He says “I hope the games are postponed.”Constantino’s comments come a day after the IOC said it was considering a postponement and would make a final decision within four weeks.Constantino says Portugal’s Olympic team is not prepared at the moment, adding “some athletes found alternative ways to prepare themselves, but others don’t have the conditions to do so.”___Pacaembu Stadium in São Paulo is being turned into an open-air hospital to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. March 23, 2020 The Athletics Association’s statement comes a day after the International Olympic Committee set itself a four-week deadline to decide on a delay.Athletics Association president Christian Taylor and vice president Emma Coburn say “we’re imploring the IOC to announce the postponement of Tokyo 2020 Olympics much sooner than in four weeks’ time.”Taylor is a long jumper and Coburn is a runner. Both competed for the United States at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.The group says more than 4,000 athletes have responded to a survey it conducted, with a large majority favoring postponement.Dina Asher-Smith, the world champion in the 200 meters, has also called for a quicker decision by the IOC. The Spanish soccer federation and the Spanish league say the suspension of professional soccer in the country will continue until government officials “consider that they can be resumed without creating any health risk.”The soccer competitions had been initially suspended for two weeks, but on Sunday the government said the country’s state of emergency would likely be extended, meaning the entire nation may have to remain in lockdown until at least April 11.Spanish authorities say more than 33,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in the country, with 2,182 deaths.___The Azerbaijan Grand Prix has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. AOC chief executive Matt Carroll says Australia has athletes based overseas and training in central locations around the country.“With travel and other restrictions this becomes an untenable situation,” Carroll said.The Canadian Olympic Committee earlier said it won’t send athletes to the Tokyo Games unless they are postponed for a year, becoming the first country to threaten such a move in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.The committee sent out a statement Sunday evening saying it was willing to help the IOC search for alternatives, but that it was not safe for athletes, “their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training for these games.”The IOC says it is considering all options. The Tokyo Games are scheduled to start July 24. As for the possibility of the NHL holding its playoffs in the summer and awarding the Stanley Cup as late as September, Krueger said “there’s nothing that I cannot imagine as an option.”___The president of the Portuguese Olympic Committee says he hopes the Tokyo Games are postponed.José Manuel Constantino says “the most reasonable thing is for the IOC, the Tokyo organizing committee, the Tokyo government and the Japanese authorities to find a consensual solution to allow the Tokyo Games to take place on another date.”Constantino was speaking to Rádio Observador. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach also said he will donate an unspecified number of meals to local food pantries.___Germany wants the Olympic Games postponed until next year at the earliest due to the coronavirus outbreak.German Olympic Sport Federation president Alfons Hörmann tells news agency dpa he would have liked a clearer stance from the IOC, one day after the governing body said it would make a final decision on postponement within four weeks.“We would have liked a clear statement now that the games definitely won’t take place on the scheduled dates and that discussions on alternative dates were being held,” Hörmann says. “We would prefer a postponement until next year at least.” Associated Press The NCAA is expected to vote on granting eligibility for athletes affected by COVID-19 on March 30.Martin says he’s struggling with giving another full season to players simply because they missed out on the championship phase of college basketball’s year. He says: “I get that’s a hard decision and a decision that eventually has to be made.”___Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam are pledging $1.5 million to relief funds in Ohio combating the coronavirus pandemic.The team announced that the Haslams have earmarked $1 million to the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund and $500,000 to the Columbus Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund. The Olympic Games are due to begin in Tokyo from July 24.___UEFA has formally postponed the Champions League final scheduled to be played on May 30 in Istanbul.UEFA says no decision has been made finding a new date, amid a shutdown of European soccer due to the coronavirus pandemic that has no end in sight. Only four teams advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals before the remaining Round of 16 games scheduled on March 17-18 were postponed. The Latest: Turkish soccer club manager: I tested positive Krueger spoke to Buffalo-area reporters during a conference call Monday, 12 days after the NHL postponed its season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Sabres were waiting to play a game in Montreal on March 12 when the league announced its decision. The team then flew home.The first-year Sabres coach and the players remained in Buffalo through the weekend in anticipation that teams would eventually be allowed to hold practices. He booked a flight to Switzerland once the NHL pushed back its timeline from a two-week break to 45 days.Krueger keeps in touch with players and team management by text, and says he has no knowledge of any Sabres testing positive for COVID-19.The Sabres had 13 games remaining and had fallen out of playoff contention.Krueger believes there is still much to be gained for the Sabres to continue playing, but adds he’ll abide by whatever decision the NHL reaches on whether to resume the regular season. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effect of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The manager of Turkish soccer club Galatasaray says he has tested positive for the new coronavirus. The latest postponement means there will be no Formula One races until the middle of June at the earliest.The race at the Baku City Circuit was scheduled for June 7.The first seven races of the Formula One season had already either been postponed or canceled.___A group representing track and field athletes has called for the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The 45,000-seat stadium that was built for the 1950 World Cup is expected to have more than 200 beds and should be ready in 10 days. Construction began on Saturday.___The president of the Norwegian Olympic Committee is recommending that athletes from the country are not sent to the Tokyo Games if they take place as scheduled.Berit Kjøll says “it will not be possible to carry out a Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in July as planned” because of the growing coronavirus outbreak.Kjøll says she respects the IOC’s request to “come up with a well thought-out and good plan for when the games can be completed.” The Norwegian federation previously had said the Tokyo Olympics should only to take place once the coronavirus outbreak “is under firm control” worldwide.The Canadian Olympic Committee has said it will not be sending athletes to the Olympics unless the games are postponed by a year. Australia says it was advising its athletes to prepare for an Olympics in 2021.___Basketball governing body FIBA is telling players around the world to stay inside.FIBA president Hamane Niang and secretary general Andreas Zagklis says that in “no circumstance should our passion to play basketball surpass the importance of following the instructions of the public authorities” when it comes to helping ensure public health. ___Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says a postponement of the Tokyo Olympics would be unavoidable if the games cannot be held in a complete way because of the coronavirus impact.He was commenting on the International Olympic Committee plan to examine the situation over the next few weeks and make a decision, which could include a postponement.Abe, speaking at a parliamentary session, ruled out the possibility of a cancellation.Whether Tokyo can hold the Olympics as planned from July 24 has been a major international concern as the COVID-19 pandemic has spread globally. The IOC says it will make a decision within four weeks and the Russian Olympic Committee endorsed that plan by calling for “complete support.”The ROC says “we view as unacceptable any attempts to bring pressure on the organizations in charge responsible of staging the games and to force them to take rash decisions.”Canada has said it will boycott the Tokyo Olympics unless they are postponed and Australia has called for athletes to prepare for a 2021 event.Russia was faced with sending a neutral team to the Tokyo Olympics under sanctions from the World Anti-Doping Agency. But those measures can’t be implemented until there’s a ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, where hearings have been delayed by the coronavirus outbreak. It’s unclear whether CAS could still rule before the Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to start July 24.___ The Haslams also own the Columbus Crew in the Major Soccer League.Their gift follows contributions by Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who donated $50,000 to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi’s donation of 100,000 meals to the food bank.___Buffalo Sabres coach Ralph Krueger is trying to remain patient while biding his time back home in Switzerland and hoping the NHL’s regular season will resume eventually.Krueger says he’s “still hanging on to the possibility,” and adds he’s been trying “not to let my brain go there until that plug is actually pulled on us.” Fatih Terim announced on Twitter on Monday that he was “in safe hands in hospital” and asked fans not to worry.The 66-year-old Terim had called for the postponement of Turkey’s league games after the country continued games without spectators even after most other leagues in Europe stopped. The league games were halted on Friday.Earlier, Galatasaray’s deputy president Abdurrahman Albayrak also tested positive for the virus.___The Carolina Hurricanes will temporarily close offices at PNC Arena beginning Tuesday so employees in hockey and business operations can work remotely due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. In a statement Monday, team president and general manager Don Waddell says the team will continue to operate “as normally as possible given the circumstances.”The team also announced there will be a blood drive Thursday at the arena in partnership with UNC REX Healthcare, WakeMed and The Blood Connection. Precautions will include asking donors to wait in their cars to allow for social distancing, spacing donor chairs “as far apart as possible” and encouraging donors to make an appointment.___The Kansas City Chiefs are matching the charitable work of their players, announcing that the organization will donate a number of meals equal to the number players donate to food pantries in the metropolitan area.The challenge began when wide receiver Tyreek Hill donated 6,000 meals to Harvesters and challenged his teammates to do the same. Tight end Travis Kelce upped him by donating 12,000 and 15 weeks’ worth of food for Operation Breakthrough, which distributes supplies to children in poverty. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes answered with 15,000 meals and $100,000, and safety Tyrann Mathieu drove the total to more than 100,000 by donating another 30,000 meals. The British sprinter writes on Twitter “does this mean that athletes face up to another FOUR weeks of finding ways to fit in training – whilst potentially putting ourselves, coaches, support staff and loved ones at risk just to find out they were going to be postponed anyway.”___The Australian Olympic Committee has advised its athletes to prepare for an Olympics in 2021.Ian Chesterman, Australia’s team leader for Tokyo, says “it’s clear the games can’t be held in July.”