The No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country committed to Ohio State this evening and with his pledge, a five-star wide receiver (or two or three) could be following him to Columbus. Tate Martell, a four-star quarterback in the 2017 class out of Las Vegas, announced his commitment to Ohio State on Twitter. The 5-foot-10, 203-pound prospect out of Bishop Gorman (Nevada) is very close with Tyjon Lindsey, a five-star wide receiver in the same class. They played together at Bishop Gorman before Lindsey moved back to California this winter. Lindsey congratulated Martell on Twitter regarding his commitment. Martell responded, “You are next!” OMM I HAD NO IDEA THIS WAS COMING..CONGRATS TATE MAN NO MATTER WHAT WE’RE ALWAYS BROTHERS, TOGETHER OR NOT. Love u https://t.co/fs6kw8Z08x— Tyjon A. Lindsey ® (@tyjonlindsey) June 13, 2016Thanks bro! You are next! https://t.co/GtChALHEPf— Tate Martell (@TheTateMartell) June 13, 2016There has long been speculation that Martell and Lindsey will end up playing for the same school. Ohio State has now obviously added half of the potential package deal and the Buckeyes are believed to be the favorite to land the other half. Lindsey, a speedy 5-foot-8 wideout out of California, is currently crystal-balled to Ohio State. 247Sports.He recently did this at Rivals’ 5-Star Challenge. HOUSE CALL . #RivalsChallenge WR MVP @RivalsCamp pic.twitter.com/g3cStTWmMg— Tyjon A. Lindsey ® (@tyjonlindsey) June 12, 2016Martell will surely be recruiting Lindsey to Columbus, but the Corona, Calif. product won’t be the only five-star wide receiver the quarterback tries to push to the Buckeyes. Jeremy Birmingham of Eleven Warriors says five-star wide receivers Trevon Grimes and Donovan Peoples-Jones will also be a “priority” for Martell. Martell (@TheTateMartell) will three five-star WRs his priority: Trevon Grimes, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Tyjon Lindsey.— Jeremy Birmingham (@Birm) June 13, 2016Peoples-Jones (No. 6), Grimes (No. 28) and Lindsey (No. 30) are all ranked in the top 30 of 247Sports’ Composite Rankings for 2017.Ohio State’s 2017 class is the No. 1 class in the country. MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:The 10 Most Aggressive Fan Bases In CFBIn Photos: Golfer Paige SpiranacESPN Makes Decision On Dick Vitale
Los Angeles: US actress Lori Loughlin appeared in federal court in downtown Los Angeles in connection with a massive college admissions scam involving other celebrities and top industry CEOs. Bail for the “Full House” star was set at USD 1 million, the same amount as for her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, who has also been charged in the case. The couple, who are to appear in federal court in Boston on March 29, allegedly paid USD 500,000 in bribes to ensure their two daughters were recruited to the University of Southern California rowing team even though the pair did not participate in crew. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingLoughlin, 54, surrendered to FBI agents early Wednesday after returning from Vancouver, where she was filming. Judge Steve Kim told the star in setting her bail that she would still be allowed to travel for work as long as the court was made aware of her plans. The couple were among 50 people indicted on Tuesday in a scam to help children of the American elite gain entry into top US colleges. “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who has also been implicated in the scandal, was arrested by FBI agents at her home on Tuesday and later released on bail. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangThe 56-year-old actress and her husband William H Macy, the star of Showtime’s hit series “Shameless,” allegedly paid USD 15,000 for their eldest daughter to perform well on a college entrance exam. Macy was mentioned in the case but has not been charged. The ringleader behind the scam, William “Rick” Singer, who authorities say was paid about USD 25 million dollars to bribe coaches and university administrators, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with authorities. Some of the universities targeted in the elaborate cheating scam include Yale, Stanford, UCLA and Georgetown. None of the schools or the students has been charged in the case. According to prosecutors, the accused parents paid a firm run by Singer as much as USD 6 million to cheat on college entrance exams for their children or to bribe coaches to help non-athletic students get scholarships. Others ensnared in the scandal include Gordon Caplan, co-chairman of New York law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, who allegedly paid USD 75,000 to have his daughter’s test grades fixed. Also charged is William McGlashan, an executive at the investment group TPG Capital who specialized in technology investments. He allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure his son got into the University of Southern California as a student athlete. The scandal has lit up social media, with many poking fun and expressing anger at the wealthy parents indicted notably Loughlin and Huffman as well as their children. “CAPTION THIS: ‘It’s ok honey. We’ll get you in a college close to your mom’s prison so you can visit,” one Twitter user said in response to a picture Huffman had posted on Sunday of her daughter sitting on Macy’s lap and hugging him. Ben Dreyfuss, the son of veteran actor Richard Dreyfuss, quipped: “I got into college the old fashioned way: by letting my father’s celebrity speak for itself.” Another Twitter user said: “So what I’ve learned from #CollegeCheatingScandal is that rich kids are so stupid that they can’t get into colleges without cheating.” Olivia Jade Giannulli, one of Loughlin’s daughters, disabled comments on her Instagram posts on Wednesday after some of her 1.3 million followers lashed out against her. “Please do a video for how you prepared for the SATs,” read one comment. Another berated the young woman, who posted a video blog last year in which she said she didn’t care about school, for stealing a college spot from “another deserving student (who probably actually rows!!)…”
Former Inter Milan goalkeeper Francesco Toldo insists that the club remain as Juventus’ closest challengers, despite a mixed start to the seasonLuciano Spalletti’s side have only claimed one win in their opening four league games and lie 15th in the Serie A table.This development comes as somewhat as a surprise to many considering that Inter invested over €77m this summer on new recruits in order to challenge for their first Serie A crown since the 2009/10 campaign.“The Nerazzurri continue to be the anti-Juventus, despite their limitations. I am sorry that Inter have remained lacking in terms of scoring,” Toldo told Radio Marte.Juventus confirm Mario Mandzukic could leave this month Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Sporting director Fabio Paratici confirmed reports that Mario Mandzukic could leave Juventus for a move to an unnamed Qatari team.The 46-year-old also gave his verdict on Napoli, who replaced coach Maurizio Sarri for Carlo Ancelotti this summer.“Napoli are still too dependent on Sarri. Carlo Ancelotti is a great coach and a great man but the team still has to demonstrate its continuity,” he said.While they struggle domestically, Inter won their Champions League opener against Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 on Tuesday evening.
