Novak Djokovic of Serbia (left) is congratulated by Andy Murray of Britain after winning the men’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday. AP PhotoNovak Djokovic won his fifth Australian Open title and extended Andy Murray’s misery at Melbourne Park by beating the Scotsman 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-0 in the final Sunday.Murray has now been a losing finalist four times here, losing twice previously to Djokovic in 2011 and 2013 and to Roger Federer in 2010. Djokovic is a perfect 5-for-5 in Australian Open finals and has eight Grand Slam titles.Djokovic swung momentum in a close match with a service break in the eighth game of the third set, winning four straight points. When he took a 4-0 lead in the last set, he smacked his fist hard against his chest in celebration.At the end of the match, Djokovic threw his racket into the crowd at Rod Laver Arena.Roy Emerson, the only other man with five or more Australian titles, was in the crowd and Djokovic acknowledged the presence of the six-time champion.”I’m so grateful to be standing here as a champion for the fifth time, and to be in the elite group of players – Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and all the legends of our sport,” Djokovic said.Murray sat slumped over in his chair after the match, awaiting the presentations, and once again received the runner-up plate instead of the trophy.”I had amazing support again here,” Murray said. “It’s been my most consistent Grand Slam of my career. I haven’t been quite able to win, but the support I’ve received here has been amazing. I’ll try and come back next year and hopefully have a slightly different outcome in the final.”advertisementDjokovic faced three break points in the third game of the opening set but saved them all, twice coming to the net, including on game point, to hold and take a 2-1 lead. He broke Murray in the next game, but Murray got back on serve when he broke Djokovic in the seventh game.Djokovic served for the first set after breaking Murray in the eighth game, but Murray broke back. After that game, Djokovic had a trainer attend to this right thumb.Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Andy Murray of Britain in the men’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday. AP PhotoHe double-faulted to open the tiebreaker but then, after Murray took a 2-1 lead, won five of the next six points to regain control. He clinched the set when Murray netted a backhand service return.In the second set, Djokovic saved a set point in the 10th game and Murray saved three break points in the 11th before it went to the tiebreaker. Sixth-seeded Murray dominated the breaker to lead 6-2, securing four set points before clinching it on Djokovic’s serve.The second set was delayed for about five minutes after the seventh game when a court invader protesting Australia’s refugee policies was removed by security after stepping on to the court. Other spectators in the stadium unfurled a political banner.Djokovic broke Murray’s serve in the eighth game of the third set, winning four straight points, prompting the Scottish player to throw his racket and yell repeatedly into his towel. The crowd booed Murray’s display.There was a bigger cheer for Djokovic when the introductions were made, but plenty of Scottish flags in the stands. Some Serbian fans yelled “Adje Nole” – Serbian for Come on Nole, which is Djokovic’s nickname.Before the match began, Andy Murray’s fiancee, Kim Sears, caused a stir. She was dressed in an oversized T-shirt with a message that poked fun at the widespread attention paid to her use of colorful language during Murray’s semifinal win over Tomas Berdych.Rather than shy away from the issue, Sears’ T-shirt for the final showed a sense of humor. It read: “Parental Advisory Explicit Content.”
Manchester United Anfield trip like going to hell – Silvestre warns Man United Dejan Kalinic Last updated 2 years ago 14:56 10/13/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Manchester United Premier League Liverpool v Manchester United Liverpool The defender has issued a stark prediction for Jose Mourinho’s men, as they prepare to face Liverpool on Saturday lunchtime Mikael Silvestre has warned former club Manchester United that travelling to Anfield to face Liverpool was like “going to hell” during his playing days.Red Devils 9/5 for derby defeatJose Mourinho’s men visit Liverpool on Saturday looking to continue their fine start to the season, which has seen United win six of their opening seven Premier League games. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. But Silvestre, who won five league titles and a Champions League with United, has told his former club to expect a huge test against Jurgen Klopp’s side.”You feel like you’re going to hell. You are not welcome and you can feel the hate for sure,” said Silvestre, speaking exclusively to 888sport.”It’s a hostile environment and it’s a good occasion to see how you react in adversity. It’s the best place to win games.”While United are second in the table, Liverpool sit seventh following just three wins in seven league games.Silvestre believes United can control the hosts’ leading attackers – Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino – with Sadio Mane sidelined due to a hamstring injury.”They are good players but hardly world class yet,” he said.”Over the course of the 90 minutes you would expect them to make some chances because they are talented but there is not one goal-machine from Salah, Firmino, Mane or Coutinho.”They are missing that clinical player because at the end of the day it is this one you have to be worried about, the one you expect to finish 20-25 times a season.”Liverpool doesn’t have one yet. United are going to be tested but I think they can control these guys.”Read the full 888sport interview with Mikael Silvestre, including his thoughts on the one player better than Paul Scholes in his time at Manchester United Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Andros Townsend in line for new Crystal Palace dealby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAndros Townsend is in line for a new deal at Crystal Palace.The Sun says Townsend will be handed a contract extension to reward his stunning form.The 27-year-old has started every Premier League game this season and scored a goal-of-the-season contender with a screamer in the win at Manchester City.Townsend has two full-seasons on his current deal but Roy Hodgson, who handed him his England debut in 2013, views him as a key player for the future.The Palace winger wants his future secured as he is pushing for an England recall after missing out on the World Cup last summer. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
NEW DELHI – Indian actresses and writers are flooding social media with allegations of sexual harassment and assault, releasing pent-up frustration with a law that was lauded internationally but that critics say has done little to change the status quo in the world’s largest democracy.“People using social media to articulate their complaints should be recognized in the context of failure. The system has in effect failed us, has failed women,” T.K. Rajalakshmi, the president of the Indian Women’s Press Corps, said in a panel discussion Thursday in New Delhi.The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act of 2013 holds Indian workplaces liable for sexual harassment, and prescribes a system for investigating and redressing complaints. Employers must create committees that are at least 50 per cent women, presided over by a woman and with one external expert, to process complaints. The law builds on the landmark 1997 Vishakha case, in which India’s Supreme Court held that sexual harassment at work violated a woman’s constitutional right to equality.But nearly five years since the law came into effect, many managers and employees are not aware of it. Those who are rarely implement it fully, in part because of the enormous taboo in India of discussing anything related to sex, said Naina Kapur, the attorney who argued the Vishakha case before the Supreme Court.“Every time I get a call it’s after the event has happened. It’s supposed to be effectively communicated and it hasn’t been,” Kapur said, adding that in India, “as women get more into the marketplace and the workplace, their experience of sex harassment and violence is a growing area of concern but it’s not being heard.”Based on the nonstop TV coverage, alleged victims are making themselves heard on social media, bypassing completely the protocol created by the 2013 law.The social media storm began in September, when former Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta spoke to several Indian TV news channels about her frustration with a fruitless police complaint she filed in 2008 against actor Nana Patekar for alleged sexual harassment on a Mumbai movie set.Dutta said that after Patekar groped her during a dance routine, she fled the set and a mob surrounded her car, smashed the windshield and trapped her inside.Patekar has denied the allegations.Then on Oct. 4, Mumbai comedy group AIB announced it had decided to de-list every video featuring former member Utsav Chakraborty, whom women had taken to social media to condemn for alleged sexual harassment.On Oct. 7, an unnamed former employee at Phantom Films writing in the Huffington Post described allegations she had made in 2015 against one of the company’s partners, director Vikas Bahl, whom she said behaved inappropriately during a trip to Goa.The following day, company partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane dissolved Phantom Films. Bahl has filed an intent to sue his former partners for defamation.Also on Oct. 8, journalist Sandhya Menon shared screenshots of her conversation with two women claiming that actor Rajat Kapoor harassed them over the phone.Kapoor apologized on Twitter if he had “slipped and through my actions or words caused pain or hurt.”That same day, former TV producer, director and writer Vinta Nanda said on Facebook and in TV interviews that she was raped 19 years ago by actor Alok Nath.Nath said in a TV interview that he neither denied or agreed with the allegations. “It must have happened, but someone else would have done it,” Nath said.TV actress Sandy Mridul expressed her support for Nanda in a tweet. Fellow TV actress Deepika Amin followed on Twitter: “Everyone in the industry knows that #AlokNath is an obnoxious drunkard who harasses women.”On Oct. 10, actor and heavyweight Bollywood producer Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao put out a statement saying they were “committed to doing any and everything to make our film industry a safe and happy one to work in.” In a tweet, Khan said they were about to begin work with someone who had been accused of sexual misconduct and that the matter was pending in court.Perhaps the most startling development has been the string of accusations against Junior External Affairs Minister M.J. Akbar. In less than a week, at least nine women journalists have accused Akbar of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour when he was a newspaper editor in Kolkata and Delhi. Neither Akbar nor the ministry has responded.But for India’s burgeoning #MeToo movement to take hold in the broader strata of Indian society, the 2013 sex harassment law must be implemented more broadly, said Sunieta Ojha, a lawyer who regularly conducts workshops on the law.“It requires a complete change of attitude toward women and toward workplace ethics. Employers instead of looking at it as a hassle, they have to see it as an investment. If they start doing that, it starts to have a very positive effect,” she said.Mumbai police on Thursday said they had opened an investigation into Patekar after Dutta filed a fresh complaint, charging him with violating two sections of the Indian Penal Code related to offending a woman’s modesty. If found guilty, the maximum penalty is two years in prison.Dutta said that after the alleged attack in 2008, she also lodged a complaint with Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA), an agency now subject to the 2013 law.Dutta’s lawyer, Nitin Satpute, said Dutta decided to speak out again about what allegedly happened to her in 2008 because she hoped the spotlight would help enforce the workplace sex harassment law within CINTAA.“Some are rich, some are poor, but many women are working there, and it will benefit all,” Satpute said.___Associated Press writer Ashok Sharma contributed to this report.
