NEW YORK — Tom Brady denied under oath to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that he tampered with footballs before the AFC title game, and investigator Ted Wells said in a transcript that he never warned the New England Patriots quarterback he would be punished if he didn’t turn over his cellphone.In a 457-page transcript released on Aug. 4, Brady maintained his innocence in the NFL scandal known as “Deflategate.”He denied discussing air level with the ballboys or even thinking about how inflated the footballs were when he selected them. He also said he’s never asked anyone from the Patriots to tamper with footballs.Brady was suspended four games and the team was docked $1 million and two draft picks after a NFL-sanctioned investigation by Wells found the Patriots supplied improperly inflated footballs for the conference championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, which New England won 45-7.Brady appealed the punishment. Goodell decided to hear the appeal himself and upheld the penalty. Both sides went to federal court, and U.S. District Judge Richard Berman told the sides to work out a settlement. To encourage them, he ordered both Brady and Goodell to appear in court in person during the NFL preseason.The transcript filed by the NFL Players Association included the appeal testimony from Brady and Wells on June 23. Wells explained that he did not believe Brady had nothing to do with the ball deflation because the quarterback refused to provide all of the documents that were requested.“In my almost 40 years of practice, I think that was one of the most ill-advised decisions I have ever seen because it hurt how I viewed his credibility,” Wells testified. “It hurt my assessment of his credibility for him to begin his interview by telling me he declined to give me the documents.”Wells’ investigation found text messages between Brady and a pair of equipment managers — one of whom referred to himself as “the Deflator” — discussing the preparation of footballs for the Jan. 18 game. The Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl and beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 for Brady’s fourth NFL title.Although Wells asked repeatedly for Brady’s cellphone, the investigator also testified: “I did not tell Mr. Brady at any time that he would be subject to punishment for not giving — not turning over the documents. I did not say anything like that.”Brady’s lawyers have said that the league made up its rules without proper notice to Brady, and that it didn’t follow its rules at all in some cases.They have also questioned whether Goodell was independent enough to conduct a fair hearing, even though the collective bargaining agreement gives him that authority.(JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd boss Mourinho loses rag in post-match interviewby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Jose Mourinho took aim at a reporter after their 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.In truth United were second best all over the pitch and the defeat kept them eight points behind Arsenal in fifth place. Mourinho’s side have now conceded 29 goals this season in the league, one more than they did across the whole of last season. Asked if he believed the players are playing for him, Mourinho snapped: “What is that? Are you calling the players dishonest? You are asking me if they are dishonest.”I believe they are honest and you believe they are dishonest. A footballer has to give the maximum every day, every match, every minute, it doesn’t matter the manager, it doesn’t matter anything.”The club that pays him, the fans that are 24 hours per day in love with our club. It’s about respect for the club and the fans. The players that don’t do the maximum you are calling them dishonest. I don’t call them dishonest at all.”
Mohali: Shikhar Dhawan has the knack of bouncing back just when his detractors write him off and the Indian batsman says he manages to stay afloat in the toughest of times by shutting out the criticism that comes with lean patches. Without an international hundred for the past six months, Dhawan announced his comeback with a career-best 143 against Australia, albeit in a losing cause, in the fourth one-dayer here on Sunday. Asked how he reacts to criticism, the happy-go-lucky cricketer said living in his own bubble helps him keep it calm in the mind. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together “First of all, I don’t read newspapers and I don’t take information which I don’t want to. So I don’t know what’s happening around me and I live in my own world. So, I decide in which direction my thoughts are going,” said the 33-year-old after the match. The best way to deal with pressure is to keep one’s composure, said Dhawan, who rarely gives away what’s going on in his mind. “I perform best when I am calm. There’s no point in cribbing or being sad,” said Dhawan. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open “When I feel hurt, I move on quickly. And I don’t really know what people are writing. I make sure that I am in a positive frame of mind and keep doing my process,” he added. Process is a word that almost every Indian cricketer refers to often and mostly without explaining the specifics. When Dhawan was asked to elaborate his idea of a process, he said: “When I talk to myself, I make sure that I cut down negative thoughts that can creep in. “I accept the reality and move on. I don’t resist something that’s happening. If it’s going good, then it’s good.” For the batsman, who has amassed more than five thousand runs in ODIs, there are three things that are paramount. “If I am doing all my skill work, taking care of my fitness and having the right mindset, then I just sit back and enjoy,” said Dhawan, who has been India’s key player in all the recent multi-nation tournaments. Dhawan offered a sympathetic view on his junior statemate Rishabh Pant, who had a terrible day behind the stumps. The youngster, who replaced Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the last two games, was shoddy with his glovework and also missed an easy stumping chance. “Like any other young bloke, you have to give him time too. I mean Dhoni bhai has played so many games and for how many years. You simply can’t compare. “Yes, had he effected the stumping, may be the game could have changed but then it slipped quickly out of our hands and for that, dew played a big role. That’s what it was,” he signed off.
