first_imgThailand has once again been affected by floods, with heavy rain in the past week inundating tens of thousands of homes in southern Thailand including tourism areas. Southern provinces located on the western coast of Gulf of Thailand including Yala, Pattani, Songkhla and Narathiwat have been worst hit with flash flooding and mudslide alerts have been issued. Residents were ordered to evacuate on Sunday night as floodwater reached 2 meters deep and a disaster status was announced.  Tourists celebrating the New Year in the area were stranded in their hotels as roads and railways were cut off. Torrential rain in the south was caused by the combined effects of the north eastern monsoon in the Gulf of Thailand and a low pressure cell covering northern Malaysia, according to the meteorology station in Yala. Popular island getaways for tourists in the Gulf of Thailand like Koh Samui experienced large waves and rain over the past two weeks, while the west coast tourist hotspot Krabi also recorded heavy rain with warnings of landslides.Still recovering from flash flooding and landslides last March, Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej said the damage caused by the waters that claimed over 800 lives was the “worst ever”. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more

first_img Categories: Kahle News State Rep. Bronna Kahle invites Lenawee County residents to join her for local office hours on Friday, Oct. 13 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Lenawee County District Library, 4459 US – BUS 223 in Adrian.“I enjoy the opportunity to connect with people in the community and hear what matters most to them,” Rep. Kahle said. “I look forward to meeting new friends, talking to our neighbors, and working with them to represent the people of Lenawee County.”No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Kahle’s office at (517) 373-1706 or 05Oct Rep. Kahle invites residents to in-district office hourslast_img read more

first_img21Mar Bill ending birth certificate discrimination passes committee Categories: Steven Johnson News Bipartisan legislation would end birth certificate discriminationYesterday, bipartisan legislation ensuring individuals are charged the same amount to receive a copy of their birth records regardless of the marital status of their parents passed out of the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee.Currently, anyone who was born before October 1, 1978 to unmarried parents does not have their birth records on file at their county clerk’s office. As a result of this discrimination, they have a more cumbersome process of going to the state to retrieve their vital records, taking them more time and costing them more money because of the circumstances in which they were born.“This common-sense legislation is about equality,” said Rep. Johnson. “You can’t put a price tag on discrimination. The State of Michigan made a mistake decades ago that left certain people with unequal treatment. We simply need to ensure people are treated fairly. It’s time to level the playing field for everyone.”House Bill 4152 now moves to the House Ways and Means Committee for further consideration.###last_img read more

