Back to the same record but its a different stock market

NEW YORK — Stock investors had to go on a harrowing round trip over the last seven months, but the market may be in a healthier place after it.The S&P 500 index of big U.S. stocks is back to a record high, closing above 2,930 on Tuesday for the first time since Sept. 20. On the way, though, it took investors on a terrifying plunge of nearly 20%, amid worries that the economy would tip into recession. After hitting bottom in December, stocks took off on a nearly mirror-image rally .Even though the S&P 500 is back at the same level, analysts say many of the market’s vital signs look different today than in late September.Worries about a possible recession have dimmed, in large part because of a change in stance by the Federal Reserve. That has many investors predicting more gains for the market this go-around, despite risks still hanging over stocks, such as the still simmering global trade war and slower growth for economies and corporate profits around the world.Here’s a look at some of the changes for the market, and one big similarity, between then and now:— AN EASIER FEDERAL RESERVEThis is the biggest difference by far, investors say.Last autumn, the Federal Reserve was deep into its plan to gradually raise interest rates, after having kept them pinned at nearly zero for years. Higher rates would slow the economy, but it would also reduce the risk of higher inflation and the job market was in much better shape than in the aftermath of the Great Recession. When the S&P 500 set its record on Sept. 20, the Fed was a week away from raising its key short-term rate by a quarter of a percentage point for the seventh time in eight quarters.But those and other moves by the Fed raised worries along Wall Street that the central bank was moving too fast and could push the economy into recession.“I was feeling very cautious on the market last fall because you were seeing a lot of straws in the wind that the Fed was too tight,” said Margie Patel, senior portfolio manager at Wells Fargo Asset Management. “Even though rates were low, you could see housing and autos looking weak, and in the stock market, every now and then, you’d see a sector of the stock market plunge for really no reason.”In December, the Fed raised rates again and said another two increases may come in 2019. But officials changed their outlook early this year, following the plunge in stock prices, and officials pledged to be patient in raising rates. Then, in March, the central bank said it may not raise rates at all in 2019.The easier tone sent the yield on the 10-year Treasury’s yield, which affects rates for mortgages and other loans, down to 2.57% from 3.07% in late September. That’s a boost for the economy, as well as for stock prices.“Recession, I think it’s off the radar now,” Patel said.— BOTTOMING GROWTH EXPECTATIONSCompanies are in the middle of telling investors how much profit they made during the first three months of 2019, and analysts have prepped for disappointment. Wall Street is forecasting a drop of more than 3% for S&P 500 companies, the first decline in nearly three years.That’s a concern for investors because stock prices tend to track profits over the long term. But analysts expect growth to return and accelerate as the year progresses. After hitting bottom in the first quarter, analysts expect S&P 500 profit growth to ramp back up to 8.5% in the fourth quarter thanks to stronger than expected revenues.Economic data has been improving around the world, which is raising optimism.When the S&P 500 set its record last fall, dueling import taxes by the United States and China threatened global growth, higher mortgage rates were hurting home sales and the initial October jobs report hinted at slower hiring.Now, U.S.-China trade tensions have dialed down, even if underlying conflicts are unresolved. Mortgage rates have fallen, home sales have recovered somewhat and the labour market has been solid, on average.The economy still appears on course for slower economic growth this year than the roughly 3% pace achieved in 2018, with economists outside of the Trump administration generally pegging the annual gain at closer to 2%. But investors see a much lower risk of recession in 2019.— A LESS EXPENSIVE MARKET, THOUGH STILL NOT CHEAPStock prices may be back to where they were in September, but they don’t look quite as expensive by some measures of value.One of the main ways that analysts measure the value of a stock is to measure its price against the company’s earnings. In September, the S&P 500 was trading at 20.6 times its earnings per share over the prior 12 months. That was well above its average of 16.3 over the prior 15 years.Today, the S&P 500 is still trading above its long-term average, but not by as much: It’s closer to 18.7.— STILL HESITANT INVESTORSWhen interest rates are low for a long time, the concern is that it will inflate a bubble. Two decades ago, investors piled into dot-com stocks and pushed them to prices that markets now see as ludicrous. In the middle of the last decade, it was housing prices that soared too high, too fast.So far, at least, investors are still hesitant to pile into stocks. This is actually a reason the market may be primed for more gains, some analysts say.Investors have pulled more money out of U.S. stock funds in the last few months than they’ve put in, according to the Investment Company Institute. If those skeptical investors come back to stocks, it could provide a further lift.Of course, many risks still remain for markets, and few analysts are predicting the S&P 500 to continue rising in a straight line, as it has for much of 2019. Negotiations on the U.S.-China trade war are still ongoing. Low interest rates have encouraged U.S. companies to gorge themselves on debt, and some ideas percolating in Washington, such as universal health care, could drag down corporate profits.Still, many investors are feeling better about the market’s health this go-around, most of all because the easier Fed has helped diminish threat of recession.“This 2,900 is better than the 2,900 we had a few months ago,” said Steve Chiavarone, equity strategist at Federated investors.___AP Economics Writer Josh Boak contributed to this report.Stan Choe, The Associated Press read more

