Getty Images Sold for 24B

first_imgDigital photograph and online media powerhouse Getty Images today announced that it has entered into an agreement to be acquired by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman for $2.4 billion. The deal has been approved by the Getty Images board of directors but still requires approval form the company’s stockholders.Getty Images in January hired Goldman Sachs Group to explore the company’s financial options. As part of the deal—which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2008—Hellman & Friedman will assume $305 million of Getty’s debt.According to Getty Images co-founder and CEO Jonathan Klein, the company’s board of directors “thoroughly evaluated” the company’s strategic alternatives and determined that the deal with Hellman & Friedman is in the best interest of stockholders because “it provides them with superior and certain value.”Getty Investments and company co-founder and chairman Mark Getty, who collectively hold about 15 percent of Getty Images shares, have agreed to vote in favor of the transaction, according to the company.last_img read more

Despite Being Overlooked Detroit to Make a Pitch for Army Futures Command

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR A team of economic development organizations representing Detroit is submitting a proposal to the task force selecting the headquarters location for the Army’s new Futures Command even though the Army did not include the city in the list of 15 finalists it released in April. Detroit’s strong showing in three of the four categories — private sector innovation, talent, and strength of research and development resources for STEM — the Army’s consultant used to rank 30 candidates helped Michigan Sen. Gary Peters (D) persuade Army Secretary Mark Esper to allow the city to submit a bid, reported the Detroit Free Press. Detroit was left off the initial list of finalists because of its poor showing in the fourth attribute, quality of life, particularly due to a low ranking in a criterion measuring the region’s overall health and access to medical care. Peters believes that Michigan, which hosts the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command and the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, is “the obvious place” to locate a futures command for a ground force military organization. “We want to be seen as the place the Army wants to be as it thinks about the future of technology and warfare,” he said. Army photo by Carl Jones IIlast_img read more

Queen Elizabeth posts on Instagram for the first time

first_img This is how the Nazi Enigma machine works Now playing: Watch this: Queen Elizabeth II took an early tour of Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security, a new exhibit at The Science Museum coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Government Communication Headquarters. Along with the letter from Babbage, the exhibit includes Alan Turing’s Enigma M1070. The Royal Family’s Instagram has more than 2,000 posts, but this was reportedly the first one the queen wrote personally. Her first post has gotten more than 42,000 likes and 836 comments so far.”Today, I had the pleasure of learning about children’s computer coding initiatives and it seems fitting to me that I publish this Instagram post, at the Science Museum which has long championed technology, innovation and inspired the next generation of inventors,” the queen wrote. Mobile Culture 4:44 Share your voice 0 Tags Queen Elizabeth visits The Science Museum in London. The Science Museum Computers are a part of our everyday lives, and we may not give much thought to their origins. In true royal fashion, Queen Elizabeth II has reminded us on Instagram.The queen posted on Thursday that she visited The Science Museum in London and viewed a letter in the Royal Archives written in 1843 by Charles Babbage. Babbage designed the “Difference Engine” and has been credited as the world’s first computer pioneer. The queen wrote that Prince Albert saw a prototype in 1843. Post a comment Instagramlast_img read more

Aer Lingus Rejects Takeover Bid from British Airways Owner IAG Citing Undervaluation

first_imgIrish airline Aer Lingus has rejected a takeover bid from IAG, the parent company of British Airways, on Thursday saying that the offer undervalued its worth.In a statement, Aer Lingus confirmed the rejection, considering the amount of media speculation the offer from International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) caused.”The board has reviewed the proposal and believes it fundamentally undervalues Aer Lingus and its attractive prospects … there can be no certainty that any offer will be made nor as to the terms of any offer. Shareholders are strongly advised to take no action,” said Aer Lingus in a statement.IAG – run by Willie Walsh, former chief executive of Aer Lingus – had offered to takeover Aer Lingus on 14 December for a reported $1.42 billion. “International Consolidated Airlines Group notes the recent movement in the share price of Aer Lingus and confirms it submitted a proposal to make an offer for the company, which has been rejected by the board of Aer Lingus,” said IAG in a statement.The offer price wasn’t mentioned by either party. However, the Financial Times cited people familiar with the matter as saying that the deal was valued at $1.42 billion.Aer Lingus has become a potential takeover company as rival Ryanair, its biggest shareholder, is set to lose an appeal in a UK court to sell 29.9 percent stake in the company.Ryanair has been asked to sell its stake in Aer Lingus by the UK competition authorities but Aer Lingus has been resisting it, according to The Financial Times.If Ryanair decides to appeal in a higher court, the acquisition process could be delayed.The Irish government owns 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus and said that it would be ready to sell its stake for the right price.Other shareholders of Aer Lingus include UAE’s national carrier Etihad, which holds 4 percent.  Experts say that the Aer Lingus takeover would be perfect for IAG.”A takeover would fit from an IAG position, but the airline would have challenges if it returns with another bid: there could be regulatory concern or challenges from other airlines on competition grounds – but not a show-stopper. Aer Lingus has been successful even against a difficult economic climate in Ireland, and a deal would give IAG an even stronger network position at Heathrow,” aviation analyst John Strickland told The Guardian.last_img read more

2 BCL activists sent to jail for attacking police

first_imgTwo activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) were sent to jail on Saturday in a case filed over attack on police in the district town.The accused are Ariful Haque, organising secretary of ward No. 4 unit of municipal BCL and its activist Saifuzzaman.The BCL men, riding on motorbikes, hit a plain-dressed police official and then locked into a scuffle with the law enforcers in Rajar Matt area around 6:00pm on Friday, said Golam Sarwar, officer-in-charge of Sadar model police station.As a sequel to the brawl, an organsied group of BCL men attacked police with sticks, leaving four constables – Shariar, 20, Shakhawat Hossain, 22, Hasan Al Mamun, 21 and Nazmul Habib – injured.The injured were admitted to Bandarban Sadar Hospital.A case was filed against 30 people, naming five men.Later, police arrested Ariful from Rajar Matt area and Saifuzzaman from his house.On Saturday, they were produced before a court and the court sent them to jail custody.last_img read more

Dictionarycom Chooses Complicit As Its Word Of The Year

first_img Share Photo via Dictionary.comThis screen shot provided by Dictionary.com shows the word “complicit,” on the Dictionary.com website.Russian election influence, the ever-widening sexual harassment scandal, mass shootings and the opioid epidemic helped elevate the word “complicit” as Dictionary.com‘s word of the year for 2017.Look-ups of the word increased nearly 300 percent over last year as “complicit” hit just about every hot button from politics to natural disasters, lexicographer Jane Solomon told The Associated Press ahead of Monday’s formal announcement of the site’s pick.“This year a conversation that keeps on surfacing is what exactly it means to be complicit,” she said. “Complicit has sprung up in conversations about those who speak out against powerful figures in institutions, and those who stay silent.”The first of three major spikes for the word struck March 12. That was the day after “Saturday Night Live” aired a sketch starring Scarlett Johansson as Ivanka Trump in a glittery gold dress peddling a fragrance called “Complicit” because: “She’s beautiful, she’s powerful, she’s complicit.”The bump was followed by another April 5, also related to Ivanka, Solomon said. It was the day after she appeared on “CBS This Morning” and told Gayle King, among other things: “I don’t know what it means to be complicit.”It was unclear at the time whether Ivanka was deflecting or whether the summa cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business — with a degree in economics — didn’t really know.Another major spike occurred Oct. 24, the day Arizona Republican Jeff Flake announced from the Senate floor that he would not seek re-election, harshly criticizing President Donald Trump and urging other members of the party not to stand silently with the president.“I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit,” Flake said.Solomon noted that neither she nor Dictionary.com can know what sends people to dictionaries or dictionary sites to look up “complicit” or any other word. She and other lexicographers who study look-up behavior believe it’s likely a combination of people who may not know a definition, are digging deeper or are seeking inspiration or emotional reinforcement of some sort.As for “complicit,” she said several other major events contributed to interest in the word. They include the rise of the opioid epidemic and how it came to pass, along with the spread of sexual harassment and assault allegations against an ever-growing list of powerful men, including film mogul Harvey Weinstein.The scandal that started in Hollywood and quickly spread across industries has led to a mountain of questions over who knew what, who might have contributed and what it means to stay silent.While Solomon shared percentage increases for “complicit,” the company would not disclose the number of look-ups, calling that data proprietary.The site chooses its word of the year by heading straight for data first, scouring look-ups by day, month and year to date and how they correspond to noteworthy events, Solomon said. This year, a lot of high-volume trends unsurprisingly corresponded to politics. But the site also looks at lower-volume trends to see what other words resonated. Among them:— INTERSEX: It trended on Dictionary.com in January thanks to model Hanne Gaby Odiele speaking up about being intersex to break taboos. As a noun it means “an individual having reproductive organs or external sexual characteristics of both male and female.” Dictionary.com traces its origins back to 1915, as the back formation of “intersexual.”— SHRINKAGE: While the word has been around since 1790, a specific definition tied to a famous 1994 episode of “Seinfeld” led to a word look-up revival in February. That’s when a house in The Hamptons where the episode was filmed went on the market. For the record: The Jason Alexander character George Costanza emerges with “shrinkage” from a pool and said “shrinkage” is noted by Jerry’s girlfriend.— TARNATION: It had a good ride on Dictionary.com in the first few months of the year due to a round of social media fun with the “What in tarnation” meme that had animals and various objects wearing cowboy hats.— HOROLOGIST: As in master clockmaker, like the one featured in the podcast “S-Town,” the highly anticipated “This American Life” follow-up to the popular “Serial” podcast. All seven episodes of murder intrigue were released at once in March. Horologist, used in the radio story, trended around that time.— TOTALITY: There were look-up spikes in August. Thank you, solar eclipse and your narrow band of totality, meaning the strip of land where the sun was completely obscured by the moon.last_img read more