Diego Simeone hailed Atletico Madrid’s tenacious display in their 2-0 win against Real Sociedad.Goals from Diego Godin and Filipe Luis ensured victory for Atletico, just three days after their 4-0 drubbing by Borussia Dortmund, although Costa’s goal drought in La Liga stretched to nine months.“We always have the responsibility and need to compete well in every game,” Simeone told Football Espana after the game.“We had a good game in Dortmund, beyond the bad result we took back. We’ve responded very well after three days.“We made almost no changes because I saw the players in a good way and it was difficult to for outsiders to come in.La Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…“I really liked the continuity we played with, as well as our heads and the sense of rebellion in our play.“Costa’s working hard to get back among the goals. He’s extraordinary and a very important player for us.“If he plays like did today, he’ll be very close to scoring. This is the way forward for him, there’s no other.”The Coach later gave his verdict on the with his side ahead of Barcelona in the table.“I care a lot about what happened today, although tomorrow will be a great match between two extraordinary teams and two sets of very good players,” he concluded.
Chelsea assistant coach Gianfranco Zola claims that even though Eden Hazard may not be known for his industry off the ball, Chelsea still needs him to assist the team.The Belgium winger hasn’t really impressed in all his outing this term after he was deployed by new coach Sarri to play as a false nine.Chelsea defeated Tottenham 2-1 on penalties to reach the EFL Cup final on Thursday with Hazard scoring the Blues’ second goal in a second leg.“I was very much like Eden,” Zola told reporters, according to FourFourTwo.“I was a very positive player, I liked to move around the pitch, find the spots on the pitch where I could receive the ball, turn and make the damage to the opposition.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“I was very, very similar and I do understand that. I believe we try to give him this but also to be an organised team defensively and offensively. Especially offensively. That’s why we ask Eden sometimes to put himself about in working hard.“I know that’s not his best quality. We understand that sometimes he needs to be fresh when he receives the ball. There is no doubt that we are on the same page. We want to find a common ground where he can get the best out of himself and the team can benefit from him.“Not only when he is scoring goals but when we have moments in the game where we need everybody to defend and everybody to press. That’s exactly what we are trying to do. Eden, I think, I have to be fair that he has been doing it.“He has been trying to do it. We are very demanding because we want to do it all the time. I am sure that we will find a compromise. I am not in a position to criticise a player like Eden. We believe, Maurizio said one thing, that the potential of Hazard is greater than the performances.“So he is not criticising what Eden is doing but he believes he can do much more for himself and the team. That’s all he is saying. This is the situation he wants Hazard to understand. Again, when we see his performances we look forward to seeing more and more.”
More From Roadshow Share your voice 2016 Chevy Colorado diesel: A 7,700-pound hauler, 30-plus mpg runabout Post a comment 0 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster first drive: Superb sensations 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S: The complete package Car Industry Diesel Cars BMW Volkswagen Mercedes-Benz Tags In 2017, the European Union’s antitrust regulators headed to the offices of BMW, Daimler and members of the Volkswagen Group to investigate allegations that the automakers colluded against improving their vehicles’ emissions. The European Commission on Friday announced that it sent a Statement of Objections to BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen for allegedly colluding to restrict competition and artificially delay the development of emission-reducing car technology. “Companies can cooperate in many ways to improve the quality of their products. However, EU competition rules do not allow them to collude on exactly the opposite: not to improve their products, not to compete on quality,” said Margrethe Vestager, member of the European Commission in charge of competition policy, in a statement. “We are concerned that this is what happened in this case and that Daimler, VW and BMW may have broken EU competition rules. As a result, European consumers may have been denied the opportunity to buy cars with the best available technology.”Enlarge ImageThis isn’t just about diesels, but they’re in here, too. SOPA Images/Getty Images According to the Commission’s press release, the group is concerned that collusion occurred with regards to two different emissions-reductions systems. On the diesel side, the group alleges that the automakers “coordinated their AdBlue dosing strategies, AdBlue tank size and refill ranges between 2006 and 2014 with the common understanding that they thereby limited AdBlue-consumption and exhaust gas cleaning effectiveness.” Gas-powered cars didn’t escape the conversation, either. While selective catalytic reduction (urea/AdBlue injection) doesn’t exist for gas engines, there are particulate filters that can help reduce tailpipe emissions. In this case, the Commission believes that “BMW, Daimler and VW coordinated to avoid, or at least to delay, the introduction of [‘Otto’ particulate filters] in their new (direct injection) petrol passenger car models between 2009 and 2014, and to remove uncertainty about their future market conduct.”In an emailed statement, a Daimler spokesperson said that the automaker is cooperating with the European Commission and would not comment further on this ongoing case. Volkswagen said it will continue to cooperate with the Commission, as well. BMW did not immediately return Roadshow’s requests for comment.The Commission noted in its release that, while this doesn’t rise to the level of price fixing, it’s still a potential violation of EU competition guidelines. That said, this Statement of Objections isn’t a binding determination of any kind — automakers will still get to present their cases to the Commission — but if fines are levied, they could amount to 10 percent of the automakers’ global revenue, totaling billions of dollars.
