Towns Current Bidding Contract Opportunities

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Town’s Purchasing Department currently has the following bidding and contract opportunities available:Request For Proposals/QualificationsNoneInvitations To BidInstallation Of Aboveground Storage Tank For Diesel Fuel — Deadline: Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 10amWoburn Street Water Main Replacement — Deadline: Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 9amAll interested parties must first complete the town’s Bid Registration Form.Visit the Town’s Purchasing Department website for additional information. Contact Wendy Martiniello at wmartiniello[at]wilmingtonma.gov with questions.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedTown’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”last_img read more

Death toll in Afghan election centre attack reaches 57

first_img.Afghan shopkeeper Ali Rasuli was standing at the end of a long queue of people waiting to pick up their national ID certificates on Sunday when a fireball erupted in front of him.The suicide bombing outside a voter and ID registration centre in Kabul killed at least 57 people, injured 119 and briefly blinded Rasuli, leaving him with leg and abdominal injuries.“I found myself covered in blood, with dead people-women and children-around me,” 26-year-old Rasuli told AFP from his bed at Kabul’s Isteqlal Hospital where around 50 of the wounded had been rushed for treatment.The smell of blood permeated the hospital. In the morgue around a dozen bodies lay on the floor, including those of several children.Around 40 other wounded were taken to a trauma centre run by Italian NGO Emergency. Hundreds of relatives stood outside on the street waiting for news.Rasuli was among hundreds outside the registration centre on Sunday morning waiting to pick up their tazkira, or national ID document, which Afghans need to register to vote in legislative elections scheduled for October 20.The government has been pushing people to register at more than 7,000 polling centres around the country as it seeks to hold credible and fraud-free elections.“They all wanted to vote,” Rasuli said.Ali Jan was one of them.The 21-year-old student, who had planned to take part in his first-ever elections in October, tried to pick up his tazkira on Saturday but was turned away because officials had run out of paper.He went back on Sunday in hopes of better luck but instead was caught up in the blast.“They said the tazkira is needed to vote, but if they keep killing us how can we vote?” he told AFP from his hospital bed, his head bandaged.It was at least the third attack on a voter registration centre since 14 April when authorities began a two-month process to register up to 14 million adults ahead of long-delayed parliamentary and district council elections.Outside Isteqlal Hospital grief mixed with anger among anxious relatives waiting for news of loved ones.They directed their fury at the Afghan government and its apparent inability to protect ordinary people from suicide attacks.“Our patience is running out. This government should take responsibility for the lives of all these innocent people lost every day,” a man called Hussain, whose cousin was wounded in the blast, told AFP.“Nobody will go to vote anymore.”last_img read more

Jupiterlike planet discovered in a distant star system

first_img © 2016 Phys.org EPIC 212803289 is a bright, metal-rich subgiant star located some 1,970 light years away in the constellation Virgo. Although the star has a temperature similar to the sun, it is about three times larger and is approximately 1.6 solar masses. It was identified by NASA’s prolonged Kepler mission, called K2, as a good candidate to host an alien world. However, the existence of a potential exoplanet must be confirmed by follow-up observations.”Following the identification of the system as a candidate, it was necessary to make radial velocity measurements to confirm the planet and measure its mass. These observations were performed with four different ground-based telescopes (on La Palma, Spain, in Chile, and in Texas, U.S.),” Smith told Phys.org.The newly found exoworld, designated EPIC 212803289 b, is similar in size to Jupiter, with a radius of 1.29 Jupiter radii and is only 3 percent less massive than our solar system’s biggest planet. The object orbits its parent star every 18.25 days.The scientists estimated that the exoplanet’s temperature is about 1,000 degrees Celsius and classified it as a so-called ‘warm Jupiter’ However, it is possible that the planet is even hotter, as it could be tidally locked, meaning that one of its sides permanently faces the star, while the other side experiences permanent night.”In this case, the day side could be even hotter (up to 1,350 degrees Celsius), depending on how good the planet’s atmosphere is at redistributing heat from the day side to the night side,” Smith said. He added that the host star will soon expand to become a red giant, enlarging so much that it will engulf the planet. This will happen relatively soon in astronomical terms—in about 150 million years.Furthermore, besides detecting EPIC 212803289 b, Smith’s team suspects the existence of another companion of the star. Based on measured systemic radial acceleration, they assume that there is a third body in the system with an orbital period of more than 236 days and a mass of more than 22 Jupiter masses. They noted that it could be a brown dwarf orbiting within 2.7 AU, a solar mass object at about 10 AU, or an object orbiting on a highly-eccentric orbit.According to Smith, further radial velocity observations of this system over the next year or two would probably reveal the nature of this body.The new research is significant for our understanding of extrasolar systems, as EPIC 212803289 b is the newest addition to a currently small number of planets known to transit subgiant stars. So far, only 31 transiting planets of stars more massive than 1.5 solar masses have been detected. Moreover, only four planets are known to transit giant stars, and a further three transiting planets are known around subgiants.”Understanding gas giant planets requires large numbers of detections, so that statistics can be performed. Especially, detections are needed that expand the parameter space of known systems—e.g. planets around different types of star (such as subgiants in this case), and at longer periods than hot Jupiters. It is also important that such systems are discovered around relatively bright stars, to allow further characterization observations. Progress is incremental, but this new system is an important addition to the catalogue of known gas giants,” Smith concluded. Citation: Jupiter-like planet discovered in a distant star system (2016, September 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-jupiter-like-planet-distant-star.html Explore further 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. (Phys.org)—A team of astronomers led by Alexis Smith of the German Aerospace Center’s (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin reports the detection of a Jupiter-like planet orbiting a distant subgiant star known as EPIC 212803289. The researchers also present compelling existence for the existence of a third body in the system, most likely a brown dwarf. The results were published Sept. 1 in a paper on arXiv.org. Astronomers discover a giant inflated exoplanet orbiting a distant star K2 light curve of EPIC 212803289, processed by the K2SC code of Aigrain et al. (2016), which removes both instrumental and stellar noise. Portions of the light curve selected for modelling are shown in red. Credit: Smith et al., 2016. More information: EPIC 212803289: a subgiant hosting a transiting warm Jupiter in an eccentric orbit and a long-period companion, arXiv:1609.00239 [astro-ph.EP], arxiv.org/abs/1609.00239AbstractWe report the discovery from K2 of a transiting planet in an 18.25-d, eccentric (0.19± 0.04) orbit around EPIC 212803289, an 11th magnitude subgiant in Virgo. We confirm the planetary nature of the companion with radial velocities, and determine that the star is a metal-rich ([Fe/H] = 0.20±0.05) subgiant, with mass 1.60+0.14−0.10 M⊙ and radius 3.1±0.1 R⊙. The planet has a mass of 0.97±0.09 MJup and a radius 1.29±0.05 RJup. A measured systemic radial acceleration of −2.12±0.04 ms−1d−1 offers compelling evidence for the existence of a third body in the system, perhaps a brown dwarf orbiting with a period of several hundred days.last_img read more

2 held with arms at Rajarhat Survey Park

first_imgKolkata: Two criminals were arrested with firearms on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning at Rajarhat and Survey Park, respectively.On Tuesday night, police got a tip-off about a hardened criminal Jahiruddin Molla, who was seen near Lauhati in Rajarhat. A Sub-Inspector reached the spot and started looking for him. The police spotted Molla near the Lauhati petrol pump in Khejurbagan. Seeing the cops Molla tried to escape. But before he could give cops a slip, the officers nabbed him. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataDuring the search, the police found a pipe gun from his possession. He was arrested on the charges of IPC sections 25(1)(a) (manufactures, sells, transfers, converts, repairs, tests or proves, or exposes or offers for sale or transfer, or has in his possession for sale of fire arms) and section 27 of the Punishment for using arms Arms Act. In another incident, a man was arrested near Highland Park early on Wednesday morning with firearms. According to sources, police personnel were performing naka checking near Highland Park under Survey park police station area late in the night. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateDuring checking of vehicles police personnel noticed a person was trying to hide his face. On suspicion, when the police questioned him, he allegedly tried to escape. He was immediately nabbed by other police personnel there and later he was identified as Jayanta Guchhait. Sources informed that earlier he has been accused in several crimes such as robbery snatching. The police recovered a single shot gun along with four bullets from him.last_img read more

