Posted on December 16, 2010November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Earlier this months, estimates of unsafe abortions were published in Reproductive Health Matters. A related paper in Studies in Family Planning written by researchers from the Guttmacher Institute estimates rates of unintended pregnancies in various regions.According to the authors:Unintended pregnancy can carry serious consequences for women and their families. We estimate the incidence of pregnancy by intention status and outcome at worldwide, regional, and subregional levels for 2008, and we assess recent trends since 1995. Numbers of births are based on United Nations estimates. Induced abortions are estimated by projecting from recent trends. A model-based approach is used to estimate miscarriages. The planning status of births is estimated using nationally representative and small-scale surveys of 80 countries. Of the 208 million pregnancies that occurred in 2008, we estimate that 41 percent were unintended.The authors estimate 86 million unintended pregnancies resulting in approximately 41 million abortions worldwide, roughly 35 million of which took place in “less developed regions.” Given the relatively high rate of unsafe abortion leading to maternal morbidity and mortality in developing countries, a move towards further reducing unintended pregnancies could greatly improve the health outcomes for women in the developing world by decreasing the number of unsafe abortions.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
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
APTN National NewsWith MP Rob Clarke’s new bill tabled, APTN wanted to take a look at the legislation the Tory politician hopes to amend.So what is the Indian Act and why is it so controversial?With a quick look back at the history of the Indian Act, here is APTN National News reporter Meagan Fiddler.
Charlotte Morritt-JacobsAPTN National NewsIn the capital of the Northwest Territories, $1,800 per month may not even get you the keys to a one bedroom apartment.According to data from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), tenants in Yellowknife pay some of the highest rents in the country.The barriers to accessible and affordable housing leave many northerners turning to friends and family for support.Muriel Betsina, a Dene Elder from the small community of Ndilo First Nations located outside Yellowknife, said vulnerable community members frequently drop by in need of a place to stay for the night.“They knock at your door and its freezing cold outside,” said Betsina.Betsina, a residential school survivor, said she knows about trauma and compassion. She has been a caregiver of four generations.Although she now owns her own home, for years she lived in a smaller, older home raising seven children until she was able to buy her current home.Betsina said she was never able to obtain a mortgage from a bank to purchase a that the same housing inequities are pressing future generations.Three of her children live with her now.“My son had mould in his home and I said get out of that place right now it’s no good! My Grandson, he was catching pneumonia forever and going to the hospital where they blamed the mother,” she said.Betsina’s grandson is healthy now, but overcrowding in homes across the N.W.T. is of great concern for First Nation leaders.Chief Edward Sangris, of Dettah, another small First Nation’s community close to Yellowknife, recognizes the dwindling numbers of social housing apartments.“Social housing lease agreements are for 30 years, if we do a rent-to-own agreement it reduces the numbers we have to build and maintain for social housing,” Sangris said.The houses that Sangris and the Community do manage to obtain are often substandard.“They don’t build the houses according to the region and climate. They don’t build a house to standards for cold weather. The packages come from down south and what you see is what you get,” he explained.The Minister for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation, Caroline Cochrane, told APTN that to her knowledge, approximately 600 families with children are in need of housing support across the N.W.T.Cochrane said that providing housing for every applicant comes with a hefty price tag.“CMHC provides funding to provinces and territories for the maintenance of social housing units. Both in the market community’s remote communities it costs us an average of about $22,000 per unit.”APTN spoke with many individuals who had been dealing with arrears before they were able to get onto a wait list for social housing.Cochrane said that many individuals who are in debt avoid the situation until they close to eviction.“The reality again is that the rent that we charge people is based off of people’s employment,” said Cochrane. “If someone is really financially not well that they don’t have an income or don’t have enough income they do qualify for income support. We have a vast majority within small communities outside of Yellowknife that are only paying like $70 per month.”She said that the CMHCs money for social housing will be phased out entirely by 2038 and during this transitional period, it will be up to the territorial government to take over financial responsibility.Joe Pintarics, manager of the Tlicho Friendship Centre, the only drop-in centre in the community of Behchoko, an hour north of Yellowknife, suggested understanding each tenant’s unique situation and have clients pay back housing debts through sweat equity.“I would strongly encourage for housing corporations to come up with a better strategy for dealing with debt. If they want payments than they need to start organizing it in such a way that they make the payments happen in more collaborative ways and not the heavy handed way of ‘look you pay up or we throw you out of the house,” he said.Pintarics argued that greater efforts need to be made on behalf of the government to develop social capital with housing corporations and social services assisting clients to gain meaningful employment.In Behchoko, a community of 2,000, has upwards of 125 residents who are homeless at any given time. Many of the boarded up inhabitable houses and shacks are being lived in.“We are talking about people who will spend their winter in tents with or with no heat and water or some have a cabin that has been abandoned that they can get into. Some will go from warehouse to warehouse looking for wherever they can get into,” Pintarics said.He said the friendship centre can only do so much due to a lack of funding, but that could change.Federal Budget 2017 has slated $300 million over the next eleven years to support northern living.$36 million of that will be allocated to the Northwest Territories, breaking down to roughly $3.2 million-per-year.Cmorrittjacobs@aptn.ca
For every team in the College Football Playoff hunt, the path forward remains an arduous one, filled with peril at every turn. But some of those paths are at least relatively straightforward; others involve a bunch of different moving parts. Today, let’s take a look at what each significant playoff contender needs to go its way — keeping things vaguely within the realm of the likely — in order to get to at least 90 percent playoff odds in the eyes of our prediction model. In each case, we’ll try to get it there in as few results as possible,1It’s important to note that this is without regard to chronology. So for instance, winning the conference championship could be the simplest way a team gets to 90 percent playoff odds, but that team would also need to win some easy games beforehand to make the conference title game matter. Our approach would still consider a conference title game win to be the simplest path, because the high probability of getting to that game in a position to make the playoff is “baked in” to the conditional probabilities. (Yes, my head hurts, too.) which is easier said for some teams than others.ClemsonCurrent playoff chances: 87 percentPath to 90+ percent:Clemson wins the ACC championship (Week 14): +9 percentage pointsConditional playoff chances: 96 percentChance of happening: 85 percentAlabamaCurrent playoff chances: 76 percentPath to 90+ percent:Alabama beats Georgia in the SEC championship (Week 14): +23 percentage pointsConditional playoff chances: 99 percentChance of happening: 64 percentGeorgiaCurrent playoff chances: 39 percentPath to 90+ percent:Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC championship (Week 14): +52 percentage pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 36 percentThese three are pretty basic. The undefeated Tigers and Crimson Tide are both practically assured of making the playoff if they just win their respective conference title games — even if they don’t otherwise win out. There are a few scenarios in which the two teams could miss the playoff with losses in between now and championship Saturday, but our model says the Tigers would still have an 80 percent playoff shot even if they lose