first_imgThe UK will vote in the EU election on Thursday week, May 23, after a new Brexit date was set for October 31.Outgoing MEPs Martina Anderson from Sinn Fein and Ms Dodds are standing for re-election.Danny Kennedy is standing for the Ulster Unionist Party after its MEP Jim Nicholson decided to step down.Mr Eastwood, meanwhile, is seeking to win back the seat the SDLP lost in 2004. ShareTweet With Brexit set to dominate campaigning, Mr Eastwood has called for a debate on the value of EU membership.“With 10 days until polling day, the public deserve to be told the truth on the benefits Northern Ireland consistently receives from the European Union,” he said.Describing Ms Dodds as “the leading Brexit-supporting candidate in this campaign”, he challenged her to a public debate “based on the facts of what Northern Ireland gains from the European Union.“Mrs Dodds has cast doubt on the central theme of my campaign that we are so much better off as part of the European Union,” he said.“If this is genuinely her view then I can’t think of a credible reason why she would hesitate to take up my offer of a public debate.“If the DUP agree, I’m prepared to clear my schedule and to take part in such a debate anywhere across the north and at any time during the course of the next 10 days.”Mr Eastwood has launched an anti-Brexit election battle bus highlighting the millions of euros transferred from Europe to Northern Ireland to support peace. The bus contains slogans “debunking” the claims of Brexiteers before the referendum.Responding to Mr Eastwood’s debate offer, DUP director of elections Gavin Robinson said there will be plenty of time for discussion.“This is a publicity stunt and will be treated as such,” Mr Robinson said.“Diane Dodds will be in several TV studios debating all the candidates including Colum over the next 10 days.“Colum has had two very awkward problems with his bus slogan. Firstly, it’s our money coming back which we send to Brussels, and secondly, as a nationalist, his argument being based on money utterly undermines his campaign for a united Ireland.“Whilst Colum wants to attack Diane, we will focus on giving the people the choice.“We will be urging people to use this election to send a message that they want democracy to be respected and the will of the people implemented.“Colum wants to thwart the democratic wishes of the people. We want to respect democracy.”Yesterday Education Secretary Damian Hinds said the European elections will be seen as an opportunity for the ultimate protest vote.He told the BBC the elections would be difficult for the Conservatives and that “for some people this is the second referendum”.Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer, meanwhile, told The Guardian that he doubts a cross-party deal lacking a confirmatory referendum could pass Parliament.However, Mr Kennedy called for people to work together to deliver a sensible Brexit to end uncertainty and deliver stability.“The last thing that our country needs is a second referendum which would be incredibly polarising and damaging to people’s faith in our democratic system,” he said.The North of Ireland’s 11 European candidates also include Alliance leader Naomi Long and TUV leader Jim Allister.DUP’s Dodds ducks out of debate with Colum Eastwood over EU membership benefits was last modified: May 13th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: SDLP European candidate Colum Eastwood has challenged the DUP’s Diane Dodds to a debate on the benefits of EU membership.Mr Eastwood called for openness on what the North of Ireland is getting from Europe.However, the DUP dismissed his offer as a stunt. colum eastwoodDiane DoddsDUP’s Dodds ducks out of debate with Colum Eastwood over EU membership benefitsEU membershipSDLP LEADERlast_img read more

first_img(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator) L: So Doug, the world didn’t end in 2012, so it’s onward into another new year. It’s time to tune in to your guru-vision and tell us what trends you see shaping up and what actions they imply taking. Doug: Yes, it looks like the Mayans missed this one; perhaps they’ll get another kick at the cat a few millennia from now when it’s once more time to turn the page on their calendar. Better luck next time, Mayan astrologers! But although nothing seems to be happening on that front, it’s appropriate that I’m speaking to you from Punta del Este in Uruguay, which is one of the most happening places in the world at this time of year – North American and European winter, South American summer. I went to a New Year’s Eve party last night with some rather interesting temporary denizens of the place, and of course this was the subject of much conversation. None of them happened to be American, incidentally, and all but one – who is very involved in local politics – is extremely bearish on 2013. L: Do you mean bearish on the global economy? Bearish on geopolitics? Or bearish on civilization itself? Doug: All of the above. A “Mad Max” type outcome is definitely a possibility, as much as I hate to anticipate something really serious – as opposed to just a financial/economic meltdown. But the West has a huge amount of accumulated capital that it can still dissipate – a task the politicians are working on diligently. I expect the US will get a VAT, and/or an asset tax. Perhaps they’ll take a page from Cristina Kirchner’s book and nationalize everyone’s pension – for the good of the government, as well as the safety of the pensioners, of course. In the near term, we’re looking at increased tensions of every kind around the globe, and greater market volatility. By the way, we enjoyed a professional-grade fireworks display put on by our host in his back yard. It struck me that I was witnessing exactly the kind of freedom that makes me like living down here so much, and makes me dislike returning to the US. In the US, you’d have to be a city to put on that kind of fireworks show, or go through God-know-what sort of licensing to get the explosives involved. The smell of gunpowder at midnight is most invigorating, especially mixed with the smoke of Cuban cigars. I’m not saying Uruguay is totally free, especially not economically – the president is actually a communist. But he’s a surprisingly mellow communist, and not at all corrupt. Most unusual, actually. He lives on a small farm and drives an old car. Of course the things he’s doing – raising welfare benefits, eliminating financial privacy, initiating an income tax, and letting petty thieves run wild, among many other things – are making the place much less desirable to hang out. L: So, aside from economically stupid laws, they let people do pretty much as they will with their personal lives? Doug: That’s the good news. It’s a quiet, unambitious, backward, bureaucratic little country. But they still pretty much leave you alone. And strange things can happen. At the party I mentioned, a friend who mostly lives in Argentina told me about what was in Sunday’s El Pais, the national paper. It turns out that a top local politician – most of whom are socialists or ex-communists – just discovered Frederic Bastiat’s book, The Law. He was so taken with the free-market ideas in it, he had the entirety of the book published as an insert in the paper, at his own expense. I don’t know how many people will actually read it, and I doubt it will have much effect, but as a possible straw in the wind, it’s pretty interesting. Shocking, actually. L: A hundred years ago you might have seen a copy of The Communist Manifesto, so perhaps the pendulum will swing back in our direction in the next hundred years. A good reminder that it’s important to internationalize both one’s assets and one’s lifestyle. It’s hard to predict what will happen in any given country, although the trend is going from bad to worse just about everywhere. Doug: Yes; as the Greater Depression deepens, governments all around the world are going to get increasingly desperate, take increasingly stupid measures, and the people on the bottom rungs of the ladder – the very ones the governments will claim to be helping – are going to get pushed off in greater and greater numbers. That’s going to make for more social unrest, vandalism, and violence all around the world. It’s wise to find a crib away from likely epicenters of turmoil. You still have to look at the world objectively, and prepare to be, or move to wherever there’s the least trouble on the ground, among the places you actually enjoy being in. This is especially so for Europeans and their cousins in the US, where things are deteriorating fast. L: So, what are your own reasons for bearishness? Doug: I’m exceptionally bearish because we’ve been in the eye of this hurricane for going on three years. It seems to me that the bigger the eye of the storm, the bigger the storm must be. We are definitely heading for the trailing side of the hurricane soon. And it will be vastly bigger, and last much longer, and be much different than the leading edge. I can’t emphasize enough that all these trillions of currency units that governments all around the world are printing up by the truckload… L: Or helicopter load. Doug: [Chuckles] Yes, well, bank-wire load, as it were, these days. They no longer need to bother with the printing press; they can just create more out of nothing with the stroke of a key. All that cash in the US, the EU, Japan, and elsewhere is going to come out of the banks where it’s sitting at some point, and the inflation that’s been masked so far will kick into a much higher gear. Take Uruguay, for instance, which is actually a very expensive country – to go out to dinner here in Punta del Este costs considerably more than in the US. When I first came here, things were very cheap. I’ve seen the same thing in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Spain, and other markets in which I’ve made a lot of money in real estate, based on the same trend. This is happening all over the world. The US has been so successful at exporting its inflation – abusing the reserve currency status of the US dollar – that it’s become a relatively cheap place to live, at least among the more developed nations. The local symptom of this global sickness is that here in Punta, very expensive condominium buildings are popping up all along the coast, spreading faster than dandelions in springtime. Nobody lives in most of them, though some are occupied for a month or two in the summer, and yet, year-round you have to pay maintenance and security costs of at least $2,000, and sometimes $3,000 or $4,000 per month. The only reason people would pay that kind of money to maintain empty condos, as far as I can see, is to hide money. L: Why do they need to hide it? Doug: Each will have his own reasons. Sadly, Uruguay is no longer the Switzerland of South America it once was. There was once no income tax here and financial privacy – which no longer exists anywhere. A government run by ex-communists destroyed all that. That was shooting themselves in the foot, of course. But real property rights are still pretty strong here, so people are building all these condos as a place to stash money in the form of bricks and mortar. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will work out for them, because as the global Greater Depression deepens, people are going to have to start liquidating them, and the local market is going to crash. The monthly maintenance costs plus a need to retrieve the invested capital is going to result in a wave of selling. A lot of people are going to get burned. Not just here – almost everywhere. As my friend Richard Russell has said, in a depression everybody loses. The winner is the one who loses the least. L: Maybe you can let us know when that happens – sounds like it will be a great contrarian buying opportunity at that time. Doug: Sure. Most people will be too nervous to act, but I keep an eye on several real-estate markets for just that sort of contrarian opportunity. Meanwhile, I may just head for the exits now myself, not wanting to be unable to liquidate the real estate I’ve got in Uruguay later. At any rate, I view this developing situation as an example of what’s brewing in many markets all around the world. L: Can you give us more specifics? Doug: I think the most important thing to bear in mind is that we are approaching the absolute peak of the bond bubble, which has gotten vastly bigger than I ever imagined it could. Interest rates in the developed economies around the world are two percent, one percent, or even negative. This is fueling a bond bubble of truly catastrophic proportions. When it bursts, it will be an order of magnitude worse than the tech stock-market crash of 2001 or the real-estate bubble that burst in 2008. When this one goes, it won’t just wipe out the people who thought they were being prudent savers. Because it’s a financial market, it will also hit stocks and real estate again, at least in Europe and the US. Here in Uruguay and places like Argentina, real estate is largely a pure cash market. But in the so-called more developed economies, real estate still floats on a sea of debt. It amazes me that people in the US are elated because the real-estate market is supposed to be up 4.3%, as of the latest figures. Well, of course it is; you can borrow money for effectively zero, given where interest rates and inflation are. L: Is that a sign of the bulging piles of money banks have been sitting starting to leak out into the economy? Doug: Looks that way. And when interest rates start rising steeply, as they’ll have to do once inflation sets in, rising to double digits as they were in the 1980s, it will crush real estate further and deeper than we’ve seen so far. It will do so all around the world, but the US will be hardest hit, I think. There’s no question in my mind: the bond bubble is by far the largest distortion we’re facing in the economy today. Bonds are incredibly dangerous, insanely risky speculations today. They’re reward-free risk. Bond owners are facing huge default risk, huge interest rate risk, and huge inflation risk. But nobody seems to see it or talk about it. L: I understand. But honestly, Doug, you’ve been saying that for a while. What makes you think this will be the year the bond balloon finds the pin it’s been searching for? Doug: You’re right – that particular bubble should have found its pin two or three years ago. I admit I thought it’d pop last year. It’s like watching a clown over-inflate a balloon; the longer he inflates it, the more you wince, because you know it’s going to blow up in his face. And the longer it takes, the closer the inevitable comes to being imminent – and the bigger the explosion becomes. It would have been so much better if the idiots who run the US government had allowed the market to fully liquidate past mistakes and distortions back in 2008. If they’d let all the big banks, brokers, hedge funds, and corporate welfare junkies fail, it would have been very unpleasant, but the country could have survived it, and come out stronger and with a healthier balance sheet as a result. The real wealth – buildings, farms, technologies, the skills of workers – would still be there. And the financial elite would have been wiped out – which would have been a good thing. But instead, they’ve ensured that the rich have gotten even richer, guaranteed by the government. They tried to drown a fire with a flood of gasoline, and it’s going to burn the country down. You know the old saw about not predicting both an event and its timing, but I don’t see how this thing can go beyond 2013. L: Well, you were right about the politicians in Washington preferring to compromise than to allow the fiscal cliff to hit the fan, so maybe you’re right about this one too. So, we should beware of the bond bubble bursting. Beware of real estate getting crushed when interest rates go up. What about stocks? Wouldn’t a lot of money fleeing falling bonds go into the stock market? Doug: Yes, a lot would, but a lot of companies would be failing as well, so I’m ambivalent about equities in general. Earnings could collapse. Companies with many millions – or even billions – in cash on their balance sheets could still get hit fast and furious by high inflation. P/E ratios are not low these days; Wall Street is not a bargain. So I’m generally neutral to bearish and therefore out of the stock market. That’s the best policy when you can make an equally compelling case for something going up or down. L: That’s exactly how I see copper and the other base metals these days. But gold is another matter. Doug: Of course. And even though gold has hit new highs in nominal dollar prices, gold has still not matched its previous peak in inflation-adjusted dollars. Really, in practical terms, nobody knows or cares about gold yet. The average guy doesn’t even know it exists – and the average guy on Wall Street thinks it’s only good for paperweights, of which the world already has a surplus. L: Gold is cheap at $1,670? Doug: No. But it’s got to go higher. The fact is that precious metals are the only financial assets that are not simultaneously somebody else’s liability. The huge counterparty liability in today’s markets has yet to make itself evident, but it will – it’s in the hundreds of trillions. That’s what the derivatives that Buffett has been talking about for a decade are all about. That makes the best single speculation I can think of today gold and silver mining stocks. For the last two years, gold stocks have been getting cheaper, even though gold has continued rising, year-on-year. That makes these stocks a better deal than they’ve been for many years. And it’s such a tiny little market, the upside when the larger world catches on will be breathtaking. My sense, based on watching these markets for 40 years, is that we’re coming up on an explosion of resource stock prices of historic proportions. The kind of stocks you and Jeff cover are absolutely the place to be. [Ed. Note: Doug is talking about the BIG GOLD and Casey International Speculator portfolios.] L: The data support you on that. If you adjust for inflation by looking at the price of gold stocks in terms of gold, they are selling for less than they have for years – almost as low as during the crash of 2008, or even back in 2001, before this bull cycle for metals got going. Doug: They are now extremely high-potential and relatively low-risk speculations – despite mining being a crappy, 19th-century choo-choo-train industry. L: [Laughs] I used that phrase of yours in the International Speculator coming out Thursday and make the same point. Doug: You provide a shopping list? L: Of course. Jeff’s got one in BG too. Doug: Good. This may be the last chance for people late to this bull market to get in at prices similar to what they could have paid before it got going. And as a matter of fact, gold was cheaper in real terms back in 2001 than it was at $35 per ounce back in 1971. People seem to have forgotten that these are the most volatile stocks on the planet. There have been a half-dozen markets I’ve personally seen over the years where junior miners and explorers went up 1,000% as a group. Perversely, people are afraid to buy these stocks now – L: The very reason they should; you have to be a contrarian to buy low and sell high. Doug: – at precisely the time when they should. I promise you, when the Mania Phase of this gold market kicks in, everyone will be piling in, and it will drive share prices not just through the roof, but to the moon. Then they’ll collapse 95% later, of course, the way they always do. But now is the time to buy them. However, since there are several thousand of them, it’s critical to be highly selective. L: Well, if speculating when others dare not were easy, everyone would do it, and there would be no speculative opportunity, so of course I agree. But back to 2013 – if you don’t think the global economy will collapse this year, can you say when? Doug: As I said last time, 2013 is going to be ugly, but it will just be a warmup for 2014. Back at the New Year’s party I went to here in Punta del Este, I asked my best friend down here the same question. He’s very rich and very shrewd. He’s of the opinion that the world will see catastrophic events of historic proportions – not just one, but several – over the next ten years. I think he’s right, and that brings us back to another point we started with: I cannot stress strongly enough that anyone who hopes to survive financially, and perhaps even physically, needs to internationalize. L: There’s the Mr. Cheerful we all know and love. Doug: Hey, I’m looking at the bright side… L: Okay then. Thanks, and we’ll talk again next week – and soon in person, in Vancouver. If you’ve never heard Doug Casey speak in person, now’s your chance – he’ll join a star-studded cast of natural resource and financial experts who will be presenting at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference January 20-21 – it’s the world’s largest investor-focused, resource-exploration conference. Doug will also be signing copies of his new book, Totally Incorrect. Other Casey Research presenters are Chief Mining and Investment Strategist Louis James; Chief Energy Investment Strategist Marin Katusa; Senior Precious Metals Analyst Jeff Clark; and CEO Olivier Garret. On the evening of January 21, there will be a VIP event for Casey’s Club members and our NextTen and Explorer’s League honorees (details to come). This is one event you don’t want to miss – you’re guaranteed to walk away with actionable investment strategies that will put you in perfect position to profit from the coming boom in natural resources. Click here for registration information.last_img read more