Easter tourism rise to hopaway quickly ATEC

first_imgAussie travellers bounced around the country over Easter, boosting domestic travel demand, although the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) warned it could only be for a short period of time.The Council’s managing director Felicia Mariani said operators in rural and regional Australia witnessed an increase in demand over the corresponding period last year, but have predicted the rise to “drop away quickly”.  Factors such as the Australian dollar as well as airlines increasing fare fuel surcharges are likely to impact “the short lived” growth in tourism across Australia.“Airline  carriers  are  currently  undertaking  a  wholesale  review  of  profitability  that  will  inevitably  put pressure  on  the  affordability  of  air  travel  and  have  an  impact  on  both  the  domestic  and  international tourism market,” Ms Mariani said.  “These increases, along with the growing pressures on household budgets, are impacting on our domestic tourism market with little sign of relief anytime soon.”Further challenging regional tourism according to the Council’s head, is the estimated annual growth rate for domestic travel which was revised downward for 2011 to 0.3 percent and the softened figures in international arrivals.“This is particularly worrying for our regional tourism operators who are coming off the back of a very challenging two years.“Anecdotally we understand there is still a considerable amount of availability in the holiday period following the 5 day long weekend and visitors can find some great deals during that time.”  Ms Mariani concluded that although the strong Aussie dollar has more travellers turning to overseas travel, “the cost of getting there are also increasing and Australia’s should consider the  ease  of  access  local  tourism  offers”.“We have a tourism experience on our doorstep that some people travel thousands of kilometres to enjoy.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Capital Economics Recovery is The Real Deal

first_img November 29, 2012 421 Views Capital Economics: Recovery is ‘The Real Deal’ Share Despite a number of potentially damaging headwinds, the ongoing housing recovery will remain sustainable for the foreseeable future, analysts for “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/ say in a recently released report.[IMAGE]The housing industry’s rapid rebound took many experts by surprise–even the researchers who authored the report admit they “”have been slightly taken aback”” by the recovery’s speed. However, they point to several major indicators that show the current upturn is more than a temporary blip or a false recovery. Sustained rises in demand, home prices, homebuilding activity, and new and existing-home sales all demonstrate that the market is seeing a lasting recovery, they say. They also forecast further price growth of 5 percent in each of 2013 and 2014.What’s more, even as prices rise, valuation and affordability–“”the cornerstone on which the improvement in housing is being built””–remain very favorable.The major threats to the market at this juncture, the analysts say, are the potential for a new American recession (brought on by complications from the fiscal cliff and the potential of a partial euro-zone break-up) and the risk that properties in the shadow inventory will flood the market and drive prices down.As far as the economy is concerned, Capital Economics’ working assumption is that Washington will avoid throwing the country into another downturn. Beyond that, the firm notes that trade links between the United States and Europe are relatively small, and the financial links aren’t significant enough to tip the country back into recession should the euro-zone see problems.Turning to the shadow inventory, analysts estimate that the backlog of homes at risk of coming onto the market may be as large as 3.8 million (1.5 times the number of properties actually for sale). If those homes were allowed on the market too rapidly, supply would balloon and disrupt the price recovery–but they don’t expect that to happen.””The signing of the $25bn foreclosure settlement has not led to a wave of foreclosures hitting the market,”” the economists write. “”With foreclosure timelines still protracted, and banks wary of the effects that a glut of supply would have on the recovery, we anticipate a continued trickle of homes from the shadow inventory, rather than a flood.””Of bigger concern is the recovery’s dependence on investors and cash buyers. According to Capital Economics, “”[m]ortgage-dependent buyers have made next to no contribution to the improvement in housing market demand,”” mostly because of tight credit. Instead, it’s been buyers and investors–who are less dependent on mortgage finance–who have driven much of the recovery so far.The problem, though, is that investment buying won’t last as discounts start fading. According to data from Zillow, the availability of deeply discounted foreclosures has been dropping sharply in states most targeted by investment buyers. While the trickle of properties from the shadow inventory will keep some bargains on the market, cheap, high-yielding homes are disappearing.In fact, the analysts note, some of the most popular investment cities (such as Phoenix) are quickly becoming “”no-go”” areas for institutional buyers as the local markets recover. Even though the number of “”overheating”” cities is fairly small, there is a lesson to take away from those markets.””What should be clear from all this is that the housing recovery cannot be driven by investors indefinitely,”” the report says. “”The very recovery that investors are driving will eventually price them out of the market.””In order to keep the market healthy, credit conditions are going to have to loosen so the current heightened demand can actually make an impact. According to a recent survey released by the Federal Reserve, one of the biggest factors keeping today’s credit market tight is the risk of put-back requests from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, as the economy shows improvement and mortgage delinquency continues to fall, Capital Economics anticipates put-back risk will fade.””All in all, if we are right that the economy will continue growing, it’s reasonable to expect lenders to loosen the reins somewhat. The upshot is that we think mortgage-dependent buyers will gradually play an increasing role in the housing market recovery,”” the report says.””The bottom line is that the US housing recovery is sustainable. The key point is that the fundamentals of housing valuations and affordability are very favourable, reflecting a market that has adjusted.””center_img in Data, Origination, Secondary Market Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Existing-Home Sales Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Home Prices Home Sales Home Values Housing Affordability Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Politics Service Providers 2012-11-29 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Rep Runestad announces grant opportunities for Oakland County Fair

first_img18Dec Rep. Runestad announces grant opportunities for Oakland County Fair Categories: Runestad News Rep. Jim Runestad today announced two grant opportunities provided by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) for the improvement of fairground facilities and financial support for livestock expositions at the Oakland County Fair next summer.“These grants are a great opportunity to preserve and enhance such a cherished local tradition like the Oakland County Fair” Runestad said. “Farmers, families and visitors to our communities next summer would benefit from the continued investment in our county’s annual fair.”MDARD’s capital improvement program aims to provide additional funds to county fair officials for needed structural improvements to fairground facilities. The shows and expositions grant provides financial support and awards for expositions livestock and other commodities. Eligible applicants must submit their proposals to MDARD by Feb. 1, 2018 at 5 p.m., where all grants will be reviewed and selected by an evaluation committee.last_img read more

Channel provider SPI International is moving into

first_imgChannel provider SPI International is moving into movie and TV series production in partnership with movie director and producer Phillipe Martinez.The partnership calls for four TV series productions, including Salvage Marines, a TV series about a group of soldiers involved in the eponymous militarised deep space operation, production of which started in March; Mister Mayfair, a trilogy about a former New York gangster living in Mayfair, London; and The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, a story is about a space cruiser that crashes on a planet that is home to an intergalactic prison.“I couldn’t be more pleased to announce our partnership with director and producer Phillipe Martinez. Together we are producing three movies and a brand new TV series in 2019,” said Loni Farhi, president of SPI International.“SPI is investing in products and programmes that will speak to and delight audiences worldwide.”last_img read more

