Alaskas Population Fell For First Time In Decades

first_imgThe population in the Kenai Peninsula dropped by 25 people in 2017,  to 58,024. Within the state, 699 people left Fairbanks for Anchorage, while 475 moved the opposite direction. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The State of Alaska saw its first decrease in population since the late 1980’s, according to recent figures from Alaska’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The department published the statistics for 2017 in the March edition of Alaska Economic Trends.  http://labor.alaska.gov/trends/mar18.pdf In 2017.  birth rates fell and death rates increased, tipping the scale toward a population decrease of 0.4 percent.center_img According to the report, the decline was small, however, at 0.4 percent, and the total population onestimate hasn’t changed much over the last four years Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennifer-on-population-decrease-in-AK.mp3VmJennifer-on-population-decrease-in-AK.mp300:00RPdlast_img read more

Gear Hour Restrictions For Upper Cook Inlet Set Gillnet

first_imgThe announcement also restricts set gillnet  gear in the Kenai and Kasilof sections only. In a release on Wednesday, DF&G have modified the weekly fishing periods with set gillnets in the Kenai and Kasilof sections of the Upper Subdistrict, effective at 12:01 a.m. on July 1. With regularly scheduled fishing periods on Mondays and Thursdays no longer in effect in the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery, except for the East Foreland Section, any and all fishing time provided to this set gillnet fishery may occur only via EO beginning July 1. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Department of Fish and Game announced both hour and gear restrictions for Upper Cook Inlet set gillnet in both the Kenai and Kasilof rivers.  Commercial fishing periods in the Upper Subdistrict set gillnet fishery, excluding the East Foreland Section, are open for no more than 48 hours per week, with a 36-hour continuous closure per week beginning between 7:00 p.m. Thursday and 7:00 a.m. Friday.last_img read more

Nvidia Jetson Nano is a 99 AI computer for makers students

first_imgNvidia Nvidia’s new Jetson Nano platform aims to make AI development more accessible to everyone. Announced Monday by Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang at the Nvidia GPU Technology Conference, the Jetson Nano comes in a $99 devkit for developers, makers and enthusiasts and a $129 production-module for mass-market edge systems.Living up to its name, the board measures 80 by 100 millimeters (3.2 by 3.9 inches), but has a quad-core ARM processor, a 128-core integrated Nvidia graphics and 4GB of memory. The preinstalled Jetpack SDK comes complete with a desktop Linux environment based on Ubuntu 18.04 with support for Nvidia Cuda Toolkit 10.  See It $99 Post a comment HDMI, DisplayPort 128-core Nvidia Maxwell Memory Share your voice Computers 4Kp30, 1080p30, 1080p60 Best Buy Children who are blind learn how to code with Code Jumper Preview • Cooking your food in a water bath just got cheaper Camera Four USB 3.0 Type-A (host), USB 2.0 Micro Type-B (device) Jetson Nano specs Now playing: Watch this: MIPI CSI-2 x2 (15-position flex connector) Available now through Seeed Studio and SparkFun, the kit is compatible with many popular peripherals and accessories. It also includes projects along with tutorials to help DIYers and students get started with AI right out of the box. A Jetson developer forum is also available for users to get answers to technical questions. Mentioned Above Anova Nano USB Video Decoder Microsoft tech teaches children who are blind how to… Nvidia Graphics Tags CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $73 64-bit quad-core 1.43GHz ARM A57 4Kp60, 4Kp30, 1080p30, 1080p60 See it 0 Anova Nano 4:33 4GB 64-bit LPDDR4, 1600MHz Display 16 Photos Processor Video Encoderlast_img read more

New Pokémon game from makers of Super Mario Run is coming to

first_img Pokémon Go used for Russian-linked election meddling? If you are a fan of Pokémon, then you have certainly watched Pokémon Detective Pikachu or you will be planning to book a ticket for the latest realised movie based on Pokémon. But a recent tweet from Takashi Mochizuki can make you more delirious about Pokémon.The tweet points to an excerpt from a DeNa – the Japanese mobile game developer – financial briefing, which clearly states the publisher has teamed up with The Pokémon Company to release a smartphone game based on the Pokémon license.DeNa also hints that the Pokémon based game is scheduled to be released by the end of its current fiscal year – that’s March 2020. Apart from this, no other information has been revealed in the briefing, and it is mentioned to be announced later. DeNa briefingDeNaThere are several genres that could be explored through the Pokémon license and DeNa is expected to plan the game in similar ways. In the past, DeNa has partnered with Nintendo on other mobile games such as Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, and upcoming Mario Kart Tour.Previously, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company had launched Pokémon Go, which got silly success. Now both the firms are expected to release Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield for the Nintendo Switch for this year. Pokémon Detective PikachuPokemonThere are loads of Pokémon apps and games on iOS and Android. But it remains to be seen how this upcoming Pokémon game stands out. Closelast_img read more

Flipkart delivery boy arrested on charges of duping employer

first_imgA 21-year-old Flipkart delivery boy has been arrested on charges of duping his employer. The boy had been cheating the e-commerce firm by placing orders for iPhones and replacing them with fake ones.The accused, Naveen B, was working with a third party vendor of Flipkart for the last four months. He used to place orders for iPhones from fake addresses within his service area located in Chennai. Once the phones were delivered to the address, Naveen would replace the phones with fake pieces, which were bought from the local market. He would then return the fake handsets to the company on the pretext of a customer complaint, who was not satisfied by the product, Business Standard reported.Using this technique, the boy had replaced 12 iPhones in the last one month. Naveen was arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by a warehouse owner. Flipkart employees grew suspicious after it noticed increasing number of returned items were not the same, which had been dispatched by the company.”First he ordered one phone using a fake address and replaced it with a phone, a China model he bought from Ritchie Street and sent it back to the warehouse saying it was returned by the customer. As he didn’t get caught, he followed it up twice by ordering bulk,” an investigating police officer with Madhavaram police station in Chennai was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.According to the police officer, the value of the stolen phones is more than Rs. 5 lakh.[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]last_img read more

Salman Khans next film will be Sher Khan Is Kapil Sharma part

first_imgSalman Khan and Kapil Sharma.InstagramLast year around the same time there was a buzz that Salman Khan will be doing his brother Sohail Khan’s film titled Sher Khan, and that he will be casting comedian Kapil Sharma in it. Now, the news is that Salman Khan will begin shooting for Sher Khan as soon as he is done with Dabangg 3. But will Kapil Sharma be a part of it?Salman Khan has stood rock solid behind Kapil Sharma, producing his comeback vehicle The Kapil Sharma Show on Sony Entertainment Television. Kapil Sharma was down and out after several controversies, bad behaviour with colleagues like Sunil Grover and Chandan Prabhakar, and alcoholism.After stints of rehab and some flop movies, Kapil again tried to make a comeback but it didn’t work. Meanwhile, he got married to girlfriend Ginni Chathrath (who is now expecting). But Salman Khan chose to be the man behind The Kapil Sharma Show and even appeared on the show twice as a guest – recently to promote his film Bharat with Katrina Kaif. Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif promote Bharat on The Kapil Sharma Show.InstagramBharat also starred Sunil Grover but he did not appear on The Kapil Sharma Show. It seems Sunil is still not ready to forgive Kapil Sharma, but Salman is watching his back. Considering his fondness for Kapil Sharma, it looks like the comedian will be a part of Sher Khan. We’re awaiting a formal announcement for the film.With the success of Bharat, Salman Khan is in a happy mood. On June 12, he tweeted, “To all the journalists who have interviewed me during #Bharat … a big thank u to all…” Today, he posted a video with Katrina Kaif, where they are watching audience reactions to Bharat. Salman said, “Thank you so much for all the love and support you have shown towards ‘Bharat'”. He also held a special screening of Bharat for the people who had lost their kin post India’s Partition in 1947.Thank you so much for all the love and support you have shown towards ‘Bharat’ #BharatAudienceReactions@Bharat_TheFilm @aliabbaszafar @atulreellife @itsBhushanKumar #KatrinaKaif #Tabu @bindasbhidu @DishPatani @WhoSunilGrover @nikhilnamit @reellifeprodn @SKFilmsOfficial @TSeries pic.twitter.com/40vSiCeq0C— Salman Khan (@BeingSalmanKhan) 13 June 2019 Special screening of #Bharat for the real families who experienced the events of 1947 and the partition. Honoured to meet all of them! Salute to the real #Bharat families pic.twitter.com/sThayWsMZr— Salman Khan (@BeingSalmanKhan) 12 June 2019 Salman Khan is also prepping for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s big film Inshallah in which he will star opposite young actress Alia Bhatt for the first time.last_img read more