“Our athletes have been magnificent in their positive attitude to training and preparing, but the stress and uncertainty has been extremely challenging for them,” Chesterman said in a statement released Monday by the Australian Olympic Committee. FIBA says it plans to make decisions soon about the Basketball Champions League, the Basketball Champions League Americas and the Basketball Africa League — as well as all suspended international competitions.FIBA also is monitoring the Olympic developments as the world begins bracing for — and in some cases, advocating for — a postponement of this year’s Tokyo Games. Since qualifying is not yet completed, FIBA says “there is a growing need for answers to be provided quickly.”Niang and Zagklis added that “we will not ask our players to go somewhere, where we would not send our own children.”___Russia has backed the International Olympic Committee’s approach of taking time to consider postponing the Tokyo Games and condemned the body’s critics. UEFA says the Europa League final, due on May 27 in Gdansk, Poland, and the Women’s Champions League final, scheduled for May 24 in Vienna, Austria, are also postponed.___South Carolina men’s basketball coach Frank Martin isn’t sure athletes from winter sports should get another year of eligibility despite missing the sport’s premiere event, the NCAA Tournament.Martin said Monday that only a small percentage of college seniors are included in the sports’ postseason tournaments. He says the vast majority completed their seasons before conference tournaments and other postseason events were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.Martin’s Gamecocks had their opening game of the SEC Tournament called off two weeks ago. ____More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
24 February 2010South Africa has successfully delivered close to 150 major sporting events, including the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and 2009 Indian Premier League, without incident. The 2010 Fifa World Cup™ is a much bigger affair – and the South African Police Service has “raised its game” accordingly.“We are working tirelessly to ensure this is one of the best tournaments that Fifa has hosted,” says SAPS spokesman Vishnu Naidoo. “We want people to come and enjoy themselves, secure in the knowledge that we will do the policing.”R665m on new equipmentThe SAPS has now taken delivery of R665-million worth of new equipment. This includes six new helicopters, 10 mobile command vehicles, 100 high-performance vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, body armour and water cannons.Besides the investment in equipment, the SAPS has also recruited 55 000 new police officers over the last five years. This force will be complemented with an additional 41 000 officers who have gained invaluable experience in handling major sports tournaments.These security forces will be charged with border control, route security, city security, stadium security and crowd management during the tournament.“We have managed to allocate more than the required capacity for the tournament,” says Naidoo. “So there is going to be high visibility of police officers during 2010.”Specialist unitsFor the tournament, South Africa has trained a number of highly specialised units that will focus on reacting to situations as they arise. The Public Order Police will manage crowd control and any threat of organised fighting or hooliganism.These 8 500 officers completed a year-long training programme with the French National Gendarmerie in November 2009. Experts in crowd management, the Gendarmerie gained substantial experience in the 1998 Fifa World Cup in France.Another highly trained unit, the Tactical Response Team, has been developed to deal with more serious complaints. “The goal was to have these teams in all the major cities, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, by the end of December, but we have already gone beyond this target,” says Naidoo.The security forces for the 2010 Fifa World Cup have been involved in simulation exercises used to prepare officers for any eventuality, ranging from chemical, biological and radioactive attacks to hijackings, hostage situations and major disasters, both natural and unnatural.Intelligence, global connectionsIn addition to South Africa’s increased security, Interpol has pledged its commitment to support the country during the tournament. The international police organisation will be establishing an office in South Africa, offering support in movement control and the authenticating of passports.Interpol has also developed a Dangerous and Disruptive Persons (DDP) database for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. This database can be used to identify people who are involved in any form of organised crime or organised fighting. Once a person is recorded on this database, they will not be allowed into South Africa.“We have various proactive measures to stop identified criminals from entering our country,” says Naidoo. “We are in contact with our counterparts in World Cup participating countries, and then we have an intelligence community that is constantly gathering information. In order to get into South Africa, these people will have many obstacles to get through.”All of these initiatives form part of South Africa’s World Cup legacy programme, Naidoo adds. “Once these systems are in place, they will last long after the World Cup. We will keep using these relationships and equipment to ensure a safer region and a safer country. South Africans will benefit from us hosting the tournament long after July 2010.“Right now, our priority is to deliver a safe and secure tournament,” says Naidoo. “Overconfidence is tantamount to complacency, and we don’t want to be complacent.“We want people to come to South Africa and enjoy themselves, so we are going to be firm but friendly.”Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committee
