Kaka admits he had problems with Mourinho at Real Madridby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveKaka has spoken of his problems with Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.The Ballon d’Or winner admits he had issues with ‘The Special One.'”I was convinced that Real Madrid would be good, I think I was persistent, I got as far as I could, to my limit,” he said to Grande Circulo de SporTV.”My problem at Madrid was continuity first and then the coach, as I spent three years trying to convince Mourinho that I should have more opportunities but it was his choice, it was out of my control.”The first year I had a hip problem, then the adductor and I was operated on.”I was out of action for six months and when I returned, it was Mourinho.”I was an excellent professional, and today I can say with great joy that I can go to Real Madrid and the doors are always open.”Florentino says that I was one of the most professional athletes in the club.”Once Mourinho left, however, things didn’t get any better for the Brazilian.”In the 2013/14 season, with the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti, Florentino Perez wanted to renew the team with players from the academy and new players, and Ancelotti was very clear with me.”He told me that the president had asked for these people to play and I told him that I had to play because I wanted to be at the World Cup, so the best option was to leave. “With football being such a small world, it was inevitable that Kaka would cross paths with Mourinho again.”There’s no problem,” he added.”I went to Manchester to a sponsor’s event, I stayed at the same hotel as him and we stayed talking for two hours.”Mourinho is exactly what people see on camera, at the time he’s explosive, but he is an extremely intelligent, very prepared guy, so what people see in the interviews is all prepared.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
APTN National NewsFour First Nations in Ontario are involved in a human rights complaint against the federal government. They say that the current method of funding aboriginal education discriminates unfairly against larger First Nations, and are seeking a decision by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.Ottawa attempted to have the case thrown out, saying that it doesn’t fall within the jurisdiction of the CHRC, but a federal court decided that the CHRC can indeed handle the complaint.Michael Hutchinson sits down with Patrick Macklem, a law professor at the University of Toronto and spokesperson for the four First Nations, to talk about the complaint and its implications.UPDATED: The original version of this story incorrectly named the Ontario Human Rights Commission as the human rights body handling the complaint. The complaint is being handled by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
VANCOUVER – As Canadian cities continue to wage a regulatory crack down on online home-rental platforms, Airbnb maintains it’s open to regulation provided new rules don’t penalize casual users and recognize not every host runs a full-fledged business.Vancouver and Toronto are both weighing imposing a number of restrictions on users, while Quebec, the first province to regulate the industry, may revamp its law in the near future.“There are still a lot of misperceptions about what homesharing is all about,” said Alex Dagg, Airbnb’s director of Canadian public policy, warning about unintended consequences from rushed regulations.“That’s the concern — that you come up with something that you think makes sense. And without understanding really what your community is looking like and how they’re using the platform and how they’re benefiting from it, you can really design something that isn’t helpful.”Many homeowners or tenants use the platform to rent out a portion of or their entire home to earn some extra cash. Airbnb’s critics include the hotel industry that says hosts face less stringent regulations and don’t have to pay the same taxes, as well as those saying it has created additional housing problems in cities with low vacancy rates and high home ownership costs.Dagg is in Vancouver to argue the American company’s case in front of a city council holding public hearings into a proposed home-sharing bylaw. If approved, it would take effect in April and require hosts to have a licence that costs $49 each year and to only rent out their primary residence.The city argues limiting short-term rentals to primary residences will protect existing long-term rental housing and potentially add new units to a heated rental market.In Oct. 2016, metro Vancouver’s vacancy rate was 0.7 per cent, according to the CMHC’s most recent figures. Meanwhile, the benchmark price for a property in the Vancouver area was $1,037,300 in September, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.Dagg wants the city to consider allowing Airbnb rentals in some circumstances where a person’s primary residence is outside Vancouver. For example, if someone has a primary residence on Vancouver Island where they live on weekends but owns an apartment in Vancouver for work during the week, she said they should be allowed to continue renting that space on Saturdays and Sundays.“It’s complicated,” she said, and the system requires carefully thought out regulations.In Quebec, the provincial government has imposed numerous restrictions and Dagg said the company understands the provincial tourism minister will make some amendments this fall.“It’s really designed in a way for much more professional operators,” said Dagg, while not reflecting a large, casual homesharing community. The law requires anyone renting a property via Airbnb and other online platforms for no more than 31 consecutive days to hold a permit and pay a hotel tax.Toronto, another market grappling with high rents and housing prices, recently wrapped public consultations on its proposed home-sharing regulations.The city wants to allow people to rent their principal residence for no more than 28 consecutive days. It will also require hosts to register with Toronto at a cost of $40 to $150 annually. In November, the city will hold committee meetings to vote on the regulations and, if passed, the regulations will head to council in early December.On Wednesday, Airbnb announced an arrangement with Neptune Waterpark Condos in Toronto that will allow residents to rent their primary residence in the building using Airbnb and receive a portion of the profit. It’s the first building in Canada to join the company’s so-called friendly buildings program, which had only operated in the States up to now.The system could help ease some condo boards’ concerns about security if units are rented to travellers as it gives management access to a guest registry. Dagg said there’s “no reason” a similar set-up couldn’t work in Vancouver.But she believes it’s too early to say whether Vancouver will side with the home-sharing industry and its proponents, or stick to its proposed bylaw. The public hearing is scheduled to continue Thursday.Regardless, she said, it’s important to keep monitoring regulations once they’re in place.“We’ll obviously continue to work with the city.”Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.
CALGARY – International oil and gas producer Vermilion Energy Inc. is taking advantage of low valuations for “unloved” Canadian energy assets in a $1.4-billion deal to buy a Saskatchewan-focused rival, its CEO said Monday.The company will issue $1.23 billion worth of Vermilion shares and assume about $175 million in debt to buy fellow Calgary-based producer Spartan Energy Corp. in a transaction expected to close in June.CEO Tony Marino said Vermilion has been watching the Saskatchewan energy sector for about five years and first entered the field in 2014 because it of its light oil-producing wells and good pipeline access to markets in the United States.“The Canadian sector continued to be more and more unloved over time, especially in the past year in the capital markets, and with our evaluation methodology and criteria we had, we found it came to represent better and better value,” he said on a conference call.“Spartan is probably the best example of this out there in that you have a company that is quite capable of rapid production growth.”In January, Vermilion bought an unnamed private company with production of about 1,150 barrels of oil per day from wells near the southern Saskatchewan-Manitoba border for about $91 million in cash.The Spartan deal is expected to add about 23,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, taking Vermilion’s overall output to about 95,000 boe/d.The deal is an opportunistic one for Vermilion and allows Spartan to escape “an increasingly frustrating” market where investors haven’t rewarded its operational expertise with a fair stock price, said analyst Kristopher Zack of Desjardins Capital Markets in a report.He said he doesn’t think a superior bid will emerge, despite Spartan getting only a five per cent premium over Friday’s closing price, noting there is a $40-million break fee if the deal isn’t completed.Both company’s boards of directors have endorsed the deal but it must receive at least two-thirds approval from shareholders to be finalized.Marino said the deal will increase Vermilion’s percentage of production from North America to about 60 per cent from 46 per cent but it will continue its strategy to have geographically diverse holdings.The company has European production from operations in Ireland, France, Netherlands and Germany and also produces oil from an offshore project in Australia.Vermilion said it is increasing its overall 2018 production guidance to a midpoint of 88,000 boe/d from 76,000 boe/d previously — it reported about 72,800 boe/d in the fourth quarter.It said it will increase its 2018 capital budget to $430 million from $325 million to reflect spending planned for the acquired lands.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:VET, TSX:SPE)