to, say, Boston College this weekend but win the ACC. Likewise, Bama would be at 92 percent if it loses the Iron Bowl against Auburn but still wins the SEC.Alabama and Clemson’s chances if they win all their remaining games except the conference championship are 45 and 44 percent, respectively. But for the one-loss Bulldogs, that number is 12 percent. So for all intents and purposes, they have no choice but to hand the Tide a huge upset defeat if they want to extend their national championship hopes. The good news, though, is that if we assume UGA plays to the model’s expectations in its other three games (against Auburn, UMass and Georgia Tech), the SEC title game is the big win-and-you’re-in matchup to circle on the Bulldog calendar. In other words, for all three teams, the simplest playoff road leads through the conference championship.Notre DameCurrent playoff chances: 58 percentPath to 90+ percent:Notre Dame beats Florida State in Week 11: +5 percentage pointsNotre Dame beats Syracuse in Week 12: +15 pointsNotre Dame beats USC in Week 13: +14 pointsConditional playoff chances: 92 percentChance of happening: 49 percentOklahomaCurrent playoff chances: 41 percentPath to 90+ percent:Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State in Week 11: +4 percentage pointsOklahoma beats Kansas in Week 12: +1 pointsOklahoma beats West Virginia in Week 13: +21 pointsOklahoma wins the Big 12 championship (Week 14): +24 pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 37 percentOhio StateCurrent playoff chances: 18 percentPath to 90+ percent:Ohio State beats Michigan State in Week 11: +12 percentage pointsOhio State beats Michigan in Week 13: +32 pointsOhio State wins the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +28 pointsConditional playoff chances: 90 percentChance of happening: 18 percentNotre Dame doesn’t have a conference and therefore doesn’t have a chance to pad its resume with another signature win, so it has no room for error. Luckily, the Irish’s remaining schedule is quite reasonable. Florida State is a shell of its former self, Syracuse is having a good season but not on the Irish’s level, and USC isn’t what it used to be either. And our model says an undefeated Notre Dame is essentially a playoff shoo-in. The only cause for concern might be the health of quarterback Ian Book, who will miss Saturday’s game against FSU with a rib injury. But the Irish are still 16½-point favorites over the Seminoles even with backup QB Brandon Wimbush at the helm.Oklahoma and Ohio State can basically control their own destinies as well — the model says both have playoff chances of greater than 91 percent if they just win out. An Irish loss could potentially help the Sooners and Buckeyes, too. Oklahoma has a greater than 90 percent playoff probability conditional on just three outcomes: beating West Virginia and winning the Big 12 while Notre Dame loses at least one game. And any Notre Dame loss would nudge OSU’s chances above the 90 percent threshold as well, provided the Buckeyes beat Michigan and win the Big Ten.MichiganCurrent playoff chances: 40 percentPath to 90+ percent:Syracuse beats Notre Dame in Week 12: +9 percentage pointsMichigan beats Ohio State in Week 13: +28 pointsMichigan wins the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +15 pointsConditional playoff chances: 92 percentChance of happening: 13 percentUnlike Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma, Michigan can’t get to 90 percent simply by winning its remaining games. (That maxes them out at 82 percent.) The Wolverines need help, then, most likely in the form of an Irish loss against Syracuse at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 17. Michigan has other potential paths — Boston College beating Clemson this weekend, for instance, would push UM’s odds to 88 percent if coupled with Wolverine wins over Ohio State and whomever they’d play for the Big Ten title. But watching some other team vicariously avenge Michigan’s early season loss in South Bend would be a fitting way for the Wolverines to stamp their ticket into the playoff.West VirginiaCurrent playoff chances: 12 percentPath to 90+ percent:West Virginia beats TCU in Week 11: +2 percentage pointsWest Virginia beats Oklahoma State in Week 12: +6 pointsWest Virginia beats Oklahoma in Week 13: +19 pointsWest Virginia wins the Big 12 championship (Week 14): +38 pointsMichigan loses the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +14 pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 2 percentWVU needs even more help than does Michigan. And in fact, it might need help from Michigan. Generally speaking, it needs whoever wins the Michigan-Ohio State game — which will torpedo the chances of one member of the one-loss club — to then proceed to lose in the Big Ten title game. (Our model gives West Virginia slightly higher odds under the configuration where Michigan beats OSU, then loses.) Either way, the one-loss Mountaineers need as many teams with a similar resume as possible to move aside. But West Virginia isn’t necessarily putting all its eggs in the Big Ten basket. It could also see its playoff odds soar into the high-80-percent range if Notre Dame loses one of its remaining games (while WVU wins out).Washington StateCurrent playoff chances: 13 percentPath to 90+ percent:Washington State beats Colorado in Week 11: +5 percentage pointsWashington State beats Arizona in Week 12: +3 pointsUSC beats Notre Dame in Week 13: +5 pointsWashington State wins the Pac-12 championship (Week 14): +48 pointsMichigan loses the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +17 pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 1 percentOne-loss Wazzu is in the same boat as West Virginia in terms of benefiting from a Michigan defeat in the Big Ten title game. (Assuming it wins its own remaining games — including the Pac-12 title, most preferably over Utah.) Washington State could get another boost if USC beats Notre Dame since both teams would then have one loss, against the Trojans in each case. It’s unclear how realistic this actually is (since our model doesn’t have a specific Notre Dame adjustment reflecting its tendency to, um, get the benefit of the doubt), but the Irish make the playoff only 18 percent of the time in the scenario laid out above, compared with the Cougars’ 91 percent mark.Central FloridaCurrent playoff chances: 4 percentPath to 90+ percent:¯\_(ツ)_/¯I’m kidding. But not really. This one is far more difficult to pin down than the others above, just because it’s so rare in our data for UCF to make the playoff (and the specifics of each scenario are rarer still). So I’ll just list some of the common outcomes in what few simulations give UCF a relatively large probability of making the playoff:UCF wins all four remaining games, including the American championship. (Duh.)Both Notre Dame and Washington State lose at least one remaining game, and at least one loses twice.Oklahoma and Michigan both fail to win their respective conference championships.Chance of happening: less than 1 in 2,000These probably aren’t the only scenarios under which UCF makes the playoff, but there just aren’t very many UCF-friendly combinations that come up in the simulations. Their 4 percent overall probability of making the playoff is more about adding up a bunch of fractional chances over the course of many simulations — where they’re not overly likely to make it in any given one, but there’s enough uncertainty that they could potentially get in.And that’s the important thing to remember when discussing UCF’s playoff chances: The selection committee has never taken an undefeated Group-of-Five conference team2Schools from the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference and the Sun Belt Conference. in four years of picking playoff squads, and similar undefeated candidates (UCF last year, Western Michigan two years ago) have been denied entry by the committee. So all of this is, by definition, theoretical. Our model bases its predictions on the way in which college football’s power structure has traditionally grouped teams into tiers and given priority to different types of resumes, which is why there are at least some universes where a team like UCF can get real consideration if all hell breaks loose elsewhere. But more likely, they’re getting stray points of probability from the fact that we still don’t always know how the committee will react to a team like the Knights.Of course, a cynic would say we do know — and the answer will always be “no.” But that’s part of what’s interesting about the playoff. There’s much we still don’t know when it comes to who will win upcoming games, and that’s one source of uncertainty built into our model. But we also can’t perfectly predict how the committee itself will react. All UCF and the rest of this year’s contenders can do is win the games in front of them and hope for the right combination to fall into place around them.Check out our latest college football predictions.
