Last year, the Board of Parole released prisoners 57 percent of the time during these hearings, according to the DOC. The vast majority of those eligible for discretionary parole were sentenced on or after January 1, 2017.
Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 News Share This! Survey: Most white evangelicals blame journalists for fake news Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email News • Photos of the Week Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.,New video captures sexist comments to women ministers — read by male counterparts Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,(RNS) — The Rev. Trina Bose North didn’t have a lot of ingredients to work with for a recent dinner party: lentils, chickpeas, rice, flour, a couple of spices and some sugar.But things turned out all right. She and her guests made garlicky flatbread, lentils on rice and chickpeas fixed two ways.There was even dessert.Her foodie husband borrowed a tip from some vegan friends and combined the sugar with leftover water from the chickpeas to make meringue cookies.The meal might not make it onto Pinterest or the pages of “Martha Stewart Living,” but it was filling, said Bose North, pastor of Crown Heights United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City.Bose North and her friends are among more than 14,000 Americans participating in the Ration Challenge for the first time this year — many, this week around World Refugee Day (June 20).The Rev. Trina Bose North, right, talks with refugee congregants about their experiences at Crown Heights United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City on June 2, 2019. Photo courtesy of Trina Bose NorthThe global challenge — organized in the United States by Church World Service — asks participants to live for a week on the same food rations people receive at refugee camps. The idea is to raise awareness for the challenges refugees face and funds to support them. Participants ask friends and others to sponsor them by donating to the cause.It also is a way to show support for refugees at a time when the U.S. refugee program is struggling. President Trump has set refugee admissions to the country at historic lows, said Mary Elizabeth Margolis, director of communications for the Immigration and Refugee Program at CWS.Many people feel there isn’t much they can do to help, Margolis said. This is one thing they can do.“It’s a way to show support in your communities and to start conversations and also to really make a difference by raising a couple of hundred dollars,” Margolis said. “If we all do that, it can have a huge impact.”The Ration Challenge began in 2014 when co-founders Kaz McGrath and Ben Littlejohn visited a refugee camp on the Thai-Myanmar border through their work for Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia. There, McGrath and Littlejohn met with refugees and saw the sparse rations they receive.Sample contents of a Ration Challenge refugee box. Photo courtesy of Ration ChallengeFor a week, they decided to live on the same food to better understand the experience of living in a refugee camp.Since then, more than 40,000 people in Australia and New Zealand have joined Act for Peace’s annual Ration Challenge, raising more than $7 million to support refugees.CWS — one of nine agencies authorized to resettle refugees in the U.S. — was anticipating as many as 8,000 Americans might sign up for the challenge in its first year stateside, according to Margolis. Already, more than 14,000 have signed up from all 50 states, donating more than $264,000 as of Monday (June 17).About $2 million has been raised so far this year by the challenge.So many Americans registered to take part that CWS ran out of ration packs to send participants. The organization posted a list of what’s included in the challenge online so others can do it on their own.The packs for the challenge include the same rations received by a Syrian refugee living in a camp in Jordan: small bags of rice, chickpeas and lentils; a tin of sardines; flour; a can of beans; and a bottle of oil.Participants can earn additional ingredients for their meals by raising money for CWS and sharing about the challenge.The Syrian conflict, which started in March 2011, has led to hundreds of thousands of Syrians fleeing their country. The situation escalated in 2013 and again in 2015. It is estimated that over 1 million Syrian refugees have now fled to Jordan. Photo courtesy of Ration ChallengeThe funds raised by the Ration Challenge will provide food rations, medicine and education for Syrian refugees in Jordan.CWS also is among a number of faith-based organizations advocating on Capitol Hill for specific measures to help refugees.That includes the Grace Act, which would set the minimum number of refugees admitted to the U.S. each year at its historic average of 95,000. Current U.S. law allows the president to set the limit on how many refugees are admitted. Trump has set that number at just 30,000 for the current fiscal year, which ends in October.CWS also supports the No Ban Act, Margolis said, which would repeal and prevent efforts to ban Muslims, refugees and asylum-seekers from entering the country.