New Delhi: A Rohini court on Monday nullified the cancellation report filed by Delhi Police and issued a summon for former Haryana Home Minister Gopal Goyal Kanda and his aide Aruna Chadha in the case of Anuradha Sharma’s suicide, six months after her daughter, Geetika committed suicide in August 2012. Anuradha (62) had hanged herself fearing persecution from Kanda and his associates, who were already threatening and harassing her, according to verbal testament given by Dinesh Sharma, Geetika’s father and the complainant in the case. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderSources familiar with the case told Millennium Post that after Geetika quit Kanda’s airline and moved to Dubai, he allegedly mailed false allegations about her professional abilities to her employers there. In her suicide note, Geetika blamed Kanda and his continued abuse as the prime reason for taking her own life. At the cancellation report hearing, the complainant added that he could not understand what had happened when he received a copy of the cancellation report in the case. The investigating officer at the time, Jawahar Singh, who also testified before ACMM Ekta Gauba, claimed that statements of the complainant, his son, and another relative were completely untraceable and that is why the cancellation report was filed in the case. However, Judge Gauba observed that Singh ‘deliberately’ failed to place the witness statements on record, hence writing to the Home Ministry asking for action to be taken against him. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsWhile reading her order, Judge Gauba said, “In her second suicide note, she (Anuradha) imputed that she is dying because of the death of her daughter due to (harassment and torture by) accused Gopal Goyal Kanda and accused Aruna Chadha. The complainant also testified that Anuradha was one of the prime witnesses in the case of his daughter’s suicide, as she was aware of all kinds of abuse inflicted upon Geetika by Kanda and his associates. The court has asked the concerned police station to trace and place on record witness statements pertaining to the case. Kanda and his aide have to appear in court on April 15, to testify in the case.
New Delhi: Delhi Police on Wednesday said that staff from Jyoti Nagar police station have conducted a raid at a sewage pumping house near Loni Road, New Delhi and recovered a carton full of several counterfeit HP products that included printer toners and cartridges among other things.They said that as a result of the raid, one accused, identified as Ajay Kumar (22) was caught red-handed with the counterfeit products. Police had initially filed a case based on a complaint registered by Hewlett Packard (HP) through a person holding powers of attorney in Delhi earlier this year. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderSpeaking to the Millennium Post, DCP Atul Kumar Thakur (North East District) said that upon cursory checking of the carton in possession of the accused, nine HP cartridges with different versions of HP laser jet toners in them were discovered. The raid was conducted in the presence of an expert from the company, who checked and confirmed the nature of these products as being counterfeit. In addition to this, HP has also claimed that a raid was conducted at a computer retail store in the busy business locality of Bhikaji Cama Place where one arrest was made. According to a police seizure report in possession of Millennium Post, this raid was conducted at a basement store in Ansal Chamber-1 where about 25 pieces of different HP counterfeit products were recovered. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsHowever, DCP Thakur said that he cannot disclose any information about this particular raid as investigations in the case are ongoing. In its complaint, the company alleged that certain retailers in Delhi were selling spurious and counterfeit products such as computer toners and cartridges under the brand name of HP, without the company’s consent, thus violating its copyright and intellectual property rights. The company accused these retailers of using its trademark, trade logo, and artwork to dupe unaware consumers into believing they were purchasing products manufactured by HP. The complaint also said that the alleged fraudsters packaged their counterfeit products in a manner similar to their own packaging, further trying to pass off their products as genuine. In addition to the raid in Delhi, HP representatives in India also claimed to have conducted raids with assistance from local authorities in Noida, Gurugram and at least five other states across the country. A case against the accused has been registered under section 63 of the Copyright Act at the Jyoti Nagar police station.
