Louisville’s Facebook Account Screwed Up A Statistic, And Kentucky Fans Aren’t Letting It Slide

first_imgLouisville messes up stat in tweet.This past Sunday night, Louisville took down Northern Iowa to reach its fourth straight Sweet 16. Senior Wayne Blackshear also became the first Cardinals player in school history to play for four straight squads that reached the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Tuesday morning, the school attempted to celebrate the accomplishment by posting the statistic to its Facebook page. Unfortunately, they screwed up and named Blackshear as the only player in NCAA Division One history to accomplish the feat. That isn’t even close to true, as dozens of players in college basketball history to have reached the Sweet 16 four straight times.Kentucky fans, predictably, are having a field day, claiming that the school is perpetuating a “lie.”…. “And the lie detector test determined….THAT was a lie!” @KySportsRadio pic.twitter.com/D1uwIpmGoJ— Jeremy Kemble (@IAM4UKWILDCATS) March 24, 2015UL Athletics sends out a blatant lie today http://t.co/ZTni2u97L9— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 24, 2015University of Louisville claims Wayne Blackshear is the first to appear in four Sweet 16 games. Kentucky has had seven players do that.— UK Cat Facts (@UK_CatFacts) March 24, 2015Regardless, Blackshear’s feat is quite impressive. Can we get a Kentucky vs. Louisville national championship game please?last_img read more

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A Michigan Fan Got A Tattoo Of Jim Harbaugh On Saved By The Bell

first_imgJim Harbaugh speaks as he is introduced as the new Head Coach of the University of Michigan football team.ANN ARBOR, MI – DECEMBER 30: Jim Harbaugh speaks as he is introduced as the new Head Coach of the University of Michigan football team at the Junge Family Champions Center on December 30, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Michigan fans are still pretty pumped about the hiring of former Wolverines quarterback Jim Harbaugh as head coach. One has chosen a rather interesting way to convey that excitement. A Twitter user who goes by the name of Mark the Nomad has gotten a tattoo that pays homage to Harbaugh’s 1994 appearance on the television show Saved By The Bell. No, really.Mark claims that he’s received the most negative feedback from Columbus, Ohio. That doesn’t surprise anyone.I have a very important announcement to make.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015I want all of you to stop what you’re doing and look.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015So, this just happened: #GoBlue pic.twitter.com/jqlqyDoFsM— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015A huge thanks to those who donated to the tattoo fund on GoFundMe. I certainly didn’t think it’d pick up traction the way it did.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015I had the best tattoo artist, IMHO, on the planet. If you’re in the Sarasota area, hell if you’re in Florida, go see Caitlin at Trap Ink.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015You may be shocked to learn that most of the negative feedback I’ve received is via Columbus, Ohio.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015If we’re being honest, it’s actually some high-quality ink. That being said, he’s probably going to get tired of explaining it to everyone he ever meets.last_img read more

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RCMP say three boys dead in Manitoba after being struck by vehicle