“There’s a strong sense among the communities where we work that we have a responsibility to do something to respond to that and that protecting families is a fundamental value regardless of where those people come from or what their religious affiliation is,” Margolis said.Melanie Smith, left, and the Rev. Trina Bose North show off their flatbread-making abilities while participating in the Ration Challenge in Oklahoma City. Photo courtesy of Trina Bose NorthAt Crown Heights United Methodist Church, a team of coaches for the Ration Challenge has set up a temporary office and reaches out to participants throughout the week with tips and encouragement.Bose North spoke during a recent service at the church about her experience taking the challenge. Members of several refugee families who attend Crown Heights shared their stories as well.For the pastor, taking the Ration Challenge is one small way she can live out her Christian beliefs.“The call on all of us is to serve the least and the lonely among us, and refugees are some of the world’s neglected and forgotten people. To raise awareness, to provide help for refugees is absolutely what I’m called to do as Christian,” Bose North said.The challenge forced her to think of others’ experiences — so drastically unlike her own — in a way that was different from reading about the refugee crisis or seeing images in the news, she said.“You can read it, and that gets into your head, and you can write a check, and that affects you on a different level, but, man, to really experience it,” she said. “There’s something to be said about the experiential piece of this.” TagsChurch World Service CWS homepage featured Ration Challenge refugees World Refugee Day,You may also like As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Catholicism By: Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites Share This! Emily McFarlan Miller Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.,Add Comment Click here to post a comment Share This! Share This! Share This! By: Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites By: Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email
Story Links Five University of Louisville field hockey players have been chosen to compete in the 2019 U21 Selection Camp. Alli Bitting, Erica Cooper, Meghan Schneider and newcomers Margot Lawn and Minna Tremonti will represent the Cardinals in December at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa.The UofL student-athletes were selected following the 2019 Young Women’s National Championship (YWNC) and National Futures Championship (NFC), presented by Harrow Sports as they continue on the Olympic Development Pathway. Print Friendly Version
Schematic illustration for the fabrication of the microfibers by electrospinning. Credit: Liu et al. Sci. Adv. 2017;3:e1601978 More information: Kai Liu et al. Electrospun core-shell microfiber separator with thermal-triggered flame-retardant properties for lithium-ion batteries, Science Advances (2017). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601978AbstractAlthough the energy densities of batteries continue to increase, safety problems (for example, fires and explosions) associated with the use of highly flammable liquid organic electrolytes remain a big issue, significantly hindering further practical applications of the next generation of high-energy batteries. We have fabricated a novel “smart” nonwoven electrospun separator with thermal-triggered flame-retardant properties for lithium-ion batteries. The encapsulation of a flame retardant inside a protective polymer shell has prevented direct dissolution of the retardant agent into the electrolyte, which would otherwise have negative effects on battery performance. During thermal runaway of the lithium-ion battery, the protective polymer shell would melt, triggered by the increased temperature, and the flame retardant would be released, thus effectively suppressing the combustion of the highly flammable electrolytes. Safer, more environmentally friendly flame retardant with first-of-its-kind dual effects SEM image of the TPP@PVDF-HFP microfibers. Scale bar, 5 μm. Credit: Liu et al. Sci. Adv. 2017;3:e1601978 Schematic of the “smart” electrospun separator with thermal-triggered flame-retardant properties for lithium-ion batteries. Credit: Liu et al. Sci. Adv. 2017;3:e1601978 Reports of phones and hoverboards catching fire due to short circuits in batteries have caused alarm in the personal electronics industry—both by users and those that make the devices. Unfortunately, up until now, engineers have not been able to solve the problem completely. Most such efforts involve re-engineering devices to prevent short-circuiting and thus overheating, or attempting to put flame retardant directly in the batteries. Neither approach has proven to be entirely satisfactory. Re-engineering does not always solve the problem and the addition of flame retardant greatly reduces battery efficiency. In this new effort, the researchers describe an approach that thus far appears to offer some help—it does not stop overheating from occurring, but it is able to prevent fire.The new approach involves encapsulating a common flame retardant called triphenyl phosphate in an extremely tiny sheath made of plastic fibers and then inserting several of them into the electrolyte that sits between the anode and cathode. The sheath keeps the retardant from actually coming into contact with the electrolyte material, which is flammable and the source of most battery fires. But the plastic