NEW YORK, N.Y. – The #MeToo movement fighting sexual misconduct had already claimed one of Hollywood’s top movie moguls in Harvey Weinstein. Now it has done the same for Leslie Moonves, one of the television industry’s most powerful executives.The CBS Corp. announced its chairman’s exit late Sunday, hours after The New Yorker magazine posted a story with a second round of ugly accusations against Moonves. A total of 12 women have alleged mistreatment, including forced oral sex, groping and retaliation if they resisted him. Moonves denied the charges in a pair of statements, although he said he had consensual relations with three of the women.CBS said $20 million will be donated to one or more organizations that support #MeToo and workplace equality for women. That sum will be deducted from any severance due Moonves, a figure that won’t be determined until an outside investigation led by a pair of law firms is finished.The network’s chief operating officer, Joseph Ianniello, will take over Moonves’ duties as president and CEO until its board of directors can find a permanent replacement, CBS said.With about an hour before Monday’s opening bell, shares of CBS rose more than 3 per cent, but they are down sharply for the year. Shares tumbled 6 per cent in late July, the worst one-day sell off in nearly seven years, after details of the accusations surfaced.It has been nearly a year since Pulitzer Prize-winning articles by The New York Times and the New Yorker exposed a pattern of misconduct by Weinstein, who now faces sex crime charges in New York. Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and Kevin Spacey are among other figures that lost jobs after men and women came forward with their own stories, often on social media with the hashtag MeToo, about sexually inappropriate behaviour by powerful men.Moonves ruled first the programming, then the full network and other corporate entities such as Showtime for two decades. CBS has consistently been the most-watched network on television, even as changes transformed the industry, first with cable networks investing in shows and then streaming services like Netflix. He’s been paid handsomely for his success, earning just under $70 million in both 2017 and 2016.Those paychecks made Moonves the second-highest paid executive in the S&P 500 among those holding the top job at their company for at least two consecutive years, according to an analysis by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive data firm.Yet accusations emerged against the affable, raspy-voiced former actor last month, when six women accused him of misconduct similar to what came out Sunday. CBS announced an internal probe yet Moonves, who was also involved in a separate power struggle that threatened his future control of the company, remained in charge. In recent days, however, reports leaked that the CBS board and Moonves, 68, were discussing an exit plan. Reports that it could include a multi-million dollar payout provoked some online anger.The latest allegations were not addressed in CBS’ announcement of Moonves’ exit.One of the accusers who came forth in the New Yorker’s article on Sunday, Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, also filed a complaint with the Los Angeles police last year, but no charges were filed because the statute of limitations had expired. She said Moonves, while an executive at the Lorimar production studio in the late 1980s, pushed her head into his lap and forced her to perform oral sex.At another time, she said an angry Moonves pushed her hard against a wall. When she resisted later advances, she began to be frozen out at the company, she said.“He absolutely ruined my career,” she told The New Yorker.Another woman, Jessica Pallingston, said Moonves forced her to perform oral sex on her first day working as his assistant at Warner Bros. productions. Other women told the magazine of unwanted touching or advances.In a statement to the magazine, Moonves said the “appalling accusations” are untrue, but he acknowledged consensual relations with three of the women before he started working at CBS. Moonves was married at the time; he divorced his first wife and married CBS on-air personality Julie Chen in 2004.“I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women,” he said. “In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations. I can only surmise they are surfacing now for the first time, decades later, as part of a concerted effort by others to destroy my name, my reputation and my career. Anyone who knows me knows that the person described in this article is not me.”In a second statement after his departure, Moonves said he was “deeply saddened” to be leaving the company and its employees. “Together, we built CBS into a destination where the best in the business come to work and succeed,” he said.With Moonves’ exit, CBS viewers will wonder what the future holds for Chen, who is a panelist on the daytime show “The Talk” and host of the summer series “Big Brother.” She stood in support of her husband when the first allegations hit last month.Organizations that have supported women coming forward with stories of abuse, including Time’s Up and Press Forward, said Sunday that CBS should be transparent about the findings of its internal investigation despite Moonves’ ouster.It’s difficult to imagine CBS without Moonves. The network was struggling when he took over as entertainment chief in 1995, hot from a job at the Warner Brothers studio, which developed hits such as “ER” and “Friends.”He quickly turned things around and churned out programming appealing to the older, more tradition-bound CBS audience — broad appeal sitcoms such as “Everybody Loves Raymond,” ”Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory” and procedural dramas such as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “NCIS.” ”Survivor” was an early reality show hit, and continues to this day.Many CBS viewers knew Moonves from the relentless ribbing he took from former late-night host David Letterman. Moonves said there were legitimate hard feelings between the two in his early years, but the relationship warmed before Letterman’s retirement.Moonves was an advocate for the traditional broadcast network model when others worried it was becoming obsolete, but he also launched streaming services for CBS entertainment and news. He took over the broader CBS Corp. in 2006 but kept his hand in entertainment duties, down to casting decisions for new shows.His status as an industry king was never more evident than each year in May when CBS introduced the next year’s schedule before an audience of advertisers and media executives crammed into Carnegie Hall. He starred in each year’s presentation, often in elaborate filmed skits.Yet this spring there were already signs the end was near. Locked in a battle for corporate control with Shari Redstone of National Amusements, Moonves received a standing ovation from an audience that sensed it could be his last year. He even skipped an event he created and relished, an annual breakfast meeting with reporters dubbed “Lox with Les.”CBS’ board also announced Sunday that Redstone’s National Amusements will not propose a merger between CBS and Viacom, which Redstone had been urging, for two years. Six new CBS board members were also appointed.
WISI will present version 3.0 of its headend for the first time at ANGA COM, featuring software-based updates for its Tangram and Chameleon headend systems.The Headend 3.0 update will be available for all existing Tangram and Chameleon modules, offering a “massive performance increase” without new hardware, according to WISI.Headend 3.0 is designed to provide more processing power, higher bitrates and more IP streams, while taking up less space than before and not requiring more power.WISI said it will also release software packages for streaming, multiplexing, scrambling and other use cases, with the network operator able to pick and choose from a number of different options.WISI will exhibit at ANGA COM in hall 10.2, stand E9 and in hall 10.1, stand MS7
Sponsor Advertisement I’m only speculating here, but I would guess that JPMorgan et al were covering short position like mad in all precious metals yesterdayWell, that little uptick shortly before 10:00 a.m. in London yesterday morning turned out to be the high of the day for gold. If it made it above the $1,600 spot level, it was only for a few seconds before the buyer[s] ran into an avalanche of selling from the usual not-for-profit suspects.It was all down hill from there, of course…but the gold price managed to open the Comex trading session in the black by a few bucks, but that lasted less than five minutes before the high-frequency traders showed up and began to engineer the price lower.The most ferocious part of the price decline started at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time…and in well under twenty minutes, the gold price cratered for another fifteen bucks.That proved to be the low the day at $1,570.70 spot…and from there a nice rally began that took the gold price back to over $1,592 spot. But that was as high as it got…or was allowed to get…and the gold price slowly drifted lower until shortly before 4:00 p.m. Eastern time…and from there traded flat into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.Gold finished the Tuesday session at $1,582.40 spot…down $6.20 from Monday. It should come as no surprise that the volume figures for Tuesday were 50% higher than Monday’s, as net volume was around 129,000 contracts.It was precisely the same story in silver…except the price was more ‘volatile’. Silver’s high…around $27.65 spot…came at the same time as gold’s…shortly before 10:00 a.m. in London. Silver was still up about a dime at the Comex open until the high-frequency traders showed up at 9:40 a.m….and then again at 10:35 a.m. Eastern time.The low in silver [$26.68 spot] came at the same as gold’s low. The subsequent rally took silver back above its Monday close and the Tuesday opening price on the Comex…and the New York high of the day. But that wasn’t allowed to last, and silver closed the trading session at the same closing price as Monday…$27.31 spot. What was the chance that that was a coincidence? Net volume was also 50% higher than Monday’s volume…with 36,000 contracts traded vs. 23,000 contracts traded on Monday.The dollar index didn’t do a whole heck of a lot during Far East or London trading on Tuesday. It was down about twenty basis points in early Far East trading…but then rallied back to basically unchanged by the 8:00 a.m. London open. From there it more or less traded sideways until exactly 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, which also happened to coincide with the time of the London p.m. gold fix.Then, in the space of about forty minutes, the index rallied about 40 basis points. The dollar index high tick just coincidentally happened to coincide with the low of both gold and silver in New York yesterday morning.From that high, the index got sold off…giving up all its gains and more by 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. From there, the dollar index traded flat into the close, finishing the Tuesday trading session down about 15 basis points at 82.92.I’d like to say that yesterday’s sell-off in the precious metals was all currency related, but that certainly doesn’t explain the decline in both metals that began at 10:00 a.m. in London…and which continued right up until 10:00 a.m. in New York. A large chunk of the dollar index rally was in the bag before either gold or silver got sold off hard…and it’s my opinion that they didn’t fall off the turnip truck at 10:30 a.m. Eastern on their own…they got pushed.The gold stocks actually spent a few minutes in the black after trading began in the equity markets in New York yesterday morning. But that didn’t last too long..and from there they got sold off over two percent to their low at 10:40 a.m. Eastern time. Then they rallied sharply until a few minutes after 12 o’clock noon…and then traded sideways from there. The HUI finished down 0.97% on the day…and back below the 400 mark.There was the odd green arrow in the silver stocks yesterday…but they closed mostly down on the day…but Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index actually finished the Tuesday trading day up 0.56%. Considering the closing price of the seven big cap silver stocks that make up this index, I found this very hard to believe…and I told Nick that.