The 11th annual Africa Energy Indaba Conference took place at the Sandton Convention Centre last week under the theme Africa’s Energy Future.The two-day conference was focused on the on-going development of the African energy sector and encouraged dialogue around enabling adequate energy generation across the African continent. This year, delegates from over 38 African countries were present.Conference sessions took place parallel to the exciting exhibition on show, as well as technical workshops. One of the workshops, presented by Eskom’s Head of Research for Testing and Development Kubeshnie Bhugwandin, spoke to strategic responses to disruptive innovations. The workshop had a look at the effect of disruption over the years, how it’s directly affected both business and consumer and how we should shift our perspective around it. Ms. Bhugwandin also warned about the detriment of embracing disruptive technologies when your business and audience is not yet ready for it.It is evident that no sector is able to fully function without laying claim of the impending Fourth Industrial Revolution, and Africa’s preparation for it.The MarketPlace Business Matchmaking Programme gave businesses and individuals an opportunity to sit down with exhibitors, speakers, sponsors and investors to explore potential ventures. Director of Divaine Growth Solutions, Dr Sindi Mzamo encouraged engagement, face to face interaction and social media platforms in her talk about the Power of Networking.Low Carbon Transport South Africa had electric cars on display and gave visitors an opportunity to discover the benefits of getting plugged in.In a recent statement about the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme, Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe said: “Let us take up the challenge, eradicate poverty and grow the economy for our children and their children, never forgetting our responsibility towards Mother Nature. If we do not look after our future, there will not be a future.”We now look forward to the 2020 Africa Energy Indaba that takes place 3 – 4 March 2020 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, as we work to build a better South Africa.Image: Instagram
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Don “Doc” SandersIn the past, I have written about the work of a geneticist at the USDA’s Bovine Functional Genomics Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. — Curtis Van Tassell. In the ’90s he used a new genetic test to identify genes in Holsteins that influence milk production, health, and soundness of feet and legs.For the foundation of his research, he used detailed records of 300,000 cows dating back to the 1940s. His work was renowned in the dairy industry and even contributed to research in human DNA.But the company funding his work at Beltsville went bankrupt. The company assets were purchased by Illumina, a human genetics company in Illinois. They planned to discard the cow genetic research.When Van Tassell realized this, he went to Illumina’s management and spent several days trying to convince them of the merit of his research. Illumina relented and agreed to continue funding his research. When I last checked, bovine genetics made up 90% of Illumina’s profits even though they are a human genetics company.I recall some of my colleagues excitedly suggesting that this test be used to characterize the DNA of dogs. At the time, dog breed organizations kept little more than a mish-mash of genetic records. No one maintained consistent performance information about dog breeds. Certainly nothing like the information of the Holstein Association.Jump ahead to today and you’ll find that the situation is quite different. There’s now a much greater drive among breed associations and researchers to track the genetic makeup of dogs. And that includes identifying genes that affect behavior. What’s the motivation behind this major change? Dogs serve us in many more roles than they used to:Sniffing out drugs and bombs in airports, train stations and sporting events, assisting police and security officialsSearching for missing persons and survivors of hurricanes, earthquakes and bomb blastsUsing their sense of smell to detect health conditions, such as certain types of cancer, diabetes and urinary tract infectionsAnd serving people with disabilities, such as seeing eye dogs for the blind and companion animals for people in wheelchairs, such as the late President George H.W. BushOne of the most recent exciting contributions is the USDA using these super-sniffing canines at our border to detect African Swine Fever-infected pork products being smuggled in from China. You may have read about two Beagles that detected infected pork in a million-pound imported food shipment.In the early days of my vet training and practice, Pilot Dogs, Inc., an organization founded in Columbus, trained dogs to serve the visually impaired. But back then, I couldn’t imagine the many other services that working dogs perform today.Because of dogs’ expanding service roles, the current supply of newly trained working dogs meets only about 5% of the need. And before the relatively recent advent of canine DNA analysis, it was common for about half of dogs to flunk out from training for service roles — their failure often not apparent until near the end of a year or more of training. Canine DNA analysis can help improve selection of dogs for training — and graduation rates — by identifying genes that influence dog behavior.A relatively new program, The Working Dog Project, has played a key role in developing DNA analysis for working dogs. The Working Dog Project is a collaboration of The Theriogenology Foundation (which represents veterinarians who specialize in reproductive health), The Broad Institute (associated with MIT), the American Kennel Club, numerous dog breed organizations, and universities such as Auburn and Cornell.One of the key early researchers in DNA analysis of dogs is an Alaskan musher, Dr. Heather Huson, who competed in races like the Iditarod in Alaska from Anchorage to Nome. In her PhD project she identified sled dogs’ DNA to determine which would be her “high-performance” dogs. After a successful sledding career, she ended up at Cornell University to start their canine project, which became a part of The Working Dog Project.Her work and that of others in The Working Dog Project showed that not every dog was cut out to be a sled dog, pilot dog, security dog, bomb-sniffing dog or recovery dog. And that DNA analysis can assist in separating super-achieving canines from those that are more at home sleeping on the couch.Check out The Working Dog Project at workingdogproject.org. I encourage you to donate to their cause.