Trump Narrows Supreme Court Shortlist To 3 — With 2 On The

first_imgCarolyn Kaster/APPresident Trump boards Air Force One, Thursday, en route to Montana.President Trump has narrowed his list of Supreme Court candidates to three, according to two sources close to the process.The three are judges Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Raymond Kethledge with Kavanaugh and Barrett as the top two at this moment.It’s important to maintain that caveat, because President Trump has not made a final decision, and it could change.Trump could decide (decide not announce) sooner rather than later, as early as tomorrow, though the official announcement is still slated for Monday.Judge Thomas Hardiman, the runner-up to Justice Neil Gorsuch, is still in the mix, though seen as fourth on the list.Whoever is picked is likely to be more conservative than the man they’d be replacing — Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy was often a swing vote on the court, sometimes siding with the court’s conservatives and, at others, with the court’s liberals.For the first time in his career, though, this term he sided exclusively with the court’s conservatives.So who are the candidates who could replace Kennedy? Here are some snapshots:Brett Kavanaugh, D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of AppealsKavanaugh, 53, is a former Kennedy clerk and a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, which is commonly referred to as the second-most powerful court in the country.He’s a connected Washington insider with roots in politics in the George W. Bush White House. He’s written some 300 opinions for the D.C. Circuit in 12 years — and he’s only 53, which means he will likely serve on the high court, if confirmed, for a very long time.Some conservatives, though, question his bona fides, and he’s controversial with Democrats because of his role investigating former President Bill Clinton as part of the Starr investigation. Some conservatives have been lobbying against him, worrying that his upbringing in the suburbs of Washington could mean he’s the kind of justice who has disappointed conservatives before.These conservatives, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, believe he is not sufficiently conservative and disagree with portions of opinions he’s written relating to abortion and Obamacare.— Domenico MontanaroAmy Coney Barrett, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Barrett, 46, clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. She’s only been a federal judge for about a year. Before that, she was a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.During her confirmation hearing for the 7th Circuit, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., questioned Barrett about whether her Catholic faith might color her work on the bench. “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern,” Feinstein said of Barrett. The senator’s questions drew a rebuke from Catholic leaders.She was confirmed 55 to 43 by the Senate, and three Democrats voted for her — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.Her age, the youngest of those in final consideration, is seen as both a strength and a weakness. She could serve on the court a long time, but she does not have a lengthy record of opinions. She has lots of scholarly writing, however. Notably, she wrote a paper for the Texas Law Review in 2013 on the role of precedent in constitutional interpretation. She said existing precedent should not be overturned lightly, but she said it’s not “out of bounds”:“Our legal culture does not, and never has, treated the reversal of precedent as out-of-bounds. Instead, it treats departing from precedent as a permissible move, albeit one that should be made only for good reason.”— Scott HorsleyCopyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

New Blended Learning Curriculum Seeks to Improve DC Public Schools

first_imgLow-performing schools have been a chronic problem in the District. But a new tool, blended learning, has local school officials hopeful that they may be solving the issue and turning the tide.According to Ed Tech magazine, blended learning is an education model that integrates online instruction with the traditional classroom learning experience. Instead of all students in a classroom working from the same textbook, blended learning allows individuals to engage with material at their own pace.John Rice, blended learning manager for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Office of Teaching Learning, has an even simpler definition.“Blended learning is a combination of the best of what teachers can do with the best of what technology can do in the classroom,” he told the AFRO.The technology-driven model first entered DCPS in math classrooms approximately six years ago. Before 2011, its use was described as “haphazard” by the American Enterprise Institute, because a centralized strategy did not exist. Blended learning appeared “only in places where enterprising teachers or administrators had decided to experiment on their own,” according to a case study, “Blended Learning in DC Public Schools.”However, since then, implementation of the learning tool has picked up because it has the ability to “meet students where they are,” school officials said. Blended learning was first used to increase technical skills in Algebra.“Blended learning levels the playing field,” said Rice. “It helps educators find the right lesson for students’ rights where they are in their current stage of learning.”After seeing successful results in mathematics, school officials expanded into other curriculums and areas of study. Some form of blended learning can be found in at least eight of the city’s public schools; public charter schools also use the model.“Chancellor [Kaya] Henderson believes in the application and power of technology across all levels of learning,” David Rose, DCPS deputy chief of educational technology and library programs told the AFRO. “This makes our school district different from others which may only have these models in certain schools or grades. You can find blended learning in classrooms across the K-12 spectrum.”Randle Highlands Elementary School in Southeast is one of the successful DCPS schools utilizing blended learning. School officials have seen an improvement in math and reading scores, and a decline in teacher turnover and student suspensions since the program began.Reactions to the new model have remained positive among teachers, parents, and students. School officials said parents enjoy learning about new technology with their children, and students enjoy using cutting-edge materials.Initially, veteran teachers seemed hesitant toward the new technology and curriculum model, but DCPS officials have worked to make professional development integral to the program’s roll-out.“We place big emphasis on professional development for our teachers and have committed resources district-wide to aid in this effort,” said Rose.One of the concerns about the program is whether it can be continued when a child returns home.“We recognize that not all of our families have technology or significant resources at home and, at the same time, we live in a world where a comfort level with technology is nearly a requirement,” said Melissa Salmanowitz, a spokesperson for DCPS. “We want our students to surpass this requirement.”last_img read more