Parth Samthaan and Erica FernandesInstagramParth Samthaan and Erica Fernandes are undoubtedly one of the hottest and most talked about couples in the telly town thanks to their stint in Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2. The two are rumoured to be dating but they have never accepted it. But their fondness for each other seems to be getting evident with each passing day. So when Parth and Erira arrived together at Ekta Kapoor’s birthday bash, the two were inseparable from each other.Inside the bash, Parth and Erica seem to have had a gala time partying with the birthday girl and their intimate picture is a proof of that. Parth took to Instagram stories to upload a picture of him along with his rumoured ladylove and Ekta sharing a warm hug while dropping their moves on the dance floor.Erica too reshared Parth’s Instagram story onto her page along with a still from Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2 wherein the reel life lovers – Prerna and Anurag Basu – were seen having a romantic moment. “Prerna’s love is like a candle, that warms Anu’s heart,” read the caption shared by the show’s director Muzammil Desai, which was reshared by Erica on Instagram.Earlier, it was reported that the rumoured lovebirds spend more time together when not shooting for their show. Apparently, Parth and Erica often arrive together on sets and also wait for one another to have afternoon and evening meals together. Not just that, they often leave the sets together as well.And it looks like the spark from Prerna and Anurag’s romance has ignited the flame between Erica and Parth in real life as well.Take a look. Erica Fernandes, Parth Samthaan at Ekta Kapoor birthday bashInstagram Erica Fernandes, Parth Samthaan, Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2Instagram
Akkineni NagarjunaTwitterNagarjuna Akkineni, ahead of the release of Manmadhudu 2, spoke to the media and is happy that after a long time, he has got to do a really good script, which is very much needed for him at this time of his career. Soon, Nagarjuna is going to turn 60 and this is something the actor doesn’t just accept at all. Because for him, age is just a number and he believes that he is very much young at heart. Manmadhudu 2 is directed by actor turned director Rahul Ravindran and it will hit the screens on August 9.In an exclusive interview, the actor talks about his upcoming plans, the need of scripts for senior heroes, working with debutant directors and a lot more.Most of the time, you work with directors who are either debutants or are just one film old. How do you identify their potential?I don’t know, it just happened (laughs). Yeah. In fact, I must say that’s what has made me a star. I have worked with many new directors. Could be Shiva or Geetanjali, things worked really well then. Sometimes, my decisions have been proved to be wrong too. So now, I am a bit more careful. But, I think I can identify their potential and this is all because of experience. Working with youngsters is definitely a good idea is what I believe. Rakul Preet Singh and Nagarjuna Manmadhudu 2TwitterThere are many young actors now, who are doing really well. So has it become tough for senior heroes to get good scripts?Yes. Very much. I can’t expect to keep doing love stories even now. Because it is the turn of my sons to do those kinds of films. So those roles will go to young actors who can do them really better. Thus it is tough for senior heroes to get roles and when we get experimental roles to do, we aren’t sure whether they will always work or not.There were days when you used to have a bunch of films to shoot. What about now? Like I already said, it is getting tougher to get roles. So I don’t have any new projects in my kitty except those which I have signed sometime back. I will begin working very soon for the sequel of Soggade Chinninayana and it is titled Bangarraju. That’s all in Telugu as of now. In case I get any more scripts and if I like, I might agree to do. Screenshots of the kiss scenes in Nagarjuna’s Manmadhudu 2.PR HandoutWill you continue doing romantic films after Manmadhudu 2?I am definitely not an idiot to do that. I don’t think even the audience can see me doing romance now, at this age. Romantic comedy films are not my cup of tea anymore. So I would be looking forward to doing something different from now on. Let’s see if I like any films which I would like to remake, then we will think and talk.Personally, what kind of films do you like to watch?I cannot watch films that are depressing or serious. A big no to those which can make me even feel like crying. In fact, when I find any of such films in suggestions or while searching for some other films, I just change the channel immediately. It is the same on Netflix or Amazon. I love to watch films that make me laugh. Even if I cry, it has to be out of joy only.
The Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), which has carved out a niche for itself in over a decade in making non-commercial documentaries on pressing issues involving women, is all set to host its 13th international film festival beginning here 11 Sept.Slated to last till 21 Sept, the PSBT film festival, aptly rechristened Open Frame International Film Festival will be held at the IIC here with an active collaboration by the latter in conducting it. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The festival accords the Delhi denizens a rare opportunity to watch the PSBT’s documentaries which earlier have been shown and applauded in festivals in the world over at places ranging from Oberhausean to Estonia and from Kerala to New York.Films slated to be screened ‘focus on the narratives of and by the women, foregrounding their experiences and embodying a wide range of issues that require their critical examination,’ say organisers. Credited with making over 540 independent films and screening them in 660 global film festivals, winning 170 awards, including 37 National Awards, besides wide-ranging critical acclaim. The films address, examine, present and celebrate woman’s lives, struggle, solidarities and movements. Film lovers don’t miss this one. pti
Tags: Air Canada, Texas, Travel Alert, WestJet TORONTO — The number of flights cancelled in the wake of Harvey is about to top 10,000 and that’s just within the U.S. Both Air Canada and WestJet have also cancelled flights and both airlines have issued updates for passengers with tickets to affected airports.While Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport says it is closed until further notice, some reports suggest the airport could reopen for commercial traffic on Thursday at noon local time.WestJet says 25 flights between Calgary and Houston have been cancelled since Friday, impacting travel plans for 1,400 passengers.It says aircraft are positioned to resume service when the situation on the ground has improved.WestJet says it is tentatively planning to operate one flight that day and one on Friday. Extra flight segments will be added over the weekend to help transport passengers.Air Canada has cancelled several flights between Houston and airports in Montreal and Toronto. It wouldn’t provide details about the number of passengers affected.More news: Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesAir Canada has implemented a policy for customers who purchased an Air Canada ticket no later than Aug. 26, 2017 and whose itinerary includes a flight between Aug. 26 and Sept. 5, 2017 to, from or via any of the following airports: Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), San Antonio International Airport (SAT) and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY).“If you are scheduled to travel on the above dates, you may contact Air Canada Reservations (1-888-247-2262) to change your flight, free of charge, to another date between now and September 20, 2017, subject to availability in the cabin you originally purchased. Otherwise, any fare difference will apply,” says the airline.Passengers may also choose to travel to an alternate destination. In that case, any change fees will be waived, provided they are travelling between now and Sept. 20, 2017. Any fare difference will apply.WestJet has also put out an advisory notifying passengers impacted by Harvey about flexible change and cancel rules. “To review your flight options, please call: WestJet (air-only): 1-888-937-8538 (1-888-WESTJET). WestJet Vacations: 1-877-737-7001. If you have made an air-only booking through a travel agent, please contact your travel agent directly.”More news: War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upHurricane Harvey has dumped a record 49.32 inches of rain on Texas. Wednesday, August 30, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Posted by With files from The Canadian Press Share Post-Harvey cancellations near the 10,000 mark; Air Canada, WestJet issue advisories
The 47th Skal Asia Area Congress opens with a bang in MacauThe 47th Skal Asia Area Congress opens with a bang in MacauOpening the Congress Skal Asia President Robert Sohn took the opportunity to acknowledge the presence of Mr Alexis Tam, Secretary of Tourism, SASC; Dr Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of MGTO; and Mr Perry Yuen, President of the Macau Culinary Association.He went on to say, “It is a great pleasure to welcome you all, on behalf of the Skal Intl Asian Area. From Skal Intl, World President Susanna Saari and CEO Daniela Otero, also two SI past Presidents, Uzi Yalon and Richard Hawkins, SI Director, Peter Morrison, two SI past Directors Jason Samuel & Andrew Wood and SI past Asia President Gerry Perez.“On behalf of the Asian Area Committee, I thank all delegates who have taken their time to be at this Congress. I especially thank Mr Antunes, President of Skal International Macau and his team who have worked very hard to make this Congress the most successful and memorable one, in view of its quality program and the number of participants. As far as I know, this Macau Congress has recorded the highest number of international delegates in recent years. This is the result of the hard work put in by President Antunes and his team.“We are eagerly looking forward to hearing the speeches to be made by renowned keynote speakers and industry professionals like Dr Mario Hardy, PATA CEO; Dra. Maria Helana de Senna Fernandes, Director of MGTO, Khun Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Deputy Governor of TAT, Mr Grant Bowie, CEO and Executive Director of MGM China Holdings, and our very own Young Skal Members and Director Dushy Jayaweera. Their valuable words will go a long way in making this 47th Asian Congress all the more enriching.Skal Asia President Mr Robert Sohn“Among the regional areas of Skal International, the Skal Asian Area commands the largest area, stretching for more than 10,000 km from Guam in the Pacific region to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.“Asia is the only area in the world where Skal Intl is experiencing strong growth. In the Asian region, we achieved an increase of 14.7% in the number of members, compared to one year ago and currently there are about 2,400 members in 41 Clubs in Asia. This should be noted, since especially the number of members worldwide has decreased. The newest Club No 726, Trivandrum from India is also a part of the Asian Area.”He went on to add, “If you look at the Skal statistics one year ago and today and compare the progress of Skal International and Skal Asia, you will find that in the World, the number of countries that have a Skal Club decreased by one, from 84 to 83 while there was no change to the 19 countries in Asia that has Skal clubs.“Club wise Skal International lost four clubs going down from 359 to 355 clubs while Skal Asia increased its number of clubs from 40 to 41 and in terms of membership Skal Asia increased its numbers by 311 going up from 2,114 to 2,425.“We are also proud to mention that Skal International Delhi took over the mantle of the largest Skal Club in the world. Skal Asia has the potential to grow even further. There are initiatives taking place to open Skal clubs in other countries as well. Lebanon, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam are some of the countries that are interested to join Skal Asia. Also, with the help of President Antunes and the Macau team, I hope that opening of many clubs in China will be a reality soon.“Skal Intl Macau has already organised the Skal Asia Congress on three previous occasions, initially in 1981 which was co-hosted by Skal Intl Hong Kong, then in 1996 and in 2007. With this Congress, Macao will become one of the five cities which has held that Skal Asia Congress 4 times or more, the others being Manila, Singapore, Bahrain and Colombo.“All delegates attending this Congress are encouraged to explore the wonderful attractions of Macao, enjoy the diversity of its culture and heritage, experience the hospitality of its people and, above all, indulge into its cuisine in the 2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy,” he concluded.During the opening ceremony there took place the historic signing of an MOU between PATA and SKAL INTERNATIONAL pledging increased co-operation between both associations.SKÅL ASIA: With over 2,425 members in 41 Clubs, 26 grouped in five national committees and 15 affiliated, the Skål Asian Area is the most diverse Area in the world of Skål, reaching from Guam in the Pacific Ocean more than 10,000 km to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean with clubs in 19 fascinating countries in between.Source = Andrew J WOOD
Cloud-based TV operator Magine has launched in beta in Germany, its first European expansion since debuting in Sweden in March.Magine is a subscription service that combines live linear TV, catch-up and on-demand programming, delivered from the cloud to TV screens, smartphones, tablets or computers.Viewers in Germany can sign up now for the beta trial, with Magine promising deployments in “several other European territories” by the end of the year.“Germany is a vital territory for us and we are looking forward to working with the country’s top content providers,” said Magine’s Chairman Michael Werner.In Sweden, Magine hosts national Swedish broadcasters, SVT and TV4, as well as international channels and studios including CNN International, BBC, Eurosport, National Geographic, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.
Uganda’s communications regulator is to oblige pay TV operators to distribute local TV channels without levying a monthly subscription charge, according to local reports.The Uganda Communications Commission (UGC) plans to change the terms of pay TV operators licences to oblige them to make free-to-air services available to subscribers without a monthly charge after users’ current subscription periods have ended.The move is reportedly in response to confusion about the type of equipment Ugandan viewers need to buy to continue watching TV channels after the country’s planned digital migration in July.The UGC has licensed five firms to distribute free-to-air decoders in the country ahead of the switchover date.