first_img(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator) L: We are speaking today with Casey Research Chief Economist Bud Conrad. Bud, in my mind, the thing that makes your insights so valuable is that you’re not actually a career economist with a Ph.D. in the subject. You are an engineer, and you bring an engineer’s systems analysis perspective to bear on economic questions. So, how does the system of the world’s economy look to you today? Is it really on the mend, as so many economists are saying? Bud: That’s a very broad question. Thanks for mentioning my background. We so often see economists arguing with economists about their points of view. I think it helps to step back and have a fresh look at things, focusing on what the data tell us, rather than focusing on their ideas based on theories… which I don’t think are correct. L: That reminds me of the old joke about a physicist, engineer, and an economist stranded on a deserted island. The only food they have is a can of beans, but they have no can opener. The physicist has an idea to use fire to open the can, but that would ruin the beans. The engineer has an idea to use rocks to open the can, but that would ruin the beans as well. The economist says: “Let’s assume a can opener.” Bud: [Chuckles] I have to say, I really do think that the intellectual bedrock of modern economics is very weak. The reality today is that governments around the world – not just the United States, but also in Europe with the ECB and Japan with Abe’s mandate to the Bank of Japan requiring it to maintain an inflation rate of 2%, and other governments as well – they are all moving in the direction of printing more money. The United States is not the worst offender, but only because we have a rich country that can afford substantial deficits. We have a system in which the government finds it easy to print money in an effort to meet everyone’s needs. Those needs include the baby-boomer generation going into retirement, with $75 trillion in future obligations, and a large and ever-growing military – much larger in proportion to GDP than what any other country in the world is maintaining. Coupled with this, we have a lack of interest in raising taxes among politicians, who see that as unpopular with voters. The politicians have no will to fix our deficits. The deficit has been papered over by the Fed printing money. However, the problem is not a matter of just this last year. Nor is it just this last recessionary period that started in 2008. The bubbles really started forming back in the 1990s when Greenspan turned on the spigots after the 1987 stock market crash. That brought on the first modern big bubble, the one in tech stocks. The dot-com bubble was very large, and its bursting should have been a lesson and a warning about what was to come. In response to the crash that followed the popping of the dot-com bubble, Greenspan lowered interest rates to around 1%. At the time, that was a new record in easy-money policy on the part of the Fed. This led to the housing bubble. The bursting of this bubble was not well predicted, not by most people, but it was by me. L: When and where, Bud? Bud: I predicted the end of the housing bubble back in 2006, when you and I were both working on the International Speculator, before we pulled out the big-picture economics and started publishing that material in The Casey Report. There was an issue in 2006 called The Coming Currency Crisis in which we said the housing bubble was bursting. But in 2007, Bernanke was still saying that the problems in the housing sector were contained. Of course, it is the nature of his job to avoid frightening people with dire comments, but in looking at the minutes of the Fed meetings it’s clear that they really didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. L: Ah, I remember that one. We got a lot of things right – made me laugh to see Bernanke on TV after the crisis hit in 2008, saying that no one could have seen it coming. Bud: Indeed. I knew we were in a bubble, just looking at the subprime lending phenomenon. Many in the mortgage industry knew we were in a bubble. The Fed’s response to the bursting of the housing bubble and everything else that’s gone wrong since 2008 has inflated a third bubble – the bond bubble, which I think is now peaking. It’s harder to predict when a bubble will burst than to identify the fact that we’re in one, which is what I’m saying now. We have the lowest interest rates in 250 years – lower than at any time since the founding of the country – created by the Federal Reserve forcing interest rates to zero in the short term. In addition, we have the Fed encouraging banks to help lower rates through buying Treasuries. On top of this, we also have some $350 trillion of swaps derivatives of interest rates – more than half of all the derivatives out there are interest-rate derivatives. Banks use these swaps to transmit lower rates to other debt instruments based on what can they can get from the Fed. This drives all rates down. L: Sounds pretty questionable… Good thing the government saved us from evil bankers in 2008, cleaned house, and set us all on the path to righteousness. Bud: I don’t think our financial situation is any more solid than before the crisis. We’ve still got many undisclosed, not yet written down, toxic financial items out there. It may be better than the middle of the worst part of the crisis, but that’s not saying much. L: So what happens next? Bud: We’ve seen 30 years of declining interest rates. I think we’ll begin to see them move in the other direction this year. I think rates on everything from high-yield corporate bonds to government bonds – which are considered the safest – are way lower than they should be. Consider the high probability of inflation ahead, the currency exchange rate risk, and the eventual default risk. All three risks are totally undiscounted by the market, because of the distortion created by the Fed. That will hit its limit at some point. Some people say the Fed can keep up its juggling act forever. I don’t agree. L: Doug has been describing the bond market as “a triple threat to your capital” for some time now. I understand that it is difficult to predict exactly when a market bubble will pop, but can you give us some indicators to watch for? What would be conclusive evidence that the popping is actually under way? Bud: That’s a tough question. I’ve done extensive work on when countries explode. The premier take away from Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff’s best-selling book, This Time Is Different, is that when debt gets to 90% of GDP, that’s when things get risky. Well, we have $15 trillion in GDP and $16.4 trillion of debt. That’s well-publicized now, because of the political wrangling over the debt ceiling, which we’ve actually already exceeded. L: So we’re already in the red zone? Bud: We do have some advantages over other countries. We have a big military, which does cost us, but also tends to make other powers more cooperative. Most of our debt is denominated in our own currency, which gives us a big advantage over a smaller country that has debt denominated in US dollars – if their currencies fall against the dollar, their troubles are compounded. So we can probably push things further than the 90% threshold. That’s not a hard number by the way, just an average within a fairly wide footprint. However, with our level of debt to GDP, most countries would already be looking at something on the order of 10% interest rates, whereas we’ve got something in the neighborhood of 2% for the 10-year Treasury. This is an extreme distortion from what the market would dictate under such circumstances. So, will interest rates start rising now that we’re over 100% debt to GDP? I know rates can’t go much lower, so I expect they will be heading up from here. Look at the trillion dollars a year in new debt we’re accumulating, and consider that in four years we will have more than $20 trillion in government debt. At 5% interest, that would require a trillion dollars a year in interest payments. We only collect $2.5 trillion in federal taxes. I don’t see how we could reach such a number without something breaking. That’s four years away, but since we know it’s coming, we should already be preparing for the problems that can be anticipated. All that’s needed for things to break down is some event that causes a panic. Such an event might be some foreign government with a huge trade surplus with the US that it has invested in US Treasuries deciding that the 2% they’re getting paid to hold them is not worth it in the face of 5% inflation in the things they need to buy, like raw materials. If something like that were to happen, it could spark a race to head for the exits on US bonds. This highlights a real Achilles heel we have, compared to other countries that don’t have as huge a trade deficit as we do. L: So a good sign that the balloon is going up would be that the interest rates start rising despite the government’s efforts to keep them down? Bud: Yes. There will come a time when the Fed announces a new easing program and the market ignores the announcement so that rates rise rather than fall, and stocks fall rather than rise. At that point the game is surely over. Watching interest rates is certainly important in terms of keeping track of the turning tide. If they move from 2% toward 4% – which is not a very large change in historical terms – they could then accelerate and push the whole mess off a cliff very quickly. L: The Keynesians will just answer that all this deficit spending will stimulate the economy, which will then grow at a more rapid rate and enable us to afford the debt. But is that even possible? Wouldn’t we need a double-digit GDP growth rate, such as China used to enjoy, to pull that off? Bud: Well, in the simplest terms, if your debt is growing faster than your GDP, you won’t ever be able to pay it off. It’s simple math. Now if you look at the kind of debt problems governments get into, there comes a critical point at which people recognize that the problem is too big to be solved. The most recent high-profile example of this is what happened to Greece. In such a case, there are only a few things you can do. The first is to find someone bigger to bail you out. Greece found that the ECB was able to bail it out – at least for a time, but they’re still in trouble. The United States is too big for that. The second thing you can do is to hope you can grow out of it, as you just suggested some might argue. The US’s debt growth has been bigger than GDP growth for decades. It’s just not credible to argue that we can grow our way out of our debt. The next alternative is to simply declare default, as Argentina and Russia have done, among others. This is what many countries along the southern fringe of Europe are likely to do, in my opinion. The public in these countries is rebelling against the austerity plans the ECB is requiring. Default of some kind is their only alternative. Default is very destructive in the short term, greatly reducing the ability of governments to borrow and spend in the future. It’s also politically very unpalatable, especially in places like the US, where most people can’t even conceive of their government defaulting on its obligations. This leaves only one alternative: printing money to try to kick the can down the road. This is the path we are on. It too is highly destructive, but that destruction is hidden and delayed. It is not, however, sustainable, and I think we will see a breakdown in the not-too-distant future. L: How “not-too-distant?” Bud: My current intuition is that we will begin to see this happening in the near term, meaning this year. As that gets going, it will build momentum and accelerate. That’s my current prediction: the third bubble created by the many years of easy money policy by the Fed, the bond bubble, will pop soon. L: In discussing this last week, Doug and I likened this to a house of cards. Everyone knows it’s shaky, and nobody wants to get caught when it comes down. That means that when it starts, the collapse should come very quickly. Do you think we could see a 2008 level of crisis arising from the bursting of this bubble as early as this year? Bud: I don’t want to predict exactly what will happen when, but I am willing to say that we have seen the lows in interest rates and they will start rising this year. L: That’s still a bold statement. Do you have a theory as to why European countries – most of which are far more overtly socialist than the United States – are struggling to embrace austerity measures, while in the US, aside from some small budget cuts generating big headlines, there’s no real consideration being given to actually trying to live within our means? Bud: I would simply say that the Europeans have better PR. I really don’t think they are that much different. The ECB has said it will do whatever it takes to defend the euro – that means printing more euros. The public statements about austerity have been effective enough that they haven’t had to do much printing in the last six months, but Europe looks no better off to me now than it did six months ago. France is weakening greatly, and that’s one of the pillars of strength being relied upon to help carry the others. The ECB is kind of a paper tiger. It’s supposed to be able to print up money and rely on the strong countries to back them up. But can anyone take the idea of France bailing out Italy and Spain seriously? It’s just another house of cards. Most people don’t realize that not only is there the ECB, but each country has its own central bank. While in theory the central bank of each country is not allowed to print euros, a loophole that is not understood is that the TARGET2 money transfer system causes them to enlarge their balance sheets. This is the same thing as printing money. This is particularly true of the German Bundesbank, which is owed money by the ECB, which is owed money by Spain and other importing countries. The system is unsustainable, and I think the process of collapse is starting, though it may take a while to gather momentum. I admit that I’m surprised by the current relative strength of the euro. I think that it will weaken from here. I see enough problems in the world’s financial system and our own to say that while the dollar may not look particularly weak in foreign exchange, all of these paper currencies are tragically flawed. At some point people will wake up to their lack of intrinsic value and not care whether it’s pesos or dollars you’re offering them – they won’t take anything backed by nothing. L: Gee, Bud, you’re as gloomy as Doug! Bud: [Laughs] It’s not a contest! It’s just what the data are telling me: Europe is in recession. Next up is Japan, which is trying to bail itself out for the 43rd time in the last 20 years by printing money. I think the US will be the third domino to fall – I think we’re heading for stagflation by the end of this year. L: We should also probably warn people against speculating in real estate, because even though those assets are real, real estate is going to get slaughtered if interest rates rise. Bud: Good point. But the fact remains that the size of this bubble is bigger than the other two that have popped already. The debt market is on the order of $53 trillion across all sorts of debt. The stock market is only $15 trillion. The home real-estate market is $20 trillion. So when the debt market crashes, it’ll be two or three times worse than the previous bubbles bursting. The resulting wealth transfer will be much larger than most economists can even understand – most don’t really focus on debt. It’s critical that the measuring stick they’re using, the dollar, is made of rubber. They are going to be caught off guard, and many people are going to be wiped out. L: Okay, so how do we position ourselves to invest? Bud: I don’t know if I would pick an inverse interest rate ETF or futures market short position yet. The fundamental thing is not to keep your cash in a bank account that is essentially paying you a zero interest rate. I look to invest in safe-haven assets like the precious metals, essential needs like energy, and real estate – particular things like productive agricultural real estate. I might even add stocks in general to the list… L: Doug disagrees on that last one. Bud: Mainstream economists are saying that the worst is over and that the blue chips will head higher. I’m saying the worst is not over, and with inflation on the way, higher nominal stock prices will not translate to big returns in real terms. They might do better than your .01% CD, but the gains will not be attractive in terms of increased purchasing power. I didn’t recommend stocks because I think they’re going to be big winners, but simply as a way to avoid losing money on bank deposits. I’d rather own gold, personally. But the important thing to understand is that as paper money is being made worthless, we need to protect ourselves. L: Okay, I get it. I think I need a beer… or better yet, a hug from my children – that always makes me feel better. But I do appreciate your candid assessment. It helps to explain some of the things Doug’s guru-vision has been telling us. Thanks. I think. Bud: You’re welcome. Thanks for giving me a chance to give my warning. I just hope people will listen. Bud Conrad is the author of Profiting from the World’s Economic Crisis. He also shares his economic and investment insights in The Casey Report, a monthly advisory that focuses on profit opportunities in emerging trends. For more information on the topics discussed, listen to Bud’s recent interview with Jim Puplava of Financial Sense.last_img read more

first_img Recommended Links Communists, Trotskyites, Maoists We remember discussing the radicals’ strategy back in 1969. This is where the nostalgia comes in… Last night, we stayed at a tiny hotel in Paris, near where we first got to know the city 43 years ago. We had gone for a semester abroad, after discovering that the tuition at the University of Paris was only $80. That meant that even with airfare, it was cheaper to go to the Sorbonne than to the University of Maryland. The semester turned into a lifelong relationship, marked by equal periods of affection and disgust. We didn’t speak French at the time, but we had had four years of it in high school. That seemed like plenty. (Although it later proved comically insufficient.) But we were adventurous back then. And penniless. So, we got ourselves to Paris… and hung out at the bars around St.-Germain-des-Prés. It was a very different city in the 1960s. It was a world leader in fashion, technology, movies, food, and philosophy. But Paris had a problem back then, too. Communists, Trotskyites, Maoists, anarchists, syndicalists, and students – in 1968, they rebelled, ripped up the streets to build barricades out of the paving stones (the streets were covered with asphalt soon after), and engaged with the police in pitched battles. By the time we arrived a year later, skirmishes between gendarmes and radical groups were still going on. The organized rebels would race around a corner, throw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police who formed up into protected phalanxes with their clear plastic shields. Then the cops would suddenly charge the insurgents, swinging their billy clubs at anyone they could reach. Trained and practiced, the terrorists would retreat quickly. This left the police with nobody to rough up except innocent onlookers. That is how your editor nearly got hospitalized. Walking down the street, he was mistaken for a radical… knocked to the ground and worked over by three policemen, who eagerly went about their work with happy cudgels. Revolutionary Strategy Sitting in a café with a bandaged face, we discussed the revolutionaries’ strategy with a young French intellectual of Trotskyite tendencies. Even almost a half-century later, we recalled the conversation when we passed the café (still in business) where it took place. “Oh… sorry to see you got beaten up,” he said. “But it’s just collateral damage. We’re making headway. “The police don’t like it when we attack them. It’s a point of pride, more than anything else. So, they overreact. But the more they show on TV people like you getting beaten up by the cops, the more the working class comes over to our side. We’re going to win.” The revolutionaries did not win. They did not topple the Fifth Republic. But they eventually got much of what they wanted – free schooling… free drugs and medical attention… a high-cost, zombified, crony economy… a bureaucratized, tightly regulated society… even a 35-hour workweek. And now look at it. “Yes, it’s a mess…” repeated the voice behind us. Regards, Bill Bonner’s Analyst Issues Urgent Buy for This Wednesday This stock is in the same position as two other well-known stocks right before they jumped 121%… and 205%. Bill Bonner is investing $250,000 in it through his family trust later this week… but if you click here, you could get in on it before him. – Major Shift in World’s Largest Financial Market (40x Larger Than the Stock Market) Could it send gold to $11,000/oz.? Four of the world’s smartest billionaires might think so. They’re all “backing up the trucks” on gold. Learn more here.center_img Bill Editor’s note: The rising tide of global terror is only strengthening the “Deep State’s” grip on you and your life. And in his latest warning, Bill explains exactly how this shadowy group of unelected elites is corrupting our financial system… and pushing the U.S. economy closer and closer to an imminent breakdown. But he also offers some individual financial solutions you can put in place on your own to help you and your children live in a safe, prosperous, and free country. Watch here now. — Editor’s note: Agora founder Bill Bonner was just in Paris…While he was there, he was reminded of the time he spent there in the 1960s… Back when he was knocked to the ground and nearly hospitalized by three policemen… VIENNA – Real money must reflect the realities of the real economy. If it becomes detached from economic reality, like a clock that no longer tells the right time, it becomes a hazard to everyone. Appointments are missed. Trains crash. You show up at the airport and find the plane left two hours ago! Air France is on strike. Our flight – with Austrian Airlines – left an hour late as a result. “This is a mess,” we said to nobody in particular, as we waited for a plane this morning. “Welcome to France,” said a voice behind us. Murdered by Barbarians Puzzling out the secrets of money and interest rates was interrupted by the news… and nostalgia. The gruesome details: An 86-year-old French priest was forced to kneel in his church. Then his throat was cut. “Murdered by Barbarians,” screamed a headline in the French newspaper Le Figaro. “We must be pitiless,” said former president Nicolas Sarkozy. “It’s war.” He may have picked up a few lines from Saint Bernard, rehearsed nearly 1,000 years ago. In the Burgundian town of Vézelay, on March 31, 1146, St. Bernard of Clairvaux delivered his famous oration on responding to the Muslim threat: Will you allow the infidels to contemplate in peace the ravages they have committed on Christian people? […] Fly then to arms; let a holy rage animate you in the fight, and let the Christian world resound with these words of the prophet: “Cursed be he who does not stain his sword with blood!” In France – as in the U.S. – saintly politicians compete to see who can most convincingly promise to “get tough.” Of course, getting tough is just what the so-called Islamic State (known in France by its Arabic acronym, Daesh) wants. The strategy is ancient. More than 2,000 years ago, radical Jewish groups conducted a war of terror against their Roman masters, hoping to provoke a crackdown by the authorities… leading to the radicalization of the masses. Did it work? Depends on how you look at it. The Jews got their crackdown. Vespasian and Titus put down their insurrection, leveled Jerusalem, destroyed The Temple and, according to Josephus, killed 1.1 million Jews.last_img read more

first_imgUPDATE 3:30 p.m.: Investigators from the Tuscaloosa Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division said they’ve obtained a warrant on a man accused of robbing a gas station and harming an employee there.Michael Wayne Burrell, 52, has been charged with first-degree robbery in the incident, which happened at Skyland Shell in 700 Skyland Boulevard, at the intersection of Skyland Boulevard and Greensboro Avenue.If you have any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Tuscaloosa Police Department at 205-349-2121. A gas station employee is recovering from life-threatening injuries after two men stole three cases of beer and dragged the employee across the store’s parking lot with a car.Police said it happened Sunday at the Skyland Shell gas station at 700 Skyland Blvd., at the intersection of Skyland Boulevard and Greensboro Avenue.The clerk told police two suspects stole three cases of beer from the store and fled to a 2013 Toyota Corolla. When the clerk tried getting the beer back, they drove off, dragging the clerk in the parking lot.Police said the clerk suffered severe, life-threatening injuries in the incident, and was taken to DCH Regional Medical Center.Several witnesses described the suspects and their vehicle to police, and officers soon located Dewan Latrell Hampton, 32, who was identified as one of the men involved in the robbery.Hampton was taken into custody and placed in the Tuscaloosa County jail on first-degree robbery charges with a bond of $60,000.Police said the investigation is still ongoing, and more charges will be filed.last_img read more

first_imgA local Waffle House is making sure the children of one of its employees still have a Merry Christmas after recent tragedy.Bryan Sims, 29, was on his way to work Dec. 1 at Waffle House in Northport when he was killed in a car crash.“I’m heartbroken,” said aunt Lillie Nalls. “I’m really still lost for words because it still feels like a dream and I just want to wake up, because it doesn’t seem right with Bryan being gone.”Sims’ co-workers took it upon themselves to take donations so they could ensure his two young daughters still had a Christmas.“He was a great guy,” said co-worker Sarah Reese. “He was really funny even when we were really busy. He would always be laughing and joking around and always made work fun.”Co-worker Megan Burnett agreed.“He was always very cheerful,” she said. “If anyone was down he would always joke around and put a smile on anyone’s face. He always came to work on time, never late. Always cared about everyone even if he didn’t know them very well.”Sims’ aunt said it was always his goal to put a smile on his daughters’ faces, and the love they’ve gotten from his Waffle House family is bringing joy to their hearts in such a horrific time.If you’re interested in donating, visit the Waffle House in Northport across from Walmart Supercenter.last_img read more

first_imgMONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Newly unsealed Supreme Court filings in an Alabama death penalty case show the continuing disagreement between inmate attorneys and the state over the effectiveness of the sedative midazolam in shielding inmates from pain during lethal injections.Justices on Monday granted an NPR request to unseal documents related to an inmate’s request for a stay.The previously blacked out paragraphs detail the testimony of medical experts from both sides. The arguments were similar to those in other court fights over the drug.A lawyer for Christopher Price wrote their experts, including an anesthesiologist, say inmates will experience “excruciating pain.”Alabama said the state uses a dose higher than what a doctor would use in a medical setting.Price was executed last month after justices said the lethal injection could proceed.(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)6/27/2019 2:02:49 PM (GMT -5:00)last_img read more

first_imgNEW YORK – The FC Barcelona Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation are collaborating for the implementation of FC Barcelona Foundation’s FutbolNet methodology programs with the aim of helping refugee children and teenagers by preventing and solving conflicts and encouraging social inclusion and integration in hosting communities. The grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation will allow the FC Barcelona Foundation to help children in refugee sites in Europe and the Middle East.More than 3.000 children in Greece, Italy and Lebanon will be the direct beneficiaries of the FC Barcelona Foundation’s refugee program, with the financial support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.Details about the collaboration will be announced on Friday, June 23rd during the Sixth Annual Stavros Niarchos Foundation International Conference on Philanthropy, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, in a discussion between the co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Andreas Dracopoulos, and the CEO of the FC Barcelona Foundation, Nacho Mestre. During the first phase of the program, FC Barcelona Foundation will carry out the FutbolNet methodology program with 1.300 children and teenagers from refugee sites and local hosting communities in Greece, and specifically in Lesvos, Chios, Skaramagas and central Athens. These areas have been selected because of the large proportion of children living within these refugee communities, representing one of the most vulnerable groups affected by the crisis. The program, in the context of the collaboration between FC Barcelona Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation was launched in Lesvos with a game and a ‘clinic’ educational activity with the participation of former FC Barcelona players.Photo: SNFThe second phase of the program will take place in Italy. FC Barcelona Foundation will engage 900 children and teenagers at unaccompanied minors’ centers, many of whom lost their families in war zones or during their journeys towards Europe.The third country where the program will be implemented is Lebanon, and specifically the Bekaa Valley region. Many children in this area have been residing in refugee camps for more than 5 years and more than 70% are not attending school. Integrating children with their local host communities will be a key focus of the program in all three countries.FC Barcelona Foundation sports methodology: FutbolNet The FutbolNet methodology uses sports as a neutral platform to tackle social problems and provide education on values and reflection tools to stimulate children and young people. FutbolNet is a proven program that has been evaluated and recognized for its social impact and transformation in many countries and in different contexts.The FC Barcelona Foundation will adapt the FutbolNet methodology to the refugee context and will address self-confidence and trauma mitigation, respect, integration, and conflict management between people using dialog as the main tool. FutbolNet sessions will be implemented weekly throughout the year. In addition, FutbolNet Festivals will be organized throughout the year, where participants of the regular FutbolNet program will have the opportunity to share the experience with other children and their families. Innovation: Sports kit for refugee sites Together with the implementation of the FutbolNet methodology, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation grant will allow FC Barcelona Foundation and FC Barcelona’s Innovation Hub to pilot the development of an innovative, portable, and easy-to-use sports kit specially designed for promoting sports and education values. The kit will be distributed in selected refugee sites through partners and will be evaluated for future use.The Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos stated: “Since the outbreak of the refugee crisis in 2014, the SNF has funded grants totaling more than $25 million to support organizations and civil society efforts in Greece and elsewhere that provide aid to those afflicted. We are excited to support FCB Foundation’s impactful education and sport programs for refugee children in Europe and the Middle East and look forward to witnessing how the universal values of teamwork, effort, humility, dialogue, sport and fun can build friendships and help refugee and local communities connect and truly integrate in a joyful and positive environment.”The CEO of FC Barcelona Foundation, Mr. Nacho Mestre, said: “FC Barcelona and its Foundation are profoundly committed to this unprecedented migratory crisis where more than 65 million people have been forced to displacement. The FC Barcelona Foundation is honored by this strategic alliance with such a prestigious organization as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation that will allow us to take a step further in our goal of trying to normalize the living conditions of refugee children and young people, as well as facilitating their integration in the host communities.”TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgEAST MEADOW, NY  — A sign hangs above the door between the locker room and the ice at the New York Islanders’ practice facility that reads, “GET BETTER TODAY.”It carries a powerful double meaning for Robin Lehner, who before the season disclosed his struggles with mental illness and is now a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender. He was a huge reason the Islanders returned to the playoffs after a two-year absence.“It’s been a fun year,” Lehner said. “I feel like I’m playing good. … Obviously I made some changes. Yeah, it’s clicking.”It’s finally clicking in every possible way for Lehner, who has figured out how to manage a bipolar disorder and thrive on and off the ice. The 27-year-old Swede set a career high with 25 victories, posted a 2.13 goals-against average and .930 save percentage and, in tandem with Thomas Greiss, helped New York go from worst to first in the league in goals allowed.Lehner stopped 130 of the 136 shots he faced in a first-round sweep of the 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins to get the Islanders into the second round against Carolina. He didn’t do it all himself, but teammates are quick to say Lehner shouldered the burden to solve his problems.“Robin’s handled a lot of this with his support staff and his family and people that are closest to him, and he’s done a wonderful job with that,” captain Anders Lee said. “The biggest thing is just being there for him, letting him know that we have his back and if he needs to reach out to any of us, just being an outlet.”Lehner first detailed his demons and diagnosis of bipolar 1 with manic phases in an essay published by The Athletic in September. He documented his suicidal thoughts, the game that forced him to seek help from the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse & Behavioral Help program and his path back to the ice.New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner (40), of Sweden, blocks a shot from Carolina Hurricanes center Greg McKegg (42) during the second period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series, Friday, April 26, 2019, in New York. The Hurricanes won 1-0 in overtime. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)Islanders winger Matt Martin recalls meeting Lehner last summer. Lehner was fresh out of a stint in alcohol rehab and had just landed a contract.“He was kind of on his way back,” Martin recalled. “He had a clear head, but he still had a long way to go from a fitness standpoint and he worked hard every day. He was here all summer getting better.”It had been a rocky road. After he was revealed as a Vezina finalist, Lehner said eight or nine teams were interested in him as a free agent last summer before that list shrunk to two after he and his agent were transparent about his coming out of rehab; one meeting “didn’t go well at all.”Conversations with new Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello changed Lehner’s life.Lamoriello signed Lehner to a $1.5 million, one-year contract that is known in hockey circles as a “prove-it” deal. Lehner has outperformed it by leaps and bounds and the organization has helped him.“It’s not like I’ve been a special case that I need someone holding my hands,” Lehner said. “They’ve been incredibly supportive and open-minded and nonjudgmental and all that stuff.”Lehner said plenty of people deserve credit for his spectacular season, from Lamoriello and new coach Barry Trotz to goaltending guru Mitch Korn and goalie coach Piero Greco. But those around the league believe Lehner also deserves a lot of credit for the courage to tell his story.“We are extraordinarily proud of him both in terms of what he’s been able to accomplish for himself and his family personally,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “I do believe that players and the league based on the profile we have can be role models, can let people who are not processional athletes but who adore the games and professional athletes understand that everybody can have problems and everybody can have issues, it doesn’t matter what your walk of life is and that there is hope and that you can address these things.”Attitudes in hockey have changed since Corey Hirsch tended goal in the NHL and dealt with his own mental health issues, largely in hiding. He, too, has disclosed details publicly to help others learn and understand.“You’re seen as mentally weak. … I know what I went through and I know the strength you have to have to get to practice every day,” Hirsch said this week. “The excuse that we don’t want someone who has mental illness because I can’t win a Stanley Cup with them or have a successful team, Robin Lehner just blew that out of the water.”Lehner did so after the Islanders made him part of their plan at goaltender after struggling at that position last season. They’ve since watched him turn into a leading piece of a playoff run for a franchise starved for postseason success over the past quarter century.“Robin has got his life in order,” Trotz said. “When your life is in order, your career is in order. It’s amazing how it sort of goes hand in hand. If it’s not in order, I guarantee you it will fall apart. He’s done a really great job. Really proud of him for getting all that stuff in order and he’s been rewarded with a real great year.”The Islanders by extension have been rewarded for their belief in Lehner, who has been in an ongoing battle while having a career year.“I know if I go into depression, if I go into mania, I know now and my wife knows, ‘OK, maybe I need to fix something, tweak something,’ and I’ve had to do that throughout this whole season,” Lehner said. “I’ve had bad days. I’m always going to have them. It’s like everyone else on their team, they’re going to have bad days. It might get a little worse, but I know how to handle it now and it’s nothing to be scared of.”Lehner revealed his struggles as a way to educate the public and try to influence others who are dealing with similar things.That, more than anything else, is what impresses teammates about how Lehner has handled his journey.“He just really wants to help other people now because he’s been obviously in a dark place and he wants to help other people out of that dark place because he’s an example of kind of that sort of success story,” Martin said. “I’m sure it’s not easy for him. I’m sure he still has his demons, I guess, on a day to day basis, but he’s done a great job and we’re all here for him.”By Stephen Whyno, AP Hockey WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgOAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors have won plenty of games on the postseason stage without their biggest stars.This time, Kevin Durant went down, and Klay Thompson and company found a way when the Warriors desperately needed it.Thompson scored 27 points, including a key layup with 4.1 seconds left, and Golden State overcame Durant’s calf injury to beat the Houston Rockets 104-99 on Wednesday night for a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.“Honestly it was a little deflating for a second,” Stephen Curry said, “and then we rallied.”Durant was scheduled for an MRI exam Thursday after he strained his right calf late in the third quarter. His status for Friday’s Game 6 had yet to be determined, but didn’t seem promising.“We’ll have to claw our way to one more win,” Curry said.Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry celebratesduring the second half of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Houston Rockets Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Durant limped to the locker room after landing awkwardly following a baseline jumper. The two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP finished with 22 points, five rebounds and four assists.“They’ve been here so many times, have been through these battles for the last five years,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “They’ve got a lot of guts. They just pulled together and got it done. There’s no speech necessary. They knew what they had to do.”James Harden scored 31 points for the Rockets, who will try to stave off elimination back home in Houston.“It is a do-or-die but I feel good about it,” coach Mike D’Antoni said.But the Rockets wasted an opportunity in Game 5. After Durant departed, a couple more Golden State stars helped the Warriors close it out.Draymond Green received his fourth technical of the postseason with 3:39 left, and then knocked down a 3-pointer on the other end. Thompson followed Green’s 3 with one of his own to make it 97-89 with 2:33 remaining.“Two very key sequences in that game, two key shots for us,” Green said.Curry struggled with his shot yet again and finished with 25 points on 9-for-23 shooting. He went 3 of 11 from long range.Curry hit a 3 with 5:09 to play that made it 89-85. He didn’t even score his first points of the night until a 3 4:22 before halftime.Golden State nearly gave it away with an awful third quarter, when the Warriors managed just 15 points and committed six turnovers. The game was tied at 72 going into the final 12 minutes.Harden’s 3 with 3:07 left in the third trimmed Golden State’s lead to 66-62, and then Iman Shumpert made it a one-point game with a 3.Houston Rockets’ James Harden, second from left, drives the ball against Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson, left, Kevon Looney, and Kevin Durant, right fribtm during the first half of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Eric Gordon’s layup with 40.6 seconds remaining gave the Rockets their first lead since the early minutes.Green had eight points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in another spectacular effort on both ends. He supplied the energy for Golden State after two losses at Houston evened the series.The Warriors led by as many as 20 but missed open looks and even layups, clanking shots off the front rim and allowing the tough-minded Rockets to stay close.Then, they heeded Kerr’s simple message: “Poise and awareness and poise and patience applies to all of life and not just offense,” the coach said beforehand.The Warriors pulled it off without Durant, whose 35.4 playoff scoring average was best in the NBA coming into the game.“That looked like it was way worse than a calf strain,” Green said. “I think we did a great job of fighting through that.”Harden shot 10 for 16 and dished out eight assists. The reigning MVP injured his eyes during the first quarter of Game 2 last Tuesday on a hit by Green as they fought for a rebound. Harden’s left eye was still red leading into Game 5.The Warriors’ win guarantees their loyal fans in the East Bay at least one more home game at Oracle Arena before the team moves to new Chase Center in San Francisco for next season.“Tough loss. We had opportunities,” Houston’s Chris Paul said. “Rebounding, we actually was right there in the rebounds. We’ve got to be better, offensively, defensively, especially myself, turnovers. We didn’t get stops when we needed to.”CRASHING THE BOARDSThe Warriors led the rebounding battle 27-18 after the first half, grabbing eight on the offensive glass, and finished with a 42-39 advantage.Houston’s PJ Tucker, who had 22 rebounds the previous two games, grabbed 10 more to go with 13 points.The Rockets outrebounded the Warriors 55-35 in their Game 3 win, and then 50-43 on Monday in Game 4 — getting 20 from Clint Capela in the two victories. Capela had 14 on Wednesday.Golden State held an edge on the boards in both Games 1 and 2.TIP-INSRockets: Eric Gordon started 0 for 8 before hitting a 3 with 7:45 left in the third. … F Danuel House sat out again after missing the previous two games with an inflamed right big toe.Warriors: Green’s eight assists in the first were one off team record for a playoff quarter. Tim Hardaway once had nine in 1991. … Reserve G Shaun Livingston played after he had been questionable with a sore left hip. … Injured C DeMarcus Cousins, who could return at some point this postseason from a torn left quadriceps muscle, did some rehab agility work on the court.By: Janie McCauley, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgA former nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., was arrested and charged with reckless homicide and abuse in February for making a medical mistake that resulted in an elderly patient’s death. Criminal charges for a medical error are unusual, patient safety experts say. Some are voicing concern that the move sets a precedent that may actually make hospitals less safe by making people hesitant to report errors. The nurse, RaDonda Vaught, pleaded not guilty. Her next hearing is scheduled for April 11. She told NPR in an emailed statement from her lawyer that Vanderbilt terminated her employment after the incident.The district attorney’s decision to charge Vaught comes after both the Tennessee Department of Health and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services investigated the incident. The state health department investigation, which concluded in October 2018, did not revoke Vaught’s nursing license.The CMS report emphasizes the hospital’s responsibility in the mistake. “The hospital failed to ensure all patients received care in a safe setting,” the report says. Vanderbilt University Medical Center officials would not comment on the case. The report details how Vaught mistakenly took the wrong medicine out of a dispensing cabinet. She was trying to give the patient, Charlene Murphey, a dose of an anti-anxiety medication, midazolam (brand name Versed), before an imaging scan during a December 2017 hospital stay, the report states. Vaught instead gave Murphey vecuronium, a paralytic drug used during anesthesia that had the same first two letters, according to the report. Murphey died in an intensive care unit the following day.The Nashville District Attorney’s office told the Tennessean it made the decision to bring criminal charges against Vaught specifically because she administered the fatal medication after overriding the safety mechanism in the dispensing machine.Medical errors are common. Some researchers estimate they’re the third leading cause of death in the United States. And many in the patient safety community say they don’t understand what prompted the DA’s office to prosecute this case in particular. DA spokesman Stephen Hayslip told NPR in an email that “the actions of this office will become more evident as the evidence is presented to the court.” He declined to comment further.Nurses around the country have come to Vaught’s defense, speaking out on social media and on opinion pages. The American Nurses Association issued a statement criticizing the charges, saying that “the criminalization of medical errors could have a chilling effect” on health care workers’ willingness to report errors. The phenomenon of criminally charging health care providers after a patient is harmed is rare, “but it grows less unusual every year,” says Stephen Hurley, a Wisconsin lawyer who has defended nurses in similar cases and advised hospitals on the topic.Most high-profile cases tend to involve death, a significant injury or a patient well-known in the community, he says. And prosecutors tend to focus on nurses, he says, rather than physicians or hospital administrators, though he’s not sure why.Suen Ross, the ANA’s director of nursing practice and workplace environment, thinks that it’s unusual for health care providers to be charged with a crime after a medical mistake that didn’t involve malicious intent or intoxication. She calls Vaught’s case “unprecedented” because neither of these factors are cited in the CMS report.Ross says it’s important for health care workers to feel free to report errors without fear of retribution. All health care mistakes — even small ones — should be analyzed to understand the underlying issues that caused them, Ross says. A non-punitive approach encourages transparency, she says, and “that prevents future mistakes or errors from happening.” This approach to preventing errors is well-accepted in the medical and nursing communities, which makes a criminal case like Vaught’s all the more surprising, says Kirstin Manges, a nurse and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania who studies patient safety.”That could have happened to me, or it could have happened to my friend,” Manges says. “Nurses aren’t superheroes. We’re people.”Manges says that most medical errors occur because of systemic problems. Human error is inevitable, she says, and hospitals should account for that by instituting safety checks and protocols.Problems tend to happen in busy, unpredictable circumstances, Manges says. When nurses are fatigued or have many tasks occupying their attention, that’s when safety checks are most important, she adds.”We work in environments that are fast-paced,” she says. “We may not always work in ideal situations.”The safety checks Manges describes can take many forms and are designed under the assumption that doctors and nurses will have occasional slip-ups. For example, many hospitals require a nurse to scan a bar code from the pharmacy and on the patient’s identifying bracelet before giving a medication, or to use preprogrammed intravenous pumps that prevent medications from being administered too quickly. Even the medication override function that Vaught used, Manges says, can have an important function: Nurses need to be able to quickly access medications in an emergency situation when they can’t wait for verification from a pharmacist.And when health care workers do make mistakes, Ross argues hospitals usually shouldn’t punish staff. Disciplinary action is warranted, she says, only when there’s evidence that staff acted irresponsibly.When the Institute of Medicine — now known as the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine — put out a major 1999 report titled To Err Is Human, Manges says, it became the norm to focus less on punishment and more on learning from mistakes.But Vaught’s case has the potential to change that, she fears.”It shifts that conversation from ‘to err is human’ to ‘to err is criminal,’ ” Manges says. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

first_imgTwo people got very sick, and one died, during a trial of an experimental procedure known as fecal transplant, according to a statement issued Thursday from the Food and Drug Administration. As a result, the agency is suspending several clinical trials investigating the procedure until safety standards can be assured. Researchers are studying fecal microbiota for transplantation, or FMT, as a treatment for several intestinal conditions, including recurrent, antibiotic-resistant Clostridium difficile infection, which led to 29,000 deaths in 2015. FMT, which involves transplanting stool from a healthy person into the colon of a sick person, is still not approved by the FDA. This week’s case involved two immuno-compromised adults who received investigational fecal transplants that contained a strain of antibiotic-resistant E. coli, according to the FDA. Both individuals received stool from the same donor, who was not screened for disease-causing bacteria before the procedure. While the FDA does not currently approve FMT for any use, the agency provides some guidelines for clinical trials of FMT, and seeks “to strike a balance between assuring patient safety and facilitating access to unapproved treatments for unmet medical needs,” said Dr. Peter Marks, director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in the FDA statement.In response to these adverse outcomes, the FDA announced new standards requiring researchers in clinical trials to demonstrate proper screening procedures for donor stool. “This case is really unfortunate,” says Dr. Dale Gerding, a researcher at the Veterans Administration who consults on a number of FMT trials currently under review by the FDA. “I think it reinforces the need for FDA oversight over FMT. It’s exceedingly useful some patients, but we need to be sure that it’s safe.” Fecal transplants have been successful in treating C. difficile infections in several trials. According to Gerding, recurrent bouts of C. difficile infection likely stem from an abnormal intestinal microbiome that allows C. difficile to multiply unabated by “good” bacteria. Recurrent bouts of the infection are also increasingly resistant to antibiotics, leaving patients with few options.Fecal transplants from a healthy individual can normalize the patients’ microbiota, quelling the infection and relieving symptoms. Studies show that it works better than other treatments for recurrent infection. “Anywhere from 75 to 90 percent of patients no longer have recurrent cases after a single FMT,” says Gerding.But despite its success, Gerding cautions that there are still many unknowns. “FMT is very promising, especially for C. difficile infection, but we don’t know as much about how effective it’s going to be for other diseases like inflammatory bowel disease,” he says. Despite these unknowns, interest in FMT is surging, with some patients taking a do-it-yourself approach.Gerding hopes this recent case will underline the need for enforcement of safe procedures. “This death is the most extreme side effect I’m aware of in the history of FMT,” says Gerding. “Moving forward we have to clearly be sure that we’re enforcing safety measures that ensure that donors are tested for potential pathogens.” Jonathan Lambert is a freelance science journalist based in Washington, D.C. You can follow him on Twitter: @evolambert Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

first_imgSalem Street Circa 1949: “After the MBTA experienced continued derailments and delays, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the city’s transportation infrastructure has reached a state of urgency – as evidenced by the record number of commuters reaching puberty while waiting for their bus” – Ben Alper. Due to an unforeseen conflict, the Old North Speaker Series June event, Sweethearts at Sea: Love and Marriage in the New England Whaling Industry with speaker Amanda Goodheart Parks has been moved to July 24, continue reading. Plan Your Events with the Community Calendar: Here’s what else you need to know for today…*Advertisement* 7:30PM NEMPAC Opera Project: The Little Prince. Stop by the Great Hall at 1 Faneuil Hall Square for the NEMPAC Opera Project: The Little Prince. 10:30AM Yoga-Lates by Age Strong Commission. Stop by the North End Park for Yoga-Lates, see the full lineup of Greenway fitness classes here. Today is Thursday, June 20 and here’s a joke from local comedian Ben Alper to start your day: 7:30PM EMPAC Opera Project: The Little Prince. Stop by the Great Hall at 1 Faneuil Hall Square for the NEMPAC Opera Project: The Little Prince. Next week’s highly-anticipated opening of Encore Boston won’t look like most big casino debuts we’ve seen over the years. Instead, the casino will purposefully open at 10AM on that Sunday with no evening-hour, fireworks-lit extravaganza. Encore executives expect a rush of people on opening day and they don’t want patrons to have to compete with normal weekday commuter traffic or make suburban Boston rush hour worse, read more on Las Vegas Review Journal. Encore Boston Harbor opening won’t be a fireworks-lit extravaganza It is our 10th Anniversary and we are celebrating a decade of community news at NorthEndWaterfront.com! Keeping this website going takes a lot of time, money and hard work. Advertising doesn’t bring in enough to pay for reporting or editorial work. But we do it because we believe community news is important – and we think you do too. If everyone who reads this site, who likes it, puts in a bit to pay for it, then our future would be much more secure. Contribute online at the links below or checks can be made out to North End Boston LLC, 343 Commercial St. #508, Boston 02109. Become a Patron to receive free rewards including neighborhood photo calendars, custom mugs and special updates from the editor.*Become a Patron (Rewards!)* or *Make a One-Time Contribution* 12:30PM ABCD Father’s Day Celebration. Join the ABCD North End / West End Neighborhood Service Center at 1 Michelangelo Street for their Father’s Day Celebration. Friday, June 21 This morning’s image is for our North End friends! Here’s Salem Street in 1949. https://t.co/U8a226LSJS @NorthEndONS @NorthEndBoston— Boston City Archives (@ArchivesBoston) June 19, 2019 Did we miss something? Add it to the comments below. Follow @northend.waterfront on Instagram and tag #northend or #bostonwaterfront to have your photo featured!center_img 6:00PM John T. LaBarbera: That’s Not Italian Music! Stop by I AM Books at 189 North Street and welcome entertaining storyteller and master musician, John T. LaBarbera, weaving stories and songs as he presets his autobiographical article “That’s Not Italian Music!” 1:00PM Films: Imitation of Life at the North End Library. Stop by the North End Library at 25 Parmenter Street for their Friday films featuring Women’s Pictures: When Women Ruled the Movie Box Office. This week’s film is Imitation of Life from 1959, see additional details here. Mirabella Pool Opens. Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) has announced that Boston’s two outdoor pools, the BCYF Mirabella Pool in the North End and the BCYF Clougherty Pool in Charlestown are opening for the season, see additional details here. Old North Lecture “Sweethearts At Sea” Moved to July 24 6:00PM Specialty Walking Tours | Adventures at Sea: Bostonians in the Age of Sail. Join Old North at 193 Salem Street for ten memorable stories spanning that era, drawn from first-person accounts by Bostonians capturing the experience in letters, diaries, and memoirs, see additional details and ticket information here. 6:00PM Milena Origgi – The Way of the Voice. Join I AM Books at 189 North Street for renowned Italian Voice Coach, Milena Origgi discusses her book The Way of the Voice. 1:00PM A Loyalist Perspective on the Revolution. Stop by the Paul Revere House to hear a first-hand account of the abuses loyalists suffered at the hands of emboldened “patriots.” Michael Lepage takes on the role of Chief Justice Peter Oliver, brother of Andrew Oliver, a stamp collector, see additional details here. Need to submit a post? Great, start here! 6:30AM Summer Fitness Series: Bootcamp in Christopher Columbus Park. The Boston Parks and Recreation Department and Boston Public Health Commission has launched its 2019 Boston Parks Summer Fitness Series, a four-month series offering 30 free classes per week across the city. Today’s class is Bootcamp, see additional details here. From the Community: Notable News: Keep up with what’s happening on the Events Calendar. Saturday, June 22 9:00PM Fireworks over Spectacle Island (Time approximate). Boston Harbor Now is sponsoring part of the “Spectacle on Spectacle Island” Gala honoring Mayor Martin J. Walsh for the City of Boston Resilient Boston Harbor plan, see additional details here. last_img read more

first_imgPM Boris Johnson visits Belfast as Brexit woes hurt UK economy Rizza fractured her thigh bone after she was pinned down by a wooden beam when her home in Burauen, Leyte collapsed at the height of supertyphoon Yolanda’s fury in Nov. 8. It took barangay tanods at least six hours to pull Rizza out of the rubble and was taken to a hospital over two weeks after as roads were rendered impassable.International aid workers who saw her at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center worked with the Dona Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Foundation to have Rizza evacuated from Ground Zero last Saturday.FEATURED STORIESNEWSINFOSenate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreementsNEWSINFOLocsin wants to drop ‘visas upon arrival’ privilegeNEWSINFOPalace open to make Dengvaxia usable again as dengue cases spikeRizza underwent a five-hour surgery at Chong Hua Hospital where a team of doctors led by Dr. Leopoldo Jiao III attended to her.A full day after her surgery, Rizza had a stream of visitors to greet her on her 12th birthday yesterday. She said it was her first time to celebrate her birthday away from her mother and siblings and it was also her first time to receive presents. Senate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreements An adobo upgrade: Add rosemary TWELVE-year-old typhoon survivor Rizza Flores got her wish to have more chocolates for her birthday yesterday.Aside from chocolates which she tasted for the first time after she was airlifted to Cebu from Tacloban City last Saturday, Flores was gifted with toys, books, clothes, cakes, cookies, food, school supplies, foot wear, cash and a rosary that came from the Vatican by a stream of visitors who read how she endured pain for over two weeks.ADVERTISEMENT PCSO to focus on improving transparency of gaming activities PLAY LIST 03:26PCSO to focus on improving transparency of gaming activities01:39Sotto open to discuss, listen to pros and cons of divorce bill06:02Senate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreements01:50Palace open to make Dengvaxia usable again as dengue cases spike01:49House seeks probe on ‘massive corruption’ in PCSO01:37PCSO estimates P250M in Lotto revenue loss due to suspension Pagasa: Rain expected as LPA enters PAR Ygona said she was vacationing in Cebu and is scheduled to return to New York at the end of this month where she works as a Special Education teacher.A Chinese woman who requested anonymity also dropped by and gave Flores clothes. She visited Flores a day earlier and gave her chocolates and food. A Talisay City resident who also requested anonymity gave her P3,000.Fr. Loreto Jaque of San Carlos seminary, who’s trained in psychotherapy using art, play and prayer also visited Flores.Four staffers from the hospital’s dietary department sang a birthday song and gave her a cake.Cebu Daily News staffers likewise gave her a birthday cake, toys, slippers, and clothes yesterday. Flores stared at the gifts given to her and said she never saw so much toys, clothes and food in her life before.As she opened her gifts, Flores told Cebu Daily News that she was happy with the toys and presents that she received.She said she only played with sticks, leaves and stones with other children in their mountain barangay in Leyte.Much as she was happy when she opened her gifts, Flores said she was just eager to return to school with her new bag and school materials. What’s new in town: Eggplant parmigiana deep-dish pizza, tofu ‘kakigori,’ ‘kamias’-date sticky toffee pudding LATEST STORIEScenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SMC bags Bulacan airport project Tolentino: No more debate with Drilon on China deal Sen. Pia Cayetano: Judge our clan based on performance Read Next MOST READ Rizza’s first visitor was Therese Gonzales, who owns a Potato Corner franchise in Cebu with her daughter Simone. They gave Rizza two paper bags filled with clothes, school bags, coloring books and materials, food, towels, socks, clothing, a book entitled “Akong Bugsay” written by Amaya C. Aboitiz, a prayer book and a rosary from Rome.MORE STORIESnewsinfoQuake disturbs Itbayat, Batanes anewnewsinfo‘Aquaman’ Jason Momoa visits protesters blocking new Hawaii telescopenewsinfoCourt: Non-native Guam residents can vote on status with USMORE STORIESnewsinfoQuake disturbs Itbayat, Batanes anewnewsinfo‘Aquaman’ Jason Momoa visits protesters blocking new Hawaii telescopenewsinfoCourt: Non-native Guam residents can vote on status with US“We will pray for you Rizza, your guardian angel will look and protect you always. Be strong, get well and you will be fine,” the elder Gonzales said.She also showed Flores a picture of San Pedro Calungsod that she bought from Rome. They also read birthday greetings from a card that was translated to her native dialect Waray.Minutes later, the family of Athena Ygona of Mandaue City came in and brought her a cake, a bag of chocolates, and cash.Ygona said she was touched on reading Flores’ plight in last Monday’s Cebu Daily News issue. “This is a small act of kindness to Rizza,” she told CDN. Ygona also gave words of encouragement to the 11-year-old kid who winced and cried on feeling pain on her right leg.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

first_imgPeace TV: Construction of the new Chinhwa-gwan building, at the Cheong Pyeong Heaven and Earth Training Center, where people deepen their hearts and their knowledge of the Principle, has been completed and people had a time of offering the new building to Heaven in the presence of True Mother.True Mother gave a dedidation prayer on February 18, 12.31 in the second year of Cheon Il Guk by heavenly calendar,  and blessed it so that it may be filled with True Love:As we look forward to a future filled with hope with the new “eulmi” year [of the sheep] that is now beginning, I would like to express my gratitude to You for enabling us to dedicate the second holy Chin-Hwa-Gwan building to Heaven. Beloved Heavenly Parent and the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind, How hard you have worked! You have worked so hard to find your true children. Today is a day through which your sons and daughters, who have gathered here, make the determination to fulfill their responsibility and calling as blessed families and to do their best to bring back not only this nation but also all humanity back into our Heavenly Parent’s bosom through the grace True Parents have achieved on earth. Our Heavenly Parent, please enable the many people that come here to realize the truth about the providence and in accordance to the direction of their original minds, to accept True Parents’ teachings and thereby become proud people that spread True Parents’ true love movement to the society, nation and world. Father, please embrace all those people that come here and guide them to follow the direction of their original minds; Please open their hearts so that they may all move in the direction of advancing the day when the free, peaceful and unified world – the day when one world under God is realized, a world which You have pursued and hoped for, one which humanity has yearned for until now. I sincerely pray for this in True Parents’ name. Aju. After organizational heads cut the tape, True Mother sprinkled the holy salt so that only Heavenly Parent will claim ownership of the place and so that many blessed families can receive Heaven’s grave in the new building.The newly constructed Chinhwagwan will allow many members to attend training in a comfortable environment.last_img read more

first_imgBy Elisabeth Cook, WFWP AustriaAs the 21st Middle East Women’s Conference took place in Vienna, International President of WFWP, Yeon Ah Nim, spent a week from July 2 to 9, 2017 in Vienna. On Sunday 9th, 2017 she spoke to the Viennese Unification community at the Sunday Service.The Vienna Peace Choir created a beautiful atmosphere through their songs, and Shin Yuh, Yeon Ah Nim’s daughter, presented “Country Roads” in a beautiful way.Listening to Yeon Ah Nim we could feel True Mother’s love and concern for Europe and for each one of us. To unite with True Mother in heart and not only in thoughts, this is essential for our life and our mission.After the Service Dr. Pak and Dr. Moon, Special Emissaries for Europe, gave a short address to the audience in order to say good bye, as they were called to Korea by True Mother for the global mission.Mrs. Renate Amesbauer, Austrian WFWP president and Rev. Jack Corley, European Continental Director, gave presents and words of thankfulness.Around 160 people attended the service, members and guests, half of them being from the 2nd and 3rd gen of Unificationists (76). We all were very moved by the visit of Yeon Ah Nim, her daughter and the Emissaries, and we wish themHeaven’s blessings and protection for their future mission.last_img read more

first_imgPrepared by WFWP ChileOn Sunday May 5, 2019 WFWP Chile celebrated two activities in Easter Island. The first activity was held at the main Catholic Church in Easter Island. As part of the Catholic religious service that day, one of our main supporters in Easter Island, Maria Ika, was able to share with the entire congregation about our activity later that day for celebrating the couples with 25 or more years of marriage, explaining about how the society should honor the dedication and fidelity of these couples.The main event was held at the restaurant Te Ra’ai, which is owned and operated by one of blessed couples, Victor Ika and Rozimeire Aruda. This couple has been very instrumental in helping to develop the providence in Easter Island, which is part of the national territory of Chile.We had several officials and government representatives from Easter Island among our 60 participants, as well as 18 couples and their families who received the recognition and a diploma for their 25 years of marriage, along with WFWP members from the mainland of Chile.After the introduction of the event, traditional folk dancing from Easter Island was performed by professional dancers, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Following Sachiko Grange, WFWP Chile president, shared a brief presentation about WFWP concerning their purpose and activities in Chile and in the world.Janilee Bustillos of WFWP Chile then explained about the blessing activity and its importance for all couples.Victor Ika and Rozimeire Aruda then shared in more detail about the blessing. Following the couples participated in the blessing ceremony. It was a very moving ceremony for everyone in attendance, with some people crying with happiness for the wonderful experience of the blessing.Refreshments were served at the closing of the event and all of those involved expressed deep gratitude.We wish to thank all members who participated in the wonderful and unique blessing event in Chile.last_img read more

first_imgBy Robert Abendroth, FFWPU USAOn June 3, 2019, Las Vegas held another amazing and powerful prayer dinner. At the event there were 200 or more participants from many different places – members, guests of members, members of local church congregations, and others that found the event from online advertisements. The keynote speaker was Grammy nominee and renowned Gospel singer, Kim Burrell, who’s main message was on overcoming life’s obstacles, personal value , and unity in the church.The night began with a beautiful and emotional performance of “Reckless Love” by 2nd Generation, Unification Church member, Diane Kelalu.Then Rev. Jenkins, the national chair of the Universal Peace Federation, introduced in a powerful way, the origins of the Holy Spirit Association and described Father and Mother Moon’s life and teachings. He then gave a rousing and entertaining report about the Peace Starts With Me Rally in Los Angeles last April, and at the same time encouraged participants to be a part of the next rally and minister convocation.Before Kim Burrell’s message, the Friends of Gospell Chior blessed the audience with two incredibly powerful and beautiful songs.Kim Burrell began with a testimony of her own life and the incredible difficulties she faced being a big name in the entertainment industry. She overcame those difficulties by staying focused on God and her mission for God rather than worrying about the praise of men. She encouraged the audience to focus on their mission for God. She asked the audience to repeat ”I am God’s workmanship” and encouraged them to have confidence in their amazing, Godly uniqueness.  Finally, she spoke on the importance of the Unity of the Church and how to bring unity. She spoke on the hindrances of unity such as selfishness.She said “there has got to be a paradigm shift.” A shift away from our own views to understanding God’s perspective. She said it’s going to be a shift from the old measures of church success to a focus on actually making a difference in the world around. To conclude, Ms. Burrell sang a beautiful rendition of “Let Peace Begin with Me.”Afterwords there were remarks from TL Barrot, and FFWPUSA President, Demian Dunkley. President Dunkley gave a short yet inspiring testimony of his own and it was a great way to conclude the evening.To watch the entirety of the evening please visit the Las Vegas Family Church Facebook page à https://tinyurl.com/y5w98ln7last_img read more

first_img be_ixf; php_sdk; php_sdk_1.4.18 https://www.blackenterprise.com/boycot-netflix-5-streaming-alternatives/ https://www.blackenterprise.com/boycot-netflix-5-streaming-alternatives/ Looking for Alternatives to Filing Bankruptcy?DJ Whoo Kid Collaborates With New Streaming Pla…Oprah Announces New Shows to Air on Apple TV Plus Actress and comedian Mo’Nique’s call to boycott Netflix over pay inequality due to race and gender bias sparked a mixed response and hot debate. On Instagram, the Academy Award winner revealed that Netflix offered her $500,000 for a stand-up comedy special, but in comparison, offered Amy Schumer $11 million and both Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock $20 million each.According to Mo’Nique, the matter boils down to discrimination against African American women. Many, however, defended Netflix against the accusations, even going as far as to argue that the streaming service is a champion of diversity. In response, Black Enterprise Editor-at-Large Alfred Edmond Jr. points out that although Netflix programming has been diverse and inclusive of minorities, the company has yet to establish a long-term commitment to diversity. It has also failed to hire a person of color to sit on its board of directors, while only 4% of its employees are black.“It’s great, actually amazing, that Netflix is providing opportunities to African Americans and so many other people of color and diverse backgrounds (as they should, quite frankly—pay inequities notwithstanding),” writes Edmond. “But that is not where the real money and decision-making power is.”Whether you’ve sided with Mo’Nique’s boycott or you’re simply looking for new TV shows or movies to watch, there are plenty of Netflix alternatives to choose from. Here are five other streaming platforms that offer a variety of TV shows and movies to consider.kweliTV Known as “The Black Netflix,” kweliTV is a streaming service created for and by black people around the world:  “kweliTV is an interactive streaming platform that shares the African Diaspora experience through dope, undiscovered documentaries, films, web shows, children’s programming, news and more,” states kweliTV.com. “Dope and undiscovered means high-quality content (independent film, news, web shows, kids programming, documentaries) produced by globally diverse and unique filmmakers and journalists who aim to share their stories and truths with the world.” The content is accessible on demand via smart TVs, internet TV devices, tablets, smartphones, and computers.Amazon Prime VideoAmazon Prime Video is one of the most positive alternatives to Netflix. The on-demand video service provides access to thousands of movies and TV shows. It also offers access to networks like Starz and HBO along with original content that you won’t find anywhere else.HuluHulu, another popular streaming platform, offers customers original content in addition to a huge selection of well-known sitcoms like Family Guy, Community, South Park, and The X-Files.HBO Now“HBO Now is an on-demand, streaming service that gives you unlimited access to all of HBO’s original programming (every season, every episode), plus hit movies, documentaries, sports, and exclusive comedy specials,” reads HBONow.com. That means you can binge-watch HBO faves like Sex and the City, Game of Thrones, and Boardwalk Empire whenever you’d like, as much as you’d like.VimeoVimeo is a video-sharing platform ideal for anyone who likes unique films and original content. Although you won’t find the blockbuster movies on Vimeo, you will find a selection of original movies, TV series, and shorts from independent filmmakers.last_img read more

first_img while-2.jpg Shwedagon pagoda offers shelter and regular work for all sculptors. All four pagoda staircases are partially occupied by sculptors.  Where there are sculptors, there must be wood. Wood-carving generates scraps, which can damage the staircases. The pagoda’s board of trustee had two workshops built on the eastern and northern sections where the sculptors can work more freely, out of the way of the thronging crowds. Now, there are 100 carvers working in the vicinity of the pagoda.  Whistle while you whittle Zon Pann Pwint 31 Jul 2019 Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times Most of the Buddhas end up at monasteries around the country. The process, decades old with master craftsmen still at work, is difficult. The men work shirtless, dripping in sweat as they carve away at the figures in their cramped industrial spaces. The northern end of the pagoda holds a workshop that holds around 60 carver works – people come from all over the country to procure Buddhas for their home alters.  “Customers will buy a statue if it is beautiful and paint looks good. They do not see flaws,” U Ba Aung said. “I don’t blame sculptors for asymmetry because they do not get much profit from carving”.  The workshop also carries out repairs and touch-ups on old work to keep the items in tip-top shape. Only a handful of master sculptors at the pagoda carve with detail. They can be commissioned to create religious statues and portraits of monks, Bo Bo Aung and Bo Min Gaung. The highest ordered statues are to be revered.The price of a commissioned statue depends on its size and intricacy. U Kyaw Zan Hla, who opened theRakhabuta Danyawady sculpture shop at the northern section workshop, said some carvers are skilled at more than one kind of artistry.  The store part is fronted with gleaming, painted statues in different sizes. There are religious and non-religious works to look at. All are in steady demand, though the older craftsmen point out that detail is not the object when it comes to mass producing carvings.  “Many carvers who depend on the pagoda as their main source of livelihood carve the wood into shape but don’t carve in the details. The figures lack symmetry,” said sculptor U Ba Aung. U Ba Aung, an artist, is originally from Rakhine State. He graduated from the State Academy of Arts in Yangon. He had doggedly pursued sculpture his whole life and made a career. U Ba Aung sculpted life-sized figures of male and female soldiers representing the army, air force and navy. His statues were on display at former Defence Services Museum in Yangon, which has since been relocated to Nay Pyi Taw. while-5.jpgcenter_img while-1.jpg The sound of wood carving emanates out of a workshop near to the eastern gate of Shwedagon Pagoda.  There are not many women in carving industry. In Mandalay and Ayeyarwady region, while men carve rough wood, women put the finishing touches to rough statues. At Shwedagon pagoda, women work on painting and gilding the wood and bronze. “Master sculptors are hard to be found in the industry. Families and financial support are required to learn the art. If a man is struggling for living, it’s hard to learn the endless art of sculpture,” U Kyaw Zan Hla said. He finished by opining that the industry would likely just fade away as the country develops. Sculpture is an art, but it has became a craft for some, and not everyone has the same skills,he said. “Some learned to be able to carve Bo Bo Aung and Bo Min Gaung only. They make their living carving these two figures for their whole life while some learned to carve Buddha images,” U Kyaw Zan Hla said. while-4.jpg while-6.jpg This particular area is home to 40 sculpture production stores that create images of the Buddha for the public to purchase. In lesser numbers, but still important, is the creation of Bo Min Khaung statues, a weizzar believed to have super powers.last_img read more