SLMC to meet on polls

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is to have a decisive meeting tomorrow on the upcoming provincial council elections.SLMC sources said that the meeting will see the party propose candidates for the Northern, Central and North Western provincial council elections. While most TNA members feel Mavai Senathirajah is the best candidate since he has been in the North most of his life, others feel Vigneswaran may be best with his legal background. (Colombo Gazette) A rift has arisen in the TNA as to who should be nominated as the Chief Ministerial candidate for the Northern Provincial Council elections. There are reports that while one section of the TNA wants TNA General Secretary Mavai Senathirajah to be nominated there are others who are backing former Supreme Court Judge C.V.Vigneswaran for the post.At least two rounds of discussions have been held among the alliance members on the issue but a consensus has not been reached. Meanwhile the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)  will also have a meeting tomorrow on the Northern elections. read more

Government says it is committed to reconciliation process

The United States expressed support to Sri Lanka in fully implementing the commitments as agreed in the Human Rights Council resolution. Both nations highlighted the growing bilateral cooperation between Sri Lanka and the United States and reaffirmed that the relationship is based on shared values and common goals of the two countries and their peoples.The joint statement said that the Partnership Dialogue demonstrates the consolidation of cooperation between the United States and Sri Lanka and serves to further strengthen and enhance bilateral relations in the widest sense, through regular and structured engagement. Building on a long legacy of support for the Sri Lankan people since 1956, the United States plans to launch several programs to encourage investment in Sri Lanka’s economy, assist the Government in its efforts to institutionalize good governance best practices across key ministries, and support the process of reconciliation and development to which the government and people of Sri Lanka are committed.At the Partnership Dialogue the delegations discussed Sri Lanka’s pivotal geo-strategic location within the Indian Ocean Region and how to strengthen cooperation on issues of regional importance bilaterally and through multilateral organizations like the Indian Ocean Rim Association. The United States encouraged Sri Lankan participation in its Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor initiative to increase economic connectivity among South Asian countries and with Southeast Asia, which is congruent with Sri Lanka’s participation in BIMSTEC and other forums. Both governments affirmed a shared desire to continue to collaborate on issues before the United Nations, including peacekeeping operations. Foreign Minister Samaraweera looks forward to participating in the 2016 Our Ocean Conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by Secretary Kerry, which is to focus on robust commitments to protect our oceans under the four focus areas of marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts on the ocean. (Colombo Gazette) Sri Lanka has emphasized the commitment of the Government to strengthening democracy and democratic practices, good governance, the rule of law, justice, reconciliation, and parliamentary procedures.The commitment was made in a joint statement issued in Washington yesterday on the recently concluded first annual U.S. – Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue held in Washington, D.C. In the joint statement, the United States welcomed the significant progress made in many areas during the past year, especially the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which enabled the setting up of independent commissions, and Sri Lanka’s co-sponsorship of a consensus resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council in September 2015, which demonstrated Sri Lanka’s strength as a nation committed to achieving lasting peace and prosperity inclusive of truth-seeking, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence that includes providing closure to the families of the missing, and implementing appropriate reforms to enhance the professionalism of security institutions. read more

UN peacekeepers increase patrols in tense areas of Côte dIvoire Fréchette arrives

The UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) “reported that gunshots were heard yesterday on the eastern side of the town of Danane, situated a few kilometres from Côte d’Ivoire’s border with Liberia,” Fred Eckhard said at the daily briefing in New York.”UN peacekeepers from the UN Mission in Liberia (UNIMIL) based in Loguato, a town almost opposite Danane on the Liberian side, told the UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire they saw concentrations of unidentified persons around that area,” he added.Meanwhile, UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette carried her message of zero-tolerance of sexual exploitation or abuse by UN peacekeepers to Côte d’Ivoire today, after visiting the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL).She was scheduled to meet President Laurent Gbagbo to review the cooperation between UNOCI and the Government, Mr. Eckhard said.Among the people Ms. Fréchette met in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, were the staff of UNAMSIL and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Mr. Eckhard said.She told UNAMSIL staff that although different types of personnel served in UN missions, they all would be measured “against one set of standards – the UN standards of conduct” and she asked the NGOs to work with UN offices in the West African country to eliminate infractions.As part of its reform strategies, the UN would appoint mission staff members to work on issues of sexual exploitation and would also increase the organization’s capacity to carry out investigations, Mr. Eckhard quoted her as saying. read more