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 2 gold and 436 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Thursday. The big shocker, at least for me, was that the big short/issuer was JPMorgan in its in-house/proprietary account. They’re delivering 426 contracts. The biggest long/stopper was the Bank of Nova Scotia with 324 contracts…along with 63 contracts for JPMorgan in its client account…and 43 contracts for ABN Amro. The Issuers and Stoppers Report is definitely worth looking at…and the link is here.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV…and the U.S. Mint didn’t have a sales report either.Over at the Comex-approved depositories, they reported receiving 599,779 troy ounces of silver on Monday…and shipped 906,225 ounces of the stuff out the door.Ted Butler pointed out to me yesterday that Sprott’s Physical Silver Trust [PSLV/PHS.U] has already reported receiving around 5.2 million ounces of the silver that it had ordered.Here’s an e-mail that I received from reader Eddie Costik yesterday…and it’s pretty much self-explanatory…Ed…”I have news for you….the home industry in the U.S. is finished as we know it. Retail sales for home improvement were down 1.6% for the month of June. I’m still in touch with wholesale distributors of building materials…nobody in that industry is making any money. My small retail lumber company is only one of five remaining in a five county area of Central Pennsylvania. Everyone is struggling. The halcyon days from the past are over. Mortgage rates are at all time lows but very few can qualify because of stringent qualification requirements. There are so many foreclosures that banks are holding them off the market so they don’t have to write them down. If Obama gets his way…. eliminating the Bush tax cuts we’re headed for an economic abyss. Then again how much worse can it get? A lot. Hold onto your behind this is not going to end well.” It was a very slow news day yesterday, so I’m delighted to report that I don’t have much reading material for you…but there are quite a few of the ones that I do have, that are well worth your time.As investors begin to realize that gold has not peaked, and that today’s “high” prices are actually just a step on the way up, I expect more of them to pile into the gold sector. The pressure to find sectors and companies with a good return will send Main Street investors, Wall Street fund managers, and sovereign wealth funds into our market. The spectacle will be, as Doug Casey likes to say, like trying to pour the contents of the Hoover Dam through a garden hose. – Louis James, Senior Metals Investment Strategist, Casey ResearchThere’s not much one can say about yesterday’s price action in all the precious metals except to say that we’ve seen this particular movie lots of times in the past…an engineered price decline behind a manufactured rally in the dollar index.As I mentioned in my closing remarks in ‘The Wrap’ yesterday…Tuesday was the cut-off for Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report, so I was prepared for anything as far as price movement went…and this price pattern didn’t surprise me one bit.I’m only speculating here, but I would guess that JPMorgan et al were covering short position like mad in all precious metals yesterday…and going further on the long side as well in the subsequent rally, which had all the hallmarks of a short covering rally. I am hopeful that all this price action will show up in Friday’s COT report…and it should be obvious to anyone that the ‘powers that be’ want gold below $1,600 spot for as long as possible.It was gratifying to see John Hathaway come out of the closet and state that ‘da boyz’ are obviously managing the gold price…just as they are managing the LIBOR. I would suspect that Eric King will have the audio interview of that blog posted on this website sometime today…and I will be posting it this space as soon as it becomes available.Not much happened in Far East trading during their Wednesday…and it’s pretty much the same now that London is open. Volume is light in both metals…and the dollar index is not doing a thing, either.I haven’t a clue as to how gold will trade during the Comex session in New York today, but one can assume that the worse the news, the lower the gold price will be engineered. As to when the precious metal prices break higher, it’s 100% up to JPMorgan et al…and when they decide to end their duties as a not-for-profit seller, it will be immediately apparent in the price…and not a moment before.I hope that your Wednesday goes well…and I’ll see you tomorrow. Bayfield Ventures Corp. (TSX.V: BYV) is exploring for gold and silver in the Rainy River District of NW Ontario. The Company’s 100% owned “Burns” Block property adjoins the immediate east of Rainy River Resources’ (TSX.V: RR) world-class gold deposit which includes an indicated resource of 5.72 million ounces of gold, averaging 1.18 g/t, in addition to an inferred resource of 2.25 million ounces of gold, averaging 0.79 g/t. Drilling to date on Bayfield’s Burns Block demonstrates that the ODM17gold zone extends from Rainy River Resources’ ground onto the Burns Block. Bayfield is currently carrying out 100,000 metres of diamond drilling on its Rainy River properties. Drill results thus far have been very encouraging. Notable drill results include 60.05 grams per tonne gold and 362.96 grams per tonne silver over 11.2 metres within 26.70 grams per tonne gold and 170.69 grams per tonne silver over 25.5 metres, as well as 35.93 grams per tonne gold and 359.65 grams per tonne silver over 10.0 metres. Bayfield also holds a 100% interest in two other properties in the Rainy River District. Claim blocks “B” and “C” are well located to the immediate east and west (respectively) of Rainy River Resources’ #433 and ODM17 gold zones. Please visit our website to learn more about the company and request information.
Sponsor Advertisement I wasn’t amused that the precious metals shares got sold off as heavily as they did…Just eye-balling the Kitco gold chart below, it’s obvious to me that the gold price, despite several serious attempts to do so, wasn’t going to be allowed to break above the $1,720 spot mark anywhere on Planet Earth yesterday and, with the exception of the high tick of the day [$1,724.10 spot] at the London p.m. gold fix, it didn’t.The gold price finished the day at $1,716.00 spot…up a whole 80 cents from Friday’s New York close. Net volume was very light at only around 108,000 contracts.Here’s the New York Spot Gold [Bid] chart on its own…and three of four of gold’s attempts to climb above the above mentioned price got turned back…and the glaring one is at the 3:00 p.m. GMT London gold fix…10:00 a.m. Eastern.Silver rallied right from the New York open on Sunday night…and its Far East high came around 10:00 a.m. Hong Kong time. It was all down hill from there until the noon silver fix in London.That proved to be the low of the day. The subsequent rally ran into the usual not-for-profit seller at the afternoon London gold fix…and that was it.Silver closed at $33.66 spot…up 22 cents on the day. Net volume was a rather unexciting 30,500 contracts…give or take.The dollar index, which closed on Friday at 80.24, was under pressure right from the get-go in Far East trading on their Monday morning…which most likely explains the initial rally in gold and silver.The index sank under the 80.00 mark around 3:00 p.m. in Hong Kong…about an hour before London opened. From there it kept declining in fits and starts…closing around the 79.89 mark…down about 35 basis points on the day.It was obvious that both gold and silver wanted to rally at midday in London…and at the Comex open…but it’s equally obvious that there were forces standing by to make sure that it didn’t happen.The US dollar index packed up on the ino.com Internet site around 9:00 a.m. yesterday morning…and as you can see, I stole the chart below from one of Peter Spina’s websites…goldseek.com…and I’m sure he won’t mind.As you are more than aware, the shares did very poorly yesterday…and the HUI finished down 2.33%. The HUI from that yahoo.com website has been M.I.A. for many days now…and here’s one that Scott Pluschau offered up in its stead.(Click on image to enlarge)The silver shares fared little better…and despite the metal itself finishing well in the black, the shares got sold down pretty hard as well. Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed down 1.68%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report for ‘Day 3’ in the December delivery month showed that 1,906 gold and 712 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Wednesday within the Comex-approved depositories.In gold, the big short/issuer was Deutsche Bank with 1,741 contracts posted for delivery…and in very distant second place came the Bank of Nova Scotia with 162 contracts. The big long/stopper in gold was JPMorgan Chase with 1,565 contracts…275 in its client account and 1,290 in its proprietary [in house] trading account. There were about a dozen other small stoppers accounting for the rest.In silver, the big short/issuer was Deutsche Bank as well with 579 contracts…and JPMorgan, in its proprietary account, was in second with 106 contracts. The biggest long/stopper was JPMorgan in its client account with 341 contracts. Second was Barclays with 225 contracts…and third was Credit Suisse First Boston with 98.The Issuers and Stoppers Report is well worth a few minutes of your time…and the link is here. Note the delivery info in palladium as well…Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and Barclays.If you haven’t figured it out already, it should be patently obvious that JPMorgan is at the center of the precious metals universe.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday…and no sales report from the U.S. Mint, either.