In This Issue. * Currencies are mixed today. * Euro goes back and forth around 1.27. * Kuroda wants more yen weakness. * Gold is Money. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. The Riksbank Joins The ZIRP Group! . Good Day!… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! What a wonderful lunch date I had yesterday with old classmates and friends. Last year, 4 of us decided to have lunch and catch up, it was decided then that we would try to duplicate that fun, every quarter. Well, a year later, we finally got around to doing so! But this time, it was like a surprise party, for our small group had grown! The original group was me, my friend from kindergarten, Robin Sullivan, Stanley Johnson, and Linda Moore (Bilger). We then added, Ray Holthausen, Mark (Jr.) Walker, Jim Cooper, Kathy Ries, and Pam Scholtes. (the last two are married but I didn’t really catch their married names!) We laughed and laughed at the goings on in our lives, got somber about bad things, and then laughed again. It was simply wonderful! I told them all I would mention them in the letter today, so if the group grows any more, I might have to use initials! HAHAHAHAHA! Well, The currencies are mixed this morning, with the dollar holding on to some semblance of dignity with the euro, and the euro-alternatives, like Norwegian krone, and Swedish krona, but not with the renminbi, Aussie dollar (A$), and Gold. The Big Event this morning is Sweden’s Central Bank, The Riksbank’s meeting. Recall, yesterday, I told you about the upcoming rate cut discussion by the Riksbank, and thought that the Riksbank would do the dolt thing and cut rates even lower than they previously were, which. were so low you wouldn’t be able to limbo under them. Well, guess what the Riksbank did? That’s right, the dolt-thing. The cut their internal rate from 25 Basis Points (1/4%) to zero. The Riksbank has now joined the ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) group, that includes the U.S., Japan, Switzerland, Eurozone, U.K. and a few others. For those of you keeping score at home, Sweden’s internal rate was .25%…. Yes, that’s right, so to cut them from there is pointless isn’t it? Well, not according to Lars E.O. Svensson, a man who last year, left the Riksbank’s board in protest, because he didn’t think the Riksbank was doing everything they could to prevent deflation. He believes that the Riksbank should cut rates to zero, or even minus -.25%, and “even that will probably not be enough, so they will also have to think about implementing more unconventional measures, like asset purchases (QE) and maybe even a currency floor.” OK, given what this guy said, I’ll play a little game here. Svensson is a Princeton graduate, guess who his former colleagues at Princeton were? .. Jeopardy music plays. give up? Well it’s none other than Ben Bernanke and Paul Krugman! What in the heck is in the water there at Princeton? Or, better yet, who’s teaching these guys this stuff? Oh well, the good news is Svensson quit the Riksbank last year, so, he might be spouting off now about cutting rates to below zero, but he has no vote in the matter. Thank goodness! Alrighty then, that’s more time than I’ve spent on Sweden in a couple years’ worth of Sundays! The Aussie dollar is stronger this morning, so let’s go “down under” and see what’s up in the S. Pacific. After enduring the dreadful month of September for the A$, the currency has found a base around 88-cents, give or take a cent either way. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) really was the driving force that pushed the A$ down from 94-cents at the beginning of September to a recent low of 86-cents. The RBA has been quiet lately, and that scares the bejeebers out of me. I don’t like when a Central Bank that has been so vocal about their currency suddenly goes silent. What are they up to? That’s what I would be asking if I ever got the opportunity to talk to the RBA. You may laugh about that idea, but have I ever told you about how I used to call the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) and talk directly to the Gov. Don Brash? Yes, back “in the day” I had met Don Brash in L.A. and after talking to him about monetary policy, and the bond market in N.Z. he gave me his card and told me to call him when I had questions about what they were doing. OK, you don’t have to invite me to a party two times, and so I exercised that offer to call. And to Don Brash’s credit, he picked up the phone each time, and would take time to discuss what was on Chuck’s mind regarding the N.Z. economy, etc. They don’t make Central Bankers like Don Brash any longer. Sorry for the trip down memory lane, there, but sometimes I think it’s important that dear readers like you understand my background and how I come to some of these idea as to when a Central Bank is either prudent or doltish! Alrighty then. The Japanese yen continues to teeter back and forth from falling into the deep, dark abyss or holding on to some semblance of dignity. (Ahem, Chuck, did you realize that’s the second time you’ve used that phrase this morning? Well, I hadn’t when I typed it, but now that you’ve brought it to my attention, shame on me! ) The Bank of Japan (BOJ) Gov. Kuroda, told everyone that would listen to him last night that the BOJ would do more in terms of monetary measures, if inflation fails to materialize and hold steady in Japan. Another dolt comment, for sure, because this is simply Kuroda saying that the yen is not weak enough to bring about inflation in our country. Japan, is a basket case. I’ve told you that for a long time now, and it all begins with their Gov’t debt. So, look for the Japanese yen to get back to the task at hand, which is to become weaker and return to 110. This morning yen is 108, so 110 might not even be weak enough. In China overnight, the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) allowed another appreciation of the renminbi / yuan. Again, don’t forget that the only piece of Chinese data this week will print on Thursday, when their National report on manufacturing (PMI) will show its true colors. I think that the PMI will be surprisingly good, and that’s why the PBOC has allowed the renminbi / yuan to appreciate two days in a row. It’s been pretty quiet in China lately, with little news regarding new steps being taken to remove the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. You know that I’ve kept you on top of the news regarding China’s Gold reserves. And how they back up the truck when the price manipulators drive the price of Gold down. Well, now China is docking the cargo ships and filling them with cheap Oil. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), The trading unit of state-run China National Petroleum Corp has bought 36 cargos of crude Oil in the open market so far in October, the largest purchase EVER in a single month! WOW! Who says the demand for Oil is shrinking due to the slowdown in economies all over the world? Not in China! And the euro is really spinning its wheels this morning, trading back and forth around the 1.27 handle. The euro rallied to as high as 1.2765 yesterday, but then someone said, Hey! What the heck is going on here? We’re not supposed to like the euro right now! And the single unit abruptly fell back to 1.27. But overnight and through the morning session, it’s been a 10-pip move around 1.27. So for those of you new to class, that’s 1.2690 to 1.2710. I find that the euro holding on to this level with the Fed’s FOMC meeting tomorrow hanging over it like the Sword of Damocles, very interesting. There’s very little to talk about with regards to domestic news from the Eurozone, so it’s all about how it trades in relation to the dollar. Well, here in the U.S. today, we’ll get to see the color of the September Durable Goods Orders, which the last two months had seen the gyrations of large airplane orders, and then the adjustment downward. But we should be getting back to normal stuff with the September report. The “experts” believe that Durable Goods Orders for Sept. will have grown .5%… Nothing to get