Pfizer will ask FDA to remove black box suicide warning from its

by Matthew Perrone, The Associated Press Posted Sep 24, 2014 9:53 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Pfizer will ask FDA to remove “black box” suicide warning from its anti-smoking medication WASHINGTON – New government-approved labeling on Pfizer’s drug Chantix suggests that the anti-smoking medication may not carry the risks of suicidal behaviour that first earned it the Food and Drug Administration’s strongest warning more than five years ago.The FDA updated the drug’s label Monday to include data from a number of recent studies that found little to no evidence of psychiatric problems or suicidal tendencies in patients taking the twice-a-day tablet.The new labeling represents a victory for Pfizer Inc., which requested the update. Company executives say they will now ask the FDA to completely remove the drug’s so-called “black box” label — the strongest type — which warns prescribers of links to hostility, agitation, depression and suicidal behaviour.“Based on all this new information, a boxed warning is not supported,” said Pfizer senior vice-president, Steve Romano, in an interview with The Associated Press. “The bottom line is that the label needs to reflect the most current understanding of the product’s benefits and risks.”The FDA is convening a panel of its outside experts next month to review the latest data on Chantix’s safety — prompted by Pfizer’s request to update the label. The meeting comes more than a year after New York-based Pfizer paid $275 million to settle some 2,000 lawsuits alleging Chantix caused various psychiatric problems, injuries and suicides.The FDA originally added the boxed warning about suicide in 2009, after receiving dozens of reports of suicide and hundreds of reports of suicidal behaviour among patients taking the smoking-cessation drug.At that time, the FDA also required Pfizer to conduct additional studies to determine the extent of the drug’s psychiatric side effects.The new drug labeling includes results of five Pfizer studies enrolling nearly 2,000 patients which showed no increase in suicidal tendencies based on a medical questionnaire. The FDA also updated the label with results from four large independent studies of between 10,000 and 30,000 Chantix users. Those studies found no difference in self-injury, hospitalization and other serious adverse events between people taking Chantix and those using other quit-smoking aids, including nicotine patches and the medication bupropion.There were several limitations to these larger studies. First, they only recorded problems that resulted in hospitalization, meaning many issues likely went unreported. Additionally, the studies were conducted after news of Chantix’s side effects had been widely reported, which means doctors may have steered patients with a history of psychiatric issues toward the alternate therapies.The new FDA label isn’t all positive. It also contains new information about risks of seizure and interactions with alcohol among Chantix patients.Pfizer’s drug works by binding to the same spots in the brain that are activated by nicotine when people smoke. The drug, known chemically as varenicline, blocks nicotine from binding to those spots and prevents the release of “feel-good” brain chemicals that make smoking so addictive.The FDA first began investigating potential side effects with Chantix in 2007, the year after it hit the market.The drug’s labeling tells patients to stop taking Chantix immediately if they experience agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thinking and other behavioural changes. Doctors are advised to weigh the drug’s risks against its potential benefit of helping patients quit smoking.Chantix had global sales of $648 million last year. That was down about 26 per cent from the drug’s peak sales of $883 million in 2007.Pfizer shares rose 26 cents to $30.31. It shares had slipped almost 2 per cent through Tuesday’s close since the start of the year. read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

by The Canadian Press Posted Mar 23, 2015 3:05 pm MDT Most actively traded companies on the TSX AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Some of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (14,957.21, up 14.80 points):Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. (TSX:HNU). Oil and gas. Down 12 cents, or 2.87 per cent, to $4.06 on 4.5 million shares.B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO). Miner. Up nine cents, or 2.87 per cent, to $3.23 on 4.2 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Down two cents, or 0.79 per cent, to $2.50 on 3.5 million shares.Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. (TSX:COS). Oil and gas. Down 22 cents, or 2.23 per cent to $9.63 on 3.1 million shares.Essential Energy Services Ltd. (TSX:ESN). Oil and gas. Down one cent, or 0.97 per cent, to $1.02 on 3 million shares.Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX:TCK.B). Miner. Up 87 cents, or 4.61 per cent, to $19.75 on 3 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Iamgold Corp. (TSX:IMG). Miner. Up three cents, or 1.13 per cent, to $2.69 on one million shares. The company has signed a deal to sell its Diavik Diamond royalty stream to Sandstorm Gold Ltd. (TSX:SSL) for US$56.8 million. Sandstorm shares closed up 13 cents, or 3.23 per cent, at $4.16 on 217,332 shares.WestJet (TSX:WJA). Airline. Down 42 cents, or 1.38 per cent, to $30.08 on 336,575 shares. The company said it had uncovered a scam involving a deeply discounted airfare offer for travellers headed to an upcoming conference in the United States. WestJet says as many as 100 conference-goers have accepted the offer and paid for the airfare only to discover their ticket was invalid because it was actually bought with a stolen credit card. read more