In This Issue   Big Ben keeps his word   Go

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Big Ben keeps his word. *  Gold soars $65 *  Euros & Aussie up 2-cents! *  Norges Bank turns hawkish. And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! No Taper, Markets Go Crazy. Good day.  And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! Well, the risk that I kept reminding you about regarding the Fed not doing anything, came to reality yesterday afternoon. Aaron Stevenson, sent me a text that read, “are you seeing this”. Well, I wasn’t seeing anything but the underside of my eyelid at that moment, but waking up from the vibrating phone in my shirt pocket, and answered, “what?”. He replied, “no taper, markets are going crazy”.  And there you have the whole story of what happened yesterday. No taper, markets are going crazy. As I told you a couple of weeks ago, “should Big Ben Bernanke follow his words, that the future of Quantitative Easing / QE, would depend on the incoming economic data, then there would be no tapering, and that would send Gold soaring”. Well, that’s exactly what happened. Big Ben decided to follow his words. Kudos to him! (I can’t believe I actually said that, but I did. ) How else can Big Ben get the markets to believe him if he doesn’t follow his own words? As I’ve chronicled here in the Pfennig, the economic data just wasn’t on a path that would give Big Ben a warm and fuzzy about tapering. For Tapering is akin to taking your foot off the gas, what happens to a car when you take your foot off the gas? It slows down. The signs were all there that he wouldn’t do anything, but I was convinced that Big Ben wanted to go out with a bang. Of course he still has 6 weeks from now to accomplish that, but right here, right now, that isn’t playing in the markets. What is playing is that the punch bowl has been brought back to the risk assets party, and so we’re going to party like it’s 1999!  (there you go Jen. a Prince song, 1st time ever, and last I might add!) Gold isn’t the only asset class that is in the conga line at the party. There’s the non-U.S. dollar currencies, and Oil, and looky there, the stock jockeys have joined the conga line!  The price of Oil shot up $2 on the no-taper news. The currencies were cooking with gas, which goes back to the last couple of days where they were well bid ahead of the FOMC meeting. The currency boys & girls seemed to have this whole thing right from the get-go. After the initial sell off of the currencies in May when the first mention of tapering was made, the currency traders just didn’t think Big Ben had the intestinal fortitude to take his foot off the gas. But in reality it wasn’t a lack of intestinal fortitude, it was simply taking a page out of the book by the Captain in Cool Hand Luke. What we have here is a failure to communicate.  Go back to the original comment by Big Ben. He said that “the Fed was thinking about tapering QE”. I recall me going bananas the next morning, about how he DIDN’T SAY HE WAS GOING TO TAPER! And I didn’t understand why the currencies and metals were getting sold based on what Big Ben had said.. But the markets heard differently, and so we’ve been on this path toward yesterday’s FOMC meeting. In other words. All This Talk About Tapering, Should Have Never Taken Place! I’m sure Big Ben was doing a “Whoops, did I say that out loud?” song and dance when he got back to his office after that initial tapering talk. Yes, I got dragged into the trap. In my heart of hearts, I didn’t see how Big Ben could taper, given the economy, which I continually said that the Fed was being too optimistic about. But now. I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. So, for those of you not wanting to wait until you get to the currency roundup below, the euro is trading at 1.3550, more than 2 full cents higher than yesterday morning. Add 2 full cents to the Aussie dollar / A$ too. and so on down the line. The punch bowl has been brought back to the risk assets party (I know I already said that, but I said it again for emphasis!) and now the currencies get to party. So, yesterday, when I woke up from the vibrating phone in my shirt pocket, I turned on the TV to a financial news station to get their take, which I always, salivate ahead of time, because I know I’ll get to make fun of something they say. Well, I won’t make fun of this, but I will question it, as I’m known to do. A talking head on one of the stations said, “Well, no taper this time, but eventually this will all have to come to an end”. And I replied to the TV, of which my granddaughter, Delaney Grace, always tells me, “they can’t hear you, General”. but I do it anyway. I said to the guy on TV. “And you know this because? You know that it will have to end? What gives you that “expert knowledge” to say that? Maybe, just maybe, this will go on forever!” I mean, ask the Japanese about how long an economic malaise can last!  And ask them how they feel about those initial stimulus and bond buying programs that began 20 years ago, now. Once you start these programs, they become like a drug that you can’t just go cold turkey on. So. as you know, I said that Fed Heads would begin tapering only to find out they shouldn’t have done so, and start it (bond buying / QE) up again. Well, they took out the beginning tapering, and just kept the bond buying / QE going. and going. like the Energizer Bunny. OK. Let’s talk about something other than the Fed. Big Ben. and Tapering. Well, I told you yesterday that the Norges Bank in Norway was going to meet today, and with the recent bump up to the top side of the inflation target (2.5%), that we could very well see / hear the Norges Bank Gov. Olsen, remove the easing bias, and begin to talk about rate hikes. And guess what happened? Exactly how thought it would happen! In fact the Norges Bank delivered a very hawkish statement, and now it appears that by June of next year, interest rates in Norway could be higher, if not sooner, given the performance of inflation recently. All that, is good for the krone, folks, which has been in need of some good news. And the Emerging Markets Currencies, which had also been in need of warm and fuzzy news, took the no taper news and ran with it all the way to the bank. I told you all about how the IMF’s head had sent messages to Big Ben asking him to think about the rest of the world, before taking his foot off the gas. The rest of the world here, were the Emerging Markets. As I said above, Gold soared on the news yesterday, up $65. I sure hope the price manipulators got caught short and it hurt them so bad that they are thinking of giving up the ghost on their shorts positions!  So, that brings me to this question that everyone should be asking. Can we expect for yesterday’s price action to continue in the risk assets?  Certainly not. These moves were exceptional, and don’t come along every day. But what it does, in my opinion, and I could be wrong, is form a higher base from which future moves can be made. I think that the metals and currencies can bet their sweet bippie that from here on out, their fortunes every day will be tied to the economic data here in the U.S.  Because if Big Ben did anything yesterday, he enforced his words, and showed the markets he’s a man of his word. So, we can go back to the initial statement from Big Ben. “the future of Quantitative Easing depends on economic data”. This week I’ve highlighted some of the stuff that I said in the Review & Focus letters from 2002. The reason I did this, was to highlight that not much has changed in 11 years, the numbers just keep getting bigger and bigger.  So, in this light, I thought one more from December 2002 played well here in talking about the U.S. economy. Here’s what I had to say in December 2002.  “There are a number of questions hanging over the U.S. economy right now, and even though there are just as many hanging over the German economy, the market seems to hold the U.S. economy to a higher standard. Most of the bad news from the German economy seems to be discounted, and any bad news coming from the U.S. economy seems to get highlighted, which the dollar acting as the markets’ piñata!” – Chuck December 2002 The U.S. data cupboard has a few things for us today to go through. The Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, which you may recall I pointed out last week that 2 states, (California and Nevada) had failed to file claims the week before, so this week’s data should be caught up. Existing Home Sales for August, and the Leading Index data.  And this will be it for data this week, as the data cupboard gets emptied out, and cleaned up before being restocked for next week. And before I head to the Big Finish. Did you see where Gold began to jump higher minutes before the official announcement of no tapering yesterday? So, who got leaked the news? Doesn’t this stuff just get under your skin? It does mine! I don’t like it when someone knows “ahead of time” something that will move markets. It just ticks me off! For What It’s Worth. A long time reader sent this story to me from the NY Times. It’s title is: Congressional Budget Office Predicts Unsustainable Debt.  OK, I’ll take the bait on that! Of course you knew I would! So, let’s listen in to the CBO. “As the White House and Congress careen toward another fiscal showdown, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office warned on Tuesday that President Obama and lawmakers have been cutting the wrong kind of federal spending as they try to avoid the unsustainable buildup of debt that is projected in the coming decades. Annual federal deficits will continue to fall in the short term, the budget office reported in its yearly long-term outlook, because of the recent spending cuts in military and domestic programs and rising tax collections in a recovering economy. The report projected the deficit in 2015 to be equal to 2.1 percent of the economy’s output, or just one-fifth of the peak shortfall at the height of the recession in 2009. But starting in 2016, deficits are projected to rise again as more baby boomers begin drawing from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – the fast-growing entitlement programs, which Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on how to rein in.” Chuck again. Yes, those darn Unfunded Liabilities that I point out at every presentation that I make are scary folks. And they’ll just keep getting scarier and scarier. As baby boomers like me, begin to get close to retirement age. To recap. No Taper, Markets Go Crazy.  That’s describes what happened yesterday in a nutshell. Chuck thinks that Big Ben had to show the markets that he was a man of his words, and that’s why he didn’t begin to taper QE yesterday.. Gold soared $65 on the news, and the usual suspects in currencies are stronger by 2-full cents. Norges Bank sounds hawkish, changing their easing bias, and all the risk assets have joined the conga line at the party. Currencies today 9/19/13. American Style: A$ .9515, kiwi .8420, C$ .9805, euro 1.3555, sterling 1.6090, Swiss $1.0995, . European Style: rand 9.6305, krone 5.7730, SEK 6.3120, forint 218.05, zloty 3.0845, koruna 18.9920, RUB 31.60, yen 98.85, sing 1.2440, HKD 7.7535, INR 61.91, China 6.15570, pesos 12.59, BRL 2.1845, Dollar Index 80.12, Oil $108.93, 10-year 2.71% (the bond bubble avoids another pin in the room!) Silver $22.97, Platinum $1,470.42, Palladium $720.80, and Gold. $1,367.01 That’s it for today. I’m really dragging the line this morning, not that you could tell that when I was writing this morning, as it seemed I was going in all directions! UGH! So, thanks for sticking through it. I’m ready to put my head down on the desk and sleep! But, that’s not going to happen, so forgetaboutit Chuck! Little Braden Charles was at the house yesterday, and does love for me to put music on the stereo so he can “dance”. So darn cute, and funny! Everett isn’t so much a “dancer” but Delaney Grace is. Cardinals need to send a thank you card to the San Diego Padres for beating the Pirates!  Had to stop and sing along with Chicago.. Hard Habit To Break. one of my fave Chicago songs. Now go out and have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday like Gold and the currencies are enjoying! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