Gurugram: Ever since the voting process first began in Gurugram in 1952, the South Haryana region has always registered healthy voting percentage that has always been beyond 60 per cent. In 2014 for the third time, the Gururgam region registered a voting percentage beyond 70 per cent and there were expectations from the electorate the voters will break the previous record. Though there was a slight dip Gurugram on the final count registered an impressive voting percentage of 67.37 per cent. It was however tough for the officials of the election commission to collate the final data as there was a late surge in the voters trying to cast their votes. Till 8:00 pm on Sunday Gurugram had registered a voting percentage of 62. This was then revised to 67 per cent. There were also reports that the final voting percentage in Gurugram was recorded at 68.45 per cent but in the end, the figure was reduced to 67.37 per cent. Maximum voting was registered from the regions of Bawal at 75.64 per cent, Rewari at 70.64 per cent. At 64, Badshapur registered the lowest voting percentage in the nine Vidhan Sabha areas which are there in Gurugram. Interesting the areas of Mewat that had led the polls in 2014 was left behind the areas of Rewari and Bawal. Despite new schemes the voting percentage from these two sets of residents did not increase and much to the disappointment of election commission officials, a lot of glitches prevented the voting percentage picking up.
Ohio State senior linebacker Storm Klein was arrested Friday night for alleged domestic violence and assault, according to Franklin County Municipal Court Records. Klein pleaded not guilty to both charges at his arraignment Saturday morning and a temporary protection order will keep him away from the complainant, according to ESPN. OSU athletics spokesman Jerry Emig said the athletic department is aware of the situation and confirmed that Klein was arrested. Emig wouldn’t comment on Klein’s status with OSU coach Urban Meyer and the football team. “We are in the process of gathering more information in order to understand all the details,” Emig said in an email to The Lantern. Klein’s lawyer, Columbus attorney Timothy Walsh, did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s Satuday request for comment. According to an NBC4 report, the alleged altercation developed after an argument about the future of a relationship between Klein and the alleged victim. According to the report, the prosecutor at Saturday’s court hearing said Klein “purposefully threw her against the front door causing her head to hit the door” and that “there were noticeable injuries all over the prosecuting witness’ body including to her arms.”
Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) waits for the snap during a game against Michigan State on Nov. 8 in East Lansing, Mich. OSU won, 49-37.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorThe script surrounding the Ohio State quarterback picture is the same as it was three months ago — the lead character just has a different name.When the Buckeyes took the field for fall practice in August, their top quarterback was a Heisman Trophy contender with the ability to rewrite the record books.But that quarterback — senior Braxton Miller — was lost for the season with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder during fall camp, leaving the door open for redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett to take reigns of the OSU offense.Now with three regular season games still remaining for the Buckeyes, Barrett is just four touchdown passes away from tying the single-season school record of 30. That record just so happens to have been set by OSU’s most recent Heisman winner, Troy Smith in 2006.On Monday, coach Urban Meyer said he thinks Barrett’s play — at least on paper — should have him in the conversation for the sport’s most prestigious postseason award.“I think statistically he’s got to be in the mix somewhere,” Meyer said, but he conceded he hadn’t had a chance to watch most other players who are in the Heisman conversation.But before Barrett’s play elevated him into that conversation, all signs pointed toward Miller returning to the Buckeyes as the starter next season. Since his injury was season-ending, Miller qualifies for a medical redshirt, meaning he can choose to stay at OSU next season with one year of eligibility remaining.In fact, Miller’s future at OSU was even qualified by Meyer on Sept. 29.“Braxton is our quarterback,” Meyer said, seemingly ending any debate as to whether Barrett — the former understudy — could send Miller packing.But now with Barrett’s play putting him in the national spotlight and Miller having already come in ninth in Heisman voting last season and fifth in 2012, Meyer could be tasked with choosing between two of the top signal callers in the nation next season.And after saying he was committed to Miller less than two months ago, Meyer’s stance shifted Monday when he addressed a potential Barrett vs. Miller battle next season.“Competition brings out the best,” he said. “And I’m really excited to have two really good quarterbacks next year.”But with that potential decision still months away, co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said he’s focused on 2014, and not who will be under center on Sept. 7, 2015, when the Buckeyes are scheduled to open their season against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.“I honestly give that zero, zero thought,” Herman said Monday. “Zero.“I’m focused on this team and I’m also focused on Braxton and his rehab, which is going greatly from what I understand.”Herman added that the Buckeyes will “cross that bridge when we come to it,” in reference to possibly having a quarterback competition on their hands next fall.Meyer said having both quarterbacks on the roster isn’t a problem for him — even saying the Buckeyes are “fortunate and blessed” to have Barrett and Miller — and agreed with Herman that he’ll worry about making any decisions at a later date.Then-junior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) looks for an open receiver during the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl against Clemson Jan. 3 at Sun Life Stadium. OSU lost, 40-35.Credit: Lantern file photo“I think they’re both excellent quarterbacks. Excellent quarterbacks,” Meyer said Monday. “And we’ll worry about that day when it comes.”Miller proved that excellence to Meyer by picking up back-to-back Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year awards, while Barrett has done so by progressing after taking over before the season opener against Navy. For Herman, Barrett’s speed of that progression has come as a surprise, he said, but not a big one.“I think the pace at which his improvement has accelerated is mildly surprising,” Herman said.“To see a kid that’s played nine college games now, to make the progress that he’s made,” he expanded. “It’s visual … You don’t have to be a coach to know that.”Now coming off a 49-37 win against then-No. 7 Michigan State on the road in which he threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns while adding another two scores on the ground, Barrett has totaled 2,156 passing yards and 26 touchdowns through the air this season. He’s also tallied a 172.9 quarterback efficiency rating and is second on the team with 582 rushing yards and first with eight rushing touchdowns.In comparison, Miller threw for just 2,039 yards and 15 touchdowns in his entire first season as the Buckeyes’ full-time starter in 2012. But the then-sophomore also rushed for 1,271 yards and 13 more scores that season.While that production has mostly been replaced by Barrett’s play this year, many might not have expected such an output. But at least one of Barrett’s receivers said he expected the Wichita Falls, Texas, native to step in seamlessly after replacing the injured Miller.“It’s kind of like the next man up, and he’s a mature dude and he took his job real serious,” redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas said Monday. “So I had a lot of confidence in him.”While the Buckeyes had championship aspirations under Miller, those plans seemed to take a hit when Barrett stepped in. But — with the right team around him — Herman said he feels Barrett is the type of quarterback who can lead OSU to a title as well.“I think with the right pieces around him and the right preparation and the right protection and ability to block people up front, yeah, he can certainly win any game that we put him out on the field to go against,” Herman said.But if Barrett can win any game Miller can, does that leave the door open for the Buckeyes’ injured star to leave OSU for another school next season?“I can’t even imagine that,” Herman said about the prospect of Miller transferring after he graduates from OSU this year.Whether or not the curtain has dropped on Miller’s time as OSU’s starter, Barrett is set to be the man taking the lead when the curtain rises for the Buckeyes on Saturday in Minneapolis. OSU is scheduled to kick off against Minnesota at noon.