Selfridges becomes first major department store to ban sale of exotic skins

The most expensive handbag in the world is a crocodile skin Hermes Birkin A crocodile skin handbag, one upon a time, was a sign of great status and wealth, something which could be found in pride of place in London’s most expensive department stores.Now, that era is at an end as Selfridges becomes the first major department store to ban exotic animal skins, following many major fashion houses.The retailer, which banned the sale of fur in 2005, said it prided itself on being a “responsible retailer and a trusted curator of brands”.Python, alligator, crocodile and lizard skins are also disappearing from the catwalk, as Chanel and Victoria Beckham are among those who have banned the material, with  more expected to follow.Selfridges’ buying director Sebastian Manes said: “I am proud to confirm that exotic skins will no longer be available to purchase at Selfridges as of February 2020.”We will continue in our ambition to inspire our brands and customers through thoughtful, ethical and transparent buying strategies.” The most expensive handbag in the world is a crocodile skin Hermes BirkinCredit:REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni  “Selfridges, Victoria Beckham and Chanel banning exotic skins within weeks of each other raises the bar in compassionate fashion and illustrates a shift in the industry towards innovative, high-end animal-free fabrics. We look forward to seeing more designers make the same ethical choice to stop subjecting exotic creatures to cruelty, and leave them in the wild where they belong.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. This move has been welcomed by animal rights activists. Humane Society International Executive Director Claire Bass, said “It is wonderful to see Selfridges end the sale of exotic skins, a move that will save countless crocodiles and snakes from losing their lives.”When Selfridges went fur-free more than a decade ago, it positioned itself as a retailer at the forefront of compassionate fashion. Banning exotic skins in recognition of the serious animal welfare issues that exist in this industry is a natural next step for a responsible retailer. read more