SC asks Saharas Subrata Roy to deposit Rs 1500 cr to stall

first_imgSahara Group Chairman Subrata Roy gestures as he arrives at the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) headquarters in Mumbai on April 10, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File PhotoThe Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Sahara chief Subrata Roy to deposit Rs 1,500 crore — a part payment of Rs 24,000 crore that two group companies had raised from the investors — with market regulator Sebi to stall the auction of its lands in Aamby valley.Directing the sum be deposited by September 7, the bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice A.K. Sikri permitted Roy to place before them a reasonable plan for the payment of balance amount over a period of 18 months – as he had himself sought.As it cleared all the terms and conditions submitted by Bombay High Court’s official liquidator Vinod Sharma for floating a global tender to invite bids for the auction of Aamby Valley, the court said that if Sahara pays Rs 1,500 crore by September 7 and submits a plan, it would stall the process of auctioning Aamby Valley.However, it was subject to payment of this sum, the court said, which also include balances of Rs 305 crore that Roy has yet to pay from his last instalment that he was to submit by June 15.”Both things would go together – if you pay the amount, then we will stall the auctioning process, the court told senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Roy, who tried to impress upon the court not to go ahead with the publication of advertisement inviting global bids as it would adversely impact the efforts by Roy to raise money by disposing of his other assets.But Roy also told the bench that it was not possible for him to raise the amount and sought that he be given time till October.Expressing his inability to raise Rs 1,500 crore, he said that he has sold his New York hotels – New York Plaza and Dream New York hotel.On April 16, the court had asked the Bombay High Court’s official liquidator to evaluate and auction the Aamby Valley property of the Sahara Group and Sharma, in his report on its worth, said that its market value is Rs 37, 390 crore and the fair value is Rs 43,000 crore.The next hearing would take place on September 11.The Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd. and the Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited had raised Rs 24,000 crore through optionally fully convertible debentures in 2007 and 2008 and the top court by its August 31, 2012, order had directed Sahara to refund this amount with 15 per cent interest.last_img read more

Quota protests postponed till early May Quader

first_imgA 20-member delegation representing students and jobseeking youth joins a talks with minister Obaidul Quader in the afternoon.Protesters of quota system have reportedly postponed their demonstration till the first week of May following assurance of scrutiny of the system by the government.The protesters agreed to postpone their programme at a meeting with road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Monday afternoon.The minister called them to the meeting after the overnight protests in Dhaka that left more than 100 injured and spread to all major campuses across the country.”The protesters have agreed to keep their programme suspended until 7 May. By this time, the government will scrutinise the quota system,” Quader told newsmen after the meeting at the Bangladesh Secretariat.A 20-member delegation representing students and jobseeking youth earlier joined the talks with the minister in the afternoon.Hasan Al Mamun, convener of Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad also disclosed their decision before the reporters after the meeting.The meeting also decided to release the arrestees unconditionally, he said.last_img read more

30 Oil Not Stopping Massive Project Near Houston

first_imgScott Dalton, courtesy Tenaris 1,200 construction workers are building the Tenaris steel pipe factory in Bay CityIn Bay City,  south of Houston and 20 miles north of the Gulf Coast, Rudolph Henry, a technology engineer, has seen firsthand what has happened to good jobs in the manufacturing sector.“I spent 28 years in a steel manufacturing plant in Rosenberg, Texas. We made small diameter steel tubing mainly for the petrochemical industry,” Henry said.Dave FehlingAt Wharton County Junior College, Rudolph Henry measures drill pipeBut in 2002, that steel pipe factory north of here closed, like so many plants facing cut-throat competition from overseas. Henry never again worked in a factory.  But here’s the thing: he’s now teaching a new generation of workers how to work in a factory.“It’s like your life has come to a full circle,” Henry said, sitting in the offices of Wharton County Junior College’s branch in Bay City. Henry leads the college’s industrial technology program.“We are in an area where industry is expanding. And I think industry is coming back as it used to be,” Henry said. Inside what had been a Kmart, the college has built classrooms and with the help of corporate donors, has filled them with shiny new industrial equipment. Students learn how to weld, build electric motors and how to work with steel pipe; the kind of pipe Henry used to help make years ago and which now could be re-making the economy of Bay City.A  few miles from the junior college on the outskirts of town is what could be trans-formative. Rising from a field is a construction project costing over a billion and a half dollars.Courtesy TenarisThe Tenaris plant is eight stories high and covers 25 acresAs seen from a catwalk high above the ground floor, big concrete mixer trucks look almost as small as toys, driving around inside the building which now covers an area as big as 20 football fields. “This is one building, one roof, 25 acres big, and eight floors tall,” German Cura who runs the North American operations for a global company called Tenaris.Tenaris is one of the world’s biggest makers of steel pipe for the oil & gas drilling industry. But previously, the pipe it supplied to oil fields in Texas was made in Tenaris’s factories in Argentina and Romania.Cura drives around the perimeter of the site and explains why Tenaris picked Bay City and decided to continue with the project even though low oil prices mean drilling has plummeted.Dave FehlingGerman Cura manages Tenaris’s North American operations“When people ask me why is it you are doing this, the short answer is one, we came to conclude the U.S. market could be serviced in a far more effective way. Two, there is a super opportunity to replace give or take 50 percent of imports (of drilling pipe). And I tell you, oil at $30 is creating the appropriate conditions for us to do it,” Cura said.As Cura tells it, this new pipe mill will be incredibly more efficient than older plants. Automation means it’ll employ fewer workers though it will still need 600 employees when it opens next year. He says it’ll produce far less pollution from its natural gas furnaces. And he says it’ll be a more nimble operation, allowing the company to meet custom orders “just in time”.Cura says the end result will be an ability to compete with low-cost producers like China and take back a chunk of the drilling pipe market, half of which he says has been going to foreign producers.And for the community of Bay City, Cura predicts it’ll be a new day.“Our experience, we’ve done this around the world many, Bay City, five, ten years from now will be a drastically different place, “ said Cura.If all goes as planned, it might become a place where working in a factory to make things like steel pipe will be the way of the future instead a thing of the past. Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share X 00:00 /03:40last_img read more

Full Show MexicanAmerican Studies And Discovery Green Turns Ten April 13 2018

first_imgListen 00:00 /50:20 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:center_img X On Friday’s Houston Matters: The State Board of Education just approved a new high school course covering Mexican-American history. The vote comes after years of debate over the issue. We learn more from Raúl A. Ramos, associate professor of history at the University of Houston. Also this hour: We get a preview of the annual Art Car Parade from emcees Ernie Manouse and Edel Howlin of Houston Public Media.Then: It’s been 10 years since Discovery Green has opened. So far, it’s hosted more than 12 million visitors and has spurred more than a billion dollars in economic development. We learn from the Downtown District and officials from Discovery Green Conservancy about the park’s history and what can we expect to see in the future. Plus: Our panel of non-experts discusses The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly of the week’s news.And Houston will host a live stage show of the satirical advice podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me this weekend. Ahead of the event, Joshua Zinn talks with the eldest brother, Justin McElroy, about how the show came to be, the live show experience, and the lessons he’s learned doing the podcast.WATCH: Today’s Houston Matters 360-Degree Facebook Live VideoWe offer a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps. This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Sharelast_img read more

ASALH Black History Luncheon Honors Scholars

first_imgSylvia Cyrus, ASALH executive director; Ronald A. Stroman, deputy postmaster general, USPS; Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, president of ASALH and Jon Jarvis, National Park Service director unveiled Feb. 20 the commemorative stamp of Bishop Richard Allen, founder of the A.M.E. Church. (Photo by Rob Roberts )Carter G. Woodson, the founder of Negro History Week – later to become Black History Month – noted that providing Black youth with access to historical information and education would diminish the “false and belittling propaganda type of history which had been handed to them by Whites, and would build up the Black child’s self and race knowledge as well as his self-respect.”It was through the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s annual luncheon on Feb 20 at the Renaissance Hotel in Northwest D.C. that the mission of casting-off stereotypical Black representations was reinvigorated.Now entering its second century of existence, ASALH continues to document the accomplishments of Black Americans in building the nation, as well as recording, protecting, and disseminating the everyday narratives that capture Black life. “Since I was a child ASALH was a part of my life since my father worked with Dr. Woodson and helped edit the Journal (of Negro History) after his death,” Higginbotham told the AFRO. “Naturally, I feel a certain amount of pride to continue that great work, in addition to a sense of responsibility I feel to lead this organization well.”For Higginbotham, who received the 2014 National Humanities Medal from President Obama, ASALH’s mission of making and keeping history relevant in the lives of Black youth is even more necessary today. “It is crucial for young people today to understand their place in the community and the world by having a clear understanding of what their legacies are and how important their forefathers and foremothers were to the building of this great nation,” Higginbotham said.  “Their roles in society today are directly connected to those their ancestors played in the past.”ASALH’s 2016 honorees included Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer David Levering Lewis, who received the Woodson Scholars Medallion; National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) Chair Ingrid Saunders Jones, who received the Living Legacy Award; and Louis Hicks, who received the Mary McLeod Bethune Service Award.Keynote speaker Karsonya Wise Whitehead, associate professor of African and African American Studies at Loyola University, said ASALH had a great responsibility in sharing the past, however tumultuous, with young people to equip and arm them for a new generation of struggle. “We are living in a time when Black people are being shot for simply living and breathing, and moving while being Black,” she said. “This is a crisis point and we have a great responsibility because if you know the history, or you’ve lived the history, or you’ve studied the history of this country, you are a keeper of our historical record.”last_img read more

