About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd legend Robson praises caretaker Solskjaerby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United legend Bryan Robson has sung the praises of caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Robson has been with the squad for their warm-weather training camp in Dubai this week and praised the way Solskjaer is getting the best out of them.“Since he’s come into the club he’s been really positive with what he’s been saying and the way he wants the team to play,” said Robson.“The atmosphere seems to be really upbeat around the squad and they’re enjoying the type of work he’s doing. “Obviously, winning five games on the bounce is great for confidence and put a smile back on everyone’s faces.”
Inter Milan director Ausilio: Palmeiras wanted to sell us Gabriel Jesusby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveInter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio admits they came close to signing Manchester City attacker Gabriel Jesus.Ausilio says Palmeiras were willing to sell them the Brazil international.“We were negotiating with Gabriel Jesus for a month,” Ausilio told Sky Sport Italia.“Our offer was also better than Manchester City’s. Palmeiras preferred to sell him to us but the lad, through his agents, let us know that he preferred to play for Guardiola.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Juventus goalscorer Higuain: We won with great character and determinationby Carlos Volcano18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJuventus goalscorer Gonzalo Higuain was delighted with the manner of victory over Inter Milan.The Argentine came off the bench to score the winner in the 2-1 triumph.“It was a great game from Juve. Inter were the most solid side in the league, they had won six out of six,” Pipita told Sky Sport Italia.“We played with great character and determination. I am glad we took it home.“This is a great start to the season, but it’s still early and we want to fight on all fronts.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Harry Winks: Spurs players behind the managerby Paul Vegas18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveHarry Winks says Tottenham Hotspur’s squad are sticking by Mauricio Pochettino.The Argentine is under pressure to keep his job after Saturday’s loss to Brighton, leaving the club with a record of three wins from 11 games this season.But Winks believes Pochettino has the complete support of his playing squad.”He’s our manager. He’s been fantastic ever since he’s been at the club and taken the club to new heights,” Winks said.”At the moment we are going through a bit of a rough patch. That happens in football, every club goes through it.”It’s important we stand up as men and get through these dark times, and hopefully we can get back to playing well and winning as much as we can.”In the last six years we have come such a long way, we have become a title-challenging side. But we haven’t shown it this season, we have only shown it in parts.”In certain games we have played really well but for the majority of this season we haven’t shown what we are about.”It’s important we look back on it and reflect so realise it’s not been good enough, no excuses. The only way we can put it right is back in training and the next match.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
New Delhi: Welcoming the Supreme Court’s decision on electoral bonds, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury Friday said the apex court had “demolished” the stand taken by the BJP-led NDA government on the issue. The Supreme Court Friday did not stop political funding through electoral bonds but brought several checks on it to bring transparency by directing all political parties to furnish receipts of amounts received and details of identity of donors in a sealed cover to the Election Commission. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ In an interim order, the apex court also directed all political parties to provide details of the amount of the bond and bank account of donors by May 30 to the poll panel. “Supreme Court demolishes stance taken by Modi, Jaitley & BJP – which had pushed this as a Money bill, for opaque, secret Electoral bonds. The court says transparency is the basic principle of electoral funding. People have a right to know which party got how much, and from whom,” Yechury tweeted. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The Centre and the Election Commission had taken contrary stands in the Supreme Court on Wednesday over political funding, with the government wanting to maintain anonymity of donors of electoral bonds and the poll panel batting for revealing names of donors for transparency. “Anonymity pushed by BJP is on the way out. Donors of black money via this route will be scared to fund from here on. Today EC has the data. Tomorrow the public will also have it,” Yechury wrote on Twitter.