Amerindian Act 2006 PPPC calls for wide consultation on amendments

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedNational Toshaos’ Council blasts Govt for broken promisesJuly 16, 2018In “Environment”Opposition Leader slams Govt over ‘their treatment’ of Guyana’s first peopleSeptember 9, 2017In “latest news”CoI into land titling: PPP supports Toshaos’ Council in calling for repealApril 5, 2017In “latest news” – wants initiatives under LCDS to be addressedAs Amerindian leaders from across Guyana gather for the annual National Toshao Council (NTC) conference which kicks off today (Monday), the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) said it hopes that the conference will ensure that there is clarity and will not harm Amerindian rights and ensures that there is the widest possible consultation in the communities across the country.Flashback: A section of National Toshaos Conference during one of the sessions last yearCiting recent developments, the Opposition said there have been trends under the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government which is aimed at threatening Amerindian rights. The first concern relates to consistent statements made by top Government leaders to have the 2006 Amerindian Act revised.This objective, according to the Opposition, has been further re-enforced by President David Granger in a statement on June 14, 2017, that was published by the Government Information Agency (GINA) with regards to the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Lands.However, there has been no indication of what sections need to be amended, the Opposition noted in a statement on Sunday.“The PPP/C wishes to inform the NTC participants that it will support any amendments which will enhance Amerindian rights. However, it will strongly oppose any amendments that will dilute the rights of our Indigenous Amerindian peoples,” the statement added.The Opposition has expressed worry about the purpose of this push by the Government to revise the 2006 Amerindian Act in the absence of any wide-spread call by the Amerindian peoples and communities to revise this Act. Furthermore, it said any revisions must be subject to consultations with all the Amerindian communities under the principle of “free prior and informed consent” as was done during the process to create and draft the Amerindian Bill.“We have a similar worry with regard to the Government’s sloth in the implementation of the opt-in mechanism for the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). This is critical to maintain the principle of “free prior and informed consent” with Amerindian communities. This fundamental issue requires that the Government commits at this conference to expedite the opt-in mechanism,” it added.The party said participants of the NTC should be well aware that the LCDS was one of the most innovative initiatives by the PPP/C Administration which also received international recognition. It initiated the largest pioneer carbon trading scheme for forest carbons which earned US$250 million revenue and contributed in a significant way to the further development of the country.Unfortunately, the present Government’s repudiation of the LCDS and the initiatives designed to enhance national, and in particular, Amerindian development, according to the PPP/C, has destroyed long years of work at all levels to find a modern inclusive national developmental strategy for the future.It said the Government’s often mooted alternative of a Green Growth Strategy remains a mystery with no specific initiatives to address development. Further to that, the party said by the Government’s refusal to implement the LCDS and its inability to create a viable alternative has, in fact, created an enormous vacuum. As a consequence, the Government has given scant attention to the LCDS’s identified programmes which include multi-year projects, the Amerindian Titling Project and the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF), which are fully funded under the REDD+/GRIF and the Government of Guyana/ Norway Partnership.“These have yielded no results since the change of Government.The end result is that applications for titles and extension of lands to Amerindian peoples and the demarcation of titled lands are now virtually at a stand-still. Whilst the ADF seems to have become susceptible to “cherry-picking” by the Government as to which villages will receive their project funds,” it stated.It also pointed out that the slowing down of all the initiatives of the LCDS, and, in particular the ALT and ADF projects, is a major cause of concern and should be addressed at the conference. The PPP/C said it is critical that the Government provide clarity to the NTC on the future of these projects and how soon they will be addressed.Land CoIAddressing the issue of the controversial Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into land titling, the PPP/C said while it is understood that the CoI work has put on hold the examination of issues relating to Amerindian lands, the NTC should note that there has been no amendment of the gazetted terms of reference of this CoI.Therefore, the Government has not moved from its original objective to examine and scrutinise all Amerindian communal lands titling. The Opposition has therefore encouraged the NTC conference to ensure that the Government is called on to commit to exclude Amerindian land titling from the CoI’s mandate and to revise its TORS accordingly.The PPP noted that there is a growing concern by a number of communities which are already in possession of communal titled land that these could come under threat with regard to the Government’s announcement to establish new NDCs adjacent to, encircling and/or within titled communities in interior regions.In addition to these fears with regard to land rights, there is growing concerns of ethnic and political discrimination. The first such act was the dismissal of 1972 young Amerindian Community Service Officers by the Indigenous Affairs Ministry in July 2015.“This was the single largest ethnic group to have been dismissed from the public service by the new Government. The loss to Amerindian communities across the country by the termination of this large number of young people is enormous; it is estimated that $800 million has been withdrawn from the village economies, and, 10,000 people directly dependent on these persons for their livelihood have been impoverished,” the party stated.After vigorous protests in the media, in the National Assembly and with the international community by the PPP, the Indigenous People’s Affairs Minister promised in August 2015 that the Government would replace the PPP’s CSO Programme with another such employment programme. However, this is yet to be delivered.Furthermore, there have been more casualties along the way – the delivery of health services in the hinterland regions has been plagued with constant shortages of critical and basic medical drugs and supplies, poor management, and bad decisions made at the central Ministry affecting access to these services; and, the maintenance of critical coast to interior and internal road networks has been sadly neglected.The PPP/C said, “We anticipate that many of these issues, including many other concerns, will be deliberated on by and among the NTC participants as well as in the presence of the Government. As the week of discussions unfold it is critical for the Toshaos, Councillors and other representatives to recognise that you have two powerful instruments at your disposal – the Guyana Constitution and the 2006 Amerindian Act.” read more

MACA receives contract boost at Regis Resources Duketon South operations

first_imgContractor MACA is to carry out drilling, blasting, loading and hauling at Regis Resources’ Duketon South operations near Laverton in Western Australia for, at least, another five years.The two companies have extended the open-pit mining services contract as Regis has opened up multiple pits and sites for mining. This will now see MACA mine the Rosemont, Garden Well, Erlistoun, Baneygo, Toohey’s Well and other potential satellites in that region at Regis’ discretion.“The contract is the result of a collaborative approach with Regis, utilising technology to optimise the mine planning across the operations and ensuring the most efficient use of both machinery and human resources,” MACA said.The five-year tenure for MACA starts from July with the option for a further five-year extension. It is expected to generate approximately A$590 million in revenue for MACA over the initial term adding A$231 million work in hand (WIH) beyond what was previously contracted at the Rosemont and Garden Well pits.The Duketon South operations produced a record 361,373 ounces of gold in the 12 months to the end of June.MACA Executive Director Geoff Baker said the new contract would ensure the company is able to invest in more efficient equipment to continue to deliver “quality mining services at the lowest cost to Regis”.MACA’s WIH for its 2019 financial year to the end of June 2019 now stands at A$490 million with A$347 million of this within the mining segment.last_img read more