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, they reported receiving no silver at all…but shipped 458,050 troy ounces out the door. The link to that activity is here.Washington reader S.A. had no charts for me today…but he more than made up for it by sending me a photo of the latest addition to the Oregon Zoo.Being a Tuesday column, I have a few more stories than usual for you today…and I’ll leave the final edit up to you.I have no doubt that the CFTC is publishing accurate data on COMEX silver. Without that data, I couldn’t begin to make a case for manipulation. The problem is that all the agency does is to publish accurate data that prove that silver is manipulated in price…and then refuses to react to the clear proof of manipulation. Due to a decrease in reported spread positions in this week’s disaggregated COT report, JPMorgan’s 38,000 contract silver short position “only” increased to 34.7% of the entire net COMEX short position from the previous week’s 34%. But the 190 million ounces that the 38,000 contracts represent is equal to 25% of the world’s total annual silver mine production of 760 million oz. If one trading entity was short 25% of the annual world production of any other commodity that entity would be in jail the day it became known. For that entity in silver to be a systemically important US bank is shocking in its own regard. In many ways, I admit that this is so extreme as to not be fully comprehendible. Believe me when I tell you that I can hardly comprehend that I label JPMorgan as crooked and get away with it. – Silver analyst Ted Butler… 01 December 2012Even though volume was pretty light in both silver and gold yesterday, it was obvious [at least to me] that the prices of both metals weren’t allowed to get far, even though the dollar index dropped below the psychologically important 80.00 mark.I wasn’t amused that the precious metals shares got sold off as heavily as they did…and I’ll quote a paragraph on this from my Saturday column…“I’d like to think that it’s strong hands buying all the shares that are falling off the table as weak-kneed day traders hit the ‘sell’ button…but I’m always concerned that “da boyz” are buying up all these shares in order to dump them later when they need to suppress the share prices as well. I know that John Embry would be in total agreement with this scenario. But maybe I’m looking for a black bear in a dark room that’s not there.”I leave it up to you, dear reader, to ponder the notion of whether or not there is any truth in that paragraph…for, or against.As you may remember, I’ve had correspondence with Scotiabank here in Canada about whether or not they were the bank that was fingered by the CFTC as the “non-U.S. bank” in their November Bank Participation Report. All enquires sent by myself…and other readers…ended up with the same “non-denial denial” type of answer.So, on Sunday, I sent an e-mail off to the ombudsman at Scotiabank…and here is what I had to say…02 December 2012Mr. Charles DougallOmbudsmanScotiabankHi Charles,I’ve been trying to get an answer to a question that I asked of your firm a month or so ago.I started off with Andy Montano at Scotia Mocatta…and have since graduated to Rick Waugh…and got immediately passed off to Dave Shearim. I have not received a direct answer, except for the usual ‘non-denial denial’…the normal runaround corporations give when they really don’t want to answer and are just trying to blow someone off.I’m not asking for trading secrets, or the trading positions of any client [in-house or otherwise] that may exist over at Scotia Mocatta…as I fully understand that this client privileged information.Here is the sequence e-mails as posted in ‘The Wrap’ section of my daily column over at Casey Research on November 6th…[There was a bit more to this e-mail than that at the end, but what you see above is the essence of what I sent]The reply I got back on Monday was as follows…Dear Mr. Steer, We acknowledge receipt of your email dated December 2nd. After a preliminary review of your email, we wish to inform you that there are certain issues that are deemed to be outside the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman, which may include the issue(s) you have raised. Having said that, we will make inquiries into your concerns and will respond to you further in due course. Yours truly, Marlaine Radke Assistant Ombudsman Scotiabank – Executive Offices 44 King Street West Toronto, ON M5H 1H1 Telephone: (416) 933-3299 Fax: (416) 933-3276And that’s where it sits at this point…and I’ll let you know the contents of any further correspondence that I receive, or send. I get the impression from the tone of the reply, that I’m not going to get very far, but you never know.Both gold and silver came under selling pressure the moment that Far East trading began on their Tuesday. Then, as you’ve already noted, the bid disappeared shortly before 2:00 p.m. Hong Kong time…or the high-frequency traders showed up…and the gold price dropped ten dollars in just a few minutes. This decline occurred in all four precious metals.Since those lows, they have recovered somewhat…and their respective rallies have continued [in fits and starts] into the first hour or so of trading in London. Whether these rallies will be allowed to continue is impossible to tell…but as I also said in my Saturday column, it’s a mug’s trying to predict what the precious metals will do price-wise when the heavy hands of JPMorgan Chase et al are in the market.The dollar index has been in a slow but steady decline all through Far East and the early London trading session as well…and is down about 23 basis points as I hit the ‘send’ button at 5:15 a.m. Eastern time. Volumes are monstrous…over 45,000 contracts in gold…and 9,000+ in silver. Fortunately, all of this…along with New York’s price/volume activity…will be in Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report, as the cut-off is at the 1:30 p.m. Eastern time Comex close today.And I suggest you re-read Ted Butler’s quote under the cartoons above to give you some idea of the meaning of “obscene and grotesque” when it come to a short position in the precious metals…especially silver. Between JPM and Scotiabank…if they are the second big silver short…they hold a short position of over 45% of the entire Comex futures market in silver. That was as of the Tuesday cut-off for last week’s COT Report…and it may have declined since. But by how much, won’t be known until Friday.What the precious metals do price-wise is entirely up to them…and has nothing to do with legitimate supply and demand fundamentals.That’s more than enough for today…and I’ll be very interested in the price action in New York when I switch my computer on later this morning.See you tomorrow. Tosca Mining Corporation’s goal is to acquire advanced stage projects that can be placed into production quickly. The company’s primary asset is the Red Hills Molybdenum/Copper project located in Presidio County, Texas. A program to confirm, and expand the considerable size and potential of the project and evaluate various economic scenarios was completed in 2011. Tosca recently received results from the 13 remaining holes from its phase two, 16,000 M (4,873 m) diamond drill program. Per Tosca’s Chairman, Dr. Sadek El-Alfy, “the drill program has successfully verified historic drill results of the shallow Copper-Molybdenum cap and confirmed the presence of a deeper, well mineralized Molybdenum Porphyry deposit.” The results of 21 holes drilled through the copper/moly cap in Tosca’s 2011 drill program give a weighted average grade of 0.39 % Cu over a core length of 113 feet (34.5 m). Since the copper cap is subhorizontal, the average core length can be interpreted as being approximately equivalent to true width. The copper/moly cap is crescent shaped, approximately 4,000 feet (1220 metres) long and 400 feet (122 m) to 1000 feet (305 m) wide.The 2011 program encountered numerous thick Molybdenum mineralized intervals including Hole TMC-25 wich intersected 1,189 feet (362.4 m) averaging 0.089 per cent Mo including 830 feet (253 m) of 0.1 per cent Mo from 359 feet (109.8 m) to the bottom of the hole. Hole TMC-29 cut 989 feet (301.4 m) averaging 0.09 per cent Mo including 139 feet (42.4 m) of 0.16 per cent Mo. The molybdenum grades are similar and in some cases higher than those of projects currently considered of potential economic interest.”Aggressive plans are in place for 2012 to conduct metallurgical tests, produce an updated resource estimate and Pre Economic Assesment. Tosca is operated by an experienced mine development team, operates in Texas, a mine-friendly jurisdiction and its property iseasily accessible with infrastructure in place to advance operations. Please visit our website to learn more about the company ad request information.
If you are a productive person, working in any sort of normal job, roughly half of your earnings are taken from you every year, leaving you just barely able to hang on to an acceptable lifestyle. Understand this: You are already rich, but your money is stolen from you, generally before you ever hold it in your hands. Can you imagine what would happen to government in space? Once beyond Earth’s gravity well, the spacefarers would be gone forever: no more taxes, no more obedience, and heaps of scorn for the distant barbarians who demanded money and attempted violence to get it. Space would be the 17th century American wilderness on steroids. Politicians and tax gatherers would have no hope of keeping up. The man in the photo below is Gene Cernan, the last human to walk on the moon. Cernan left the moon in December of 1972 – more than forty years ago – and no one has gone back. To understand how far we went forty years ago, on how little technology, consider this: Our modern smart phones have 200,000 times more power than the computers that took men to the moon. Let me restate that: Space travel can be accomplished with forty-year-old technology. At one million miles, government requires 4,188,000,000 billion cubic miles of dominance. The 1950s are considered a time of mass conformity, but they look like radical experimentation compared to the fully-scripted lives of today’s ‘successful’ people. A success ethic that addresses the animal aspects of human life while utterly ignoring its higher aspects. We are taxed on our income at national, state and even local levels. We are taxed on what we spend. We are taxed on Ponzi retirement programs. We are taxed on property we own, and on gasoline we buy, and hundreds of other things. At three million miles it is 113,076,000,000 billion cubic miles of dominance. It may be that the next generation will demand more out of life than animal gratifications. Such changes have occurred in the past. Would to God that they come again soon.#3: Our Money Is Taken from Us The taxation systems of the West are designed to rob us of every dollar we get, right up to the point where we’d be tempted to rebel. This is a science. I should add that one million miles in space is almost trivial. At the speeds used forty years ago, that’s only 38.5 hours of travel. The relics of the last moon missionWhat has been lost to us? What happens to humans themselves (and by that I mean internally) once we get to space and have a few moments to “consider the heavens”? Preliminary evidences are that humans in space think more deeply, more expansively, and more spiritually… that their consciousness opens up and expands. Consider just these passages from astronauts on the first and last moon missions. (And I have many others.) As Neil and I first stood on the surface of the moon looking back at Earth – a bright blue marble suspended in the blackness of space – the experience moved us in ways that we could not have anticipated. – Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Out there on another planet, I was looking back at the Earth, or I was looking back at the other stars in the universe – science and technology could no longer explain to me what I was feeling. Not just what I was seeing, it’s what I was feeling. And I kept thinking, above all religions, there has to be a creator. It was to me like I was just sitting on a rocking chair on a Friday evening, looking back home, sitting on God’s front porch, looking back at the Earth; looking back home. It was really that simple, but it was an overpowering experience. I’m sure that viewing the world from the moon only enriched me spiritually and also gave me a new vantage point on life… Anyone who walked on the moon had such a spiritual experience, similar to it or stronger. – Gene Cernan, Apollo 17 An obscene level of advertising that replaced authentic dreams with scientifically implanted manipulations. 