Bengaluru: State BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa Friday predicted the defeat of top leaders of the ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance, including former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, senior Congress leaders Veerappa Moily and Mallikarjun Kharge in the Lok Sabha polls. Signalling possible political instability in the state after the Lok Sabha poll results, the former Chief Minister said differences between Congress and JD(S) wouldincrease after the results are out on May 23. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “I have been saying this with confidence that we will win more than 300 seats across the country this time. InKarnataka, we will win at least 22 (out of 28) Lok Sabha seats. I’m saying this with confidence,” Yeddyurappa said. Addressing party MLAs, MPs and leaders meeting in the backdrop of bypolls to Chincholi and Kundgol assemblyseats on May 19, he said “the atmosphere is in our favour to an extent that Veerappa Moily has already lost against our candidate; in Kolar also K H Muniyappa will lose against our candidate Muniswamy.” Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K “According to our calculations, Mallikarjun Kharge will lose against our candidate 100 per cent, and in Tumkur the situation is that you will not be surprised if Deve Gowda is defeated. This is what we are hearing, I’m not saying this forthe media or to satisfy you, this is based on information we have gathered,” he added. While JD(S) patriarch Gowda is pitted against BJP’s Basavaraj in Tumkur, Congress leader and former chief Minister Moily is fighting a tough battle against BJP’s Bachche Gowda in Chikkaballapur. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge is fighting Umesh Jadhav of BJP in Gulbarga, and in Kolarformer Union Minister K H Muniyappa of Congress is pittedagainst Muniswamy of the saffron party. Claiming that stalwarts of the Congress-JD(S)coalition wouldface defeat in this election, Yeddyurappa said the internal rift between the partners has once againstarted, and after the poll results are out thesituation would worsen. “In such a situation, by-elections for Chincholi and Kundgol have also come, which we will have to win hundred per cent,” he said, adding that names of candidates have been recommended to the party high command and would be finalised and announced by tomorrow. The outcome of the by-polls, along with the Lok Sabha results, is crucial for the ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance as it would have a bearing on the longevity of the coalition government, triggering the numbers game in the assembly. The by-poll to Chincholi was necessitated as Umesh Jadhavquit as Congress MLA and joined BJP to contest the Lok Sabha pollsfrom Gulbarga, while Kundgol seat fell vacant following thedeath of MLA and Minister C S Shivalli.
This year’s N.C.A.A. tournament has not featured all that many great games — with some exceptions, like Michigan’s come-from-behind win against Kansas on Friday. The flip side is that the four teams that remain have all played exceptionally well, often dominating their opponents.Louisville won its first four games by an average of 22 points — the same margin by which it beat Duke on Sunday. Syracuse has won by 20 points, on average. Michigan’s margin of victory has averaged 16 points, despite the close call against Kansas. Even Wichita State, which has a chance to become the most poorly seeded team ever to win the tournament (and probably the least likely, statistically), has won its games by an average of 11 points.What follows is an overview of the four teams that remain — how their odds have evolved through the tournament and what their chances look like now.LOUISVILLE CARDINALSProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 52.9 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 22.7 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 32.4 percentChance of winning tournament now: 55.0 percentLouisville began the tournament as the nominal front-runner, with a 22.7 percent chance of winning the title according to the FiveThirtyEight model. Its odds increased sharply after its first two games and have continued to rise after wins against Oregon and Duke, and now stand at 55 percent.This is despite the gruesome injury suffered by the sophomore guard Kevin Ware on Sunday, which will affect Louisville’s depth. Ware had averaged just 17 minutes per game for the Cardinals, but he was productive when he played, shooting efficiently and averaging more than one steal per game despite the limited playing time. The FiveThirtyEight formula, which adjusts for player injuries, estimates that Louisville’s chances of winning the tournament would be closer to 57 percent (rather than 55 percent) if Ware were healthy. The intangible impact of the injury is obviously harder to gauge — especially after the Cardinals’ emotional second-half surge against Duke on Sunday.But there is little reason to doubt that Louisville is the favorite. Wichita State, its opponent in the national semifinal, is dangerous enough — but a favorable opponent for the Cardinals compared with Ohio State or Gonzaga. (The FiveThirtyEight model gives Louisville an 85 percent probability of beating Wichita State, which would translate to its being a 10 1/2-point favorite in the Las Vegas point spread.) Another bonus is that Louisville is the closest of the four remaining teams to Atlanta, the site of the Final