NSA gathers nearly 5 billion call records a day worldwide

first_imgTHE NATIONAL SECURITY Agency (NSA) is gathering nearly five billion call records a day, allowing it to track the moments of mobile phone users across the world.The Washington Post reports that the NSA gathers information about the locations of hundreds of millions of devices on a daily basis, according to both US officials and documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.The agency collects this information and travel habit data to do what it calls “target development” – finding unknown associates of targets it already knows about.This means that analysts can track phones from anywhere in the world, find out what movements their owners made and discover unknown relationships among the people using them.US officials told the Washington Post that they do not collect phone locations on purpose, but that a large number are swept up “incidentally.”Also, the NSA has no reason to believe that the vast majority of people it tracks are relevant, but collects locations in bulk because its most powerful analytic tools – known collectively as CO-TRAVELER – allows it to look for unknown associates of known targets by tracking people whose movements cross.The chief lawyer for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the NSA, Robert Litt said “there is no element of the intelligence community that under any authority is intentionally collecting bulk cellphone location information about cellphones in the United States.”US officials say that the programs that collect and analyse this data are lawful and only exist to help develop intelligence about foreign targets.Read: Guardian editor defends publication of NSA leaks in the face of tough questioning >Read: NSA ‘tapped into links to Google, Yahoo data centres’ >last_img read more

Putin woos Ukraine President with €11 billion bond deal

first_imgRUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR Putin opened his wallet today in a bid to win his long-running battle with the European Union over Ukraine’s future, saying Moscow would buy €11 billion worth of Ukrainian government bonds and sharply cut the price of natural gas for its economically struggling neighbour.The announcements came after Putin held talks in Moscow with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who is facing massive protests at home for his decision to shelve a pact with the EU in favor of closer ties with Moscow. Russia’s bailout package angered protesters, who immediately accused Yanukovych of selling the country out to the Kremlin and pressed demands for his ouster.Washington said the Kremlin agreements would not address concerns of the demonstrators in Kiev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel dismissed what she described as a “bidding competition” over Ukraine.Putin’s move came as Ukraine said it desperately needs to get at least €7.2 billion in the coming months to avoid bankruptcy. The Fitch ratings agency has given Ukraine’s bonds a B-minus rating, which puts them in “junk bond” territory.Putin sought to calm protesters in Kiev by saying he and Yanukovych didn’t discuss the prospect of Ukraine joining a Moscow-dominated economic bloc they fear will pull their country closer into Russia’s orbit. The protests continue in Kiev today [Ivan Sekretarev/AP/Press Association Images]Yanukovych has maneuvered between Russia and the EU in an apparent in a search for the best possible deal. He has insisted Ukraine still intends to sign the EU agreement, but wants to negotiate better conditions.But neither Putin nor Yanukovych mentioned the possibility today and they didn’t take questions, suggesting they were keeping their messaging tightly-controlled.Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said after the Kremlin talks that Russia would purchase €11 billion in Ukraine’s Eurobonds starting this month. The money will come from Russia’s rainy day National Welfare Fund which accumulates oil and gas revenues.Putin emphasized that Russia’s decision to buy the Ukrainian securities wasn’t contingent on Kiev freezing social payments to its citizens — a clear jab at the International Monetary Fund, which has pushed Ukraine to reduce spending as a condition for providing a bailout loan.Read: “America stands with you,” John McCain tells Ukraine protestersExplainer: What exactly is going on in Ukraine? > Read: Demonstrators topple Lenin statue in giant Ukraine protest >last_img read more