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares February 6, 2014; Public Sector Inc. (Manhattan Institute)The conservative side of the political ledger is continuing to produce data suggesting that the American public is losing faith in public sector unions. CUNY political science assistant professor Daniel DiSalvo culled from a number of sources the following statistics:In 2009, less than half of polled Americans said that they approved of labor unionsIn 2012, Education Next reported that 22 percent of Americans thought teachers’ unions had a positive effect on schools, though teachers themselves are much more positive about their unionsIn California, 44 percent of participants in a poll said that public sector unions do more harm than good. (DiSalvo suggests that the 16 point swing to the negative over two years may have been attributable to the BART strike.)In contrast, DiSalvo acknowledges that a USA Today/Gallup poll reported that 61 percent of those polled favored collective bargaining rights for public sector unions, though he hypothesized that perhaps citizens don’t really know what the term “collective bargaining” really means. (He suggested that they might think it is “a nice sounding phrase suggesting that we should all work together.”)There are plenty of other polls on public sector unions for DiSalvo and others to review. A 2011 survey by the New York Times and CBS nearly matched the USA Today/Gallup findings on support for public union collective bargaining, but interestingly reported that only a slight majority of Republicans themselves favored limiting some collective bargaining rights. But there are polling results that don’t go public unions’ way. Politico reported in 2013 that the Clarus Group, hired by the Qorvis public relations group, found that 64 percent of its respondents didn’t believe that government employees should be represented by unions at all—including 49 percent of Democratic respondents. In Detroit, where the pensions of Detroit’s municipal workforce are hanging in the balance of its bankruptcy, a nationwide Reason-Rupe poll (Reason is a conservative journal dedicated to free markets) found that 65 percent of Americans, 53 percent of Democrats, and even 56 percent of public sector workers opposed a federal bailout for the Motor City.The findings of these and other polls suggest that public sector unions have, at a minimum, a branding challenge. Somehow, the public’s understanding and appreciation of public sector unions’ brand value has fallen short of the message that the unions are trying to convey. Public sector unions aren’t doing much that’s different for their members now than they have before, but with the reelection of Scott Walker as governor of Wisconsin, conservative pundits gleefully declared the beginning of the “doom” of public sector unions. However, a Walker-like effort to limit public sector unions in Ohio failed despite high-profile support from conservative groups.The image and acceptance of public sector unions are still up in the air; it’s the public union brand, not the substance of what public unions do, which is being really being debated in the ballot box and through public opinion polls. DiSalvo’s conclusion fits with conservative philanthropy’s new targeting of public sector unions: “All told, Americans appear poised to decide whether they believe public sector unions have positive impacts on public policies they care about.”—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares October 22, 2014; Flint JournalNPQ has been writing a lot lately about public art, but this project has a unique bent that we thought was worth sharing. As readers know, Flint, Michigan, had 5600 abandoned homes in 2013, and residents, community activists, and philanthropy have been working hard to revitalize that devastated community. As some may know, Flint is home to the C.S. Mott Foundation, which has a commitment to that area.Today, the Flint Public Art Project will host a parade through Flint’s Civic Park neighborhood. Painted in bright colors on the too-many blighted houses will be words like “pause,” “echo,” “past,” “assembly,” and “bouquet.” The parade is one of many designed to celebrate neighborhoods in the economically troubled but revitalizing city of Flint, and they are meant to help restore a feeling of ownership to communities.“I think it’s a good thing,” said Maurice Davis, president of the Civic Park Neighborhood Association. “I think it’s going to look nice. (The houses) will have a little touch of art. It will look better than blighted houses.”Melisa Morgan, the lead artist on the project, is a native of Flint but not of this neighborhood. She says she spent a lot of time at community meetings in preparation. Morgan said that more traditional positive words like “hope” and “love” had the potential to be too common to be deeply noticed. “We were trying not to be so moralistic,” she said, “less preachy in a way, and more abstract. But the idea of hope and the idea of love are still present in the words we chose. There are a lot of murals that exist with those words….Words that make you think.”There will also be bulletin boards on the parade route for residents to write messages and ideas upon.NPQ would love some photos from this Flint event. Please send them if you have them.—Ruth McCambridge ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesDecember 3, 2014; New York TimesSurvivors may appreciate the recognition sexual assault is once again receiving following the avalanche of accusations against Bill Cosby and Rolling Stone’s devastating exposé of an uninvestigated gang rape at the University of Virginia. However, the very public spectacles of these alleged assaults are the opposite of how many victims would like to obtain justice.A public fight for justice often deters victims from reporting their attacks, among several other reasons like having to drag out the ordeal, social fear, or retribution from the attacker. However, one nonprofit is trying to find an easier way for victims to report their attacks.Nonprofit Sexual Health Innovations, which focuses on marrying sexual health advances with technology, is developing Callisto, an online reporting system that removes direct involvement of law enforcement and campus police from the reporting process, often the most significant obstacle for victims.The program gives young victims an effective alternative to reporting their assaults in person to the city police or campus police. After an incident has occurred, the victim will create an account online to compile a report, recording the details of the assault and any evidence available through videos or pictures. Once the report has been made, the victim can choose to save it, placing a time-stamp on the incident.The incident will be reported to the authority of the victim’s choice, if he or she decides to report. The saved report can be sent at any time, depending on what actions the victim wants to take, or he or she can choose an option that automatically sends the report if someone else reports the same perpetrator, which can be a crucial selling point for many victims to report. Ladd indicates Callisto’s reporting system will “keep the survivor in control of their own data and their own choices.”So far, a crowdfunding campaign has been able to raise more than $25,000, but officials behind the project anticipate another $1 million will be needed to completely finance and develop the pilot campaign on three college campuses for the 2015-2016 school year.One of the factors that can encourage or discourage a victim from reporting a crime is the existence of other victims. According to Sexual Health Innovations’ executive director Jessica Ladd, “Survivors are often willing to share about our experiences—you just need to give us a compelling reason and a safe way to do so,” like other individuals that have been victimized in similar way, perhaps even by the same person. Understandably, finding others whose horror story mirrors your own can be a strange comfort. The article in Rolling Stone discusses the relief the victim found in One Less, a campus sexual assault education group where students gathered once a week, sharing their stories. Their tales, whether with different circumstances or involving the same perpetrator, often intersected on several commonalities: The assaults often took place while one or more parties were drunk or at a frat house and elicited uncomfortable questions from friends and college officials.This reporting system has great potential to ease the burden of reporting assaults. Without having to physically recount the events to someone he or she does not know, one challenging element of an already difficult reporting process is removed. However, while taking pictures and videos will provide valuable information if the case is prosecuted, a victim would still need to submit to a rape kit, an unavoidably invasive procedure.Ultimately, whether a victim submits a report through a computer or a person, it will end up in the same place—either the local authorities, or worse, campus officials. We must still work to eradicate the injustices that occur at the hands of campus officials who are, more often than not, not qualified to be deliberating a sexual assault case. Then there’s the question of whether a criminal charge should at all be prosecuted at a school without the traditional elements of a trial. A gang rape on a college campus would at most result in the perpetrators’ expulsion if prosecuted by a school—what else can they do? In a real-world prosecution, the assailants could receive lengthy prison sentences. Of course, we must also take into account that some sexual assaults may not be able to be prosecuted in a courtroom due to lack of evidence. A school trial may be all the justice a victim gets.  Obstacles and hurdles may still stand in a victim’s way to reporting, but as a pilot program, Callisto can spotlight many of these ongoing issues with sexual assault on college campuses and start bringing forth real solutions, starting with encouraging more victims to come forward.—Shafaq HasanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare42Tweet52Share29Email123 Shares“Evidence” by Bill SmithSeptember 17, 2017; Washington PostAs a preamble, we want to remind readers that “political” is different from “partisan” and broader than electoral politics.In a few weeks, as the new federal fiscal year begins, programs across the country may see their budgets slashed. One such program is the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program put in place to support development of evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs across the country. As NPQ previously reported, the Trump administration budget devastates this program with a $214 million cut, ending the program prematurely to the detriment of American youth.The administration indicated their position that teen sex education programs do not work and that abstinence-only programs should be supported. Yet, the data says just the opposite—abstinence-only until marriage (AOUM) programs have dismal success rates and more teens become pregnant when only receiving AOUM education. Comprehensive sex education programs that include abstinence as an option appear to have the most success not in only decreasing teen pregnancy, but also delaying sexual initiation altogether.In the face of common sense backed by scientific data, how is the U.S. in the position of taking a gigantic step backward in the year 2017? The unfortunate reality is that the issue of teen pregnancy, much like abortion, has become a highly politicized, if somewhat confused, moral debate. This is clear when we look at how officials in the Trump administration view sex education. To start with, there is Vice President Mike Pence, who undertook a crusade against the HPV vaccine when he was governor of Indiana, saying that if youth did not have sex until marriage and only engaged in sex with that one partner, men and women should not be at risk for HPV. Then, there is Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, the former Georgia congressman who says that comprehensive sex education “promotes promiscuity among young people.” Meanwhile, Georgia has the eighth-highest teen pregnancy rate—around 30 out of every thousand births are to teen moms—and a third of teenage girls who drop out in Georgia do so because of pregnancy. Lastly, Valerie Huber, chief of staff for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, is the former president of Ascend. Ascend is formerly known as the National Abstinence Education Association—that says it all.This issue wasn’t always so partisan. According a New Yorker piece by historian Jill Lepore, in the 1930s and ’40s, birth control and abortion were supported by representatives on both sides of the aisle as well as religious leaders. It’s notable that this was during the Great Depression, when families couldn’t afford to feed larger families; thus, support began for contraception. Later, with World War II raging, support for smaller family sizes continued. In the late 1960s, former president George H.W. Bush, then Representative of Texas, even said, “We need to make family planning a household word. We need to take the sectionalism out of the topic so it can no longer be used by militants who have no knowledge of the voluntary nature of the program, but rather are using it as a political stepping stone.” Around that time, president Richard Nixon established Title X, increasing federal funding for family planning.It wasn’t until the ’70s, when Nixon was up for reelection, that his strategists suggested he could win the Catholic vote and the election by reversing his stand on family planning. In the memo “Dividing the Democrats,” a Nixon strategist wrote, “Favoritism toward things Catholic is good politics. There is a tradeoff, but it leaves us with a larger share of the pie.” The tradeoff, of course, was the well-being of the American people.Although Lepore’s piece looks at birth control and abortion as opposed to teen pregnancy, the idea of politics controlling access to correct scientific evidence and helpful information still applies. Looking to history in the face of current events raises important questions for those in the field: Can anything be done to depoliticize the issue of teen pregnancy? Is there a common fear or threat that both sides of the aisle can agree upon? Advocates surely have their work cut out for them.— Sheela NimishakaviCorrection: This article has been altered from its original form to correct some details about the teen pregnancy rate in Georgia. NPQ apologizes for the error.Share42Tweet52Share29Email123 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgVideo-on-demand technology company SeaChange has announced that it has reduced its workforce in a move that will result in over US$5 million (€3.8 million) in annualised cost reductions.SeaChange CEO Raghu Rau said, “As we realign our resources to focus on delivering on customer commitments, we have targeted operating cost reductions as well as some facility rationalisation. It is important to note, however, that our commitment to research and development remains strong and we continue to invest heavily in innovative, next generation solutions that will provide significant competitive advantage to our customers.”last_img read more