fibers in the sheath have a melting point of 160° Celsius—if that temperature is reached, the plastic melts and the retardant is released into the electrolyte quashing a potential fire. Journal information: Science Advances In test devices using their encapsulated flame retardant, the researchers report that the sheaths melted and the retardant was released and merged with the electrolyte in just 0.4 seconds and because of that fires were averted.In practice, it is presumed that such an occurrence in a device would initiate a hardware error before the battery stopped working to alert a user to what had occurred. Thereafter, a user would also presumably have to purchase a new battery in order to continue using their device which would survive the overheating event. GIF animation showing the EC/DEC electrolyte is highly flammable. Credit: Liu et al. Sci. Adv. 2017;3:e1601978 Schematic illustration for the fabrication of the microfibers by electrospinning. Credit: Liu et al. Sci. Adv. 2017;3:e1601978 GIF animation showing the EC/DEC electrolyte is highly flammable. Credit: Liu et al. Sci. Adv. 2017;3:e1601978 Explore further © 2017 Phys.org GIF animation showing the flammability of the EC/DEC electrolytes in the presence of the TPP@PVDF-HFP separator. The flames of the electrolyte diminish rapidly and are completely extinguished within 0.4 seconds. Credit: Liu et al. Sci. Adv. 2017;3:e1601978 (Phys.org)—A team of researchers at Stanford University has found a novel way to introduce flame retardant into a lithium ion battery to prevent fires from occurring. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes their technique and their results when testing it. GIF animation showing the combustion of EC/DEC electrolyte with the flame-retardant TPP. Credit: Liu et al. Sci. Adv. 2017;3:e1601978 Citation: A novel way to put flame retardant in a lithium ion battery (2017, January 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-01-flame-retardant-lithium-ion-battery.html 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.
Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress has set an example before all the other political parties in the country regarding how to conduct a rally where almost half-a-crore people are expected to take part with clock-like precision.The state administration is looking after the security arrangements and overseeing the construction of the main stage and four other stages at the Brigade Parade Ground. The party leaders are running a parallel administration to ensure that TMC workers who have come to attend the rally from the districts do not face any inconvenience. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalDespite her busy schedule, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee is keeping a tab on each and every arrangement. She had visited the Brigade Parade Ground on Thursday to take stock of the security arrangements. Thousands of party workers have come to Kolkata from far off districts including Alipurduar, Cooch Behar, South and North Dinajpur respectively. As soon as the party workers reach Sealdah Station, they will be ferried to Central Park where 50 camps have been set up. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedA dedicated corridor has been prepared for the VVIPs from the hotel to the venue. The camps have bio-toilets, medical camps and the visitors are being served food as well. Sujit Bose, minister of state for Fire and Emergency Services, who is looking after the camp said no compromise has been made with the cooking medium. The medical camps have been manned by doctors and medicines for indigestion, loose motion, pain and common cough and cold have been provided. The Trinamool supporters have been put up at Gitanjali Stadium and Uttirno. In Howrah, they have been put up at the stadium where state Cooperation minister Arup Roy and Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Lakshmi Ratan Shukla are looking after the make-shift kitchen. Roy said: “Fifty thousand party workers are staying at the stadium. We are looking after them and quality food is being served.” Jyotipriya Mallick, the state Food minister added: “We are not only welcoming our party workers but we will be there at Sealdah and Howrah stations to see them off too.” Senior party leaders including ministers and MPs were deployed to welcome the national leaders who started arriving on Friday afternoon. Subrata Mukherjee went to the airport to receive former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda. Saugata Roy was there to welcome Sharad Pawar while Shatabdi Roy welcomed BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha. Binay Tamang, president of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and Anit Thapa, general secretary, GJM, will be sharing the stage with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Brigade Parade Ground on Saturday. “BJP has betrayed the Gorkhas. They have played with our sentiments. Our presence at the Brigade Parade Ground will be a befitting answer to the saffron camp,” stated Tamang. Relations between the GJM and the BJP got strained over issues including a separate state. The BJP’s silence during the 105-day bandh in Darjeeling in 2017 and inclusion of 11 Gorkha sub-communities in the Scheduled Tribe list despite Darjeeling having a BJP Member of Parliament has also contributed to the alienation.
