20 commission new itineraries and back to Istanbul with Celestyal

first_img MIAMI — For a limited time Celestyal Cruises is offering 20% commission on seven-day all-inclusive cruise bookings, to help kick off the launch of its newest itineraries.The company says it is “pleased to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to its North American travel agent partners” with commission paid across the majority of its cruise package components, including the cruise fare (including a standard unrestricted drinks package and select shore excursions) as well as additional pre-sold shore excursions, and pre-sold premium drinks upgrade package.The 20% commission deal is applicable on new bookings made between now and June 30 for any seven-day all-inclusive cruise departing in 2018, 2019 and 2020.As part of its goal to offer year-round cruising in the Aegean, Celestyal Cruises recently introduced three new seven-day all-inclusive itineraries: the new ‘Idyllic’ with sailings now underway; and starting in 2019 the new ‘Eclectic’ and ‘Three Continents’ itineraries.The ‘Idyllic’ sailing departs from Athens (Piraeus) and includes overnight stays in Mykonos and Santorini. Along the way passengers will discover the off-the-beaten path island of Milos, beautiful Crete and Turkey’s Kusadasi.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsMeanwhile the ‘Eclectic’ itinerary re-introduces Istanbul to Celestyal’s cruise programs, with weekly sailings Oct. 21 – Nov. 25, 2019. Cruises go roundtrip from Athens with an overnight in Istanbul, plus time in Greece’s Volos and Turkey’s Canakkale. Passengers on this itinerary will additionally have the opportunity to visit Crete and Santorini, and experience Mykonos with an overnight stay.Finally Celestyal’s new ‘Three Continents’ sailings will start in December 2019 with five sailings Dec. 2 – 30 that will also mark the introduction of Christmas and New Year’s cruises in the Aegean for Celestyal Cruises. Roundtrip from Athens, passengers will explore cities and villages in Greece, Egypt (Alexandria and Port Said), Israel, Cyprus (Limassol), the Greek Islands (Rhodes), and Turkey (Kusadasi). Share 20% commission, new itineraries and back to Istanbul with Celestyal Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Friday, April 27, 2018 Tags: Celestyal Cruises Travelweek Group last_img read more

October 23 2009 The Different Skies musicians

first_imgOctober 23, 2009 The Different Skies musicians gave a special performance to a group of students from the neighboring ORME School, as well as to a group of 50 students from the Facultad de Arquitectura y Diserto, Extension Ensenada, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California. The students from Ensenada visited Arcosanti for an extensive architectural tour and enjoyed the impromptu liveliness of the music. [photo: Anna Tran & text: hk] 2009 Different Skies participants: [back row from left] Ivan Schwartz, Allen Goodman, Brian Good, Bill Marx, Rus Foster, Jonathan Mills, John Rossi III, Giles Reaves and John Krikawa. [front row from left] Greg Hurley, Bill Fox, Kevin Haller, Mike Metlay, Otso Pakarinen and Tim Walters. The weeks practice sessions culminate into a public performance on Saturday, October 24. 2009. The evening event will start with a complimentary tour at 5 pm, followed by Dinner in the Cafe at 6 pm, and the Concert starts at 7:30 pm. For ticket information call 928 632-7135. [photo & text: hk]last_img read more

Netflix has ordered a supernaturalthemed original

first_imgNetflix has ordered a supernatural-themed original drama produced by UK-based New Pictures, DTVE sister title TBI has discovered.The eight-episode series will be led by All3Media-backed New Pictures’ founders Charlie Pattinson, Elaine Pyke and Willow Grylls.Creators of the series are Hania Elkington (The North London Book of the Dead) and Simon Duric (The Crown, Black Mirror).The untitled series is being billed as an emotional love story thriller with supernatural twists about two teenage runaways.A source described the series as mixing “Stranger Things with Skins“.A Netflix rep confirmed shooting will take place in the UK and Norway and the series will be executive produced by Farren Blackburn, alongside the New Pictures three founders.New Pictures has produced well-known series The Missing for BBC One and Starz as well as Indian Summers for Channel 4 and WGBH.In March, New Pictures began filming for a psychological thriller named Requiem, which will be produced for Netflix as well as BBC One.The new drama also follows a string of international originals currently commissioned by Netflix including Taiwanese show Bardo, its second Spanish original, Elite, and an untitled show in Turkey, and commissioned New Pictures stablemate Seven Stories to create India-set cricket drama Selection Day.Netflix also found success with another teen-themed drama, 13 Reasons Why.last_img read more