CISAC Reports Nearly 11 Billion in Royalties Slams YouTube Over Distortion of

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 CISAC president and veteran electronic musician Jean-Michel Jarre (pictured above) said, “CISAC is at the heart of a battle for the future of over 4 million creators worldwide. I am passionately involved in this struggle. Europe has now recognized that it is time for change: it is not acceptable for the law to shield large tech monopolies and sustain a systemic injustice for creators. There is now a message to get to the rest of the world: it is time for other governments to sit up and follow.”Other highlights from the report include:Music collections increase 6.0% to €8.34 billionAudiovisual collections rise 6.8% to €611 millionLiterature collections climb 5.2% to €227 millionVisual arts royalties jump 19.0% to €208 millionDramatic repertoire collections grow 3.7%TV and radio continue to be the top use category at €3.89 billion, followed by live and background at €2.74 billion CISAC’s global network of 239 societies licenses content and collects royalties on behalf of 4 million creators for uses including TV, radio, live, background, digital and private copying. Global royalties collections for creators of music, audiovisual, visual arts, drama and literature rose to a record high of €9.6 billion in 2017 (nearly $11 billion), up 6.2% on the previous year, according to the 2018 Global Collections Report published today by CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers.Royalties from digital income are reported over the €1 billion mark ($1.14 billion) for the first time after a 24.0% increase in 2017. Digital collections have nearly tripled (up 166%) in the last five years, boosted by the streaming boom and, lately, by surging consumer uptake of video streaming services, according to the announcement.Music royalties have grown to €8.3 billion, up 6.0%, with digital also reported over €1 billion for the first time. Despite digital’s rise for all repertoires to €1.27 billion, revenues from digital uses remain far below collections from broadcast, live and background uses. The CISAC report reads, “Only 13% of creators’ royalties come from digital sources (up from 11%), a reflection of the gross mismatch between the volume of creative work being made available via digital channels and the amounts being returned to creators,” a clear reference to the “value gap” frequently cited by rights holders with regard to the low royalty rates paid by YouTube, the world’s most-popular platform for streaming music, compared with other streamliner services. Popular on Variety “Digital collections are held back by a fundamental market flaw,” the report reads. “A 2018 study commissioned by CISAC – ‘Economic Analysis of Safe Harbor Provisions’ by Professor Stan Liebowitz – shows how copyright safe harbor regimes are distorting the digital market globally. Subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music are at a disadvantage, generating lower revenues and with a reduced user base, due to user-upload content services like YouTube exploiting safe harbor legislation.”It is the fifth consecutive year of global growth for creators, and the first to see increases in all repertoires. The report also notes that growth in TV and radio collections suggests that surging digital revenues are not currently cannibalizing more traditional markets. In 16 of the top 20 digital collecting countries, broadcast royalties saw growth.Founded in 1926, CISAC is the world’s largest network of authors’ societies, with 239 member societies in 121 countries. It represents over four million creators from all geographic regions and artistic repertoires including music, audiovisual, drama, literature and visual arts.“This impressive performance proves that authors’ societies are delivering value to the millions of creators they represent around the world,” said CISAC Director General Gadi Oron. “They have responded to rapidly changing technology, licensing digital services in new flexible ways and handling trillions of data transactions. And they are fighting for the best licensing terms and the highest royalties possible in a world where powerful users are determined to avoid, or minimize, paying a fair return for their work.”last_img read more

International team gets a seismic look at North KoreanChinese volcano

first_img More information: R. Kyong-Song et al. Evidence for partial melt in the crust beneath Mt. Paektu (Changbaishan), Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and China, Science Advances (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501513AbstractMt. Paektu (also known as Changbaishan) is an enigmatic volcano on the border between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and China. Despite being responsible for one of the largest eruptions in history, comparatively little is known about its magmatic evolution, geochronology, or underlying structure. We present receiver function results from an unprecedented seismic deployment in the DPRK. These are the first estimates of the crustal structure on the DPRK side of the volcano and, indeed, for anywhere beneath the DPRK. The crust 60 km from the volcano has a thickness of 35 km and a bulk VP/VS of 1.76, similar to that of the Sino-Korean craton. The VP/VS ratio increases ~20 km from the volcano, rising to >1.87 directly beneath the volcano. This shows that a large region of the crust has been modified by magmatism associated with the volcanism. Such high values of VP/VS suggest that partial melt is present in the crust beneath Mt. Paektu. This region of melt represents a potential source for magmas erupted in the last few thousand years and may be associated with an episode of volcanic unrest observed between 2002 and 2005. (Phys.org)—A team with members from the U.K., the U.S., China and the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, has worked together to learn more about a volcano sitting on the North Korea/Chinese border. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes how they set up seismic monitors and collected data for a two year period and what that data revealed. Baekdu Mountain—Baitoushan volcano (Paektu-san), in the Changbai Mountains along the border of China and North Korea in Northeast Asia. Credit: Wikipedia 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. North Korea, as most are aware, is a secretive country, allowing very little information in our out regarding almost everything, and that includes geological data. Unfortunately, this has until recently included what has been described as a dangerous volcano on the border between North Korea and China—back in 946 AD it went off in what has been called one of the largest eruptions on record. It also sits in the vicinity of 1.6 million people. The volcano is called Mount Paektu on the Korean side and Changbaishan on the Chinese side. North Korean researchers have been studying the volcano for some time on their side of the border and Chinese researchers have been studying their side—what has been missing is a concerted effort to study the volcano as a whole to both learn more about it, and to see if it might be possible to determine if the volcano is likely to erupt again anytime soon.The collaborative effort consisted of setting up six state-of-the-art seismic monitors in a 60 kilometer-long line east from the summit to far into the countryside and monitoring them for the period August 2013 to August 2015. Analysis of the data from the monitors revealed a large portion of the crust below the volcano appeared to be at least partially molten, a hint that the volcano could erupt. The team also studied the area around the volcano, looking for debris thrown from the volcano during prior eruptions, and found evidence of superheated clouds of very hot gasses and ashes sweeping downhill along with large mudslides. That suggested that if the volcano erupts again, it could cause serious flooding if the summit lake is unleashed, or worse a worldwide climate impact as ash is pushed into the sky and sulfur dioxide is released. Alaska volcano settles down after late March eruptioncenter_img Explore further Journal information: Science Advances Citation: International team gets a seismic look at North Korean/Chinese volcano (2016, April 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-04-international-team-seismic-north-koreanchinese.html © 2016 Phys.orglast_img read more

Major road reopens more than six hours after lorry spills load

first_imgPunter found hiding in bushes Police search for missing woman Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window A South Cheshire road has reopened after a lorry tipped onto its side and spilled its load this afternoon. Groby Road in Crewe was shut between the junctions with Stoneley Road and Warmingham Road due to the ongoing incident. Cheshire Police first confirmed they were at the scene shortly before 3pm today (Saturday June 8) – with the road currently closed in both directions. A police spokesman said:  “Please be advised that Groby Road is closed in both directions from the top of Stoneley Road to Warmingham Road due to a police incident.” Read MoreFour motorcyclists stabbed in disturbance at M6 service station   Several eyewitness say a lorry had overturned and is blocking the road. Inrix, the travel data company, reports, as of 9.30pm, that the road has reopened – with traffic affected between Coppenhall Moss and Maw Green. Elsewhere on the road network in Cheshire this afternoon the M6 northbound was closed due to a separate police incident between J18 and J20.t Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLivecenter_img Follow StokeonTrentLive Download our app  – You can download our free app for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store , or get the Android version from Google Play .  Follow StokeonTrentLive on Facebook – Like our Facebook page to get the latest news in your feed and join in the lively discussions in the comments. Click here to give it a like! Follow us on Twitter – For breaking news and the latest stories, click here to follow SOTLive on Twitter . Follow us on Instagram – Featuring pictures past and present from across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire – and if you tag us in your posts, we could repost your picture on our page! We also put the latest news in our Instagram Stories. Click here to follow StokeonTrentLive on Instagram . Driver named following fatal collisionlast_img read more

Markus Haas Telefonica Deutschland has named Telef

first_imgMarkus HaasTelefonica Deutschland has named Telefonica veteran Markus Haas as its new CEO.Haas, who has worked at Telefonica since 1998, will take up his new role on Jaunary 1, 2017, taking over from Telefonica Deutschland’s current CEO Thorsten Dirks.Telefonica said that Dirks will continue to support the management team until the end of the first quarter 2017 to ensure a smooth transition.Haas will lead Telefónica Deutschland in close cooperation with chief financial and strategy officer Rachel Empey.Commenting on behalf of Telefonica Deutschland’s supervisory board, Eva Castillo Sanz said: “The internal succession is a clear signal of continuity for our shareholders, employees and business partners in the execution of the integration and transformation processes.“The supervisory board is looking forward to continuing our further successful collaboration with Markus Haas and Rachel Empey.”Haas has been managing director of Telefonica Deutschland since 2009 and became a member of the management board in 2012.Rachel Empey has worked in different leading management positions for the Telefónica Group since 2004 and has been a member of the management board of Telefónica Deutschland since 2012.last_img read more