London: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said prior to the humiliating 4-0 thrashing by Everton there would not be wholesale changes to Manchester United personnel in the close season, but Gary Neville, for one, believes he should think again. United’s millionaire stars such as Paul Pogba and David de Gea put up a display described by the British press on Monday as “abject”, “an apology” for a performance, with the team derided as being generally “rudderless” and “spineless”. However, whilst it came five years to the day when a 2-0 defeat by the same opponents cost David Moyes his job, it is not Solskjaer who is being targeted but the under-performing Pogba and his team-mates. The World Cup-winning midfielder, after a series of encouraging performances when Solskjaer first assumed the reins in December, has returned to being the non-existent presence so often the focus of Jose Mourinho’s ire — although it was the Portuguese coach who was sacrificed. His and Nemanja Matic’s failure to shore up midfield has been a contributing factor to United’s miserable run of six defeats in their last eight games and five successive away losses — their worst run on the road since 1981. Seldom can a Manchester derby — they host title-chasing City on Wednesday — have been less eagerly anticipated by United fans. Neville, United to the core and an integral member of Alex Ferguson’s side that accrued eight Premier League crowns and two Champions League trophies, was excoriating in his criticism of the players. “If you’ve got weeds in the garden, you’ve got to get rid of them,” said Neville, who has become a respected pundit for Sky Sports. “There’s some Japanese knotweed at that football club and it’s attacking the foundations of the house. It needs dealing with properly. “I don’t need to name names, you know who they are.” Former England international midfielder Jermaine Jenas, who has also turned to punditry since hanging up his boots, turned on the players as well.The 36-year-old said such is the negativity in the team that even the younger talents have been sucked into the vortex of supine performances. “They showed no heart, no desire and no will to win. They were woeful,” Jenas wrote in his column for the BBC website. “Everyone was guilty. “Even Marcus Rashford, who has got one of the best attitudes of anyone at the club, got sucked in by what I would describe as a vacuum of negativity.” United fans may be wondering if the board jumped the gun in giving Solskjaer the job on a permanent basis — as the subsequent results appear to be reflective more of his unsuccessful stint in charge of Cardiff. Indeed, just as his and the team’s fortunes have dipped, the man who was seen as his major rival for the job has seen his stock rise. Mauricio Pochettino’s star has sparkled again thanks to Tottenham’s epic win over Manchester City in the Champions League. But Neville has been slow to criticise his former team-mate Solskjaer. The man dubbed ‘Red Nev’ after he led a players’ strike with England due to their anger over Rio Ferdinand being dropped because of a missed drugs test, took to the barricades when another unloved former United boss, Louis van Gaal, criticised Solskjaer a few weeks ago. Van Gaal said Solskjaer was like Mourinho in parking the bus and relying on the counter-attack, only he was more popular because the results were going in his favour.
Swedish cable operator Com Hem’s board has agreed to launch a share buyback programme totaling SEK1.5 billion (€160 million) over the next year.The buyback will enable Com Hem to distribute funds to shareholders. Together with an ordinary dividend of SEK1 per share, the programme means that Com Hem has allocated SEK1.7 billion to be repaid to its shareholders.Com Hem’s share capital will be reduced by cancelling the shares that has been repurchased.
In This Issue. * It’s pretty much an all-out assault by the dollar today! * Chinese & Swedish PMI’s are weaker but above 50. * The BOJ’s QE announcement sinks yen! * The Narrowing thing. It’s Tricky! And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. China Begins To Take Baby Steps Toward A Convertible Renminbi! Good Day!… And a Marvelous Monday to you! OUCH! Brother am I hurting all over today, as I used muscles yesterday that haven’t been used in a while! We had two semi-large trees fall in the back of our property, down by the creek (probably the work of beavers!), and for the last two weeks I had been cutting it up, a little bit at a time, so as not to wear myself out, but yesterday, I had the help of Jerry and then neighbor, Paul, and we banged out the whole shootin’ match! So, now I have a huge pile of wood ready for splitting. I’ll leave that for Alex to do. (I’ll have a heart attack IF he actually does it! HAHAHAHA!) There’s some BIG news from China to talk about this morning, but first, I need to tell you that the dollar is in an all-out assault mood this morning, with 95% of the currencies, including Gold, looking at losses this morning, and the few without losses are flat, but could turn negative in a NY Minute, so it’s all about the dollar this morning, especially if you check out the cable news who are dropping the ball BIG Time on the China news, but that’s their problem, not mine, for I’m going to give it to you right here! This weekend, the Chinese Gov’t announced that the renminbi will become directly convertible