Incoming mobile services have been restored for post-paid subscribers in Kashmir Valley’s Kupwara district, officials said on Friday.All post-paid subscribers of State-run BSNL, Jio and Vodafone in the north Kashmir border district will benefit from the decision, they said. According to the officials, there was a technical issue in allowing outgoing mobile services and it would take some time to overcome the problem.Services for pre-paid subscribers, who don’t get monthly bills, have not been opened yet, they said.Landline, mobile and internet services were suspended on August 5 when the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370.The State administration is opening up the communication system gradually and has restored landline services in 46 of 96 telephone exchanges in the Valley, officials said.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Ex-Newcastle U23 coach Beardsley responds to his football banby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Newcastle United U23 coach Peter Beardsley has responded to his football ban.The 58-year-old has been suspended from all football-related activity after being found guilty of making racist comments by an independent regulatory commission.Beardsley left his role as Newcastle United Under-23 coach earlier this year following an internal investigation. He has now been banned by the FA until April 29 next year.In a statement released on behalf of Beardsley by the player’s representatives, Farleys Solicitors LLP, the ex-England man said: “Peter Beardsley is very surprised and disappointed by the decision of the Regulatory Commission.”It was almost impossible for Peter to clear his name because of the serious flaws and contamination of evidence that occurred in the Disciplinary process before Newcastle United and by the unusual fact that The FA Rules put the burden of proof on him to prove his innocence in the proceedings.”After a long process which has been unnecessarily protracted, Peter feels vindicated that the Commission has expressly found that he is not a racist.”Peter and his legal advisers have been inundated with support from all over the Country, both from fellow professionals of the highest repute including John Barnes, Kevin Keegan, Les Ferdinand and Andrew Cole, as well as other football professionals including managers, coaches, players, and football fans, all of which provided unchallenged evidence to the Commission as to Peter’s good character, the fact that he is not a racist and whatever was said, there was no intent to cause offence.”Peter has had many great years at Newcastle United and despite the circumstances of his dismissal he will always have the Club close to his heart and wishes the fans the success they deserve in the future. Surprisingly, Newcastle United did not provide the relevant training and education for Peter. Peter has always been willing and eager to attend all and any training organised by the Club. “Peter fully appreciates all the support over what has been a difficult period for him and his family, particularly that of previous manager and colleague Arthur Cox.”Peter has categorically denied the allegations throughout whilst continuing to honour the contractual obligations of confidentiality to Newcastle United and maintaining his silence which in itself has been very difficult.”With no avenue left open to him to clear his name Peter has no choice but to acknowledge the decision and now looks forward to moving on with his life and resuming his career.”He shall respect the sanction imposed and looks forward to returning to work in football, which has been his life, at the end of his suspension.”
Klopp offers opinion on Rodgers’ Liverpool downfallby Paul Vegas20 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJurgen Klopp has offered his opinion on Brendan Rodgers’ downfall at Liverpool.The current Reds manager welcomes his predecessor back to Anfield at the weekend as they host Leicester City.“Only in public when a manager gets the sack that people think he lost his football brain or something. That is not how it happened,” he explained.I knew when I came that he was not the reason that things didn’t work out. Whatever it was, I don’t know, but it was not his quality as a coach. It is not as easy as that.“Expectations, relationships, whatever, if that doesn’t work anymore, the club has to make a decision. That will happen one day and the club will make a decision.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
In This Issue.*Greek protests remind markets of problems. *Swedish Industrial Production is strong. *Aussie Consumer Confidence bounces. *CFTC to appeal judge’s ruling on position limits.And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!A Good Time For Gold & Silver.Good day. And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! A day off from the Nationals – Cardinals series, so a day to recharge the batteries, which is what I did yesterday afternoon. I had already seen the NY market participants and traders take down the currencies and metals, and I had seen enough! So, yesterday morning, I told you I was watching the currencies ratchet higher, probably on the excitement of the Eurozone’s ESM opening for business. But that excitement didn’t have strong legs, and once the NY markets opened, they saw to it, that the excitement was a thing in the rear view mirror. So much for that! Right now, the euro has bounced off the low of 1.2850, but it sure looks vulnerable to more take downs. Speaking of take downs, Alex is getting very excited about the upcoming wrestling season.Well, there were a couple of developments overnight. The Aussie dollar (A$) is the best performer overnight. Aussie Consumer Confidence increased by 1% Vs the previous month, and iron ore price were up another 6%… the total increase in the iron ore prices since reaching a low in September is 35%… Remember that the selloff of iron ore this summer put a lot of pressure on the A$, so, hopefully, we can count on the opposite to take place here. And if the price action from overnight is any indication, we don’t have to hope any longer! The Aussie unemployment data will be printed late this afternoon (tomorrow morning for them) And this data has really surprised to the upside lately.The other thing we saw in the overnight markets was a strong Industrial Production report for August in Sweden. And Norwegian inflation was bang on with expectations. So, both of these currencies should find some good footing today. But then, that’s just me in my old frame of