first_img – Americans are falling behind on their credit card debt. As you’re about to see, credit card “defaults” are rising for the first time in six years. This is a serious problem for credit card companies. It’s also a big problem for retailers, car makers, and any other company that depends on consumer credit. If this keeps up, shares of America’s biggest consumer companies could plunge. You could even lose a lot of money without having a single penny invested in this sector.    That’s because consumer spending makes up about 70% of the economy. When the “consumer” hurts, the entire economy feels it. So, if you have any money at all in stocks, please read this Dispatch closely. •  Credit card company Synchrony Financial (SYF) issued a serious warning last week… Synchrony issues more retail-store credit cards than any other company. Its performance can say a lot about the credit card and retail industries. Right now, Synchrony’s customers are struggling to pay their bills. The Wall Street Journal reported last week:   “We expected to see some softening,” Brian Doubles, Synchrony’s chief financial officer, said at an investor conference Tuesday. “We weren’t sure when it was going to come and I think we’re starting to see some of that.” Mr. Doubles added that the ability of card holders to get back on track with payments after falling behind has been “challenged all year.” •  The company said it could see a jump in “credit charge-offs”… This is basically the default rate for the credit card industry. The company warned that its charge-off rate could spike from about 4.4% to as high as 4.8%. For perspective, the industry charge-off rate was 3.1% during the first quarter. During the first quarter of 2015, it was 3%. This was the first time since 2010 that the industry charge-off rate has increased from the previous year.  Many investors are now worried other credit card companies could take big losses in the coming months. Synchrony’s stock plunged 14% after it issued the warning. •  Shares of other major credit card companies also tanked on the news… Capital One Financial (COF) closed Tuesday down 6.6%. Ally Financial (ALLY) sunk 5.6%. These giant credit card companies are now trading as if there could be much bigger losses on the way. Synchrony’s stock has plunged 22% over the past year. Capital One is down 28%. Ally Financial is down 30%. Other major credit card companies have also plummeted. American Express (AXP), the nation’s largest credit card company, has fallen 23% over the past year. Discover Financial Services (DFS) is down 10%. For comparison, the S&P 500 is down 2% since last June. •  As of the first quarter, Americans had more than $950 billion in credit card debt… That’s 6% higher than the first quarter of 2015. And it’s the highest level since 2009. Folks have been racking up bigger debt despite falling behind on their payments. The Wall Street Journal reports: Capital One, the nation’s fourth-largest credit card issuer, said credit card sales jumped 14% in the first quarter from a year earlier. At Citigroup Inc., average credit card balances in the first quarter posted the first year-over-year increase since 2008. Such balances also grew at Discover Financial Services Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the nation’s largest lender. U.S. credit card balances are on pace to hit $1 trillion by the end of the year. They could even top the all-time high of $1.02 trillion set in July 2008. •  The Federal Reserve made it cheap for folks to borrow money… As you probably know, the Fed has held its key interest rate near zero since 2008. The Fed dropped rates to the floor to encourage folks to borrow and spend money. In 2007, the average credit card holder paid 13.3% per year in interest. Today, the average annual interest rate is 12.3%. Credit card companies and banks have also loosened their lending standards. The Wall Street Journal reports: Because many creditworthy consumers are still cautious about spending, lenders are turning more aggressively to subprime borrowers. Lenders issued some 10.6 million general-purpose credit cards to subprime borrowers last year, up 25% from 2014 and the highest level since 2007, according to Equifax. A “subprime” loan is a loan made to someone with poor credit. You may remember that the collapse of the subprime mortgage market sparked the 2008 financial crisis and worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. •  The Fed also made it cheaper to buy a car….   Last quarter, the amount of U.S. auto loans topped $1 trillion for the first time in history. This is a sign of a very unhealthy economy. That’s because many folks buying cars these days could never afford them in “normal” times. The Wall Street Journal explains: Lenders gave out $109.4 billion in subprime auto loans last year, up 11% from 2014 and nearly three times the low of $38.3 billion in 2009, according to credit-reporting firm Equifax. Subprime auto loans account for a growing share of new auto loans, making up nearly 19% of auto loan balances given out last year, up from 13% in 2009. •  It’s only going to become more difficult for folks to pay their credit card bills and car loans… That’s because the economy is barely growing. As regular readers know, it’s growing at the slowest pace since World War II. And it’s only getting worse.   Companies are hiring at the slowest pace in six years. Corporate earnings are drying up. And major retailers are warning of big sales declines for this year. Meanwhile, debt is growing at the fastest pace in years. This can’t go on forever. As the economy weakens, more Americans will fall behind on their debts. Credit card companies, banks, and other lenders will see huge losses. Many retailers will also see sales plummet.   Firm’s Little-Known Report on Beating The Market Revealed Over a period of 10 years, one of America’s most famous banking firms conducted an extensive study on one particular strategy…a strategy that can beat the market by more than 10 to 1…without even trading stocks. Our friends at the Sovereign Society have deciphered their strategy here. [TONIGHT] Trump, the “Brexit,” and Negative Interest Rates?! Not sure how to prepare your portfolio for the looming political, social, and economic events threatening the market this year? For the first time ever, Bill Bonner is sitting down with Chris Mayer and Porter Stansberry to discuss everything that’s happening in a free webinar. Sign up instantly to hear their thoughts tonight at 8pm, eastern time. RSVP right here. Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida June 21, 2016center_img Recommended Links — •  E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, just shorted a company that depends heavily on cheap credit… Shorting is betting that a stock will fall. If it does, you make money. Nearly 62% of this company’s customers pay with credit. A “spend now, pay later” business like this can work when the economy is growing. It doesn’t work well when the economy is shrinking. Folks buy less stuff once they realize they can’t really afford it. Some customers don’t pay back their loans. E.B. says this is already happening at this company. He wrote in this month’s issue of The Casey Report: From 2014 to fiscal 2016, the company’s annual bad debt expenses rose from $138 million to $190 million. That’s a 30% increase. Over the same period, credit sales grew by only 20%. That means bad debt expenses rose 50% faster than credit sales. If this continues, the company could end up with huge piles of unsold inventory. To pay the bills, it may have to sell merchandise at deep discounts, even if it means losing money on every sale. In less than two weeks, this short has made Casey Report readers 5%. But that could just be the start. According to E.B, there’s “more pain to come as credit financing dries up…sales continue to drop…and more loans go unpaid.” You can learn more about this trade by signing up for The Casey Report. If you sign up today, you’ll get 50% off the regular price. You can learn how by watching this short presentation. You will also learn why today’s “credit crunch” is the No. 1 early warning of the next big financial crisis. More importantly, you’ll learn how to turn the coming crisis into a moneymaking opportunity. Click here to watch this free video.   Chart of the Day Airline stocks are breaking down… Airline stocks have been one of the hottest investments since the end of the 2008 financial crisis. The Dow Jones U.S. Airlines Index, which tracks major airline stocks, surged an incredible 861% from March 2009 through December 2014. It’s since fallen 26%. You can see in today’s chart that airline stocks are in a sharp downtrend. And if the economy gets as bad as we think it will, the sector could plunge. In the February issue of The Casey Report, E.B. Tucker wrote that the good times were ending for the airline industry. He put his money behind this call by shorting one of America’s most vulnerable airlines. This short has returned 20% in four months. And that’s just one of six holdings in E.B.’s portfolio that’s up 20% or more right now. To learn more about E.B.’s investing approach, watch this short video.last_img read more