with the Singapore dollar, effective this morning. Folks, I don’t care if the Cable News or The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) or Reuters don’t care to talk about this development, it’s HUGE news any way you look at it! I saw this, and said to myself, “Self, is this the first step in a freely convertible renminbi? Why, I do believe that’s what’s going on here, Self!” I told you all previously that I thought that China was really stepping up the pace of their move to replace the dollar as the reserve currency, and this just confirms that thought! I see this going along much like China went about gaining a wider distribution of their currency by signing currency swap agreements with one country at a time. I see them doing the same type of one country at a time, move with convertibility of their currency, until it’s fully convertible all over the world. This won’t happen overnight folks. The first currency swap agreements were signed in 2008. There was other news from China over the weekend, as the latest Gov’t version of the Manufacturing Index (PMI) printed, and was not as strong as I thought it would be. The index number was still safely above the 50 level at 50.8, but a number north of 51 was expected, and so, it was more of the moving along slowly for the Chinese economy, but not stopping for rest, just moving along slowly. Sort of like me in the backyard yesterday! HA! And since the dollar was taking liberties against most currencies overnight, the Chinese decided to weaken the renminbi / yuan, using the weaker than expected PMI as their excuse for doing so. They didn’t make a Big deal out of the direct convertibility of the renminbi with Singapore, as I’m sure they would have liked for no one to notice. The U.S. news agencies complied, eh? And get this. The man who is the chief executive officer (CEO) of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, Yngve Slynstad, says that even though assets from China only make up about 1.5% of the $860 Billion Norwegian Wealth Fund’s portfolio, he believes that almost all investment decisions are affected by what happens in China. He didn’t say the U.S., Japan, the Eurozone, the U.K., he said China. Makes you sit back and think about all the things I’ve told you regarding China over the years, they all seem to be coming true, don’t they? Well. So, it’s all about the all-out assault by the dollar today. UGH! That’s crazy, I don’t care what side of the fence you’re on, how in the world can traders and investors take the dollar to this all-out assault mode today? I explained last week how QE 1, 2 & 3, isn’t going to end quietly, that the Fed had announced that when bonds that they bought and hold, mature, they will take the proceeds and invest in another bond. Thus keeping the Fed’s balance sheet at more than $4 Trillion, and allowing them to keep their hands in the bond markets’ cookie jar. But that’s not the only thing on my mind today regarding the currencies, so, let’s open this can of beans and see what’s inside, eh? Well, last week the Bank of Japan (BOJ) Gov. Kuroda, really opened Pandora’s Box of currency losses for the yen, and the bleeding hasn’t stopped yet. On Friday, we saw a whole 2 figure loss in yen, and overnight we’ve seen another 2 whole figure loss in yen. I was talking with a trader friend on Friday, and I told her that when I started in this business 22 years ago, yen was 124. And the way things were going, it wouldn’t surprise me to see it there again, with the way the Japanese Gov’t and BOJ keep pushing it downward. I find this downward move in yen to be quite interesting, as it wasn’t that long ago, that people kept talking about what a miracle it was that Japan had twin deficits, (Current and National Gov’t) but yet the yen was still strong, and why couldn’t that be the same for the dollar? Uh-Oh. Looks like that “miracle” has been shattered, just like the one here in the U.S. with our twin deficits and a stronger currency will be eventually. It takes a while for the markets to get out of bad habits and wake up to smell the coffee, but eventually they do, and when they do, they go at it with a vengeance, like they are doing with yen right now. There comes a time when the markets realize what I’ve been telling you for a while now, that Japan is a basket case. Of course I’ve not been a fan of what’s going on with the twin deficits in the U.S., but we’re not here with yen, just yet. But also remember what I’ve been telling you for quite a few years now. That the U.S. is turning Japanese, yes, I really think so. I loved this quote from David Stockman. He said that “The BOJ had jumped the shark tank and now the Machines, Madmen and Morons are Raging”. Whoa, there David, I would love to say those things, but I get my hands slapped, but as long as you say them, we’re good to go! So, keep the quotables coming! The Aussie and New Zealand dollars (A$ and kiwi respectively) are both on the downswing this morning. Last week it was the interest rate differentials helping the currencies like A$ and kiwi, real, ruble, and rand, but that tricky wording that the Fed used in their press conference on Wednesday last week, got the dollar bugs thinking that these interest rate differentials will soon be narrowed. One of my wife’s fave songs, is (to me a strange choice, but to each his own) the song: It’s Tricky. You know, It’s Tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time, It’s Tricky. And that’s how I feel about the stuff going on in these two currencies. The key here is that the dollar bugs think the interest rate differential will be “narrowing” soon. Hmmm. That does NOT mean that the interest rate differential that the currency owns over the dollar is going away, it simply means it could be getting “narrowed”, and for that reason alone, the dollar bugs are all over the place now? It’s Tricky folks. The 1.5% rate hike that the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), pulled off last week, helped the ruble one day, and since then it has been of no help, as the ruble continues to slide further and further downward. There’s a fragile peace in Russia and Ukraine and winter is beginning in the region. I just don’t see how the fragile peace that’s there now will be threatened, as the bitter cold, snow, and winter weather sets in. In fact, I would think that given the weather, the fragile peace could grow stronger. I’m grasping at straws here folks, as I’m looking for something, anything that would wrap a tourniquet around the ruble. Shoot Rudy, if adding 1.5% in a rate hike can’t give the ruble any more love than a one day and done shot, you can see why I’m grasping at straws. The Swedish krona is flat today, which is strange given all the bad news that has come out of Sweden lately, and with the dollar taking liberties against the currencies. We also saw Sweden’s PMI (manufacturing index) drop from 52.5 in September to 52.1 in October. Sure it was still well over the line in the sand number of 50, but it did weaken, which should not have been a reason for the krona to buck the dollar’s all-out assault today. But it is, what it is, and I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, eh? The Brazilian real is opening up this morning with a bee in its bonnet. So, it’s nice to see that the “Narrowing rate differential” talk for the dollar isn’t carrying any weight here in Brazil. Recall that the Brazilian Central Bank (BCB) hike rates last week, and I went out on a limb and said that I expected rate hikes at the next 4 meetings, and I guess the markets are figuring that out about now too, so the real bucks the trend of the dollar’s all-out assault this morning. I’m seeing a data print flash on the Bloomberg this morning. Apparently, Honda, Rocktober Auto Sales were up 5.8%… Unfortunately, the estimates were for an increase of 7.7%… So, 5.8% is nice, but it’s not 7.7%, eh? The U.S. Data Cupboard was gloomy on Friday. Personal Spending fell -.2% in September, disappointing those that thought it would increase .2%, and those that thought August’s .5% was the beginning of a strong economy, after printing flat in July. As long as personal consumption / spending is responsible for over 70% of GDP, this is not good news. And one could actually say that since August was a “back to school” month, with lots of spending going on, that the 3rd QTR spending was atrocious. I know, I know, long time readers are saying right now, but Chuck. You used to get upset when we spent more than we made, and now that’s no longer a problem, you say we’re not spending enough! Ahhh grasshopper. Yes, I don’t like it when we spend more than we make, and looking at the Personal Income data, it certainly wasn’t very good either, rising .2% in September. But, here’s the kicker. Personal Income should be much higher and each month should be more than the Spending component. except maybe in August, December, and April. So, the data is all whacked-out as far as I’m concerned, and right now the problem, as the markets see it is, there’s not enough spending for the economy to grow, which goes along well with the disappointing Retail Sales data we’ve also seen lately. And last Friday (Halloween), I told you that Gold had fallen below $1,200. Well the slide continues this morning, and Silver has a $16 handle, which is better than on Friday when it was a $15 handle.. I have to say that these downward drops in the commodity prices seem to be overdone, by quite a bit. Usually when you see stuff like this, you see a bounce-back. We are well below the production costs of Gold, and remember the story I told you a week or so ago, about the head of the largest Silver producer, saying he was not selling the Silver he produces until he breaks the paper trading manipulators? Well, eventually a there has to be a shortage of supply problem. Geez I would love for his plan to work, now that would be something, and I wouldn’t nominate him for leader of the free world! HA! There is some good news in the metals this morning though, as Platinum and Palladium are booking gains VS the dollar. These two have gotten caught up in the Gold price drop, and they should have been. They are dual metals with investment and industrial uses, and shouldn’t get brought down when the price manipulators go after Gold. Well, that’s my thought and I’m sticking to it! Before I head to the Big Finish today. I wanted to point out what a great job, my longtime friend, and Big Boss, Frank Trotter, did with the Sunday Pfennig & Pfriends piece yesterday. He laid out the fallacy of a cheap currency. Something I’ve tried to get across in these pages for many a year to you dear readers, but leave it to the Big Boss, to drive the point home, in stunning style. For What It’s Worth. Well, this is more or less more of me here. Frank