The Ohio State baseball team entered this season expecting to win another Big Ten title.But with just three regular-season games remaining, the defending champions are fifth in the conference standings.Instead of trying to close out another season atop the conference, the Buckeyes are fighting for their postseason lives. “It’s definitely a bit of a change of pace for us,” senior Ryan Dew said. “I think we need to take two of three this weekend to be sure to get into the tournament.”The Big Ten Tournament accepts only the top six teams from the conference. The Buckeyes are on the fringe as they are in a four-way tie for fifth place. Consequently, the Buckeyes need to win this weekend’s series in order to ensure themselves a spot in the tournament.However, that will be no easy feat as the Buckeyes play host to first-place Minnesota, and the Buckeyes have lost their last four Big Ten series. “This team has had a black cloud over it and I don’t know how to get out from under it,” coach Bob Todd said. He said all the breaks seem to be going the opponent’s way this season and that’s just the game of baseball.One break that may go the Buckeyes’ way this weekend is the return of pitcher Alex Wimmers. The All-American ace has been sidelined the past four weeks with a hamstring injury, but might be ready to take the mound this weekend.“We’ve got Dean (Wolosiansky) and (Drew) Rucinski pitching lights out. So if we get Wimmers back like he always is we can take three games this weekend,” senior Cory Kovanda said. Although Todd was vague when addressing whether Wimmers would be ready to go this weekend, players hinted that he could be back. Wimmers’ return would serve as a huge boost as he is 9-0 on the season and injects confidence into his teammates whenever he toes the rubber. “Obviously he’s a huge talent,” Dew said. “Every time he takes the mound we know we are going to win.”Win is exactly what the Buckeyes must do if they wish to continue their season. And even with their recent struggles, the team is still confident in its ability to take this weekend’s series. “We’re a very close team and we’re confident in ourselves,” Dew said. “When we play a complete game, most of the time we win. I know we can do it and the team is confident we can.”Dew and Kovanda, two of eight seniors on this year’s team, expressed their desire to keep playing in their final season at OSU. They also want to send Todd, their storied head coach, off with another Big Ten championship.Earlier this year, Todd announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season. In his 23-year tenure at OSU, the Buckeyes have missed the Big Ten tournament only once. “I’ve only missed it once in my life,” Todd said. “For this team, that has so much potential and so many high expectations, which I thought were justified — For us to be in this position is very uncharacteristical.”The Buckeyes open the three-game series against the Golden Gophers Thursday at 7 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium.
Day one of the NCAA Tournament in Columbus Friday did not disappoint. Midwest No.11-seed North Carolina State, Midwest No. 3-seed Georgetown, West No.9-seed Saint Louis and West No.1-seed Michigan State all won, advancing to the third round. Georgetown and N.C. State is scheduled to meet in the first game at Nationwide Arena at 12:15 p.m. Sunday, with MSU and SLU 30 minutes following, with berths to the Sweet 16 on the line. Midwest Region’s No. 11-seed North Carolina State upsets No. 6 Seed San Diego State, 79-65 Playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006, the No. 11-seeded North Carolina State Wolfpack (23-12) upended No. 6-seed San Diego State (26-8), taking advantage of its superior play in the paint on the way to a 79-65 victory. N.C. State got a team-high 22 points from junior forward Richard Howell, and sophomore guard Lorenzo Brown added 17 while grabbing nine rebounds. “I thought today inside around the basket we were able to get a lot done,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. “And I thought Richard (Powell) in the first half was just sensational. And it wasn’t just him. But Richard really set the tone for us offensively.” It was a two-man show for SDSU, as sophomore guard Jamaal Franklin (23) and junior guard Chase Tapley (19), combined for 42 of the Aztecs’ 65 points. SDSU coach Steve Fisher attributed the loss to N.C. State’s size. “It’s one thing to be big. It’s another thing to be big and good. And they’re big and good. And we had a hard time with their size,” he said. N.C. State outscored the Aztecs’ 38-18 in the paint. During the first half, neither team was able to pull away, with the lead changing six times and N.C. State on top, 33-29, after twenty minutes. The beginning of the second half was more of the same, but towards the midway point, SDSU started to miss shots, and NCST didn’t. The Wolfpack shot 65 percent from the field in the final twenty minutes, with the Aztecs only managing to hit 37 percent of their second-half shots. Midwest Region’s No. 3-seed Georgetown defeats No. 14-seed Belmont, 74-59 Georgetown and senior guard Jason Clark weren’t going to be denied this time. After being one-and-done in their previous two NCAA Tournament trips, the No.3-seeded Hoyas, propelled by Clark, played with insistence Friday, cruising past No.14-seed Belmont, 74-59, in the second round. Clark led the way for Georgetown (24-8), pouring in a game-high 21 points, while Hoyas’ freshman forward Otto Porter scored 16 and senior center Henry Sims added 15. Sophomore forward Blake Jenkins dropped a team-high 17 points for Belmont (27-8). “I think it was definitely a sense of urgency, not just for me but the whole team,” Clark said. “We know what we’ve done in the past. So it was a big thing for us to get this win today.” The urgency showed early, as Clark scored 10 of Georgetown’s first 14 points. Along with Clark’s play, the Hoyas’ used a major size advantage inside to take a 36-27 lead into half time. The lead remained around the 10-point mark for the majority of the second half. Belmont coach Rick Byrd said his team was not able to make any runs against the Hoyas’ zone defense. “I just didn’t predict that we’d face zone or that we’d do as poorly as we did,” he said. “But (Georgetown’s zone is) a great one. They’re well taught, and they’ve got great athletes.” Georgetown’s efficiency on the offensive end allowed it to stave off any Belmont runs as well. The Hoyas shot 61 percent from the field, including nearly 70 percent in the final 20 minutes. West Region’s No. 9-seed Saint Louis beats No.8-seed Memphis, 61-54 In the most competitive game of the day, No.9-seed Saint Louis (26-7) held all but one No. 8-seed Memphis (26-9) player to single-digit points in a 61-54 victory. Billikens junior guard Kwamain Mitchell led all scorers with 22, and SLU senior forward Brian Conklin played tough inside against bigger Memphis defenders, adding 16 points. Conference USA Player of the Year Will Barton was the only Tiger in double-digits with 16 points. Memphis sophomore forward Tarik Black, who Barton said Thursday was the Tigers’ biggest advantage heading into the game, was held to four points and only played 19 minutes due to foul trouble. SLU frustrated the Tigers by preventing them from getting out and running. “Honestly, they didn’t even – they didn’t have nobody on offensive boards, just one guy, and the rest of their players got back on defense,” Memphis sophomore guard Joe Jackson said. “So they basically took away the fast break, and we played into their hands, just settling for bad shots.” The first half saw back-and-forth play with the teams tied, 23-23, after 20 minutes. SLU held Memphis to 33 percent shooting, 1-of-8 from 3-point range in the first half. “To keep (Memphis) to 23 points in a half is really good, but look, that’s what we pride ourselves on is our defense,” SLU junior forward Cody Ellis said. Memphis used a 7-2 run early in the second half to get up 37-29, thanks in part to a few steals by Barton and sophomore guard Chris Crawford. The Billikens followed with a 14-5 run of their own. After a long, shot-clock beating three pointer by Mitchell, SLU led, 48-44, with fewer than five minutes to play, and held on for the victory. “We could have given up and went down, 10, 15 points, but the guys kept fighting back, making big shots and knocking down key free throws,” SLU sophomore forward Dwayne Evans said, who scored six points and grabbed 11 rebounds. West Region’s No.1-seed Michigan State beats West No.16-seed LIU Brooklyn, 89-67 It was closer than expected for the first 25 minutes, but eventually, No.1-seed Michigan State (28-7) proved why it is a top-seed, as the Spartans topped the No.16-seeded LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds (25-9), 89-67. MSU senior forward Draymond Green led the way with a triple-double, pouring in 24 points while adding 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Spartans’ centers sophomore Adrien Payne (16 points and seven rebounds) and junior Derrick Nix (18 points and eight rebounds)-combined for 34 points and 15 rebounds. “Those guys are monsters. They’re really good players and they’re really skilled. That’s why they’re a No.1 seed,” LIU Brooklyn coach Jim Ferry said, LIU Brooklyn jumped out to a five-point lead early, but it didn’t last long, as the Spartans started to feed their bigs, exploiting the Blackbirds lack of size inside. Greeen, Payne and Nix combined for 24 points and 16 rebounds in the first half, as the Spartans scored 34 of their 42 first-half points in the paint. A balanced attack kept LIU Brooklyn in the game, with eight different players scoring in the first twenty minutes. MSU led, 42-37, at the end of the first half. The Blackbirds held strong early in the second half, but a 28-12 run by MSU allowed the Spartans to cruise for the majority of the game’s final minutes. “It was a big win for us, on a team that I think is a very solid, good team. I was concerned (early), but I thought we took control in the second half,” MSU coach Tom Izzo said.
Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer announced the post-spring practice two-deep depth chart, but also gave his input on topics concerning the Buckeyes and the current state of the Bowl Championship Series. Depth Chart OSU players were well aware that their playing time would be determined by what they accomplished during spring ball and the results of the players’ work was made public Wednesday. “We made a big emphasis with our players aboutspring practice is not just fundamentals, development and skill development, it’s about earning a spot on the team,” Meyer said. “Our focus in August is not developing a depth chart, it is trying to go win a game.” Meyer spoke about both sides of the ball, particularly the offensive line. Junior center Corey Linsley was the first topic of interest. Linsley, a redshirt junior, served as back-up to former OSU center Michael Brewster in his sophomore campaign. Meyer said Linsley has been made into one of the most important players on the offense behind sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller. “(Linsley) was a journeyman player,” Meyer said. “He was a pleasant surprise. He has the potential to be a very good player. His commitment to excellence right now is real strong.” The right tackle position features a dogfight between senior Reid Fragel and freshman Taylor Decker. Meyer said without question that the offensive line was made functional with the addition of Decker. “I thought our (offensive line) coach (Ed) Warinner did a very good job with them in what some would say a somewhat complicated offense,” Meyer said. “Our offensive line was the most improved position on the team.” Recruiting Meyer did not give specific details regarding an incident involving Charles Eric Waugh, a Kentucky sex offender who came in contact with student-athletes and recruits in-person and on social media. Some believe that Waugh’s contact with players and recruits might have resulted in the de-commitment of four-star linebacker recruit and Wyomissing, Pa., native, Alex Anzalone. “The first thing you think about is the safety of your players,” Meyer said. “There are a million different stories in recruiting, but the ones you have no control over are the most bothersome.” Bowl Championship Series The BCS could be on the brink of adapting to a four-team playoff system to determine a national champion, with possible changes to come no earlier than 2014. As of Wednesday, Big Ten commissioner and Big Ten athletic directors are on board with the four-team playoff system. Meyer said the four-team playoff will produce a tremendous workload for the coaching staff and players of the teams selected. “I can’t even fathom that you are trying to get ready for a national championship in two days,” Meyer said. “‘Cause that’s what you got.” Should the change come to fruition and the Buckeyes be in the running for a future NCAA Division I playoff, Meyer explained how a team might ready itself for the task. “You will probably prepare for three teams,” Meyer said. “We’re going to prepare in case we have to play any of those three times, and that will be exhausting.” Meyer said he believes the ideal setup is what has happened over the last decade of football, but understands why the change is being made. “I was not one of the screamers and yellers saying it was broken before,” Meyer said.