first_imgThe Canadian PressNELSON HOUSE, Man. — A northern Manitoba community is grieving after three young boys were struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver who fled the scene Saturday night.A 13-year-old and two 11-year-olds were on Provincial Road 620, two kilometres north of Nelson House when they were hit by a vehicle with five people in it around 10:30 p.m., RCMP said.Investigators said two of the children were walking and one was riding a bike on the road at the time.The children died at the scene and when officers arrived, they found the vehicle empty.“There was no driver or occupants at the time, as they had fled the scene. Within a short period of time, the four occupants returned back to the scene and provided information back to police about who the driver was, as he had fled on foot,” said RCMP spokesman Sgt. Paul Menaigre. “I guess they went after him, but he took off.”Information spread quickly through the community and by midnight, the driver walked into the Nelson House RCMP detachment and turned himself over to two officers, who were on their way to continue looking for him.The alleged driver, who is a 27-year-old member of the Nelson House community, was arrested without incident and remains in police custody.“He’ll be facing numerous charges, including fleeing the scene of an accident and numerous impaired driving-related charges,” Menaigre said.“We’ve conducted tests and determined he was impaired by alcohol.”Menaigre expected charges would be laid by Monday.He said in situations like this, the community is likely to feel shock, anger and grief.“Alcohol is involved, it could have easily been prevented. So there could be anger in the community, because we’re at the stage of not understanding ‘why’ _ that’s the anger part _ and then eventually there’s the grieving process. We want to get as much information as we can figured out quickly, so they can begin that process,” he said.Grand Chief Sheila North of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, a political advocacy organization, said several staff members from Nelson House are grieving.“Everyone knows each other and it’s a growing, prospering community,” North said of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, which is based in Nelson House.“They’re very heartbroken and shocked. I talked to the [Nisichawayasihk] Chief Marcel Moody as well. He says the whole community is deeply saddened and in complete shock that the boys have succumbed to this kind of tragedy. His own grandsons are friends with those kids so it’s very close to home for the chief,” she said.North said the leadership is very progressive and in tune with the community’s needs, but it can only do the best it can without more funding for infrastructure projects like street lighting.Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, sent condolences to members of the community on Sunday.“My heart goes out to the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and the families of three young boys tragically killed last night while out for a bike ride. Extending love and support to all who knew them,” Bellegarde wrote on Twitter.Others also tweeted their support for the community.Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister posted his thoughts: “Our hearts go out to the families of three young boys who left us far too soon. To the entire community of Nelson House and NCN, we mourn this heartbreaking loss with you.”The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs tweeted condolences on behalf of Grand Chief Arlen Dumas and assembly members.Nelson House is about 800 kilometres north of Winnipeg and 80 kilometres west of Thompson, Man. It is made up of four reserves, according to the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation’s website.The Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation has around 4,600 members.last_img read more

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Homesellers Now Is the Time

first_img March 19, 2019 1,502 Views With the Spring home selling season approaching, when might be the best month to sell a home? According to a report from realtor.comreport from realtor.com, i 2019, April may be the best time to sell a home. Specifically, Realtor.com states that between March 31 and April 6, sellers will be in the perfect “sweet spot” to have their home sold.”June is often considered the peak of home buying season, but our analysis found the first week of April is best for sellers looking to maximize list price, and also reduce the risk of price cuts and competition from other sellers,” said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com. “Given the time it takes from listing to close, putting a home on the market in early April positions sellers to attract buyers seeking to close and move before the beginning of school year.”According to the report, the first week of April sees the most home viewings, 14 percent more on average, and five percent less competition. Homes are likely to sell 6 days, or nearly 9 percent, faster on average.Additionally, sellers may find that they are able to sell their homes for more during this time: homes on the market between March 31 and April 6 typically sell for six percent higher than they would at the beginning of the year. However, as Hale said, June is typically the peak of homebuying season, and the average June listing is normally seven percent more expensive than average. What make the first week of April special is that buyers are less likely to back out for other homes, forcing a price reduction on a seller’s home. Homes sold in June are one percent more likely to take a price cut, while homes sold in April are one percent less likely to cut their price back.April sales may also be boosted by the lower mortgage rates, which have been slipping since November 2018. According to realtor.com, mortgage rates are now 4.5 percent or lower compared to November 2018’s 5.0 percent. Buyers may take advantage of these lower rates before they climb back up again. Homesellers: Now Is the Time Sharecenter_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination Mortgage Rates rates Realtor.com sales Spring 2019-03-19 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

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House approves PscholkaNesbitt bills to make inhome stair lifts more accessible affordable

first_img Michigan residents who rely on stair lifts to help them get around their home will have more affordable access after the state House today approved a package of bills to reduce regulations on installation of the devices.Rep. Pscholka’s House Bill 4163 and Rep. Nesbitt’s House Bill 4162 clarify that residential stair lifts are not subject to the same regulatory standards as elevator installations.  Currently, Michigan law regulates residential stair lifts in the same way that it oversees commercial elevators. This misclassification means that state inspectors and commercially-certified contractors are required to install simple stair lifts, which is more expensive for the homeowner. The legislation approved today requires the installer be a licensed elevator contractor or certified by the manufacturer of the residential lift.“These bills are about keeping our seniors, disabled veterans, and mobility-impaired individuals in their homes,” said Rep. Pscholka, R-Stevensville. “Making stair lifts accessible to a larger demographic will improve the lives of many Michigan residents, which is why I came to Lansing.”Rep. Nesbitt, R-Lawton, said: “The current law requiring stair lifts to be installed by commercial contractors is outdated and a roadblock to Michigan’s competitiveness. I’m happy to see this common-sense reform move forward and will continue looking for ways to reduce regulatory burdens that save money for hard-working taxpayers.”Both bills now head to the Senate for further legislative action. Categories: News 11Mar House approves Pscholka/Nesbitt bills to make in-home stair lifts more accessible, affordable  last_img read more