Justins note If you havent heard yet Strategic

first_imgJustin’s note: If you haven’t heard yet, Strategic Investor editor E.B. Tucker’s working on a new venture. He plans to share all the details about this product at the end of this month. Leading up to that big announcement, we’re featuring his best insights and money-making opportunities.But you should first get to know E.B., if you don’t already. He’s one of the best big picture thinkers in our business. And his track record shows it. Just look at some of the big calls he’s nailed… E.B. Tucker Editor, Strategic InvestorP.S. I recently released an important video describing everything you need to know about “America’s Third Power Shift.”In short, the biggest power shift in the last 100 years is happening now. And it’s creating a tipping point in the next generation of energy metals. If you know where to put your money ahead of time, you could see once-in-a-lifetime gains. We’re set up to profit from this megatrend in my Strategic Investor newsletter… and you can join.Check out my presentation here…Reader MailbagAre you bullish on new energy sources? How about the metals that will profit? Let us know at feedback@caseyresearch.com.E.B. Tucker’s Latest Venture Profiting from America’s third power shift is just one of the many big ideas E.B. has to help you make a fortune in today’s markets.The idea he’s most excited about right now is a little-known strategy you can use to generate gains 10x bigger than options. It’s a specific type of investment that Doug Casey uses too…E.B. and Doug are ready to share the details on this strategy later this month in what’s sure to be one of the most important events in Casey Research’s history.We’ll let you know more details over the coming weeks.Stay tuned… Recommended Link The blockchain wave – E.B. was able to exploit this massive trend and made 15,000% in profits on a blockchain mining deal. Click here to watch this clip The Bitcoin bubble – On December 14, 2017, E.B. pleaded with his readers who owned bitcoin to sell enough of their coins to recoup their initial investment. That was four days before bitcoin reached its all-time high of $19,783. Folks thought he was crazy. Bitcoin’s at $3,370 today. Strange Investment Trick Can Pay Five Times MORE MONEY than Social SecurityI know that’s hard to believe… But this is 100% based on actual reports from people just like you. Just see for yourself… watch this 1-minute clip before Friday at 3pm. Learn how readers like Steve from Michigan made $7,500 just the other weekend. But hurry! This only works if you take one simple action before Friday at 3pm. A New EraLast century was the oil era. From Ibn Saud, Rockefeller, Getty, and even shale oil tycoons like billionaire Harold Hamm of Continental Resources, the oil business created trillions of dollars’ worth of wealth.Those days are over.Now, I’m not saying major oil companies are down for the count… they’re not. I’m also not saying billionaires like the Saudi royals are in trouble… they’re not.What I’m saying is that over the decades to come, those families, those billionaires, and those major companies we know today will not see their fortunes swell. They’ll chug along. They’ll also be surprised as new energy barons leap past them on the Forbes list.You see, oil goes in about every product we use today. From the tube of toothpaste to the lid on a Starbucks cup, it’s hard to get away from oil. This chart shows how much petroleum the world uses on a daily basis.I’m sure the first thing you think when you see this chart is that the oil business must be great.It is for the most entrenched players. Oftentimes, this means governments. After all, as much as 75% of the world’s oil production comes from state-owned oil companies, according to The Wall Street Journal.What I hope you’ll see is that the oil business isn’t getting much better. For starters, climate change warriors are out to attack the business at any chance they can get. I attended a raucous anti-oil protest in Portland, Oregon back in 2016 for research purposes. I attended a Dakota Access Pipeline protest in Portland, Oregon in November 2016Then, take taxes into consideration. Every gallon of gasoline sold in the U.S. has a $0.184 federal levy placed on it… and some states, like Pennsylvania (the highest case), pile on as much as $0.582 per gallon on top of that. States need that money to fund their bloated budgets.Oil is under attack from every angle.Meanwhile, alternative power gets the opposite treatment. In some states, you can actually make money driving an electric car or bolting solar panels onto your home.Just to be clear, we don’t have an opinion about which energy source is better. In my newsletter Strategic Investor, we separate our ideology from our investing.With this in mind, we see the oil trade as old, tired, and predictably stale. We see alternative energy as inevitable. Electric vehicles will be cheaper than those with combustion engines. Estimates say that 4.5 million new electric vehicles will be sold every year in China alone by 2020. Recommended Link You see, new battery technology is cutting costs in half… while increasing storage capacity.And that’s why the mass production and adoption of the electric car is no longer a pipe dream. It’s a reality.Right on the Cusp of a SurgeEarlier, we showed you a chart of oil usage. While it’s a big number, it’s not growing very fast. At least, not compared to this chart…Oil’s 1.5% annual demand growth over the last two decades is nothing compared to surging demand for battery capacity.The chart above measures battery demand in gigawatt hours (GWh). To put things into perspective, in 2016, all consumer products with lithium-ion batteries added up to 45 GWh, according to The Economist. That means every cordless drill, smartphone, and even e-cigarette combined. Electric car batteries produced that year added another 25 GWh.By 2030, management consulting firm McKinsey & Company expects demand for battery capacity to surge more than 36-fold to 2,900 GWh per year.And that, in turn, will create a massive spike in demand for a handful of new energy metals required to make all these batteries.In fact, The Wall Street Journal says, “The world is about to experience its biggest shift in commodities demand since the 19th century.”There’s no comparison. New energy sources will leap over oil’s tepid growth in the coming years. With clean energy economic incentives in place, no protesters, and technology on its side, a new energy source is set to power the future.Regards, Simply Put, Batteries Will Be the Oil of the Next CenturyAnd the metals that make up these batteries are creating a new “gold rush.”Why now?Because these more advanced batteries will hand forward-thinking investors the opportunity of a lifetime – and make two things a reality: Solar and wind power will be even cheaper and – more importantly – be available on-demand, 24/7 (think streaming), thanks to the energy storage capabilities of high-tech batteries. This will lead to the rise of micro-grids and independent home energy. — Click here for the full story In short, it pays to listen to E.B… especially when he’s pounding the table on a big idea. And that’s what today’s essay is all about.Below, E.B. explains why we’re entering “the biggest energy shift of our time.” A new type of energy is taking over. And that’s opened the door to a huge money-making opportunity…Regards,Justin Spittler Florianópolis, Brazil February 6, 2019By E.B. Tucker, editor, Strategic InvestorA society is only as strong as its access to supplies of reliable energy. While the source of that energy changes over time, one thing doesn’t: Controlling the supply of that energy is as close to printing money as you’ll ever get.Throughout time, the richest barons in history sold society its energy.Last century, oil fueled society. Barons like Jean Paul Getty made so much money supplying society with oil, the wealth became a burden. From the Rockefellers to the Saudi royals, the story is the same. Controlling the supply of energy is equivalent to a levy on the entire economy.Before oil, it was coal. Coal created scores of 19th-century fortunes. Even Andrew Mellon, who later became Secretary of the Treasury and the third-largest taxpayer in the 1920s (behind Rockefeller and Ford), got his start in the coal business.The same trend stretches all the way back to medieval days, when wood provided heat, a cooking flame, and lit rooms. The lords who owned the forest set the price for warmth, hot food, and light.Today, we’re on the dawn of a new era in energy. Stock Market Bulls Are Preparing for February 13Some of the most famous stock market bulls in the world are preparing for a massive event in February. — The renter trend – E.B. sold his largest stock at the peak in 2008. That gave him the “dry powder” to buy six rental properties. A decade later, he still has a passive income stream that yields around 20% per year.last_img read more