all lathered up about, but in this day and age of economic reports before the election, you have to wonder why so muted? The U.S. Data Cupboard also has the S&P/ CaseShiller Home Price Index from August to print today. Here’s my thought on this data. August was a slow month, and the U.S. Treasury yields hadn’t fallen back as they did in Sept and Rocktober. For those of you new to class, the 10-year Treasury is the benchmark for setting mortgage rates. So, if mortgage rates were still higher, relatively speaking, Houses weren’t selling like funnel cakes at a State Fair, and if that wasn’t happening, the price of homes weren’t rising. Now, when we get around to see this data for Sept. and Rocktober, the 10-year’s yield had fallen, thus lowering mortgage rates again, and thus producing buyers, which drives up the prices. You know, the thigh bone is connected to the knee bone, the knee bone is connected to the shin bone, and so on. Oh, and Consumer Confidence will print today for Rocktober. Let’s just say, for grins and giggles that the survey people asked me if I was confident in this economy. What would I say? What would I say? Oh, we don’t have time to go through that here, but on the Butler Patio, this discussion could become quite lively! But, with the stock market not exactly looking as if its next stop is the moon, Consumer Confidence should drop a bit. But who knows, we’re only a week away from mid-term elections! I mentioned Gold was up a bit above. It’s not much of a move, but it’s positive, and that’s a move in the right direction, eh? And I have something of interest for you from my fave Gold researcher and analyst, Koos Jansen in the FWIW section today. One of my fave reads every morning that always has something to say about Gold & Silver, Ed Steer’s letter, has been AWOL this past week. I sure hope Ed’s OK. Before we head to the Big Finish today, I wanted to talk about this. It came to my attention yesterday that we had an additional death over the weekend, this time in the music world. Long time bassist Jack Bruce, who was 71, died. Jack Bruce was THE bass player of rock bands in the 70’s, folks. For those of you old enough, (like me) You’ve heard Jack Bruce’s playing and singing over the years. I guess the most famous band he was in was the band, Cream, along with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. My good friend, Preston, who played drums in the traveling band I played in, and I were huge fans of both Bruce and Baker. A rock legend gone. For What Its’ Worth. OK. I really built this up above, and it’s just an off the wall story about Gold & Silver, but I thought it to be interesting, and since it’s my letter. here it is! Oh, by the way, Koos Jansen can be found on the website: www.bullionstar.com And with no further ado. here’s Mr. Koos Jansen, with his article about how Gold is Money. “Would you like to receive a percentage of your salary in gold? Yes I do! I’m working for the first company in Singapore, BullionStar.com, that offers its employees to be paid in gold or silver. Any BullionStar employee – an economic agent that is free to choose to whatever he or she wishes to allot value – can choose what percentage of its remuneration will be settled in bullion. Of course, everyone working for any company can choose, once it has received its fiat salary, to exchange a percentage of the salary for gold. However, my employer facilitates the automation of this process; effortless and effectively. By this arrangement both me and my employer are acknowledging gold as money. Just as the Chinese Gov’t has done.” Chuck again. Pretty cool, eh? I remember the first time my employer offered direct deposit of my check.. How cool that was! (Hey back in 1979, that was cutting edge technology!) But here’s why this is important. I truly believe that Gold will be a part of the future monetary system on planet earth. Why? Because a debt based monetary system is not sustainable. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! So. having someone’s wages, well, a percentage of the wages, paid in Gold or Silver is saying that Gold or Silver is money. It’s that simple folks. And over in the East, Asia and the Middle East, Gold is important to their lives. They believe that it’s a store of wealth. Shoot in India, if you don’t have Gold to offer, your daughter is not getting married! (or I think that’s how it works) Here in the U.S. most investors view Gold as a commodity that’s traded on whims. So, all in all, I wish EverBank had a program like BullionStar! To recap. The Big Event this morning has been the Riksbank meeting where they cut rates to zero from 25 Basis Points. The krona is getting whacked, because the forward guidance from the Riksbank was muted. The currencies are mixed this morning, with the krona and krone losing ground to the dollar, the euro flat, and the Aussie and renminbi currencies gaining VS the dollar. We’ll see some data here in the U.S. this morning, but none of it will light a fire under the markets, as everyone wants to see what the FOMC says tomorrow. Currencies today 10/28/14. American Style: A$ .8840, kiwi .7895, C$ .8915, euro 1.2705, sterling 1.6125, Swiss $1.0530, . European Style: rand 10.9215, krone 6.6235, SEK 7.3740, forint 243.30, zloty 3.3275, koruna 21.8345, RUB 42.48, yen 108.10, sing 1.2730, HKD 7.7575, INR 61.33, China 6.1421, pesos 13.52, BRL 2.4941, Dollar Index 85.59, Oil $81.15, 10-year 2.27%, Silver $17.28, Platinum $1,260.70, Palladium $780.09, and Gold. $1,228.20 That’s it for today. Well, the College Football Playoff Committee (CFPC) will publish their first ranking for the playoffs this evening. Should be interesting, but before everyone has a heart attack about the rankings, remember, there are 6 weeks of games still to be played, there will be changes! The World Series resumes this evening, with the Giants holding a 3-2 games edge. I can’t get over how great everyone looked yesterday! When we were young men, all those at the table played football together. There’s always a special bond among teammates, and we don’t have to see each other every day, or talk once a week for that to continue to bring us together. Good luck to Stanley Johnson who is rehabbing from an awful stroke he had late last year. I’m going on 5 days of feeling half-way decent, waiting for the shoe to drop. But hey! Maybe it won’t! I can always be optimistic, eh? And with that. I’ll get out of your hair today, and send you on your way to making this a Tom Terrific Tuesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets
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A disabled solicitor has accused his governing body of forcing him to abandon disabled clients without legal representation, after it withdrew permission for his new law centre to take on legal aid cases.The Law Society of Scotland (LSS), the professional body for Scottish solicitors, had granted permission to Legal Spark law centre to take on legal aid cases in November.Following that decision, Legal Spark took on cases from disabled people who had been unable to secure legal representation for their discrimination cases.Among them was a disabled student who had to quit their university course because they were not given adequate support, and another disabled client who had previously been unable to secure legal representation because they lived in an isolated part of the Highlands.But LSS has now decided that it made a mistake and has withdrawn permission for Legal Spark to carry out legal aid work.The founder of Legal Spark, disabled solicitor Daniel Donaldson (pictured) – who set up the law centre to help disabled people and other clients excluded from the legal system – said the LSS decision would deprive disabled people of access to justice.He had been hoping to take legal aid cases for disabled people who have experienced discrimination, cuts to their social care provision and other issues.He said: “My clients will just be dropped. The Law Society of Scotland have left me no alternative.