Sets the city World Science Festival 2012 New Yorkstyle Part 1 of

first_img , Nature Physics The first WSF2012 panel discussion I attended was Artist as Innovator: Visions of a Floating City. Held at New York’s iconic Metropolitan Museum of Art, Artist as Innovator was a multidisciplinary science-meets-art look at Cloud Cities, artist Tomás Saraceno’s vision of a floating city. The immense grouping of interconnected pods – now installed on the Metropolitan’s rooftop – was inspired by Saraceno’s investigations into neural networks, optimal packing algorithms, bubble geometry, balloon flight, cosmological spatial patterns, and three-dimensional spider webs. Moreover, Cloud Cities redefines the phrase open to the public: Museum visitors can enter the structure and navigate through its maze of dodecahedron pods. (The installation runs through November 4, 2012.)Saraceno spoke prior to the panel discussion, giving a near-lightspeed tour of his work that led to Cloud Cities. His range and experience extends from NASA and arachnid biology to solar energy and neural networks, and his energy and imagination were evident. Saraceno was then joined on the panel – moderated by Peabody Award-winning radio producer Julie Burstein – by arachnologist Peter Jäger, astrophysicist Mario Livio, astrobiologist Christopher McKay, and architectural theorist and Dean of Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation Mark Wigley.The questions were varied and the answers spirited, although the discussion itself seemed a bit brief. In any case, the arachnid-obsessed Jäger – who has discovered more than 200 species of spiders in past 10 years alone, including one he somewhat humorously christened Heteropoda davidbowie – spoke about his collaboration with Saraceno. “Tomás called to say that he needed a spider expert to have a three-dimensional spider web scanned, greatly enlarged and installed. I said it was impossible – but he did it! As a scientist, I start with known limitations, but as an artist, Tomás has an idea and goes with it – so here we are.”McKay, a research scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, whose research focuses on the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life, is leading an effort to establish a Mars habitat suitable for humans, initially by conducting various field research projects at Earth’s most extreme environments. These include not only the aptly-named Haughton Mars Project (HMP), Canadian Arctic and Mars Desert Research Station, Utah, but also sites such as Spitsbergen (Svalbard) Island, Rio Tinto, Spain, Pavilion Lake, Canada, Mojave Desert, California, Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa, Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut, Canada. Even more ambitious are his group’s recently-funded plans to transport sterilized plant seeds to the Moon for cultivation and – critically – replanting seeds produced by that first exoplanetary generation. (Sterilization eliminates Earth microbes from the seed without affecting its genetic material or ability to sprout, grow and produce viable seeds of its own.) In that context, McKay stole the show with a one-liner repurposed from (no surprise) Star Trek: “We want to grow where no one has grown before.”Mark Wigley (who has also recently appeared on Critical Thought | TV) contributed some of the discussion’s most thought-provoking comments. ”I think we know more about life on Mars than we do about life on Earth – by which I mean that by the year 2015 there’ll be 9.3 billion people living on this planet, and 70% of them – seven billion people – will be living in cities. No one has any idea what that means. None at all – not even the beginning of an idea.” Part of the problem, Wigley adds, is that cities (which he describes as a technology for maximizing connectivity) are evolving more quickly than most technologies – and faster than the institutions designed to think about them as well. From a different perspective, Wigley adds that while it is the cosmos that seems mysterious, “what’s really strange is the world in which we live.” As an example, he pointed out that even something as basic as the concept of home – and even of room – is highly variable. “The conceptualization of home has vaporized and almost completely dispersed. For example,” he illustrated, “a teenager’s idea of home is probably more in his or her cell phone than it is in an actual house.” Next up (this time at Hunter College) was Madness Redefined: Creativity, Intelligence and the Dark Side of the Mind – a profound, humorous and ultimately inspiring panel discussion addressing the likely possibility that the so-called tortured genius or mad scientist may actually be more than folk legend. Based both on research showing that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia correlate with high creativity and intelligence, the panel discussed a range of issues, including the role of environment in mental illness, the possibility that certain traits related to mental illness are being selected for in the human gene pool, and the border between brilliance and madness. The Festival was co-founded in 2008 by Brian Greene, quantum physicist, string theorist, Columbia University professor of physics and mathematics, and bestselling author of The Elegant Universe and The Hidden Reality; and Tracy Day, Emmy Award-winning journalist and television producer. The annual event brings together many of the world’s leading scientific minds with renowned artists and influential thinkers for a five-day celebration that, through discourse and debate, conversation and performance, the arts and exhibitions, allows everyone to experience science in a unique and thrilling way. Since its inception, the Festival has attracted some 600,000 people to over 200 original programs.Prior to the Festival proper, a Gala Celebration hosted by the inimitable Alan Alda – a Visiting Professor at Stony Brook School of Journalism, working with the Center for Communicating Science – was held in recognition of the Festival’s fifth anniversary and ongoing success. A Performing Arts Salute to Science brought together leaders in science, theatre, music, art, education and business for an evening that celebrates both the content and the culture of science, while raising essential support for the Festival’s mission and programs. The event featured Brian Greene, violinist Joshua Bell, Emmy award-winning actress Debra Monk and other Broadway luminaries – Todd Ellison, Rose Hemmingway, Paige Faure, Eryn Murman, Abbey O’Brien, David Hibbard, Drew Gehling, the dancers/illusionists of MOMIX – and my personal favorite, TONY award-winning performer James Naughton’s hysterical over-the-top performance of his piece Stress (note that the linked video is the same piece, but not recorded at the World Science Festival Gala). Proposed experiment would prove that quantum jumps are not objective events Citation: Sets & the city: World Science Festival 2012, New York-style (Part 1 of 2) (2012, August 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-08-city-world-science-festival-york-style.html Explore further Copyright 2012 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Journal information: Physical Review Letterscenter_img 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. Video: Copyright © 2012 World Science FestivalModerated by Cynthia McFadden, co-anchor of Nightline and recipient of the Emmy, the Peabody, Dupont, and Foreign Press awards, the panel featured James Fallon, an internationally recognized neurobiologist; Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychologist transformed her own struggle with manic-depression into a lifelong career researching the illness and its treatment; and Elyn Saks, a mental health law professor focused on legal and ethical issues surrounding mental illness.Perhaps the most engaging aspect of the event was the courage and honesty with which each panelist discussed not only his or her own mental illness, but the professionalism and clarity that informed the impact that illness had visited on their personal lives. The audience therefore had a rare opportunity to have both emotional and intellectual insight into these disabling yet sometimes enhancing conditions. Saks, for example, described with great precision the way that, in schizophrenia – her own affliction – traits associated with high creativity (such as the ability to hold contradictory concepts simultaneously in one’s mind) infiltrate and thereby compromise more deliberative, rational cognitive processes.Aside from the occasional humor found in their comments, Fallon was disarming when he unabashedly acknowledged accidentally discovering that his own brain scans (one of his key areas of expertise) were indistinguishable from those of sociopaths. With this realization as an impetus, he began asking colleagues, friends and family members if he displayed any characteristics that would indicate such a condition. To his great surprise, they all answered in the affirmative – but they only described annoying behaviors. In other words, despite his diagnostic brain images, Fallon was not classically sociopathic – a positive outcome he attributes to his supportive upbringing.At Hunter College again the following evening, John Hockenberry – award-winning radio, broadcast television and print journalist, co-host of WNYC and PRI’s The Takeaway, host on The DNA Files, and contributor to The Infinite Mind – moderated a forward-looking discussion entitled Quantum Biology and the Hidden Nature of Nature. The panel featured Paul Davies, physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and Director of Arizona State University’s Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science; Seth Lloyd, a mechanical engineer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was the first person to develop a realizable model for quantum computation, and who’s now focused on the quantum mechanics of living systems (which he refers to as quantum life); and Thorsten Ritz, a biophysicist at the University of California, Irvine interested in the role of quantum mechanics in biological systems, ranging from photosynthetic light harvesting systems to sensory cells.Video: Copyright © 2012 World Science FestivalIt should be noted that despite increasing evidence from areas as diverse as bird navigation, photosynthesis and human olfaction, the role of quantum events in biological systems is still hotly debated. In general, the arguments against quantum life have centered on dimensionality (distances between components of biological systems are too great), temperature (biological systems are too warm), and standard biophysics (quantum effects statistical zero out at higher levels of scale). As demonstrated by the history of science, however, facts often turn out to be incorrect beliefs – and these long-held dismissive assertions about quantum life may well be that. Copyright © Greg Kessler, 2012 World Science Festival Seth Lloyd on Quantum Life Consider the above-mentioned research. Delving into the ability of some migratory bird species sense very subtle variations in Earth’s magnetic field, scientists at University of Oxford found that quantum superposition and entanglement are not only present, but sustained for tens of microsecond – far longer than artificial molecular systems, which, moreover, typically operate only at cryogenic temperatures. Similarly, researchers at University of California, Berkeley analyzed quantum entanglement in light-harvesting biological complexes, demonstrating what they describe as the first rigorous quantification of entanglement in a biological system. Finally, scientists at University College London showed that while molecular odorant receptors are not sufficient to explain our olfactory sense, tested their proposal that quantum electron tunneling from a donor to an acceptor mediated by the odorant provides critical odor discrimination in biomolecular systems – and found that proposal consistent both with the underlying physics and with observed features of smell.Hockenberry concluded the discussion with a (perhaps inevitable) question about the role of quantum mechanics in the emergence of consciousness – and Lloyd gave a balanced and insightful response. “Quantum mechanics is strange and mysterious…the origins of life are strange and mysterious…consciousness is strange and mysterious…and Donald Trump’s hair is strange and mysterious. That doesn’t mean that they’re all the same thing or strange and mysterious in the same way. However,” he continued, ”there is one place where we really do know that quantum mechanics plays a very important role in developing life – and that is in the introduction of variation. Classical mechanics doesn’t give you any mechanism for introducing variation – it’s completely deterministic. Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, is probabilistic, and can inject all kinds of information into the universe. In fact, the only explanation we have for why the universe is so varied and interesting – given that it came from an initial state that was incredibly uniform, the quantum state was incredibly uniform, the laws of physics were simple, and if that were a classical universe, it would have stayed simple – is that quantum mechanics is constantly injecting all kinds of little fluctuations that can become seeds for the formation of galaxies, or for that matter, little mutations that become seeds for cancer when an ultraviolet photon zaps one of our cells. This variation is being introduced by quantum mechanics.”Part 2: phys.org/news/2012-08-city-wor … e-festival-york.html (Phys.org) — New York City is the nexus of all things intellectual, cultural and academic. (Being a native New Yorker, I admit being somewhat biased.) Either way, one highlight in this complex and vibrant metropolis is the annual World Science Festival, founded in 2008. World Science Festival 2012 was a nearly week-long orchestration of myriad events focused on a wide range of topics embracing not just science, but also art, architecture, film, music, and technology. More information: Sustained Quantum Coherence and Entanglement in the Avian Compass, Physical Review Letters 106, 040503 (2011), doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.040503Quantum entanglement in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes, Nature Physics 6, 462–467 (2010) doi:10.1038/nphys1652Could Humans Recognize Odor by Phonon Assisted Tunneling?, Physical Review Letters 98, 038101 (2007), doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.038101last_img read more