Four games, and has had little travel throughout the tournament, which should help to ensure that it is well-rested physically under emotionally trying circumstances.MICHIGAN WOLVERINESProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 12.7 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 2.4 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 3.8 percent.Chance of winning tournament now: 21.2 percentThe FiveThirtyEight model viewed Michigan as underrated – but it thought that was even more true of Florida, and so had the Gators favored to win the South region. Instead, Michigan blew Florida out on Sunday.Still, Michigan provides some evidence for the hypothesis that the way a team finishes its regular season is not all that important — especially when one fails to account for changes to its strength of schedule. Michigan did not play an especially tough out-of-conference schedule this season, helping it go 13-0 in nonconference play. But the Big Ten was brutally competitive, and most of Michigan’s toughest games were stacked in the second half of its schedule. It’s not clear that Michigan played any worse down the stretch as much as it faced some tougher opponents.Michigan will present a clash of styles against Syracuse, and potentially Louisville. The Wolverines rate as having the best offense in college basketball, according to Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, whereas the Orange and the Cardinals have dominated defensively. Michigan enters the semifinal as essentially even-money against Syracuse (the FiveThirtyEight model gives Michigan a 51.9 percent chance of winning). But the score isn’t necessarily guaranteed to be close: the Wolverines’ reliance on the 3-point shot could yield a blowout or an embarrassment depending on their accuracy from behind the arc.SYRACUSE ORANGEProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 11.7 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 2.0 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 4.8 percent.Chance of winning tournament now: 19.0 percentWe’ve found that in contrast to how a team plays in the late stages of the regular season, how well it adapts to tournament conditions does have some predictive power. Hence, the FiveThirtyEight model increased Syracuse’s chances considerably after its record-setting opening-round win against Montana, and after its subsequent solid play against California, Indiana and Marquette.The catch is that the other teams in the Final Four have also played so well that it isn’t clear that you would pick Syracuse even if you were determined to choose the hot hand.WICHITA STATE SHOCKERSProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 1.3 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 0.08 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 1.2 percentChance of winning tournament now: 4.7 percentThe FiveThirtyEight model gave Wichita State only a 1.3 percent chance of reaching the Final Four before the tournament began, or about 75-to-1 odds against. Does that imply that the Shockers’ having reached the Final Four represents a once-every-75-year event –about as rare as Halley’s comet?Actually, the math is a little bit more complicated than that. There are four regions, and in each one, there are a number of long-shot teams, so there are a lot of opportunities every year for someone to defy the odds. Instead, our pretournament model suggested that there was about a 16 percent chance (roughly 1-in-6) that Wichita State or any of the other 37 teams with under a 2 percent chance of reaching the Final Four would do so.Some of the historical cases of teams that defied even longer odds are well-known. Pennsylvania, in 1979, overcame what we estimate were 500-to-1 odds against reaching the Final Four — while Virginia Commonwealth in 2011 was about an 800-to-1 underdog.However, Wichita State’s accomplishment holds up well against some other Cinderella teams, including Louisiana State in 1986 and George Mason in 2006, both of which made the Final Four as No. 11 seeds. Wichita State was a No. 9 seed, and a reasonably good one. The problem is that being a No. 9 seed is probably more difficult than being a No. 11. A No. 9 seed will almost certainly have to defeat a No. 1 seed in its second game (as Wichita State did against Gonzaga) – eliminating the chance of getting lucky because the favorite gets knocked out early. In addition, Wichita State beat a very tough No. 8 seed, Pittsburgh, and a very tough No. 2, Ohio State — and the Shockers have made some of these wins look easy.The issue, as is the case for Syracuse, is that the accomplishments for the other three Final Four teams have been just as impressive — and they began with considerably better regular-season résumés than Wichita State. So the FiveThirtyEight model gives the Shockers only about a 5 percent chance of winning out.But what if they do it? The initial model gave Wichita State only about a 0.08 percent chance of winning the tournament, or about 1,200-to-1 odds against. If the Shockers win the tournament, they would probably qualify as the least-likely champions in history — displacing the 1985 Villanova Wildcats, who won as a No. 8 seed and faced a somewhat more favorable draw.A version of this article appears in print on 04/02/2013, on page B9 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Four Dominant Teams, With One Standout.,This year’s N.C.A.A. tournament has not featured all that many great games — with some