17th century voyages across the Atlantic took weeks, and there was no lack of paying passengers. So, there is no hope of governments getting us back to space. To do so would be to shoot themselves in the chest, and they probably understand that.#2: The Culture Has Gone Conformist Lamentations Are In Order It is tragic beyond measure that human exploration has been neutered since 1972. Sure, we’ve sent out a few probes and placed a good telescope in orbit, but we have done nothing brave, nothing bold, nothing daring. Productive humans have been delegated to mute observance as their hard-earned surplus is syphoned off to capital cities, where it is sanctimoniously poured down a sewer of cultured dependencies and endless wars. We remain locked onto this planet, not because we lack the ability to leave, but because so few of us are able to do anything about it. What we have lost can be measured only in the billions of unactivated lives. Fifty years ago humanity was shocked to realize that they could go to the stars. After untold millennia of looking to the heavens, of wondering, dreaming and mourning the impossibility, we saw that we could go to the stars. And for ten years we took our first brave steps, successfully! But after our first major step away from our crib, we were thrown back and surrounded with double-height rails. Since then, we have stagnated, and human culture has undergone a widespread rot. We watch science fictions about going to space, living in space and even fighting in space, but we have given up all hope of going ourselves… even though we did it just one generation ago. Humanity – having recently discovered the ability to expand without limit – wanders aimlessly, with no challenging goal, no elevated purpose, and no path of escape. Space travel has leapfrogged us: it was done by our fathers; we imagine that it will be done by our sons; but we dare not think that it is possible to us. They Were Men Like Us We have more than enough ability to explore space right now. The men who did so a generation ago were not supermen, regardless of how the promotions made them appear. I’ve met some of the people who did this forty years ago, including one of the men who walked on the moon. I found them to be reasonably decent and competent men (the astronaut struck me as especially capable), but I’ve known other men and women who were of equal or greater decency and competence. The fault of our earth-bound lives lies not in our abilities. The spacemen were men like ourselves. Now, please take a look at this photo: You are observing a workman building a Mercury capsule. Look at the metal work: It is fine construction, and it was advanced for its day, but there are shops in every large city in America that could do the same job, faster, cheaper, with closer tolerances. Like every other technology, metal working has massively improved over the last forty years. Now look at this Gemini launch. What in this picture is particularly hard to build? We see concrete, metal frameworks and sprinklers. None of those things are remotely hard. Even the rocket is simple by modern standards. In other words, this technology is simple to reproduce. None of it is beyond the grasp of journeyman craftsmen. Leibniz, Newton and Aldrin Originating is hard; second and third uses are not. It took brilliant men like Leibniz and Newton to invent calculus, but now, millions of schoolchildren learn it every year. It took a brilliant engineer like Buzz Aldrin to invent the technologies of space rendezvous, but there are millions of bright young men, right now, who are more than capable of using his discoveries. Again, none of this is beyond us. And, by the way, we have lots of real geniuses in our time too… it’s just that they have been forced into systems that punish them for their brilliance, rather than rewarding them, or at least just leaving them alone. Why Haven’t We Gone Back? There are several ways to answer this question. Here are the answers that I think matter most: #1: Space is Against the State’s Interest Fame for the basest, weirdest and most lurid men and women; conformity for everyone else. And so on. The people who left could never again be contained and have their money removed by force. Those cows would never be milked again. The reason I’m so sure of this is simple mathematics. When we lost the moon we lost our bearings; there was no distant star to guide us, no magnificent vision to pursue. Four decades on, we remain in a kind of stasis, mollified with streaming vanities and base satisfactions. Perhaps we should have known that this would be the result. But when shall we return to the stars? It isn’t rocket science anymore. [Editor’s Note: This article is based on research from our flagship newsletter – The Freeman’s Perspective Letter – Issue #20: “Forty Years Gone: A Lamentation.” If you liked it, consider taking a risk-free test drive. Not only will you gain immediate access to the rest of the issue, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the entire archive – more than 520 pages of research on topics of importance and inspiration to those looking for freedom in an unfree world. Plus valuable bonus reports and all new issues as well. Click here to learn more.] Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.com Originally compiled for FreedomsPhoenix.com. The glorification and unlimited empowerment of the institution. At two million miles it is 33,504,000 billion cubic miles of dominance. The men who went into space knew that death was a possibility, but they valued more than just animal rewards; they wanted to excel, to touch the heavens, to expand, to become more. In the broader cultures of the West, that attitude has been suppressed and nearly lost. Space is a territory that expends exponentially (as a cube of the distance) and endlessly. The numbers look like this: 24/7 entertainment, which made billions of otherwise-productive hours worthless. As a result, we’ve had boring, washed-out decades, focused on anything but the awe-inspiring, the good, and the truly heroic. These years have been stripped of the greatest excitement, discovery and growth that have ever been possible to our species. Consider what became of the past forty years: There has been no striving, no searching, no becoming. Instead, we’ve had: At four million miles it is 268,032,000,000 billion cubic miles of dominance. If we actually held our own money, reaching space again could be done, easily, from a small percentage of our surplus. No coercion would be required, only a bit of excitement. Our current decade features no goals save bodily comfort, and no aspirations save existence and status. Underlying it all is a palette of manufactured fears that can only be salved by buying the right products or electing the right politicians. We are living through the triumph of manipulation and the disappearance of vigorous individuals. We have no money left over for things that matter.
Forty-five states and the Department of Justice are claiming that generic-drug prices are fixed and the alleged collusion may have cost U.S. business and consumers more than $1 billion.In their complaint, prosecutors say that when pharmacies asked drugmakers for their lowest price, the manufacturers would rig the bidding process.”The companies would work out in advance who would get the lowest price and then the other competitors may put in what we would call a cover bid,” says Michael Cole, who heads the antitrust department at the Connecticut attorney general’s office. (Such bids give the appearance of competitive bidding.)Through subpoenas, Cole’s team has assembled millions of texts, emails and phone calls between 2012 and 2015. The prosecutors say the records show executives divvying up customers, setting prices and giving the illusion that generic pharmaceuticals were transacted in an open and fair marketplace.Because of this price-fixing scheme, prosecutors say, health insurance premiums and copays increased. They also say tax-funded programs like Medicare and Medicaid overspent on drugs.So far, two executives from Heritage Pharmaceuticals have pleaded guilty to antitrust crimes. Both are now feeding information to prosecutors who say the two rigged prices on, among other drugs, the common antibiotic doxycycline, which shot the price up 8,000 percent.”To the extent that taxpayers have had to pay that bill, I think that the taxpayers should recover. And we will get involved on the civil side and recover damages for the U.S. government,” Makan Delrahim, head of the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, said at a seminar.The fact that the Department of Justice is involved has caught the attention of class-action lawyers.Jason Dubner, an attorney for Butler, Rubin, Saltarelli & Boyd, says the allegations are so massive that prices throughout the generic industry could have been affected. “You start to get an understanding just how widespread this alleged conspiracy was to cover so many different types of cures,” he says.Law firms that specialize in class actions have already lined up as many as 80 companies that may have paid too much, including retail pharmacies, employee unions and insurance companies. Dubner predicts more will join as the lawsuit progresses, perhaps even individual consumers.The pharmaceutical manufacturers named in the complaint have either declined to comment or denied the allegations, saying they have a robust compliance program.Ronny Gal, a market analyst for Sanford Bernstein, says on average, the generic-drug industry has lowered prices for consumers. But, he says, in an efficient marketplace, generic-drug wholesalers should have kept prices in check.”In a market that has only three or four really large distribution organizations, they are sometimes tempted to maximize their own profits in a way that does not always 100 percent reflect the best interest of their clients,” Gal says.This is what investigators are looking at now. In their complaint they suggest — but don’t allege — that the price-fixing conspiracy also involved drug distributors. Prosecutors are sending more subpoenas and planning a new complaint.”It could be more generic manufacturers, it could be more drugs, it could be more entities in the distribution chain. It could be all of that,” Cole, of the Connecticut attorney general’s office, says.A spokesperson for McKesson, one of the largest generics distributors, said the company is cooperating with requests for information from prosecutors and that it competes aggressively for the lowest price available.Based on what’s in the current lawsuit, Gal estimates an eventual settlement would be around $1 billion. But he says that number could go as high as $5 billion, especially if more drugs are included. Copyright 2018 WSHU. To see more, visit WSHU.