first_imgPolish pay TV operator Cyfra Plus has added movie channel FilmBox Action and combat sports channel FightBox to its line-up.FilmBox Action is a new channel offering action movies, thrillers and horror films, including Pulp Fiction, The Crazies and 10.5. It is available in the Filmbox HD package.FightBox airs martial arts fights, including Global Sumo, Grand Sumo Tournament, WKF, MMA Ultimate Combat Experience, Gotham Boxing, Seminole Warriors Boxing and Cage Fighting Championships.last_img

first_imgMid Europa Partners-backed Slovenian cable operator Telemach has joined United Group, the grouping, majority-owned by Mid Europa Partners and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development that combines 15 telcos and pay TV operators across the former Yugoslavia. United Group includes Mid Europa Partners-backed companies SBB, Telemach Slovenia and Telemach Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as pay TV outfit Total TV.As part of the new group Telemach will introduce free phone calls between subscribers to United Group companies in Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina from May 1.Telemach CEO Marko Šter said that the member companies of the group were the leading suppliers of TV in their respective countries and could share best practices and achive synergies through the merged organization.United Group serves a total of 1.8 million residential and business customers across the three countries.The group has appointed former US ambassador to Belgrade Cameron Munster as a senior adviser.last_img read more

first_imgChannel 4 is set to launch a second screen companion app next month as a new “centralised destination” for synchronised TV experiences.The firm said that with 4Now (working title), Channel 4 will be the first UK broadcaster to develop a dedicated app to accompany its channels and programming.The app is due to launch in beta to registered Channel 4 viewers and is part of Channel 4’s on-going viewer engagement strategy. It will include programme information, social media activity and interactive content like real-time polls, votes and quizzes, said Channel 4.It will also support interactive sponsorship opportunities and audio-triggered, real time advertising that is synchronised with ads on the main TV screen.“As a centralised product destination, 4Now allows us to enhance our relationship with viewers and enables us to offer them a range of interactive, synchronised experiences for shows which may not have warranted a standalone application,” said Keith Underwood, director of strategy and technology at Channel 4.The 4Now app will initially be available on iOS with other platforms being considered for future releases. A full launch, following the initial trial phase, is slated for later this year.last_img read more

first_imgSatellite broadband provider Vizocom has chosen the Eutelsat 21B satellite to deliver connectivity services in the Middle East and Africa via its recently launched AfricAsia Satellite Services arm.Vizocom’s service has been deployed in Mali for Bangladesh Army peacekeeping forces since April, while AfricAsia Satellite Services is also ienabling companies and organisations operating in remote locations in Iraq, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Mali, Egypt, Liberia, Djibouti and Afghanistan to connect remote sites to the Internet and access services that include Voice over IP, corporate networking and data.Mohammed Al Zahri, Vizocom’s regional internet services Sales Manager, said: “We are very pleased with our partnership with Eutelsat for providing extremely reliable communications solutions to our customers. Vizocom’s thrust into emerging markets in Africa and Asia, together with the new services provided through Eutelsat’s satellites positions us as the ideal provider for enterprises in the oil and gas, security, construction and NGO markets and brings best of the breed to our customers. Our experience, combined with Eutelsat’s satellite technology allows us to provide unparalleled satellite services in the Middle East and Africa.”last_img read more

first_imgXbox One owners in the US and Canada can now access live over-the-air TV with the launch of the new Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner for Xbox One.Microsoft said that Xbox One users can use the tuner to access broadcast networks that are available in their area, subscription free.Users can also pause up to 30 minutes of live TV, watch TV on the right side of your screen while playing games with the multitasking Snap feature, and navigate channels using Kinect voice controls.They will also be able to stream over-the-air TV to other devices within the home using the Xbox app on Windows 10 devices or the Xbox One SmartGlass app on Windows, Windows Phone, iOS and Android, even while someone else is playing a game on Xbox One.The tuner joins a number of other TV-viewing options currently available on the Xbox One console – including live TV apps such as Sling TV, cable TV and satellite TV integration, and on-demand apps like HBO GO, Netflix, Comedy Central, and Hulu Plus.The Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner for Xbox One is available now for US$59.99 at Microsoft stores and Amazon.last_img read more