“The situation as it has turned out is stopping disabled people availing themselves of their legal rights.”Legal Spark has contacted 134 lawyers, a list provided by LSS, who take on civil legal aid cases and specialise in discrimination law, and none of them have been able to take on Legal Spark’s clients.Donaldson – who qualified as a solicitor six years ago – spent a year discussing Legal Spark with LSS, which originally branded his plans “refreshing” and “innovative”.Now he says the organisation is discriminating against his disabled clients.He said: “It’s deeply disappointing. Instead of working with Legal Spark to find constructive solutions, they have discriminated against and ignored our clients by refusing to listen to them.“They have cancelled meetings, refused to go to mediation and each time a politician contacts them on our behalf, the Law Society avoid the issue.”He said LSS told him it made the decision because Legal Spark didn’t meet its precise interpretation of regulations, “despite us spending over a year in conversation and being actively encouraged by Law Society staff”.He added: “The Law Society gave us their blessing, then took it away.“The timing could not be worse, as our clients were achieving success in pursuing their claims of discrimination.“This is direct disability discrimination – there is nowhere else for our disabled clients to go.”He is encouraging people to sign an online petition and write letters of complaint to LSS.A Law Society Scotland spokeswoman said her organisation had made “a mistake” in originally granting Legal Spark permission to carry out civil legal aid work, before realising that it was “not entitled to provide this type of advice under the society’s civil legal assistance quality assurance scheme”.She said: “The committee made a final decision on 16 June that a waiver could not be granted for public protection reasons and as the compliance certificate for Legal Spark had been issued in error, it could no longer provide advice funded by legal aid. “The committee agreed that given the circumstances, Legal Spark could continue working with its legal aid clients until 30 June, to allow sufficient time to make alternative arrangements for clients.”She said law centres have to be “underpinned by a solicitor practice unit [which she said Legal Spark was not] in order to be able to be on the civil legal aid quality assurance scheme register and provide legal aid funded advice”.She added: “While it is rare for something to go wrong, clients have to be able to seek redress and as it currently stands, Legal Spark is not in a position to meet those requirements.”By noon today (28 July), the Law Society Scotland had failed to explain why it has refused to enter into mediation, although it claims that it was “still in communication with Legal Spark”.Donaldson continues to dispute LSS’s position and claims that under the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980, Legal Spark should be allowed to take on civil legal aid cases.He said: “The LSS have a legal requirement to promote access to justice. They have ignored this entirely. Where’s the justice for our disabled clients?”
An influential committee of MPs is to examine claims of widespread dishonesty by healthcare professionals who carry out face-to-face assessments of disability benefit claimants.Last week, Disability News Service (DNS) published the results of a two-month investigation that suggested a serious, institutional problem that spreads across the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the two private sector contractors – Atos and Capita – that assess eligibility for personal independence payment (PIP) on its behalf.DNS included evidence from more than 20 disabled people who had contacted DNS over the last year or had commented on previous DNS news stories to claim that their assessors – usually qualified nurses – lied repeatedly in reports they produced for DWP.Since publication, DNS has collected more than 20 further reports – some through comments on last week’s stories, and others with detailed evidence shared with DNS – from disabled people who say their assessment reports were dishonest and deeply misleading.As a result of that evidence, the chair of the Commons work and pensions select committee, the Labour MP Frank Field (pictured), said today (Thursday): “The committee has been presented with some concerning reports about the operation of the PIP assessment process.“I’m looking at those reports, and the issues they raise, very carefully. It will then be for the committee to decide how it wants to respond.”The team reviewing PIP on behalf of DWP has also confirmed that it will accept evidence collected during the DNS investigation. Paul Gray’s second review of PIP is due to be published in April.DWP has continued to show no interest in the results of the investigation and to insist that there is no dishonesty at all among its benefits assessors.Meanwhile, a former Atos assessor has told DNS why she believes there are so many examples of dishonest assessment reports.The former nurse worked for Atos for about six months in 2014 and 2015 before she left because she was not meeting her target of eight paper-based assessments a day.Although she left before the period covered by the latest reports – which focus on the last 12 months – she said she believes the pressure on her former colleagues to reach their targets for completing reports left them little time to research the conditions they are assessing.She said: “I know staff would make assumptions rather than facts… to get the reports done quickly and hope it didn’t get audited.“Some were like me very conscientious and others banged them out for the financial incentive, with little compassion or research on conditions.”She added: “The lack of knowledge on conditions, drugs and side-effects is shocking, but in reality assessors cannot know about every possible condition but have no time… to look them up and research the condition and effects.”She particularly highlighted the lack of knowledge about mental health conditions, which she said meant assessors were often “totally subjective rather than objective with no time to look up the condition or read up the effects of the prescribed medication and side effects”. She also blamed “target-driven management” and assessors “making assumptions rather than using facts”, while the risk of losing their jobs if they failed to achieve targets for the number of assessments they carried out meant assessors were “not always reading all of the evidence”.And, she said, many assessors often wanted to finish their reports quickly “so they could be paid overtime”.Atos has again refused to comment this week, while a DWP spokeswoman said of the former assessor’s claims: “We can’t respond on Atos’s behalf. I suggest you refer that question to them.”In another development, one PIP claimant has provided evidence which may explain why so few complaints about assessors are upheld by DWP’s “independent” complaints body, the Independent Case Examiner (ICE), which is staffed by DWP civil servants.He has shown DNS an email from a member of the DWP customer services team which makes it clear that he is not allowed to lodge complaints about his PIP assessor with ICE because his concerns were “regarding the decision making process so are not considered as a complaint and as such would not be signposted to ICE as a result”.A DWP press officer responded to a question about the email just before this week’s DNS deadline to say that she could not comment because “we have not been given any details about the email or claimant you’re referring to”.By the time she replied, it was too late to secure permission from the PIP claimant to share his email with the DWP press office.Last week, DWP said: “Assessment providers have their own complaints processes in place, and if claimants are not satisfied with providers’ response they will be signposted to the Independent Case Examiner (ICE). “Over 1.9 million PIP claims have been decided since April 2013 to September 2016 and in this time only a tiny fraction of complaints regarding providers’ service standards have been upheld by ICE.”