Editors note Doug Casey is known around the worl

first_imgEditor’s note: Doug Casey is known around the world for many very good reasons. Among investors, he’s well known for being a very successful speculator and author. More broadly, his unwavering support of human liberty and his criticism of institutions based on coercion as well as those who support them have made Doug a hero to many… and perhaps public enemy number one to some of those whom he criticizes. Whether one agrees with him or not, Doug almost always has a singular take on issues and ideas, making his essays and talks highly stimulating. As we approach the end of the year – a time when people often reflect on their progress or lack thereof over the past year across all areas of life – this February 2011 interview of Doug Casey by Louis James on the morality of money seems especially trenchant. We hope it helps you reflect on your relationship with money and investing, and brings a renewed sense of clarity and purpose to your financial activities in 2013. Doug Casey on the Morality of Money Interviewed by Casey Research Chief Metals & Mining Investment Strategist Louis James Louis: Doug, every time we have a conversation, I ask you about the investment implications of your ideas, and we consider ways to turn the trends you see into profits. The assumption is that’s what people want to hear from you, since you’re the guru of financial speculation. But this, your known status as a wealthy man, the fact that you have no children, and other things may lead some people to form an incorrect conclusion about you – that “all you care about is money.” So let’s talk about money. Is it all you care about? Doug: I think anyone who has read our conversation giving advice to people just starting out in life (or re-starting) knows that the answer is no. Or the conversation we had in which we discussed Scrooge McDuck, one of the great heroes of literature. However, I have to stop before we start and push back: If money were all I cared about, so what? Would that really make me a bad person? L: I’ve grokked Ayn Rand’s “money speech,” so you know I won’t say yes, but maybe you should expand on that for readers who haven’t absorbed Rand’s ideas… Doug: I’m a huge fan of Rand. She was an original and a genius. But just because someone like her, or me, sees the high moral value of money, that doesn’t mean it’s all-important to us. In fact, I find money less and less important as time goes by, the older I get. Perhaps that’s a function of Maslow’s hierarchy: If you’re hungry, food is all you really care about; if you’re freezing, then it’s warmth; and so forth. If you have enough money, these basics aren’t likely to be problems. My most enjoyable times have had absolutely nothing to do with money. Like a couple times in the past when I hopped freight trains with a friend, once to Portland and once to Sacramento. Each trip took three days and nights, each was full of adventure and weird experiences, and each cost about zero. It was liberating to be out of the money world for a few days. But it was an illusion. Somebody had to get the money to buy the food we ate at missions. Still, it’s nice to live in a dream world for a while. Sure, I’d like more money, if only for the same genetic reason a squirrel wants more nuts to store for the winter. The one common denominator of all living creatures is one word: Survive! And, as a medium of exchange and store of value, money represents survival… it’s much more practical than nuts. L: Some people might say that if money were your highest value, you might become a thief or murderer to get it. Doug: Not likely. I have personal ethics, and there are things I won’t do. Besides, crime – real crime, taking from or harming others, not law-breaking, which is an entirely different thing – is for the lazy, short-sighted, and incompetent. In point of fact, I believe crime doesn’t pay, notwithstanding the fact that Jon Corzine of MF Global is still at large. Criminals are self-destructive. Anyway, what’s the most someone could take, robbing their local bank? Perhaps $10,000? That’s only enough to make a wager with Mitt Romney. But that leads me to think about the subject. In the old days, when Jesse James or other thieves robbed a bank, all the citizens would turn out to engage them in a gun battle in the streets. Why? Because it was actually their money being stored in the bank, not the bankers’ money. A robbed bank had immense personal consequences for everyone in town. Today, nobody gives a damn if a bank is robbed. They’ll get their money back from a US government agency. The bank has become impersonal; most aren’t locally owned. And your deposit has been packaged up into some unfathomable security nobody is responsible for. The whole system has become corrupt. It degrades the very concept of money. This relates to why kids don’t save coins in piggy banks anymore – it’s because they’re no longer coins with value; they’re just tokens that are constantly depreciating and essentially worthless. All of US society is about as sound as the dollar now. Actually, it can be argued that robbing a bank isn’t nearly as serious a crime today as robbing a candy store of $5. Why? Nobody in particular loses in the robbery of today’s socialized banks. But the candy merchant has to absorb the $5 loss personally. Anyway, if you want to rob a bank today, you don’t use a gun. You become part of management and loot the shareholders through outrageous salaries, stock options, and bonuses, among other things. I truly dislike the empty suits that fill most boardrooms today. But most people are mostly honest – it’s the 80/20 rule again. So, no, I think this argument is a straw man. The best way to make money is to create value. If I personally owned Apple as a private company, I’d be making more money – completely honestly – than many governments… and they are the biggest thieves in the world. L: No argument. Doug: Notice one more thing: making money honestly means creating something other people value, not necessarily what you value. The more money I want, the more I have to think about what other people want, and find better, faster, cheaper ways of delivering it to them. The reason someone is poor – and, yes, I know all the excuses for poverty – is that the poor do not produce more than they consume. Or if they do, they don’t save the surplus. L: The productive make things other people want: Adam Smith’s invisible hand. Doug: Exactly. Selfishness, in the form of the profit motive, guides people to serve the needs of others far more reliably, effectively, and efficiently than any amount of haranguing from priests, poets, or politicians. Those people tend to be profoundly anti-human, actually. L: People say money makes the world go around, and they are right. Or as I tell my students, there are two basic ways to motivate and coordinate human behavior on a large scale: coercion and persuasion. Government is the human institution based on coercion. The market is the one based on persuasion. Individuals can sometimes persuade others to do things for love, charity, or other reasons, but to coordinate voluntary cooperation society-wide, you need the price system of a profit-driven market economy. Doug: And that’s why it doesn’t matter how smart or well-intended politicians may be. Political solutions are always detrimental to society over the long run, because they are based on coercion. If governments lacked the power to compel obedience, they would cease to be governments. No matter how liberal, there’s always a point at which it comes down to force – especially if anyone tries to opt out and live by their own rules. Even if people try that in the most peaceful and harmonious way with regard to their neighbors, the state cannot allow separatists to secede. The moment the state grants that right, every different religious, political, social, or even artistic group might move to form its own enclave, and the state disintegrates. That’s wonderful – for everybody but the parasites who rely on the state (which is why secession movements always become violent). I’m actually mystified at why most people not only just tolerate the state but seem to love it. They’re enthusiastic about it. Sometimes that makes me pessimistic about the future… L: Reminds me of the conversation we had on Europe disintegrating. But let’s stay on topic. So you’re saying that money is a positive moral good in society because the pursuit of it motivates the creation of value. It’s the bridge between selfishness and social good, and it’s the basis for voluntary cooperation, rather than coerced interaction. Anything else? Doug: Yes, but first, let me say one more thing about the issue of selfishness – the virtue of selfishness – and the vice of altruism. Ayn Rand might never forgive me for saying this, but if you take the two concepts – ethical self-interest and concern for others – to their logical conclusions, they are actually the same. It’s in your selfish best interest to provide the maximum amount of value to the maximum number of people – that’s how Apple became the giant company it is. Conversely, it is not altruistic to help other people. I want all the people around me to be strong and successful. It makes life better and easier for me if they’re all doing well. So it’s selfish, not altruistic, when I help them. To weaken others, to degrade them by making them dependent upon generosity, as we discussed in our conversation on charity, is not doing those people any good. If you really care about others, the best thing you can do for them is to push for totally freeing all markets. That makes it both necessary and rewarding for them to learn valuable skills and to become creators of value and not burdens on society. It’s a win-win all around. L: That’ll bend some people’s minds… So, what was the other thing? Doug: Well, referring again to our conversation on charity, the accumulation of wealth is in and of itself an important social as well as a personal good. L: Remind us. Doug: The good to individuals of accumulating wealth is obvious, but the social good often goes unrecognized. Put simply, progress requires capital. Major new undertakings, from hydropower dams to spaceships, to new medical devices and treatments, require huge amounts of capital. If you’re not willing to extract that capital from the population via the coercion of taxes, i.e., steal it, you need wealth to accumulate in private hands to pay for these things. In other words, if the world is going to improve, we need huge pools of capital, intelligently invested. We need as many “obscenely” rich people as possible. L: Right then… so, money is all good – nothing bad about it at all? Doug: Unfortunately, many of the rich people in the world today didn’t get their money by real production. They got it by using political connections and slopping at the trough of the state. That’s bad. When I look at how some people have gotten their money – Clinton, Pelosi, and all the politically connected bankers and brokers, just for a start – I can understand why the poor want to eat the rich. But money itself isn’t the problem. Money is just a store of value and a means of exchange. What is bad about that? Gold, as we’ve discussed many times, happens to be the best form of money the market has ever produced: It’s convenient, consistent, durable, divisible, has intrinsic value (it’s the second-most reflective and conductive metal, the most nonreactive, the most ductile, and the most malleable of all metals), and can’t be created out of thin air. Those are gold’s attributes. People attribute all sorts of other silly things to gold, and poetic critics talk about the evils of the lust for gold. But it’s not the gold itself that’s evil – it’s the psychological aberrations and weaknesses of unethical people that are the problem. The critics are fixating on what is merely a tool, rather than the ethical merits or failures of the people who use the tool and are responsible for the consequences of their actions. L: Sort of like the people who repeat foolish slogans like “guns kill” – as though guns sprout little feet when no one is looking and run around shooting people all by themselves. Doug: Exactly. They’re the same personality type – busybodies who want to enforce their opinions on everyone else. They’re dangerous and despicable. Yet they somehow posture as if they had the high moral ground. L: OK, so even if you cared only for money, that could be seen as a good thing. But you do care for more – like what? Doug: Well, money is a tool – the means to achieve various goals. For me, those goals include fine art, wine, cars, homes, horses, cigars, and many other physical things. But it also gives me the ability to do things I enjoy or value – like spend time with friends, go to the gym, lie in the sun, read books, and do pretty much what I want when I want. Let’s just call it as philosophers do: “the good life.” It’s why my partners and I built La Estancia de Cafayate [in Argentina]. We have regular events down there I welcome readers to attend. But I don’t take money too seriously. It’s just something you have. It’s much less important than what you do, and trivial in comparison to what you are. I could be happy being a hobo. As I said in the conversation on fresh starts, there have been times when I felt my life was just as good and I was just as happy without much money at all. That said, you can’t be too rich or too thin. L: Very good. Investment implications? Doug: This may all seem rather philosophical, but it’s actually extremely important to investors. What is the purpose of investing or speculating? To make money. How can anyone hope to do that well if they feel that there is something immoral or distasteful about making money? Someone who pinches his or her nose and tries anyway because making money is a necessary evil will never do as well as those who throw themselves into the fray with gusto and delight in doing something valuable – and doing it well. L: The law of attraction. Doug: Yes, but I don’t view the law of attraction as a metaphysical force – rather as a psychological reality. If you have a negative attitude about something, you’re unlikely to attract it… even if you try to talk yourself into thinking the opposite. L: OK, but that’s not a stock pick… Doug: Sure. We’re talking basics here. No stock picks today, just a Public Service Announcement: If you think money is evil, don’t bother trying to accumulate wealth. On the other hand, if you want to become wealthy, you’d better think long and hard about your attitudes about money, work through the thoughts above and those you can find in the rest of our conversations… Cultivate a positive attitude about money, which is right up there with language as one of the most valuable tools man has ever invented. Think about it, and give yourself permission to become rich. It’s a good thing. L: Very well. Thanks for what I hope will prove to be a very thought-provoking conversation! Doug: My pleasure. Talk to you next week. A successful investing strategy requires much more than choosing the right stocks: it requires an understanding of cultural, political, and economic trends as well as being able to analyze a sector and the companies in it. Doug Casey’s decades of successful speculation show that he’s “the real deal” – and now you can have deeper access into his mind, in one convenient location. Doug has recently written a book, Totally Incorrect, which offers his thoughts and investment implications on topics as wide-ranging as NASA, paying taxes, ethics, why college education is a waste of resources, the immorality of voting, and much more. It’s available as an e-book as well as in physical format – get all the details here.last_img read more