mind that currencies increase in value when they have strong fundamentals. Inflation in Norway is only 1.1%… Pretty impressive, as long as the Norges Bank (Norway’s Central Bank) doesn’t see this as an opportunity to cut rates again. But Norges Bank Gov., Olsen, has indicated that a rate increase could come as early as December, as he tries to throw cold water on the house price rally going on in Norway.So. the euro. Yesterday it was all seashell and balloons for the single unit, until the NY traders arrived. What caused them so much worry that they sold euros VS dollars? Too many speakers. That’s what I think. the Eurozone has too many speakers, speaking what’s on their respective minds. And they give conflicting opinions, which just ruins the soup. as they say, too many cooks in the kitchen. And then there was German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, visiting Greece. To the Greek on the street, Merkel is not a nice person, for she is blamed for all their austerity and pain. But that’s apropos for today, given everyone’s and I mean everyone’s propensity to look to blame others? I could go on as to my opinion as to where this started, but I don’t have the time or space!But seeing the Greeks protest was a reminder to the markets that while there hasn’t been anything notable to upset the applecart lately in the Eurozone, there are still problems. Which was my point yesterday, talking about the ESM. It doesn’t solve their debt problems, but it does give them some time to deal with them, without the markets barking in their ears.Well. Japanese leaders are once again talking the talk, but not willing to walk the walk. Japanese Prime Minister, Noda, said yesterday that “the yen’s strength is a serious problem and is out of step with Japan’s economic performance, and when necessary, we will take decisive action.” Haven’t we heard all that before? Of course we have, but the Japanese leaders really have used all the arrows in the quiver a long time ago. All that’s left to them is to coordinate a massive yen intervention, if they seriously want the yen to weaken. But who would they recruit to participate in this coordinated intervention to sell yen? The U.S.? hardly. think about it, the U.S. needs the weak dollar, so why would they participate to strengthen the dollar? Same goes for the Eurozone, while they don’t want a weak euro like the dollar, they don’t want to argue with the fact that the euro is weaker than it was a couple of years ago, and that fuels their exports. So, why would they want to upset the export applecart? Without the U.S. and Eurozone, Japan is left with the U.K. or they are left holding the bag of containing a stronger yen than fundamentals dictate.And not to be outdone by Noda. The Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) Chairman, Jordan, wanted the markets to know that the SNB was going to defend its arbitrary ceiling for the franc that has been in place for over a year now. Jordan said, “An appreciation of the Swiss currency at the current juncture would pose a serious threat and the SNB will not permit an appreciation.” So, I guess Noda can’t look to Switzerland for help with his coordinated intervention.And the Brazilian Central Bank (BCB) will meet today to discuss interest rates. Most observers are of the belief that the BCB will keep rates steady. I on the other hand, has seen the BCB surprise the observers on more than one occasion during this rate cut cycle that has seen nearly 5% of rate cuts dropping to the floor. Therefore, I wouldn’t put it past the BCB to cut rates again, just for good measure. This rate would be smaller than their usual large cuts, so, I’m looking for 25 Basis points which would bring Brazil’s internal rate to 7.25%… The Brazilian Gov’t and BCB have done a masterful job of debasing the real. That’s not a complement for these two, folks. I find it to be very distasteful to watch a Central Bank debase a currency over and over again. Thank you sir, may I have another? Pretty, ugly in Brazil, and I really thought a couple of months ago that the BCB was near their end for rate cuts. I guess I was wrong.The 10-year Treasury yield has gained 11 Basis points in the past week. One of these days, that will be the sign, but I’m not so sure it’s the sign now. The sign that the Treasury bubble is about to pop. But still, if you had sold Treasuries in the past year, and bought Gold, you would be looking like an investment guru! I saw a report that showed the interest expense lowered in 2012. Think about that for a minute. We issued tons of new debt, and still the interest expense was lower. Now, either, the data was bad. or, that’s the benefit of having yields so low. But what happens when yields rise? OK. Let’s not go there today, Chuck, you’re feeling pretty good this morning, just move along.Well.. as I go back through today’s Pfennig to see what I’ve written so far, I find the overarching theme that seems to exist is that currency debasement is all around us. and as long as that is the overarching theme, we should look to Gold & Silver. And what I’m seeing in Gold & Silver these days is that they are becoming mainstream. I still hear old-school investment people call the precious metals “alternative investments”. But, that’s just because they are old-school. I saw a great quote by the chief investment officer for Royal Bank of Scotland, who said, “Some clients as where Gold prices are going, and I say I don’t even think about prices. It’s a store of value.” Pretty good quote I think .Then There Was This. from Bloomberg. “The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission may decide as soon as this week to appeal a judge’s ruling against trading limits for oil, natural gas and other commodities, according to two people briefed on the matter.The five-member commission plans to vote following a recommendation from the agency’s general counsel’s office to appeal the ruling, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the schedule is private. U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins ruled on Sept. 28 that the CFTC failed to assess whether the limits imposed under the Dodd-Frank Act were necessary and appropriate.The decision blocked rules scheduled to take effect Oct. 12 that were challenged by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and International Swaps and Derivatives Association Inc. The associations represent JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and other banks and energy-trading firms.”Chuck again. Let’s hope that