Ohio State celebrates after junior forward Dakota Joshua’s goal in the second period of the Buckeyes’ 1-1 draw against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Oct. 13. Credit: Ohio State AthleticsOhio State (1-1-2) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (0-0-2) fought to another 1-1 tie — the second in as many days — with the Buckeyes once again winning in the shootout after the tie had been decided.RPI jumped on the Buckeyes early with a goal less than a minute into the game, but Ohio State tied the game up at one early in the second period. The battle between the pipes of the two goalies raged on the rest of the night as both teams failed to send a puck behind either netminder until the shootout. The Buckeyes were forced to play comeback hockey early on, but Ohio State junior forward John Wiitala said the team stayed true to their normal game.“I don’t think it changes anything,” Wiitala said. “I think we always try to stick to our game plan, whether that’s up by five goals or down by five, it’s the same game plan throughout.”The scoring started early for the Engineers with a goal by junior forward Evan Tironese just 56 seconds into the first period. Freshman forward Troy York fed a pass to the back post for an easy tip-in by Tironese that redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo had no chance at stopping, giving RPI an early 1-0 lead.The Buckeyes couldn’t find the back of the net in the first, then quickly knotted the score at one in the second period on a goal by senior forward Christian Lampasso. Wiitala tipped the puck away from the RPI defender, and senior forward Luke Stork found Lampasso wide open in the slot, giving Lampasso an opportunity to bury the shot past junior goalie Chase Perry.“[Wiitala] just made a great play,” Stork said. “He back checked the puck really well and it just happened to come back on my stick, and I looked up and saw [Lampasso] wide open in the middle, and he put it away.”Much like the previous night’s game, Romeo and Perry faced off in a goalie battle for much of this contest. The first big save came on the Ohio State end, as Romeo stuffed sophomore forward Jacob Hayhurst on a wide open shot in the slot.Not to be outdone, Perry held strong on a tough Wiitala shot with an incredible save with six minutes to go in the third period. Perry would end the game with 27 saves, Romeo had 22.“[Romeo] got the game puck again tonight, head coach Steve Rohlik said. “At the end of the day you’re always as good as your goaltending, and certainly he was a backbone again tonight.”The game headed into overtime deadlocked at one, with neither team able to create much momentum in the third period. Ohio State led in shots 27-20 going into the extra frame.Stork created a strong chance early in the overtime, but Perry tracked the shot down with a kick save on his right pad. Junior forward Dakota Joshua had an opportunity off a pass from junior forward Brendon Kearney, but the shot went wide.RPI’s greatest chance came on a breakaway by sophomore forward Patrick Polino, but his shot went wide with under a minute to go in the overtime.The game went to a shootout where the Buckeyes won on a goal by sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski. Romeo made all three saves to secure another shootout victory. Shootouts are not counted in the standings for non-conference opponents in collegiate hockey, so the game went down as a 1-1 tie for both teams.Ohio State continued to struggle on the power play, as their 0-for-3 tally in the game moves them to 0-for-20 on the season with a man advantage.“It’s a work in progress right now,” Rohlik said. “We’re going to have to keep tweaking it before we find the right combinations.”The Buckeyes travel to play a pair of road games against University of Massachusetts Amherst. The games are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and at 8 p.m Saturday.
Ohio State junior defensive end Sam Hubbard (6) prepares for a Trojan possession in the first quarter of the 2017 Cotton Bowl against USC on Dec. 29 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Ohio State won 24-7. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorFormer Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard was selected as the No. 77 overall pick in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Hubbard was the second Ohio State player taken by the Bengals after the team selected offensive lineman Billy Price with the 21st pick in the first round. After playing in 40 career games and starting 22 contests, Hubbard left Ohio State with the 15th-most sacks in school history with 17.Coming in as a four-star safety recruit, Hubbard switched to defensive end when he came to Ohio State. After redshirting his freshman season, Hubbard was named a USA Today Freshman All-American in 2015, recording eight tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and an interception.In his redshirt sophomore season, Hubbard was named as an honorable mention All-Big Ten, adding 46 tackles and eight tackles for loss.Hubbard earned second-team All-Big Ten honors during his redshirt junior season in 2017, ending the season with 13.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks, good for second-most on the team in both categories.Hubbard announced he would forgo his redshirt senior season and enter the NFL Draft on Dec. 30, only one day after Ohio State’s Cotton Bowl win over USC. Hubbard had a 35-inch vertical jump, ranked as fourth best at the NFL Combine. He also led all defensive linemen with an 11.61-second 60-yard shuttle.The Bengals begin their 2018 season on Sept. 9 against recently drafted former Ohio State defensive end Tyquan Lewis and the Indianapolis Colts.
Karan Patel is the first Indian-American to be drafted by a MLB teamSouthSideSox.comThe 2014 Hollywood movie ‘Million Dollar Arm’ presented a fictionalised and exoticised version of a real story about an American sports agent who comes to India in search of talented boys who can become good baseball players. The actual talent hunt program ‘The Million Dollar Arm’ took place in 2008 and the two lucky men who were selected to go to USA and receive training under the aegis of Major League Baseball (MLB) teams were Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel.Though both these men became the first Indians to sign a contract with MLB teams and underwent coaching, they were not able to make a big mark. Rinku is now a professional wrestler working in WWE’s developmental territory. But now, a less melodramatic but equally interesting story has unfolded in real life with a man of Indian origin becoming the first to be drafted by a MLB side.Karan Patel was born and brought up in USA and is no different from most boys of that country. But his Indian roots are reflected in his association with cricket. Patel succeeded in becoming an international player and played for USA at that level. But at the same time, he also kept himself involved with another sport that is way more popular in America than cricket – baseball.And now, the journey of this 22-year old has reached a new level with him becoming the first person of Indian origin or descent to be drafted into a MLB team – Chicago White Sox. The fact that he has been able to succeed in both sports makes this young man from Sugar Land, Texas a special character. Karan Patel has been picked up by Chicago White SoxTwitter/Conference USAKaran’s backgroundHis connection to cricket came from his father who was a cricketer himself and played for USA. But as he grew up, he also started to take interest in baseball. The fact that he was a bowler in cricket meant that pitching was his favoured suit. He may have moved on in his cricket career to become, primarily, a batsman, but pitching is what he continued to excel in at college level baseball.What’s even more interesting is that he credits his experience as a cricketer for some of those qualities that have made him a success at junior level baseball. An Alumni at the University of Texas at San Antonio, the young man is able to generate speeds of up to 94 miles/hour and also has those tricks of variation in pace that pitchers use to trouble their opponents.The Texan lad from an Indian background may just be the role model that Indian-Americans need to embrace this sport. Considering the affinity it has to their most loved sport, Cricket, there is no reason why more such players shouldn’t come through. While he may not have a movie made about his own journey, he will certainly be an inspiration to many young kids
Indian stock markets on Friday could well reverse the massive losses of the previous day caused by expectations of an interest rate hike by the US Fed Reserve that saw the benchmark indices — BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty — plunge 1.56 per cent. The two triggers that could lead to a rally are September retail inflation data and upbeat TCS results for September quarter.Retail inflation in September improved to a 13-month low of 4.31 per cent from 5.05 per cent in the previous month. Food price inflation, the main contributor to overall inflation in the past few months, declined to 3.88 per cent during the month from 5.91 per cent in August. Analysts view this as not only positive, but also raising the scope for another rate cut of 25 basis points.Secondly, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software services exporter, posted decent growth in consolidated net profit and revenues for the September quarter on a year-on-year (YoY) basis.While net profit rose 8.4 per cent to Rs. 6,603 crore, revenues were up 7.8 per cent to Rs. 29,284 crore. The company also declared interim dividend of Rs. 6.50 per equity share.These two factors could well reverse the drastic fall of Thursday when the BSE Sensex closed 440 points, or 1.56 per cent lower, at 27,643, while the NSE Nifty ended the day at 8,573, down 135 points.On Thursday, TCS shares closed 2.17 per cent lower at Rs. 2,328.50 apiece, while Infosys gained 2.14 per cent to end at Rs. 1,052.05.However, Q2 results of Infosys would influence market sentiments on Friday. The Bengaluru-based IT software services exporter had already hinted at a possible downward revision of revenue guidance for the year.On July 15, the company, while declaring its Q1 results, had lowered its FY2017 revenue guidance to 10.5-12 per cent from 11.5-13.5 per cent earlier, triggering a 10 per cent fall in share price.In September, Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys, had hinted at another downward revision triggered by factors such as Brexit.”What I could say is that we see that our Q2 growth is going to be higher than the Q1 growth, but we do see risks that would get us towards a territory of downward revision of guidance because the atmosphere during the course of Q2 has worsened compared to what we saw in the beginning of Q2. And you see the example of RBS, it is one such example,” told analysts during a call last month.The company’s June 2016 quarter consolidated net profit was $511 million on revenues of $2,501 million, translating into revenue growth of 10.9 per cent on a year-on-year (YoY) basis and 12.1 per cent in constant currency terms. The operating margin came at 24.1 per cent.
Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016.ReutersBillionaire investor Peter Thiel is betting big on bitcoins as the supporter of world’s biggest cryptocurrency believes it has the possibility of becoming gold-like safe haven.The PayPal co-founder Theil compared bitcoin to a digital version of gold and argued that the quest to amass money “is the bubble that never pops.””I would be long bitcoin, and neutral to skeptical of just about everything else at this point with a few possible exceptions,” Thiel said during a conversation Thursday at the Economic Club of New York. “There will be one online equivalent to gold, and the one you’d bet on would be the biggest.”Theil, one of the first investors in Facebook, has backed the idea of bitcoin becoming a store of value instead of a currency used merely for online transactions.”I’m not talking about a new payments system,” Thiel said. “It’s like bars of gold in a vault that never move, and it’s a sort of hedge of sorts against the whole world going falling apart.”His comments could help revive bitcoin prices, which fell below $8,000 on Thursday to as low as $7,682 – its worst level in nearly five weeks.Technical traders suggest bitcoin is facing a “death cross” and any further weakness in the cryptocurrency could wipe out nearly three-fourth of its value from February highs.Theil has purchased $15 million to $20 million worth of cryptocurrencies since mid-2017 through his venture capital firm, Founders Fund, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.But his optimism did not extend to all digital assets such as Ethereum.”I’m not sure I would encourage people to run out right now and buy these cryptocurrencies,” Thiel said.
Members of the Indian Dalit community stage a protest, with a portrait of 20th century social reformer B. R. Ambedkar, during a countrywide strike against a Supreme Court order that allegedly diluted the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, in Allahabad on 2 April 2018 Photo : AFPStreet battles and widespread protests by Indian low-caste groups enraged by what they consider the undermining of a law protecting their safety left at least one dead, police said Monday.Clashes with police, attacks on buses and government buildings, and blocked trains and roads were reported across five Indian states.The central state of Madhya Pradesh was one of the worst hit, particularly the city of Gwalior.”We can confirm at least one death. A curfew has been imposed in parts of the city and the protesters are still on the ground,” Anshuman Yadav, police inspector general for Gwalior, told AFP.Trouble was also reported in the capital New Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Bihar states.The “Bharat Bandh” (India shutdown) was called by groups representing the Dalits, formerly known as untouchables, who make up 200 million of India’s 1.25 billion population and are at the bottom of the caste hierarchy.They are enraged at a Supreme Court ruling that banned the automatic arrest of the accused in cases under a special law to protect marginalised groups who suffer widespread discrimination.The 1989 Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was intended to guard against the harassment of Dalits and other groups.Rajnath Singh, India’s home minister, called for calm.”The government is appealing against the court order but it is a responsibility of everyone including all political parties to ensure peace,” Singh told journalists in Delhi, where the Dalit protests caused traffic chaos.There were media reports of more deaths in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh, but police could not immediately confirm fatalities.”We have reports of at least one death but can’t confirm it for now. Bringing the situation under control is our priority,” Santosh Kumar Singh, inspector general for the region, told AFP.Across the affected states, groups hurled stones, bottles and burning sticks at police and set buses on fire. Some sat on railway lines to block trains.Reports said a police outpost near Meerut in Uttar Pradesh state was set on fire. Dalit men hurled stones at police and security personnel.Police in Azamgarh district of the state told AFP that public buses were set on fire by protesters.Dalits are among the most marginalised groups in India, where caste discrimination is outlawed but remains widespread.Last week a young farmer from the community in Gujarat was beaten to death for owning a horse, which is seen as a symbol of power and wealth, police said.
Share Listen X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: In the 1970s, in and around Galveston, teenage girls started going missing – sometimes in pairs. Many of their bodies would turn up in swamps, marshes and bodies of water in places like Clear Lake and Texas City.Those murders — along with a cluster of others over the years along Interstate 45 between Houston and Galveston — have led to the area being dubbed “The Texas Killing Fields.”Now, more than 45 years later, two local investigators are focusing on nearly a dozen of those cases, most of which happened in the 1970s. Of those eleven murders, there’s only been a conviction in one case, but a federal court ruling cast serious doubt on whether the right man went to jail.Lise Olsen and Fred Paige agree. Olsen is an investigative reporter for the Houston Chronicle, and Paige is a former homicide detective from Galveston. Working together, they think one man may be responsible for those crimes, and they’re asking for the public’s help in solving the case.Now, as a new true crime documentary series called The Eleven debuts on the A&E network focusing on the crimes, the Galveston District Attorney’s office has reopened two of the cases. Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty revisits the story of the eleven murders, the investigators who theorize one man is behind them all, and our conversation with the man they’re focusing on. MORE: Texas Prisoner Responds To Theory That He’s Responsible For Galveston Serial Murders (Houston Matters, Aug. 22, 2017)How You Can HelpPaige and Olsen have established an email address and tip line for anyone with information to contact them at: email@example.com or 832-387-5382.Michael HagertyLise Olsen, investigative reporter for the Houston Chronicle, and Fred Paige, a former Galveston homicide detective, think they know who committed 11 unsolved murders in and around Galveston during the 1970s.Who Are The Eleven?1. Collette Wilson, who disappeared from Alvin, Texas in June of 1971. 2. Brenda Jones, who disappeared from Galveston in 1971. 3. Rhonda “Renee” Johnson and… 4. Sharon Shaw, who both disappeared from Galveston on Aug. 4, 1971. 5. Debbie Ackerman and… 6. Maria Johnson, who both disappeared from Galveston on Nov. 15, 1971. 7. Gloria Gonzales, who disappeared in October of 1971 (her body was found near Wilson’s). 8. Kim Pitchford, who disappeared in January of 1973. 9. Georgia Geer and… 10. Brooks Bracewell (aka “the Dickenson girls,” who both disappeared in September of 1974) 11. Jane Doe, (perhaps), whose bones were found off FM 2004 in Brazoria County in 1980 (she was likely killed in 1975). 12. Suzie Bowers, who disappeared from Galveston in 1977.MORE: Examining a String of Murders From Houston to Galveston (Houston Matters, March 17, 2015)Edward Harold Bell in a 1978 booking photo and a more recent TDCJ mugshot.A Suspect Under Their NosesThe first clue as to who might be responsible for these crimes can when Paige was digging through some old documents related to one of the cases. He was in Texas City, where one set of bodies was found. And he stumbled across a confession letter that had been written in the late 1990s by a Texas prison inmate. It had never been publicized.“The first time I saw that letter,” Paige said, “I basically said, ‘He’s your guy. This is our guy right here.’”That guy was Edward Harold Bell, who was (and still is) serving a prison sentence for killing a man in the 1970s. To verify the confession letter, Paige went digging through old newspaper archives from the Chronicle and the Houston Post.It turns out the letter contained details related to the cases that were never made public. Plus, other evidence seems to point circumstantially — but not yet definitively — to Bell, such as witnesses saying the saw two of the missing girls getting into a van matching the description of one Bell owned. Also Ed Bell lived fairly close to where many of these bodies had been found.“I’m convinced he did it,” Paige said. “Could I prove it in a court of law? No.”‘Eleven Went to Heaven’As for Ed Bell himself, does he stand by that confession letter? Bell granted Lise Olsen an interview from prison and wrote her some letters where he talked about the women he said he killed.AUDIO: Excerpts from Lise Olsen’s Prison Interview with Edward Harold Bell (Houston Chronicle)“We end up looking at eleven because he writes in a letter to me that there were ‘eleven who went to heaven,’” Olsen said. “He provides the names of four of those girls, and he provides initials and hair color and years of most of the rest of the girls.”MAP: The Eleven ‘Who Went to Heaven’ (Houston Chronicle)Looking for WitnessesNow, the investigative work of Olsen and Paige is to determine if Bell is telling the truth about all this. They’re trying to find witnesses who were never interviewed at the times of these murders, investigators who worked on the cases back in the 1970s or anyone who knew Bell or his wife at the time.What about Bell himself? Does he stand by the things he wrote and told Lise Olsen? As of publication of this story, our request for a prison interview with him is still pending. However, he’s told Olsen he was brainwashed into killing the women.They Deserve AnswersWhether Edward Harold Bell is ever proven guilty or not, finding the answer is what continues to drive Fred Paige and Lise Olsen.“Well, I guess it’s in my DNA, but who doesn’t want to solve a mystery?” Paige said. “Seems like we keep moving forward. We keep connecting some dots, but we still haven’t found that one loaded gun or whatever that’s going to put Bell away and say conclusively that this guy killed the girls that we believe he did kill.”Olsen wants to provide the victims’ families some answers after all these years of waiting.“I don’t like the idea that somebody can claim credit for eleven unsolved murders and never have to pay a price,” she said. “These are lost girls who never got a chance to grow up, who were robbed of their lives. And they deserve justice. All these people deserve answers, and so if it’s in our power to give them answers, I’d really like to do that.” aetv.com 00:00 /12:31