The BBC and Sky have called on the European Commis

first_imgThe BBC and Sky have called on the European Commission to take formal action against Saudi Arabia over pirate broadcaster BeoutQ providing illegal access to content including the English Premier League.Both broadcasters have sent letters to Anna Malmström, the EC’s commissioner for trade, adding their voices to calls for a formal EU protest to the Saudi government, which is widely believed to be supporting BeoutQ as part of its campaign against neighbouring Qatar. Qatar-based BeIN Media holds most of the rights in the Middle East pirated by the Saudi outfit.Sky said that BeoutQ’s rapid growth presented a threat to European broadcasters and rightsholders, while the BBC said that the pirate outfit’s making its content available across the region was commercially damaging, impeding its ability to license content to players in Europe.BeoutQ set-top boxes are now widely available internationally, including in Europe, enabling users to illegally stream channels.Last month, BeIN Media launched an international investment arbitration action against the Kingdom, claiming damages to the tune of US$1 billion. BeIN Media says that it has been unlawfully driven out of Saudi Arabia and subjected to an unprecedented piracy campaign.The media group said that it believed its action was the first to be brought in connection with state-supported illegally broadcast piracy.In addition to being subject to the BeoutQ piracy campaign, BeIN Media has cited the unilateral revocation of its right to operate in Saudi Arabia, the prohibition of its channels, a ban on the importation of BeIN Media set-tops, a suspension of monetary transactions with BeIN and the blocking of its websites and call centre.BeIN Media filed a case with the World Trade Organisation, alleging non-compliance with the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.last_img read more