was talking about the cheap currency fallacy yesterday, and that got me thinking about the cheap Oil price fallacy. Sure, everyone is jumping up and clicking their heals right now because the price of gas at the pumps is dropping. for now. You see there’s a major problem brewing in our Oil shale production. There have been 19 shale rigs that have already gone offline just last week! What you have here is the same thing going on in Gold. The price of Oil has fallen very near below the cost to produce it. Fracking Operations have a cost of $75 a barrel, and this morning, the price of Oil is $80 and change. So, while we were on our way here with something good (cheaper gas prices, from cheaper oil prices), the getting’s not going to last. Then we’ll have to import more Oil and guess what our friends (NOT!) at OPEC will do with the price of Oil? So, with just about anything in life, we have to be careful with what we wish for, eh? To Recap. The Big News from China this weekend is being glossed over here in the U.S. because it’s not about the mid-term elections tomorrow! But China announced that beginning today, they will allow direct convertibility of the renminbi with Singapore dollars. Just a first baby step to full convertibility. And what Chuck things is a one-country at a time deal for convertibility of the renminbi. Chinese PMI was weaker but still above 50, and Sweden’s PMI was also weaker but above 50. the U.S. Data Cupboard had some very weak spending data on Friday, so scary for the economy, it deserved to print on Halloween! And Gold continues to slide, and to Chuck it appears to be overdone at this point. Currencies today 11/1/14. American Style: A$ .8715, kiwi .7755, C$ .8860, euro 1.2495, sterling 1.6005, Swiss $1.0365, . European Style: rand 11.0330, krone 6.7725, SEK 7.3810, forint 247.05, zloty 3.3755, koruna 22.2430, RUB 43.35, yen 113.70, sing 1.2890, HKD 7.7550, INR 61.40, China 6.1525, pesos 13.49, BRL 2.4750, Dollar Index 87.18, Oil $80.70, 10-year 2.32%, Silver $16.12, Platinum $ 1,242.00, Palladium $807.50, and Gold. $1,171.77 That’s it for today. Whew! Our lambs, I mean Rams, pulled out a win in a crazy ending to the game yesterday. And my beloved Missouri Tigers won on Saturday, moving them into first place in the SEC East, as Florida upset Georgia at EverBank Field in Jacksonville! I didn’t have many Trick-or-Treaters on Friday night, bummer! And it was pretty chilly sitting outside, by myself waiting for them to come, but very few made it up the driveway to the front porch. Little Delaney Grace was Anna from Frozen, and her little brother was Olaf, the snowman from the same movie. Cute as can be! And Braden finally got with the program and put on his Batman costume, but refused to wear the cape! (hey, he had to win something with that fight!) All of them were very cute! I hope your Halloween was grand. Went to breakfast with my good friend Duane on Saturday and ran into our old colleague, John Kaupisch! He looked great, as retirement has agreed with him. He said, he “highly recommends retirement”. Both Duane and Chuck laughed because we were both talking about that before John walked up to us! Alrighty then, I hope I didn’t miss any birthdays or anything like that. it’s time to get this out the door. I hope you have a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets
— • A critical vote in Italy today could be that pin… That’s why you need to act now. You may be exposed to this toxic financial waste without even knowing it. My friend, mentor, and globetrotting colleague Doug Casey thinks the situation in Italy is just the beginning of a disaster much worse than the 2007–2009 global financial crisis. Here’s Doug: I expect a truly major banking crisis. Much worse than that of 2007–2009. Governments, who are all bankrupt, borrow money from commercial banks. Commercial banks have lent it to them because they believe it’s a risk-free loan. Governments encourage them to lend recklessly, hoping that will jump-start sluggish economies. Central banks, which are the arms of their governments, have taken interest rates to zero and below for that reason and to make it easier for governments to service their debts. This policy has encouraged businesses to take on debt. It’s an idiotic and reckless experiment that will end—likely in this cycle—with bankrupt central banks and governments bailing out bankrupt commercial banks and businesses. Just the way they did in 2007–2009. Except this time, the situation is much more serious. How to profit? Don’t own European companies, stocks or bonds, and banks in particular. In fact, even though they’re already down considerably, they’re going lower and are excellent candidates for short sales, or the sale of naked calls. I agree with Doug. The European banks most exposed to the looming crisis in Italy are excellent short-sale candidates. To hone in on the best options, I looked at which European banks hold a lot of Italian government bonds. According to the German media, French banks are the most exposed by a wide margin. They have over $275 billion worth of Italian sovereign debt on their balance sheets. Germany is next, with $90 billion, followed by Spain, with $45 billion. If you own any of the European bank stocks listed below, I recommend selling them immediately. Even though their share prices have all taken serious hits recently, they’re still great short-sale