SUNRISE 7:19AMSUNSET 6:28PMMOONSET: 6:31AMMOONRISE 6:27PMHIGH TIDE: 7:32AM & 7:51PMLOW TIDE: 1:54PM & 2:02AM SAT SEAS: 2 TO 4 FEET OVER THE OCEAN. DAYTIME HIGH TEMPERATURE 84 °F 29 °COVERNIGHT LOW TEMPERATURE 68 °F 20 °C EXTENDED FORECAST :A SURFACE TO LOW LEVEL TROUGH WILL SHIFT WESTWARDS ACROSS THE BAHAMAS, INCREASING SHOWER CHANCES THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND.WEATHER OUTLOOK ***FULL MOON @ 1:23AM SAT*** Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp FORECAST FOR SUNDAYWEATHER: PARTLY CLOUDY AND WARM WITH SCATTERED SHOWERS MAINLY IN THE CENTrAL BAHAMAS.WINDS: NORTHEAST TO EAST AT 10 KNOTS OR LESS IN THE NORTHWEST BAHAMAS…& EASTERLY AT 10 TO 15 KNOTS IN THE CENTRAL, SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS.SEAS: 3 FEET OR LESS IN THE NORTHWEST BAHAMAS…& 2 TO 4 FEET IN THE CENTRAL & SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS. FORECAST FOR SATURDAY WEATHER: PARTLY CLOUDY AND WARM WITH ISOLATED SHOWERS.WINDS: NORTHEAST TO EAST AT 10 TO 15 KNOTS, FALLING LIGHT AND VARIABLE AT TIMES.SEAS: 2 TO 4 FEET OVER THE OCEAN.TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK: TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS. FORECASTER: K. WARD-FORBES/vdPhoto: Beach at Royal West Indies Resort (TCI) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, November 3, 2017 – Nassau –GENERAL SITUATION: A SURFACE TROUGH EXTENDS ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS…WHILE A LOW TO MID LEVEL TROUGH JUST EAST OF THE BAHAMAS ENHANCES MOISTURE ACROSS THE NORTHWEST AND CENTRAL ISLANDS.ALL AREASWEATHER: PARTLY CLOUDY TO CLOUDY AND WARM WITH ISOLATED SHOWERS.WINDS: NORTH TO NORTHEAST AT 10 TO 15 KNOTS OVER OPEN WATERS IN THE NORTHWEST & CENTRAL BAHAMAS…& NORTHEAST TO EAST AT 10 TO 15 KNOTS IN THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS. Related Items:
The incident took place on Sunday afternoon in Khao Yai, a popular national park filled with dense jungle hiking trails and waterfalls three hours north of Bangkok.“She wanted to take selfie with the crocodile who was lying down near a stream,” a park official told AFP, asking not to be named because he did not have the authority to speak to the media.“It was startled and bit her on her on the leg.”The official said two crocodiles had made their home on that particular section of the park for years with warning signs laid out.“I guess that she wanted to see it for real,” he added.Local media posted pictures of park rangers dressed in camouflage carrying the 47-year-old victim strapped to a stretcher, a thick bandage wrapped around her knee.Another shot showed a ranger pointing to a pool of blood close to a sign saying in Thai and English “Danger Crocodile No Swimming”.The victim was taken to hospital for treatment and is expected to recover.Siamese crocodiles were once ubiquitous across South East Asia but their populations have been decimated in the last century by hunting and habitat loss.They are currently listed as critically endangered on the IUCN’s red list.In Thailand there are just a handful of wild populations left in central and western national parks. A French tourist was bitten by a crocodile inside a Thai national park as she tried to get close to the fearsome animal to take a selfie, an official said on Monday. Most tourists will only see them in crocodile parks, many of which have been criticised by animal rights groups for controversial feeding practices.
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi. Prothom Alo File PhotoBNP on Friday alleged that chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda is trying to intimidate it to join the election under prime minister Sheikh Hasina by speaking about the risk of the cancellation of its registration in case of election boycott again, reports UNB.”The CEC said BNP’s registration will be at stake if it doesn’t join the polls this time…CEC KM Nurul Huda has become a genuine Baksal-like spokesman,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Naya paltan central office, he further said, “The chief election commissioner is intimidating BNP by talking about the risk of its registration annulment so that the party participate in unilateral Baksali election under Sheikh Hasina.”The BNP leader also said the CEC’s comment exposed that he is putting in his best efforts to hold a stage-managed election.He said BNP is least bothered about its political registration with the election commission since its position is very strong among people. “BNP’s registration is in people’s hands. There’s no point of talking about the paper-based registration of popular political parties since their survival depends on people’s judgment.”The BNP leader alleged that the CEC enjoys serving the ruling party. “We would like to tell the CEC you’ll also face the risk of removal alongside the government if you have any evil plan over BNP’s registration.”About their party’s planned public rally for Saturday, Rizvi said they still did not get permission from the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) in this regard.He also said their party has no objection to holding the rally on Sunday at Suhrawardy Udyan if the DMP authorities have any problem to permit them to do it on Saturday.”We’re still focusing on holding the rally tomorrow (Saturday), but we can also do it on Sunday if they give permission,” Rizvi added.On Monday, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi at a press conference announced that they sought permission from the authorities concerned to hold a public rally either at Suhrawardy Udyan or in front of their party’s Nayapaltan central office on Thursday.But the party rescheduled it on Tuesday it for Saturday.Meanwhile, the party on Thursday sought fresh permission from the DMP authorities to hold the public rally on Sunday as the authorities reportedly requested it to change the rally schedule and submit a fresh application for the permission.
Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen shaking hands with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar as Dhaka-Delhi bilateral talks begin at state guesthouse Jamuna in Dhaka on 20 Aug, 2019. Photo: UNBVisiting Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said Bangladesh and India agreed on safe, speedy and sustainable return of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, reports UNB.He made the remarks while briefing newsmen after a bilateral meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart AK Abdul Momen at state guesthouse Jamuna in the morning.Asked about the Teesta water-sharing deal, Jaishankar said, “We have a position. We have a commitment on that position. There is no change….”He also described the Bangladesh-India relations as a model for South Asia.The Indian external affairs minister termed National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam India’s internal issue.The meeting that began at 11:10pm lasted for over one hour.The purpose of NRC update is to identify Indian citizens from among all the residents of Assam thereby leading to identification of illegal migrants residing in Assam, who entered Indian territories after the midnight of 24th March 1971 and to determine the citizenship of the applicants.Jaishankar who arrived in Dhaka on Monday night on a three-day official visit to Bangladesh said the two countries have many things to discuss to take the relationship between the two neighbouring countries to a higher level.”We’ve a very good relationship. We’ve a very strong relationship. We’ve many things to discuss about taking the relationship to a higher level,” he said while talking to newsmen after his arrival at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.Before the meeting, the Indian minister visited Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi-32 and paid tributes to father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing wreaths at his portrait there.Momen is set to host a lunch in honour of his Indian counterpart after the meeting. The Indian foreign minister is scheduled to meet prime minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence around 5:00pm on Tuesday.Indian high commissioner in Dhaka Riva Ganguly Das will host a private dinner for Jaishankar on Tuesday evening. He will leave Dhaka for Kathmandu on Wednesday morning. India is a leading development partner of Bangladesh as it has extended concessional lines of credit to the tune of around 8 billion US dollars.
More information: A. V. Karpova et al. X-ray studies of the gamma-ray pulsar J1826-1256 and its pulsar wind nebula with Chandra and XMM-Newton arXiv:1906.00821v1 [astro-ph.HE]. arxiv.org/abs/1906.00821 Citation: X-ray study sheds more light into the nature of a gamma-ray pulsar (2019, June 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-x-ray-nature-gamma-ray-pulsar.html Using archival data from ESA’s XMM-Newton spacecraft and NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory, astronomers have investigated one of gamma-ray radio-quiet pulsars known as PSR J1826−1256. The study, based on X-ray observations, sheds more light into the nature of this peculiar object and its pulsar wind nebula (PWN). Results of the research were presented in a paper published June 3 on arXiv.org. 3 arcmin × 3 arcmin Chandra X-ray image of the pulsar vicinity in 0.5–10 keV range smoothed with a 25 pixel Gaussian kernel. The ‘+’ symbol shows the pulsar position. The ‘jet’ and ‘counter-jet’ are marked. The 30 arcsec × 30 arcsec image part, enclosed by the cyan dashed box and smoothed with a 3 pixel Gaussian kernel, is enlarged in the inset. The possible PWN torus and the base part of the ‘jet’ are marked. Credit: Karpova et al., 2019. 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. © 2019 Science X Network Explore further Gamma-ray pulsars are rotating neutron stars emitting gamma-ray photons. Some of them also showcase radio emission that is often difficult to detect. This is most probably because their narrow radio beams miss the sightline towards Earth.However, some gamma-ray pulsars are completely radio-quiet, which means that observations in other regimes, for instance, in X-ray wavelengths, are needed to learn about their properties. In particular, X-ray studies of such objects have the potential to reveal their pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) and associated supernova remnants (SNRs), which could provide important information about pulsar parameters and interaction of relativistic pulsar winds with the ambient medium.With that aim in mind, a team of Russian astronomers from the Ioffe Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia, led by Anna V. Karpova, decided to analyze archival X-ray data obtained by XMM-Newton and Chandra spacecraft. The target of their studies was a young and energetic radio-quiet pulsar designated PSR J1826−1256. Located most likely some 4,320 light years away from the Earth, PSR J1826−1256 is about 14,000 years old, has a period of 110.2 milliseconds, a spin-down luminosity of around 3.6 undecillion erg/s and a surface magnetic field of approximately 3.7 trillion G. Based on these parameters, the object was classified as a Vela-like pulsar. Moreover, previous observations have shown that PSR J1826−1256 hosts a faint, but remarkably long trail-like PWN connected to the pulsar and extending south-west from it.The new study published by Karpova’s team provides more insights into the nature of PSR J1826−1256 and a PWN associated with it.”Here we report the simultaneous X-ray analysis of archival XMM-Newton and Chandra observations of PSR J1826−1256 and its PWN,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.The study found that the spectrum of PSR J1826−1256 can be described by the power-law model with a photon index of about 1.0 and that the PWN spectrum becomes softer with the distance from the pulsar, what is indicative of synchrotron cooling.When it comes to the PWN, the analysis revealed that it appears to be a mixed-type morphology nebula containing a torus, jets and a trail. XMM-Newton and Chandra images show that one of the jets is bent by the ram pressure, due to the pulsar proper motion vector not coinciding with the jet direction. The researchers noted that such geometry explains the PWN morphology and also suggests that it could be associated with a recently detected SNR candidate named G18.45−0.42.The study also found that PSR J1826−1256 is located much farther away than previously thought. New estimates made by the team indicate that its distance to our planet is approximately 11,400 light years. Astronomers investigate pulsar wind nebula DA 495
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) unveiled a new three year strategic Roadmap to the Future which will assist members by taking goals “back to basics”.Speaking at the ATEC’s 2011 Meeting Plan Conference in Sydney yesterday, the Group’s managing director Felicia Mariani explained the 2012-2015 initiative encompassed five key initiatives to; increase member satisfaction, build industry capability, enhance recognition for members and ATEC, achieve membership growth as well as sustain the organisation through strategic relationships.Ushered in by economic uncertainty and challenges of the future, Ms Mariani explained ATEC set out a “mission” to assist, support and enhance its members’ businesses through targeted advocacy, partnerships, services and initiatives.The three year plan “reflects our commitment to get back to basics and to more fully reflect our responsibility to our members”, the company’s head said.Developing the plan through research gathered from ATEC members, Ms Mariani highlighted that among the key concerns in the industry include a shortage of skilled employees as well as lacking products that cater to travellers seeking “real” experiences.She noted that the Group would look at creating an easier process for accommodation builders and tour operators to access “sensitive” parts of Australia that meet the travel desires of the ‘new traveller’“We set out to define the key challenges that are affecting the growth of our industry and with consultation we defined those very broadly as being creating and delivering quality tours and experiences that match the changing customer demand for customised and authentic experiences,” she noted.“And it is difficult to build accommodation and experiences in what people call sensitive parts of the country but that’s exactly the type of experiences people want to come and find we need to find a way to make that easier.”The new plan will also see the Group focus on ensuring Australian tour operators and equipped and implement new and traditional technology to engage customers as well as redefine its relationship with partners through delivering customised services that still match their base core programs. “We want to ensure ATEC is at the forefront of all of the debates on issues that are affecting the growth of our industry and in order to do that we also want to enhance the recognition of ATEC and our members on a national level,” she added. “And of course we want to grow our membership but we want to do that in a way that is sustainable and in a way that allows us to continue to service the needs of our members.”Ms Mariani also told attendees at the conference yesterday that the Group had teamed up with Qantas to undertake new research to explore various options of enhancement to the Aussie product.