Tidal motion found to influence Antarctic subglacial seismicity

first_img Scientists pioneer wireless sensors to explore little known glacier phenomenon 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. Image: National Science Foundation (Phys.org) — An American team of researchers has concluded that a period of rapid-succession small earthquakes in Antarctica over a several month span back in 2002-2003 was likely due to a glacier passing over some rough terrain and its periodic nature likely came about because of the impact of ocean tides. The team has published a paper describing their observations and conclusions in the journal Nature Geoscience. Explore further More information: Motion of an Antarctic glacier by repeated tidally modulated earthquakes, Nature Geoscience (2012) doi:10.1038/ngeo1555AbstractBetween debris-laden glacial ice and bedrock, basal seismicity can develop that yields information about bed properties1, stress distribution, outburst flooding, and crevassing and calving. Basal seismicity in response to glacial motion is linked to variations in both stress and lubrication of bedrock by water and till. Here we analyse data from the Transantarctic Mountains Seismic Experiment array in 2002–2003 to investigate seismic behaviour at David Glacier, a large outlet glacier that drains 4% of East Antarctica’s ice sheet into the Ross Sea. We identify about 20,000 seismic events that are larger in magnitude and duration than typical for glacial sources and repeat at regular intervals of about 25 min. These events are consistent with stick–slip behaviour of debris-laden ice moving over a single obstacle of rough bedrock, modulated by relatively small stress changes from the ocean tides. In the years before and after the interval of repeating events, seismic events with irregular and generally longer intervals were detected at the same location, and are consistent with combined stick–slip and continuous sliding of the subglacial interface. We suggest that the observed transitions in seismicity patterns capture the dynamic behaviour of the ice stream, and that—despite lower ice-flow velocities—sliding in the stick–slip regime enhances subglacial erosion.center_img There are a lot of seismic sensors in Antarctica, continuously monitoring the continent and its movements. Scientists have found over the years that glaciers tend to produce small earthquakes as they move over rocky protrusions. Such activity is generally random and irregular and for that reason a series of small earthquakes occurring beneath David Glacier roughly every twenty five minutes, for several months, stood out.The researchers note that small earthquakes that occur due to glacial movement generally come about as a result of stick-slip action. The glacier encounters an obstacle that causes part of it to slow or stop until the momentum of its mass is enough to overcome the obstacle, at which point it suddenly lurches forward, causing the ground to shake a little bit. Normally such actions occur without any discernible pattern. With David Glacier however, the stick-slip shaking, recorded by the Transantarctic Mountains Seismic Experiment array under the glacier in East Antarctica (which drains into the Ross Sea) was so predictably periodic that it warranted further research.The team identified 20,000 small earthquakes during the time frame, all coming within about 25 minutes of each other. By comparing the seismic data with other glacier slip-stick recordings, they confirmed that the shaking was due to the glacier moving over something below, rather than conditions beneath the surface of the land mass. Then they noted that the periodicity of the earthquakes matched up with ocean tides, which made sense, because scientists already know that glaciers tend to slow a very small amount during high tide (because of buoyancy) and speed up at low tide. That they say, accounts for the regularity of the earthquake activity during the time period under study.The researchers say their findings indicate that tidal activity likely plays a role in other glacial areas as well and suggest that it might play an additional unknown role as global warming causes a rise in sea levels around the world. Journal information: Nature Geoscience © 2012 Phys.org Citation: Tidal motion found to influence Antarctic sub-glacial seismicity (2012, August 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-08-tidal-motion-antarctic-sub-glacial-seismicity.htmllast_img read more