exceptions, like Michigan’s come-from-behind win against Kansas on Friday. The flip side is that the four teams that remain have all played exceptionally well, often dominating their opponents.Louisville won its first four games by an average of 22 points — the same margin by which it beat Duke on Sunday. Syracuse has won by 20 points, on average. Michigan’s margin of victory has averaged 16 points, despite the close call against Kansas. Even Wichita State, which has a chance to become the most poorly seeded team ever to win the tournament (and probably the least likely, statistically), has won its games by an average of 11 points.What follows is an overview of the four teams that remain — how their odds have evolved through the tournament and what their chances look like now.LOUISVILLE CARDINALSProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 52.9 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 22.7 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 32.4 percentChance of winning tournament now: 55.0 percentLouisville began the tournament as the nominal front-runner, with a 22.7 percent chance of winning the title according to the FiveThirtyEight model. Its odds increased sharply after its first two games and have continued to rise after wins against Oregon and Duke, and now stand at 55 percent.This is despite the gruesome injury suffered by the sophomore guard Kevin Ware on Sunday, which will affect Louisville’s depth. Ware had averaged just 17 minutes per game for the Cardinals, but he was productive when he played, shooting efficiently and averaging more than one steal per game despite the limited playing time. The FiveThirtyEight formula, which adjusts for player injuries, estimates that Louisville’s chances of winning the tournament would be closer to 57 percent (rather than 55 percent) if Ware were healthy. The intangible impact of the injury is obviously harder to gauge — especially after the Cardinals’ emotional second-half surge against Duke on Sunday.But there is little reason to doubt that Louisville is the favorite. Wichita State, its opponent in the national semifinal, is dangerous enough — but a favorable opponent for the Cardinals compared with Ohio State or Gonzaga. (The FiveThirtyEight model gives Louisville an 85 percent probability of beating Wichita State, which would translate to its being a 10 1/2-point favorite in the Las Vegas point spread.) Another bonus is that Louisville is the closest of the four remaining teams to Atlanta, the site of the Final Four games, and has had little travel throughout the tournament, which should help to ensure that it is well-rested physically under emotionally trying circumstances.MICHIGAN WOLVERINESProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 12.7 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 2.4 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 3.8 percent.Chance of winning tournament now: 21.2 percentThe FiveThirtyEight model viewed Michigan as underrated – but it thought that was even more true of Florida, and so had the Gators favored to win the South region. Instead, Michigan blew Florida out on Sunday.Still, Michigan provides some evidence for the hypothesis that the way a team finishes its regular season is not all that important — especially when one fails to account for changes to its strength of schedule. Michigan did not play an especially tough out-of-conference schedule this season, helping it go 13-0 in nonconference play. But the Big Ten was brutally competitive, and most of Michigan’s toughest games were stacked in the second half of its schedule. It’s not clear that Michigan played any worse down the stretch as much as it faced some tougher opponents.Michigan will present a clash of styles against Syracuse, and potentially Louisville. The Wolverines rate as having the best offense in college basketball, according to Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, whereas the Orange and the Cardinals have dominated defensively. Michigan enters the semifinal as essentially even-money against Syracuse (the FiveThirtyEight model gives Michigan a 51.9 percent chance of winning). But the score isn’t necessarily guaranteed to be close: the Wolverines’ reliance on the 3-point shot could yield a blowout or an embarrassment depending on their accuracy from behind the arc.SYRACUSE ORANGEProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 11.7 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 2.0 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 4.8 percent.Chance of winning tournament now: 19.0 percentWe’ve found that in contrast to how a team plays in the late stages of the regular season, how well it adapts to tournament conditions does have some predictive power. Hence, the FiveThirtyEight model increased Syracuse’s chances considerably after its record-setting opening-round win against Montana, and after its subsequent solid play against California, Indiana and Marquette.The catch is that the other teams in the Final Four have also played so well that it isn’t clear that you would pick Syracuse even if you were determined to choose the hot hand.WICHITA STATE SHOCKERSProbability of reaching Final Four before tournament began: 1.3 percentChance of winning tournament before tournament began: 0.08 percentChance of winning tournament before Round of 16: 1.2 percentChance of winning tournament now: 4.7 percentThe FiveThirtyEight model gave Wichita State only a 1.3 percent chance of reaching the