In North Carolina the opioid epidemic claims the

first_imgIn North Carolina, the opioid epidemic claims the lives of, on average, more than 3 people a day, and it shows little sign of slowing down. That’s just one of the issues that the state agency in charge of behavioral health is facing, which includes everything from substance abuse to mental health, developmental disabilities and more. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recently released a 90-page strategic plan on how it aims to improve services in the state.WFDD’s Bethany Chafin spoke with Deputy Secretary for Health Services Mark Benton about what went into the plan and what it says about behavioral health in North Carolina.Interview Highlights On gathering feedback for the report: One of the things that we knew as we developed this plan was that we were also in the midst of a devastating opioid crisis…a big portion of that crisis points back to the fact that there are a lot of individuals who are suffering who do not have access to health coverage. And we also know that we have pockets in our state where we don’t have enough behavioral health providers, particularly substance use counselors. And so part of [it is] our recognizing that we need to increase access to health care, that’s both physical health and behavioral health. We also need to address the fact that we don’t have an adequate workforce, and we need to be able to look and hopefully better leverage the use of telemedicine to be able to bring care into communities where people are suffering. And you know, I guess in other words, the opioid crisis is in some ways is sort of a reflection of the fact that we have much more work to do in improving our behavioral health system. On the challenges facing North Carolina’s behavioral health system: The planning and the input for the behavioral health plan was really about a year-long process. We held 6 community meetings or community forums around the state. We talked with countless numbers of stakeholders…and some of the key pieces of feedback that we got consistently through all of those different venues were concerns around the timeliness and the affordability of behavioral healthcare, and that sort of addressed a number of subpoints. One [was] about whether we have an adequate behavioral health workforce and are we providing an adequate amount of services? And then generally, the ability for folks to be able to access those services – those with insurance and those without insurance. There was also another key theme that addressed the need to treat the entire person, the whole person. We refer to that as integrating both behavioral health and physical health. And then lastly were just general observations around the need to sort of improve the quality of behavioral health care that’s provided across our state. So those were sort of the three main buckets of feedback that we’ve received in this year-long process.center_img The major challenges come back to lack of funding and access to health insurance. We still have a large segment of our population that are working, are perhaps individuals with no children and have no means of accessing healthcare. We know generally there’s not enough money to cover the services that are needed. We also know that we still live in a day where there’s a stigma associated with having a mental illness or a substance use diagnosis. And we also know one of the other challenges is that our current system is fragmented and this is sort of a lead back to the need to integrate behavioral health and physical health. And so right now the two systems are very much separate. And we believe that needs to be addressed going forward. On how this addresses the opioid epidemic:last_img read more

This week a federal appeals court addressed the r

first_imgThis week, a federal appeals court addressed the right to treatment for an inmate who suffers from opioid addiction, a move that legal advocates say could have wide repercussions. The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston ruled that a rural Maine jail must provide Brenda Smith with medication for her opioid use disorder. One of her attorneys, Emma Bond, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Maine, says the new ruling has the potential to create a “big signal” for jails across the country and combat the social barriers preventing incarcerated people from receiving treatment.”This is the first federal appeals court in the country to address the right to treatment for opioid addiction in jail,” says Bond. “It represents a huge step forward in the fight against the opioid crisis and for our client who will get her medication in jail.”Brenda Smith, a resident of Madawaska, Maine, was sentenced in 2018 to 40 days in the Aroostook County Jail for theft at an area Walmart, according to statements in an earlier court decision. Smith currently receives a twice-daily dose of buprenorphine — more commonly known by the brand name Suboxone. This medication helps people with opioid addiction control cravings and maintain recovery. Smith has been in stable recovery for five years on the medication.Jail officials told her lawyer they were going to interrupt that treatment during her sentence, according to this week’s ruling, forcing her to undergo withdrawal in jail. They argued the drug is contraband in the jail and could hinder rehabilitation and become a source of trafficking. Smith and the ACLU of Maine challenged that position in court, arguing that withholding treatment would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 8th Amendment of the constitution.Susan Friedman of the Legal Action Council in New York has worked on the intersection of the Americans with Disabilities Act and access to medication-assisted treatment for the better part of a decade and she agrees with Bonds’ assessment. Friedman says not only is the ruling binding for courts and jails in the First Circuit, courts around the country will pay attention to this affirmation that denying inmates in jail medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder violates the ADA – and is illegal. Under the ADA, it’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of disability, and this includes people who have gone through or are going through drug rehabilitation.”That sends a really important message to jails and prisons around the country as well as to policy makers who are grappling with these issues,” said Friedman.Friedman said some jails and prisons will likely start trying to provide access to medications for opioid use disorder to avoid being the subject of a similar lawsuit or because administrators recognize it’s the right thing to do. Research has shown that providing medication treatment in jail and prison can prevent relapse and reduce risk of overdose upon release. A number of jails and prisons around the country are starting to offer medication treatment with buprenorphine or methadone — but many refuse to, citing concerns that the drugs will be diverted and abused. Smith’s won her Maine-based case this week when a three-judge appellate panel upheld an earlier ruling by federal judge Nancy Torresen in U.S. district court for Maine. Last month, Torresen ordered the jail “to provide the Plaintiff with her prescribed buprenorphine during her sentence at the Aroostook County Jail in whatever way the Defendants deem most appropriate in light of the Aroostook County Jail’s security needs.”The new ruling comes while county jails around the country struggle to meet the needs of patients struggling with opioid use disorder and addiction. According to The National Sheriffs’ Association more than half of the country’s jail population struggles with drug use and dependence. Like Aroostook County, other jail administrators in the U.S. have expressed concern with jail-based medication-assisted treatment’s cost and effectiveness. Friedman says many of these concerns don’t hold up to scrutiny. The drug can be monitored like any other controlled substance deployed in jails. Additionally, she says, the medication is not prohibitively expensive nor do jails make the same arguments when it comes to other treatments needed for health concerns like diabetes or heart conditions.”This is no different — this is a medical condition that kills over 100 people every day,” said Friedman.The ruling closely follows two recent suits in Massachusetts and Washington State which also addressed access to medication-assisted treatment. Yet Brenda Smith’s case solicited a decision by the highest court yet to rule on this particular issue. Smith’s lawyer Bond says this week’s ruling could do more than ensure people are receiving addiction treatment while in jail. She says the ruling could influence how people perceive addiction stigma. “This decision is a big step forward in fighting that stigma and fighting that discrimination and so it will be a big step forward in fighting the opioid crisis itself,” says Bond. Bond says Smith is grateful to receive the treatment many doctors say is medically necessary for dealing with opioid use disorder. Copyright 2019 Maine Public. To see more, visit Maine Public.last_img read more