10 Questions to Ask When Creating a Killer PowerPoint Presentation

first_imgJanuary 22, 2014 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now As an entrepreneur, speaking at influential industry trade shows and conferences positions your products and services center stage, exactly where you want your brand to be.When done right, showcasing your brand in a dynamic presentation can reel in new customers, attract capital and generate positive media buzz. When done wrong, well, just ask Michael Bay and the folks at Samsung.Your PowerPoint (or Prezi or Keynote) presentation slides have to be spot-on. This goes for whether you’re presenting at a big conference or for customers or colleagues. Not only do carefully planned slides help you stay on-topic, more importantly, they help you tell a memorable story that informs, engages and hopefully even inspires your audience to do business with you.Here are 10 important questions to consider when crafting your next PowerPoint presentation:1. What do I need to think about before designing my first slide?If you start by opening PowerPoint and haphazardly typing bullet points, you’re off to a rough start, says Adam Sigel, a Boston-based product manager at New York City-based streaming TV startup Aereo, and teacher of Skillshare’s Slide Chi: Advanced PowerPoint Design/Workshop Class. Your first step should be identifying key messages, then creating a clear outline for their delivery, Sigel advises. “Focus first on a single memorable message that you want your audience to understand and what value your message will have to them,” he says.Also consider what your ultimate goal is. For example, is your aim in presenting to earn customers or strategic partnerships? Is it to broaden your industry influence or highlight new products and services?2. How can I create a presentation that really connects with my audience?Show them that you understand their needs by presenting a value proposition tailored to them and you’ll make a lasting impact, Sigel says. This is something only you — not your PowerPoint slides — can do. “If slides alone could win you business, salespeople would just email them to prospects and say, ‘Please return with a signed copy of the contract,'” Sigel says. If only it were that easy.To reach your listeners, “connect with them in the way you connect with anyone else in your life — with empathy and emotion,” he says. Explain how your idea (or product or service) can improve their lives or work. Be careful not to come off too hard sales-y, though. Keep your tone conversational, informative and friendly, not corporate and stiff.  3. How much textual content should I include?There’s no one-size-fits-all word count when it comes to slide text. “I’ve heard various rules about how many bullets per slide and how many words per bullet and I don’t listen to any of it,” says Sigel. He suggests using powerful single words, short phrases or clear and concise single sentences per slide, versus cramming slides full of trailing bullet points and long-winded paragraphs.Remember that slides merely provide visual support for your talk. Filling them with too many words creates an audience of readers, not listeners. “If people are reading your slides, they’re unable to listen to you, and they came to hear you.”4. How many slides should I have?How many slides you feature depends on how much visual support you need for what you’re explaining.Sigel recommends using venture capitalist and business author Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 PowerPoint Rule: 10 slides presented in 20 minutes, with no font smaller than 30-point type.Kawasaki suggests tackling the following topics in 10 short and sweet slides total, especially if you’re addressing venture capitalists:ProblemYour solutionBusiness modelUnderlying magic/technologyMarketing and salesCompetitionTeamProjections and milestonesStatus and timelineSummary and call to action5. How can I be sure that my textual slides are as efficient and high-impact as possible?Start by just saying no to convoluted prefab PowerPoint templates. Instead, for every slide you make, Sigel suggests writing down a single sentence that captures the message of that slide. Next, circle the single most important word or phrase in that sentence. Then see how well your slide reflects your circled key word. What text can you omit to get to your point in fewer words? What can you move off of the slide and into your speaking notes?You’ll also want to boost the impact of your slides by varying their backgrounds, Sigel says. Mix it up and with a blend of solid backgrounds, subtle gradients and full-sized background images with the transparency turned up.6. What types of images should I incorporate into my slides and why?Studies show that visual information, when delivered well during a presentation, can capture and hold your audience’s attention much better than if you use no images. Images also enhance information recall.Pictures of faces are perhaps the most powerful presentation visuals of all, Sigel says. “People connect with other people, so I like to incorporate faces, hands, and other human elements in my slides whenever I can.” High resolution images of your company’s logo and products are also strong choices.Whichever images you use, they should always be high quality and professional, never cheesy clip art. Some popular free stock photography sites to source top notch high resolution images from include Stock Free Images, Freerange and stock.xchng. Some inexpensive paid stock photo options are iStockPhoto, Fotolia and Veer. 7. What about slide transitions? Should I go all-out with them or limit them?It’s best to use them sparingly, if at all, Sigel says. If you do use transitions, do so only to strengthen a visual metaphor or to show a process. “Too much pizazz and your presentation can quickly go from professional to school project.”8. Should I add audio and video elements to my presentation?Yes, but tread lightly and carefully, Sigel cautions. He says that audio, video and animation features “tend to be the first to break when switching software versions, say from PowerPoint 2010 to PowerPoint 2013.”Sigel advises saving your presentation’s audio and video files locally to the computer or USB drive you plan to use during your presentation. This eliminates most playback problems, like long buffering times due to a slow internet connection.9. Should I use charts? If so, what kind?   On his popular blog, marketing expert Seth Godin says the only reason to include statistics in a PowerPoint presentation is to “advance an argument.” For example, if you want to parade impressive customer base growth over time, a simple, well-organized chart can help you make your point. Limit yourself to one story (or main point) per chart.As for what types of charts to use, Godin states on his blog that he prefers line and pie charts (as opposed to bar charts) and suggests animating them for optimal impact.10. What are some common PowerPoint mistakes and clich?s to avoid?One of the worst offenders is reading all of the text on each slide, word for word. Some other offenses Sigel would like to see retired forever include: confusing charts, freaky fonts, animated text and SmartArt, which is neither smart nor art, he says.center_img 7 min read Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

5 Reasons to learn programming

first_imgThe year is 2018 and it’s all over the television, the internet, the newspapers; people are talking about it in coffee shops, at office desks across from where we sit, and what not. There’s a scramble for people to learn how to program. It’s a confusing and scary situation for someone who has never written a line of code, to think about all these discussions that are doing the rounds. In this article, I’m going to give you 5 reasons why I think you should learn to code, even if you are not a programmer by profession. Okay, first thing’s first: What is Programming? Programming is the process of writing/creating a set of instructions that tell a computer how to perform a certain task. Just like you would tell someone to do something and you would tell them in a language like English, computers also understand particular languages. This is called a programming language. There are several like Java, Python, C# (pronounced Csharp), etc. Just like many would find English easier to learn that French or maybe Cantonese, every person finds each language different, although almost all languages can do pretty much the same thing. So now, let’s see what our top 5 reasons are to learn a programming language, and ultimately, how to program a computer. #1 Automate stuff: How many times do we find ourselves doing the same old monotonous work ourselves. For example, a salesperson who has a list of 100 odd leads, will normally mail each person manually. How cool would it be if you could automate that and let your computer send each person a mail separately addressing them appropriately? Or maybe, you’re a manager who has a load of data you can’t really make sense of. You can use a language like Python to sort it and visualise your findings. Yes, that’s possible with programming! There’s a lot of other stuff that can be automated too, like HR scanning resumes manually. You can program your computer to do it for you, while you spend that time doing something more productive! Now while there might be softwares readily available that could do this for you, they’re pretty much standard and non-customisable. With programming, you can build something that’s tailor-made to your exact requirement. #2 Start thinking more logically: When you learn to program, you start thinking about outcomes more logically. Programming languages are all about logic and problem-solving. You will soon learn how to break down problems into small parts and tackle them individually. You can apply this learning in your own personal and work life. #3 Earn great moolah Programming pays really well and even freelance jobs pay close to $100 an hour. You could have your day job, while taking advantage of your programming skills to build websites, games, create applications for clients, after work or over the weekend, while making some good bucks. Here’s a list of average salaries earned by programmers, based on the language they used: Source: TOP 10 ChallengeRocket.com ranking of projected earnings in 2017 #4 Another great idea! Well, in case you’re an entrepreneur or are planning to become one, learning a programming language is sure to benefit you a great deal. The most successful startups these days are AI and software based and even though you might not be the one doing the programming, you will be interacting with those who will. It makes things much easier when you’re discussing with such a person, and more importantly, it saves you from being taken for a ride in many ways. #5 Having fun Unlike several other things that are boring to learn and will get you frustrated in a matter of hours, programming isn’t like that. That’s not to say that programming doesn’t have a learning curve, but with the right sources, you can learn it quickly and effectively. There are few things that can compare to the satisfaction of creating something. You can use programming to build your own game or maybe prank somebody! I tried that once – every time a friend clicked on the browser icon on my PC, it would make a loud farting noise! Don’t believe me yet? Over 80% of respondents to our most recent Skill-Up survey said that they programmed for fun, outside of work. #bonusreason! What’s to lose? I mean, seriously what can you lose? You’re going to be learning something completely new and will be probably much better at solving problems at home or your workplace. If you’re thinking you won’t find time to learn, think again. I’m sure all of us can make time, at least an hour a day to do something productive, if we commit to it. And you can always consider this your “me time”. Okay, so now you have your 5+1 reasons to learn to program. You’ve had some quality time to think about it and you’re ready to start learning. But you have some questions like where to start? Do you need to take a course or a college degree? Will it cost much? How long will it take to learn programming? The list is never ending. I’m going to put up some FAQs that most people ask me before they intend to start learning how to code. So here it goes… FAQs Where to start?Honestly speaking, you can start in the confines of your home! You just need a computer, an internet connection and the will to learn, if you want to get started with programming. You can begin by understanding what programming is a bit more, selecting a programming language, and then diving right into coding with the help of some material like the book, Introduction to Programming. What language do I pick?Every language can pretty much do what others can, but there are certain languages that have been built to solve a particular problem. Like for example, JavaScript, HTML and CSS are mainly used for building websites. Python is quite simple to learn and can be used to do a variety of things, most notably working with data. On the other hand, C# can be used to develop some cool games, while also being a great language to build websites and other applications. Think about what you want to do and then choose a language accordingly. I would suggest you choose between Python and JavaScript to start off. Do you need to take a course or a college degree?Not really, unless you plan on making it your full time career or becoming a software engineer or something like that. I’ve known some of the top professionals who haven’t earned a degree and still are at the position where they are. Mark Zuckerberg for example, dropped out of Harvard to start Facebook (he recently received an honorary degree in 2017, though). Programming is about learning to solve problems and in most cases, you don’t need a degree to prove that you’re great at solving problems. You can take an online course or buy a book to start learning. Sometimes, just looking at code often can teach you a lot too. Take HTML and CSS for example. If you like how a website looks, you could just checkout its source code to understand why it is the way it. Do this for a few sites and you you grasp the basics of what the HTML/CSS code do and how to write or alter simple code snippets. Will it cost much?You can learn a lot freely if you have a lot of time and patience at hand; sorting out the good from the bad. There are plenty of resources out there from Q&A sites like stackoverflow to youtube with its vast collection of videos. If you are like most people with a day job, you are better off spending a little to learn. There are several reasonably priced videos and courses from Packt, that will help you get started with computer programming. Alternatively, you can purchase a book or two for under $100. Trust me, once you become good at programming, you’ll be earning way more than you invested! How long will it take to learn programming?I can’t really answer that for certain. I took about 4 months to learn Python, while a friend of mine could code small programs within a couple of weeks. It all depends on the language you choose to learn, the amount of time you invest and how committed you are to learning something new. What jobs can I get?You may be quite happy in your current job as a non-programmer who now knows to code. But in case, you’re wondering about job prospects in programming, here is the rundown. As a programmer, you have a variety of jobs to choose from, depending on your area of interest. You could be a web developer, or a game developer, or you could also be building desktop applications like a notepad or word processor. There are a huge number of jobs available for those who can work with a lot of data as well, while there are a growing number of jobs for professionals who can manage thousands of computers working together – their maintenance, security, etc. Okay, so you have enough information to start your adventures into learning programming! You might hear people talk a lot about professionals losing jobs due to automation. Don’t let something like that be the reason behind why you want to learn how to program. Computer Science and programming has become more ingrained in school education, and our little ones are being coached to be industry ready. Always remember, programming is not everyone’s cup of tea and you shouldn’t do it just because everyone else is. Do it if you’re really passionate about solving problems in a better way. You will never know if programming is really meant for you until you try it. So go forth and get your hands dirty with some code! Read Next: What is the difference between functional and object oriented programming? The Top 7 Python programming books you need to read Top 5 programming languages for crunching Big Data effectivelylast_img read more