US foreign policy Middle East and North Africa Opinion Share on Facebook Benjamin Netanyahu with his wife Sara during his appearance before supporters at his Likud party headquarters in Tel Aviv on election night.Photograph: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images Opinion Share on Twitter Benjamin Netanyahu is on course to become his country’s longest-serving prime minister, for the worst reasons editorials Editorial Share on Twitter Israel Last modified on Wed 10 Apr 2019 14.30 EDT Wed 10 Apr 2019 13.30 EDT Share on WhatsApp Shares4848 The Guardian view on the Israeli elections: further down the wrong road Israel … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Topics Support The Guardian Donald Trump Reuse this content Palestinian territories Share via Email Share on Facebook Benjamin Netanyahu Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest It should be astonishing that a prime minister can win a fifth term with corruption indictments hanging over his head and a trail of enemies behind him. Though early campaign polls suggested that a majority of voters wanted to get rid of Benjamin Netanyahu, they failed to do so. With only a few votes left to be counted, King Bibi has held his throne. His rival Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party look to have tied in the number of Knesset seats, but Mr Gantz has conceded, recognising that Mr Netanyahu was far better placed to construct a coalition.In fact, the outcome of Israel’s elections essentially confirms what we knew. First, that Mr Netanyahu is a man possessed of extraordinary political ability and no scruples. This was most evident in his late pledge to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. The last time he feared losing an election, he warned of Israeli Arab voters heading to polling stations “in droves”; this time, his party Likud placed hidden cameras in polling stations in Arab communities, their purported concerns about “voting fraud” looking more like voter suppression. It is also evident in his skill in forging deals, including with unsavoury allies. If he does indeed hang on it will be in part because of his willingness to boost racist, far-right politicians.Second, the election confirms that the Trump administration will give both unstintingly and enthusiastically to the Israeli right. Having moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and ended funding to the UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees, Mr Trump announced, with nakedly political timing, that the US would recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967. The third and most critical aspect is Israel’s rightwards lurch. Mr Netanyahu as the proto-populist has fostered rather than healed divisions; but he is not the sole author of the country’s shift. In December, when these elections were called, 73% of voters said they wanted a right or centre-right government. The former military chief Mr Gantz ran, essentially, as the man who was not Mr Netanyahu but could match him for “toughness” on security. This election leaves the left looking more marginalised – even anachronistic – than ever, with Labour claiming just six of the Knesset’s 120 seats.The question is how far and fast Mr Netanyahu moves. There is widespread suspicion that he will further undermine Israeli institutions and civil society. Many predict an “immunity for annexation” deal, protecting him from prosecution while he is in office (he denies the allegations). His promises may, in practice, amount to the application of Israeli law in the illegal settlement blocs. Wrong in and of itself, it would also provide a purchase for the right to ratchet him further on the issue.Whether the last trickle of votes helps pro-annexation politicians including Naftali Bennett across the electoral threshold remains to be seen. But Mr Netanyahu will no longer be able to fend off pressure by citing US opposition. Challenged on election day, the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, refused to say what the US would do if the Israeli government tried to annex parts of the West Bank. Mr Trump has already announced that Mr Netanyahu’s victory means a “better chance” for the “deal of the century”. What precisely its plan contains is the subject of much speculation: one certainty, on the administration’s record, is surely that it will bring more suffering for Palestinians.The degree of harm which Mr Netanyahu will wreak in his fifth term is yet to be determined. The direction of travel is grimly predictable. Share on Messenger Since you’re here…
V-Click Technology Officially Launched Globe Newswire1 day agoJuly 22, 2019 digital marketingiClickMarketing Technology NewsNewsSammy HsiehV-Click TechnologyYan Lee Previous ArticleAsia-Pacific Managed Security Service Providers Need to Offer Advanced Analytics to Drive Growth Opportunities in the region, finds Frost & SullivanNext ArticleRoundtable Series: The Benefits of AI for Retail Operations Technology-driven marketing solutions for Southeast Asian companies to target and capture China’s lucrative consumer marketV-Click Technology (“V-Click”), the joint venture formed between VGI Global Media Plc, Thailand’s number one online to offline (O2O) solutions provider across advertising, payment and logistics platforms and iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited, (“iClick”) (NASDAQ: ICLK), an independent online marketing and enterprise data solutions provider in China, is officially launched.The suite of technology-driven digital marketing and media solutions provided by V-Click will include intelligence, social, and mobile tools based on iClick’s 825 million1 consumer profiles to provide clients with a comprehensive insight into the Chinese market. V-Click will also continue to launch various products and applications that extend the joint data and technological capabilities of iClick and VGI, including marketing SaaS solutions and AI-powered mobile applications, among others.Marketing Technology News: WebCEO, the Agency Oriented Marketing Platform, Launches a New Local SEO ModuleThailand is one of the most popular overseas destinations for Chinese tourists. According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in Thailand, in 2018 there were 10.5 million visitors from China, with a total expenditure of THB 580 billion. Chinese visitors are the top source of foreign receipts in an industry that makes up about a fifth of the Thai economy, presenting significant opportunity to Thai brands to reach this audience.Leveraging the respective digital strengths and extensive local networks of iClick and VGI, V-Click will help companies in the region deepen their engagement with the lucrative audience of Chinese outbound travellers and consumer groups through targeted and customized strategies as well as market leading solutions that consider the unprecedented cross-border retail opportunities.To celebrate V-Click’s launch, VGI and iClick co-hosted an industry event in Bangkok that provided insights on digital marketing in China, attended by over 300 marketers from Thailand. Leading Chinese internet players and marketing experts including Tencent, Ctrip, RED and DianPing shared their insights on China’s outbound tourism market and the purchasing behaviour of Chinese outbound travellers.Marketing Technology News: Progress Named a Leader in the New 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Multiexperience Development Platforms“Advanced marketing technology has become an essential tool to help Southeast Asian consumer brands who are looking to penetrate Chinese travellers. V-Click is uniquely positioned to help Southeast Asian companies to reach Chinese consumer markets and convert marketing efforts to real business value, backed by the region’s two leading marketing solutions players,” commented Yan Lee, Chief Product Officer of iClick and Chief Executive Officer of V-Click.“As announced in June, VGI’s strategic investment in iClick further expands the ongoing collaboration between the two companies and this move demonstrates the confidence the two parties have in the synergies they can create and the market opportunities of which they are looking to take advantage,” said Sammy Hsieh, Co-founder and CEO of iClick. “Going forward, we foresee more collaboration opportunities between VGI and its Group and iClick, which enables iClick to rapidly expand across Southeast Asia.”Marketing Technology News: Introducing Shutterstock Elements, Thousands of Cinema-Grade Video Effects for Filmmakers
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 26 2018Children treated for obesity in primary or outpatient care have a relatively good chance of fending off weight problems over the next few years as well, a study published in Acta Paediatrica shows.”There’s an attitude that obesity is so terribly difficult to get rid of that you have to send the child to a specialist clinic, sometimes many tens of kilometers away. But the skills are often available closer at hand, and then there’s a greater chance of the treatment taking place,” says Staffan Mårild, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and a pediatrician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.The study comprises 64 children aged 8-13 who received treatment for obesity in primary or outpatient care clinics in their home area following a referral by the school health services. The participating health centers were in Alingsås, Gothenburg, Skövde, and Vänersborg.The program undergone by the children and their legal guardians included one year’s regular advice on diet, physical activity, and sleep. What is now reported is how much the children weighed after going a further three years without treatment.Three in ten changed weight categoryThe follow-up included 56 of the 64 children, which is considered a high proportion. The results show that approximately 3 in 10 children were in a lower weight category than before. Thus, they had gone from severe obesity to obesity, from obesity to overweight, or from obesity or overweight to normal weight.The study lacks a real control group. No such group could be created since, at the time, the children with obesity had been left without treatment for four years. On the other hand, the results were compared with a group of 34 children who were of normal weight when the study began. After four years, five of these children had overweight.Related StoriesNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeNew curriculum to improve soft skills in schools boosts children’s health and behavior”It’s not as if the study’s weight results are all that impressive. However, they’re at about the same levels as those achieved by the major research clinics. A big advantage here is that the effects persist after four years,” Mårild says.Simplicity and proximityThe year-long program comprised of traditional lifestyle treatment. On 12 occasions, the children and legal guardians met a nurse, a dietician, and in some cases a physiotherapist. Between meetings, health workers called to ask how things were going.The dietary advice given was detailed, and meal routines were also covered. In parallel, physical activity was encouraged: Walking or cycling to school, physical activity with the family, and organized sports with children of the same age. Good sleep was also an important factor.Mårild emphasizes the advantages of primary care when children with obesity are treated. Its simplicity and proximity to their home mean that more of them are reachable, while also reducing the risk of treatment interruptions.”I think pediatric clinics and general medical centers should venture to take on these cases to a greater extent. Then, if it doesn’t work, the children can be sent elsewhere in a second phase.” Source:https://sahlgrenska.gu.se/english/research/news-events/news-article//good-help-in-primary-care-for-children-with-obesity-.cid1595115