Heres Looking at You Kid By Doug Hornig Senior

first_imgHere’s Looking at You, KidBy Doug Hornig, Senior EditorLovers of liberty have seemingly had a good bit to celebrate over the past two weeks.First, there was an unprecedented outpouring of negative public sentiment about the Congressional bills SOPA (House) and PIPA (Senate); they are legislation that would have thrown a large governmental monkey wrench into the relatively smooth-running cogs of the Internet. Millions of Americans signed online petitions against the bills (I did) after seeing websites’ various protests. Google shrouded its search page in black; Wikipedia, and Reddit went dark entirely (although Wikipedia could be accessed if one read the information available via clicking the sole link on its protest page); Facebook and Twitter urged users to contact their representatives; and many other core Internet businesses also raised their voices in opposition.Such was the outpouring of dissent that even Washington, D.C. had to listen. The bills, which a week earlier had seem assured of swift passage, suddenly turned to poison. Supporters, forced to concede that the public really was pissed off this time, fled. Leadership in both houses tabled the legislation, pending further review and revision.But before we get too self-congratulatory, however, it’s wise to note that this victory dish is probably best enjoyed with a serving of caution. As Casey Extraordinary Technology editor Alex Daley summed up the situation for us here at Casey Research: “Be sure this will come back again, likely post-election, and snuck through as part of a bigger package. It arrests power from the judiciary, and the legislature likes nothing more than to thumb its nose at those ridiculous judges and all their due process this and Constitution that. It will eventually pass, just not like this.” We can’t now go to sleep on this one.Second, on Monday the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that police may not attach a GPS tracking device to a suspect’s car without a search warrant. This is a landmark decision, to be sure, but one that was carefully circumscribed by the justices. The placing of the device constituted a physical intrusion on the suspect, they wrote, and thus was impermissible. Left unruled upon was the larger question of tracking someone’s movements when there was no physical violation, as would be the case when, say, police access signals from a GPS-enabled smartphone. Though it wasn’t directly addressed, the concurring opinions strongly suggest that the justices might be more sharply divided on that issue.A lapse of vigilance in these matters would be a mistake.Since both of them are tech-related, and also since it’s January, this is probably a good time to review how individual freedom fared over the past year vis à vis the technology of surveillance in general.But before I do, I need to make a couple of things clear.Where We StandAt Casey Extraordinary Technology, we are not technophobes. We don’t think that it would be a good thing to retreat to the woods and live out our days spearing game and cooking it over fires. Quite the contrary. We’re technophiles who appreciate what tech has done to improve human living conditions, and we believe that it holds the key to the solution of many, if not all, of our present problems. We like to err on the side of hope.In addition, we understand that society has a powerful interest in maintaining a certain level of order. It’s intolerable that personal disputes should be settled by gun battles in the streets or that serious infringements on the rights of others – whether it be physical crimes such as robbery, rape, or murder, or non-physical ones like fraud – should be ignored. The most ardent libertarian would generally agree that a government ought to have the authority to prevent or punish the aggression of one individual upon another and to enforce contracts freely entered into. Thus tradeoffs with our basic right to do as we see fit must be made if man’s worst impulses are to be deterred.That said, the tricky part is deciding where to draw the line between reasonable and overzealous laws and enforcements. Surveillance technology is at the center of this debate. It’s good and getting ever better. Even the most law-abiding of citizens have been subjected to steadily increasing levels of governmental – as well as private sector – watchfulness over their daily lives. That has occurred with no indication that the public is yet prepared to say, “Enough. This is where we draw that line in the sand.”The past year was no exception. I won’t go into developments I’ve already written about, such as the growth of the TSA’s VIPR operations, last summer’s lemonade-stand busts, the ghastly E-Verify proposal , and the Fed’s Social Listening Program. But the sad truth is that there are plenty more from which to choose. Space considerations permit a close examination of only a few, but a liberty-oriented legal foundation provides a quick overview of the year.It‘s a Bird, It‘s a Plane, It‘s…… a drone.Remote-controlled drone aircraft, like the famed Predator, have become a staple of the nightly news. We see them launching missiles against terrorists, conducting spy missions over Pakistan, patrolling the borders looking for drug smugglers and alien infiltrators. Now we’re going to have to get used to seeing them in the skies over, well, all of us.Yes, those same Predator drones are being used increasingly by local law enforcement in the US.That was unknown to most Americans before late last year, when the great North Dakota cattle-rustling incident hit the press. It seems that back in June, six neighbors’ cows had the misfortune to wander onto a 3,000-acre farm in eastern North Dakota owned by the Brossart family, whose members allegedly belong to the Sovereign Citizen Movement, an anti-government group that the FBI considers extremist and violent.When the sheriff attempted to reclaim the cows, the family refused to give them up, ordering him off its property at gunpoint. A 16-hour standoff ensued, with the sheriff requesting the usual reinforcements: state highway patrol, a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, and deputy sheriffs from three other counties. But he also called nearby Grand Forks Air Force Base and asked for help from a $154 million MQ-9 Predator B drone, normally used to secure the Canadian border for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).Long story short, the drone silently surveilled the farm from two miles up, relaying information from its sophisticated sensors as to what the Brossarts were doing. When the surveillance showed that the family members had put their weapons down (yes, it can see that well at that distance), the authorities moved in, neutralizing the Brossarts and making the first known, drone-assisted arrests of US citizens.Law enforcement was pleased, perhaps rightly so. No blood was spilled. Another Ruby Ridge was avoided. The cows – street value $6,000, but now rather a bit more costly – were recovered.But that was just the beginning. Local North Dakota police say they have used the Grand Forks Predators to fly at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have also used Predators for domestic investigations, officials admit. And Michael Kostelnik, a retired Air Force general who heads the office that supervises the drones, says that Predators are flown “in many areas around the country, not only for federal operators, but also for state and local law enforcement and emergency responders in times of crisis.” [emphasis mine]Who knew?Apparently not Congress, for one. Spokespersons for Customs, which owns the drones, claim there is legal authorization for this usage because it was clearly indicated in the purchase request for the Predators that one purpose was “interior law enforcement support.” But those four words sailed right by Congresswoman Jane Harman – Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee at the time the drone purchases were approved – who insists that “no one ever discussed using Predators to help local police.” So this expanded civilian use of military surveillance hardware came about with no new law, no public discussion, not even a written regulation… just a few words buried in a budget request that no one in charge of approving it noticed.There will be mission creep here, as there always is. Expect drones to gather data on any large political demonstration, for example – only, to be fully accurate, you won’t be noticing them above you. They fly too high and are too silent for that.Internet SurveillanceIn addition to SOPA/PIPA, there is PCIP. SOPA/PIPA were about shutting down Internet sites that the federal government deems offensive. PCIP is about gathering information.As is so often the case with “well-meaning” legislation, the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (H.R. 1981, or PCIP) is allegedly aimed at something about which all agree. Nobody argues against shielding kids from pornographers.Not that the problem addressed isn’t real. The Internet has proven to be a fertile stalking ground for sexual predators. As a society, we have already agreed to a certain level of cyber-entrapment, allowing police to run online sting operations against those who are actively targeting kids. If that catches some innocent people in the net, so be it. The public majority is willing to accept such collateral damage so long as the real bad guys are found and put away.And yes, H.R. 1981 also contains some non-controversial provisions. Stricter punishment for interstate commerce transactions that promote child porn? Sure. Bolstering laws to protect child witnesses? No problem.But, as always, the details are alive with devils. PCIP is also about pre-crimes – i.e., it entails gathering evidence before any crime is committed… perhaps even before said crime is contemplated. The goal is that, in the event of an arrest, supporting online records can quickly and easily be subpoenaed.In order to accomplish that, everyone must be considered a potential criminal. Everyone.What PCIP will mandate is that Internet providers keep detailed records about each one of us, including: name, address, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, all Internet activity for the previous 12 months (something sure to be extended after the first successful busts), and any IP addresses assigned to you – without a search warrant, court order, or even the slightest suspicion of criminal activity.In other words, the government is proposing to expand the ranks of de facto private-sector cops, the same way that banks are now forced to report any “suspicious financial activity.” The legislation would enlist – nay, require – ISPs to compile detailed dossiers on every citizen, and to have them readily accessible for whatever “crime-fighting” or other purposes authorities want them. This thereby saves federal government officials the trouble and expense of doing it themselves. It’s breathtaking. You almost have to admire the elegance of their solution to the universal ‘Net surveillance problem that’s vexed them for some time.No wonder the Electronic Frontier Foundation has scornfully tabbed this the “Data Retention Bill,” warning that the stored data “could become available to civil litigants in private lawsuits – whether it’s the RIAA trying to identify downloaders, a company trying to uncover and retaliate against an anonymous critic, or a divorce lawyer looking for dirty laundry.” And in a grotesque illustration of the law of unintended consequences, the EFF adds: “These databases would also be a new and valuable target for black hat hackers, be they criminals trying to steal identities or foreign governments trying to unmask anonymous dissidents.”H.R. 1981 sailed through the House Judiciary Committee in late July of last year but is yet to be voted on (although it was slated for “expedited consideration” in mid-December). Will it provoke the kind of public outcry directed against SOPA? Don’t count on it. What politician in his or her right mind would dare oppose legislation that “protects kids from pornographers?”Reverse SurveillanceMeaning: when we turn the cameras on the government.In a sense, we are all now street journalists. Most famously, the name “Rodney King” would mean nothing to anyone today but for a bystander with a cell phone camera. As these devices have become all but ubiquitous, we ordinary citizens now have an unprecedented ability to record crimes in