Sci-Fi fans: Here’s the irresistible invitation to play with fire you’ve been waiting for. Meet Pyro, literally the hottest wearable on the market right now. It’s a wrist-worn gadget that lets you shoot fireballs from your hand.We repeat: It lets you shoot balls of fire from your hand. Real, hot, dangerous — and dangerously magnificent — burning balls of fire. The kind Mom said never to play with.Related: A ‘Smart’ Belt Automatically Adjusts to Keep Your Pants UpStrapped onto your mere mortal wrist, Pyro blasts balls of fire up to 30-feet into the air, almost as awesomely as fire-bending Zuko on Avatar: The Last Airbender.Sound too cool to be true? Check out the highly stylized promotional video:You’d think this would go without saying, but, before you get too excited, you should know that Pyro is not a plaything. In the words of its inventor, veteran New Hampshire-based magician Adam Wilber: “This is not a toy. This is a badass professional device that allows you to launch fireballs from your open palm.” Indeed, pro illusionists are who this $174 wearable is specifically targeted to.The somewhat bulky Pyro wrist cuff (which looks a bit like a parolee anklet) contours to the underside of the brave wearer’s wrist. A notched fastener strap allows the unit to be tucked up your sleeve, while “keeping it out of the way of the flaming shots.” Oh, good.Related: Why This Entrepreneur Dreams of Living on MarsSimply push the matchbook-sized remote control trigger, held in your other hand and — boom — goodness, gracious, great balls of fire!Image credit: PyroYou can fire off four fireballs before reloading. How it works: Specially treated, highly flammable cotton and paper packs come with the Pyro wristband, which houses a quartet of individually triggered barrels. When the remote control trigger is activated, the cotton and paper come into contact with a heated “glowplug” inside of the device, igniting them. Pressing the remote a second time shoots the fireballs out, one by one.Pyro fireball blasters are available for purchase (for those 18 and older) over at Ellusionist, an online magic supply retailer. Now what was that you said, Mom, about not playing with fire?Image credit: PyroRelated: Look Ma, No Hands: Drones You Can Pilot With Your Mind 3 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now March 12, 2015 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Free
Categories: Howell News,News 23Feb Rep. Howell: House-approved bill would send more money to Lapeer County for road repairs Lapeer County drivers are in line for welcome news after Rep. Gary Howell and the Michigan House approved legislation to further boost investments in road repairs.The bill approved by the House on Feb. 21 would provide an estimated additional $769,930 for Lapeer County’s road commission to use this year. In addition, cities and villages in the county would be in line for nearly $160,000 in additional funds.Howell – a former chairman of the Lapeer County Road Commission – noted the money comes in addition to a reform plan passed a couple of years ago that already is increasing the amount of money available for road repairs.“The great news is we can make this additional investment in our roads without raising taxes or fees,” said Howell, of North Branch. “And the money comes on top of changes we already have made to boost road funding across Michigan. Everyone driving around potholes during this recent thaw knows we need to improve our roads. We should notice improvements in Lapeer County and all across the state once the funding kicks in for this road construction season.”The bill includes $175 million overall for state and local roads. The money is left over from a previous state government budget cycle and is already available, meaning no budget cuts or additional revenue is required for the plan.House Bill 4321 advances to the Senate for further consideration.###
France Télécom/Orange and SFR have unveiled their joint plan to build a fibre optic network in Nantes and the surrounding region.Having begun laying fibre in the city of Nantes, the pair are extending the rollout to less densely populated areas, covering 23 communes in the Nantes Métropole area. The two operators have build out networks to cover each commune between now and 2015.
Germany’s competition authority, the Bundeskartellamt, has cleared Axel Springer’s acquisition of German news and documentary channel N24.In a statement, Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt, said: “The takeover is unproblematic under competition law. N24 is a specialised channel with a limited range of audience and a relatively low share of the TV market.”The news comes after German publisher Axel Springer agreed to buy 100% of N24 in December in a bid to create “the leading multimedia news company for quality journalism in the German-speaking countries.”Axel Springer said at the time that it plans to combine N24 Media with the Welt Group, its division responsible for German newspaper Die Welt and its associated digital assets, with N24 due to become “the central moving image provider” for all Axel Springer brands.N24 Media makes the main news bulletins for Sat.1, ProSieben and Kabel Eins and employs some 300 people. The purchase price was not disclosed.