In This Issue Dollar rebounds on first day af

first_imgIn This Issue. * Dollar rebounds on first day after April. * Greece appears to have blinked first. * U.K. election this week, so far it’s a toss up * Zero Hedge points out manipulation.And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts.Is The IMF Greasing The Tracks?Good day.. And a Marvelous Monday to you! May the Fourth be with you. HA!  Whew! I’m worn out from the Baseball games this past weekend, which featured a sweep of the Pirates, and 3 consecutive extra inning walk off wins! Classic, old-school, baseball with two teams evenly matched, and both waiting for the other team to blink. All the kids were over yesterday, as I fired up the Big Green Egg, and we watched the game together, except the end. Everyone had given up, except darling daughter Dawn, and Dad, we watched the walk off home run and then rubbed it in to the rest who had gone inside! HA! Speaking of waiting for a team to blink. Chris sent me a note on Friday, saying, “Sounds like Greece blinked first”, and he forwarded an article that talked about some concessions that Greece had agreed to, so that they could remain in the euro. This is the first step of kicking the can down the road for the Eurozone and Greece. Chris added: “Not that the stare down is over, but certainly sounds like the Greek leaders are realizing they need to stay in the euro”.  Yes, it sure does. The “concessions” haven’t led to a euro rally though. The euro’s April rally ended with the month, and May is looking as though it will be a tough row to hoe for the euro, or at least it looks that way from the start.  As I kept reminding you during the April rally, which actually ended up being the best month for the euro since 2010, came about from all the weak data in the U.S., it wasn’t about anything good going on in the Eurozone. And with April behind us now, Traders are thinking that the data here in the U.S. is going to begin to look better.. Why would they think that? Because the Fed told them last week that it was going to get better.  I’m not buying whatever it is they are selling, folks. I’m from Missouri, they are going to have to show me! And I get all creeped out, thinking that these guys (Traders) are all hanging their hats on the Jobs Jamboree that will take place at the end of the week on Friday. Let me put it this way. I have NO DOUBTS, the jobs numbers will be better in April than they were in March. And that’s all I’ll say about that now. While I’m on the subject of U.S. Data. Remember when I told you Friday that the U.S. ISM Manufacturing index was going to print for April that day, and it would be the first test to see if the Fed’s call that the very weak 1st QTR was just “Transitory” was fact or fiction.  I also told you the consensus was for this data to stop the trend toward weaker prints each month. Well, guess what? The April ISM was 51.5, same as March’s number. So no increase,  no change that would make one think the 1st QTR was just “Transitory”.  yes, you could say, but, Chuck, it didn’t fall again.  and I would say yes, but it also didn’t rise, which makes me believe the manufacturing sector is just muddling along. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will meet tonight (tomorrow for them) and make a rate decision. I still don’t believe Australia needs a rate cut. Granted I’m not there, and my view from the cheap seats is from thousands of miles away. But the RBA is going to take the “Everybody else is doing it” approach, and probably cut rates this evening. The Aussie dollar (A$) hit 80-cents last week, and that level has proved to be much like the star that shines the brightest before it burns out, and it was right after hitting 80-cents that Traders began talking about a rate cut by the RBA. Hmmm. I wonder where they got that idea? You don’t think the RBA whispered sweet nothings into the ears of the Traders do you? Nah, that wouldn’t happen. would it? I don’t doubt it for a minute that it happened just like that, for the RBA saw the A$ 5-cents away from the 75-cents figure they’ve stated that would like to see the A$ trade, and decided they had better do something.  Of course I don’t know that to be fact. Just an observation, like I said. So, May is starting off in the U.S. dollar’s favor, even after the week before IMM Positions report showed the biggest drop in long U.S. dollar contracts since the week leading up to the March FOMC. 35,000 contracts were cut last week, with the biggest beneficiary to the cut going to the euro, where net short contracts were cut back by 17,000. the pound sterling and Mexican peso were the only currencies that saw their net short positions increased! And that makes sense given the U.K. election is this week, and it’s still up in the air as to who will win, and if they do, they probably won’t be able to form a coalition government. And we’ve talked about unknowns being bad for currencies for as long as I’ve been writing this letter, which is in its 23rd year. The Chinese renminbi/ yuan was weakened a bit overnight, stopping the string of appreciation that took place last week.  I have to tell you that The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is reporting that the IMF is close to declaring China’s renminbi / yuan to be fairly valued for the first time in more than a decade.. The WSJ says that “this will be a milestone in the country’s efforts to open its economy that would blunt U.S. criticism of Beijing’s currency policy”.   Sounds like the IMF is greasing the tracks to include the renminbi / yuan in the SDR’s, like I’ve been talking about. For the IMF has not been a fan of Beijing’s currency management in the past. China must be exerting a lot of power here folks. They very badly want the renminbi / yuan included in the SDR’s for that would be a major step toward them removing the dollar as the reserve currency, which has been their plan for quite a few years now. I was writing and doing weekly videos to subscribers of the Currency Capitalist monthly newsletter published by the Sovereign Society in 2008, when I first began to notice and write about China’s Currency Swap agreements, which they had signed with most of the Asian countries and Belarus when I first noticed what was going on, so let’s say, it was 2006 that they began this quest. I first told the audience in Orlando at the Money Show, in 2010, that I thought the renminbi would remove the dollar as the reserve currency by the end of the decade. So we are now ½-through the decade, and look at all the progress the Chinese have made in 5 years? I don’t talk about the dollar losing the reserve status flippantly either. I also tell audiences that to lose the reserve status is a devastating thing to a country. I always refer back to, as a kid, watching the Beatles the first time on the Ed Sullivan show, and how they showed us pictures from the Beatles home town of Liverpool, and how depressing those pictures looked. That was the U.K. economy after being stripped of the reserve status for the pound that took place first in the 1920’s but got it back when the U.S. went through the stock crash and depression, only to lose the reserve status for good after WWII. It took the U.K. 50 years to recover from the loss of the reserve status, and it was only because Richard Nixon took the U.S. off the Gold standard, with everyone else eventually following, and the great rise in Credit (read debt) took place for the G-7 countries. The Canadian dollar / loonie experienced a nice rally in April too, which was ½- generated by weak U.S. data, and the other ½-generated by the brighter outlook by the Bank of Canada (BOC) early in April allowed the loonie to have the best one-month performance VS the dollar in 6 years! The problem with that brighter outlook, is that it was all based on a weaker loonie, which was helping exports. It was a real conundrum for BOC Gov Poloz. If he talks glowingly about the economy, which makes him look good, the loonie rallies, which is NOT what he wants to see happen. This Friday, as with most Fridays when the U.S. has  a Jobs Jamboree Canada also prints their jobs report for the previous month. The thing I want to point out here is something I’ve told you ever since Poloz became the Gov of the BOC. And that is he is from the Trade side of the Gov’t. and those people are born and raised to complain about currency strength. So, I don’t think the loonie has much chance to add to its 5% gain in April, for Poloz will not allow that to happen. Well, I just had to stop and sing along with Leon Russell, and his song: Back to the Island. And watch the sun go down. Hear the sea roll in.. But I’ll be thinking of you.. And how it might have been. Ok. I’m back now. And it appears that the only currencies gaining VS the dollar today are Gold and Silver. And I wouldn’t exactly call Gold’s move a strong move higher. Zerohedge.com ran a pretty interesting story on Friday, and included some really cool screen shots of trading in Gold.  Here’s a snippet of the whole piece. “Much to our dismay, overnight we learned that while the CFTC continues to be very, very confused and challenged by all those lobby payments by the world’s “liquidity providing” HFTs and ignores all documented evidence of manipulation, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange – owner of the futures exchange where the bulk of modern manipulation takes place – did read this evidence of manipulation, and decided to immediately take action, suspending two traders for placing the manipulative “spoofing and layering” trades profiled here three days ago which were virtually identical to the ones that got Navinder Singh Sarao into headlines around the world last week. Except, of course, the asset class manipulated was gold. And, perhaps what’s far worse, the manipulation sent the price of gold briefly higher.” You should read the whole article here. that is as long as you believe in the price manipulation of Gold & Silver. I know that some of you don’t believe it, so You can go ahead move along for these are not the droids you’re looking for. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-01/gold-manipulator-busted-after-zero-hedge-report-hft-gold-spoofing The U.S. Data Cupboard on Friday had the aforementioned ISM, but it also had some very disturbing Construction Spending data from APRIL!  So new data that goes toward the 2nd QTR GDP. April Construction Spending fell -.6% , and get this. The Atlanta Fed cut their 2nd QTR GDP outlook to .8%, after seeing the color of the Construction Spending data. This was the worst print here since 2009, when the Fed began QE1.  In fact 7 of the last 10 months this data has missed  expectations. Today, we have Factory Orders For March. And quite frankly, now that the Fed has put all their eggs into the basket of the next two month’s data I don’t care about March prints. I will be keeping score on April and May data. and so far, we had a no gain ISM and a disastrous Construction Spending in April. To Recap. It appears that April’s currency rally has run into a road block for May, as the dollar is rebounding against all currencies this morning. Traders are buying into the Fed’s call that the bad 1st QTR Data was “Transitory” and will be better in the 2nd QTR, and trading the dollar accordingly.  I wonder what will happen when they wake up and smell the fact that the 2nd QTR Data isn’t “better”.   The U.K. election is this week, still no real  clear winner or party. the WSJ is reporting that the IMF is about to say China’s currency is fair valued. And Gold & Silver have small gains VS the dollar today Then There Was This. I thought you might like to see how the U.S. economy is looked at by someone outside of the U.S.  The U.K. Telegraph.  You can read the whole article here: but I have a couple of snippets that tell the story first.   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11578200/US-jobs-relapse-raises-fresh-doubts-on-Fed-tightening.html “A key indicator of manufacturing jobs in the US has dropped to its lowest level since the financial crisis as industry remains stuck in the doldrums, dashing hopes for a swift rebound after the economy ground to a halt in the first quarter. The surprisingly weak data greatly reduce any likelihood the US Federal Reserve will raise rates in June for the first time in eight years, once again putting off the long-feared turning point in the global monetary cycle and perhaps offering another reprieve for dollar debtors across the world. The closely watched index of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) remained anemic in April, confirming fears that the strong US dollar and energy crash in the once-booming shale states are taking a serious toll. The employment component dropped sharply to 48.3, below the “boom-bust line” of 50 and the lowest in almost six years. The relapse is likely to set off alarm bells at the Fed, where chairman Janet Yellen pays very close attention to the labor market.” Chuck again. See? It’s not just me that sees these things. But why doesn’t the Fed see them? Only the shadow knows, I guess. Currencies today 5/4/15. American Style: A$ .7830, kiwi .7525, C$ .8240, euro 1.1135, sterling 1.5095, Swiss $1.0685, . European Style: rand 12.0590, krone 7.5980, SEK 8.3805, forint 272.45, zloty 3.6305, koruna 24.5690, RUB 51.87, yen 120.25, sing 1.3330, HKD 7.7530, INR 63.42, China 6.1165, pesos 15.56, BRL 3.0770, Dollar Index 95.53, Oil $59.43, 10-year 2.13%, Silver 16.29, Platinum $1,132.63, Palladium $775.75, and Gold. $1,182.21 That’s It For today. Well that was an exciting Kentucky Derby race on Saturday wasn’t it?  Yes, the favorite horse won, that’s why he was the favorite! My wife came back home on Saturday, and the first thing she said upon arriving at the house was that the grass hadn’t been cut. I tried to explain to her that I had been very sick all week, but she was having none of those excuses! See how badly she treats me? HAHAHAHA!  Well, Tomorrow is the Cinco de Mayo Celebration, that I think gets more attention here in the U.S. than in Mexico. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the famous email I received years ago, on Cinco de Mayo.  Well, my beloved Cardinals are off to their best start since 1944 (they won the World Series that year!)  And now the upstart, kids from Chicago come to town. Appropriately named the Cubs, this team is a collection of high draft choices and trades, to form a good young team. Woke up this morning with a mouth full of blood, from the tumor in my jaw. It’s shrinking again, which is what causes the bleeding. UGH! But I’m fine now, had my breakfast, and I’m good to go!  So, now you have to promise that you’ll go out and make this a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler Managing Director EverBank Global Marketslast_img read more