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USbased streaming giant Netflix has updated its T

first_imgUS-based streaming giant Netflix has updated its Thai service to better cater for local subscribers.In a move similar to others in Turkey and Poland, Netflix said its Thai service now offers “a fully localised user interface”.This includes Thai subtitling and dubbing on “thousands of hours” of series and films.This comes after Netflix secured a carriage deal with Thai telecoms group and mobile provider AIS earlier this year.Netflix will also offer its Thai subscribers more 4K and HDR content, though there was no mention of local acquisitions or original programming.“We are delighted to offer a more local Netflix experience in Thailand where members can enjoy a variety of TV shows and movies – everything from globally popular Netflix original series to anime, kids content to Korean drama,” said Jessica Lee, VP of communications in Asia for Netflix.“Thailand knows great entertainment and now it’s even easier to watch the world’s favourite shows on Netflix anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected device and at the same time as the rest of the world.”In further Netflix news, the SVOD service has revealed its latest Adam Sandler movie, which will star the comedy actor and stand-up Chris Rock.The Week of is a comedy that will follow the week before Sandler’s daughter marries Rock’s son.Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions is attached and Robert Smigel will direct. A 2018 premiere date has been set.Netflix has a multi-film distribution agreement with Sandler (Happy Gilmore), and is lining up two stand-up specials with Rock.Meanwhile, China’s Baidu has confirmed it will carry Netflix via its SVOD service iQiyi.last_img read more

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Freegold Ventures Limited is a North American gold

first_imgFreegold 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.last_img read more

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Not surprisingly—and for the second day in a row—t

first_img 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.center_img 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.last_img read more

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The countrys largest disability charities have be

first_imgThe 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”.last_img read more

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The Department of Health DH has refused to say w

first_imgThe 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 jo@samaritans.orgPictured: The Department of Health’s Whitehall officeslast_img read more

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No invalid signatures – Bartolo

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint Partit Nazzjonalista’s General Council will be held following a request which was signed by more than 150 members of the said council. In a statement signed by Ivan Bartolo, Emma Portelli Bonnici, Mark Anthony Sammut, Emvin Bartolo and Martin Musumeci, Bartolo disputed claims that some of the signatures were invalid. The group said that out of those being flagged up as “invalid” for not having paid their membership, have shown their receipts to the group asking for the general council to be convened.READ: Watch: Petition with 200 signatures calling for a vote on Delia’s leadership presented to PN Bartolo explained that it resulted that 23 members have had their voting rights withdrawn without ever being informed, adding that these individuals will be verifying with their respective sectional committee on why and how their voting rights were withdrawn.PN’s president of the general council Kristy Debono claimed that 84 out of the 200 signatures collected in the petition presented on Tuesday were “invalid”, however she said that the process to convene the council was kicked off. The signatories asking for the council to convene would like to debate Delia’s leadership within the Party’s highest organ following the massive defeat in the May elections. The motion asks for a secret vote on a yes / no question asking whether the party leader should take political responsibility and resign.READ: PN Petition: “Process for General Council kicks off” – Kristy DebonoBartolo further noted that while some of those who have signed have to yet renew their membership, these individuals have until the end of the year to do so, given that 2019 is not over yet. He added that some have not yet been approached to do so.In their joint statement, the group stated that therefore there exists no valid reason why these individuals should have their voting rights withdrawn. Adding that some of those flagged up as not having paid their membership, have shown them the receipts showing otherwise, stating that this shows that the party’s data is not well kept, leaving it open to misuse.READ: Updated: Delia expected to face vote of confidenceIn a Facebook post, Vice-President of Moviment Żgħażagħ Partit Nazzjonalista, MŻPN, Nicky Azzopardi said that despite having paid for his membership earlier this month, the Party did not consider him as a paid-up member and therefore no longer a councillor, as he exhibited a copy of the transaction.Disappointed that party officials trying to discredit grassroots In their statement, they have also expressed their disappointment, saying that senior party officials attempted to discredit long-time party serving members.WhatsApplast_img read more