The dollar index closed in New York late Thursday afternoon at 79.73. It’s low of the day [79.69] came at 2:30 p.m. Hong Kong time. The subsequent rally ran out of gas at 79.99 just before 8 a.m. in New York. By 11:30 a.m. EDT, the index had declined by 10 points, but from there it rallied up to a hair over 80.15 before trading basically flat into the close. The dollar index finished up 42 basis points at 80.15.The gold stocks opened in the black, but got sold down into the red as gold hit its 10:30 a.m. low tick in New York. They struggled back to almost unchanged during the next hour of trading, but never got a sniff of positive territory again for the remainder of the day. The HUI closed down 0.45%.It was the same chart pattern for silver stocks right up until the 10:30 a.m. low tick for that metal. The subsequent rally off that low ended back in positive territory, and the silver equities stayed there right up until almost the end before closing down the smallest amount possible. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down a miniscule 0.01%.The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 84 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday, and it was all the usual crooks as issuers and stoppers. The short/issuer on all 84 contracts was Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia. HSBC USA stopped 59 contracts, and JPMorgan Chase stopped the rest. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.There were no reported change in either GLD or SLV.It’s been mid-September since I’d heard from the folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank. But I finally received an e-mail update from them yesterday for Monday, September 30. They reported small declines in both their gold and silver ETFs. Their gold ETF declined by 17,176 troy ounces, and their silver ETF by 51,955 troy ounces.The U.S. Mint had a tiny sales report yesterday, they sold 2,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes, and that was all.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, they reported shipping out 35,808 troy ounces of the stuff for parts unknown. All of it came out of the vaults over at HSBC USA. The link to that activity is here.In silver, these same depositories shipped out 385,368 troy ounces, and didn’t report receiving any. The link to that action is here.With no Commitment of Traders Report or Bank Participation Report yesterday, this column is going to be a little on the skinny side.I don’t have a huge number of stories for you, and I hope you have enough time over what’s left of your weekend to read everything of interest to you.The revenue to silver exporting countries is set by the same illicit pricing mechanism on the COMEX that is bedeviling silver investors, because the COMEX sets the price for silver worldwide, by means of HFT computer scams and JPMorgan’s short market corner. Mexico, Peru, Australia, Russia, Poland, Bolivia and Chile, among other silver exporting nations have been shortchanged by JPMorgan ever since the bank inherited its concentrated short position and market corner from Bear Stearns in 2008. Making it worse is that the US, as a big silver importer (net 150 million oz), has profited from the crooked pricing on the COMEX as a country, adding credence to the allegation from many that the US Government is involved in the manipulation. – Silver analyst Ted Butler, 02 October 2013Today’s pop “blast from the past,” two actually, are from a British group that didn’t stay together long enough to make it to the big time in North America, but their music was immensely popular back in the mid-1960s. Two of their biggest hits are linked here and here. I know I’ve posted these before, but it’s been a couple of years. Enjoy.Today’s classical “blast from the past” is another well-known symphonic work that sees a lot of air time in concert halls the world over, and is another one of those performances that recordings never really do justice to. But this recording comes close. It’s Rimsky-Korsakov‘s masterpiece “Scheherazade: Op. 35“, an orchestral suite he composed back in 1888. This particular youtube.com video is recorded with High Definition picture quality, with an audio track to match. So put it on full screen, turn up the audio, and then click here.Another day, and another appearance by a not-for-profit seller the moment that prices spiked early yesterday morning in New York. As I’ve said on numerous occasions, I wonder why JPMorgan et al don’t just hire a brass band to march up and down Wall Street in advance of their engineered price declines as it’s oh-so obvious, except to the willfully blind of course.And I carefully noted that, once again, silver wasn’t allowed to close over the $22 spot price mark, and it’s 50-day moving average. This makes 10 days in a row. Here’s the 30-day chart once again.You have to wonder why the silver miners aren’t up in arms about this obvious price rigging, along with the massive short-side corner that JPMorgan et al have had in the silver market since 2008.One of the reasons is The Silver Institute. It’s always loaded with mining company executives and other members whose sole purpose is to make sure that these questions never get asked.For instance; can you imagine any silver mining company executive vying for the job of President of that organization on the platform that he was going to get to the bottom of this JPMorgan price fixing scheme? He wouldn’t have a chance. All presidents, current and past, sold out to the dark side of The Force years ago, or they would never have been asked to join, let alone serve.Here’s their list of