Recommended Link

first_imgRecommended Link   Year 53.7   Year 20190.0 Justin’s note: Today’s essay comes from our good friend and colleague Chris Mayer.If you’ve never heard of Chris, he’s one of the best value investors on the planet. His proprietary investment strategy outperformed not only the S&P 500, but also legendary investors like Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn, John Paulson, and David Einhorn for 10 years straight.In short, when he offers advice, we listen. Below, Chris reveals the three signs he looks for when searching for 100-baggers (stocks that return 100-to-1), even when the broad market is overvalued like it is today… By Chris Mayer, editor, Chris Mayer’s FocusThere’s one question I get from readers over and over again…Why invest in stocks if the world is going to pot?I’m going to cite one piece of remarkable evidence I uncovered in my own massive study of the stock market’s biggest winners.I call these winners “100-baggers” (stocks that returned 100-to-1). And after spending three years and $138,000 to investigate them, I discovered they all have certain aspects in common.I’ll tell you about those attributes in a moment. For now, let’s agree that there is plenty to worry about. And the stock market is not cheap.The S&P 500’s CAPE ratio (a stock valuation measure designed to smooth out earnings volatility) has only been this high one other time in the last century—right before the dot-com crash of 2000. That means many stocks are expensive.But just because a stock market index like the S&P is pricey doesn’t mean there aren’t good values out there. Unless you are a buyer of the index itself, it is not relevant to the business of finding great stocks today.Let me give you a historical example: 1966 to 1982.This 17-year stretch was dead money for stocks—or what so many people would have you believe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average basically went nowhere. And if you factor in the period’s high inflation, the performance was even worse. Thus, you might conclude you didn’t want to be in stocks. — Revealed for the first time ever on Camera: Chris Mayer’s “Secret Weapon”?You may not recognize this man… But he’s a former analyst at Peter Schiff’s New York brokerage firm… a former CPA at Deloitte… and a former analyst of special micro-cap investment firm, Sidoti & Company… Now, he works for Chris Mayer… Just three of his most recent ideas could have made you gains of 108.9%, 120.3% and 116%… all in less than 16 weeks! And now, for the first time, he is going to publicly share three ideas on camera that could make you a considerable amount of money in the next 12 months. Details here.   Year 1013.8 — It’s really just a matter of scale.McDonald’s did about $25 billion in sales last year. So if it wants to double that number, it would need to sell an extra 5 billion Big Macs next year. Granted, this is an oversimplified example, but you get the idea.But it’s not as hard for a small company to increase its sales by double, triple, or more.Not all small companies become big companies, of course. But after studying over 360 100-baggers, I have a basic few clues to look for.The ability to expand into national and/or international markets. Think about the three big winners above. You had a small tax preparer, airline, and retailer. All three started as local, or regional, businesses. And all three grew into national brands. To get those big returns, even in lousy economic environments, you need to have room to grow.Strong returns on the capital invested in the business. If you invest $100 in a business and it generates a cash profit of $20, that’s a 20% return on equity, or ROE. You don’t need to know a lot about finance to know that is a very good return.Well, nearly all of the stocks in my 100-bagger study were good businesses by this measure. They earned returns of 20% and above.H&R Block, for example, earned astronomical returns on its equity—in the early days, especially. ROEs were well over 30% in most years. For L Brands, ROE was over 25% for years and years. And low-cost Southwest had—and still has—among the best economics of any airline.Which brings me to the final—and perhaps most important—clue I’ll share with you today…The ability to reinvest profits and earn high returns again and again and again. This one is just math. If you can earn 30% on your equity and reinvest your profits and earn 30% again… well, the dollars start to pile up real fast.Take a look:   Year 11.3 Recommended Link But here’s what my research on 100-baggers found: There were 187 stocks you could’ve bought between 1966 and 1982 that would have multiplied your money 100 times.In fact, during that 17-year stretch, you’d have had at least a dozen opportunities each month to multiply your money 100x if you just held on.In some cases, you didn’t even have to wait very long. Southwest Airlines returned more than 100 times in about 10 years beginning in 1971. Leslie Wexner’s L Brands (owner of Victoria’s Secret, among other retail properties) did it in about eight years starting in 1978. In 1966, you could’ve bought H&R Block and turned a $10,000 investment into $1 million in under two decades.So, the indexes can tell you what kind of environment you are in. But they don’t predict what will happen to individual stocks.It’s certainly harder to find great opportunities in highly priced markets. And it’s easier to find big winners at market bottoms (but perhaps not so easy as to make yourself buy them, as fear is rife at such times). These facts should surprise no one.However, my point is simply this: Don’t fret so much with guesses as to where the stock market might go. Keep looking for those 100-baggers.If history is any guide, they are always out there…All 100-Baggers Have This in CommonAs I mentioned above, companies such as Southwest Airlines, L Brands, and H&R Block have returned more than 100 times to investors during a period when the broader market went absolutely nowhere.And there is something these three companies had in common:Southwest recorded $6 million in sales in 1972. By 1975, it did $23 million in sales. And by the end of the decade, it hit $200 million in sales.L Brands had sales of $210 million in 1978. It hit $1 billion in sales in 1980. By the end of the 1980s, it hit $5 billion in sales.H&R Block did just $14 million in sales in 1967. In 1975, it passed the $100 million mark in sales.See a pattern here?All three were small companies with lots of room to grow.For larger companies, the condition of the economy can be a constraint. They depend on broad-based economic growth. It is hard for Coca-Cola or McDonald’s to grow faster than the overall economy. They’re just so big already. ATTENTION Seniors: Mark October 19th on Your Calendar!If you put your name on this list of recipients before October 19th… You could be entitled to a deposit up to $1,720 or more! It’s all thanks to a little-known contract between the Social Security Administration and the private sector. Click here for the details. After 10 years, you’ll have 14 times what you started with. After about 18 years, you’ll have a 100-bagger. This is how you power through bad economic times.Finally, there is a great Charlie Munger quote I want to share because it shows you the importance of this concept of ROE:Over the long term, it’s hard for a stock to earn a much better return than the business which underlies it earns. If the business earns 6% on capital over 40 years and you hold it for that 40 years, you’re not going to make much different than a 6% return—even if you originally buy it at a huge discount. Conversely, if a business earns 18% on capital over 20 or 30 years, even if you pay an expensive looking price, you’ll end up with a fine result.So there you have it. Even though the overall market looks expensive, remember that you are not buying the market. You’re buying individual stocks.That’s why you should look for great small-cap stocks with the traits I’ve shared above.If you find a business that can earn 25% or so on its capital over many years, what happens to the overall market won’t matter.Regards,Chris MayerEditor, Chris Mayer’s FocusP.S. Some of the world’s best investors email me ideas… But until now, I haven’t been able to share them with you.Now, for the first time, I’m preparing to share three of these ideas from my private network… And I’m so convinced they’ll pay off for you, I’m putting $5 million on the line to prove it. Click here to learn more…Reader MailbagToday, a reader writes in with a question regarding our recent essay on the marijuana boom. It’s something you might even be wondering yourself…If marijuana really becomes a big business, it will be taken over by the cigarette companies who are in the best position to market it on a large scale. It would be hard for a small company to compete with them.Justin’s note: This reader is absolutely correct. When marijuana’s legalized at the federal level, big tobacco will go after marijuana profits. Big alcohol and big pharma will also fight for slices of the pie.But that shouldn’t stop you from investing in marijuana. If anything, this is a reason to buy marijuana stocks now. Casey Research founder Doug Casey explained why in the October issue of The Casey Report:My guess is that as cannabis becomes fully legal in all its forms in the years to come, that big food and drug companies will take over the leading players—at a big premium. When you’re a big company, it’s much cheaper and easier to buy expertise and production than to make all the usual—and numerous and inevitable—mistakes trying to get in at the ground floor. Someday—not far in the future—you’ll see a takeover mania in the area.You’ll obviously want to own marijuana stocks before this “takeover mania” begins.You can learn about the top marijuana stocks by watching this new presentation. As you’ll see, the best marijuana money-making opportunity isn’t in the United States. It’s north of the border, in Canada. To learn why, check out this free video. You Don’t Want to Miss This…From November 6–10, Doug Casey, Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno, and Casey Report editor E.B. Tucker will gather together with a group of close friends at one of the most unique places in the world: Doug’s world-class residential community in Argentina—La Estancia de Cafayate.As a reader of the Dispatch, we’d like to invite you to join.This is not an investment conference—far from it. It’s friends gathering at a place built for like-minded people.There’ll be great steaks, locally produced wine, and probably a few too many Cuban cigars. We’ll discuss what’s going on in the world, and what’s around the bend.This is a unique chance to spend a few days with great people in one of the world’s most beautiful settings. If you haven’t seen the high desert of Argentina, please consider joining us.Keep in mind, space is limited and spots are filling up quickly. So if you’re interested, don’t wait to sign up.To get more details, just send us an email using this link. We hope to see you at La Estancia de Cafayate November 6–10.last_img read more