Mexico has key role in confronting surge of Central American migrants

first_imgRelated posts:Fix the immigration crisis at its root Central American foreign ministers meet in Washington to lobby Obama on immigration crisis Group criticizes US screening of asylum seekers from Honduras Immigrants find themselves torn between hope, defeat on Obama’s plans HUEHUETOCA, Mexico — A few weeks ago, just about the same time that Mexican officials said they were putting a stop once and for all to the rolling horror show nicknamed “The Beast,” Jhonny Torres left Honduras for Houston. He reached southern Mexico and scrambled onto a boxcar with hundreds of other migrants.Gang members stopped the train near the Mayan ruins of Palenque and took his last $50. In Orizaba, another dreaded shakedown site farther north, gunmen put a pistol to his temple and said he was a smuggling guide who had not anted up. They let him go, Torres said, only when they figured out it was his first trip and he had nothing left to steal.By the time Torres reached the tent-camp migrant shelter here on the northern outskirts of Mexico City, he’d been held up five times by armed gangs, including a group of commandos claiming to be members of the Zetas cartel. But he never encountered any Mexican police or soldiers.“There were some guys with military uniforms,” said Torres, 26. “But I think those were the Zetas.”In the two months since U.S. President Barack Obama called the surge of Central American minors and families crossing the U.S. southern border a “an urgent humanitarian situation,” he has asked the leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to do more to stem illegal migration to the United States.But it is the big country between them — Mexico — that may actually have the power to do something.Unlike the small Central American republics, Mexico is neither impoverished nor weak. It has a network of highway checkpoints to screen travelers and large detention centers to hold illegal migrants. It has tens of thousands of federal police officers and immigration agents capable of arresting and deporting them, while also providing protection from attacks by criminal gangs.But large stretches of Mexico’s rail corridors, highways and border areas are effectively under the control of cartel gangsters who have learned to squeeze handsome profits from the human trafficking business.Mexican law enforcement agents often are not much better, and the reason “coyote” smuggling guides now charge $7,000 for the trip from Central America isn’t just greed or market demand. It is to pay bribes to Mexican police and immigration agents at highway checkpoints along the route north, where the going rate is typically 500 pesos ($40) per head.“We haven’t had any problems — everything’s been taken care of,” said Ofelia Aranda, ushering her sons, ages 8 and 4, into a smuggler’s battered white minivan outside a shelter, two weeks after leaving Honduras. The boys’ father in California had sent for the family. “We just need to get to Tijuana,” Aranda said.Analysts say Mexico’s commitment to tougher, less corrupt and more humane immigration enforcement will be pivotal to the U.S. effort to dissuade Central American families from rushing for the border or sending their kids northward.Mexican Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong announced last month that authorities would finally put an end to the spectacle of desperate migrants riding atop freight trains. “We can’t allow them to continue taking these risks and losing their lives without anyone doing anything,” he said.Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has appointed a special commissioner to implement a new multi-agency enforcement strategy targeting Mexico’s southern border, but the details of the effort have yet to be announced. Central American immigrants board “La Bestia” (“The Beast”) cargo train, in an attempt to reach the Mexico-U.S. border, in Arriaga, Chiapas state, Mexico on July 16, 2014. Elizabeth Ruíz/AFPMexican officials say they’re already doing more. According to the most recent data, Mexico had deported more than 60,000 Central Americans as of mid-July, including 12,400 minors. Last year, Mexico deported 86,000 Central Americans, of whom 9,600 were minors.But for all the talk of tighter controls and enhanced protections for vulnerable Central American travelers, little has changed along the railway routes used by tens of thousands of migrants who can’t afford to pay a smuggling guide to bribe their way north along the highways.If anything, interviews with migrants at the San Juan Diego shelter along the tracks — where canvas tents and bunk beds are being added to house up to 400 guests — suggest the route is just as perilous and crowded as ever.At the gated entrance topped with concertina wire, a group of Denver-bound Salvadoran men arrived on a recent afternoon asking for water, saying they had been robbed at gunpoint along the tracks a few minutes earlier. Several other travelers were nursing bruises and broken ribs from beatings they blamed on gang members or local police. A young Honduran woman said she was grateful she’d survived an assault with little more than a groping.“Why hasn’t Mexico taken care of the trains issue? It’s the most well-known and well-documented aspect of this whole tragedy,” said Eric Olson, an expert on security and migration at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.The freight trains, known collectively to migrants as “The Beast,” are “a concentrated, specific route that people are taking, and it would seem obvious that creating security on the train and keeping migrants off of it would be within the capacity of Mexican security forces. So one has to wonder why it hasn’t happened more quickly and readily,” Olson said.Though illegal migration into the United States from Mexico remains near its lowest levels in 40 years, the share of Guatemalan, Salvadoran and Hondurans arrested along the U.S. southern border is higher than ever.Mexico has its own complex immigration sensitivities, once fashioning itself as a champion of immigrant rights when its citizens were flooding into the United States illegally and complaining of abuse by U.S. border agents. But now that Mexico is a place where migrants have been systematically robbed, raped and even massacred, sometimes in collusion with authorities, the government struggles with its new role of enforcer and protector.Aware of these sensitivities, the Obama administration has not openly pressured Mexico to do more the way it has challenged Central American leaders. Obama met with Peña Nieto June 19 to discuss the border crisis, and the White House said Obama “welcomed the opportunity to work in close cooperation with Mexico to develop concrete proposals to address the root causes of unlawful migration from Central America.”Behind the scenes, U.S. officials have pressed for years for Mexico to tighten its southern border. The United States has spent tens of millions on training programs for immigration agents and technology to screen and register Central American migrants along Mexico’s southern border.But much of the 700-mile boundary Mexico shares with Guatemala and Belize is so densely forested and sparsely populated that calls for a U.S.-style border with tall fencing and aerial surveillance are not considered realistic.In some river crossings, Central Americans simply wade or float across in plain view of border guards. At other, more remote crossings busy with truck traffic, there aren’t any Mexican officials.Some in Mexico say the government’s spotty enforcement approach is the result of the view that Central American migration is a problem for the United States, not Mexico. But Marta Sánchez, a migrant rights advocate, said that’s an oversimplification.“Mexico, too, is worried that if more and more Central Americans can’t cross into the United States, they’ll end up getting stuck along the border,” she said, “creating an even bigger security problem.”© 2014, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