at least the position limits component of this legislature is approved, that would be a dagger to the heart of the Gold & Silver price manipulators, who have pushed hard for this ruling by the federal Judge.To recap. The excitement around the opening of the Eurozone’s ESM was dropped like a bad habit once the NY traders arrived yesterday, and the things that go bump in the night in the Eurozone, came back to everyone’s minds yesterday, as the German Chancellor visited Greece with thousands in the streets protesting. Australia, Sweden and Norway saw good data but only the Aussie dollar was able to take the data and gain overnight. Look for Brazil to cut rates today, and the overarching theme of what Chuck was talking about today, is currency debasement, which should be good for Gold & Silver.Currencies today 10/10/12. American Style: A$ $1.0245, kiwi .8195, C$ $1.0230, euro 1.2870, sterling 1.6015, Swiss $1.0635, . European Style: rand 8.6735, krone 5.7460, SEK 6.6865, forint 219, zloty 3.1735, koruna 19.3645, RUB 31.12, yen 78.30, sing 1.2290, HKD 7.7525, INR 53.05, China 6.2980, pesos 12.87, BRL 2.0345, Dollar Index 79.99, Oil $91.77, 10-year 1.72%, Silver $33.97, and Gold. $1,765.35That’s it for today. I read and I read. if I had known I was going to do so much reading when I was younger, I would have taken an Evelyn Woods course! But I was reading yesterday, and realized that I needed to expand my reading material, for it all begins to sound the same after awhile! Cards and Nationals today at noon (our time). I’ll be home watching it. Little Braden Charles will be there, but, he’s too young to sit and watch a baseball game with me. But I can’t wait for him and his cousin Everett, to get old enough to watch a game with me, so I can teach them about baseball, like I did my two sons. I just saw a question to a doctor. The woman said her husband shaved his head bald, because bald men are more successful in business. HAHAHAHA! Yeah, right! And I’ve got some swamp land to sell you! Oh well. good luck to all today, and let’s have a Wonderful Wednesday!Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 www.everbank.com
Mississippi’s Legislature has passed a bill banning abortion after 15 weeks of gestation, one of the most restrictive limitations on abortion in the country. The measure, which is poised to become law once signed by the governor, allows for exceptions only in a “medical emergency and in cases of severe fetal abnormality.” It does not allow abortion in cases involving rape or incest. Fifteen weeks is calculated from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period.The bill defines severe fetal abnormality as a physical condition “incompatible with life outside the womb.”Gov. Phil Bryant has signaled that he will sign the bill. “As I have repeatedly said, I want Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child,” he wrote on Twitter. “House Bill 1510 will help us achieve that goal.”The bill passed on Tuesday in the Mississippi Senate, after lawmakers removed language imposing criminal penalties that would involve jail time. Physicians could still lose their state medical licenses and receive a civil penalty of up to $500. On Thursday, the House approved the amended text in a 75-34 vote, according to The Associated Press. The measure saw intense debate from lawmakers before it was passed.”This change to the law has twin purposes: to force women to have babies they don’t want, and then to stigmatize and undermine the resulting single mothers. It’ll be the worst thing that we do here today,” said State Sen. Deborah Dawkins, a Democrat, as Mississippi Edition reported.State Sen. Angela Hill, a Republican, strongly supported the measure. “I think that banning abortions with the language in this bill would be the best thing we could do. … I don’t like abortions, period. It’s inhumane.”The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected other states’ attempts to dramatically limit the number of weeks in which a woman can receive an abortion. For example, it tossed out a North Dakota law that banned abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy and an Arkansas law that banned abortions at 12 weeks. Multiple states have laws banning abortion after 20 weeks, which has been Mississippi’s law as well. “For decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has been telling states that they can’t ban abortions before a fetus can survive outside the womb on its own,” notes The Associated Press.”The Supreme Court has said and resaid again and again that states cannot prohibit women from obtaining abortions prior to viability, which is what a 15-week ban would do,” Hillary Schneller, staff attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, told the wire service. Mississippi has only one clinic that performs abortions, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, according to the Clarion Ledger. The clinic owner, Diane Derzis, has told the local paper that she plans to sue if Bryant signs the bill.”These groups are tossing anything and everything out there, anything that could start winding its way through the legal system because we’re in a very fragile place right now,” Derzis told the Ledger. “Roe is clearly in danger and that’s what they’re preparing for. … They hope by the time they get to the Supreme Court they will have changed the Supreme Court.”In January, the U.S. Senate rejected a bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
In September, public health officials in South Africa finally declared victory over the world’s worst-ever outbreak of listeriosis, a foodborne illness that had sickened more than 1,000 people and killed more than 200 there since January 2017.The cause? A batch of “polony,” a popular processed lunch meat similar to bologna, contaminated with listeria, a bacteria found in animal feces. Government health inspectors traced the outbreak to a factory owned by the South African packaged foods producer Tiger Brands, and ordered the recall of nearly 6,000 tons of affected food.Even with that particular crisis under control, Africa as a continent continues to suffer from the world’s highest per-capita rate of foodborne illnesses. A new report this month from the World Bank’s Global Food Safety Partnership points to one reason why: Much of the funding for food safety efforts on the continent come from Western donors — and most of those efforts concentrate on safety standards for foods exported to other countries.”Trade is important for a lot of [African] economies,” says