New York Universitys School of Medicine is learni

first_imgNew York University’s School of Medicine is learning that no good deed goes unpunished.The highly ranked medical school announced with much fanfare this month that it is raising $600 million from private donors to eliminate tuition for all its students — even providing refunds to those currently enrolled. Before the announcement, annual tuition at the school was $55,018.NYU leaders hope the move will help address the increasing problem of student debt among young doctors, which many educators argue pushes students to enter higher-paying specialties instead of primary care, and deters some from becoming doctors in the first place.”A population as diverse as ours is best served by doctors from all walks of life, we believe, and aspiring physicians and surgeons should not be prevented from pursuing a career in medicine because of the prospect of overwhelming financial debt,” Dr. Robert Grossman, the dean of the medical school and CEO of NYU Langone Health, said in a statement released by the university. NYU declined a request to elaborate further on its plans.The announcement generated headlines and cheers from students. But not everyone thinks waiving tuition for all med students, including those who can afford to pay, is the best way to approach the complicated issue of student debt.”As I start rank-ordering the various charities I want to give to, the people who can pay for medical school in cash aren’t at the top of my list,” says Craig Garthwaite, a health economist at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.”If you had to find some cause to put tons of money behind, this strikes me as an odd one,” says Dr. Aaron Carroll, a pediatrician and researcher at Indiana University.Still, medical education debt is a big issue in health care. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, which represents U.S. medical schools and academic health centers, 75 percent of graduating physicians in 2017 had student loan debt as they launched their careers, with a median tally of $192,000. Nearly half owed more than $200,000.But it is less clear how much of an impact that debt has on students’ choice of medical specialty. The AAMC’s data suggest debt does not play as big a role in specialty selection as some analysts claim.If debt were a huge factor, one would expect that doctors who owed the most would choose the highest-paying specialties. However, that’s not the case.”Debt doesn’t vary much across the specialties,” says Julie Fresne, AAMC’s director of student financial services and debt management.Garthwaite agrees. He says surveys in which young doctors claim debt as a reason for choosing a more lucrative specialty should be viewed with suspicion.”No one [who chooses a higher-paying job] says they did it because they want two Teslas,” he says. “They say they have all this debt.”Carroll questions how much difference even $200,000 in student debt makes to people who, at the lowest end of the medical spectrum, still stand to make six figures a year. “Doctors in general do just fine,” he says. “The idea we should pity physicians or worry about them strikes me as odd.”Choice of specialty is also influenced by more than money. Some specialties may bring less demanding lifestyles than primary care, or more prestige. Carroll says when he opted for pediatrics, his surgeon father was not impressed, calling it a “garbageman” specialty.There is also an array of government programs that help students afford medical school or that forgive student loans, although usually such programs require the new doctors to serve several years either in the military or in a medically underserved location. The federal National Health Service Corps, for example, provides scholarships and loan repayments to medical professionals who agree to work in mostly rural or inner-city areas that have a shortage of health care providers. And the Department of Education oversees the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which cancels outstanding loan balances after 10 years for those who work for nonprofit employers.Medical schools themselves are addressing the student debt problem. Many — including NYU — have created programs that let students finish medical school in three years rather than four — reducing the cost by 25 percent. And the Cleveland Clinic, together with Case Western Reserve University, has a tuition-free medical school program aimed at training future medical researchers. It takes five years, but grants graduates with both a doctor of medicine title and a special research credential or master’s degree.This latest move by NYU, however, is part of a continuing race among top-tier medical schools to attract the best students — and possibly improve a school’s national rankings.In 2014, UCLA announced it would provide merit-based scholarships covering the entire cost of medical education (including not just tuition, but also living expenses) to 20 percent of its students. Columbia University announced a similar plan earlier this year, although unlike NYU and UCLA, Columbia’s program is based on a student’s financial need.These programs are funded, in whole or in part, by large donors whose names brand each medical school — entertainment mogul David Geffen at UCLA, former Merck CEO P. Roy Vagelos at Columbia, and Home Depot’s co-founder, Kenneth Langone, at NYU.Economist Garthwaite says it is all well and good if top medical schools want to compete for top students by offering discounts. But if their goal is to encourage more students to enter primary care or to steer more people from lower-income families into medicine, waiving everyone’s tuition “is not the most target-efficient way to reach that goal.”Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service, is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, and is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