Were a Country of BingeWatchers and We Feel Pretty Good About It

first_imgTechnology Image credit: gamecocksonline.com Register Now » Guest Writer December 13, 2013 –shares Laura Entis 3 min read We’re a Country of Binge-Watchers, and We Feel Pretty Good About It Binge-viewing has become our new normal, according to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Netflix.The survey found that among U.S. adults who stream a TV show at least once a week, 61 percent binge-watch regularly. And the majority of us binge-watchers don’t feel guilty about it — in fact, 73 percent said they have positive feelings about the experience.What is binge-watching, though? To me, the word (which, by the way, was a runner-up to “selfie” for Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year) conveys an intense marathon of watching – an entire TV season manically consumed in a day or two. But most people, it turns out, don’t see it this way – 73% percent of respondents defined the term in much more moderate language as “watching between two to six episodes of the TV show in one sitting.” (Which begs the question: what’s the word for watching an entire season in one sitting?)This is a very sane definition, but our habits aren’t necessarily so controlled. Netflix executives told The Wall Street Journal that they found a consistent pattern in the pace at which people binge: in general, about half the viewers studied had finished an entire season (up to 22 episodes) within one week. Not the fevered bout of five seasons of Breaking Bad in four days, but not the more restrained two episodes in one sitting, either.Related: Netflix’s ‘House of Cards’ Gets Emmy Not as TV Moves Online”Our viewing data shows that the majority of streamers would actually prefer to have a whole season of a show available to watch at their own pace,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, in a statement.But is it always a good idea to consume multiple episodes in one sitting? Before the release of the latest season of Arrested Development, series creator Mitch Hurwitz recommended restraint. “You’ll get tired!” Hurwitz told Vulture, before recounting a story about a producer who watched too many episodes back to back, with diminishing laughs each time. “You have to take a break,” he advised. “There’s too much material.”It’s safe to say that most people probably didn’t heed Hurwitz’s warning, and binge-watched anyway (I know I did). The survey backs this up — 79 percent of respondents said “watching several episodes of their favorite shows at once actually makes the shows more enjoyable.”While Netflix hasn’t always been a huge fan of binge-watch “due to connotations of gluttonous or antisocial behavior,” the company has finally embraced the word. Binge-watching, it seems, has come out of the dark and into the daylight, so to speak.Related: Netflix Goes Where No Customer Service Has Gone Before Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Next Article Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Add to Queuelast_img read more

Facebook Announces New Policies Regarding Names Nudity and Controversial Content

first_img Enroll Now for $5 Geoff Weiss Facebook has released a new version of Community Standards regarding what kind of content is appropriate to share, clarifying its policies surrounding nudity, hate speech and the identities in which its users may traffic.“Because of the diversity of our global community,” Facebook wrote in announcing the changes, “please keep in mind that something that may be disagreeable or disturbing to you may not violate our Community Standards.”After several drag queens’ accounts were flagged last year for using names like Sister Roma and Lil Miss Hot Mess instead of their legal names, Facebook’s new terms clarify that users may now connect using “their authentic identities” — even if it isn’t a legal moniker.“There has been a lot of confusion from people who thought we were asking them to use what’s on their driver’s license,” Facebook’s head of global product policy, Monika Bickert, told Re/code. “That’s not an accurate interpretation. We want people communicating using the name they actually use in real life.”Related: Facebook Updates Its Suicide Prevention ToolsThe new guidelines, which are roughly three times as long as the previous version and were in the works for roughly a year, also specify how Facebook will handle posts containing nudity.“We remove photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks,” the company writes. “We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but we always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring.”Facebook also added a new section entitled Dangerous Organizations, reports the BBC, which states that, in addition to banning terrorist organizations from Facebook, the site will now prohibit praise or support for such groups — a point that hadn’t been noted before.Other clarifications include the barring of altered images intended to degrade victims, as well as the celebration of criminal activity. While hate speech is also banned, users are allowed to share examples in order to raise awareness — though this intention must be clearly indicated. Related: You Can Now Appoint Someone to Manage Your Facebook Account After You Die –shares Next Article 2 min read Former Staff Writer Facebook Announces New Policies Regarding Names, Nudity and Controversial Content Regulations Add to Queue Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. March 16, 2015last_img read more

Priceline Strikes Deal With Cuba to Let Americans Book Hotels

first_img Register Now » Add to Queue 3 min read Priceline Group has agreed with Cuba to make Cuban hotel rooms available to U.S. customers via subsidiary Booking.com, becoming the first U.S. online travel agency to strike a deal with the island state, a Booking.com executive said.The deal comes on the first full day of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba and on the heels of U.S. hotel firm Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s agreement with the Cuban government to manage and market three Havana hotel properties.Booking.com would allow Americans traveling to Cuba to reserve and pay for rooms at a number of Cuban and foreign hotels, starting in several weeks, Booking.com Americas Managing Director Todd Dunlap told Reuters in an interview.Americans previously had to reserve Cuban hotels principally through travel agencies or tour groups.Booking.com would operate initially in Cuba only in Havana, Dunlap said. It planned to work with foreign firms already on the island, including France’s Accor and Spanish chains Meliá Hotels International SA and NH Hotel Group SA. It was also working on deals with state-run Cuban chains.The only major American lodging booking service currently available to Americans traveling to Cuba is online home-rental marketplace Airbnb, which began operating in Cuba in April last year.Priceline began working on bringing its services to Cuba shortly after President Obama announced the restoration of diplomatic ties with the island on Dec. 17, 2014.Cuban tourism infrastructure has seen significant strain since U.S. relations to the island warmed. Prices have surged for the island’s 63,000 hotel rooms, many of which are booked solid months in advance. Cuba received a record 3.52 million visitors last year, up 17.4 percent from 2014. American visits rose 77 percent to 161,000, not counting hundreds of thousands of Cuban-Americans.Tourism to Cuba is still technically illegal under the U.S. trade embargo. U.S. travelers to the island are required to do so under “general licenses,” which permit travel for religion, family visits, cultural exchange, sports, and other purposes approved by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control. On March 17 OFAC said it would allow individual people-to-people educational exchanges, as well.Booking.com would ask travelers to certify that they fit one of the Treasury’s approved travel categories, but would not verify their status, Dunlap said. The company would keep travelers’ information on file for five years after their travel, should officials choose to check.(By Mimi Dwyer, additional reporting by Mike Stone in New York, editing by Peter Henderson and Stephen Coates) –shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Next Article Cuba Image credit: Reuters | Alexandre Meneghini Priceline Strikes Deal With Cuba to Let Americans Book Hotels This story originally appeared on Reuters Reuters Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Tourists ride in a vintage car in Havana. March 21, 2016last_img read more