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 21 2018A homeless individual is one who lacks fixed and reliable housing, and approximately 553,000 people fit that description on any given night in the United States. A new retrospective cohort study led by investigators from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital examines patterns, causes and outcomes of acute hospitalizations between 2007 and 2013 for homeless individuals and non-homeless control groups in three populous and diverse U.S. states: Florida, California and Massachusetts. Data suggest a rise in acute hospital use among homeless individuals for mental illness and substance use disorder. The results were published in the journal Medical Care.”The homeless population is aging, and the rate of hospitalizations for homeless individuals is increasing,” said lead author Rishi Wadhera, MD, an investigator in the Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology at BIDMC. “Although there has been a recent push to establish better policy and public health measures to improve the health of homeless adults, few studies have examined the patterns and causes of hospitalizations in this population. We found that hospitalizations among homeless adults tend to be for a very different set of conditions than non-homeless adults, even after accounting for differences in demographics.”To examine these trends, hospital discharge data was acquired from Massachusetts and Florida between 2001 and 2013 and from California between 2007 and 2011. This information came from the State Inpatient Databases (SID) of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, created by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. This dataset includes information such as homeless status, billing, demographics, and diagnoses. Hospitalization costs were determined by applying American Hospital Association cost-to-charge ratios to the total hospital charges provided in the SID.Overall, the researchers analyzed more than 185,000 hospitalizations for homeless individuals and 32 million hospitalizations for non-homeless individuals. Between 2007 and 2013 (2011 for Calif.), acute hospitalizations for homeless individuals increased in all three states. Massachusetts experienced an increase from 294 to 420 per 1,000 homeless individuals, Florida increased from 161 to 240/1,000, and California grew from 133 to 164/1,000. Homeless adults were more often white (62 percent), male (76.1 percent), around 46 years old, and either uninsured (41.9 percent) or insured by Medicaid (31.7 percent).Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasHeart disease is still the number 1 killer in Australia, according to latest figuresThe researchers found that reasons for hospitalization among the two groups differed starkly. More than 50 percent of hospitalizations among homeless individuals were related to mental illness and substance use disorder, while these conditions explained less than 20 percent of hospitalizations among demographically comparable non-homeless individuals. Homeless adults also had a longer mean length of stay (6.5 vs. 5.9 days). However, homeless individuals had lower in-hospital mortality rates (0.9 percent vs. 1.2 percent) and lower mean costs per day ($1,535 vs. $1,834) than the comparable non-homeless control group.”Some states, such as Massachusetts, have expanded Medicaid eligibility, which has increased rates of insurance among homeless individuals and improved access to care; this could have led to greater use of hospital services,” said Wadhera, who is also a cardiology fellow in the Cardiovascular Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “The increase in hospitalizations could also reflect more concerning trends. The opioid epidemic has disproportionately impacted homeless population, and a repercussion of this may be an increase in acute hospitalizations. It is also possible that these patterns suggest inadequate outpatient care for homeless individuals, and that we need to do a better job of providing more consistent, reliable outpatient care to this population.””There is an urgent need to reduce financial and nonfinancial barriers to the use of ambulatory care, for behavioral health services in particular, to improve long-term management of physical and mental illness for homeless individuals,” said senior author Karen Joynt Maddox, MD, MPH, of Washington University in St. Louis. “We need better longitudinal data and further studies to understand how Medicaid expansion and other policy initiatives affect the health of this highly vulnerable population.” Source:https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/news/2018/12/study-examines-primary-drivers-of-increased-hospitalizations-of-homeless-individuals
Source:https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm635720.htm Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 11 2019Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning the public not to use medical devices marketed to consumers that claim to help assess, diagnose or manage head injury, including concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI) or mild TBI. In a new safety communication, the FDA warned that such tools -; such as apps on a smartphone marketed to coaches or parents for use during sporting events -; have not been reviewed by the FDA for safety and efficacy and could result in an incorrect diagnosis, potentially leading to a person with a serious head injury returning to their normal activities instead of getting medical care.To date, there are a limited number of medical devices that have been cleared or approved by the FDA to aid in the diagnosis, treatment, or management of concussion, and all of them require an evaluation by a health care professional.Related StoriesNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementia”I want to be clear, there are currently no devices to aid in assessing concussion that should be used by consumers on their own. Using such devices can result in an incorrect diagnosis after a head injury that could lead a person with a serious injury to return to their normal activities instead of seeking critical medical care, putting them at greater danger,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Products being marketed for the assessment, diagnosis, or management of a head injury, including concussion, that have not been approved or cleared by the FDA are in violation of the law. The FDA routinely monitors the medical device market and became aware of violative products being marketed to consumers. The FDA has alerted companies to our concerns and asked them to remove such claims. We will continue to monitor the marketplace for devices making these unsubstantiated claims and are prepared to take further action if necessary.”In the safety communication issued today, the FDA explains that the products of concern include those that claim to assess and diagnose any changes in brain function by having an injured person perform tests on a smartphone or tablet-based app to determine a change in physical or mental (cognitive) status including vision, concentration, memory, balance and speech.The FDA’s recommendations for consumers, parents, caregivers and athletic coaches note that individuals should seek treatment right away from a health care professional if any head injury, including concussion, is suspected.The FDA will continue to monitor promotional materials and claims about uses of these and similar products and contact companies when we see violative practices. If the agency’s concerns are not addressed, the FDA will consider what additional actions, including potential enforcement actions, are appropriate. The FDA will continue to monitor complaints and adverse event reports from patients, caregivers, health care providers and industry.
Credit: CC0 Public Domain Explore further Face recognition is becoming an increasingly common feature of biometric verification systems. Now, a team from India has used a multi-class support vector machine to extend the way in which such systems work to take into account a person’s age. Jayant Jagtap of Symbiosis International (Deemed) University in Pune, and Manesh Kokare of the Shri Guru Gobind Singhji Institute of Engineering and Technology, in Nanded, India, explain that human age classification has remained an important barrier to the next generation of face recognition technology but could be a useful additional parameter in security and other contexts. Provided by Inderscience More information: Jayant Jagtap et al. Human age classification using appearance and facial skin ageing features with multi-class support vector machine, International Journal of Biometrics (2018). DOI: 10.1504/IJBM.2019.096559 The team’s novel two stage age classification framework based on appearance and facial skin ageing features using a multi-class support vector machine (M-SVM) can classify, the team suggests, classify images of faces into one of seven age groups. Fundamentally, the system examines characteristics of the image coincident with facial skin textural and wrinkles and is accurate 94.45% of the time. It works well despite factors such as genetics, gender, health, life-time weather conditions, working and living environment, tobacco and alcohol use. Indeed, accuracy is greater than 98% in the first step wherein adult and non-adult faces are distinguished.”The proposed framework of age classification gives better performance than existing age classification systems,” the team reports. They add that future research will look to improve accuracy still further for use in real-time applications. This will be done through the development of an algorithm for extracting facial skin ageing features and through the design of an efficient age classifier, the team concludes. Citation: The seven ages of face recognition (2019, January 10) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-ages-recognition.html How old does your computer think you are? Journal information: International Journal of Biometrics 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.
Nissan said earlier that its board had also met Thursday, when directors had received “an updated report” on its own investigations into Ghosn’s alleged misconduct. 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. Citation: Renault audit finds no fraud yet as Ghosn learns fate (2019, January 10) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-renault-fraud-ghosn-key.html Chance of bail?Japanese media, citing Ghosn’s lawyers, said Thursday that he was suffering from a high fever and unable to meet investigators for questioning.At his dramatic court appearance on Tuesday, Ghosn appeared to have lost a lot of weight in detention but otherwise seemed in good health.”I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations,” the once-revered car titan told the court.In a career spanning decades, during which he won praise for turning around a struggling Nissan, he said he had “always acted with integrity” and had never before been accused of any wrongdoing.But afterwards Ghosn’s lawyer said it would be “very difficult” to win bail and it could be months before his case is heard.The French government has stood by Ghosn so far, saying he must benefit from the presumption of innocence.But Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne told French radio this week that “obviously, if this situation continues we’ll have to draw the consequences.” © 2019 AFP Ghosn was told in a Japanese court that he was a flight risk The internal Nissan probe may be widening, reports say Board members weren’t told whether the meeting is about Ghosn Nissan last weekend put two executives close to Ghosn on leave of absence, suggesting that the internal investigation into the alleged misconduct could be spreading.Jose Munoz, the chief performance officer, and human resources head Arun Bajaj have not been replaced during their absences.Nissan as well as Mitsubishi, the third alliance partner, have removed Ghosn as chairman, but Renault has kept him on while appointing a deputy CEO to ensure day-to-day management.The French automaker has said internal investigations have found no signs of wrongdoing by its chief during his tenure.But pressure on Ghosn rose further Thursday after French daily Liberation reported that he had not been paying French income taxes since 2012, after moving his fiscal residency to the Netherlands.Both Renault and the French economy ministry declined to comment, but it was an unwelcome revelation for the head of a company in which the French state owns a 15-percent stake.”The leader of a French company should pay his taxes in France,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a speech last month. Explore further Renault and the French government are standing by Ghosn, for now Renault board maintains Ghosn as CEO, says pay was legal Ghosn’s requests Tuesday to be released before trial were rejected by a judge who declared he was a flight risk.One of his lawyers later conceded that Ghosn could spend a further six months behind bars before his case comes to trial.Japanese media reports have suggested new charges could be levied against him on Friday, which could ensure he remains jailed.He may be accused of understating his salary from 2015 to 2018, three years more than the original charge that he under-reported some five billion yen ($44 million) in income over five years from 2010.He could also face charges for breach of trust, reports say.The claims have heightened worries over the viability of keeping him on as Renault’s chief executive.New revelationsFrench daily Le Figaro reported Thursday that the board meeting was one of several informal gatherings held regularly since Ghosn’s arrest to discuss developments in the case. The board of French automaker Renault on Thursday said an ongoing audit into executive pay had found no sign of fraud in the last two years, as CEO Carlos Ghosn could face fresh charges in Japan. Directors gave no hint in their statement of any deliberations into Ghosn’s future at Renault, as Japanese prosecutors reportedly prepare to press new formal charges likely to keep the once-towering auto boss behind bars.The Renault meeting comes two days after Ghosn made his first court appearance over alleged financial impropriety during his years as head of the carmaker’s alliance partner Nissan.Renault’s board said an independent review had looked into the compensation of the group’s executive committee during the financial years 2017 and 2018 “and has concluded that it is both in compliance with applicable laws and free from any fraud”.But the board statement added that the audit would continue, with previous years scrutinised as it progresses. Ghosn, who has been Renault CEO since 2005, has been languishing in a Tokyo detention centre for more than 50 days as he fights multiple allegations of financial misconduct.The 64-year-old has been formally charged with under-declaring his income by tens of millions of dollars in an apparent bid to quash accusations he was overpaid.He also faces questioning in connection with alleged attempts to transfer personal investment losses to Nissan and making unnecessary payments to a Saudi associate from company funds.