Samsung is set to introduce new smart TV services at CES this week, in a bid to offer personalised content to viewers based on their preferences.The services, named Sports and Music, will be offered through Samsung’s Smart Hub platform.The Smart TV Sports service will provide customised sports information – including fixture and score information for a user’s favourite team – from a single navigation page.The Samsung ‘Music’ service will allow smart TV customers to search for and identify songs from TV programs and will recommend new music to users.The service will be available starting in France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the US, offering content from eight music app partners – including Spotify, Napster and Deezer.At the same time, Samsung is expanding its TV Plus service, which offers IP-based channels through a new smart electronic program guide. Samsung first launched TV Plus in South East Asia, it is now also available in the US, and is due to launch in Europe in April 2017.Samsung said it will partner with Fandango and Rakuten to provide premium transactional video-on-demand content in the US and Europe respectively, and with Funke to offer ad-supported VOD content in Germany.“At Samsung, one of our top priorities is ensuring that we are closely in tune with what consumers want and need from their smart devices and electronics,” said Won Jin Lee, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics’ visual display business.“With that in mind, we continue to innovate our Smart TV offering in order to provide the content experiences that our customers have come to know and expect from Samsung.”
Sony has announced two new 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR) series of televisions at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.The new flagship XBR-A1E Bravia OLED and XBR-X930E/X940E series TVs are designed to deliver wider brightness range, higher contrast and better picture quality.Both lines of TV will be powered by Sony’s 4K HDR processor, X1 Extreme, and will be available with screen sizes ranging from 55 inches to 77 inches.“Sony continues to make consumer choice a priority especially for those seeking the very best viewing experience, and we are proud to introduce our new XBR-A1E Bravia OLED series,” said Mike Fasulo, president and COO of Sony Electronics.“Sony delivers incredible innovation and excitement to customers with all of our premium 4K HDR TVs through a powerful mix of technology and our exclusive image processing.”Pricing and launch date for the new TVs are yet to be revealed.
In This Issue. * New Home Sales Slumped… * Today’s data… * Brazil and India slide. * Canada to balance budget… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Markets continue to stabilize… Good day.Uh oh, guess what day it is. What day is it Mike? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not hump day. It’s actually Chris Gaffney’s birthday, so all the best to him today. Well, it was another cold start for us in the Midwest but I’m more than willing to deal with that if the weekends turn out nice like we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks. We eased back into the swing of it yesterday, but things really start heating up from here. It looks like the snow and cold weather is being blamed for the most recent housing data as the December new home sales were a big disappointment. Sales fell 7% to a 414k annualized pace while the November figure was revised down to 445k from the original reading of 464k. For all of 2013, there was a total of 428k new homes sold, which was an increase of 16.4% from 2012 and the most since 2008. Just to give some perspective, we saw a record low of 306k in 2011 and then the peak in 2005 at 1.28 million. The report, however, was primarily brushed aside and hasn’t tarnished the brighter outlook that many see going forward. When you boil it all down, new home sales only account for roughly 7% of the residential market, so it didn’t hold as much weight as sales of previously owned homes. As we’ve explained before, new home sales are counted when the contract is signed instead of closed so this data is much more current and often used as a current indicator by economists. As far as the markets are concerned, housing is still on the right path and looking ahead toward a thaw in both capacities. The rest of the data yesterday was all good news as the Dallas Fed manufacturing activity report beat expectations by climbing for a ninth month in a row to 3.8 in January. Nearly every individual component of the report increased as the production index, which is a key measure of the manufacturing conditions, increased to 7.1 from 6 and the new orders component rose to a seven month high of 14.4. I remember watching the news last week and saw where it was snowing in Houston, so the cold weather wasn’t enough to derail activity in Texas. The last bit of data yesterday came in the way of a better January Markit flash report. The data is a preliminary service sector reading that follows the same logic of many others in that a reading of 50 is the dividing line between growth and contraction. The index came in at a four month high of 56.6, which is up from the previous 55.7, and is adding to the optimism for 2014. We have several reports due today, but the markets are already looking ahead to tomorrow with the FOMC meeting. As I mentioned yesterday, December durable/capital goods orders will be the first data out of the gates and both reports are expected to stay on the positive side but show a slowdown as we headed into year end. Actually, the same can be said about the S&P/Case Shiller home price index and consumer confidence, so nothing extreme is being called for at this point. The bottom line is the Fed meeting holds all of the marbles at this point, or should I say the statements and comments following the meeting, so I would expect to see things just wobble along today. For most of the currencies yesterday, it actually wasn’t too bad. The flight to safety eased and the emerging market rout that held control was really confined to two currencies yesterday, which was the Brazilian real and Indian rupee. Government officials in Brazil are stuck between a rock and a rock at this point. The currency lost about 1% yesterday as the central bank president advised they will fight inflation as the currency weakens and basically reiterated what Rousseff said in Davos. The currency markets are interpreting this as interest rates will be on the rise. Normally, prospects of rate hikes are great news for currencies, just look at the pound sterling and the New Zealand dollar recently, but when its seen as desperation and being forced when it’s not warranted by a growing economy, the market can view it as a negative. Growth forecasts for this year have been recently cut to under 2%, so many worry about the implications of higher rates. India is in a similar situation in that economic growth has been running on the low side while inflation has been well above target. Policy makers are considering a change to the inflation targeting framework by using CPI rather than wholesale prices as the benchmark gauge of inflation. There is thought they would shoot for a CPI target of 4% by 2016, but the problem is that CPI averaged about 10% last year compared to wholesale prices at 6.3%. The overall thought is that interest rates