Bob Hall was recovering from yet another surgery w

first_imgBob Hall was recovering from yet another surgery when the volunteer first walked into his hospital room. It was March 2014, and unfortunately Hall had been in and out of the hospital quite a bit. It had been a rocky recovery since his lung transplant, three months earlier, at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wis.But the volunteer wasn’t there to check on his lungs or breathing. Instead she asked Hall if we wanted to tell his life story.Hall was being treated at the VA because he had served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. After the war, he had a political career as a Massachusetts legislator, and then led professional associations for 30 years.Hall, who was 67 at the time, welcomed the volunteer and told her he’d be happy to participate.”I’m anything but a shy guy, and I’m always eager to share details about my life,” Hall says, half-jokingly.He spoke to the volunteer for more than an hour about everything — from his time as “a D student” in high school (“I tell people I graduated in the top 95 percent of my class”) to his time in the military (“I thought the Marines were the toughest branch and I wanted to stop the communists”). He finished his story with a description of his health problems — those that that finally landed him in the hospital, and many that continue to the present day.The interview was part of a program called My Life, My Story. Volunteer writers seek out vets like Hall in the hospital, and ask them about their lives. Then they write up this life story, a 1,000-word biography, and go over it with the patient, who can add more details or correct any mistakes.”Of course, being a writer I rewrote the whole thing,” Hall confesses with a smile.Once the story is finished, it’s entered into to the patient’s electronic medical record, so any doctor or nurse working anywhere in the VA system who opens the medical record can read it.Hall was one of the earliest patients interviewed for the project, back in 2014. Today more than 2,000 patients at the Madison VA have shared their personal life stories.Project organizers say My Life, My Story could change the way providers interact with patients at VA hospitals around the country.Personalizing impersonal records”If you’re a health care person, if you’re someone who is in the [electronic medical] record all the time, you’ll know that the record is a mess,” says Thor Ringler, who has managed the My Life, My Story project since 2013.Clinicians can get access to a lot of medical data through a patient’s electronic medical record, but there’s nowhere to learn about a patient’s personality, or learn about her career, passions or values, Ringler says.”If you were to try to get a sense of someone’s life from that record, it might take you days,” Ringler says.The idea for My Life, My Story came from Dr. Elliot Lee, a medical resident who was doing a training rotation at the Madison VA in 2012. The typical rotation for medical residents lasts only about a year, so Lee wanted to find a way to bring these new, young doctors quickly up to speed on the VA patients. He wanted a way for them to absorb not just their health histories, but more personal information, like their hobbies, and which hospital staffers knew them best.”It seemed to make sense that the patient might know a lot about themselves, and could help provide information to the new doctor,” Lee recalls.But the question remained: What was the best way to get patients to share these details, to get their life stories into the records? Lee says he and some colleagues tried having patients fill out surveys, which were useful but still left the team wanting more. Next, they tried getting patients to write down their life stories themselves, but not many people really wanted to. Finally, an epiphany: Hire a writer to interview the patients, and put what they learned on paper.It wasn’t hard to find a good candidate: A poet in Madison, Thor Ringler, had also just finished his training as a family therapist. He was good at talking to people, and also skilled at condensing big thoughts into concise, meaningful sentences.”Of course!” Ringler remembers thinking. “I was made for that!'”Under Ringler’s guidance, the project has developed a set of training materials to allow other VA hospitals to launch their own storytelling programs. About 40 VA hospitals around the U.S. are currently interested, according to Ringler.Based on his experience building the program in Madison, Ringler estimates hospitals would need to hire just one writer — working half- or full-time, depending on the hospital’s size — to manage a similar storytelling program. That means the budget could be as low as $23,000 a year. That relatively small investment can pay huge dividends in terms of patient satisfaction, Ringler says, by restoring personal connections between patients and the medical team.”If we do good stories, people will read them, and they will want to read them,” he adds.In addition to the interest from within the VA system, the idea has spread farther — to hospitals like Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.A ‘gift’ to doctors and nursesThere is also research suggesting that when caregivers know their patients better, those patients have improved health outcomes.One study, for example, found that doctors who scored higher on an empathy test had patients with better-controlled blood sugar. Another study found that in patients with a common cold, the cold’s duration was reduced by nearly a full day for those patients who gave their doctor a top rating for empathy.University of Colorado professor Heather Coats studies the health impact of biographical storytelling. She notes a 2008 study found that radiologists did a more thorough job when they were simply provided a photo of the patients whose scans they were reading.”They improved the accuracy of their radiology read,” Coats says. “Meaning [fewer] misspelled words; a better report that’s more detailed.” Current research is investigating whether storytelling might have a similar effect on clinical outcomes.And, Coats adds, the benefits of the kind of storytelling happening at the VA don’t just accrue to the patients.”I consider it a gift to the nurses and the doctors,” Coats says.A survey of clinicians conducted by the Madison VA backs that up: It showed 85 percent of them thought reading the biographies of patients produced by Thor Ringler’s team of writers was “a good use” of clinical time and also helped them improve patient care.”It gives you a much better understanding about the entirety of their life and how to help them make a decision,” says Dr. Jim Maloney, a VA surgeon who performed Bob Hall’s lung transplant in 2013.That’s critical for doctors like Maloney, because only about half the people who undergo a lung transplant are still alive after five years. Maloney believes knowing more about a patient’s life story makes it easier for the doctor to have difficult but necessary conversations with a patient — to learn, for example, how aggressively to respond if a complication occurs.Maloney says the stories generated by My Life, My Story give the entire transplant team near immediate access to a valuable tool, one that helps them connect quickly with patients and family members, and start conversations about sensitive issues or difficult choices about end-of-life care.Dr. Tamara Feingold-Link has also experienced the power of being able to read a patient’s life story. Now a second-year medical resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Feingold-Link first encountered one of the biographies generated by My Life, My Story when she was on rotation at a Boston-area VA. Her attending physician asked her to run a meeting with a patient’s family.”I barely knew the patient, who was so sick he could hardly talk,” Feingold-Link recalls.She noticed his medical record included the patient’s life story, something she had never seen before. She immediately read the story.”It brought me to tears,” she remembers. “When I met his family, I could connect with them immediately.””It made his transfer to hospice much smoother for everyone involved,” she says.Now Dr. Feingold-Link has started a similar program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.Meaningful stories go beyond medical careBob Hall has learned the stories can be meaningful to caregivers even when they’re not working. During one of his stays at the Madison VA, a nursing aide came into his room after she read his life story in his medical record.”She came in one night and sat down on my bed just to talk to me for a while, because she’d read my story,” Hall says. “I found out later she wasn’t on the clock. She just came in after her shift ended to chat for a while.”It’s been 5 years since Hall’s lung transplant, and he’s doing well. He even found a part-time job putting his writing skills to work as part of the My Life, My Story team. In just two years, Hall has written 208 capsule biographies of veterans who come to this hospital for care, just like he did.”Dr. Maloney came to me one day recently, and I was telling him how many stories I’d done,” Halls says, “and he says, ‘You know I think you’ve given more back to the VA with these stories than they gave to you.'””I said, ‘Doctor, I don’t think that’s true, but it’s very kind of you to say so.’ It made me feel good.”This story is part of NPR’s reporting partnership with Kaiser Health News. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

The number of disabled people who are unemployed h

first_imgThe number of disabled people who are unemployed has risen for the second quarter in a row, according to new government figures.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) used the publication of quarterly labour market statistics to point to the growth of 225, 000 in the number of disabled people in work, compared with the same period last year.But DWP failed to point out that the number of unemployed disabled people had also risen, from 399,000 in October to December 2014, to 401,000 the following quarter, and now to 423,000 in April to June 2015.The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures also show a large rise in the last quarter in the number of sick and disabled people described as “economically inactive” – those not in work and neither seeking nor available to work – from 3,313,000 to 3,399,000, an increase of 2.6 per cent in just three months.One important factor pointed out by disabled activist Caroline Richardson, from the Spartacus online campaigning network, was that the ONS definition of employment includes those on unpaid work experience, as well as government-supported training and employment programmes.Richardson said: “Whilst there is a clear increase in the number of ill and disabled people working part-time since 1997, those in full-time employment is harder to identify.“The actual criteria for being counted as sick and disabled, and its impact on work, is now in line with the core definition of the 2010 Equality Act, and is for the purpose of data collection, self-reporting. The ONS is clear that the figures are therefore estimates.“To muddy the waters further, the definition of work has also been extended to include work experience and work-related training. “There does appear to be an increase in sick and disabled people moving into some type of work, but further analysis may show the work to be part-time, temporary or to be government-related training programmes.”The ONS said there were 2.08 million people who were not looking for work due to long-term sickness for April to June 2015, 75,000 more than for January to March 2015 and 86,000 more than the same period in 2014.For April to June 2015, there were 8.99 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive.An ONS spokesman said it was not unusual for the number of people in employment and unemployment to rise at the same time, which could happen if large numbers of people moved into the labour market but did not secure jobs.But he said there was “no wider context we’re aware of for the effect you’ve noted”.He also stressed that the figures relating to disabled people had not been seasonally adjusted, so it was more difficult to see whether there were genuine trends.last_img read more