progress, regardless of what side of the law the perpetrators are on.Or do we?While police understandably have welcomed citizen recordings that help them with their cases, they are again understandably not so sanguine when they themselves are the potential lawbreakers. And they’re hitting back. People filming unfolding events are routinely ordered away from the scene by the police, even if they happen to be standing on their own private property – and threatened with arrest if they don’t put the camera away.Considering the First Amendment to the Constitution, that’s been a bluff… at least until recently.Now authorities are asserting their right to charge video- or audiographers of police events with crimes ranging from obstruction of justice to eavesdropping to illegal wiretapping.So far, to their credit, the courts have been mostly unsympathetic. In August, a jury acquitted a Chicago woman who used her cell phone to secretly record a conversation with police investigators about a sexual harassment complaint she was filing against the department. Also in August, the US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled in favor of the defendant in a case involving a complaint filed by a Boston man who filmed the scene of an October 2007 arrest on his cell phone, only to be arrested himself and charged with a violation of Massachusetts wiretapping laws.In Illinois in September, a judge threw out five eavesdropping indictments – which carried maximum penalties of 15 years in prison on each count – against a man who had recorded conversations with local police officers who he claimed were harassing him on his own property. In a stinging rebuke to the prosecution, the judge wrote, “A statute intended to prevent unwarranted intrusions into a citizen’s privacy cannot be used as a shield for public officials who cannot assert a comparable right of privacy in their public duties. Such action impedes the free flow of information concerning public officials and violates the First Amendment right to gather such information.”So far, so good. Still, these kinds of busts are on the rise nationwide. Even if they’re all laughed out of court, the mere threat of arrest (and the potential concomitant bodily harm) is often enough to make most people think twice about the wisdom of challenging a police order.And, truthfully, would you trust the current Supreme Court – a majority of which has consistently supported government rights over that of citizens – to rule correctly on this?Target: Casey Research!One of the most ominous developments for us personally crawled out from under its rock in November. Again without any public debate, DHS unleashed its National Operations Center’s Media Monitoring Initiative. Yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like: The NOC’s Office of Operations Coordination and Planning is going to collect information from news anchors, journalists, reporters, or anyone who may use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed.”Thus Washington, D.C. unilaterally grants itself the right to monitor what you say. Doesn’t matter if you’re the New York Times, Brian Williams, a basement blogger, an online whistleblower, or known government critics like ourselves. They’re gonna take note of your utterances and file them away for future use.Journalists are not the only targets, by the way. Also included among those subject to this surveillance are government officials (domestic or not) who make public statements; private-sector employees who do the same; and “persons known to have been involved in major crimes of Homeland Security interest,” however large that umbrella might be.At Casey Research, we’re not about to engage in self-censorship just because some bureaucrat somewhere has nothing better to do than watch what we’re saying. They’re welcome to it, and we’ll save them the trouble of archiving it; most of it’s preserved on our website, anyway.The larger speculation is: what’s the endgame here?Data Storage CapacityBack in 1997, I wrote an article entitled Here‘s Looking at You, which examined the ways in which big government was encroaching upon our private lives. The piece was published in February 1998 in a very popular national men’s magazine. (In my defense, I hasten to add that these glossy periodicals were among the very few public outlets, before Casey Research was born, for journalists who wrote about such “fringe” topics.)As I was writing this piece you are now reading, I couldn’t help but take a look back fourteen years. It seems almost like a prehistoric era… before 9/11, the PATRIOT Act, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, drones, “free-speech zones” at political conventions, wall-penetrating radar, iPhones, and wholesale government monitoring of email and phone conversations, among a zillion other things. Heck, even the Internet was still more or less a novelty: I found that I had cautioned readers to be mindful of an insidious newfangled thing called “cookies.”The tech of today is light-years more advanced. But even back then, I was concerned. And I predicted where I saw the trend heading. Naturally enough, not all of my predictions came to pass – I was certain for instance that by now we’d have a national ID card – but unfortunately, most of them did.The reason I bring this up here is not to tout myself as particularly prescient. It’s to note something of actual importance. In 1998, I could still maintain that our saving grace was that data-storage capabilities were way insufficient for the total surveillance of hundreds of millions of Americans and probably would be for a long time to come.How wrong I was.It is already technologically feasible for governments to record nearly everything that is said or done within their borders – every phone conversation, electronic message, social media interaction, the movements of nearly every person and vehicle, and video from every street corner.Before long, it’ll also be financially feasible to archive it, according to a sobering report published last December by the Brookings Center for Technology Innovation.The report concludes that: “Plummeting digital storage costs will soon make it possible for authoritarian regimes to not only monitor known dissidents, but to also store the complete set of digital data associated with everyone within their borders. These enormous databases of captured information will create what amounts to a surveillance time machine, enabling state security services to retroactively eavesdrop on people in the months and years before they were designated as surveillance targets. This will fundamentally change the dynamics of dissent, insurgency and revolution.”Emphasis mine. Consider the implications.The key, according to the Brookings report: “Over the past three decades, [data] storage costs have declined by a factor of 10 approximately every 4 years, reducing the per-gigabyte cost from approximately $85,000 (in 2011 dollars) in mid-1984 to about five cents today.” Using GPS, mobile phone and WiFi inputs, “identifying the location of each of one million people to [a 15-foot] accuracy at 5-minute intervals, 24 hours a day for a full year could easily be stored in 1,000 gigabytes, which would cost slightly over $50 at today’s prices.” Fourteen cents a day to archive the collective movements of any selected million of us.Phone calls? “The audio for all of the telephone calls made by a single person over the course of one year could be stored using roughly 3.3 gigabytes. On a per capita basis, the cost to store all phone calls will fall from about 17 cents per person per year today to under 2 cents in 2015.”Video storage takes far more space, of course, and there are also major logistical problems involved in managing such a huge amount of data. But the point is made. Technological innovation will provide the tools. And as soon as government can do something, they invariably will do it.InvestingThese few examples, winnowed from hundreds of others I could cite, testify to a mushrooming new industry in the US, what some have called the cyber-industrial complex.It’s big business. How big we don’t know, because much of it is shrouded in either government or corporate secrecy. The Washington Post‘s Dana Priest, twice a Pulitzer winner and one of the few true investigative journalists in America still working inside the mainstream media, published some groundbreaking work on the subject in the summer of 2010. If you haven’t read it already, you should. The website is dynamic, with regular updates posted on the subject and reader input invited.Several other recent probes also have opened the shadowy surveillance world to a little more light. You can check out some of the latest techniques and which companies are implementing them at The Surveillance Catalog published by the Wall Street Journal and The State of Surveillance: The Data,published by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.Perhaps in your browsing you’ll find some publicly traded companies that will attract your investment interest. For our part, at Casey Extraordinary Technology we prefer to seek out companies that are engaged in changing our world for the better rather than the worse. Those are the ones you’ll find in our portfolio.In the end, we must acknowledge that technological advancement, especially at the rate we’re experiencing it in the present era, is bound to spawn evil applications along with the good. But we’re optimists here. We believe humanity is in a long-term uptrend, with technology setting torches on the path to a better life.But that all depends on keeping people free. That’s why we will continue to expose – and oppose – government efforts to stifle innovation, creativity, and personal liberty. I’m not holding my breath but perhaps eventually Washington, D.C. will get the point, and follow our lead.Bits & BytesPolice Frisking from a Distance (Technology Review)In keeping with the surveillance and Big Brother theme of today’s issue, heres a story about how the NYPD is developing a device with the Department of Defense that could essentially frisk people from up to 75 feet away. The device measures terahertz waves (the radiation that fills the slot in the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and infrared), which are naturally emitted by people and objects and pass through nonconducting materials like clothes, so scanners sensitive to them can reveal guns and other hidden objects. Obviously, the announcement by the NYPD that it is developing such a scanner – and plans to mount them on cars to capture images of basically everything within a certain range – has sparked privacy concerns since its general use would seem to be a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment.Apple Astonishes Again (Apple)Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2012 first quarter yesterday, and the numbers shattered what could have been considered lofty expectations. The stock is currently up 6.3% from Tuesday’s close. Record quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion smashed the Street’s expected $39.14 billion by more than 18%. Meanwhile, net income rang in at $13.06 billion, which translated into earnings of $13.87 per diluted share, or nearly 37% above the consensus estimate EPS of $10.16. Apple’s run over these past few years has been nothing short of remarkable. This is a company that now has a market capitalization over $415 billion, and it just posted quarterly revenue growth of 64% sequentially and 73% year over year. That kind of stuff just doesn’t happen. Eventually, growth will slow; it has to. But that doesn’t mean that 2012 won’t turn out to be a great year for the consumer electronics juggernaut given its recent gains in smartphone market share, an announcement about the iPad 3 coming soon, the iPhone 5 perhaps arriving by summer, and an iOS-based TV launch maybe at the end of the year.Hacking the Hackers (Technology Review)An innovative security software company called Mykonos is taking a new approach to protecting PCs and websites. Instead of acting like a locked door to shut hackers out, Mykonos Software instead invites hackers in through a fake entrance and plays tricks on them until they give up. The idea is to take a lot of the automated tools hackers often use out of the game and waste the assailant’s time, thereby changing the economics of attacking websites, according to company CEO David Koretz. “We have the ability to hack the hacker,” says Koretz.last_img read more