Popular on Variety Hackers Take Over Account of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Tweet Racial Slurs & Bomb Threat Donald Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution when he blocks specific users on Twitter, a federal appeals court ruled, upholding a lower court’s decision.The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday ruled that the First Amendment does not allow public officials who use social media in an official capacity to “exclude persons from an otherwise open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.”President Trump — who famously uses Twitter as his social-media platform of choice — has blocked several celebs on the service, including novelist Stephen King, Rosie O’Donnell and Chrissy Teigen, as well as other individuals whose opinions he evidently doesn’t like.“In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less,” the 2nd Circuit said in its ruling. Related Sacha B. Cohen’s Disgust at President Trump Fueled ‘Who is America’ The decision comes a little more than a year after a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Trump’s actions blocking individual accounts on Twitter are unconstitutional, rejecting the argument from Trump’s lawyers that the president’s own First Amendment rights would be abridged if he was disallowed from blocking users. The Department of Justice had appealed the ruling. The lawsuit against Trump was filed in 2017 by Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute and seven individuals who said Trump blocked them on Twitter.Meanwhile, Trump in recent weeks has railed against supposed political bias among tech companies, including Twitter. Twitter “should be sued because what’s happening with the bias,” Trump complained in an interview with Fox Business Network. Without providing any evidence, Trump has alleged Twitter makes it hard for people to follow him on the social network, where he currently has 61.8 million followers.Separately, Twitter last month announced a new policy under which it will display a warning in front of tweets from political figures that violate its rules but which it keeps on the service under a “public interest” standard. The new notice will require users to click through to view the posts, and Twitter will limit the distribution of such tweets. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15
(Left) When buyers update their strategy at a fast rate relative to sellers, a product’s value (w) increases toward 1.0, resulting in low prices and a buyer’s market. (Right) When sellers update their strategy faster than a critical value, a product’s value fluctuates around values less than 1.0, resulting in high, fluctuating prices that benefit sellers. This cartel-like behavior emerges spontaneously based on the relative speeds with which buyers and sellers update their strategies. Image credit: Peixoto and Bornholdt. ©2012 American Physical Society 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. Copyright 2012 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. The researchers, physicists Tiago P. Peixoto and Stefan Bornholdt of the University of Bremen in Bremen, Germany, have published their study, called “No Need for Conspiracy: Self-Organized Cartel Formation in a Modified Trust Game,” in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.“Our work shows that, under very reasonable and simple assumptions of the market dynamics, cartel-like behavior can emerge, without an explicit agreement between sellers,” Bornholdt told Phys.org. “This is, to our knowledge, completely new and we feel that it comes somewhat unexpected, for example in the context of German gasoline price discussions in the media. For example, a few months ago, the German governmental cartel agency searched the offices of large gasoline companies in search of evidence of cartel behavior. We asked ourselves if a cartel-like dynamics could emerge by itself, without leaving traces of evidence. As gas prices in Germany were – and still are – strongly fluctuating in time and space, this made us curious whether this could be a sign for an interesting collective dynamics, of gas sellers, interacting with each other in a funny way.”The spontaneous emergence of cartel-like behavior appears in a model that the researchers developed, which is based on a real-life market scenario. The model involves one million agents, each of whom has the role of both buyer and seller of a necessary commodity, such as groceries or (for drivers) gasoline. As buyers, the agents must buy the product in question, but they can choose which seller they buy from. As sellers, the agents can set their price, knowing that too low of a price will not make them much profit, and too high of a price will drive buyers away to another seller.As the game evolves, buyers and sellers continuously update their strategies: buyers change where they shop by comparing prices, and sellers raise or lower their prices by replicating the prices of other sellers who have higher profits. More information: Tiago P. Peixoto and Stefan Bornholdt. “No Need for Conspiracy: Self-Organized Cartel Formation in a Modified Trust Game.” Physical Review Letters 108, 218702 (2012). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.218702 Established eBay sellers get higher prices for good reputations Journal information: Physical Review Letters Explore further (Phys.org) — Rapid increases and unpredictable fluctuations in gas prices annoy many drivers, especially since it may seem that oil companies are secretly conspiring to keep prices high by forming a cartel in an effort to increase their profits. But a new study shows that cartel-like price dynamics of certain commodities, such as gasoline, can emerge spontaneously in a strategic model without any collusion among the sellers. The finding doesn’t necessarily mean that companies don’t intentionally form cartels, but the possibility of self-organized cartel formation could have implications for market regulations. Citation: High gas prices may be explained by self-organized cartel behavior (2012, June 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-06-high-gas-prices-self-organized-cartel.html The key variable in the game is who can update their strategy the fastest. If buyers can update their strategy at a fast rate relative to sellers, the model shows that the pricing favors the buyers. Since the sellers offering the lowest prices will profit most, other sellers will replicate these low prices until all sellers have the same low price.But if sellers can update their strategy at a fast rate above a critical value compared to buyers, then the entire population of sellers benefits at the expense of all the buyers. This is because the sellers are quick enough to copy the high prices of more profitable sellers before the buyers have a chance to react. Soon, there are no low-priced options available, marking the emergence of a cartel-like phase. “Our work shows that the deciding factor for whether a cartel can self-organize is the relative speed of buyers in comparison to sellers in updating their strategy,” Bornholdt said. “For consumers, price comparison websites and smartphone apps can be a potential means to react more quickly to price changes. If a global and real-time ranking of sellers is available, this could significantly thwart a cartel-like scenario. Note that the mere existence of such catalogs is not enough, it has to be used by a significant portion of the buyers; otherwise it has no effect, since a small number of buyers will not be able to benefit from it in the long run.”Unlike the first scenario where prices settle at a stable low point, in the cartel-like scenario the model shows that the high prices fluctuate tremendously due to the ongoing competition among sellers, sometimes dipping down to reasonable prices. The price fluctuations are highest at relative strategy update rates close to the critical value, demonstrating typical critical behavior. When the sellers’ strategy update rate far exceeds the critical value, the price fluctuations diminish somewhat, but remain significant.The model also shows another interesting feature of these price fluctuations: the average price often rises very quickly and decreases more slowly. This type of oscillation, called an Edgeworth price cycle, is often observed in real life and can be predicted by simple models when just two sellers are involved. In contrast, the model used here incorporates numerous sellers as well as the impact of buyer behavior, providing a more realistic system. Nevertheless, the researchers explain that using the model to predict future prices would be difficult, since the price cycle dynamics are aperiodic and not easily predictable.However, the results could still be useful for market regulation, where regulators often discuss whether price fluctuations result from collusion among companies in an attempt to increase profit. If sellers are just quick to individually update their pricing strategies, then high gas prices may simply be a natural result of the market. The researchers plan to improve the model in the future.“The model can be made more realistic in a number of ways, in particular by implementing spatial constraints (a cheaper gas station which is 100 km away is not a viable option),” Bornholdt said. “Spatial constraints can sometimes significantly alter the dynamics in this type of system.”