Average Snapchat Users Spend 25 to 30 Minutes on App Each Day

first_imgSnapchat Just how good is Snapchat at keeping people using the service? We’ve heard figures about Snapchat’s popularity before, but the company is now pitching advertisers about the amount of time people spend, on average, within the app each day. And given how little time you have to watch videos and photos on the service, you’ll probably be as surprised at the figure as we were.According to Snapchat, which recently confirmed the figures with Business Insider, the app’s daily active users spend an average of 25 to 30 minute each day using Snapchat. And these users — more than 100 million in total — aren’t just watching videos from their friends or Snapchat’s brand videos. Around 60 percent or so of these daily users are actively creating new content.That said, it remains to be seen just how many Snapchat users are actively engaging with the content that comes from some of Snapchat’s existing partnerships. According to a recent poll from Variety, around 23 percent of those responding said they watched Snapchat’s Live Stories or Discover content — the partnerships Snapchat has with other brands that puts their content front and center on Snapchat’s Stories tab. Among those in the 13 to 24 age range who said they had used Live Stories and Discover at some point, only 44 percent said they used it on a daily basis. That’s not bad, but we wager Snapchat would love to see those figures a bit higher (if they’re accurate reflections of how teens and young adults use the app).Yet, if you talk to Snapchat, you’ll see that it has some figures for a similar age bracket, meant to convey to advertisers — particular television advertisers — that Snapchat is a better platform for them to throw money at. According to a survey the company commissioned Nielsen to perform, Snapchat reaches around 41 percent of all 18 to 34-year-olds in the United States. According to that very same survey, the top 15 television networks in the U.S. only reach 6 percent of this age bracket.In other words, Snapchat is a great way to reach young people, and they (along with Snapchat’s other users) are spending a lot of time on the app. At least, that’s what Snapchat hopes to convince television advertisers of, so they’ll start sending big bucks (and vertical advertising) Snapchat’s way. Add to Queue David Murphy Register Now » –shares 3 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Next Article Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Average Snapchat Users Spend 25 to 30 Minutes on App Each Day This story originally appeared on PCMag March 28, 2016last_img read more

Majority of gender minority youth do not identify with traditional sexual identity

first_img Source:https://today.uconn.edu/2019/02/many-lgbtq-youth-not-identify-traditional-sexual-identity-labels/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 14 2019A large proportion of sexual and gender minority youth do not identify with traditional sexual identity labels – such as gay, lesbian, and bisexual – but instead describe previously little understood sexual identities using emerging sexual identity labels such as pansexual, non-binary, or asexual, according to a new University of Connecticut study.The findings, published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence, are based on a national survey on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) teenagers.”We need to ask and be open to what our teens’ sexual identities are, because if we don’t know they’re out there, we don’t know how to help them,” said Ryan J. Watson, assistant professor of human development and family studies.Watson led the study with co-authors Rebecca M. Puhl of UConn’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity and Christopher W. Wheldon of the National Cancer Institute.The study uses data from the LGBTQ National Teen Study that Watson and Puhl developed in collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign. The survey of 17,000 teens (4,720 M/12,373 F) was conducted online across a range of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic statuses, and found that 26 percent chose emerging sexual identity labels.Watson discussed the study with UConn Today.Q. Your major finding is that a large proportion of minority youth do not identify with traditional sexual identity labels, but instead describe their identity with emerging identity labels. Why is this significant?A. A lot of effort in research is now asking youth to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, in trying to figure out who this population is. Some people don’t even ask. The 2020 United States Census is not even asking about sexual orientation. We’re already missing who we know exists out there, and this study has showed us that it is not enough today to just ask about these traditional labels – lesbian, gay, bisexual. Instead, there’s thousands – and if you extrapolate from this study, hundreds of thousands – of teenagers who identify with new identity labels that people don’t even know what they mean; they have never heard of them before. This is vexing, given there are likely hundreds of thousands of youth who are using terms like pansexual and non-binary. It’s important for researchers especially to capture what the nuanced experiences might be of these youth. We don’t want to miss them. We want to make sure we capture what these youth want to be called; the identities they actually are identifying with. We think that’s pretty important.Q. The study notes there is a divergence in patterns of sexual identification, noting the complex interaction between sexual, gender, and ethno-racial identities. Could you explain that?A. What we really wanted to do with the national teen survey was try to understand nuanced experiences within LGBTQ people. Before the study it was really hard to understand intersecting identities among this population in particular. We know all people have a sexual identity; everybody has a gender identity, and most people identify as male or female. But we see from the study that more and more teens are using different identity labels, other than male or female. We suspected that the patterns and how people use those terms to describe their sexual or gender identity might be different based on their ethnicity; so are Asian, African American, or white kids more or less likely to use particular emerging terms? It’s not enough, we are arguing, just to say this person is queer, LGBT. We want to know how else do they identify? Are pansexual youth more likely to be non-binary and African American? In our preliminary findings, the answer is yes. We know that might be a unique experience, a triple minority you might say, that could explain more detrimental health outcomes or a harder time at school being bullied. One of the findings we came across is that youth who are not cisgender – youth who do not identify as the sex they were given at birth – we might think of that as someone who is transgender, non-binary – those kids are far more likely to describe their sexual orientation with these emerging identity terms compared to cisgender teens. Most people know of ‘lesbian, gay bisexual,’ but there’s something about kids today who are a little more advanced or are using new words to describe how they feel sexually in terms of orientation. To me that’s a really novel, intriguing finding in terms of how do we best serve kids who are transgender? I think it’s useful just knowing the patterns of sexual and gender identities for people who are growing up right now in our country.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyLiving with advanced breast cancerBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerQ. This seems to speak about millennials and how they view the world. They are more accepting of variation, diversity, mixed culture, and orientation than previous generations.A. That’s a great point. When I was a post-doc at the University of British Columbia, we went out to high schools and surveyed students. We asked them how they identified their sexual orientation. At the time, just a few years ago, those kids were critical of the ways we were asking the question. They were ahead of the curve. You’re right that these emerging identity labels, as we’re calling them, are driven by teens, shared through new social media outlets like Reddit, Facebook, or Instagram. Adults can be out of the loop – even renowned professors or people who study the population aren’t caught up with the labels. If we’re going to try and understand why teens are unhealthy or where teens need help the most and we don’t know where to reach them, what identities describe them, we are out of touch. It might be more difficult to do our research.Q. What do the findings of the study mean for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers you include as stakeholders in the data as to how they should use this information?A. One of the biggest problems I see is that young people – and adults – who are LGBTQ are not being recognized and counted. If we don’t know that this population exists and we don’t count them, they’re not included in our efforts. The diversity we found shows the need for those in power who are doing the Census or national surveys to start asking at least for youth to write in or give them more options for describing who they are. What the initial findings from the research shows, it’s not just that LGBTQ people are doing worse than straight people and cisgender people, but it matters what subgroup of LGBTQ person you are. Pansexual people have different experiences than gay people. Those labels matter and are associated with different outcomes. We should be mindful to ask the identities of our participants because it matters for their health and their experiences. The other thing folks can do is just ask and be open about changing terms. What we see is a growing number of young people and adults coming out and feeling free to tell other people about their sexual identity. We need to ask and be open to what our teens’ sexual identities are, because if we don’t know they’re out there, we don’t know how to help them.Q. One of the major conclusions is that this is just the first major study of its type, and further research is important. What do you want to see happen to advance this knowledge?A. In the 10 years I’ve done this, and the decades others have done this, we consistently find that this population as a whole faces more health problems, harder experiences to deal with at school, and more bullying. We know there is this gap in disparity for the population. What we haven’t been able to know until now is how folks who have multiple identities that are repressed, folks who are using emerging terms, how they might suffer or thrive in different ways than their peers who are also somewhat like them. I hope this research will continue in ways that will replicate this. We can ask these questions again to see: Was this emerging label more popular this time? Do we see a continual progression of more emerging labels or more youth using these labels? Or are youth going to go back to traditional labels?This study is one of the first to be able to look at enough data among small minorities to start to see patterns in their experiences. With old data, we haven’t been able to say: what does it look like for an African American gay transgender boy in the United States who lives in the south? We didn’t have enough data to look at that. Now with this data moving forward, we’ll start to be able to identify what does that individual experience look like? What does it mean for a young person who shares multiple, repressed identities? How might we best support them? What identity is most salient? Which repressed identity needs most attention? Never have we been able to explore that with data, because we haven’t had the availability of data that robust before. I’m looking forward to further exploring that. It’s exciting.last_img read more