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FDA issues warning letters to companies for selling unapproved products that claim

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 12 2019The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today posted 12 warning letters and 5 online advisory letters issued to foreign and domestic companies that are illegally selling more than 58 products, many that are sold as dietary supplements, which are unapproved new drugs and/or misbranded drugs that claim to prevent, treat or cure Alzheimer’s disease and a number of other serious diseases and health conditions. These products, which are often sold on websites and social media platforms, have not been reviewed by the FDA and are not proven safe and effective to treat the diseases and health conditions they claim to treat. These products may be ineffective, unsafe and could prevent a person from seeking an appropriate diagnosis and treatment.”Science and evidence are the cornerstone of the FDA’s review process and are imperative to demonstrating medical benefit, especially when a product is marketed to treat serious and complex diseases like Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a challenging disease that, unfortunately, has no cure. Any products making unproven drug claims could mislead consumers to believe that such therapies exist and keep them from accessing therapies that are known to help support the symptoms of the disease, or worse as some fraudulent treatments can cause serious or even fatal injuries. Simply put, health fraud scams prey on vulnerable populations, waste money and often delay proper medical care – and we will continue to take action to protect patients and caregivers from misleading, unproven products,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “Today’s actions are part of the FDA’s larger effort to address the booming growth of the dietary supplement industry through the implementation of modern regulatory initiatives that will enable the agency to preserve the balanced vision of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), enacted by Congress 25 years ago. That law sought to achieve the right balance between preserving consumers’ access to lawful supplements, promoting innovation in these products, while upholding our obligation to protect the public from unsafe and unlawful products and holding accountable those actors who are unable or unwilling to comply with the requirements of the law. Our newest policy efforts will seize the game-changing opportunity to further strengthen the regulatory framework overseeing dietary supplements and will hone in on important steps to both promote industry innovation while upholding the safety of these products as part of our overall commitment to protecting public health.”Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaSupplements claiming to boost brain health are ‘too good to be true’, warn expertsNutritional supplements offer no protection against cardiovascular diseases, say researchersIn a statement issued today, FDA Commissioner Gottlieb also outlined several important new actions and policy priorities the agency will take in the coming months to improve the safety of dietary supplements and purported dietary supplements, including efforts to more rapidly communicate potential safety issues with dietary supplement products with the public, establishing a flexible regulatory framework that promotes innovation and upholds product safety and other, new steps the FDA could consider taking to better ensure product safety and integrity.The products cited in the warning and online advisory letters posted today are unapproved new drugs and/or misbranded drugs that claim to prevent, treat or cure Alzheimer’s disease and a number of other serious diseases and health conditions, and have been sold in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The products include a variety of product types, such as tablets, capsules and oils. The companies have been asked to respond to the FDA within 15 days of receipt of the letters, stating how the violations outlined in the agency’s letters will be corrected. Failure to correct the violations promptly may result in legal action, including product seizure and/or injunction.As part of the FDA’s effort to protect consumers from Alzheimer’s disease health fraud, the FDA has issued more than 40 warning letters in the past five years to companies illegally marketing over 80 products making Alzheimer’s disease claims on websites, social media and in stores. We’ve also taken action in recent years against companies and dietary supplements making similar claims for the treatment of serious conditions such as cancer and opioid addiction. Although these companies may have stopped selling the products or making unproven claims, numerous unsafe and unapproved products continue to be sold directly to consumers due in part to the ease with which companies can move their marketing operations to new websites.The FDA continues to encourage consumers to remain vigilant whether online or in a store in order to avoid purchasing products that claim to prevent, treat or cure diseases without any proof they will work. Health care professionals and consumers are also advised to report adverse reactions associated with these or similar products to the agency’s MedWatch program.Source: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm631064.htmlast_img read more

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The nuclear industry is making a big bet on small power plants

first_img 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 Energycenter_img 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.last_img read more