<< Previous PostNext Post >> FORT LAUDERDALE — MSC Cruises USA has announced the launch of a new travel agent learning program designed to help trade partners learn about – and sell – MSC Cruises to their clients.Available on the premier e-learning platform Travel Agent University (TAU), the new MSC Academy will consist of multiple courses, quizzes and checkpoints that detail the cruise line’s history, fleet and onboard experiences.Upon logging into the TAU learning management system at mscacademy.com, agents will be guided through a specially curated program that discusses MSC’s fleet, brand history, sailing destinations, the MSC Voyagers Club, onboard experiences and more. Other features include informative videos, voiceovers, an audio pronunciation guide and various activities.Agents can also utilize a central dashboard to review their course activity, track the status of their progress and access rewards, including gift cards, bonus commissions, fams and monthly giveaways. Plus, the program provides a platform for ongoing communication amongst travel agent participants, allowing them to exchange information with others in the industry.More news: Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesUpon completion, agents will gain exclusive access to MSC Cruises’ travel agent rates and opportunities to participate in seminars at sea. They’ll also receive a complimentary MSC Cruises baseball cap, cell phone business card holder, and current travel agent brochure for their use.In addition, agents who complete the course prior to the MSC Seaside christening will be invited to a one-night inaugural celebration event aboard the new ship from Dec. 22-23, subject to availability.Even more, MSC Cruises is offering several booking bonuses upon completion of the course, including US$50 bonus commission on first new FIT booking; $100 bonus commission on first new FIT MSC Yacht Club booking; and double MSC Rewards points for all new FIT bookings through the end of 2017.MSC Academy is accessible 24/7 through TAU. To kick off the program, any agent who registers for the new course by May 31 will be entered to win a seven-night Caribbean cruise. Sign up for MSC’s new agent program and earn bonus commissions, agent rates Posted by Travelweek Group Share Tags: Agent Rates, Commission, Education, MSC Cruises Thursday, April 13, 2017
<< Previous PostNext Post >> LONDON — British Airways and Iberia bookings made through indirect channels including GDSs will be hit with a £8 (approx. Cdn$14) surcharge effective Nov. 1. British Airways’ New York office has confirmed that the surcharge is effective worldwide.The announcement from BA’s parent company IAG comes two years after the Lufthansa Group implemented a 16 euro surcharge on GDS bookings, a move that was widely criticized by travel agent groups.In March 2017 Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said he would be “very surprised” if other airlines didn’t bring in surcharges similar to Lufthansa’s. Spohr added that the surcharge, a direct hit to the bottom line for GDS parent companies including Sabre, Amadeus and Travelport, had been a major win for the Lufthansa Group since it was introduced in 2015.Lufthansa has since negotiated direct booking arrangements with major travel agency chains. The share of direct bookings at Lufthansa’s network airlines “has continually increased” while direct booking negotiations with travel agencies and other customers “are delivering a steady stream of success.”More news: Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTIt’s the GDSs that have taken the hit with Lufthansa’s surcharge, and share prices for all three dropped when the British Airways and Iberia announcement was made.Both British Airways and Iberia have made big investments in IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) and both airlines say they will not levy the surcharge on GDS bookings that have NDC-approved connections. IATA’s NDC, in the works now for several years, aims to standardize how airfares are sold through travel agencies worldwide, taking into account all the ancillaries airlines now break out from their base fares and sell as add-ons, from seat selection fees to baggage fees.The BA and Iberia surcharges will apply to bookings not made through the airlines’ own websites or direct sales channels.“We will continue to work with the GDS providers to distribute our content to valued agency partners via existing solutions. However these systems and their traditional technology solutions currently carry significantly greater costs to BA and IB,” said the airlines.More news: Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesGDSs including Sabre and Amadeus say they have been in discussions with IAG. Tuesday, May 30, 2017 Posted by British Airways, Iberia follow Lufthansa with surcharge for GDS bookings Tags: British Airways, GDS, Iberia, Lufthansa Share Travelweek Group
In This Issue. * Greeks call for a June election… * Sterling losses safe haven status… * Chock full of data here in the U.S… * Major investors are favoring Gold… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Greeks are forced back to the polls… Good day. Another busy day on the desk yesterday, as the increased volatility in the currency markets had the phones ringing. Many of the clients calling the desk were worried about the recent drop in the currencies and metals. Some are wanting to bail out, while others are seeing the fall in prices as a good buying opportunity. We continue to remind callers that diversification is the key to long term investing success, and the best strategy is to make an investment plan and stick with it. But before I get in trouble with the lawyers, I better get back to the purpose of this letter which is to give readers a recap of what is going on in the currency markets. The Greek crisis jumped back onto all of the trading screens last night after the Greeks finally admitted they couldn’t form a coalition government, and planned another election in June. The problem with these new elections, are that there is a high risk that leftists opposed to the terms of an EU bailout will sweep to victory in this next election and send the euro-zone into a deeper crisis. Both of the parties who won the largest percentage of the last vote want to remain in the Euro, but promised to ‘renegotiate’ the terms of the bailout agreement. The second round of elections could shift the results further left, making the withdrawal of Greece from the Euro a higher probability. In addition to the Greek crisis, yields on both Spanish and Italian bonds rose yesterday as investors sold and sought safer havens. Moody’s Investor services downgraded 26 Italian bank ratings, citing Italy’s recession and increasing bad debt. It also warned that Spanish banks face additional challenges. And there is probably more bad news to come from the rating agency, as a Moody’s official said the rating agency is postponing possible downgrades on more than 100 banks worldwide as it assesses the fallout from JP Morgan’s trading losses. None of this was good for the euro, and the single currency unit approached the 12 month low of 1.2624 which it reached on January 13th. Bad news for the euro corresponded to an up day for the US$ which is being seen as the only ‘safe haven’ in the most recent crisis. The UK economy fell into a second recession, while Europe has avoided the double dip according to official numbers released yesterday. The pound sterling was being seen as a safe haven from the euro crisis, but the pound weakened the most in a month vs. the US$ after the BOE said the UK economic growth was likely to remain ‘subdued’ in the near term. Central bank Governor Mervyn King admitted the UK faced threats from the euro crisis as he released the quarterly report on inflation. “Concerns about the possibility of a disorderly resolution” in the euro area have “adversely influenced asset prices, bank funding costs, and confidence,” the BOE said in the report. “The MPC judges it likely that the possibility of such extreme outcomes crystallizing will continue to weigh on UK activity for some time, even if these outcomes do not actually occur.” . Shifting to the US, markets will be eagerly awaiting the release of the minutes from the last FOMC meeting, scheduled to be released early this afternoon. Chairman Bernanke said after the most recent meeting that he is prepared to ‘do more’ to boost economic recovery which the markets took to mean another round of quantitative easing. Investors will be analyzing the minutes of the last meeting to try and get a sense of whether or not QEIII is in our future. If there is any indication that another round of easing is in the offering, the equity markets would run higher and the dollar would get sold. But before we get the minutes this afternoon, we will also get a boatload of other data releases here in the US. Housing starts are expected at 685k, a slight increase from last month’s 654k, and the MOM increase is expected to be a much better 4.7% increase compared to last month’s dismal 5.8% fall. We will also get a report on building permits which is a more ‘forward’ looking report. Permits are expected to have fallen in April, down 4.5% from March levels. We will also see Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, both of which are expected to show a slight increase during April. Yesterday was chock full of data with the release of the CPI and Retail sales data. The inflation data showed consumer prices here in the US rose at an annual rate of 2.3% in April, just as a majority of economists had predicted. Readers know neither Chuck nor I put much faith in this ‘official measure’ of prices, and would rather look at John William’s Shadow Stats which pegs the price increases to a more realistic 10%. The retail sales numbers weren’t as encouraging, as sales slowed to a .1% increase during April, down from a .8% gain in March. Other data showed the NY state manufacturing activity improved, mostly due to falling energy prices, and business inventories were up a bit at a .3% increase. One of the most important pieces of data released yesterday didn’t get any press in the main stream media (no surprise there). Data showed the Total net TIC flows dropped $49.9 billion in March, but the newsies chose to focus on China’s increase in its holdings of US Treasuries in March. Our friends over at The 5 Min. Forecast had some interesting things to say about the increase: “Yes, China beefed up its holdings of U.S. Treasuries in March, according to figures out this morning from the Treasury Department. But if you widen the scope and go back six years, a couple of interesting things happen. First, the increase in March was so small as to barely show up on the chart… And second… China’s holdings peaked last July. Coincidentally, that was the last month before Uncle Sam lost its AAA rating. The numbers declined markedly through the end of 2011, and stabilized in the first three months of 2012. This is especially interesting when you consider how Chinese imports of gold grew at the same time Chinese purchases of Treasuries were shrinking.” You really need to see the charts to appreciate what our friends at the 5 are saying. You can see the full article at the following link. They point out that China is slowly accumulating Gold, but you wouldn’t know that by the recent price movements. The shiny metal dropped again yesterday, to a new low for 2012 at $1,526.97. It has bounced back up from its lows, but is still trading in the $1,540 range. I pointed out my thoughts that Gold is an excellent place for investors seeking a safe haven, but the recent trading patterns show that most investors feel it is more of a ‘risk’ asset. The correlation between gold and the dollar has been moving closer to -1 which would indicate a perfectly negative correlation (a negative correlation indicates gold moves down as the dollar moves higher). The 30 week correlation coefficient between the greenback and bullion is now at -.66, compared with -.24 in September. But some of the biggest investors feel gold will rebound from its current levels. Bloomberg reports that the median estimate of 11 analysts who track gold indicates the price will average $1,740 in 2012. Goldman Sachs commodity research team believes the Fed will start a third round of QE in June, which will push the value of gold higher. Billionaire George Soros raised his stake in gold according to a filing yesterday reflecting first-quarter holdings. Central banks are buying bullion at the fastest pace in five decades adding 439.7 tons in 2011, and they will probably purchase a similar amount this year according to the World Gold Council. Sounds like a good opportunity to increase metals holdings at good prices! Chuck is working out in Las Vegas this week, giving a couple of talks to packed rooms as usual. I miss attending these shows with Chuck, who is treated a lot like a rockstar at them. Fans constantly drop by the booth to shake his hand and pick his brain on the markets. He sent me the following reflections from the floor of the Las Vegas Money show: Most people here at the L.V. Money Show, believe like I do, that the back side of the storm is about to hit the U.S. … But then again, 250 of them were Pfennig Readers in this humongous room I was in yesterday! I said something to the people there when talking about the Pfennig… and it hit me like a brick! I’ve been writing the Pfennig in one shape or form for 20 years now! WOW! Who would have thought that those hand written notes to salesmen each morning would turn to this 20 years later! Shoot Rudy, even when I was “retired” after Mercantile performed ethnic cleansing on Mark Twain Employees, I wrote the Pfennig from home… Back then, Alex was only 3, and used to sit on my lap an pound away on the keyboard so that portions of the Pfennig looked like this : )*%PLKE#&^)*! Alex is almost 17 now… amazing how time flies, eh? But the point here is that long time readers that go back to Mark Twain Bank days, have been with me through a lot… I’m thankful for your loyalty… Chris again. Yes, I remember back 20 years ago when I would find a hand written note from Chuck on my desk when I arrived each morning. Back then we didn’t have the internet, so he would jot down his thoughts and leave copies on everyone’s desk. We started passing these notes along to the investors we were talking to via fax, and eventually Chuck switched to passing it out electronically. Then there was this. I haven’t commented on JP Morgan’s $2 billion trading loss, which really put egg on the face of Jamie Dimon, the outspoken CEO of the company. Dimon was one of the loudest voices protesting the additional banking regulations working their way through Washington. Yesterday I read a story which I immediately thought would be a great story for this morning’s “Then there was this”. The story which appeared on Bloomberg and was also picked up by our local paper was titled ‘Fed Conflict raised for JPMorgan’. The article points out that Dimon is one of three bankers sitting on the board of the New York Fed, as required by law. That’s right, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 actually mandated that three of the nine seats on the regional reserve bank board be occupied by bankers. The article quotes Senator Bernard Sanders who sees an obvious conflict in Dimons two roles. “It is an obvious conflict of interest for Jamie Dimon, the CEO of the largest bank in America, to serve on the NY Fed’s board of directors,” Sanders said in an emailed statement. “This is a clear example of the fox guarding the henhouse.” To recap. Greeks will be returning to the polls in June, and the currency markets are worried about the outcome. The Euro dropped again, both on the new Greek elections and a cut to Italian bank ratings by Moody’s. The Pound Sterling dropped, and may not be the ‘safe haven’ which some investors thought. We got a boatload of data released yesterday, and will get even more out this morning. Most of the data showed the US economy continues to ‘muddle through’. China is continuing to increase its gold holdings, along with some very influential investors. And I ended today’s Pfennig with a note from Chuck who is speaking to the masses out in Las Vegas. Currencies today 5/16/12. American Style: A$ $.9917, kiwi .7653, C$ .9903, euro 1.2710, sterling 1.5919, Swiss $1.0583, . European Style: rand 8.3487, krone 6.0015, SEK 7.167, forint 233.26, zloty 3.4336, koruna 20.1805, RUB 30.9695, yen 80.45, sing 1.2690, HKD 7.7695, INR 54.49, China 6.3218, pesos 13.8781, BRL 2.0019, Dollar Index 81.426, Oil $92.40, 10-year 1.78%, Silver $27.30, Gold $1,535.03, and Platinum $1,425.75. That’s it for today. Congrats to Mike Meyer who passed another securities exam with flying colors. The beautiful weather continued yesterday, and I got to spend some time with the kids outside in the backyard last night. Both of them beat me in a game of PIG, which meant I had to run out and buy them both frozen custard. I definitely need to work on my ‘over the back board’ shot which was my signature PIG winner! Hope everyone has a Wonderful Wednesday, and thanks again for reading the Pfennig! Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.com
In This Issue. * Pfennig problems. * China is not a currency manipulator. * India imports Gold! * China’s reserves fall, no worries. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. After A Down Day, The Dollar Rebounds. Good Day! And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! What an awful day, and I didn’t have to deal with most of it, poor Chris, who was in Miami for a conference did. So, front and center this morning, I apologize for the tardiness of the Pfennig delivery yesterday. Remember, in the letter yesterday, when I said, if I can get through the letter without breaking my laptop it would be a good thing? Well, I done broke it! And there I was in a remote location, and my backup was traveling to Missouri, and his back up is out this week, and I thought. OH NO! So, it eventually got out, thanks to Chris, and the people in Jacksonville, that had to figure out what it is a I do every day. So, our IT Guru, Jeremy, met me this morning, yes, that early, and got me going with a new laptop, and now he’s attempting to salvage what he can from my old one. So, all my funny words that I use, will have to be told to accept them with the new laptop, and so on. The Temptations are singing: The way you do the things you do, on the IPod, which is always a happy song, and a good one to get me going this morning, as I bumming from the Cardinals loss last night. Now that you’re all up to date with the goings on in my life, we can get to business. At the top of the agenda this morning, is the performance of the dollar VS the currencies. For the most part, the dollar has the conn this morning, pretty much like most mornings lately, eh? The dollar doesn’t have the conn over the Chinese renminbi, or Gold, but the rally in Gold is not much and could be turned around in a heartbeat. It’s not like we haven’t seen that happen even in the face of huge rallies. right? But yesterday was a different story, as the currencies, led by the euro once again like in the “old days”, pushed the dollar down. U.S. stocks got whacked, and the Treasury market rallied. Get this. 10-year Treasury yields are now below 2%!!!! BELOW 2%!!!! Let me tell you something about this HUGE rally we’ve seen in Treasury yields this past month. The bond guys (& girls) have their fingers on the pulse of the U.S. economy. They always have, and didn’t like having the conn in bonds taken away from them by the Fed, during their 5 years of Quantitative Easing / QE. For instance, for more years than I care to mention, it was a given that an inverted yield curve for Treasuries, indicated that a recession in the U.S. was on the way. And when Bond traders rally bongs, which means bond prices go up, and yields go down, it simply means they don’t see good things for the economy. So, what are the bond traders telling us now? Well, unless there’s outside interference from the Fed, which I don’t believe there is, except for their remaining tid-bits of QE that will be wiped clean at the end of this month, according to the Fed, what we have here in the U.S. is an economy that’s going nowhere, despite what the Fed members, the economists, and flag wavers for the Gov’t, tell us, the bond traders are not buying it. Of course I never did buy it. The bond guys could have just checked with me and I could have saved them the losses they incurred when Treasury yields rose from 1.80% to 3%… Because look at them now? They’re back below 2%… And that all plays nicely in the sandbox with my call last year that the Fed will not be away from the QE table very long, before they come back to administer more QE to this going nowhere economy. And when they do that, I feel that the markets will come unglued. They will feel as though the Fed mislead them, and will take away credibility the Fed had built up. That won’t be a good thing for the dollar in my eye. But for now, we deal with the Clingons. You know those clinging on to the idea that this is going to be a multi-year rally for the dollar. That’s OK, we’ve had to deal with these Clingons in 2005, 2008, 2011, and again now. And they pack a powerful punch when they have the conn, like they do now. And will continue to have until the rest of the markets catch up with what the bond guys are telling us. And what Chuck has told you for some time now. Well, the price of Oil is another indicator to me that the economy is in dire need of a blood transfusion. The price of Oil has dropped $10 in the past week and now appears to be ready to slide below $80. This drop has been swift and deep, and has my head spinning. Yesterday, I told you about my old Navigator, and how much I love driving that car, well, if the price of Oil keeps falling, thus the price of gas keeps falling, I’ll have to seriously consider getting rid of what I have, and going back to a Navigator! Go Big or Go Home! HA! And please don’t send me nasty emails about me wanting to drive a gas guzzling SUV. I don’t put 7,000 miles on a car in a year! So, I didn’t see it, because I was in airplanes and airports yesterday, but the currencies and metals rallied, with the euro about 3/4’s of a cent, but that’s all be wiped out this morning. strange happenings, eh? The U.S. Retail Sales data for September, was, as I told you to expect it would be, disappointing. With the headline Sales falling -.3%… And when you back out car sales, Sales fell-.2%, and when you back out car sales and gas Sales fell -.1%… And when you back out. no, I’m just kidding, but you get the picture I’m painting here, right? The data collectors just keep making adjustments until they get a number they like. Pretty soon, we’ll see something like this: Retail Sales, minus cars, gas, TV’s, stereos, cell phones, and fast food restaurants, were.. And no one will complain, and point out the ridiculousness of this. no one but