first_imgUK free-to-view satellite platform Freesat has chosen Intertrust Technologies to provide content security for 4K UHD TV content.Freesat will use Intertrust’s new cloud-based conditional access security technology, ExpressPlay CA. ExpressPlay CA uses the Marlin open standards-based DRM system to protect and mangage content and is available on a wide range of set-top boxes and smart TVs.“ExpressPlay CA is a powerful new content protection technology. Its advanced DRM software engine allows us to protect our ultra-high-definition broadcast streams in an effective manner, leading to a significantly lower price point. This in turn allows us to deliver the best possible high-value entertainment experience for our customers,” said Alistair Thom, managing director of Freesat.“We are delighted to support Freesat in their UHD content protection initiatives in 2018 and beyond. We designed ExpressPlay CA to support broadcasters like Freesat, to bring the power and cost efficiency of DRM to the conditional access world. Given our footprint in connected TVs and set top boxes, we can deliver a seamless, secure experience that scales and grows with broadcasters’ needs” said Talal Shamoon, CEO of Intertrust.Freesat unveiled plans in September for a new range of set-top boxes that include UHD TV support and multiscreen streaming capability.Freesat, which is owned by UK free-to-air broadcasters, said that the next-generation box would include UHD support for encrypted broadcast and IP deliver, fast channel change and HbbTV 2.0.1 support, as well as support for in-home multiscreen streaming to allow users to watch TV across multiple set-top-boxes in the home and additional tuners to help customers plan their recordings and avoid programme clashes.last_img read more

first_img“This exhibition will be a fantastic trip down memory lane – taking me back to a truly special time in Irish music history. Indeed, I remember the famous Butt Hall in Ballybofey, Pallidrome Ballroom in Strabane, Orchid Ballroom in Lifford and all of the other carnival tents and marquees which held the dances.“The dancehalls at this time were also alcohol free places – so if a girl agreed to ‘go for a mineral’ then she was agreeing to be your date for the evening! Indeed, so many people from throughout the city and district met their partners in the North West dancehalls during these years.“I would therefore encourage as many people as possible to take a trip down memory lane and relive the golden era of the North West showbands by visiting the Garden of Reflection Gallery. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for our younger citizens to find out more about our amazing musical heritage.”Aeidin McCarter, Head of Culture at Derry City & Strabane District Council, said she is also delighted that the new exhibition will be a part of this year’s Jazz & Big Band Festival. She added:“The fantastic new ‘Showbands Exhibition’ is a welcome addition to this year’s Jazz Festival – which is such a huge showcase for the city.“Indeed, it will complement what is an amazing programme of events this year, featuring artists from all over the world and welcoming more than 60,000 revellers to the city. “Thousands of people will therefore have a great opportunity to visit the Guildhall and see this wonderful, eclectic mix of photographs and memorabilia!”The ‘Showbands of the North West Exhibition’ will be launched on Wednesday 7th March 2018 at 10am in the Garden of Reflection Gallery and will be open to the public from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, up until 1st May (free admission).Mayor: North West Showbands Exhibition ‘a fantastic trip down memory lane’ was last modified: February 27th, 2018 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet So many showbands from the North West gained national and international notoriety during the 1950s, 60s & 70s – including Clipper Carlton from Strabane, The Melody Aces from Sion Mills, and Derry’s very own Gay McIntyre and Johnny Quigley to mention but a few. Mayor McHugh, who has fond memories of the showband era, said: “I am really looking forward to seeing the exhibition at the Garden of Reflection Gallery full of photographs, newspaper cuttings, record sleeves and other memorabilia from the showband era.“Whilst I fully understand that this was a ‘labour of love’ for Johnny Murray – I would nevertheless like to take this opportunity to commend him for all his time in compiling the content for this new exhibition. He has worked closely with so many of those who were part of the golden era of North West showbands.“I would also like to thank Helen Quigley and the Inner City Trust for launching and hosting the ‘Showbands of the North West Exhibition’ at the Garden of Reflection Gallery. MAYOR of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh has warmly welcomed the opening of a new ‘Showbands of the North West Exhibition’ at the Inner City Trust’s ‘Garden of Reflection Gallery’ on Bishop Street.Funded by the Council’s Museum Service, the new exhibition includes photographs and memorabilia from the 1950s, 60s & 70s – the ‘golden era’ of the showbands – and will be launched on Wednesday 7th March 2018. On the 1st of May, the exhibition will then move to the Guildhall for this year’s Jazz Festival (3rd to 7th May) and the Alley Theatre in Strabane (8th to 13th May), before being showcased in other venues across the North West, including Donegal. BISHOP STREETGarden of ReflectionINNER CITY TRUSTMAYOR MAOLIOSA MCHUGHMayor: North West Showbands Exhibition ‘a fantastic trip down memory lane’Showbands of the North West Exhibitionlast_img read more

first_img Facebook Pinterest (WOAY) – Enjoy this week’s Gino’s Top 5 Plays! SportsSports News Gino’s Top 5 Plays By Matt DigbyMar 04, 2018, 18:42 pm 847 0 Mail Tumblr Linkedin Home Sports News Sports Gino’s Top 5 Playscenter_img Google+ Matt Digby Matt Digby is the Sports Director at WOAY-TV. He joined the station in January 2015 – right in the middle of Big Atlantic Classic Week. Read More Next PostDelegate Fast Holds Second Town Meeting With Teachers Previous PostWest Virginia teachers: No raise, no school; strike goes on Twitter Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Websitelast_img read more