Lopetegui Real Madrid expect a stronger Roma

first_imgReal Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui expects AS Roma to be stronger than they were last season heading into Wednesday’s Champions League clashLos Blancos will begin the defence of their European crown by hosting a Roma side that knocked out fellow Spanish sides Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in last season’s competition.However, the Giallorossi have only won a single Serie A game this term and currently lie in ninth-place in the league table after four games.But Lopetegui is taking nothing for granted ahead of his Champions League debut.“Debuting in the Champions League gives me pride, responsibility and a lot of enthusiasm,” Lopetegui said at a Press conference.“I won’t explain what Real Madrid are for the Champions League and the Champions League is for Madrid.“Roma knocked Atletico out of the Champions League last season and then eliminated Barca.James Rodriguez, Real MadridZidane hails ‘quality’ James Rodriguez after Real Madrid’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane reserved special praise for James Rodriguez after his starring role in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win over Levante.“I expect a better Roma than last season. We expect to face an intense and aggressive team.”Real Madrid are aiming to win the Champions League for a fourth successive season.Although they will have to make do without star man Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Zinedine Zidane.“We’re focused on the players who are still here and we’re all ready to compete on all fronts,” said Lopetegui.“More pressure after three Champions Leagues? Firstly you must take your hat off to Madrid, their squad and Zidane. There is absolute recognition on my part.“Pressure on me? You have to face each competition with ambition and enthusiasm. Pressure always exists at Madrid.”last_img read more

Crime spree suspect in court

first_imgPORTLAND — The Salmon Creek man who allegedly robbed two Clark County banks and led police on a 90-minute chase in June pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree robbery in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Tuesday.Brent Woodall, 29, a former bodybuilder and fitness trainer, agreed to spend two years on probation and to be extradited to Clark County, where he faces seven felony charges.In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop two charges of attempting to elude, one a felony, the other a misdemeanor, said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Glen Banfield.“Part of what we were trying to work out was an expedited plea, so we could get him over here to Clark County,” Banfield said.The Portland robbery charge relates to an attempted carjacking Woodall made a few minutes before he was apprehended by Portland police.“He’s definitely looking at much more time in Clark County than he is in Multnomah County,” Banfield said.In Clark County, Woodall is accused of robbing Riverview Community Bank in Hazel Dell and the Bank of America on Auto Mall Drive on the afternoon of June 20 — his 29th birthday. He also is accused of several attempted carjackings and a successful one, and a hit-and-run crash while fleeing from police.last_img read more

Altercation at Miami gas station ends in gunfire

first_imgAll streets have been reopened and traffic is flowing normally. — Miami PD (@MiamiPD) August 15, 2019 Roads in the area were shut down but have since reopened.Please check back on and 7News for more details on this developing story.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.center_img MIAMI (WSVN) – Police are investigating after an altercation at a Miami gas station escalated into a shooting.City of Miami Police responded to a Valero gas station near North Miami Avenue and 72nd Street just before 12:30 p.m., Thursday.Officials said there was an altercation between two people at the gas station when one of them attempted to flee the scene.The other person followed behind before they were both stopped by a train passing in the area of Northwest Second Avenue and 59th Terrace.Shots were fired, and one victim was grazed by a bullet.It is unknown if the victim has been transported from the scene.last_img read more

RBIs Reference Rate for Dollar Today

first_imgThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 49.6445 rupees and the euro 65.7995 rupees.The corresponding rates of dollar and euro for the previous day (February 9, 2012) were 49.2895 rupees and 65.5895 rupees respectively.Based on the reference rate for the US dollar and middle rates of the cross-currency quotes, the exchange rates of British pound as against the rupee is 78.3539 as against 78.0992 on the previous day (February 9, 2012) and that of Japanese yen is 63.94 as against 63.86 the previous day.last_img

Butt Sniffin Pugs is Like Animal Crossing Only With Cute Dogs

first_img Covert Dock for Nintendo Switch Fits in Your PocketRugged BlackBerry Clone With QWERTY Keyboard Hits Kickstarter Stay on target When it comes to Kickstarter campaigns for video games, we should all be a little skeptical since so many have either been canceled or not given backers what they wanted. With that said, not all gaming Kickstarters are doomed to fail. A new Kickstarter for a decidedly adorable game went up last week that has the potential to be a big hit for people who want to get away from games that have you blasting stuff away with a gun.Butt Sniffin Pugs (a game we got to check out at this year’s IndieCade) is a project by husband and wife team, Gabe and Michelle Telepak, and with lead developer, Theory Georgiou. It is inspired by games such as Animal Crossing, Kirby, and Neko Atsune: Kitty Collector. This butt sniffing simulator is meant to be one of the most inclusive games out there. Kids, parents and even those with disabilities can play and enjoy this title.Every dog is different and players will be able to create their own unique dog thanks to the canine creator. Right now, only small canine breeds can be customized. However, if the game meets some of its higher stretch goals, the devs want to make it possible for people to make any dog breed they like. The tools are already in place so it’s just a matter of funding at this point.As of the time of this writing, the game has earned $31,301 of its $60,000 goal. Tiers range from $20 to $1,500. This last tier comes with a mini pug trackball controller that is manufactured by IndieBox. As you saw from the video above, this is the best way to play the game. Those who don’t go all in with the last tier will still get plenty of goodies from the lesser tiers. These include t-shirts, stickers, a game guide, the original soundtrack, a pug plushie, and more.As I said before when it comes to backing a game on Kickstarter, one should be cautious and go in with the understanding that whatever game you back may not ever be released. Butt Sniffin Pugs could be another Kickstarter cautionary tale, but for now at least, it seems to have enough support that it should see the light of day eventually. If successful, expect Butt Sniffin Pugs on Mac, PC, and PS4.last_img read more