In This Issue   234000 of 288000 jobs added

first_imgIn This Issue. *  234,000 of 288,000 jobs added by BLS… *  Factory Orders drop in March. *  RBA to meet tonight. *  Chuck channels his inner Stevie Wonder. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Making It All Up, As We Go Along. Good Day! . And a Marvelous Monday to you! It’s the 5th of May, which to some translates to: Cinco de Mayo. A day that, here in the U.S. we observe only to have a day to share a drink with friends, but in Mexico, they celebrate their independence. Quite a few years ago, I told a story about how the 5th of May reminded me of a time in Cancun when I grabbed a street performers microphone and began singing to the crowd. Some dear reader, didn’t take too kindly to me carrying on about the 5th of May and send me an email calling me a MAK.  I’ll let you figure it out. OK. Well, the Big News on Friday, was the fabtabulous, sensational, super-duper, with a cherry on top, Jobs report for April. According to the BLS, (Bureau of Labor Statistics) 288,000 jobs were created in April. I pause for a minute to point out a key word here. “created”. For a majority of the 288,000 jobs reported created in April, were “created” from the minds of the BLS. 234,000 of those 288,000 jobs were added to the surveys by the BLS using their Birth / Death model.  It was as if: We’re Making it all up as we go along. In addition, right after this 288,000 number printed, Mike Harrell, shouted across the desk: “more than 800,000 were dropped from the roster of people looking for jobs, and if the 800,000 were added back the Unemployment Rate would have been 6.8%…  OK. I had to do some quick math here. A couple of years ago, I told you that 10,000 Baby Boomers were going to retire every day for the next 18 years. So, knowing that, if there were 30 days in April, that takes care of 300,000 people dropping off the list (10,000 x 30), But what about the other 500,000? Hello? Yes, am I on the air? Good, Hey. I’m a long time listener, first time caller, and I have a question for the financial wizard. Here goes. Well. OK. Here you go.  What would you say if I told you  that of the 288,000 net jobs created in April according to the BLS, 234,000 of them were added  by the BLS using their Birth / Death model to the survey numbers?  And I do have a follow up question. What do you think of the news that over 800,000 people dropped off the unemployment roll?  Thank you, I’ll hang up now so I can listen to your answer. The Impressions are singing, It’s alright, have a good time, and it’s alright, yes, it’s alright. And that’s what I’m going to do. I could get all lathered up and rant and rave about this traveling snake oil sales convention, called the Jobs Jamboree. But I won’t. It’s alright, have a good time.  So, what went on after the report printed? Gold immediately shot down in price, along with the euro and other currencies, for the initial knee-jerk reaction to the labor print was that, “This is the report that’s going to get the Fed to arch its back and raise interest rates”.  But then calmer heads took over, and soon the markets were of the realization that the Fed is not going to fall for the old, ” show em the right and hit them with the left”, and that the what the Fed is looking for is Wage Inflation.. And from the reports on Friday. The Avg. Hourly Earnings fell to 1.9% from 2.1%… There’s no wage inflation folks. not yet anyway.   Oh, and Factory Orders for March fell from 1.5% in Feb to 1.1% in March. That’s not a good report, folks, but it got put on the back burner with the Jobs data. So, soon, after this realization,  things got turned around on Friday, and Gold headed toward $1,300, and the euro regained its lost mojo. This morning, there has been a void in activity, as Japan and the U.K., two top money centers for the overnight markets, are on holiday, so the activity in the currencies and Gold was pushed to the European continent. And so far. today, we have Gold up another $13, and the Chinese renminbi looking at another night of appreciation. There’s a report out this morning that Portugal is ready to exit their rescue. That should be a good thing for the euro, which was dragged through the mud by the peripheral countries, or Club Med, as I used to call them, when they had all their problems.  The likes of Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus, have all improved their balance sheets, but still have tons of work to do, but one by one, they have been paying back their loans, and re-entering the bond markets.  The European Central Bank (ECB) will meet this Thursday, and I think that for the first time in what seems to be a month of Sundays, the ECB won’t be hearing the calls for additional stimulus. That should take all the drama out of the ECB meeting, and thus allow the euro to move freely about the country. Speaking of Central Bank meetings. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will meet tonight (tomorrow for them), and while there were some wild calls going on last week for a rate hike at this meeting, those have all calmed down, and now we should see the RBA remain steady Eddie at this meeting. That thought has taken some of the shine off the Aussie dollar (A$) overnight.  Later this week, Australia will report on their labor picture, and then the tallies will begin again on the pros & cons regarding a rate hike at the next meeting. I’m of the opinion that rates will remain on hold for some time in Australia (remember I was the ONE that said the RBA would not cut rates again, when everyone else said they would!), and I think we just might hear the RBA say that this evening. As I said above, Gold finally caught some wind in its sails on Friday, and when I searched for what caused the abrupt turnaround in the shiny metal, all I could find were stories about how the tensions in Ukraine were the reason. And I said out loud on the desk, “Really? These guys just found out that there was a problem in Ukraine?”  I know, I know, I had been questioning why Gold was soaring with the tensions rising in Ukraine, and now that it is, I’m mocking the guys responsible. Hey! That’s how I roll!  Seriously, though, did they really just find this out? Hey, did you hear that Deutsche Bank has sent letters to their U.S. customers of its operations in Belgium and asked them to close their accounts and transfer their funds by June 10th?  The new FACTA law has prompted this move. So expect to hear others follow Deutsche Bank here. Well, what do we have here? Why yes! It’s a Treasury bond rally! Yields have dropped again folks. which, tells me that more air is being pumped into the Treasury Bubble. I hope you got a chance to read my Sunday Pfennig yesterday or today. I go through the interest rate trends, and how this “ultra-low interest rate trend” has just about run its course. The trends through the years have not run any longer than 8 years, and we’re heading to that number next year. And one more thing to think about here that I didn’t mention, (I probably did, but got cut by the editor) and that is, with the Fed ending their bond buying program this year, who’s going to be the gatekeeper responsible for keeping Treasury yields low?  Well, a quick look across the landscape of Currencies is not pretty this morning. But it’s also not ugly. It’s just kind of so-so. The euro is up by a couple shekels. And as I said above the Chinese renminbi / yuan is stronger overnight. Most of the currencies are flat to down, so like I just said, it’s not ugly, just so-so, today. I think the aftermath of the Jobs Data last week is weighing heavily on the currencies’ ability to break out and rally. That won’t last too much longer, as in a couple of days, the Jobs Jamboree will be in the rear view mirror. Canada will print their labor numbers for April today. They usually print them the same day as the Jobs data from the U.S. is printed, but seeing that they get no movement from the report, and no press from it either, they print today!  Recall that March had a huge increase in jobs for Canada, at 43,000.  It would go a long toward some Canadian dollar / loonie strength if the April report can follow March’s number with a positive gain in jobs.  I had to stop and sing along with Stevie Wonder’s song: My Cherie Amour. What a great song!  And look now it’s Dusty Springfield singing Son of a Preacher Man.  Now that’s a good two-song combo this morning! Ok, I’m back now. HA! The U.S. Data Cupboard is pretty bare today, with only the Markit and U.S. reports on the service sector here in the U.S.  As I said a few years ago. “We’ve become a country centered on Service, and our Service stinks!”  Tomorrow, the Trade Deficit print, but other than that there’s not a lot to see in the Data Cupboard this week. You know, I got a kick out of all the pundits and so-called “experts” that came out pounding the big bass drum that “all’s well and the U.S. economy is growing just fine”  I guess they didn’t see that drop in the Factory Orders data that I talked about above.  You know, as I’ve said before, “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”  I bet some naysayers would say to me, ” you should heed your own advice”!  HA! For What It’s Worth. Well, with all the jumping and shouting about the Jobs Jamboree last week, I thought this article that dear reader Bob G. sent me, played nicely with others here. It was written by Michael Snyder. “Did you know that there are nearly 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now? And 20 percent of all families in the United States do not have a single member that is employed. So how in the world can the government claim that the unemployment rate has “dropped” to “6.3 percent”? Well, it all comes down to how you define who is “unemployed”. For example, last month the government moved another 988,000 Americans into the “not in the labor force” category. According to the government, at this moment there are 9.75 million Americans that are “unemployed” and there are 92.02 million Americans that are “not in the labor force” for a grand total of 101.77 million working age Americans that do not have a job. Back in April 2000, only 5.48 million Americans were unemployed and only 69.27 million Americans were “not in the labor force” for a grand total of 74.75 million Americans without a job. That means that the number of working age Americans without a job has risen by 27 million since the year 2000. Any way that you want to slice that, it is bad news. Well, what about as a percentage of the population? Has the percentage of working age Americans that have a job been increasing or decreasing? As you can see from the chart posted below, the percentage of working age Americans with a job has been in a long-term downward trend. As the year 2000 began, we were sitting at 64.6 percent. By the time the great financial crisis of 2008 struck, we were hovering around 63 percent. During the last recession, we fell dramatically to under 59 percent and we have stayed there ever since…” Chuck again. Only the BLS and all the trumpet blowers that are employed by the Gov’t can make this labor stuff sound good, folks. To recap. I got in trouble on Friday, when I didn’t have a “recap”. So, here we go!  The U.S. labor picture got muddled quite a bit on Friday, but initially, all was seashells and balloons, as the BLS reported 288,000 jobs gained in April. The problem was that 234,000 of those jobs added don’t really exist. And the wages in the U.S. dropped once again, so there’s no wage inflation, and there’s your reason why Treasuries rallied, and Gold jumped back to $1,300! That and the realization that there is tension in Ukraine. The RBA meets tonight and the ECB on Thursday, but neither will have any drama surrounding the meeting, and that should be good for each respective currency. Currencies today 5/5/14. American Style: A$ .9260, kiwi .8665, C$ .9105, euro 1.3875, sterling 1.6865, Swiss $1.1395, . European Style: rand 10.5170, krone 5.9595, SEK 6.5470, forint 221.80, zloty 3.0330, koruna 19.7710, RUB 35.82, yen 101.95, sing 1.2495, HKD 7.7525, INR 60.21, China 6.1560, pesos 13.03, BRL 2.2200, Dollar Index 79.50, Oil $100.31, 10-year 2.58%, Silver $19.63, Platinum $1,446.63, Palladium $814.50, and Gold. $1,311.71 That’s it for today. Whew! Warm weather finally! Yesterday was absolutely beautiful here in St. Louis, it was warm, with blue, sun drenched, umbrella sky, the Big Green Egg smoking some apple wood pork steaks, and the grandkids all playing in the pool. The only thing that could have been better was if the Cardinals had been playing their usual Sunday day game, and not one of those smartless Sunday night games for television! The Lindbergh High School Water Polo team took 4th place in the tournament last week, and have one more regular season game before the playoffs begin. It will be “Senior Night” tomorrow night, as the season begins to wind down for Alex. It’s Senior Awards night for academic stuff tonight, so I’ll have to tape the return of Jack Bauer! That’s right! Jack is back! The great series 24, returns tonight! YAHOO! I’ve been lost searching for a new series to watch since 24 ended a few years ago. I should be getting my results from the scans last week, today. fingers crossed. And with that, I hope you have a Marvelous Monday!  (Jack’s Back!) Chuck Butler President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more

A San Francisco federal jury unanimously agreed on

first_imgA San Francisco federal jury unanimously agreed on Tuesday that Roundup caused a man’s cancer — a potentially massive blow to the company that produces the glyphosate-based herbicide currently facing hundreds of similar lawsuits. After five days of deliberation the jury concluded the weed killer was a “substantial factor” in causing non-Hodgkins lymphoma in Edwin Hardeman, a 70-year-old Sonoma County man. The verdict is the second in the U.S. to find a connection between the herbicide’s key ingredient, glyphosate, and the disease. In August, another San Francisco jury determined Roundup had caused cancer in a former groundskeeper. It also decided Monsanto, the company that developed the popular weed killer, deliberately failed to warn consumers or regulators about the product’s risks. In that case, jurors awarded the plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson $289 million. However a judge later slashed the damages payout to $78 million. The German pharmaceutical and chemical giant Bayer bought Monsanto in June. In a statement Tuesday, the company said it is disappointed with the jury’s decision “but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer.””We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto’s conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman’s cancer,” Bayer added. The jury in Hardeman’s case is now tasked with determining liability and damages. More than 750 cases Roundup cases against Bayer have been consolidated in San Francisco’s federal court. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