Lystra Antoine, the CEO of the Global Food Safety Partnership and one of the report’s authors. But, she says, “that has an unintended consequence.”There hasn’t been as much investment in safe food for the domestic consumer, she adds. “There needs to be much more attention on foodborne illness. The burden is unacceptably high.”According to the World Health Organization, foodborne hazards are responsible for 137,000 deaths and 91 million acute illnesses in Africa every year — mostly affecting children under the age of 5. The risks include dangerous strains of bacteria like salmonella and E. coli, as well as tapeworm and other parasites, and naturally occuring toxins like cyanide. Public health experts are worried that little is being done to address the problem.”The numbers are pretty staggering,” says Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, who was not involved in the report. “It’s a major public health problem, right below tuberculosis, malaria and HIV. But foodborne illness has flown under the radar screen.”The report, which was partially sponsored by Walmart, Cargill and Mars, Inc., analyzed more than 500 donor-sponsored food safety initiatives, from one-day food handling seminars to decade-long scientific research projects like the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control.Together these initiatives represent nearly $400 million in spending since 2010 by more than two dozen national and multilateral development agencies, including the U.S. Agency for International Development and the European Commission’s International Cooperation and Development Directorate.The report found that more than half of those projects are “overwhelmingly focused on supporting overseas market access” — that is, making sure raw products like Nigerian tomatoes, Ugandan coffee and Ghanaian cocoa are up to the standards of regulators like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.It’s an understandable emphasis — food exports from Africa have more than doubled between 1998 to 2013, to nearly $64 billion, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute.But safety hazards that arise as food products move from smallholder farms to local, informal markets don’t get the same attention, even though that’s how most Africans get most of their food, the report says.The report also found an imbalance in which food hazards get the most attention. Aflatoxin, which is produced by a fungi that can grow on improperly dried peanuts and cereals, received one-third of that $440 million in funding — in part because it was priority for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (a funder of this blog). Meanwhile, salmonella, which WHO estimates is the top cause of food-related deaths in Africa, received less than five percent of the total funding. Erastus Kang’ethe, an emeritus professor of public health and food safety at the University of Nairobi, says many African governments lack the resources to effectively regulate food safety risks and have relied on international organizations for training and policy guidance. That approach naturally shifts the conversation toward how African food producers can meet foreign safety standards rather than developing and enforcing their own.African governments have historically focused on quantity over quality, Kang’ethe says, aiming to accelerate food production to avert hunger in a rapidly growing population, often without developing the infrastructure needed to keep food safe.”Governments didn’t put much importance on safety,” he says. “The question was, can our people be fed?”At the same time, he says, both producers and consumers often lack awareness of food safety risks and may not have access to refrigeration for meat and dairy products during transportation from farm to market or at home after purchase.People who suffer from a food-related infection or parasite may not make the connection to improperly stored or contaminated food, Kang’ethe says, and clinics often lack the knowledge or resources to diagnose foodborne illnesses, meaning that the true burden is likely far higher than what WHO has reported.Progress is being made, he says. Over the last few years, the African Union has been organizing the first continent-wide food safety authority, which is set to deliver a report by next year on strategies to improve oversight of food safety on farms, in factories and at markets.In response to the report, a USAID spokesperson said in an email to NPR that the agency “has been adjusting its food safety investments to target both trade and local food markets in recent years.”As Africa’s food system becomes industrialized, the risk of foodborne illness for domestic consumers has increased, the report found. Diets across the continent are diversifying, and meals that once centered on staple grains are now more likely to include meat, vegetables and dairy products that can be vectors for disease.Foods are traveling longer distances before reaching consumers, offering more opportunities for a break in the cold storage chain or other potential sources of contamination. And as the South Africa example disturbingly illustrated, when something goes awry at a processing plant, a large number of people can be put at risk.”One of the things the South Africa listeria outbreak did was to really shine a light on how important food safety is,” Antoine says. “We were watching people die as a result of this.””If you’re not ensuring the food coming out is safe, now you can infect hundreds or thousands of people more efficiently,” Jha says. “The imperative to have a better regulatory system really goes up as you get more development.”One solution, Kang’ethe says, is for African governments and development agencies to tap the expertise that has accumulated around export markets to improve safety for domestic consumers — for example, having farmers, plant managers or market vendors with good safety records train their less-experienced peers.Improving food safety isn’t just important for reducing the risk of illness: It’s also essential in confronting the broader issue of hunger. Africa remains the continent with the world’s highest rate of undernourishment, according to the U.N., affecting one in every five people, 256 million in total.”We’re not likely to achieve everything we talk about with food security if the food you have is not safe,” Antoine says.Tim McDonnell is a journalist covering the environment, conflict and related issues in sub-Saharan Africa. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.