ANTO WICKHAMBARRA MCGRORY QCBRITISH MILITARY VETER

first_img ANTO WICKHAMBARRA MCGRORY QCBRITISH MILITARY VETERANS MARCH IN DERRY BLASTED AS ‘PURE PROVOCATION’iraJOHN KELLYPPSVETERANS FOR JUSTICE UK The PSNI’s Legacy Investigation Branch has recently sent a file to the Public Prosecution Service after interviewing British Paratroopers who murdered 13 innocent people 45 years ago.Mr Kelly said the march by British Army veterans on 4 March “must not be allowed to happen”.“Clearly, this is an act of pure provocation and is totally insensitive to the nationalist population. It’s a deliberate insult,” he said.“Its organisers should think carefully about the effect this could have on bereaved families here, families still reeling from the crimes of the past, not to mention the ordinary citizens of this city.” BRITISH MILITARY VETERANS MARCH IN DERRY BLASTED AS ‘PURE PROVOCATION’ was last modified: February 9th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: Thirteen people were shot dead on 30 January 1972, and a 14th victim died later, after troops opened fire on a civil rights march.John Kelly blasts British military veterans march in Derry as ‘pure provocation’Speaking on behalf of the Bloody Sunday Trust, Minty Thompson said holding the march in Derry was a “deliberately provocative act”.“This city has clearly been chosen because it was the scene of one of the most horrific acts of state violence in our history, Bloody Sunday, and because soldiers who were involved in that event, who shot down innocent and unarmed people on our streets, are at long last being investigated for their actions,” he said.The Northern Ireland branch of the Veterans for Justice UK group was established in December 2015.Anto Wickham, who is organising the Derry march, said their aims were to protect soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan facing “false prosecutions”.“If soldiers break the law then they face the rigours of the law and rightly so, and it’s the same as it should be for any other member of the community,” he said.“But where’s the investigation into my colleagues and friends who were murdered? It just seems to be forgotten about.”The former Royal Irish Regiment soldier added the marches were planned in 2016 as part of a larger campaign to put pressure on the government.Mr Wickham said he was “upset” by suggestions the march was planned to raise tensions in the city.“I understand the families and the victims are still really hurt and they want prosecutions.“If that’s the case, and there is evidence, then you have to face the rigours of the law but that should also be the same with the IRA.”Lawyers representing former soldiers facing prosecution have said they are being “unfairly treated”Last month, the director of public prosecutions for Northern Ireland Barra McGrory QC said critics who accused him of treating former soldiers unfairly had insulted him and his office.center_img RELATIVES of Bloody Sunday victims have slammed a march by British military veterans in Derry “an act of pure provocation”.John Kelly, whose brother Michael was killed in the 1972 atrocity, said the march was a “deliberate insult” to the people of the city.Veterans for Justice UK expect about 100 former soldiers to take part in a march through Derry in March to highlight “injustices against soldiers”. ShareTweetlast_img read more