Relying on mother nature to fuel its sails every

first_img Relying on mother nature to fuel its sails, every journey through the Mamanuca Islands will depend on the warm tropical breeze and sea conditions, creating a unique sailing experience every day.Each daily sailing experience will take up to 80 passengers, meanwhile for group, charter and evening events, the catamaran will cater for 100+ passengers.Onboard guests can expect a carefully curated gourmet buffet, featuring seasonal cuisine from local Fiji producers that will be complemented by signature cocktails and a selection of beers and premium wines.The vessel will feature a large shade canopy with seating options including daybeds and beanbags.More information will be available on in due course. Go back to the e-newsletter Go back to the e-newsletter Want to be in the luxury travel know? Subscribe to our free eNewsletter here to keep up to date with everything in the luxury travel industry. South Sea Cruises will launch a new product to add to its award winning portfolio of brands: a sparkling new 78-foot luxury catamaran that will sail through Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands under the newly established brand, South Sea Sailing.Earmarked to debut in June 2020, South Sea Sailing will bring a new high-end day sailing experience to Fiji. Currently under construction offshore by leading French company Ocean Voyager, the luxury catamaran will be the first of its kind to sail in the Southern Hemisphere. The yet-to-be-named vessel will have a light weight and shallow draught, providing easy access to sand cays, white-sand beaches and Fiji’s turquoise waters via forward steps and water slide.last_img read more

Related Incheon International named worlds best a

first_img RelatedIncheon International named world’s best airportSeoul Incheon International airport has replaced Hong Kong International as the world’s best airport10 airports which make long layovers a breezeToday’s airports are no longer people-packed holding cells. They’re all-singing, all-dancing affairs, with the world’s finest restaurants alongside libraries, clubs and spas. And if your flight gets cancelled or your plane’s delayed, these are the airports where you’ll want to get stuck!More Brits travelling on flights to ArubaIncreasing numbers of British holidaymakers travelled on flights to Aruba during the first nine months of this year. UK passenger numbers in Hong Kong are surging, surpassing the 600,000 mark for the first time last year, according to reports.The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has claimed that the increase in 2007 was more than 16 per cent over the figure from 2006. Flights to the country from the UK have increased dramatically, while the HKTB admits it is hoping to build on the number this year and is already preparing its trade activity.Meanwhile overall passenger numbers in Hong Kong have also risen, hitting a record 28.1 million last year, up some 11.6 per cent on 2006.According to, HKTB executive director Anthony Lau said: “2007 was an exceptional year for the UK market to Hong Kong, and we are confident of building on this success in the coming 12 months. Hong Kong’s role as host city for the Olympic Equestrian events will ensure a high profile, and with consumer focus on China Hong Kong is well placed to achieve even more touring business.”ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more

Deposits loans drop in September CBC says

first_imgFunds deposited in the Cypriot banking system dropped by €164.9m to €49bn in September as the amount of outstanding loans dropped by €134.6bn to €52.6bn, the lowest in nine years, the Central Bank of Cyprus said.The amount on deposits fell in September in a month mainly on withdrawals by other financial intermediaries and non-financial corporations worth €192.4m and €39.8m which fell to €6.1bn and €11.3bn respectively, the bank supervisor said in a statement on its website on Thursday. The drop was partly offset by a €45.1m and €21.7m increase in the funds deposited by households and Insurance and pension funds to €28.6bn and €2bn, also respectively.Other financial intermediaries were also mainly responsible for the overall deleveraging as the loans extended to them fell by €108m in September to €8.7bn, the central bank said. Households repaid €61.9m in loans and insurance and pension funds €0.5m reducing their overall balance to €21.8bn and €13.8m respectively. Banks extended €41m in fresh loans to non-financial corporations which increased the total amount of credit to companies to €21.3bn.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research Best Compact SUV CarYahoo SearchUndoHepatitis C Treatments I Search AdsResearch About Hepatitis C – The Early Signs Of Hepatitis CHepatitis C Treatments I Search AdsUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Saratu has been in

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