Surveillance capitalism enters the equationFramed this way, it becomes clear why telling parents to stop blogging or posting about their children online is a challenging proposition. Media accounting is central to people’s social lives, and it’s been happening for a long time.But the fact that parents are doing it on blogs and social media does raise unique issues. Family album photos don’t transmit digital data and become visible only when you decide to show them to someone, whereas those Instagram pictures sit on servers owned by Facebook and are visible to anyone who scrolls through your profile.Children’s opinions matter, and if a child vehemently opposes sharenting, parents could always consider using paper diaries or physical photo albums. Parents can take other steps to manage their children’s privacy, such as using a pseudonym for their child and giving their child veto power over content.However, debates about privacy and sharenting often focus on a parent’s followers or friends seeing the content. They tend to ignore what corporations do with that data. Social media didn’t cause parents to engage in media accounting, but it has profoundly altered the terms by which they do so. Unlike the diary entries, photo albums and home videos of yore, blog posts, Instagram photos and YouTube videos reside in platforms owned by corporations and can be made visible to far more people than most parents realize or expect.The problem is less about parents and more about social media platforms. These platforms increasingly operate according to an economic logic that business scholar Shoshana Zuboff calls “surveillance capitalism.” They produce goods and services designed to extract enormous amounts of data from individuals, mine that data for patterns, and use it to influence people’s behavior.It doesn’t have to be this way. In her book on media accounting, Humphreys mentions that in its early days, Kodak exclusively developed its customers’ film. “While Kodak processed millions of customer photos,” Humphreys writes, “they did not share that information with advertisers in exchange for access to their customers. … In other words, Kodak did not commodify its users.” Social media platforms do just that. Sharenting tells them what your child looks like, when she was born, what she likes to do, when she hits her developmental milestones and more. These platforms pursue a business model predicated on knowing users – perhaps more deeply than they know themselves – and using that knowledge to their own ends. Against this backdrop, the concern is less that parents talk about their kids online and more that the places where parents spend time online are owned by companies who want access to every corner of our lives.In my view, that’s the privacy problem that needs fixing. One commentor criticized parents like the essay’s author for having “turned their family’s daily dramas into content.” Another said the woman’s essay surfaces a “nagging – and loaded – question among parents in the age of Instagram. … Are our present social media posts going to mortify our kids in the future?”These questions are valid, and I’ve published research about the need for parents to steward their children’s privacy online. I agree with critics who accuse the woman of being tone-deaf to her child’s concerns. However, I believe the broader criticism of parents and their social media behavior is misplaced.I’ve been studying this topic – sometimes called “sharenting” – for six years. Too often, public discourse pits parents against children. Parents, critics say, are being narcissistic by blogging about their kids and posting their photos on Facebook and Instagram; they’re willing to invade their child’s privacy in exchange for attention and likes from their friends. So the story goes. But this parent-versus-child framing obscures a bigger problem: the economic logic of social media platforms that exploit users for profit.A natural impulseDespite the heated responses sharenting can evoke, it’s nothing new. For centuries, people have recorded daily minutiae in diaries and scrapbooks. Products like baby books explicitly invite parents to log information about their children. Communication scholar Lee Humphreys sees the impulse parents feel to document and share information about their kids as a form of “media accounting.” Throughout their lives, people occupy many roles – child, spouse, parent, friend, colleague. Humphreys argues that one way to perform these roles is by documenting them. Looking back on these traces can help people shape a sense of self, construct a coherent life story and feel connected to others. To share photographs of your kids is to be human. Credit: pxhere If you’ve ever thumbed through an old yearbook, a grandparent’s travel photos or a historical figure’s diary, you’ve looked at media accounts. Same if you’ve scrolled through a blog’s archives or your Facebook Timeline. Social media may be fairly new, but the act of recording everyday life is age-old.Writing about family life online can help parents express themselves creatively and connect with other parents. Media accounting can also help people make sense of their identities as a parent. Being a parent – and seeing yourself as a parent – involves talking and writing about your children. Citation: The real problem with posting about your kids online (2019, February 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-real-problem-kids-online.html Explore further Provided by The Conversation Research finds kids have strong opinions about what parents post about them online 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. In a recent essay published in The Washington Post, a mother explained her decision to continue writing essays and blog posts about her daughter even after the girl had protested. The woman said that while she felt bad, she was “not done exploring my motherhood in my writing.” This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. ‘Say cheese so I can show all my friends how cute you are – and unwittingly show corporations your age, race and gender!’ Credit: Fancy Studio/Shutterstock.com
SHARE COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL music industry The Madras Music Academy has debarred seven musicians, including Chitraveena N. Ravikiran, a recipient of the Sangita Kalanidhi award of the institution, from the list of performers this December season, in the wake of alleged sexual harassment complaints against them.The other musicians are vocalist O.S. Thyagarajan, violinist Nagai Sriram and mridhangam players Mannargudi A. Eswaran, Srimushnam V. Rajarao, R. Ramesh and Thiruvarur Vaidhyanathan.“We cannot keep quiet and be oblivious to what is happening around us. The women, who have gone through alleged sexual harassment and trauma over the years, thanks to the #MeToo movement, have gained voice to articulate their traumatic experience,” said N. Murali, president of the Academy.He said as part of this movement, many Carnatic musicians had been called out on social media and the #MeToo exposés were widely circulated.Nuanced approachPointing out that the Music Academy had not gone about it wildly, but had taken a nuanced approach, Mr. Murali said just naming a person was not sufficient ground for the Music Academy to take action.The Music Academy had applied some objective criteria to make sense of all of this, especially in the face of denials.“The expose contains a detailed description of an incident of alleged sexual harassment, often physical in nature. Normally, there is more than one alleged incident that comes out. The alleged incident is of a serious nature. After the allegations surfaced, we spoke to some unbiased persons in the field by way of validation,” he explained.Mr. Murali said the Academy had also taken this stand as a measure of solidarity and sympathy with all the victims and the #MeToo movement. He, however, added that “these are allegations and we are not judging them guilty.”“We have the right to feature any musician or not in our festival and we have exercised our right. This action is also to uphold the reputation and credibility of the Music Academy, which is the pre-eminent 90-year-old institution,” he said.“We hope this will act as deterrent for all such future acts. I also hope that other music organisations will take an appropriate decision from the lead given by us,” he added.The story first appeared in The Hindu. Published on COMMENTS October 25, 2018
Rahul Gandhi SHARE SHARE EMAIL Congress President Rahul Gandhi and TNCC president KS Alagiri, at a press conference in Chennai on Wednesday – Bijoy Ghosh Indian National Congress Published on March 13, 2019 state politics Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a ‘flop show’ when it comes to job creation and not addressing the issue of unemployment. Make in India and Start up India are fake statements. Unemployment is highest in the last 45 years, and this will be huge issue in the coming elections, said Congress President Rahul Gandhi.The party’s focus in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections will be on employment, farmers, and a happy, prosperous and united India, said Gandhi, who was in the city en route to Nagercoil to address a public rally.Economic growth is directly related to the mood of the country. This is something fundamental that the BJP and Modi do not understand. When the country is divided and fighting, States have acrimonious relationships; ‘how can we expect solid economic growth.’’ The first thing the Congress will do (when it comes to power) is bring harmony to the country, he told the media.Job creation will happen through small and medium businesses by transforming them into large businesses. “We will open the banks to these businesses,” he said.Currently, job creators are under assault and attacked by demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is extremely complicated, and allows a significant amount of ‘rent-seeking’ with Income Tax and other departments having oppressive roles. “We will simplify their lives. We have a phenomenal idea in the election manifesto of making entrepreneurship easy, simple and possible,” he said, adding that the Congress will simply the GST and also lower the tax, if possible.The economy needs to be put on track, and the Congress has a ‘revolutionary’ idea called the Minimum Basic Income guarantee. “I am confident that we will be able to implement it when we come to power. After 2019, there will be nobody in India below the minimum income line; everybody will be brought into that line by a direct cash deposit into their bank accounts,” he said.Gandhi said Modi is turning the demographic dividend into a disaster. There has to be a movement towards unification and building bridges by conversation.Lashing out at Modi for not having an open conversation, Gandhi said, “Don’t have a conversation with me, speak to the press. Have the guts to meet the press and talk to 3,000 students. . Every other Opposition leader is holding a press conference, but Modi is not facing the press, “ he said.On the Rafale controversy, Gandhi said, “we are not questioning the capability of the aircraft but only saying that ‘Modi and Anil Ambani have stolen ₹30,000 crore from the Air Force,” and that there should be an investigation. There will be an investigation and that at the end of it, “Modi and Anil Ambani will be convicted,” he said.The Congress has firmed up alliances in a number of States, including Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Jharkhand. Alliance talks in Bihar have practically concluded and are in the final stages in J&K. It is the BJP that does not have alliances,” he said. Slams the BJP for not addressing the issue politics COMMENTS COMMENT SHARE BJP