Its Easier Than Ever to Not Compensate Interns But Theres a Catch

first_img Add to Queue Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Career and Workplace Expert; Founder and President, Come Recommended The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently updated its unpaid internship guidelines, and that’s good news for employers. The reason: Under the DOL’s former guidelines, if even one of the six factors it listed wasn’t met, interns were entitled to compensation.Related: 5 Ways Your Small Business Will Benefit From Hiring InternsBut, that’s changed: Now, companies are expected to meet a single central standard (determined by seven factors) to clarify who is the “primary beneficiary” in an unpaid intern-employer relationship. That primary beneficiary, of course, must be the intern.Among those factors are that both parties must understand there is no expectation of compensation or a job offer. And, the company hiring the intern must provide educational training and align that training with the intern’s formal education program and academic calendar.  Regardless of this newer, easier standard, however, unpaid internships remain a complicated subject. John S. Ho, partner and chair of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration practice at law firm Cozen O’Connor’s New York City office, explained just how complicated, saying that, “The analysis [of the primary beneficiary] depends on the unique circumstances of each case, giving businesses more flexibility to make their case that an intern is properly classified based on individual facts.”Here’s how the guidelines have changed and what these changes mean for employers:Both parties can now benefit.The old standard required that employers derive no benefit from the internship. Of course, some unscrupulous employers managed to squeeze valuable, unpaid labor out of their interns.But for the honest ones, the unrealistic former “no benefit” requirement tied companies’ hands and limited the experience that unpaid interns could receive.The new, seven-factor test, however, is more flexible. It allows employers to benefit from the intern’s activities as long as that young person remains the primary beneficiary of the relationship. For that to occur, employers must make sure they:Provide educational, hands-on training.Accommodate the intern’s academic commitments.Complement the work of their paid employees rather than displace them.Conclude the internship once the intern has learned all that he or she can from the experience.Overall, the employer should provide educational experience that meets specific learning objectives set prior to the internship’s start. Providing the intern descriptive materials akin to a university-style curriculum and syllabus might be helpful to ensure that “educational experience.”Related: Stop Delegating Social Media to Your InternsIn addition,employers should meet with their interns reguarly to discuss their progress, ideas and goals. That way, they can provide a more personalized and educational internship experience.   The experience must be good — but not too good.While reviewing a client’s internship program, Joey Price, founder and owner of Jumpstart:HR, LLC, an HR outsourcing and consulting firm in Baltimore, heard multiple negative reviews from interns.The company the interns had gone to work for made sure the interns received daily lunches, solid work experiences and materials. But, the interns’ lack of payment still prevented the program from being a success. The reason was the work’s revenue-generating nature.“I advised my client that any time an ‘intern’ . . . is focused primarily on revenue-generating activity, it is no longer an internship,” Price explained. In essence, the client was teaching interns how to trade, giving them funds to manage and then monitoring the progress of those trades. And this went against the idea of complementing, rather than displacing, the work of paid employees — one of the seven factors in the new unpaid internship guidelines.So, while an intern’s experience with a company should be good, it shouldn’t be so good that it takes the place of paid employees’ work. And that means focusing on the educational aspect of the internship above all else.To do this, Ryan Glasgow, a labor and employment partner at the law firm Hunton & Williams LLP in its Richmond, Va., office, suggested the need to connect internships with college educational programs and the college or university’s system for offering academic credit.Glasgow also said he finds it important for internships to go beyond the work experience offered in the typical office. This could mean adding in classes and educational programs, Glasgow said, so that students receive training in a university-like environment.The DOL internship guidelines aren’t mandatory, but they demand your respect, nonetheless.Because the DOL is not a legislative body, the primary beneficiary intern test it provides is merely a guideline for unpaid internship programs. If there is a grievance, no judge will arbitrate.Despite that fact, said Dan Kalish, the managing partner at law firm HKM Employment Attorneys LLP’s office in Seattle, Wash., leaders should still proceed with caution. “Even if an employer meets the federal test to have an unpaid internship, it is possible that the employer will not meet the state law requirements to have an unpaid internship; and the employer would have to pay the intern in accordance with the state law,” Kalish told me by email.Related: Paying Interns Is a Good Investment In the Future of Your Business To keep small companies safe and both parties happy, therefore, consult an employment lawyer if you have any doubts about your internship program. Then, go out and create a program that will be an unforgettable experience for those students lucky enough to be accepted to it. Image credit: Shutterstock Internships Next Article Contributor 5 min read Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. The days of interns’ long hours and endless coffee runs are hopefully ending, thanks to new federal guidelines. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Heather R. Huhman February 1, 2018 It’s Easier Than Ever to Not Compensate Interns, But There’s a Catch. –shares Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

Yes to yoghurt and cheese New improved Mediterranean diet

first_imgImage Credit: Rimma Bondarenko / Shutterstock Dec 11 2018Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Thousands of Australians can take heart as new research from the University of South Australia shows a dairy-enhanced Mediterranean diet will significantly increase health outcomes for those at risk of cardiovascular disease – and it’s even more effective than a low-fat diet. Cardiovascular disease is the single leading cause of death in Australia, affecting 4.2 million Australians and killing one Australian every 12 minutes. Low-fat diets are often recommended as suitable food plans for those seeking to reduce their risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Similarly, the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) has been shown to deliver significant health benefits.In this UniSA study, published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers compared the health benefits of a MedDiet supplemented with two to three serves of dairy each day, and a generic low-fat diet.The results show that the dairy-supplemented MedDiet (MedDairy) significantly improved blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, mood and cognitive function.PhD candidate Alexandra Wade says the new MedDairy diet challenges popular perceptions of what is considered healthy.“The MedDiet is fast earning a reputation as the world’s healthiest diet and is renowned for delivering improved cardiovascular and cognitive health,” Wade says.“But it’s also higher in fat, which can be a deterrent for people seeking to adopt a healthier eating plan, especially if they don’t realise the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats.“In Australia, low-fat diets are often recommended for improving heart health and they are still perceived as being healthy.“This study shows that the new MedDairy works better than a generic low-fat diet, ensuring better health outcomes for people at risk of cardiovascular disease.”Related StoriesScientists examine hormonal links between diet and obesityLow-carb diet may reverse metabolic syndrome independent of weight lossDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesImportantly, the MedDairy diet also meets additional calcium requirements recommended by Australia’s national health bodies.A typical MedDiet includes extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrain breads, pastas and cereals, moderate consumption of fish and red wine, and low consumption of red meat, sweet and processed foods. It also includes 1-2 servings of dairy foods (700-820mg calcium), which is less than half the dairy recommended by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for older Australians.“Living in Australia, we have different dietary requirements, notably a need for more calcium to protect against osteoporosis,” Wade says.“These needs are unmet in the traditional MedDiet, which makes it difficult for people to adopt in the long term.“This study delivers healthier options for Australians by tailoring the nutrients in the MedDiet to meet the needs of a non-Mediterranean population.“In Australia, women up to age 50 years – and men up to age 70 years – should consume 1000mg per day of calcium per day and 1300mg thereafter, which is roughly between 3.5 and 4.5 serves a day.“The new MedDairy diet allows for three to four servings with dairy, which means Australians can more sustainably meet their recommended daily nutrient intakes while also maintaining the significant health benefits offered through the MedDiet.“When it comes down to it, people want to be able to enjoy a colourful, tasty and nutritious diet. And if you’re one of the thousands of people seeking to improve your cardiovascular and cognitive health – look no further than the MedDairy diet.”Notes Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of death in Australia, with 43,477 deaths attributed to CVD in Australia in 2017. CVD kills one Australian every 12 minutes. Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Causes of Death 2017, ABS cat. no. 3303.0, September. Cardiovascular disease affects one in six Australians or 4.2 million people. Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016, National Health Survey: First results, 2014-15, ABS cat. no. 4364.0.55.001, March. Data customised using TableBuilder. Source: https://www.unisa.edu.aulast_img read more