will need to remain higher for longer in order to achieve this goal, which in turn, would hinder growth. Not only that, but the general thought in the market is continued tapering by the Fed will equate to less funds available for investment in emerging markets, so that has also contributed to the currency moves. Except for those two currencies, the others either finished the day on positive ground or just barely in the red. Surprisingly enough, the Mexican peso turned in the best scorecard by rising just under 0.75%. There wasn’t much to support its rise, but we did see the December trade surplus increase more than expected, but I think it got a boost by the brighter US outlook floating around yesterday and the fact that its economy is in better shape than many of the other Latin American economies. The Aussie was right behind in second place, but there weren’t any reports to push it upward so it looked to be a case of an oversold currency. The pound sterling rounded out the top three as investors were betting 4th quarter GDP will come in better and put the central bank in a position to raise interest rates sooner than later. This baffles me since Carney just got done saying interest rates aren’t going anywhere, so I’m not sure where or why they are leaning on this. I guess it’s a case of so you’re saying there’s still a chance. Speaking of that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see both the BOE and the Fed move the goalposts as it pertains to their unemployment rate thresholds and future policy. Neither economy is ready for rate hikes, so I can see them both saying something about how unemployment moved faster than expected, but nothing will change until we hit 6% or whatever number they would come up with. The Canadian dollar finished the day down a bit, but Finance Minister Flaherty said there is no doubt they will have a balanced federal budget in 2015. He left some wiggle room if things drastically change, but we’ve heard this all before. If economic growth is healthy and self sustaining, I would see this as a reasonable scenario. In other news, Canadian consumer confidence dropped to a four year low last week but most are looking ahead to Friday when we see November economic growth figures. As I came in this morning, we’re seeing more currencies in positive territory than not with the Indian rupee in the top spot as the central bank did pull the trigger and raise interest rates. The news that got the markets excited was the fact policy makers said they don’t anticipate more rate hikes if inflation stays grounded. We also had an Australian business conditions report rise to a 2 ½ year high in December so the Aussie got a nice boost overnight while the pound lost some steam as 4th quarter growth failed to rise. Economic growth slowed from the third quarter by only increasing .7% but full year growth for 2013 came in at 1.9%, which was the highest since 2007. Then there was this.I was greeted with an email from the Big Boss, Frank Trotter, this morning that I wanted to share, so here you go. “Chris asked me yesterday if I was headed down to Cafayate, Argentina in March. Seems that the Casey Report and letters from John Mauldin have mentioned that I am speaking at Harvest Conference. Well the rumors are true and if you are even slightly inclined to visit then head straight to http://www.lec.com.ar/visit/events/ and check out the proceedings and book your flights now. This will be my fifth or sixth time down and I have to say it gets better every time. If you are inclined towards golf, or equestrian pursuits, or hiking, or wine you’ll find a calling there. And for me the best element is the level of conversation with a raft full of intellectual and engaging people in the charming city square, the clubhouse of the estancia, or out in the countryside. Like the different impacts of economic downturns here in the US, while life is great up in Salta province it’s another world entirely in Buenos Aires. Argentina has been in the news of late as an example of an emerging market gone bad. Never mind the decline from one of the wealthiest countries after World War I to the volatile situation we have seen now for many years. In the past week Argentina has been named as the source of extreme concern as their currency was (finally) devalued. I have personally witnessed the exceptional spread between the official rate and the street rate for exchanging US dollar widen progressively for several years; and even after the devaluation the figures aren’t that close together but the official drop moves in the right direction. Add to that the global number one 2013 performance of the Merval stock index; according to Bloomberg the measure was up nearly 90% last year – perhaps this requires a moment of reflection for those who think that stock market performance is a clear indicator of national economic health.” Thanks again Frank. Recap.Cold weather is once again being used to justify a disappointing data report as this time its December new home sales, which fell 7%. The bright spot is that new home sales in 2013 was the highest since 2008. Both the Dallas Fed manufacturing report and the Market Flash services report showed improvement, but the Fed meeting tomorrow now has all of the attention. Except for the Brazilian real and Indian rupee, it wasn’t too bad in the currency market. The peso, Aussie, and pound rounded out the top three performers yesterday while the others all finished close to breakeven. Currencies today 1/28/14… American Style: A$ .8803, kiwi .8278, C$ .9003, euro 1.3640, sterling 1.6559, Swiss $1.1122. European Style: rand 11.00, krone 6.1572, SEK 6.4562, forint 223.17, zloty 3.0695, koruna 20.124, RUB 34.63, yen 103.15, sing 1.2744, HKD 7.7633, INR 62.51, China 6.1053, pesos 13.2728, BRL 2.4083, Dollar Index 80.66, Oil $96.22, 10-year 2.78%, Silver $19.71, Platinum $1,414.75, Palladium $716.10, and Gold. $1,254.70 That’s it for today…I just wanted to once again say Happy Birthday to my colleague and good friend Chris Gaffney. It was a busy day yesterday as the tax calls are starting to roll in. It’s that time of the year where all of the tax documents are being sent, so I would expect the call volume to really pick up. Anyway, I’m running a little behind this morning, so I’ll go ahead and wrap it up. Chris will take you through the rest of the week, so until next time, Have a Great Day! Mike Meyer Assistant Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837
Tuscaloosa County residents that live in rural areas rely on volunteer fire departments in emergencies, but some residents are concerned about keeping those departments afloat.Buddy Grey served as a firefighter years ago and he recently asked the Tuscaloosa County Commission to consider providing more funding for fire protection in the county. Grey hopes that the commission takes action, but he’s not sure how soon that will be.“Well I don’t own a crystal ball, I’m a piano tuner,” Grey said. “But I would say this, it has to start somewhere. And, the county commission was very receptive to the issues I brought to them this morning, they have commissioned a committee to be formed and I think they’re starting to head in the right direction.”Since Tuscaloosa County is such a large area, Grey believes it is important to have more fire stations spread throughout the county.
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.”