candidates. You only have a short window to act… Today, Italy is voting on a crucial referendum. It’s almost certain to fail. And that will probably be the pin that pricks this super bubble. Doug and I just released an urgent video on this issue with all the details. Click here to watch it now. It ends at midnight tonight, get started NOW Today – December 4 – Italian citizens will vote on their own version of Brexit. If they vote no like British voters did, it could spell the end of the European Union itself. Since the EU is the world’s largest economy, its fall will instantly affect your investments and savings. The first domino was Brexit, the second domino was Trump’s election, and this Italy vote will be the third domino in the global wave of discontent. This crisis promises to make a few lucky speculators insanely rich, but you need to get prepared before midnight tonight. Here’s the entire story so you can prepare right now… – Recommended Links Editor’s note: You may be exposed to toxic financial waste without even knowing it. In today’s essay, Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno details the super bubble that’s set to pop at any moment. Read on to learn what you should be doing now…and why there’s only a small window left to prepare. By Nick Giambruno, editor, Crisis Investing Italian government bonds are in a super bubble. They are primed to collapse soon. Italy has one of the most indebted governments in the world. It’s borrowed over $2.4 trillion, and its debt-to-GDP ratio is north of 130%. (For comparison, the US debt-to-GDP ratio is 104%.) But the situation is actually much worse. GDP measures a country’s economic output. However, it’s highly misleading. Mainstream economists count government spending as a positive when calculating GDP. A more honest approach would count government spending as a big negative. In Italy, government spending accounts for a whopping 50%-plus of GDP. A more accurate debt-to-GDP ratio would exclude government spending from economic output. I suspect that figure would reveal the Italian government’s hopeless insolvency. I don’t see how it’s possible for the Italian government to extract enough in taxes from the productive part of the economy to ever pay back what it’s borrowed. • Yet Italian government bonds are trading near record-low yields… It’s a bizarre and perverse situation. Over $1 trillion worth of Italian bonds actually have negative yields. That’s completely insane. Given the huge risks associated with lending money to the bankrupt Italian government, the yields on Italian sovereign bonds should be near record highs, not record lows. Source: Zero Hedge Italian government bonds are, without a doubt, in super-bubble territory. It won’t be long before a pin pricks it and… pop. Will Bonner: “We’re sharing our family’s next big gold investment” In the past, Bill Bonner hasn’t discussed his specific gold investments. But for the first time, he’s agreed to “open up his gold portfolio” and reveal exactly where he’s about to invest in gold next through his family trust. Click here for all the details. France—Société Générale (SCGLY) France—BNP Paribas (BNPQY) Germany—Deutsche Bank (DB) Spain—Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) Spain—Banco Santander (SAN)
Most snowshoes in the United States are probably in storage right now, gathering dust and waiting for temperatures to drop. In the town of Lake Tomahawk in the Northwoods of Wisconsin though, they’re getting a lot of use this summer.Snowshoe baseball is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a game of baseball played on snowshoes, though it more closely resembles a bizarre game of softball. Every Monday night in the summer—and on the 4th of July—hundreds of tourists and residents gather to cheer on players who strap on snowshoes and hit a large softball around a field of wood chips. This has been going on since 1961, when then town chairman Ray Sloan came up with the idea to turn the game into a spectator sport capable of entertaining both summer tourists and town residents. An earlier version of the game was played on frozen lakes. Hence, the snowshoes.Admission is free, but slices of homemade pie cost $2. The pie is a big deal here, too. On any given night you can find 40 different flavors.Sheila Punches says that “they come for the pie and stay for the game.” She’s been coming to games since the 1970s and she says pie is one way she measures its popularity.”There was a time when 30 pies was enough,” she says. “Then it was 40, 50, 60, 70 … 100 pies is not too many pies to have. I think somebody said they had 160 pies last week for the 4th of July.”Pie flavors range from the traditional — Raspberry Rhubarb or Apple — to the more unique: Banana Split, Margarita, and even Sawdust, featuring graham crackers and coconut flakes.The game starts with a rendition of the national anthem by the local barbershop chorus. Then local commentators Adam Lau and Jimmy Soyck lead the way. In a recent game, someone takes a swing, misses the ball, and switches bats. “Oh, it’s the bat,” says Soyck into his microphone.”It’s always the bat’s fault,” agrees Lau.Then when the player does hit the ball, he trips right after leaving home plate. The crowd audibly cheers, then sighs. This hilarious scene is all too common, especially for newer players. Soyck says you can’t run in snowshoes. It’s all in the shuffle.”You gotta shuffle your feet. You can’t pick them up,” he says. “If you pick them up, you’re going over. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.”The game carries on this way until about the 7th inning, when one lucky batter gets a disguised cantaloupe thrown to him instead of a ball. When the batter makes contact, he immediately scatters the baseball field with pieces of melon.”When that thing hits, it splatters everywhere,” says Jeff Smith, who coaches the Snow Hawks, the home team. “It’s painted to look pretty much like those balls out there, and the batter isn’t supposed to know until he hits it.” It’s easy to laugh at the idea of people playing softball on snowshoes in the middle of the summer, but fan Phil Hejtmanek says there are a lot of talented players here.”The funny thing is these guys are really good,” he says. “You figure ‘oh, the outfielders aren’t going to be able to make any plays,’ but just you wait.”Coach Jeff Smith says that it takes a lot of work from local volunteers to make each game run smoothly, but that he doesn’t expect the game to ever fade out. “There’s too much passion amongst the townspeople around Snowshoe Baseball,” he says. “People get pretty serious about their home team winning and playing and they just want to be a part of it.”Ultimately, this game is a part of this town’s fabric. Residents like Macey Macintyre grew up watching it.”The whole town comes together just to watch this and you know it’s the whole town because you see everyone week in and week out,” she says. “It makes our town unique and it makes me just love my town and the people in it a lot more.”So if you’re in Wisconsin’s Northwoods on a Monday night this summer and looking for some entertainment and good company, snowshoe baseball will be happening in Lake Tomahawk. The season ends in late August. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Disabled party activists have welcomed the Labour leader’s decision to back their campaign for him to reinstate the post of shadow cabinet minister for mental health.Jeremy Corbyn was forced to scrap the post he created only last year in July because of the departure of MP Luciana Berger and the need to appoint a slimmed-down shadow cabinet, following a spate of other resignations.But members of the Labour Party Campaign for Mental Health called at this week’s annual party conference in Liverpool for him to appoint a replacement to the role, following his re-election as party leader.And they were delighted when Corbyn visited their campaign stand (pictured afterwards) and posed with a placard calling for the position to be renewed.Victoria Desmond, the campaign’s strategic director, said she hoped such an appointment would “feed down everywhere and hopefully to the workplace and hopefully to parliament”.Desmond later told a fringe event organised by Disability Labour – the network of disabled Labour party members – that people with mental health conditions like herself experienced widespread discrimination.She said: “People don’t have protection at work and it’s very hard to fight for protection when you’re being stigmatised.“You shouldn’t feel ashamed to have a mental health condition and that is how it is at the moment.”She said she had not felt able to disclose her impairment to her first boss – a Labour MP – but had felt comfortable doing so with her current employer, another Labour MP.She encouraged disabled people to disclose their impairments once they had secured employment because it provides them with more legal protection, but she said there was still a need for legal reforms to improve protection in the workplace.Issues around mental health were widely debated and discussed at the conference, but mostly focusing on cuts to health services.The party’s National Policy Forum has produced what it calls a “priority issue document” on mental health, which says the party is “firmly committed to making mental health a priority and ensuring that parity of esteem between mental and physical health becomes a reality”.One delegate told the health and care debate at the conference about the disproportionate number of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people with mental health issues.He said: “We can’t sit back, comrades, and do nothing in the face of a mental health crisis, when the majority of transgendered young people either attempt or commit suicide.”Another delegate stressed the impact of austerity and inequality on mental health and reducing life expectancy.A third delegate thanked Corbyn for his “parity of esteem” pledge, and said she had received her first inpatient treatment earlier this year.She won a standing ovation – including from Corbyn – after she disclosed her own experience of the NHS.She said: “I can’t tell you how invaluable their work was. Without them, I don’t think I would be standing here today before you.“I would like to ask [Tory health secretary] Jeremy Hunt: do you value nurses so little… do you value the lives of people like me so little that you’re willing to put their lives at risk?”Shadow health secretary Diane Abbott told the conference: “Labour in government will put the money behind this.“The delays in accessing timely mental health treatment around the country are unacceptable.“We want an end to shame and an end to the tacit acceptance that the mentally-ill are somehow second-class citizens in our healthcare system.”