me! Well, I told you above that the Chinese renminbi / yuan is the only folding currency with a gain VS the dollar this morning. I guess the Chinese breathed a sigh of relief, when the U.S. Treasury announced that China was a “currency manipulator”, and therefore allowed the renminbi / yuan to appreciate. The U.S. Treasury folks were feeling their oats a bit when making this announcement, and decided to go further and say that “China has shown renewed willingness to let their currency strengthen.” They also decided to say that they “believe the currency remains significantly undervalued.” Well, I have to say that I agree with the second part of the comment, but the first part. Hmmm. Well, if the Chinese told the U.S. Treasury that they are willing to let the currency strengthen then so be it. But I doubt the Chinese told them that. The Chinese are in no mood to share their thoughts on what the renminbi / yuan will do, as they have no idea what the global economy is going to do. If the Global economy is going great guns, then the Chinese will have no problem allowing the renminbi to appreciate along with the global growth. And vice versa, should the global economy slowdown, which, by the way, I believe is going to be the case for 2015. Why did I say that? Well. you know how I explained the bond markets above and its relationship with the economy? Well, the Aussie dollar (A$), to me, has always been the proxy for global growth. As the A$ goes, so goes global growth. And I’ve been very disappointed in the A$’s downward move in the past few months. And we can blame the Central Bank influence around the world. I talked at end about this Central Bank influence yesterday, so won’t spend a lot of time going through it again, but the CFA just printed their latest survey, which asked, “Over the next few years, will Central Banks succeed in reducing their involvement in markets while enabling economies to flourish on their own?” And 64% of the respondents said “NO”, while 18% said “yes” and 18% weren’t sure. These CFA guys are smart cookies folks. Our Chris Gaffney is a CFA, and that’s how I get to see these notes from the CFA. I tell you about the CFA guys just so you get the picture that these guys think like me, that this Central Bank influence is not going away. Speaking of Central Bank influence, I would have to think that the risk of intervention to sell the N.Z. dollar/ kiwi by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), is still high. and that’s why kiwi just can’t seem to catch a bid these days, even though we all know, well, at least I think we all know, that the RBNZ is still looking at 2 to 3 more rate hikes next years. Usually knowing that would get market participants all lathered up, and buying on any dips. But having this RBNZ threat of intervention hanging over kiwi like the Sword of Damocles is too much for the currency buyers to handle right now. And the Queens of Central Bank influence (The U.S. Fed is King) the Bank of Japan (BOJ) and its Gov., Kuroda, was out last night letting the markets know that he’s not happy with yen strength. Of course he camouflaged that by saying that “volatility in either direction is FX markets is not welcome.” He doesn’t fool me, and I know what he’s talking about. yen has rallied from 110 just 10 days ago to a 105 handle, that’s a cool 4.5% increase. And that’s not what the BOJ, or the Japanese Gov’t want to see the yen doing. Remember, they want a weak yen to introduce inflation into their economy. Same B.S. that most Central Banks are pulling so they can run away from deflation. Japan remains a basket case to me folks, and therefore this rally to 105, is just window dressing, or curb appeal, or even better yet, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic! There was some other news out of China overnight. China’s currency reserves were reported to have fallen below $4 Trillion, to $3.89 Trillion This is the biggest QTR to QTR drop on record. But before you go acting like Chicken Little, let me tell you how this is all calculated. You see, when you hold currencies in reserves or in your account, the value of the account will fluctuate with the value of the currencies you hold, you may or may not add or subtract any money but your value will go up or down, and that’s what probably is the bulk of the move down in Chinese currency reserves, that the currencies they hold have lost value. And so their balance slips downward. So, move along, these are not the droids you’re looking for. Germany’s Central Bank, The Bundesbank, and its President. Weidmann, will speak today on something that is quite up to date and of mind. “The Changing International Monetary System”. Remember Weidmann has been European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi’s biggest nemesis. So, look for Weidmann to take this opportunity to take a shot at all-out QE, which Draghi wants to implement in the Eurozone.. The A$ has lost a full cent this morning. The move is huge and crazy.. It was reported overnight that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) sold 910 Million A$’s last month, but the RBA says it was a part of their normal Gov’t dealings to iron out trade flows. Hmmm. I think the markets don’t believe them and believe that this was nothing more than FX intervention, and therefore decided that if the RBA is selling A$’s then they should too! There’s another story this morning on the A$’s weakness that is interesting. The Bloomberg has a story on how Japanese household investors are losing their appetite for A$ bonds. And looking elsewhere for yield differential, and guess where they have been going? You’ll never guess, so I’ll just tell you. According to the Bloomberg story this morning, “investors are rotating out of A$ bond into the Turkish lira. That’s right. Turkey! I think that plays nicely in the sandbox with what I printed the other day from my good friend, Dennis Miller, as he talked about how seniors here in the U.S. have had to switch out of safe investments into risky stocks and bonds. Well, isn’t that the same thing the Japanese household investors are doing? Why, yes it is! The U.S. Data Cupboard is chock-full-o-data today, and has two of my fave prints, Capacity Utilization and Industrial Production. These two might recover a bit from the August print which was negative, but the risk here is that they don’t. We’ll also see the TIC Flows, which is a pulse of how much foreigners are buying U.S. bonds. which the last time this printed it was a negative number! And then there are a bunch of 2nd and 3rd tier reports that will print that the markets will shrug off. And Gold. Well, I’ve been on track getting you the import numbers of China and India this past week, and today, I received word that India’s Gold imports jumped 450% to $3.75 Billion in September. VS $682 Million a year ago. The thing to think about here is that India’s Trade Deficit which had been falling because of the lack of Gold Imports is on the rise again. And that’s not a good thing, for India, but that’s not what I wanted to highlight here, I wanted to highlight the that India still desires physical Gold. yes, the price has dropped tremendously in the past couple of years, but does that mean we should forget about all the risks in the markets and throw our Gold out? I don’t think so, folks. For What It’s Worth. I hate to beat a story to death folks. but this is something I’ve been harping about for a year now, and if finally appears that others are catching on. Today’s it’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard over at the U.K. Telegraph. You can read the whole article here, I have a couple of snippets for you that touch on what I want. you can read it all here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11165982/World-economy-so-damaged-it-may-need-permanent-QE.html “Combined tightening by the United States and China has done its worst. Global liquidity is evaporating. What looked like a gentle tap on the brakes by the two monetary superpowers has proved too much for a fragile world economy, still locked in “secular stagnation”. The latest investor survey by Bank of America shows that fund managers no longer believe the European Central Bank will step into the breach with quantitative easing of its own, at least on a worthwhile scale. Markets are suddenly prey to the disturbing thought that the five-and-a-half year expansion since the Lehman crisis may already be over, before Europe has regained its prior level of output. That is the chief reason why the price of Brent crude has crashed by 25pc since June. It is why yields on 10-year US Treasuries have fallen to 1.96pc, and why German Bunds are pricing in perma-slump at historic lows of 0.81pc this week. We will find out soon whether or not this a replay of 1937 when the authorities drained stimulus too early, and set off the second leg of the Great Depression.” Chuck again. I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But I love to be the one to tell you there is going to be bad news before it hits, so you can take precautionary measures to heart. Or you can laugh at me, and call me the boy who cried wolf. But this lack of liquidity is coming folks. I can feel it in my bones. even the titanic one that acts as my femur! To recap. Chuck goes through a long explanation of why the Pfennig was so late yesterday, but thanks to Chris, and others it finally got out. And then the currency rally yesterday, has ended badly overnight and this morning with the dollar back in control. The dollar fell yesterday on the very disappointing U.S. Retail Sales report.. China was not named a currency manipulator, and Chuck thinks they breathed a sigh of relief (NOT!) but allowed the renminbi to appreciate overnight. And India is back to importing, at least for one month, large sums of Gold. The physical metal is still in demand, folks.. Currencies today 10/16/14. American Style: A$ .8705, kiwi .7905, C$ .8825, euro 1.2740, sterling 1.5990, Swiss $ 1.0565, . European Style: rand 11.1635, krone 6.6445, SEK 7.2185, forint 242.37, zloty 3.3175, koruna 21.6045, RUB 41.10, yen 105.85, sing 1.2750, HKD 7.7565, INR 61.83, China 6.1395, pesos 13.63, BRL 2.4865, Dollar Index 85.30, Oil $80.39, 10-year 1.98%, Silver $17.35, Platinum $1,241.50, Palladium $745.75, and Gold. $1,238.59 That’s it for today. Well, backs up against the wall for my Cardinals. 2 years ago, we had the Giants at 3 games to 1, and had Game 5 at home and allowed them back in, and they went on to win in 7. Time to reverse the tables, eh? Again I want to thank Chris for all his work getting the Pfennig out yesterday while he was in Miami (but I don’t want to go to Miami HA!) and the Jacksonville folks who also made it finally happen. We’ll see in a couple of minutes if I can get it out the door. I brought the sunshine from Florida back to St. Louis with me yesterday, a little warmer temps, as the St. Louis area has been weather fit for a duck, they tell me! Glad I missed that! I had a present waiting for me when I came in today. Thank you Jane for the wonderful gift and nice note to me! Always nice to return to gifts! A few of the people, Suzan and April Showers have stopped by to tell me Welcome Back. They didn’t say they missed me though, so I guess I wasn’t gone long enough! Next time, I’ll take care of that! HA! So, let’s go out and make this a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday, eh? The sun is coming up, it’s going to be a glorious day! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets