But thats not the primary issue The Cardinals lo

first_imgBut that’s not the primary issue.The Cardinals look lost in time. Josh Rosen is starting to regress. The offense is stripped of talent and any sign of intelligent design. They took over late in the first half, and promptly chose to hand the ball off to Johnson. It didn’t work. They called timeout. And then they asked Johnson to run up the middle again, running out the clock.That’s white-flag football at its worst, the kind that sucks all pride from a fan base. And that’s why this loss was worse than either of the 45-10 blowouts.Because this game made you feel nothing. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The sun was setting when an elderly woman walked slowly out of State Farm Stadium, each step guided by her dutiful husband. She looked disgusted. He looked dazed.“That was the worst football game I’ve ever seen,” she said. “And at my age, I’ve seen a lot of football games.”Something awful is happening in Arizona. The Cardinals are really bad and really boring. They’re low on talent and completely out of touch. Those who witnessed a 17-3 loss to the Lions on Sunday would agree that raking rocks in the front yard would’ve been a better way to spend the day. We have seen worse football teams in the Valley. We haven’t seen worse football.Maybe this will be Waterloo for Steve Wilks, the rookie head coach who just posted Arizona’s first season with double-digit losses since 2012. Maybe another blowout wasn’t necessary to pull the plug on a new regime. Maybe it was a game like this.The kind that bores you to tears, with decisions that are daffy and indefensible.Related LinksRapid Reactions: Cardinals’ offense struggles in loss to LionsCardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald sets NFL record for most rec. with one teamCardinals’ Patrick Peterson sports Pat Tillman jersey before Lions gameCardinals follow win in Green Bay with ‘surprising’ flop vs. LionsOn Sunday, Larry Fitzgerald reached an epic milestone, finally passing Jerry Rice for a record he richly deserves. Fitzgerald set the NFL mark for receptions with a single franchise, and just like his infamous end-zone spike against the 49ers, his reaction was priceless.He stood up and threw the ball the width of the field, to the Cardinals’ sideline, a memento worth keeping from a dumpster-fire season.Except, Fitzgerald wasn’t even targeted until the second half. Even though Christian Kirk is no longer an option, done for the season. Stupid.After a spectacular showing in Green Bay, Chase Edmonds was mostly a spectator. Patrick Peterson was tasked with half-hearted punt returns, i.e., the guy who might not even want to be here.Meanwhile, the Lions stalked David Johnson and beat the stuffing out of the Cardinals’ running back. Their cornerbacks jumped routes and their linebackers snuffed out screen passes. They knew everything that was coming. And after the Cardinals’ offense finally showed a pulse, the Lions changed the rules of engagement. Top Stories Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) reacts to a dropped pass during the second half of NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. The Lions won 17-3. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) 170 Comments   Share   They switched to a jumbo package and ran the ball down the throat of a defense that had performed admirably for most of the game.It didn’t matter. By the time the Lions scored their clinching touchdown, most Cardinals fans had already left the building.It was further proof the Cardinals need a change in leadership in 2019.This is not personal. This isn’t about the mistakes Wilks and his staff have made over the previous 13 games, and there have been plenty. This is about the future, their rookie quarterback and their place inside a fast-changing NFL, where dynamic offenses are revolutionizing the game.Rule changes continue to tilt the playing field in favor of offensive stars. The commodification of football is surely on the league’s agenda, feeding a new generation of fans weaned on fantasy statistics and joystick football. Innovation is hot and old-school dogma is dying, a long way from when Bruce Arians declared spread quarterbacks as no quarterbacks at all.The Cardinals’ lack of sizzle on Sunday was troubling on many levels, despite their injury issues. They entered the game with a better offensive line than the one that walked off Lambeau Field in victory. They failed to build on the momentum of that celebrated win against the Packers, invalidating any hopes of Wilks finally building a solid foundation for 2019. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

The private panel that began with three key speake

first_imgThe private panel that began with three key speakers at the April 27-29 Casey Research Recovery Reality Check Summit continues with a second installment in today’s Energy Report. This exclusive features Casey Energy Opportunities Senior Editor Marin Katusa, Global Resource Investments Founder and Chairman Rick Rule and Casey Research Senior Editor Louis James, turning their attention to oil and natural gas prices and opportunities in equities. Source: Karen Roche and JT Long of The Energy Report (5/10/12) The Energy Report: Since we last talked in November, oil went from $90–110 per barrel (bbl). Has it established a floor that will stick? Or, as Porter Stansberry predicted during the summit, is it getting ready to crash? He said that using the same sorts of technology that brought on the glut of natural gas will lead to finding too much oil and driving its price down. Marin Katusa: Porter was basing his comments on the success of shale gas in North America, and with that you have natural gas liquids and some oil. In North America, gas became a victim of its own success, worsened by a warmer-than-expected winter. But understand that gas, in general, has very localized markets. When it comes to the oil sector, people think Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM:NYSE); Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDS.NYSE.A/B) and ConocoPhillips (COP:NYSE) are the biggest players. The big players are actually the national oil companies (NOCs)—Saudi Aramco, Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and Petróleos de Venezuela, which are not reinvesting in operations and exploration. Their production is decreasing as a result. Cantarell, in Mexico, is one of the greatest oilfields in the world, but it’s decreasing by 3.5% every year. The NOCs are distributing profits to fund massive social programs. For instance, more than 55% of Venezuela profits from oil-funded social programs. By the way, America imports more than a million barrels of Venezuelan oil each day and pays a premium over what it pays for domestic oil. But that’s another story. I don’t necessarily agree that the same reasons why natural gas in North America went under $2 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) would apply globally. India is signing $14–$15/Mcf and more; Japan is at $15/Mcf-plus. It’s twice that in Europe. So North America is a unique case; the rest of the world is nowhere near that when it comes to shale exploration. TER: Will that change when the U.S. starts exporting in 2015 or so? MK: I think 2015 is a very aggressive timeline. Eventually, the market will fix itself. But to say that oil will go to $40/bbl by Christmas? I wouldn’t take that bet. That said, for two years we’ve been using $60/bbl oil for our equations. We publish the best netbacks in the business every quarter. So if a company can make money at $65/bbl oil, it will make a lot of money at $105/bbl oil. But if you invest in companies that need $90/bbl oil to break even, you’re not going to do so well. TER: You said the market will fix itself. Will oil go down to, say, that $60/bbl you’ve been using? MK: Everyone isn’t paying $103–105/bbl. Because of the massive differential for selling less, the Canadian oil sands producers are selling as low as $63/bbl. In the Bakken, they’re selling for $72/bbl. So it finds its equilibrium. In the Canadian oil sands, existing production can be profitable at $60/bbl, which we’ve been saying for a couple of years. New production, if it’s open pit, it needs $90/bbl oil to be economic due to the massive inflation in equipment, trucks, tires and people. TER: Why do we quote oil at $105/bbl if it costs $63–72/bbl? MK: A lot of people think that Suncor Energy Inc. (SU:TSX/NYSE) or any given oil producer is making $105/bbl for oil, but companies are selling their product for $63/bbl. It depends on the differential and Suncor’s selling price versus the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price, which is the posted price. Gas producers in Edmonton are getting much lower prices than what’s quoted in the Henry Hub. The oil price in North America or the Brent price isn’t necessarily the same price a company is selling its oil for. Rick Rule: It’s pretty complex. What people think of as the posted crude oil price comes from either WTI or Brent. That used to be the way the world worked, but we have localized differentials now. One of the differentials that Marin was speaking about is the differential between light sweet crude and heavy crude. And the differentials widen and tighten depending on a variety of factors. For example, production efficiency in Venezuela, the traditional source of Gulf Coast sour crudes, is a factor. Transportation and infrastructure bottlenecks are factors. We’re now to the point where a critical pipeline from the Gulf Coast to the U.S. Midwest, which used to take imported crude into the Midwest, has been reversed because of production declines in Mexico and Venezuela, which encourage U.S. Gulf Coast refiners to take heavy crude out of Canada. All of this is what creates localized markets in oil. The international light sweet crude markets are very stout. Nigerian bonny crude and Brent crude’s international trade is marked by tightness as a consequence of declining supplies in traditional frontier market exporters, such as Nigeria as well as Venezuela and Mexico. The North American domestic market is ironically awash in oil as a consequence of three factors: The high price of gasoline has begun to destroy demand along with the weak economy. The incredible de-bottlenecking that’s gone on in the Athabasca tar sands has doubled tar sands production in four years. And the conjunction of technologies that Marin was talking about has produced a flood of shale oil, particularly in the Bakken. TER: But when the gas at the pump is up, the excuse they give is that WTI is at $105/bbl. That’s the logic presented to consumers. RR: I can’t speak to other parts of the country, but being an oil producer myself and a gasoline consumer, I’m certainly familiar with the California gasoline market. California municipalities constrain the construction of gas stations, so there are fewer and fewer outlets. Some communities that were really tough on how many gas stations they would permit have prices $0.25–0.30 per gallon higher than nearby communities that were more generous. On top of that, all the margins for producers, refiners and distributors that are built into the price of gasoline go to the government in the form of taxes. California is a high-cost refining environment, with high taxes and constrained competition. Gasoline demand in the U.S. has grown 1.2–1.3%, compounded for 29 years, and the United States hasn’t permitted a new refinery for 29 years. Maybe no new refineries would have been built anyway because refinery and marketing margins are so lousy. But that’s the picture. MK: Also, the older refineries need more downtime for maintenance. All these things factor into the equation, and that’s why you have high prices at the pump. In Canada, more than 50% of the price is taxes. Major global production is coming from these NOCs, which I call the New Seven Sisters.* *[Before the rise of the OPEC cartel and NOCs, the original Seven Sisters included Anglo-Persian Oil Company (now BP), Gulf Oil, Standard Oil of California (Socal), Texaco (now Chevron), Royal Dutch Shell, Standard Oil of New Jersey (Esso) and Standard Oil Company of New York (Socony) (now ExxonMobil). The Seven Sisters dominated the global petroleum industry from the mid-1940s to the 1970s, and up until the oil crisis of 1973, controlled about 85% of the world’s petroleum reserves – Editor.] Look at the coming nationalization of resources. Look at what’s happened in Argentina. The private companies, the Exxons of the world, risk their capital and their shareholders’ capital. When they have success, the country nationalizes these resources. So there’s another factor to take into account if you want to understand how tight the oil markets really are. TER: A number of people we’ve interviewed lately say the best bet now is to invest in the service companies—the drillers, pipeline builders and so forth. MK: Part of our portfolio in The Energy Letter is geared toward service companies, and certainly Kinder Morgan (KMP:NYSE), which is one of North America’s largest pipeline transportation and energy storage companies, has been very generous to our portfolio. In five months, there’s been over a 30% gain. But if you’re going to go into the service sector, you have to make sure about a company’s ability to cover its debt, because a lot of these services companies took on massive debt during the bull market and will blow up on it. TER: Looking for other potential investments, Louis, you said that the secret is to figure out what real stuff people need, because it will retain value. When prices on valuable stuff go down ridiculously, it’s a godsend, because you can buy when it’s cheap and sell when it’s expensive. Is the stuff people need cheap now? Louis James: Stuff is not really cheaper. There is deflation in some asset classes and some equities, but life for the average Joe is not cheaper and commodities in general are not cheaper. Oil is still above $100/bbl. When commodities have not lost ground but the equities have, that’s an alligator jaw pattern. I’m not speaking as a technical analyst—that’s just a metaphor. But it’s actually fantastic if you have high, driving prices in the commodities, and you find good, cheap companies with good management, money in the bank and the wherewithal to weather the storms. I also think we’ll see more volatility, and the chances of seeing much lower prices are pretty good. When a bear sentiment grabs the market, it takes everybody down, both the best and the worst players. If you have the courage to face it, that’s very good news. If you’re new to the game, you can get fantastic buys on things that others have identified as great plays, already worked on and de-risked. If you’re already long, it’s a matter of self-discipline, which few investors have. Most of them get burned again and again. They buy high when everybody else is buying. They feel confident. They jump in. Things turn against them. The tide goes the other way. They get scared. Everybody else gets scared at the same time and they get creamed. Investors need self-discipline, belief in what they’re doing and they need to know why they’re buying something to be able to happily take those shares off weaker hands. I think there’s a good chance we’ll see much more of that over this summer and I’m looking forward to it. After the sector bounced back from 2008, I wrote that we should be so lucky as to have another one. TER: Speaking of lower equity prices, Marin, last fall you told us that quantitative easing was deflating equity valuations. “He who has cash will be king,” you said, “because he can afford to buy discounted stocks. If you do your homework and be sharp you’ll make a fortune in the next three years.” Is that still the case? Or are we too late? MK: I still believe we’re in deflating equity prices. By mitigating risk, being strategic, always taking Casey free rides, the portfolios for 2011 for both the Casey Energy Report (CER) and Casey Energy Confidential (CEC) gained over 20%. And Q1/12 was over 20% for both newsletters, too. Throughout the year, a few of our buys had massive gains—like Poseidon Concepts Corp. (PSN: TSX), TAG Oil Ltd. (TAO:TSX; TAOIF:OTCQX;) and Africa Oil Inc. (AOI: TSX.V). Did we sell too early? Yes. But so what? We reduced our risk. We made money. We lived to see another day. And with one of them, we now have a dividend for free and the company’s growing. So if you do your homework and buy good companies, you can do well. I don’t think you’re too late at all. The 300+ investors who attended the 3-day Casey Research Recovery Reality Check Summit discovered a multitude of natural resource investing strategies during daily Gold and Resource Stock Roundup sessions.  These sessions featured Rick, Marin, Louis and Jeff Clark, senior precious metals analyst at Casey Research, who together revealed their favorite natural resource stocks to invest in now.  You can hear all of their  recommendations, as well as every recorded summit presentation—over 20 hours in all—with the  Casey Research Recovery Reality Check Summit Audio Collection. Founder and CEO of Global Resource Investments and President of Sprott Asset Management U.S.A, Rick Rule began his career in the securities business in 1974 and has been principally involved in natural resource security investments ever since. He is a leading American retail broker and asset manager specializing in mining, energy, water utilities, forest products and agriculture. Rule’s company has built a sterling reputation for its specialist expertise in taking advantage of global opportunities in the resources industries. In 2011, Rule closed a landmark deal with Eric Sprott, Founder of Sprott Inc., another famous powerhouse in the arena. Sprott Inc. offers resource-oriented investors opportunities in segregated managed accounts, mutual funds, hedge funds and private partnerships. The collective organization offers unparalleled expertise and access to investment opportunities in all resource sectors. Sprott Inc. manages a portfolio of small-cap resource investments worth more than $8 billion and boasts a workforce of more than 130 professionals in Canada and the U.S. Louis James is chief metals and mining investment strategist at Casey Research, where he is also the senior editor of Casey Investment Alert and Conversations with Casey. When not in meetings with mining company executives in Vancouver, B.C., James regularly travels the world evaluating highly prospective geological targets and visiting explorers and producers getting to know their management teams. For more than 25 years, Casey Research, headed by investor and best-selling author Doug Casey, has been helping self-directed investors to earn returns through innovative investment research designed to take advantage of market dislocations. Investment Analyst Marin Katusa is the senior editor of Casey’s Energy Opportunities and Casey’s Energy Confidential. He left a successful teaching career to pursue what has proven an equally successful—and far more lucrative—career analyzing and investing in junior resource companies. With a stock pick record of 19 winners in a row—a 100% success rate last year—Katusa’s insightful research has made his subscribers a great deal of money. Using his advanced mathematical skills, he created a diagnostic resource market tool that analyzes and compares hundreds of investment variables. Through his own investments and his work with the Casey team, Katusa has established a network of relationships with many of the key players in the junior resource sector in Vancouver. In addition, he is a member of the Vancouver Angel Forum, where he and his colleagues evaluate early seed investment opportunities. Katusa also manages a portfolio of international real estate projects. Want to read more exclusive Energy Report interviews like this? Sign up for our free e-newsletter, and you’ll learn when new articles have been published. To see a list of recent interviews with industry analysts and commentators, visit our Exclusive Interviews page. Disclosure: 1) Karen Roche and JT Long of The Energy Report facilitated this panel discussion. They personally and/or their families own shares of the following companies mentioned in this interview: None 2) The following companies mentioned in the interview are sponsors of The Gold Report: None. 3) Rick Rule: I personally and/or my family own shares of the following companies I mentioned in this interview: None. I personally and/or my family am paid by the following companies I mentioned in this interview: None. 4) Louis James: I personally and/or my family own shares of the following companies I mentioned in this interview: None. I personally and/or my family am paid by the following companies I mentioned in this interview: None. 5) Marin Katusa: I personally and/or my family own shares of the following companies I mentioned in this interview: None. I personally and/or my family am paid by the following companies I mentioned in this interview: None.last_img read more

Louis James Doug a lot of our readers have asked

first_imgLouis James: Doug, a lot of our readers have asked about getting a second passport. I realize this is a large and complex issue – several issues, actually – but would you care to go over the basics of where to go and what to do? And for those not already thinking about this, why? Doug Casey: Sure. We’ve talked quite a bit about the increasing urgency of getting some of your assets out of your home country, especially if it’s the United States. We’ve talked about having stores of precious metals in safe places abroad, and setting up bank and brokerage accounts abroad as well. I’ve said that safest way to store wealth abroad is to buy property, which can’t be seized by your home country without an act of war. The purchase of real estate solves several issues all at once. But that’s all about protecting assets; to protect yourself, getting a second passport is unfortunately very important. LJ: Why unfortunately? DC: Because you shouldn’t have to need government papers to live as you please. It used to be that a passport was a document that a ruler of one country would give to a traveler to ask the rulers of other countries to assist him in his travels. Now, instead of a convenience, it’s become a required permit for travel. It’s degrading and actually runs counter to the whole idea of the thing. The original purpose of a passport has been turned upside down. LJ: Passports are becoming a world ID card – and they will be, once the governments all link up their databases. DC: That’s exactly what they are, and I’m sure it’s going to get worse. It’s funny the way people treat these things like some sort of holy relic, or magical object – they are nothing but another government ID. But since they are necessary in today’s world, you ought to have several of them, for your own convenience. If nothing else, it prevents any one government from basically placing you under house arrest by taking your passport away from you. LJ: Do you really think of it mostly in terms of convenience? Or do you sometimes think about the potential for physical danger, should you find yourself in an Achille Lauro-type situation in which violent people who hate Americans select US passport holders for abuse? DC: That’s definitely a good reason for Americans to have a second passport, and increasingly for others, now that the war with Islam is under way. If you ever get caught in harm’s way, it helps that nobody starts by shooting all the people from countries they’ve never heard of. LJ: Round up all the Uruguayans! DC: Right – that just doesn’t happen. Another reason – certainly if you’re an American – is that nobody anywhere in the world wants to open a bank account or a brokerage account for you. It ranges from impossible to hard and inconvenient. It’s a subtle and indirect form of exchange control that the US has already imposed. I have no doubt controls will become much more formal and serious in the near future. LJ: Are you saying that if I go to Switzerland, and I look and sound like an American, but have a Mexican passport, they’ll open a bank account for me? DC: It depends. Here in Uruguay, where I’m still hanging out on the beach, I went with a friend from South Africa to open a bank account, using her South African passport. I didn’t say a word, so I could have been a South African too, for all they knew. Still, the bank officer asked her: “Are you also a US citizen?” and “Are you resident in the US?” LJ: The long arm of Uncle Sam keeps getting longer. DC: It really is getting harder and harder. Banks really don’t want the aggravations that come with dealing with “US persons” and their bullying government. Of course, it’s all going to eventually backfire on the US, but in the meantime it’s going to get worse. LJ: Yes – I don’t like it when they ask for my passport at hotels, and I hate it when they say they have to keep it. DC: As well you should, for all kinds of reasons. You never know how good the security at the hotel is, and the inconvenience of a lost or stolen passport is substantial. I’d say a second one is a good thing to have, just on principle. An alternative would be to get documents from some of those people trying to set up new countries, like Sealand, the WWII gun platform off the coast of England taken over by Roy Bates. I spent an afternoon with him once, but foolishly never signed up as a citizen. Oh well… Other outfits sell reproduction passports of defunct or renamed countries like Rhodesia and British Honduras. LJ: I shudder to think of what “inconvenience” means to a man who finds it amusing to argue with immigration officials in back rooms in flyspeck countries… But at any rate, mentioning purveyors of passports from defunct countries underscores the importance of telling our readers that there are a lot of scams out there, and that it pays to be very skeptical of websites that claim to be able to set you up with documents, corporations, and bank accounts overseas. There are freelance thieves to worry about, and worse – governments trying to entrap so-called tax evaders and money launderers. There’s no need to take such risks when you can go to any of the many countries that encourage immigration and permanent residency, and acquire government-issued documents legally. DC: Yes, these are indeed shark-infested waters. You really have to do things in a totally correct and proper way. For instance, there always seem to be people running around who have passports stolen from the issuing agency, and some fools buy them, not realizing they’ll not only lose their money, but might wind up in jail besides. But, even among perfectly legitimate documents, not all passports are created equal. LJ: Why would that be? DC: The defining characteristic of a “good” passport is how much visa-free travel it allows. And by that I really mean visas that have to be applied for, and approved, before the trip begins, as opposed to those issued at the border. Avoiding those is the real key value. In spite of its reputation, a US passport is by no means the best one to have. First, if you have one, you’re a US taxpayer, which is very inconvenient, but it also means you need visas for a lot more countries than you would with some other passport. Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, for instance, all charge Americans about $150 to issue a visa. It’s a perverse form of reciprocity, as that’s what the US government charges their citizens. It’s the same kind of thinking that starts trade wars, and I expect more of it in the years to come – but that’s another subject. Speaking of South America, two passports that are relatively quick and easy to get are those from Uruguay and Paraguay. Both countries are members of the Mercosur group of South American countries, which offers some additional advantages to their nationals. One of the best, I’m given to understand – and this is constantly changing – is a Singapore passport. I also understand that Singapore has a number of ways to become a citizen in a relatively short period of time. LJ: What are some of the shortcuts to second citizenship? DC: One of the best is if you have parents or grandparents from a country that will give you citizenship on that basis. Ireland and Italy are known for this. It’s true, under some circumstances, for the UK as well. Saint Kitts is a relatively easy place to get a passport quite quickly, but it involves a significant investment that adds up to a couple hundred thousand dollars. Selling IDs is a significant source of income for the island. And of course, in a number of countries you can obtain citizenship, and hence documents, relatively easily by marrying a national. Brazil is one, and a Brazilian passport is not a bad one to have. There’s information on this out there, but there have been scam reports done on this subject and many other sources that are simply unreliable, so watch out. I don’t think there’s ever been a truly definitive study done on all the ways, in all the 200 or so countries in the world. I believe my book The International Man was the first to really explore the ground – but it’s long out of date. Even if there were a current book, it would have to be updated monthly to be of real value – governments are always changing their rules. And when it comes down to the particulars of a given situation, you’ll want to hire a tax attorney and maybe an immigration one as well, to make sure everything is done correctly. It’s generally better not to try for shortcuts, but to move to a place you like living in, at least part of the year. Operating through the established, legally recognized channels, you can get a passport in two to five years. LJ: Okay. And, to be clear, the US allows second citizenships? DC: Yes. Many countries don’t, and are strict about it. Others don’t, but look the other way. You may feel you want to keep your US documents for various practical reasons, but remember that keeping your US citizenship means remaining a US taxpayer, which is most undesirable. LJ: I read that if your income is less than $100,000 per year and you live abroad, it’s not taxed, so maybe the tax issue is less important to people who earn less than you? DC: That’s true, but that exemption only applies only on income earned outside the US You still pay capital gains taxes, and taxes on US-sourced income. I also understand that under current law, until 2013, there’s a $5 million exemption on appreciated expatriated assets. That means there’s a window closing soon on some of the benefits of getting rid of your US citizenship. LJ: Any reasons other than taxes you’d want to get rid of your US citizenship? If I were young enough, I’d worry about conscription, for example. DC: That’s a very good reason. More generally, as long as you’re a citizen of a country, that country’s government is going to treat you like its property. So, if you are going to be a citizen of any place, which is unfortunately necessary, it’s better to be a citizen of a small and backward country, or one that just doesn’t have the ability or interest to monitor all of its citizens like prison inmates, as the US does. LJ: I hear that. It’s such a pity that America the beautiful has turned into the United State and is rapidly marching down the road to serfdom… I really loved America. DC: Nothing lasts forever, Lobo. It’s suicidal to let sentimentality blind you to reality. But, eternal optimist that I am, it’s always good to look at one of the major bright sides of the ongoing financial and economic collapse. Namely that the governments of most advanced nation-states are bankrupt. There’s a chance that some of them will be forced to cut back on their most noisome activities. There’s even a chance that one or two will be completely hollowed out and will exist mostly in theory, like Rome in the late 5th century. It’s very hard to predict what will happen, so it’s best to have a Plan B. And a Plan C. Unfortunately, most people have a medieval serf mentality – although they don’t know it, and probably wouldn’t admit it even if they did – and have no plan at all, because they think everything is fine. LJ: I agree. And you know I’m diversifying out of the US as well. Any other essential points? DC: Yes, remember that getting a second passport is just part of a larger “permanent traveler” strategy. The ideal is to live in one place, have your citizenship in another, your banks and brokers in other jurisdictions, and your business dealings in yet others. That makes it very inconvenient for any one government to control you. You don’t want all your eggs in one basket – that just makes it easier for them to grab them all. I understand it may not be easy for most people to structure their affairs that way. That’s exactly why most serfs stayed serfs; it was hard and scary to think of anything other than what they were told they should do. LJ: Understood. Thanks for the guidance. The more of your wealth you have in your home country, the greater the risks to your capital. That’s why it’s critical to start protecting your assets by moving them abroad as soon as possible. To help you do just that, Casey Research is hosting a web video event at 2 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 30. Internationalize Your Assets features investment experts Doug Casey, Peter Schiff, Mike Maloney, and more. This must-see webinar will reveal offshore strategies you can easily implement to protect what’s rightfully yours. Click here for details and to register.last_img read more

first_img— — In those days the border was a more fluid concept. In 1917, Pershing lead 5,000 US cavalrymen deep into Mexico, chasing Villa after a raid he made into the US. That was about the time of the famous Zimmerman telegram, where the Germans promised help getting Texas, New Mexico and Arizona back to Mexico, if the Mexicans declared war on the US. That was one reason the Americans entered WW1. No matter… the Mexicans will get that land back without a formal attack.Justin: Interesting indeed. But back to the current situation…Doug: Right. Pershing and horse soldiers are long gone. Let me start by saying that the national guardsmen Trump proposes are basically weekend soldiers. These guys would rather be at home. They’d rather be working their day jobs. They’d rather spend time with their families. They’re not going to be happy about this.Plus, they’re unlikely to serve any useful purpose. Think about it. If they’re confronted by a large group of migrants, how are they going to stop them? Is it going to turn into a game of Red Rover? Or maybe a pushing contest?The only way they could stop a big group of migrants crossing the border is with real violence. But they won’t do that. That won’t happen.In other words, a large group of say 10,000 to 20,000 people, in unison, could easily walk across the border. Plus, understand that the people behind this mass migration aren’t stupid. They understand the dynamics. They know that a hundred migrants would just be a nuisance, to be rounded up and put in jail. You need the military principle of mass.Next time, maybe they’ll show up to the border with 50,000 people. That would be the equivalent of the Goths at Adrianople. That was 378 AD. After that, the barbarians totally inundated the Roman Empire from every angle. And in a generation they controlled every aspect of the Empire.If I wanted to collapse the US, that’s how I’d do it. Who needs the risks and expense of a conventional war? It would be neither hard nor very expensive to get a couple hundred thousand Salvadoreans, Hondurans, and what-have-you—not to mention Mexicans—to just human wave across the border. That would show the US is incapable of stopping anybody—except harassing some polite European tourists in airports, or polite Canadians driving across by car.Of course, there’d be a counter reaction. But things could easily spin out of control.Justin: And who do you think is behind all of this?Doug: Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are certainly behind these migrants crossing the border. Poor peasants from Central America, or wherever—poor people and miscreants will show up from all over the world once the cat’s out of the bag—can’t act en masse. Today these people couldn’t cross the American border on their own. Or at most in onesies and twosies.Migrants don’t have the resources to support themselves. So they’re obviously getting help and funding from outside sources. I suspect it’s coming from NGOs. These people are politically and psychologically committed to destroying Western Civilization. And the average American or European has become so guilt-ridden, self-effacing, and philosophically corrupt that they welcome them.So, again, what they’ll try is sending 10,000, 50,000, or 200,000 people across the border. You couldn’t stop that many people. I don’t care if Trump puts up the National Guard; that will just add to the embarrassment. They’d just walk across the border, unless they’re machine-gunned. But the Guard is obviously not going to do that.I’d also gather as many pregnant women into the migrants as possible, both to create sympathetic photo-ops for the invading mob, and so their children could act as anchor babies. It would create chaos, which is exactly the desired effect.Most people don’t realize that the invasion that followed the Battle of Adrianople brought the Roman Empire to its knees within 30 years… They think that Rome fell in 476 AD, but that’s actually a meaningless date. It collapsed 60 or 70 years earlier, when the migrants totally washed everything away. Rome was just a shadow of its old self by the late Third Century. The army was mostly foreigners. Being a citizen no longer meant much. The government was bankrupt. The old values were being replaced by a new religion. There’s much more to be said. I suggest you look at a long article I did on this in December 2013 here.That exact same thing could happen in the States. And I don’t doubt that someone’s planning that already. There’s never been a better time to become a marijuana millionaire. The Pot Stock Millionaire Summit is willing to guarantee that they can give you the chance to see 500% gains from each of the 5 marijuana stocks that will be discussed during the Summit. The Summit is this Thursday, 8pm Eastern. It’s FREE for you to attend. Click here to reserve your spot to the event and get additional free training. **** 24245678 **** Justin’s note: Donald Trump wants to put 2,000–4,000 troops on the U.S.–Mexico border. And it’s no secret why he’s doing this. Trump wants to secure the borders. He believes that the “security of the United States is imperiled by a drastic surge of illegal activity on the southern border.”To be fair, this isn’t unprecedented. There have been three large-scale National Guard border missions since 2006. Still, I can’t help but wonder what might come out of this, given Trump’s strong views on illegal immigration.So, I called Doug Casey for his take on this issue…Justin: What do you make of this, Doug? Will deploying thousands of troops to the border curb illegal immigration?Doug: Well, it looks like what could have been a crisis has been temporarily defused. What might have been thousands of migrants rushing the border has apparently dwindled to a few stragglers. A non-event.But troubles on the Mexican border have a long and colorful pedigree. Especially starting from around 1912–1918. For one thing, one of my favorite authors, Ambrose Bierce, went to join Pancho Villa’s forces in 1913. He was in his 70s, and it was his way of checking out.There were some great movies made about that time and place, as well. Vera Cruz, with Burt Lancaster. The Professionals, with Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin. And possibly my personal all-time favorite, The Wild Bunch, with William Holden. There’s even a fun comedy about the era, Three Amigos, with Steve Martin. Recommended Link What does 24245678 mean to you? For most folks, it’s just a bunch of numbers. But for you, knowing how to spot it could mean an easy $9,000 payout in the next few days. Click here immediately to see why. It’s TRUE! The Pot Stock Millionaire Summit is Offering the “5 for 500%” Pot Stock Guarantee As always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us right here.In Case You Missed It…A technology is being tested that has the potential to permanently cure thousands of diseases. It could even guarantee America’s energy independence for decades to come. It sounded too good to be true. But then we watched this presentation. Justin: Yeah, I’ve read a lot about NGOs doing the same thing in Europe. They’re literally moving Africans by the boatload to Europe, specifically Italy.Doug: These people have to be getting assistance. It’s not like they possess outboard motors, sails, or the skills to cross the Mediterranean. That’s serious business. So, they’re obviously getting help. But this has been happening for years.But who’s behind all this? Where’s the money coming from? We need to ask ourselves these questions because NGOs are destroying Western civilization. They’re run by busybodies looking to create chaos. And it’s in the interests of “charity.” Giving them money makes you a “philanthropist.”Justin: Why would they want to do that?Doug: It’s mostly a question of psychological aberration. Combined with perverse and bent philosophies. Universities today are filled with Marxist professors who despise Western civilization. Despite the fact Western civilization has brought us almost all the good things in life.It’s responsible for basically 100% of the world’s great literature, and 100% of the world’s great music. Free markets. Individualism. Liberty. The concept of human rights. The rule of law. Philosophy. Science. Technology. Almost all the noble ideas in the world. There are, to be sure, a few worthwhile things from other cultures. It’s been said that East minus West equals zero, but that’s going too far. I’m a fan of yoga, Taoism, and Oriental cuisine.Why would anyone want to destroy it? It’s a complete mystery to me. I don’t know what’s going on in these people’s heads. But I’ve spoken to people who hate Western civilization, and they’re apparently sincere about what they’re doing.So, maybe they’re just stupid. Look, I don’t care what their IQ score may be. These people are stupid on a very basic level.Justin: What do you mean by that?Doug: Well, we first need to define the word “stupid.” As I’ve said before, the best definition is an unwitting tendency to self-destruction; that’s what these people suffer from. Why? Perhaps they’re really very unhappy with themselves, but don’t have the courage or enough honest introspection to just put a gun to their heads. Hmm… maybe that’s another reason they’re universally antigun.There’s also a difference between intelligence and wisdom that’s lost on most people. Wisdom is the ability to calculate not just the immediate and direct consequences of actions. It doesn’t take much wisdom to make that calculation. The average six-year-old can do this. It’s not very deep.But you also must be able to contemplate the indirect and delayed consequences of your actions. And the people who run these NGOs seem incapable of that. They have absolutely no wisdom.That makes them stupid in my book. You could also say that they’re evil. But that word has also been discredited. A lot of religious types like to bandy it about. Their idea of “evil” is whatever goes against their god.But I’ve read the Bible. I’ve read the Quran. And I don’t think what passes for evil in those religious texts washes, quite frankly. To me, evil is being purposely destructive. And that’s what a lot of people who join these NGOs are.Sure, they pretend to be nice. They act like they’re doing all these wonderful things but they’re destroying civilization. They just can’t see it because they lack wisdom.The people populating NGOs and governments aren’t necessarily evil—even Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler, and Stalin felt they were good guys, doing the right thing. They’re just thoughtless and stupid.Justin: What about a desire for power control? It seems like that’s why a lot of people get involved in government and organizations like NGOs. They believe they’re best suited to shape society.Doug: You’re absolutely right. And they take control of society in many ways. They’re much more interested in controlling other people than they are in controlling physical things, however.Many of these same people naturally find their way into government. They enjoy pushing their fellows around. But, surprisingly to me, anyway, the average person seems to want that. They want a strong leader. They like hierarchy. They don’t mind being under the control of other people.All these socialists, social democrats, liberals, Democrats—their names are legion—think they’re doing the right thing. They think they’re being moral. And you can’t convince them otherwise. Intellectual arguments are useless against these people. It’s a psychological problem, not an intellectual one.You can’t make an intellectual argument to a mob.Justin: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today, Doug.Doug: You’re welcome.Justin’s note: Most know Doug as a legendary crisis investor. But he’s also a “marijuana millionaire.” And tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET, he’s joining me and Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno to discuss why investors will be handed a rare second chance at investing in the marijuana market.This second wave is expected to be 8 times bigger than the first, when pot stocks were gaining 3,986%, 17,300%, 69,000%… even 299,000% and 399,000%. To hear from Doug himself on this exclusive FREE event—and why the time to strike is now—click here.Reader MailbagToday, a couple readers write in disagreeing with Doug’s take on nation states…I think “leave states and people alone” is always the best if done by example. What you are advocating is a loss of borders which is the moral equivalent of vanquishing one’s “body” (or your rights end where my body begins and vice versa), in favor of being “bodyless”. You cannot do away with the individual “anything”. A forest is a bunch of individual trees, first, last, and altogether. I don’t think the state is dead, but being transformed into its natural place, sovereign but equal nations.People right now can home school. People right now can form associations. People right now are waking up to this. People right now are beginning to see and not participate in the bloated state. But you seem to be advocating world government, at least you did in “part l” of your article. And, Doug, that is dangerous. And if your ideas don’t come about naturally with time, then world government it will be. A state much more horrid than nation states. And that is why I don’t agree. Westphalian National, sovereign states must be the next step or your ideas (which in and of themselves I agree with) will never come to pass. So please stop going around declaring that the “bordered” state, like the “bordered body” is dead. – Kay While there is some interesting material in this article, this statement is just very stupid: “Sure, he’s (Trump) done some pretty stupid things; his foreign policy of late borders on the criminally insane.” What things were “stupid”? I am not an American, so please tell me: Are you used to making empty statements and getting away with it without a challenge? And what about “his foreign policy of late ‘bordering’ on the ‘criminally insane’”? Challenging North Korea’s Kim Jong-un until he came to his senses? Bombing Syria for using chemical weapons?If you wish to consider gutless pile of sh*t foreign policy, look no further than the totally gutless wonder and complete pathological liar, Barack Obama, who like George W. Bush and Bill Clinton lacked the courage to challenge North Korea. As to the southern U.S. border he is entirely right, you need a wall. When you began spouting this drivel you destroyed the credibility of what you said earlier about nation states. – Rob Recommended Linklast_img read more

A new research centre that plans to create a centr

first_imgA new research centre that plans to create a centre for “disability expertise” on the Olympic Park – as part of the London 2012 Paralympics legacy – has faced questions about its commitment to collaborating with local disabled people’s organisations (DPOs).The Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDIH) wants to spread innovative ideas across inclusive design, assistive technology, sport, arts and inclusive development and use the new centre as a “springboard for change” to improve the lives of disabled people in the UK and internationally.GDIH says it wants to ensure that disabled people are involved in the leadership of all of its programmes and to “promote that ethos and that way of working” internationally.Its aim, it says, is to “change the way we think about disability through co-design, collaboration, and innovation”, and to become “the leading place to come to research, study, practice and share disability innovations”.This week, the hub’s director, Vicki Austin, told Disability News Service (DNS) that she wanted GDIH to develop into a global centre for “disability expertise”, drawing on local communities, DPOs and disabled people.The hub launched last September, but only appointed its 15-strong board of directors – two-thirds of whom are disabled people – last week.It is moving its current base to University College London’s (UCL) new campus on the Olympic Park in east London.But despite its commitment to ensuring that disabled people lead its programmes, there are questions over its apparent failure to work with local disabled people and DPOs.When asked which DPOs it had worked with since its launch, Austin mentioned Together! 2012, which is led by the disabled artist and author Dr Ju Gosling, and has been working since the Paralympics to make the main London 2012 host borough of Newham into an international centre of excellence for disability arts.Together! 2012 is the most prominent DPO in the borough, and the only cultural organisation in east London to have been developed in response to the Paralympic legacy, while Gosling herself has an international reputation as a disabled artist, based in Newham, and is a leader on work looking at the relationship between disabled people and technology.But Gosling disputed Austin’s claims that the hub had been working with Together!, and said she had in fact been frustrated by her attempts to set up a meeting with GDIH, and had been trying to do so since January, in a series of emails seen by DNS.Her last emailed attempt to set up a meeting was on 16 May, which has still not received a reply from GDIH.She said: “They haven’t made any contact with us, and we have tried and tried and tried.“I find it discourteous and disrespectful and very disappointing. They clearly don’t know what co-production means.”A spokeswoman for the hub did not dispute the six-month delay in arranging a meeting, although she claimed that Austin had had “discussions” with Gosling as the hub was being developed.Austin said that GDIH had also been working closely with members of the Olympic Park’s built environment access panel (BEAP), and that it had been using them “as our initial sounding board”, as an interim arrangement before its board was appointed.One meeting was apparently held in the hub’s current home on the Olympic Park, so panel members could meet the team, while the panel’s chair, Peter Lainson, is a member of the hub’s working group, and two of his fellow disabled panel members have now been appointed to the GDIH board.But DNS has spoken to one member of the panel who said they were surprised to hear that GDIH was claiming such a close connection with BEAP, and believed the panel had not been involved with the hub in any significant way.The hub emerged from work at UCL and has some post-London 2012 funding from the London Legacy Development Corporation, although that is due to run out next year.None of GDIH’s other founding partners – the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, the University of the Arts London’s London College of Fashion, Loughborough University in London, Saddler’s Wells Theatre, the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum – are user-led organisations.The GDIH board will be led by the disabled Conservative peer Lord [Chris] Holmes, former disability commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and London 2012’s director of Paralympic integration.He said he was “delighted” to be “part of a project with such potential to transform lives”.He said: “I have personally benefited from assistive technology and believe truly inclusive design not only removes barriers to disabled people but also, essentially, benefits everyone by leading to ground-breaking technological solutions or applications and truly excellent design.”Early GDIH projects include working with an “innovation lab” set up by a disabled people’s organisation in India and the International Committee of the Red Cross to develop new products to help disabled people, particularly in the global south.The hub is also involved in the development of a masters programme in disability design and innovation, which will begin in September 2018.Another project is the development of a digital/audio “wayfinding” tool that would help blind and partially-sighted visitors find their way around the Olympic Park.Austin said a crucial part of its approach was to ensure that disabled people were involved in leading its programmes. She said: “If there is an opportunity to amplify that message, and also the talents of those people, then that is what we intend and want to do.“We are particularly interested in harnessing the power of technology as it develops and a lot of that technology is being developed in institutions by non-disabled people.“If we are able to challenge some of that and engage people in both academic and non-academic programmes and also challenge some of the academic approaches in a way that puts co-creation and co-design right at the heart, not only are better products made but also it challenges the status quo.”Next month, the hub will host a disability innovation summit, running alongside the 2017 World Para-Athletics Championships, to “explore research and ideas, looking at innovation in tech, design, development, culture and art”.Picture: Lord Holmes at London Tech Week, after the announcement that he would be chairing GDIHlast_img read more

First Tumblr Now Hulu Oh My Whats Driving Yahoos Startup Appetite

first_img 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List First Tumblr, Now Hulu, Oh My! What’s Driving Yahoo’s Startup Appetite Next Article –shares Apply Now » Add to Queue Yahoo! CEO, Marissa Mayer Brian Patrick Eha May 28, 2013 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Technology Under chief executive Marissa Mayer, internet giant Yahoo has been on a startup-buying spree, and it shows no signs of stopping. News broke over the weekend that Yahoo has offered to buy streaming video site Hulu for between $600 million and $800 million, depending on the overall terms of the deal.Hulu is currently the focus of a bidding war between Time Warner, Directv and other big players. Yahoo turned to Hulu after its plan to buy a majority stake in French video-sharing site Dailymotion was blocked by the French government earlier this month.Since Mayer took the helm last July, Yahoo has acquired 12 companies. Among them are news aggregation startup Summly, social-media platform Snip.it, video chat startup OnTheAir and microblogging platform Tumblr, which boasts over 300 million members. Since closing the Tumblr deal for $1.1 billion in cash last week, Yahoo has already bought another company: gaming software outfit PlayerScale. The four-year-old startup, which Yahoo bought for an undisclosed sum, creates tools for game developers, including analytics tools that can track player behavior.Related: In Yahoo Deal, Tumblr Becomes the Next $1 Billion Startup”Yahoo is pursuing a plan of diversifying its media business away from the pure Yahoo.com brand,” says Andrew Frank, who covers Yahoo as a media analyst for research firm Gartner. That means expanding beyond longstanding services such as search, news and email and getting into new areas such as social media and video, which could also help Yahoo branch out from its mostly advertising-based revenue. Such a plan, Frank says, is standard for maturing media companies that want to reduce risk and make their revenue more predictable.The desire to attract young users has also played a role, especially in the Tumblr acquisition, says Frank. And while Tumblr itself may not be a good platform for selling ads, due to the ad-free layout of its blogs, Frank believes its user data will prove to be a valuable resource to target advertising on other Yahoo properties. “If you can determine people’s interests based on their Tumblr experiences, then perhaps you can have better success targeting them with interest-based ads in other contexts,” Frank says.If purchased, Hulu would further the goal of diversifying Yahoo’s revenue, which Frank says has been almost exclusively dependent on advertising. Users of Hulu’s premium subscription service pay a monthly rate to watch movies and full episodes of television shows online. And the acquisition of a video service may help Yahoo compete with YouTube, which has proved to be an immensely lucrative property for Google.So what comes next? Frank was loath to speculate, but he said mobile needs to be a focus for Yahoo. He also mentioned ecommerce and social commerce as potential spaces for the company to enter. “There’s a lot of interesting areas that Yahoo could go into,” he says. “I don’t think there’s any shortage of opportunities.”Related: Yahoo Acquires Teen Entrepreneur’s News Gathering App, Summly 3 min read Image credit: mobil.stern.de The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue.last_img read more

Startup Culture 20 Why Kegs No Longer Cut It

first_imgStartup Culture Add to Queue Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Scott King Next Article Today’s startups have a problem, and no amount of free booze will solve it. Don’t get me wrong, I love beer — but it’s part of the problem.Related: 5 Hidden Dangers of a Stereotypical Startup CultureStartup Culture 1.0 was a response to a traditional workplace that stifled creativity and expression. Young professionals saw no value in wearing suits and working in cubicles. Organizations saw an opportunity to evolve, giving employees the freedom to work in a way that felt more like play. And, theoretically at least, they became more innovative, productive and attractive to top talent in the process.Hoodies replaced sportcoats. Scrum pits replaced cubes. Dogs roamed the halls. Ping-pong tables supplanted conference tables. And company kitchens filled up with healthy, local, organic, free-range snacks and kegs from local microbrews.There were no more off-sites in stuffy hotels; team building happened over whitewater rafting; volunteer teams travelled to Central America; and Frisbee in the park became a staple of work-optional Friday afternoons — all of which was delightful — until it went too far (see the recent Zenefits scandal).Worse, it became the new status quo.We now take for granted that we can wear jeans to the office and work from home when we need to. We no longer notice the keg in the corner of the kitchen — because frankly, no one drinks from it. Few people bring their dogs to work because, in reality, that’s kind of a hassle. And, while on-site yoga sounds good in theory, who wants to go all zen with their colleagues and then turn around and talk development capacity and budgets?When every company offers something, it’s no longer a perk.Indeed, when you strip away the cool “stuff,” we’re left with a culture that isn’t terribly different from the old-school system that it replaced. Sure, you no longer call your boss “Sir” or “Ma’am” when discussing your assignments — but you still get assignments. You may “download” on your projects in the “nerd lounge” with a latte from the new espresso machine, but you’re still told what to do and, largely, how, when, where, and with whom to do it.This is the issue with Startup Culture 1.0. The clothes, the offices, the rules may have changed, but the way work gets done did not. The next evolution of startup culture — let’s call it Startup Culture 2.0 — will implement a whole new set of perks that are significantly harder to provide, but are much more valuable when done right.Startup Culture 2.0 will be a fundamental shift in how we think about people. Instead of changing the lines we draw around them, we’ll remove the lines altogether.Related: Creating The Right Culture For Startup SuccessStartup Culture 2.0 puts the “people are our best asset” cliché into action. Instead of focusing on the accouterments that attract top talent, and then telling that top talent exactly what to do, an evolved organization hands over the keys to the castle. In practice, this translates to a new way of making decisions, big and small:Everyone is a decision maker. Decisions – and sh*t – no longer flow solely downhill.Your decision model seeks advice from everyone who may be impacted. You seek advice up and down the chain to inform and validate each decision.Decisions are a team effort, and so are repercussions, for better or worse.People are fallible, and it’s all part of the learning processThis doesn’t sound as sexy as lunchtime bike rides and LEED-certified offices, but the impact will be much more meaningful. When you fundamentally trust that your employees are good, that they want your company to be successful, that they work hard and want to contribute, the results are almost instantaneous. More joy. More innovation. More community. Better work.Related: 5 Ways Startups Build Priceless Cultures Without Spending a CentI love beer. But I’ll take a highly engaged, highly trusted workforce over the keg in the kitchen any day. May 20, 2016 Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.center_img –shares 4 min read Chief Revenue Officer at ReadyTalk Image credit: Frederic J. Brown/Stringer | Getty Images Guest Writer Startup Culture 2.0: Why Kegs No Longer Cut It Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel.last_img read more

One reason behind frequent miscarriages could be faulty sperms

first_img Source:http://clinchem.aaccjnls.org/content/65/1/161 By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJan 6 2019Scientists at the Imperial College in London have found that one of the reasons behind frequent miscarriages in a woman could be the fault of the sperms of their partners. Recurrent miscarriages are defined as three or more miscarriages that occur before 20 weeks of pregnancy are completed. One in 50 couples in the UK are affected by recurrent miscarriages.The results of this small but significant study titled, ‘Reduced Testicular Steroidogenesis and Increased Semen Oxidative Stress in Male Partners as Novel Markers of Recurrent Miscarriage’, were published in the latest issue of the journal Clinical Chemistry. Sperm and egg cell illustration. Image Credit: Yurchanka Siarhei / Shutterstockcenter_img For this study the team looked at the sperm quality of around 50 men whose partners had been struggling to carry a pregnancy to term but had suffered from at least three miscarriages. They also collected healthy sperm from 60 other volunteers whose partners were successful in completing their pregnancies. On comparing the two groups they noted that the men whose partners were suffering from miscarriages had twice as much damaged to their sperm DNA compared to the healthy group.Lead author Dr Channa Jayasena from the Department of Medicine said, “Traditionally doctors have focused attention on women when looking for the causes of recurrent miscarriage. The men’s health – and the health of their sperm – wasn’t analysed. For instance, previous research suggests sperm has an important role in the formation of the placenta, which is crucial for oxygen and nutrient supply to the foetus.”Related StoriesPatients with HIV DNA in cerebrospinal fluid have high risk of experiencing cognitive deficitsDogs and cats relieve academic stress and lift students’ mood, according to a new studyResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairThe team noted that the DNA damage within the sperm was caused by reactive oxygen species or free radicals that are formed within the semen. These oxidative species protect against bacteria but can in turn damage the DNA of the sperm. This study showed that the partners of women who had miscarriages had four times higher reactive oxygen species in their semen compared to the healthy control group. They speculate that the reason behind this phenomenon could be previous infections. Being obese and higher male age could also be a reason behind oxidative damage to the sperms, the authors of the study explain.However as a limitation to the study, the average age of the men whose partners suffered miscarriages was 37 years compared to 30 years among the healthy control men. Further the men in the miscarriage group were a little more overweight compared to the healthy men.Dr Jayasena said in a statement, “Although none of the men in the trial had any ongoing infection it is possible there may be other bacteria from previous infections lingering in the prostate gland, which makes semen. This may lead to permanently high levels of reactive oxygen species. It has taken medicine a long time to realise sperm health has a role to play in miscarriage – and that the cause doesn’t lie solely with women. Now we realise both partners contribute to recurrent miscarriage we can hopefully get a clearer picture of the problem and start to look for ways of ensuring more pregnancies result in a healthy baby.”Dr Kevin McEleny of the British Fertility Society in a statement added, “This is an interesting study that illustrates the importance of research into sperm quality. The results agree with some of the previous research into a link between DNA damage in sperm and miscarriage. We know that the partners of older men are more likely to suffer miscarriage. The study group was generally older than the control group, which might go some way to explain the results.”last_img read more

German unions call for strike against Ryanair Wednesday

first_img Citation: German unions call for strike against Ryanair Wednesday (2018, September 11) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-german-unions-ryanair-wednesday.html © 2018 AFP The strike, which is expected to last 24 hours, would involve some 400 Ryanair pilots and co-pilots in Germany Explore further The pilots’ Cockpit union said in a statement Monday that they have been demanding these improvements “for months”. Despite the “clear signal” given during the strikes in August, “the negotiations remain deadlocked. We demand finally some solutions,” said Ingolf Schumacher, in charge of salary negotiations for the union.The strike, which is expected to last 24 hours, would involve some 400 Ryanair pilots and co-pilots in Germany.About 1,000 flight personnel in the country have also called for a work stoppage on Wednesday.”The salaries are so low they do not guarantee a sufficient living wage,” said Christine Behle of the German services union in a separate statement. In August, Ryanair, which carries some 130 million passengers annually, had to cancel 250 flights to and from Germany after the German pilots joined a pan-Europe strike against the airline.Meanwhile, Ryanair reached agreements with personnel in Ireland and Italy, which Germany’s Cockpit union considers insufficient.While the carrier is for the first time recognising unions across Europe that represent its pilots and cabin crew, staff are unhappy that improvements have yet to be made on pay and other conditions.center_img Ryanair recognises cabin crew union in Ireland Unions representing pilots and cabin crew of Irish no-frills airline Ryanair In Germany have called for a strike on Wednesday over better pay and working conditions. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

MtGox bitcoin baron gets suspended sentence for data tampering

first_img Citation: MtGox ‘bitcoin baron’ gets suspended sentence for data tampering (2019, March 15) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-mtgox-bitcoin-founder-sentence-tampering.html Karpeles always claimed the bitcoins were lost due to an external “hacking attack” and later claimed to have found some 200,000 coins in a “cold wallet”—a storage device not connected to other computers.”Most people will not believe what I say. The only solution I have is to actually find the real culprits,” he told reporters his trial hearing in July 2017.Doubts about bitcoinThe acquittal on embezzlement came as the vast majority of cases that come to trial in Japan end in a conviction.Karpeles himself said in an interview with French business daily Les Echos on Wednesday that he had little chance of acquittal.”All I can hope for is a light sentence which will mean I do not have to go back into detention and do forced work,” he said.The Frenchman was first arrested in August 2015 and, in an echo of another high-profile case against former Nissan chief and compatriot Carlos Ghosn, was re-arrested several times on different charges.Karpeles eventually won bail in July 2016—nearly a year after his arrest—paying 10 million yen to secure his freedom pending a trial, which began in July 2017.During his time on bail, Karpeles has been active on social media—notably voicing doubts about bitcoin and replying to some media questions about conditions in Japanese detention centres.However, he has largely avoided commenting on his case in detail.In many ways, the rollercoaster ride of Karpeles has mirrored that of the bitcoin cryptocurrency that made him rich.At its height in December 2017, the value of a single bitcoin was around $20,000.It has since slumped and is now worth just under $4,000. © 2019 AFP During his trial, Karpeles apologised to customers for the company’s bankruptcy but denied both data falsification and embezzlement.”I swear to God that I am innocent,” Karpeles, speaking in Japanese, told the three-judge panel hearing when his trial opened in 2017. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The Tokyo District Court convicted Mark Karpeles, a 33-year-old computer whizz from France, for tampering with computer data but acquitted him over charges of embezzling millions from client accounts.The sentence was suspended for four years.In a summary of the ruling, the court said Karpeles had “harmed the users’ trust greatly” by manipulating data and “abused his expertise as an IT engineer and his position and authority”.Prosecutors had claimed that Karpeles had embezzled some 341 million yen ($3 million) of clients’ money and splashed it on a lavish lifestyle. They called for him to serve 10 years behind bars.However, in throwing out these embezzlement charges, the judge said there was no financial damage done to MtGox and ruled that Karpeles did not intend to cause any damage.The judge cited an expert opinion that said owners of small and medium enterprises often borrow funds without proper accounting and ruled that the court assumed Karpeles intended to return the money.Karpeles’ lawyer, Nobuyasu Ogata, told AFP: “It became clear that he is innocent as far as the charge that Mark committed a wrongdoing for his personal benefit.””He (Karpeles) says it was very significant” that the court recognised that point, added Ogata.Karpeles entered the courtroom wearing a dark suit and black shoes and he bowed politely to the judge. He was motionless after the verdict was read out.After the sentencing, the judge asked if Karpeles understood the sentence. Karpeles responded simply: “Yes, I did.”‘Cold wallet’MtGox was shut down in 2014 after 850,000 bitcoins (worth half a billion dollars at that time) disappeared from its virtual vaults.The scandal left a trail of angry investors, rocked the virtual currency community, and dented confidence in the security of bitcoin.At one point, MtGox claimed to be handling around 80 percent of all global bitcoin transactions. Verdict due in MtGox bitcoin embezzlement case Mark Karpeles, former head of the collapsed bitcoin exchange MtGox, has got a suspended sentence of two and a half years A Japanese court on Friday sentenced the former high-flying boss of the MtGox bitcoin exchange to a suspended jail sentence of two and a half years after finding him guilty of data manipulation. When Karpeles emerged from detention, he had lost a considerable amount of weightlast_img read more

Cyclone Fani Massive evacuation operation underway in Odisha

first_imgOdisha Fire Service and Disaster Response personnel prepare equipment to take on ‘Cyclone Fani’, which is due to make landfall on Friday, in Bhubaneswar, Tuesday, April 30, 2019.   –  PTI SHARE SHARE EMAIL Orissa Tourists have been advised by officials to leave the temple town of Puri. India has started evacuating hundreds of thousands of villagers living along its northeastern coastline ahead of a severe cyclone due to make landfall on Friday.The state of Odisha has also moved in thousands of disaster management personnel to help those living in mud-and-thatch homes in low-lying areas take shelter from Severe Cyclonic Storm Fani.Also read: Extremely severe cyclone ‘Fani’ negotiating seas off Andhra Pradesh, clears TN coast“We are making best efforts to inform them about the cyclone and move these vulnerable people to cyclone shelters,” Bishnupada Sethi, the state’s special relief commissioner, told Reuters.Tourists have also been advised to leave the coastal temple town of Puri.Two decades ago, a super-cyclone battered the coast of Odisha for 30 hours, killing 10,000 people. In 2013, a mass evacuation of nearly a million people saved thousands of lives.Tropical Storm Risk cyclone tracker labelled Fani a Category-3 storm on a scale of a low 1 to a powerful 5. Published on SHARE May 01, 2019 COMMENT COMMENTSlast_img read more