first_img Facebook Tumblr Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Mail MarshallSportsSports News C.J. Burks Returning For Senior Year By Matt DigbyMay 22, 2018, 00:04 am 598 0 Previous PostMavericks Win Opening Game of Regionals Pinterest Google+center_img Matt Digby Matt Digby is the Sports Director at WOAY-TV. He joined the station in January 2015 – right in the middle of Big Atlantic Classic Week. Read More Linkedin Next PostCar Accident Closes Down Street In Beckley Twitter Home Sports News Marshall C.J. Burks Returning For Senior Year WOAY – Marshall men’s basketball standout C.J. Burks announced Monday he will return for his senior season, withdrawing his name from the NBA Draft.Burks was one of three Herd underclassmen to submit paperwork several months ago with the intention of entering the draft, along with Jon Elmore and Ajdin Penava. Penava has since hired an agent, while Elmore has until May 30 to decide if he will return to Marshall.Burks, a Martinsburg native, scored an average of 20.1 points per game, the second-leading scorer for the team and third in the league. He was a Second Team All-Conference USA selection and a two-time conference Player of the Week.All three played critical roles in Marshall winning the Conference USA Tournament and the NCAA Tournament first round matchup over Wichita State.last_img read more

first_imgIn This Issue.*Currency rally is whacked by Greece rumors.. *Gold & Silver are only currencies to gain. *President to talk about budget deficit. *Traders are bullish on Gold after election results..And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!Drama Returns To The Eurozone. Good day.  And a Happy Friday to one and all! The IPod is playing Beginnings by The Chicago Transit Authority (later changed to just Chicago) I find this to be the proper song to be playing as I begin to write the Pfennig this morning!  Besides it’s one of my all-time fave songs!  I remember playing that song in the band I was in 40 years ago. So, the song isn’t “new”!  Hey! Sunday is Veteran’s Day. I’ll have more on that in the Big Finish, but just a note, the bank is closed on Monday, the Fed Reserve is closed, and the World Markets desk will be closed, and there will be no Pfennig.Well. Yesterday, the currencies and metals drifted all day. there was no real direction, up or down, although you could smell the bias to buy dollars as a safe haven lingering in the air.  Gold & Silver were the only currencies to find some terra firma, and they remain the only currencies gaining VS the dollar this morning.The Big Dog, euro, is just not allowing the other currencies that fare better when compared to the dollar, the chance to get off the porch and chase the dollar down the street. All week long, the euro has been dragged through the muddy mess of Greece, and there was no reason to change that this morning.  This time. it’s all about whether or not the next payment of the bailout to Greece is going to be made next week.  I find this hand wrenching stuff to be really stupid! You, and I both know that in the end, the payment will be made. I don’t know why we have to deal with all these dramatics. Drama is not my bag baby.Overnight, the currencies got a brief lift from data that printed in China.. Chinese inflation fell to 1.7% from 1.9% (remember last year when it was about 6%?) this fall in Chinese inflation gave the markets the idea that China now has more room to move (with stimulus).  But, the brief lift from the Chinese data, dissipated quickly, when the Europeans arrived on the scene with their dramatics over Greece.  In addition, French Manufacturing Output data printed for September and showed a drop of -3.2%… that’s ugly folks, and so, the euro was brought back down from its overnight high of near 1.28.So. I hear that the U.S. President is going to speak today on the economy and his plans for reducing the budget deficit.  Let’s see if he uses any of my ideas that I presented in the Sunday Pfennig & Pfriends a couple of weeks ago! HA! Yeah, right. my ideas make logical sense, I don’t think politicians even know what logical sense is!But. if this statement by the President goes like it should go with the President telling us that some difficult decisions need to be made, and that there will be pain, and so on. I doubt this will happen, but if it did, kudos all around, for this is the discussion that needs to be made!Speaking of pain. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a statement on the upcoming Fiscal Cliff, and their forecast is darker than any I’ve previously seen. the CBO said that the Fiscal Cliff would drive the U.S. economy back into recession next year and result in a jump in the jobless rate to 9.1% by the end of 2013, and that economic output would drop by .5% in 2013. Remember our GDP is only running at a 1.9% pace right now..But these are the things WE HAVE TO DO to begin to correct this mess we’re in! For instance if our lawmakers do something to avoid the Fiscal Cliff, the $503 Billion will be added to our national debt in 2013, and $682 Billion in 2014. That’s added to whatever the Budget Deficits are for those years! I have this feeling though, that lawmakers will do the wrong thing, thinking that they are doing the right thing, by compromising on a solution to avoid the Fiscal Cliff. look. I love tax cuts just as much as the next guy. but we can’t go on like this (why do I feel like I’m breaking up with a girlfriend? )  These tax increases are what I’ve been warning you all about for years now, and here they are! And it won’t stop here, folks. Once these tax increases go into effect and the Gov’t sees the increase in their revenue, they’ll go back to the well and implement more / higher taxes. The tax burdens here in the U.S. are going to be very painful. But, that’s what we get for allowing our leaders to deficit spend like there’s no tomorrow..Let’s talk about something else, OK? I’m beginning to sound like Mr. Gloom and Doom. And that’s not me! I’m Mr. Happy Go Lucky!  Well.. maybe not. but I’m somewhere in between those two for sure! I’m Mr. Tell-it-like-it-is (sorry Aaron Neville).Yesterday, we saw the Trade Balance reports from Canada and the U.S. First, Canada’s report. Canada’s Trade Deficit narrowed to $800 million from $1.5 Billion in August. Exports led the way rising 1.9%, while imports were flat VS July. So. overall, a good show for Canada. to have a Trade Deficit that small! WOW!  OK.. now onto the U.S. Trade Deficit. The U.S. Trade Deficit also posted a decrease to $41.5 Billion in September, from the $43.8 Billion in August. Exports led the way here too. So. let’s go back in time (like Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey in Wayne’s World, ) to September. Hmmm.. the dollar was weaker in September, and look at the narrowing of the Trade deficit!  Oh well, I’m sure you knew that. Just making sure those of you who are new to class make proper notes!I would normally betcha a dollar to a Krispy Kreme that the Trade Deficit would widen in October because of the dollar strength, but. you have to take into consideration the price of Oil, which fell in October. So. the October data will probably be flat. but that’s for next month. so move along, these are not the droid we’re looking for!The Aussie dollar (A$) felt the pull downward from the euro this morning, and has slipped back below $1.04, which is obviously a cheaper level than a couple of days ago. I saw some data regarding the A$, which was the Fibonacci technical stuff, that said the A$ was set to move higher after it breached a key Fibonaci retracement level. You know me. I’m not a “technicals or charts guy” but I find the stuff interesting from time to time. especially when it plays well with the fundamentals I talk about.Well. at the top, I mentioned that Gold & Silver were the only currencies to have gained overnight VS the dollar.  The stories all over the internet and on news wires that we subscribe to, are about how Gold traders are more bullish after the results of the U.S. election, as the traders see more stimulus on the horizon for the U.S., which is bad for the dollar, and good for Gold. See how quickly you can get a name for yourself, and you are what you are perceived to be?  The U.S. President is seen as someone who fosters stimulus.  Hey! I’m not saying that, traders are saying that. but, what have we seen in the last 4 years. 3 rounds of Quantitative Easing, 1 continuing round of Operation Twist, and stimulus. remember cash for clunkers? How about the other things that have been tried? I can see why traders are bullish on Gold for these reasons.I received quite a few responses yesterday regarding my latest conspiracy theory on Gold held by the U.S. for other countries. One response was a question, that wondered why Germany would hold their Gold at the Fed NY. Well, actually, Germany holds Gold at the Fed NY and the Bank of England (BOE). The reason for this is simple. during the cold war, the Gold was moved out of W. Germany because they feared an invasion by the Soviet Union.  Sort of like moving to higher ground when the creek floods.And one reader sent me a link to a story that talked about Germany recalling their Gold held at the Fed NY. Good for them! And when it gets home, they need to test it, to make sure it’s not tungsten filled like what was discovered with the Gold in. it was either Vietnam or Thailand, I don’t recall right now. but the fact remains that they held tungsten filled Gold bars.But this isn’t the end of the conspiracy theory. this is just the tip of the iceberg, folks. Let’s see if the Germans get their Gold, and if it’s really Gold.Then There Was This. I saw this, and thought, it doesn’t play well with currencies and stuff, but does play well with the tax burdens discussion we had above. from Investment News. “IN most years, the decision about how much to give to children and grandchildren is not that difficult. The amount that a person can give annually to anyone without having to pay gift tax is $13,000. That is a fairly simple calculation.But there has always been a parallel system of gift taxation tied to the estate tax, which sets a lifetime limit that can be given away tax-free. Since the end of 2010, under the Bush tax cuts, this gift tax exemption has matched the estate exemption at a historically high $5 million (adjusted for inflation, $5.12 million this year). And now, like Cinderella’s coach, this gift exemption is set to turn into a big pumpkin when it expires on Dec. 31, along with the estate exemption, unless Congress acts.Its looming expiration has left many people of means scrambling to use what has been billed as a once-in-a-lifetime way to give tremendous amounts of money to heirs tax-free before death – as opposed to the alternative, after death via the estate tax exemption.”Chuck again. this just scratches the surface of what’s coming in 2013 folks. and what’s going to come in the form of new taxes in the future. remember this? Deficits don’t matter? Well, I guess they matter now, eh?To recap. The currencies drifted on Thursday, with Gold & Silver the only currencies to gain VS the dollar.  China posted a drop in inflation, that got the currencies moving higher overnight, only to have that move higher reversed by some drama that’s been brought back to the Eurozone, as the next bailout payment due to Greece is being questioned. the currencies will end the week on a down note, but Gold & Silver will be up for the week.Currencies today 11/9/12. American Style: A$ $1.0390, kiwi .8145, C$ $1.00, euro 1.2720, sterling 1.5935, Swiss $1.0545, . European Style: rand 8.7210, krone 5.7365, SEK 6.7365, forint 223.30, zloty 3.2780, koruna 19.95, RUB 31.54, yen 79.20, sing 1.2240, HKD 7.7510, INR 54.52, China 6.2455, pesos 13.20, BRL 2.0465, Dollar Index 80.69, Oil $84.78, 10-year 1.62%, Silver $32.19 and Gold. $1,731.60. and our usual Friday peek at the U.S. Debt Clock can be seen by clicking here:’s it for today. well. Sunday is Veteran’s Day. a day that we observe and give thanks to all the military people that have served our country. God Bless the veterans. did you know that Veteran’s Day coincides with Armistice Day commemorating the end of World War I?  It was made a legal holiday in 1938.  And in 1947 it was changed to honor all veterans, not just those that died in WWI. My dad fought in WWII, and never wanted to talk about it. in my eye, he was a great man. OK. it’s supposed to be 70 degrees here today and tomorrow before slipping back to the 30’s on Monday. Strange weather we have here in St. Louis, eh?  Remember now, no Pfennig on Monday, and Chris will have the conn on the Pfennig Tuesday thru Thursday, I’ll talk to you again next Friday.  I have a quick Veteran’s Day poem for you, and I hope you have a Fantastico Friday!When I See an EagleMarie FranksonWhen I see an eagle, I see a great nation which has been founded on the principles of equality and freedom for all.When I see an eagle, I see our flag flying high.I see happy children playing and smiling and laughing and singing.When I see an eagle, I see a melting pot of blacks and Hispanics, Italians and Indians, Native American and Irish which make up our country.When I see an eagle, I see no more bondage, no more terrorism, ethnocentrism, racism, and hate.When I see an eagle, I see our troops fighting for what is right, fighting to keep us free.When I see an eagle, I see America standing tall and strong and proud behind her servicemen and women.When I see an eagle, I salute and say a silent prayer of thanks for the troops who protect us.Have a great Veteran’s Day!Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 read more