US launches probe of Frances planned tech giants tax

first_img Citation: US launches probe of France’s planned tech giants tax (2019, July 11) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-probe-france-tech-giants-tax.html © 2019 AFP The probe into unfair trade practices could pave the way for Washington to impose punitive tariffs—something Trump has done repeatedly since taking office. And it adds yet another bone of contention in the transatlantic trade disputes that now also include trade in steel, aluminum, automobiles, aircraft and agriculture.”The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.The proposed three percent tax on total annual revenues of companies providing services to French consumers only applies to the largest tech companies, “where US firms are global leaders,” the trade representative’s office said.Some internet heavyweights have taken advantage of low-tax jurisdictions in places like Ireland while paying next to nothing in other countries where they derive huge profits.The so-called Section 301 investigation is the primary tool the Trump administration has used in the trade war with China to justify tariffs against what the United States says are unfair trade practices.Addressing the conundrumThe US Trade Representative’s office will hold hearings to allow for public comment on the issue over several weeks before issuing a final report with a recommendation on any actions to take.Despite the objections to the French tax proposal, however, the statement said the United States will continue to work with other advanced economies to address the conundrum of how to tax tech companies.The United States is pushing for an overarching agreement on taxation through the Group of 20 economic forum, something supported by Google.The company said last month the change would probably mean Silicon Valley tech giants would pay less in the United States and more in other jurisdictions, in a departure from the longstanding practice of paying most taxes in a company’s home country.Group of 20 finance ministers last month also said they “welcomed” proposed measures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a forum for advanced economies, to revamp international rules on corporate taxation.”We will redouble our efforts for a consensus-based solution with a final report by 2020,” they said in a statement.The Computer & Communications Industry Association on Wednesday applauded the US Trade Representative’s move, saying the French tax would retroactively require US internet giants operating in France to turn over a percentage of their revenues from the beginning of this year and violates international trade commitments.”This is a critical step toward preventing protectionist taxes on global trade,” CCIA official Matt Schruers said in a statement.”CCIA encourages France to lead the effort toward more ambitious global tax reform, instead of the discriminatory national tax measures that harm global trade.” “The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement Explore furthercenter_img US President Donald Trump has ordered an investigation into France’s planned tax on internet services that will hit American tech giants especially hard, officials said Wednesday. 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. Google endorses ‘international tax deal’ for multinationalslast_img read more

Cong demands JPC probe into retired SC judge Kurian Josephs remark

first_imgAbhishek Singhvi   –  THE HINDU SHARE SHARE EMAIL national politics COMMENT The winter session of Parliament is all set to be stormy over retired judge of the Supreme Court Kurian Joseph’s statement that former Chief Justice Dipak Misra was “remote-controlled by an external source”. The Congress has demanded a Parliamentary probe into the affairs of the Supreme Court, particularly on the issues raised by Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph at a press conference in January this year. The issue is likely to come up in a meeting of all Opposition parties scheduled for December 10.The Congress said the matter should be probed by a Joint Parliamentary Committee. “The Centre, the Prime Minister and the BJP president must tell the people who was remote controlling the Chief Justice,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said. “Every citizen has the right to condemn the unconstitutional ways,” he said and added that Justice Joseph’s comments proved the Congress’s stand on the crisis in Supreme Court was correct. The party had initiated an impeachment motion against Mishra, but it was rejected by Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu. “This also proves that the BJP government does not have any respect for the Constitutional structures of our country,” Singhvi said.“Justice Joseph has in clear and unequivocal terms talked of the arbitrary Bench selection, external influences, by implication remote controls, and political biases injected into the system by the Government of India, by the ruling party,” he alleged.The Congress has been trying to mobilise Opposition parties over the issues in the Supreme Court. The party has also been alleging that the Narendra Modi government is destroying institutions of the country such as the Parliament, the Supreme Court and the Election Commission.The meeting on December 10 is organised by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. A review of the Assembly elections and a discussion on the floor strategy for the winter session is expected to be taken up in the meeting. Similar meeting is likely to take place during the session too, after the announcement of the Assembly election results. COMMENTS December 03, 2018 courts and legal Published on SHARE He said that former CJI Dipak Misra was ‘remote-controlled by an external source’last_img read more

Parag Milk to airlift premium milk brand to DelhiNCR

first_imgLeading private dairy company Parag Milk Foods Ltd expects its farm-to-home brand- Pride of Cows to touch the Rs 200 crore-mark in sales in the next 2-3 years. The company has expanded its distribution to Delhi-NCR.Sold on a subscription-model directly by the company, the premium milk will be airlifted from its dairy farm in Manchar, Pune to cater to the consumers in the Delhi-NCR. So far, the company has been selling the brand to about 34,000 households in Mumbai, Pune and Surat and it has also found traction among celebrities and HNIs.Devendra Shah, Chairman, Parag Milk Foods said, “With the aim to expand the brand’s presence, we have been focusing on increasing the production at our farm. Currently, we have over 3000 Holstien Freisan cows. We believe we have the capacity to cater to 15,000-20,000 households in the Delhi-NCR region in the next one year.”Initially to be made available in South Delhi and Gurgaon region, the company plans to roll out its “by-invitation” subscription model across the Delhi-NCR region in the next few months. “Currently, Pride of Cows is a Rs 80-crore brand. We expect it to grow to about Rs 180- Rs 200 crore in the next 2-3 years,” he said adding that Delhi-NCR is the largest milk market in the country.Priced at Rs 120 per litre in Delhi-NCR, consumers can subscribe to the premium milk on the company’s website or through its app. Shah said, “ In the first six months, we will airlift about 10,000 litres of premium milk from our farm. We only source the milk from our state-of-the-art dairy farm which is equipped with international technology for feeding, milking and processing of fresh milk. We hope to expand this to 20,000 litres in the next six months for the Delhi-NCR region.” To be priced at Rs 120 per litre COMMENT Devendra Shah, Chairman, Parag Milk Foods Ltd. File Photo   –  BusinessLine SHARE SHARE EMAIL Delhi January 17, 2019center_img COMMENTS Published on Parag Milk Foods Ltd SHARE dairy (product)last_img read more

MeToo Court grants bail to Priya Ramani in defamation case by M

first_img#MeToo: Union Minster MJ Akbar sues journalist Court takes cognisance of Akbar’s defamation case against Ramani A Delhi court on Monday granted bail to journalist Priya Ramani, who was summoned as an accused in a defamation case filed by former Union minister M J Akbar after she levelled allegations of sexual misconduct against him.Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal granted the bail on a bond of Rs 10,000.The court had earlier directed Ramani to appear before it after noting that the allegations made against Akbar were “prima facie defamatory” and he denied all the accusations as “false and imaginary”.Ramani accused Akbar of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago when he was a journalist. He has denied the accusations. His name cropped up on social media as the #MeToo campaign raged on in India last year. Akbar, who resigned from the Union Council of Ministers on October 17, was in Nigeria when his name came up. Multiple women came out with accounts of alleged sexual harassment by him when he was a journalist. Published on MJ Akbar (file photo) SHARE COMMENT MJ Akbar wilts in the face of #Metoo crescendo, resignscenter_img COMMENTS February 25, 2019 SHARE SHARE EMAIL RELATED crime, law and justice inquirylast_img read more

19 Kudla youths stranded in Kuwait all set to return on Wednesday

first_imgMANGALURU: After months of ordeal, as many as 19 youths from Mangaluru stranded in Kuwait due to a job fraud are all set to return to India, on July 18. Sources in the Indian Embassy in Kuwait told TOI that currently 42 members are awaiting their visa and other cancellations to return home. Among them 19 are from Mangaluru. On Tuesday, visa of 15 Mangalureans was cancelled with temporary exit and rest will be cancelled on Wednesday. Two out of 44 stranded youths in Kuwait, had left for India and reached the country on Sunday. Mohandas Kamath, an expat working in Kuwait, said among 42 youths, 19 are from Mangaluru and rest hail from Andhra Pradesh and other states. All the 19 youths from Mangaluru will start their journey on Wednesday around 8.30pm (Kuwait time) and reach Mumbai early on Thursday. From Mumbai, they will board a bus to reach Mangaluru. “We are making all arrangements for their safe travel without any hassles,” Kamath told TOI. It may be recalled that several youths were trapped in Kuwait for the past seven months due to alleged job fraud by a blacklisted recruitment agency. Their plight was revealed after a video went viral on social media, in which the stranded youths were heard saying they went to Kuwait on employment visa through the city-based placement agency. However, after landing in Kuwait, they realized that they were conned. Download The Times of India News App for Latest India News.XStart your day smart with stories curated specially for youlast_img read more