Even the most steadfast bears are throwing in the

first_imgEven the most steadfast bears are throwing in the towel.In November, two famous and successful contrarian money managers—Jeremy Grantham and Hugh Hendry—capitulated. Both admitted that while soaring stock prices make no fundamental sense, betting against them is unwise.They hopped on an already-overcrowded bandwagon: depending on which survey you consult, bullish sentiment is either at multiyear or all-time highs.You don’t need me to tell you that such universal bullishness is a classic signal of a market top. When everyone’s a bull, there’s no one left to buy. Bullish sentiment last peaked in 2007, and before that in 2000, which tells you all you need to know about bullishness as an indicator.John Hussman is also a successful contrarian fund manager, one of the few who haven’t capitulated. And he won’t. Not because he’s a permabear: John was a bull in the early 1990s and in 2003, and captured the stellar stock market gains of those eras.It’s just that today, his firm’s proprietary models—which have predicted past stock market inflection points quite accurately—indicate zero justification for sky-high stock prices.What’s worse, John believes we’re setting up for another crash. Of today’s stock market, he says:“We are observing overvalued, overbought, overbullish extremes that are uniquely associated with peaks that preceded the worst market losses in history (including 1929, 1972, 1987, 2000 and 2007).”Read on to find out exactly why John Hussman is still bearish, what would make him change his mind, and which group of investors is in the most danger if stocks do disappoint over the next several years.You can learn more about John Hussman and the Hussman funds here.Dan SteinhartManaging Editor of The Casey ReportThe Elephant in the RoomBy John P. Hussman, Ph.D.“Being wrong on your own, as Keynes described so eloquently in Chapter 12 of the General Theory, is the cardinal crime of an investment manager. The management of career risk results in very destructive herding. Investors should be aware that the U.S. market is already badly overpriced—indeed, we believe it is priced to deliver negative real returns over seven years [GMO estimates fair value for the S&P 500 at 1100]. Be prudent and you’ll probably forgo gains. Be risky and you’ll probably make some more money, but you may be bushwhacked and if you are, your excuses will look thin. My personal view is that the path of least resistance for the market will be up.”—Value investor Jeremy Grantham, GMO, November 18, 2013“I cannot look at myself in the mirror; everything I have believed in I have had to reject. This environment only makes sense through the prism of trends. You have got to be in things that are trending. Crashing is the least of my concerns. I can deal with that, but I cannot risk my reputation because we are in this virtuous loop where the market is trending. I may be providing a public utility here, as the last bear to capitulate.”—Hedge fund manager Hugh Hendry, Eclectica, November 22, 2013“I am out of justification to fight the uptrend. Up until now, I have had what I thought was compelling evidence to believe in the bearish case, but it has now been revealed to have been insufficient for the task. I am without ammunition to bet on the bears. I don’t like it, because I see the market as overly dependent upon the Fed’s largesse for its upward continuation. I see this as a bubble, but a bubble that is continuing higher even though it should not. I plan to ride the bubble for a while, and will hope to be able to succeed in reading the right [exit] signs.”—Market technician Tom McClellan, November 26, 2013In a classic case of not only locking the barn door after the horse is loose, but removing its best opportunity to return home, we’re seeing a capitulation by investment managers across every discipline, from technical, to value-conscious, to global macro. Historically extreme overvalued, overbought, overbullish conditions were in place even ten months ago, and my impression is that every further extension worsens the payback that will inexorably follow.Investors Intelligence reported last week that the percentage of advisory bears has plunged to 14.4%, lower than at the 2000, 2007, and 1987 peaks, and every point in between. I’ll spare a full review of the overvalued, overbought, overbullish extremes we observe here (see A Textbook Pre-Crash Bubble)—it’s clear that over the past year, even the most extreme variants of these conditions haven’t “worked,” having already appeared in February and May of this year to absolutely no effect.I have no question—at all—that the market has simply climbed a higher cliff from which to plunge, but I learned in 2000 and 2007 that there’s no hope of convincing many investors of this sort of thing—despite the fact that these reckless speculative peaks seem so “obvious” after the market collapses. Even when investors listen, at least some of the tears they would have shed after the plunge are substituted for tears they have to endure while missing the final advance.We’re faced with a speculative advance that seems unstoppable, despite the absence of any reliable mechanistic link between quantitative easing and stock prices—only a combination of superstition and yield-seeking that has repeatedly ended badly. What’s driving capitulation here is not evidence, or even the faint memory of cycles as recent as 2000 and 2007—but pain, impatience, career risk, and the demand that all discomfort must arise from conventional behavior.As John Maynard Keynes wrote in the General Theory:“Human nature desires quick results, there is a peculiar zest in making money quickly, and remoter gains are discounted by the average man at a very high rate… It is the long-term investor, he who most promotes the public interest, who will in practice come in for most criticism, wherever investment funds are managed by committees or boards or banks. For it is in the essence of his behavior that he should be eccentric, unconventional and rash in the eyes of average opinion. If he is successful, that will only confirm the general belief in his rashness; and if in the short run he is unsuccessful, which is very likely, he will not receive much mercy. Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.”Keep in mind how investment bubbles work. A bubble always starts with some real factor that takes on increasingly exaggerated importance in the eyes of investors. The bubble expands not on facts but on untethered imagination. People imagine that X will result in ever-increasing prices, and assume that an endless crowd of buyers is still behind them—dot-com stocks, technology, housing, “tronics” stocks in the ’60s, the Nifty Fifty in the ’70s, quantitative easing, tulip bulbs.Regardless of whether the mechanism underlying that concept is fictional, and regardless of how tenuously it is linked to reality, a bubble advances as long as the adherents it gains are more eager than those it loses. What stops the bubble is not the concept itself hitting a brick wall, but the pool of new adherents being exhausted. Once everyone is in, who’s left to buy from all those holders with their fingers hovering over the sell button? The question, once the moment arrives, is always the same: Sell to whom? And that’s why markets crash.With the percentage of advisory bears at the lowest level in a quarter-century, the following bit from mid-2007 is a useful reminder of how all of this works.“The U.S. stock market now stands at its highest level ever. By most measures, it is as pricey as ’29, or ’68, or 2000. Upon this sea of easy cash and credit, practically every stock market on the face of the planet floats higher and higher.Even some of the greatest and most experienced market observers … have finally given up fighting ’em. They’ve decided that this really is a New Era of New Capitalism and that this is the time to join ’em. This worldwide bubble is more worldly and more bubbly than any in history, they say. It may get much, much bigger. And they have good reasons to think so… all those trillions of new money. How can they help but blow this bubble up even bigger—so big even the moon will have to get out of the way.But wait … isn’t there an old market adage: The bull market is over when the last bear throws in the towel? Are there more bears still out there? We don’t know. But there can’t be many of them.”—Bill Bonner, The Daily Reckoning, June 25, 2007On that subject, for anyone waiting for me to capitulate, it’s important to understand that my views shift when the data shifts. Capitulation is the luxury of those who invest by the seat of their pants. To the extent that I have any latitude to capitulate, the most that one can expect already happened months ago, when we allowed for a “blowoff” in response to the Fed’s decision not to taper—a decision that many of the Federal Reserve’s own members have openly described as a close call, a borderline decision, a missed opportunity, and a threat to the Fed’s credibility.We continue to allow (though not rely on) the potential for a further blowoff in the S&P 500. My opinion about this isn’t driven by the preponderance of historical evidence, which is already strikingly negative, but by the characteristic log-periodic behavior we’re observing in prices (see A Textbook Pre-Crash Bubble).The associated “singularity” may yet be a few weeks away. As Didier Sornette has observed, numerous past bubbles in financial markets and commodities have featured this signature, which I’ve described in terms of increasingly immediate impulses to buy the dip. The pattern was already extreme enough back in April/May of this year, and pushing that singularity further has required the price advance to become even steeper and corrections even shallower and more frequent. The pattern that pushes out to January is the most extreme variant we can fit, but more recent price behavior is more consistent with a mid-December singularity (see last week’s comment).Frankly, I don’t think we can rely on markets following math, but the fidelity to these patterns is creepy, and consistent with what Sornette described in Why Markets Crash.In any event, I don’t actually expect investors to retain any of these potential gains even a couple of months from now, nor would I encourage any meaningful exposure to market risk. Still, modest exposures in index call options can have a useful contingent profile since strike prices can be raised even in the event an advance is purely temporary.The Elephant in the RoomOur focus has always been on outperforming the market over complete market cycles (combining both bull and bear markets), with smaller periodic losses than a passive investment approach. In pursuit of that objective, we’ve always been willing to accept periods where we don’t track the market. By 2009, it was easy to demonstrate the success of that discipline.I was a fully leveraged raging bull in the early 1990s; was defensive well before the 2000 bubble peak, and was more than absolved by prospering during a market plunge in 2000-2002 that wiped out every bit of total return in the S&P 500, in excess of Treasury bills, all the way back to May 1996; shifted to a constructive outlook in early 2003 as a new bull market took hold; warned loudly about an oncoming credit crisis and severe market losses in 2007; and navigated the crisis well in the 2007-2009 plunge as the S&P 500 lost 55% of its value, again wiping out every bit of total return in the S&P 500, in excess of Treasury bills, all the way back to June 1995.I’ve been as comfortable being an aggressive bull as I am being a raging bear today. I can hardly wait for the opportunity to change species when the evidence presents itself. But it is purely a function of the data that I’ve been generally defensive in a period where stocks have been so overpriced that the S&P 500 has scarcely achieved a 3% nominal annual total return in over 13 years, and even then only because valuations have again been driven above every pre-bubble extreme except 1929.What obscures perspective and shakes confidence is the elephant in the room—our disappointing “miss” since 2009. My sense is that many investors are inclined to ignore the objective warnings from a century of evidence because our own subjective experience since 2009 has been disappointing. Before investors dispense with evidence that may very well define their investment future over the next several years, or even the next decade, they may be well served to understand that most of that miss had little to do with the overvaluation and extremely overbought, overbullish conditions that concern us at present.As in 2000 and 2007, my concern is deepest for investors who have relatively short horizons until their funds are needed, who don’t have a great number of years ahead in which they’ll be adding to their investments, and who have allocations to stocks that don’t recognize that equities have a duration of 50 years here (so an investor who needs the funds in 5 years should really have no more than 10% of assets in stocks, particularly at present valuations).We presently estimate a nominal annual total return for the S&P 500 over the coming decade somewhere between zero and 2.2%. We are observing overvalued, overbought, overbullish extremes that are uniquely associated with peaks that preceded the worst market losses in history (including 1929, 1972, 1987, 2000, and 2007). Speculators are now leveraged to the greatest extent in history, with NYSE margin debt surging last month to a record high in dollar terms, and 2.5% of GDP in relative terms (a level previously observed only at the 2000 and 2007 extremes). Our challenges of the past few years—most of which trace to a single decision—should not encourage investors to ignore evidence that is specific to the markets.I believe that more than half, and perhaps closer to all, of the market’s gains since 2009 will be surrendered over the completion of this cycle. Investors will do themselves terrible harm if they ignore the objective warnings of history based on our subjective experience in this unfinished half-cycle. That subjective experience is far more closely related to my 2009 stress-testing decision than many investors recognize.The “stress-testing” problem was to develop an alternative way of estimating return and risk that was robust to complete market cycles across history, including not only post-war data, but also Depression-era data, as well as holdout data that was not used as part of the research process. It’s very easy to simply “back fit” a model to historical data. The actual requirements of validating against holdout data are much more challenging, but until we were certain we could distinguish market conditions in the most extreme circumstances, we worked to solve what I called our “two data sets problem.”Even after we had addressed that problem in mid-2010, there was a smaller issue still to be addressed. The subtlety is that valuations have a very strong effect on long-term returns, but since the long term is just a sequence of short terms, valuations still feature heavily in estimates of expected market return/risk over shorter horizons, even when market action and other factors are included.One cannot simply ignore an overvalued market when trend-sensitive measures are favorable. While favorable market trend-following measures do result in further market advances for a while, this tends to continue only until an advance becomes so extended that a syndrome of “overvalued, overbought, overbullish” conditions emerges. At that point, prices are typically so elevated, relative to any threshold that might provide a reasonable exit, that a great deal of ground is typically lost in one fell swoop at the very end. The key to overvalued markets is to embrace favorable market internals only until those overextended syndromes emerge, but no longer. Greed really is punished over time.By April 2012, we addressed that subtlety by incorporating further criteria to limit our defensiveness, even when our return/risk estimates are negative, provided that our measures of market internals are favorable and overvalued, overbought, overbullish syndromes are absent. While this modification is not actually required over the complete market cycle, it does have the effect of improving the capture of returns in markets that are already substantially overvalued.What our investment discipline has not done is to encourage us to speculate in the face of the unprecedented and uncorrected overvalued, overbought, overbullish conditions driven by investor faith in QEternity during the past year. Investors who wish to rest their financial security on quantitative easing are entirely free to roll those dice on their own.That said, hardly a week goes by that we don’t look into some factor that might convince us to take a more constructive approach toward QE or the associated advance. My belief that the present situation will end very badly is driven by the lessons from a century of evidence, and the absence of a single testable monetary, economic or technical factor—aside from blind faith in QE—that would have helped to capture gains during the past year without worsening the results of our discipline in past market cycles throughout history.Given that our approach spans a century of available data, I have no expectation of reliving such stress testing in any future market cycle, and every reason to expect the resulting approach to outperform our pre-2009 methods in future cycles, not to mention the completion of the present one. Both our 2009-early 2010 miss, and the missed post-correction advances in late 2010 and late 2011 are unfortunately casualties of the credit crisis and the resulting stress testing.I’d like to have a better answer to the past year of QE-induced gains other than noting their resemblance to the confidence in dot-com stocks. The fact is that every strategy we’ve tested that might have embraced these gains also fails spectacularly in historical data, largely because some of the worst market losses in history emerged from overvalued, overbought, overbullish extremes that were less extreme than what we observe today. There’s no denying that the present overvalued, overbought, overbullish extremes have endured longer than they have historically, but I’m not inclined to believe that the end result will be sweeter.I’ve got a very uncomfortable sense that some investors are disregarding objective evidence here, and assuming that extreme overvalued, overbought, overbullish conditions can easily be ignored, on the argument that we’ve had a difficult time of things since 2009.As investors place all of their valuation hopes on the “Fed Model,” comparing the market’s value on “forward earnings” with the 10-year bond yield and resting their financial security on the confidence that the Federal Reserve provides a “put option” to protect them against loss, I’ll end with a reminder from the last time the same beliefs carried such weight, just before the stock market lost more over half its value:“I’ve done my best to warn loudly, I’ve put the data out there, and have analyzed this thing to pieces. The Fed Model has no theoretical validity as a discounting model, is a statistical artifact, would never have been materially negative except in 1987 and the late 1990s (even in 1929 or 1972), yet views the generational 1982 lows as about “fairly valued,” is garbage in data prior to 1980, and vastly underperforms proper discounted cash flow models and normalized P/E ratios. If investors still wish to follow the Fed Model, my conscience is clear, and my hands are clean.“There is no evidence that historically reliable valuation measures have lost their validity. Speculators hoping for a ‘Bernanke put’ to save their assets are likely to discover—too late—that the strike price is way out of the money.”—Hussman Funds Weekly Market Comment, August 27, 2007, Knowing What Ain’t Truelast_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

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