A UN committee has told the UK government to make

first_imgA UN committee has told the UK government to make more than 80 improvements to the ways its laws and policies affect disabled people’s human rights.In its “concluding observations” on the progress the UK has made in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the committee raised concerns and made recommendations on all but three of the 33 treaty articles it could have breached.It was, said the committee, the highest number of recommendations it has ever produced for a country undergoing the review process.The section highlighting the committee’s “principal areas of concern and recommendations” was more than 6,500 words long, compared with a “positive aspects” section of less than 120 words which mostly related to actions carried out by the Welsh and Scottish governments.Among its recommendations, the committee – made up of 18 disabled human rights experts from across Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, Australasia and the Middle East – called on the UK government to incorporate the convention into UK law, and to carry out a “comprehensive crosscutting review” of its laws and policies, to address what it described as the “uneven” implementation of the convention and “discriminatory” laws, regulations, and practices.The committee also said the UK government should recognise disabled people’s right to live independently, and called for a “comprehensive plan” – addressing education, childcare, transport, housing, employment and social security – that should be aimed at removing disabled people from institutions and instead developing homes for them in community-based independent living schemes.Stig Langvad (pictured), the CRPD member who led the UK examination, highlighted independent living as one of the areas the committee was most concerned about.He said: “Persons with disabilities are in our view not able to choose where to live, with whom to live and how to live… [they] are still facing the risk of institutionalisation and not being able to live within the community.”He said the UK was “going backwards” on independent living, with reduced funding meaning “the right to choose where to live, with whom to live and how to live through independent living schemes where you have personal budgets are limited or even more limited than previously”.He said this meant that disabled people were “still being faced with living in either families or institutions” against their will.The committee also called for government action – in close consultation with disabled people’s organisations – to prevent any “negative consequences” caused by Brexit, and for it to implement the remaining sections of the Equality Act 2010.There were several recommendations around the rights of disabled children, including a call for action to address the higher level of poverty experienced by their families, and for stronger measures to prevent bullying, hate speech and hate crime experienced by disabled children.The committee was highly critical of the UK government’s approach to inclusive education, and the “persistence of a dual education system” that segregates increasing numbers of disabled children in special schools.It called instead for a “coherent strategy” on “increasing and improving inclusive education”, which would include raising awareness of – and support for – inclusive education among parents of disabled children.Langvad said the committee was “very concerned” that the UK government was maintaining a reservation [an opt-out] on part of the convention’s article 24, on inclusive education, which “means that the UK is not fully living up to its international commitment to allow all the right to inclusive education”.On the criminal justice system, the committee called for action to address the “low awareness” about disability rights among judges, prosecutors, police officers and prison staff, to provide free or affordable legal aid for disabled people “in all areas of law”, and to remove employment tribunal fees.It also raised concerns about the way that disability hate crime is dealt with by the criminal justice system, and called for a comprehensive legal definition of disability hate crime and “appropriate prosecutions and convictions”.Several recommendations related to the rights of people detained under the Mental Health Act, with the committee raising concerns about the “continued use of physical, mechanical and chemical restraint”, including the use of Tasers in prisons, the youth justice system, and healthcare and education settings.The committee also said it was “deeply concerned” that such practices disproportionately affect black and minority ethnic disabled people.And it called for a “targeted measurable and financed plan of action” aimed at eliminating the “uneven access to health” for disabled people across the UK, and for the government to address reports of healthcare professionals failing to attempt resuscitation of people with learning difficulties and mental health conditions.In the wake of the report, Debbie Abrahams, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, wrote to David Gauke, the work and pensions secretary, to ask the government to respond to the report in the House of Commons.She said it was “of vital importance” that MPs had a chance to debate the report.She added: “I hope that a debate would allow the government to set out how they plan to address these failures, which affect millions of disabled people across the country, many of whom are now living in poverty, and to uphold disabled people’s rights in the future.”a DWP spokeswoman said, before Abrahams’ intervention: “These concluding observations are the latest part of a standard review process that all member states that ratify the convention go through.“We are considering the full report in the context of cross-government work on disability issues, and will provide further information to ministers in DWP in due course.”She added: “We’re disappointed that this report fails to recognise all the progress we’ve made to empower disabled people in all aspects of their lives, and our ongoing commitment to furthering the rights of disabled people.“Almost 600,000 disabled people have moved into work over the last four years and we spend over £50 billion a year to support disabled people and those with health conditions – more than ever before, and the second highest in the G7*.“The UK is a recognised world leader in disability rights and equality, which is why we supported the development of the UN convention.“The UK has some of the strongest equalities legislation in the world, including the Equality Act 2010, and we will continue to make sure that these rights are protected.“This government believes that a disability or health condition should not dictate the path a person is able to take in life – or in the workplace.“This forms the foundation of our reforms to help disabled people realise their potential in the labour market and wider society.”*The other G7 countries are the USA, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Canadalast_img read more

Happy World Backup Day And What the Heck Is World Backup Day

first_img Happy World Backup Day! And What the Heck Is World Backup Day? –shares 4 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag If you work in technology, you may have heard about World Backup Day. Founded in 2011, World Backup Day was designed by Ismail Jadun, a digital strategy and research consultant, to boost awareness for businesses and individuals that may not recognize the importance of regular data backups. The goal, according to the World Backup Day website, is to use March 31 as the date each year to reach those who have never backed up their data, and even people who might not have ever even heard about data backup.”World Backup Day started out when someone on Reddit lost their hard drive and wished someone had reminded them to back up,” said Jadun. “I thought it was a wonderful idea … it’s wonderful to see people and schools around the world promoting the importance of backing up our data.”One of those companies promoting World Backup Day is Datacastle, an analytics and endpoint protection services company. President and CEO Ron Faith said his company endorses the new occasion because he often finds that small businesses don’t truly understand the threats from ransomware, data loss and data breaches. “It is important for small businesses to be honest with themselves that they don’t know what data is on all their company laptops, tablets and smartphones,” he said.What you need to know about data lossDon’t think of data loss as something that only happens to massive companies or to individual employees who drop phones in swimming pools. Jadun and Faith want you to know that any company or individual can fall victim to data loss and theft. Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks are incredibly simple ways that hackers target companies, without having a massive army of coders on their side. An excellent example of a BEC attack is a fraudulent email sent from someone pretending to be the company’s CEO to the company’s human resources (HR) manager. Without realizing that he or she is being scammed, an HR manager willingly sends personal employee data to the scammers. Since 2013, more than 7,000 of these attacks have occurred, totaling losses exceeding $740 million according to FBI data.Not protecting your company’s data can be a costly decision. The average global cost per stolen confidential record in 2016 rose from $154 to $158. Last year, there were 38 percent more attacks on companies than there were in the previous year, and most attacks stay dormant within a company’s system for over 140 days before the company even realizes they’ve been infiltrated. Attacks are happening more often, they’re more sophisticated and they’re becoming more and more expensive for businesses. Or, as Faith said, the cost to the company’s reputation “is far greater from an embarrassing data loss or data breach incident than the cost of most [backup and protection] solutions.”How to stay safeFaith advised businesses to create a simple, company-wide, data protection policy that will automatically back up the endpoint data to the cloud. He said the solution “should be friction-free for the employees and not really require the employees to do anything.” If your company doesn’t have the resources to dedicate to a corporate-wide backup, Faith said companies should start with the executives’ laptops. “It is a smaller group with the most sensitive data. This enables the executives to lead by example on protecting endpoint data,” he said.Jadun said it is crucial for companies to audit the data they produce. This includes customer data, product data, HR data and sales data, among many other examples. By doing this, companies can fully understand the stakes of any data loss incident. Once you’ve audited your data, he advised companies to determine the potential ways data could be lost and then create a data protection plan to protect those assets.”Depending on how much downtime your organization can handle, you can then set about looking at various data protection and backup solutions. Your business should strongly consider creating local backups as well as backups in an offsite location. Then, go about setting up protocols to both automatically back up and test those restore regularly.” Add to Queue Next Article If you haven’t secured your data yet, then take the World Backup Day pledge today. Technologycenter_img Juan Martinez Senior Editor, Business Image credit: World Backup Day 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Apply Now » The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. March 31, 2017last_img read more