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Autonomous trucks for logistics centers

first_img Tired and exhausted from the long route, the truck driver arrives at the depot. However, instead of driving the vehicle to the loading ramp, waiting there until it is fully loaded and then parking the truck in the parking lot, the driver can enjoy his well-deserved after-work hours earlier: he already leaves at the gate to the depot – the truck does everything else by itself. In other words: it drives independently to the loading ramp, waits until it is loaded and then parks in the parking lot.Autonomous vehicles in automation zonesScientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI are making this possible in cooperation with various industrial partners in the AutoTruck project. The researchers have deliberately set their sights on automation zones, such as mines, truck depots, ports and company premises. In contrast to autonomous driving on the road, self-driving vehicles in such demarcated areas can be more effectively controlled: the people who circulate there can be instructed in advance, and access is not permitted to unauthorized individuals. In addition, the autonomous vehicles do not need any road registration there, but rather only machine approval. At a maximum of 15 to 20 kilometers per hour, the speeds are significantly lower than in road traffic. “Compared to road traffic, specially equipped automation zones have a decisive advantage: autonomous vehicles ready for registration will be able to be used there in the near future,” says Dr. Sebastian Wagner, Group Manager at the Fraunhofer IVI. “It’s true that controlled conditions prevail in these spatially delimited areas. Nevertheless, key challenges have to be solved here, as well, that are relevant and transferable for public road traffic.” Spatially demarcated areas such as company premises are ideal test areas for autonomous driving: the vehicles do not require road registration, traffic is manageable, other people who use the road are informed and unauthorized individuals are not allowed access. In the collaborative project AutoTruck, Fraunhofer is cooperating with industry to develop technologies for autonomous trucks in logistics centers. The results also inform the research on self-driving vehicles for normal road traffic. Citation: Autonomous trucks for logistics centers (2018, July 2) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-autonomous-trucks-logistics-centers.html Explore further Provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Of course, this is not the only motivation: the autonomously driving vehicles provide numerous advantages for the operators of depots and the like. On the one hand, they can counteract the demographic change, since it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit truck drivers. In addition, the autonomous vehicles would be able to operate day and night, making fewer mistakes along with lowering the number of accidents as well as the costs. The technologies developed in the AutoTruck project will be demonstrated and further developed at the depot of the project partner Emons Spedition GmbH. Centerpiece: Online control centerAt the heart of the Fraunhofer development is an online control center, more precisely the HelyOS system, short for “highly efficient online yard operating system”. This can be operated via standard Internet browsers worldwide. Therefore, instead of having to employ one driver in each truck, a single operator can, for example, control 30 vehicles in Munich or even 50 in Dresden. The vehicles are displayed on a digital map on the Internet – if desired, the operator can also superimpose maps from a survey office. In the control room, he can not only see where the individual vehicles are located, but also monitor them and retrieve status information, such as battery level, loading condition, etc. And: He can send missions and work orders to the vehicles, such as by clicking on a target position on the map. With such a click, the control center starts the live maneuver planning TruckTrix, which was also developed by the Fraunhofer IVI. TruckTrix calculates the complete path along which the truck is to travel. The system not only takes into account the geometry of the vehicle, but also fixed obstacles as well as the routes of other autonomous vehicles. In order to be able to take the fixed obstacles into consideration, the researchers have extended the maps with the corresponding information as well as with information concerning where driveable areas are located. TruckTrix is available as an online service via an interface for users and customers.The calculated routes are sent to the trucks in which Fraunhofer IVI researchers have integrated standard electrical controls. Control algorithms, also from the Fraunhofer IVI, control the drive and the steering in such a way that the target and actual positions always coincide. The tracking system of the lead partner Götting KG continuously determines where the truck is located in the automation zone.In the spring of 2018, a truck that had been converted for electric drive by the partners was handed over to the Fraunhofer IVI. The electric motor is powered by 305 kilowatts of continuous power from lithium-iron-phosphate batteries. Within the next months, the Fraunhofer IVI researchers plan to install further components, such as sensors, actuators and control devices, for autonomous driving. In a little more than a year, the vehicle will make its first independent trip. “Many of the developed technologies can be transferred to public road traffic in the medium to long term,” says Wagner, “such as the control algorithms, obstacle detection, the locating solution or the communication between truck and infrastructure.” Handover of an autonomous truck. Credit: Fraunhofer IVI Autonomous driving – hands on the wheel or no wheel at all The truck drives independently to the loading ramp and waits until it is loaded. Credit: Fraunhofer IVI 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.last_img read more

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