A disabled student has told Labour’s annual party conference that she has been forced to resort to crowdfunding to obtain a wheelchair that is suitable for her needs, because of “chronic” government under-funding.Rebecca Boot (pictured) told the party’s annual conference in Brighton that because she had a cheap powerchair that was not suitable for her impairment, it caused her pain and regular dislocations of her joints.She said her powerchair cost about £2,500 and was one of the cheapest available, but because it has “no suspension and poor shock absorbancy” she spends much of her time in bed “recovering from the pain” it causes.The chair she needs costs four times as much, but she does not believe she will be able to secure it through the “under-funded and over-stretched” NHS wheelchair service.She told the conference: “Not having the right chair costs me sleep, it costs me study time, and it costs me time with my family and my friends, while I lie in bed recovering from the pain that my wheelchair has caused.“The Tories’ chronic under-funding of NHS wheelchair services is costing me my freedom and it’s costing the local authority in personal care funding.”She added: “Having the wrong wheelchair means I am living a life of social exclusion and isolation and unfulfilled potential.”Boot said she had been forced to make the decision to crowdfund the money for a new powerchair, which she believed was “not acceptable”.And she said this was “just one example” of how the Conservative government had failed disabled people, as reported last month by the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities.She told Disability News Service afterwards that she was “getting desperate for a wheelchair that doesn’t cause me too much pain”.She said she was unable to spend more than a few hours at a time in her wheelchair because she starts to develop muscle cramps.Boot, who is just beginning her second year at Aston University, said: “It doesn’t cause problems in terms of going to lectures because they are a maximum of two hours but it means I have to go back to my room and lie down afterwards.“It means I am missing out on the social stuff surrounding university life.”She told the conference: “Wheelchairs are vehicles of freedom. My wheelchair enables me to be here with you today, to go to university and to socialise with my friends.“My wheelchair means I can choose what I do with my life and when. But I, like many others, have the wrong wheelchair.”She added: “A safe wheelchair that works properly should be a right, not a privilege.”
The mother of a woman who killed herself after being wrongly found “fit for work” has pledged to continue her campaign for justice, and for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to admit it was to blame for her daughter’s death.The case of mother-of-nine Jodey Whiting, from Stockton, was highlighted this week after a disabled activist mentioned her name as he heckled work and pensions Esther McVey while she gave evidence (listen from 52 minutes) to the Scottish parliament’s social security committee (see separate story).The activist, David*, told McVey: “What about Jodey Whiting, mother of nine, who committed suicide after her ESA was stopped?“It was stopped because she missed an appointment.”It is the latest in a string of distressing and tragic deaths that have been linked over the last eight years to the government’s social security reforms, and particularly to employment and support allowance, the out-of-work disability benefit, and its eligibility test, the work capability assessment (WCA).Jodey Whiting’s mother, Joy Dove, who herself receives ESA as a result of a number of health conditions, has been campaigning for justice for her daughter – including through a petition on the 38 Degrees website – and for an admission of blame from DWP.Her daughter (pictured with her children) took her own life last year after being told she had been found fit for work.She had missed a WCA appointment on 16 January 2017 because she was in hospital being treated for a brain cyst. It later emerged that the letter telling her about the appointment had been waiting for her at home, unopened.DWP refused to back down, even after she wrote back explaining that she had been in hospital and had had pneumonia and had been receiving treatment for the cyst. She also had a number of other health conditions.But despite the evidence she provided, DWP refused to give her another appointment to attend a WCA and confirmed that she had been found fit for work and would lose her ESA.She was told she would receive her last fortnight’s ESA payment on 17 February.She visited Citizens Advice, and an advisor wrote to DWP on 15 February 2017 to ask for another WCA appointment, but she took her own life six days later, just four days after her final ESA payment.Her mother is also angry with DWP because the department sent a letter to her daughter about her claim after it had been told she had taken her own life, and continued to call Jodey’s phone and leave voicemail messages for her for more than two months.Her complaints will be investigated by the Independent Case Examiner.Her mother told Disability News Service (DNS) last night (Wednesday) that she was determined to secure justice for her daughter.She said she remembered her crying as she told her she had lost her ESA, and asking her: “What am I going to do, mum?”“I said, ‘Don’t worry, we will sort it out,’ but she never replied. I think it just wore her down.”She said she was delighted that David had raised her daughter’s case so publicly during McVey’s evidence session on Monday.He had told her in advance of his plan to confront McVey, and when she later heard the recording of him mentioning her daughter’s name in the committee hearing, she said: “I just felt great.”It is moments like that that motivated her to continue with her campaign, she said.“I am so grateful to him. I am really pleased he did it.”She told DNS she would continue with her campaign for justice.She said: “I have kept strong for my daughter, but I am heartbroken, I always will be.”If she had had the chance to confront McVey, she said, “I would have broken down and said, ‘Look, you had no right [to treat my daughter like this].’“It’s all wrong. It has got to stop. They can’t keep doing this to people.”A DWP spokeswoman said: “We have apologised to the family for attempting to contact Ms Whiting after her death.“The Independent Case Examiner (ICE) is an independent office holder.“As such, the DWP cannot comment on the work or decisions taken by the ICE.“We will carefully consider the findings of the ICE.“Suicide is a very complex issue, so it would be wrong to link it solely to anyone’s benefit claim.”*He has asked for his full name not to be used