their members just so you can see who is on the list of silver companies that are actively working against your best interests, and it’s a depressing read. I note that even the CME Group is a member. All any one of the members has to do is ask the CME Group why they’re allowing JPMorgan Chase to hold a short-side corner in the Comex futures market in silver for over 5 years. But no one has obviously got the gonads to do that.You couldn’t make this stuff up.I’m done for the day, and the week.Before heading off to bed, I’d like to point out something that you’re probably already aware of, and that’s the pre-show promotion of the Casey Research 2013 Summit Audio Collection. The Summit itself started yesterday and ends on Sunday, October 6. The pre-show pricing will be valid until the product is ready to ship, which will be a few days after the show is over. All you need to know about this offer is linked here, and there’s no cost to you just to check it out, which I urge you to do.See you on Tuesday. You have to wonder why the silver miners aren’t up in arms about this obvious price riggingThe gold price traded in a tight five dollar range through all of Far East trading, and then right up until 12:30 p.m. in London. During the next 30 minutes, the price got smacked for about ten bucks. Then at 1 p.m. BST, which was 8 a.m. in New York, the price took off skyward like a homesick angel until about 10 minutes or so after the Comex open. Then the not-for-profit sellers put in an appearance. That rally was the high of the day at $1,326.30 spot. Then gold got sold down to its low of the day [$1,305.50 spot] shortly before 10:30 a.m. EDT. After that it spent the rest of the New York session struggling to gain back a few dollars of its losses.Gold finished the Friday session at $1,311.20 spot, down $5.50 from Thursday. Net volume was pretty light at around 111,000 contracts.It was more or less the same for silver, so I’ll spare you the details. The low of the day for silver [around $21.45 spot] came shortly after 1 p.m. in London. The high tick came 30 minutes later in Comex trading, and Kitco recorded that as $22.02 spot.After the 10:30 a.m. Comex low, silver also struggled higher into the 5:15 p.m. EDT electronic close. Every rally attempt, no matter how tiny, got dealt with in the usual manner.Silver managed to close in the plus column, but only by 4.5 cents, finishing the Friday session at $21.74 spot. Net volume was only 28,500 contracts.Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart on its own, so you can see the price action there in more detail.The price action in both platinum and palladium was a derivative of the price action in both gold and silver. Here are the charts, so you can check it out for yourself.
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”.
Fair to say I’m still coming to terms with last week and it’s safe to say the memories of the four winners on the big stage at Cheltenham will remain forever.Thanks for all the messages of support which are really appreciated.The show goes on, as ever, and it’s been another good week so far with three from three at Limerick on Wednesday and a winner at Cork yesterday. Hopefully that form will continue into the weekend.I’m riding at Thurles on Saturday and at Downpatrick on Sunday where the feature is the Ulster National. As usual, I’ll be back after racing on Saturday looking ahead to Sunday’s rides in a new blog.For now though, Thurles on Saturday and it’s going to be testing ground again but Thurles is a course that handles the wet weather well and it’s their last meeting of the season – so plenty of time for the ground to recover!THURLESBALLELA BOY (2.10pm)Very consistent and has form with some classy horses but a little frustrating so far not to have had a first win over fences. He is gradually being nudged up in trip by trainer Gordon Elliott and sooner or later will get his opportunity. He looks my best chance of a winner on the card, although we do have the Willie Mullins trained Turcagua to contend with. He showed plenty of promise on his chasing debut but fell at the second here at Thurles the last day.TOMBSTONE (2.45pm)It’s easy to make a case for all five runners here as there looks to be precious little to choose between them. My fella has to give weight away which isn’t ideal. He does have plenty of class though. Even when stepped up to Grade 1 level for the Flogas Novice Chase in Leopardstown last time he wasn’t beaten far even though finishing seventh to Monalee. I’ve ridden Castlegrace Paddy over hurdles and he made a nice winning chasing debut at Fairyhouse and looks a danger – but really they are all dangers.DIAMOND KING (4.30pm)Had no chance in the Coral Cup when caught up behind Dusky Legend who fell at the second. My fella was badly hampered and ground to a halt, I pulled him up before the next when he was tailed off. He has a much smaller field to contend with here, although the testing ground might not be ideal. Call The Taxie looks the biggest danger after going close in his last two starts.QUEEN KHALEESI (5.05pm)I ride this one for the first time but she finished a close second to me a few starts back here when I was on Goodthynemilan. That looked a good run and over the same course and distance and similar ground I’m hoping that she can play a part here and make amends for unseating her rider at Limerick the last day. The winner of that Limerick race, Ballea Fox, is back again and could go well off top weight.Good Luck.DAVY YOUR SAYIf you have a question for Davy drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try and include in the next blog…