first_imgHow The Crusades Changed History The Origin of Civilizations, Parts 1-4 Ancient Greek Civilizations The Birth of The Modern Mind: The Intellectual History of the 17th and 18th Centuries I’ve recently received requests for history book recommendations. I know I’m leaving out a lot, but I think I’ve compiled a good starter list. So, without further ado: General Histories (covering large sections of history): The Evolution of Civilizations, by Carroll Quigley. An excellent look back – all the way to the Ice Age and even further. The Third Wave, by Alvin Toffler. Examines human civilization from its origins to what’s coming next. Chapters 1-10 are a brilliant must read, but the rest of the book is dated and unnecessary. The State, by Franz Oppenheimer. A serious look at the institution of the State. The Collapse of Complex Societies, by Joseph Tainter. How centralization has destroyed culture after culture. Art: A New History, by Paul Johnson. A superb history of art and all that pertains to it, from the beginning of human history. Specific Periods & Subjects: The End of the Bronze Age, by Robert Drews. The collapse of 1200 BC is one of the most important events in all of recorded history, yet very few people know anything about it. Caesar and Christ (The Story of Civilization III), by Will Durant. A masterful history of Rome. The Life of Greece (The Story of Civilization, Vol. 2), by Will Durant. The history of Greece. The History of Civilization In Europe, by Francois Guizot. An excellent overview of what happened. The Sovereign State and Its Competitors: An Analysis of Systems Change (Princeton Studies in International History and Politics), by Hendrik Spruyt. An in-depth look at feudalism and the formation of states in medieval Europe. War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, by Chris Hedges. Journalism mixed with some history, but a very important look at the ugly truth about war. Gunfighters, Highwaymen And Vigilantes: Violence on the Frontier, by Roger D. McGrath. A serious analysis of the old American West. See the “wild west” as it really was, not as portrayed on television. The Goddess and the Bull: Catalhoyuk: An Archaeological Journey to the Dawn of Civilization, by Michael Balter. An excellent start on the great archaeological find at Catalhoyuk. (See FMP #37.) The Leopard’s Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Catalhoyuk, by Ian Hodder. More on Catalhoyuk. Hodder’s archaeology is excellent, but I find many of his interpretations flawed. Barbarians To Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered, by Peter S. Wells. How Rome became Europe. In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made, by Norman F. Cantor. How the great pestilence of 1348 AD changed Europe. The Medieval Underground, by Andrew McCall. Another side of the middle ages. The Commercial Revolution in the Middle Ages, by Robert S. Lopez. How commerce created Europe. Smuggling In The British Isles: A History, by Richard Platt. Great stories you won’t find elsewhere. Conceived In Liberty (4 Volume Set), by Murray N. Rothbard. Four volumes of historical facts on the American Revolution, most of which are hard to find elsewhere. Escape from Freedom, by Erich Fromm. As much psychology as history but a fascinating look at the industrial revolution and the character flaws it spawned. A Child of the Century, by Ben Hecht. Hecht was involved in a number of historical events and tells the stories from the inside. Plus, it’s the best autobiography you’ll ever read. The world shouldn’t have forgotten about Ben Hecht. The Reawakening, by Primo Levi. Levi survived Auschwitz, but that’s not what this book is about. It’s about the end of World War II and returning to life afterward. The Origins of Totalitarianism, by Hannah Arendt. Antisemitism and totalitarianism in 20th century Europe. Without Sin: The Life and Death of the Oneida Community, by Spencer Klaw. The fascinating story of the Oneida colony in 19th century New York State. Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Munzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals, by Stephen Koch. The seduction of American and European intellectuals by Soviet agents. In God’s Name, by David Yallop. An investigation into the murder of Pope John Paul I. Evidence of Revision: The Assassination of America. A DVD set of original footage, interviews, etc. The best material I know on the Kennedy assassination. Courses: I’m a fan of The Great Courses from The Teaching Company. These courses are expensive, but they are often on sale. In particular, I liked these: Late Antiquity: Crisis and Transformationcenter_img The High Middle Ages Early Christianity: The Experience of The Divine The Early Middle Ages As I say, I’m missing a lot (half my library is not in front of me at the moment), but this should be a good list to work from. If you’ve got one, two (or ten) that you think should be added, please feel free to comment below. Have fun! Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.comlast_img read more

first_imgIt was the end-of-year’s big news splash: Jeff Bezos, the mercurial CEO of Amazon, telling 60 Minutes that his company has future plans for a fleet of drones.The idea being that, if you live within ten miles of one of Amazon’s 96 (and growing) worldwide “fulfillment” centers and your order weighs less than five pounds (some 86% of the company’s business), then you can have the package delivered to your doorstep by drone within 30 minutes of the time you punch in your credit card number.Pretty ambitious, to be sure. But then, reconfiguring the landscape is what Amazon has always done. In explaining his philosophy, Bezos spotlights the word “invention,” which he defines as “going down dark alleys to see what’s on the other side.”How dark? As dark as building a private Cloud within Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the CIA. Yep, it’s doing that.While AWS is growing like 12 fields of weeds, it’s still projected to bring in only 7% of company revenues by 2015. The core business is—and will remain well into the future—moving product. There, the goal is always to do so more efficiently. And faster.Thus Amazon Fresh, a company branch that has been making same-day deliveries of food and other household items to customers in Seattle for five years. This year, it expanded to Los Angeles. That it took so long to move down the Pacific coast, even though the tech was tested and proven, is because the time was mostly devoted, in Bezos’ words, to figuring out “how to make it make financial sense.”It’s his bottom line, and one of the reasons why we won’t be seeing those drone deliveries anytime soon.The ability to do it is here now, as Bezos demonstrated with an Octocopter drone emblazoned “Amazon Prime Air.” It’s all electric, he pointed out, “very green,” saving gasoline and creating no emissions. There’s also no human operator. The drones, he says, are totally “autonomous, you give them what GPS coordinates to go to and they fly to those coordinates.” After dropping its payload on the customer’s doorstep, the drone quickly returns to home base.It could also meet Bezos’ cost-effectiveness standard. Last year, a startup called Matternet in Palo Alto, California, tested drones as a way to deliver supplies to refugee camps in Haiti and found it cost only 20 to 70 cents to deliver a two-kilogram package 10 kilometers—at least a fivefold savings compared to standard truck delivery.(Matternet launched from Singularity University with $500,000 in seed funding, along with a second drone-delivery startup, Aria Logistics, which aims to build an autonomous logistics infrastructure. Matternet envisions delivering packages to predetermined “pads,” rather than dropping them on the front walkway to a house.)OK, no one believes in a 70-cent delivery cost for the consumer. R. John Hansman, a professor of aeronautics at MIT, believes that drone use by Amazon would only be a niche, high-cost service for high-value items. “They will have to charge a significant premium for this kind of delivery,” he predicts, “so the products would need to be worth a $100 to $200 delivery fee for a five-pound or so package.”But there’s more to the operation than just coming and going. The “hard part,” Bezos says, “is putting in all the redundancy, all the reliability, all the systems you need so that you can say, ‘look, this thing can’t land on somebody’s head while they’re walking around their neighborhood’.” Or the head of a toddler in the yard. Or a family pet.Not to mention dodging power lines, operating in bad or unpredictable weather, navigating difficult terrain, avoiding other drones or aerial vehicles in the area, and hitting a spot with pinpoint accuracy. (This Taiwanese video presents a few problems in anime form. Fair warning: don’t watch if you’re bothered by graphic cartoon decapitations.)Amazon will also need to deal with the government regulations that will come churning out of Washington. The FAA is hard at work on them right now. Obviously, the feds are going to want to be reassured not only about collisions with heads, but about how to control traffic in the near-earth airspace when there are thousands of these things buzzing around us.Today, only government agencies, some public universities, and a handful of private companies hold the few hundred FAA permits to fly private drones, and there are strict usage rules. For example, regulations say that since drones “cannot currently comply with ‘see and avoid’ rules that apply to all aircraft, a visual observer or an accompanying ‘chase plane’ must maintain visual contact with the [drone] and serve as its ‘eyes’.” But the agency is set to further open skies to commercial drones by 2015 and expects to see perhaps 7,500 in the air by 2020, undoubtedly under a more relaxed set of rules that allows for autonomous flight.“I don’t want anyone to think this is just around the corner,” Bezos admits. “This is years of work from this point.”Any timetable?“I know it can’t be before 2015,” he says, “because that’s the earliest we can get the rules from the FAA, but could it be four or five years? I think so. It will work and it will happen and it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”Maybe. But there are more than technical and cost hurdles to overcome. “There are huge legal questions here,” notes Stephen Ganyard, ABC News‘ aviation consultant. “Not only do we have tactical questions but we have civil liberty questions about privacy,” especially if the drones are outfitted with cameras. Plus, there are liability issues in the event of an accident and potential disputes about access to, through, and over private property.While there isn’t any real “problem from the technology side,” Ganyard is concerned that “on the policy side there are a lot of questions that remain to be answered.”They undoubtedly will be, even though the jokes have already begun.Because Bezos is far from alone.No sooner had he unveiled his Octocopter than UPS, perhaps not wishing to be one-upped, said that drone delivery is in the works for the Brown, too. “The commercial use of drones is an interesting technology, and we’ll continue to evaluate it,” a UPS spokesperson said. “We’re always planning for the future.”Moreover, FedEx founder Fred Smith would like to switch his company’s air service entirely over to a fleet of unmanned cargo freighters like this:Those, of course, are not meant for individual package delivery, but they could represent the future of moving lots of product over long distances. Smith notes that the key thing is having zero people on board. Any human in the vehicle necessitates a different design, economics, and logistics. The efficiencies stem from full robotic operation.Back in the world of the small, Domino’s was probably the first major company to market with the idea. In June, the company released a video of the “DomiCopter” simulating a pizza delivery, complete with its signature Heatwave bags. It was generally considered a publicity stunt, and in fact Domino’s US spokesman claimed that “we have no plans to pursue this idea.” Nevertheless, Domino’s UK’s press release talked about how the DomiCopter “could fit the bill” for innovative ways to deliver pizza.Elsewhere, Canada and Australia already have regulations that allow some commercial drone use. In Sydney, Australia, a textbook seller called Zookal says it plans to use six drones to drop off books at outdoor locations. A Chinese company, Shunfeng Express, is testing package delivery in the city of Dongguan.The profit potential alone means that the commercial drone revolution is inevitable. In September, drone and aerial robotics maker 3D Robotics announced a $30 million funding round from venture capitalists. Founded by Chris Anderson, former editor in chief of Wired, 3D Robotics—which normally sells only to the aerospace industry and the military—raised the money in order to design and manufacture cheaper drones that could be put to a range of commercial uses, including delivery.Despite all the challenges, Michael Toscano, CEO of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, foresees an industry that will create 100,000 jobs and generate $82 billion in economic activity in the decade after the aircraft are allowed in general airspace.2013 may well be looked back upon as the kickoff year for the Age of the Domestic Drone.As Peter W. Singer, who heads the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at the Brookings Institution recognized in remarks to the New York Times, “the debate over drones is like debating the merits of computers in 1979: They are here to stay, and the boom has barely begun. We are at the Wright Brothers Flier stage of this.”Whether that marks the advent of a remarkable new convenience or the beginning of a national nightmare remains to be seen.The drones are coming, and with them will come investment opportunities in companies like 3D Robotics, when they begin to go public. That’s just the sort of thing we keep an eye out for every month in Casey Extraordinary Technology. Sign up today and take advantage of our limited time only, risk-free offer. And since we’re in the holiday spirit, we’ll even throw in a complimentary subscription to BIG TECH.last_img read more