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 21 2019A cohort study by Stony Brook University researchers of all payer hospital data on Long Island combined with census data indicates that opioid poisoning (OP) levels almost doubled from 2010 to 2016. Additionally, the study revealed that the demographics of patients with OP appears to be shifting and becoming more diverse. The findings are published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.Not enough is known about the epidemiology of OP to tailor interventions to help address the growing opioid crisis in the U.S. According the National Center for Health Statistics, New York State is one of five states with the most opioid drug overdoses. The objective of the Stony Brook study is to expand understanding about OP through the use of data analytics to evaluate geographic, temporal, and socioeconomic differences of OP related hospital visits in a region of New York State with high OP rates. Related Stories’Traffic light’ food labels associated with reduction in calories purchased by hospital employeesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesThrough the data analysis, Wang and colleagues found that OP hospital visit rates increased 2.5 to 2.7 fold on Long Island since 2010. OP hospital visit rates decreased for men, whites and self-pay patients but increased for Medicare payers. Communities with high OP rates had lower median home values regardless of location, higher percentages of high school graduates, were younger and more often were white patients.These findings reveal that OP is becoming more diverse by gender, age, economics and location. Historically, on a national level the highest OP rates have been among young adults (18-34) who are white male, urban dwellers, and those with lower income and non-private payers.According to Wang, the research team will engage other researchers to build a nationwide data-driven opioid epidemic research community. He said their method and findings provide a foundation to build a precision public health-based framework for opioid epidemic research through integrative spatial-temporal based analytical methods for population studies. The long-term goal of the research will also be to develop a machine learning-based framework for predicting OP risks of patients using integrative electronic health records to support clinical decisions. Source:Stony Brook University We believe our method and use of data analytics tools to identify regions and patient populations may help to focus on effective interventions. These population identification techniques can also potentially be applied to other communities anywhere in the United States to focus on interventions.”Fusheng Wang, PhD, lead author and Associate Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Informatics in the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University and in Computer Science
As there is no unanimity among the Opposition parties on whether to draft a common minimum programme ahead of the Lok Sabha elections or not, the joint meeting scheduled to be held here on Wednesday is likely to discuss the developments after the Pulwama terror attack.The Left parties have decided to boycott the meeting if the agenda is the drafting a common minimum programme. “We will attend if the issue is the Pulwama attack or any other relevant matter. There is no point in discussing a common minimum programme before the elections,” a senior Left leader told BusinessLine. The Opposition is worried that the BJP is using Pulwama attacks to consolidate its voter base across the country. Almost all Opposition parties had accused the BJP of politicising the attacks against the CRPF personnel. The CPI(M) and the CPI have conveyed this to senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad, who are coordinating the meeting. It will be held at the Parliament complex on Wednesday and will be attended by leaders of the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the Telugu Desam Party, the Nationalist Congress Party and others. Invitations have been extended to the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party too.TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were of the opinion that the parties should have a minimum programme ahead of the elections. The Left parties disagreed.AAP to go it aloneThe parties had assigned Congress President Rahul Gandhi to draft the common minimum programme in its last meeting. Within the Congress too, there are two views. The party is preparing a manifesto, and the chairman of the drafting committee and former finance minister P Chidambaram himself has met stakeholders from various sectors to hear their suggestions on the matters which could be included in the manifesto. The Congress wants to draft its manifesto first and hopes that major points in it can be added in the common minimum programme.Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told a news channel in an interview that his party AAP will contest the Lok Sabha polls alone, as the Congress has shut the possibilities for a tie-up. He had earlier said he was tired convincing the Congress for an alliance in Delhi. “They (Congress) have refused to go for a gathbandhan (alliance). It appears they are firm,” Kejriwal told the channel.Reiterating that the biggest challenge before the Opposition is unseating the duo of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, the AAP chief said: “Broadly, it means there will be no gathbandhan. The net result is that there will be no alliance with the Congress.” “What is the Congress intending? They are weakening the Opposition in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal… But in Delhi, we are confident that the AAP will win all seven seats,” he added. SHARE SHARE EMAIL AP CM Chandrababu Naidu – PTI No unity over common minimum programme February 25, 2019 COMMENT COMMENTS elections politics SHARE Published on