Final Four before the tournament began, or about 75-to-1 odds against. Does that imply that the Shockers’ having reached the Final Four represents a once-every-75-year event –about as rare as Halley’s comet?Actually, the math is a little bit more complicated than that. There are four regions, and in each one, there are a number of long-shot teams, so there are a lot of opportunities every year for someone to defy the odds. Instead, our pretournament model suggested that there was about a 16 percent chance (roughly 1-in-6) that Wichita State or any of the other 37 teams with under a 2 percent chance of reaching the Final Four would do so.Some of the historical cases of teams that defied even longer odds are well-known. Pennsylvania, in 1979, overcame what we estimate were 500-to-1 odds against reaching the Final Four — while Virginia Commonwealth in 2011 was about an 800-to-1 underdog.However, Wichita State’s accomplishment holds up well against some other Cinderella teams, including Louisiana State in 1986 and George Mason in 2006, both of which made the Final Four as No. 11 seeds. Wichita State was a No. 9 seed, and a reasonably good one. The problem is that being a No. 9 seed is probably more difficult than being a No. 11. A No. 9 seed will almost certainly have to defeat a No. 1 seed in its second game (as Wichita State did against Gonzaga) – eliminating the chance of getting lucky because the favorite gets knocked out early. In addition, Wichita State beat a very tough No. 8 seed, Pittsburgh, and a very tough No. 2, Ohio State — and the Shockers have made some of these wins look easy.The issue, as is the case for Syracuse, is that the accomplishments for the other three Final Four teams have been just as impressive — and they began with considerably better regular-season résumés than Wichita State. So the FiveThirtyEight model gives the Shockers only about a 5 percent chance of winning out.But what if they do it? The initial model gave Wichita State only about a 0.08 percent chance of winning the tournament, or about 1,200-to-1 odds against. If the Shockers win the tournament, they would probably qualify as the least-likely champions in history — displacing the 1985 Villanova Wildcats, who won as a No. 8 seed and faced a somewhat more favorable draw.A version of this article appears in print on 04/02/2013, on page B9 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Four Dominant Teams, With One Standout.
Erik ten Hag believes his Ajax side must go all-out for the opportunity they have at Benfica tonight in the Champions LeagueVictory for the Dutch giants will book them a spot in the knockout stages of the competition.Currently, Ajax lead Group E on goal difference from Bayern Munich and are four points ahead of tonight’s opponents Benfica.“This is the fourth game of the group phase, and it’s an important one. A lot is at stake,” Ajax coach Ten Hag told reporters on the club website.“We definitely have the possibility of getting closer to making it through the winter break in the Champions League. And it’s an opportunity that we need to go for.”Top 5 Atletico Madrid players to watch in next week’s UCL Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 With the Champions League about to start, we need to start talking about the Top 5 Atletico Madrid players to watch in the competition.Atletico…A late goal from Noussair Mazraoui handed Ajax a narrow 1-0 win over Benfica at the Amsterdam Arena last time out a fortnight ago.But former Manchester United defender Daley Blind doesn’t expect an easy time from Benfica in Lisbon tonight.“The next round is within our reach,” said Blind.“It’s not going to be easy, but it’s a huge opportunity. We are very aware of this. We’re going to have to do our best to grab those three points.”The Group E game between Benfica and Ajax will begin at 21:00 (CEST).
Reliance Communications chairman Anil Ambani with his son Anmol Ambani during Reliance Capital’s annual general meeting (AGM) in Mumbai, on Sept 26, 2016.IANSReliance Communications shares took yet another beating on the stock exchanges on Wednesday, may 31, with the stock trading 8.23 percent lower at Rs 18.40 on the BSE at around 2 pm. The scrip has lost 28 percent in the past five days ever since lenders raised the issue of loan repayment and rating agencies downgrading its debt to “default”. The company’s debt stood at about Rs 45,000 crore as of March 31, 2017.The sell-off and the consequent fall accelerated after credit rating agencies — CARE, ICRA and Moody’s — downgraded its debt programme, citing the company’s financials. “The reasons for these revisions include RCOM’s weak operating performance, high leverage, the weak internal cash flow generation against sizeable debt servicing obligations and delays in debt servicing by the company,” Reliance Communications said in a regulatory filing to the BSE on Tuesday, May 30.The free fall in the company’s share price continued despite a statement to repay debt within four months.”Post signing of binding documents for the Aircel and Brookfield transactions, RCOM has formally advised all its lenders that it will be making repayment of an aggregate amount of Rs 25,000 crore from the proceeds of these two transactions, on or before September 30, 2017. The said amount will cover not only all scheduled repayments, but also include substantial pre-payments to all lenders on a pro-rata basis,” Reliance Communications said in a regulatory filing.For the fourth quarter (Q4) ended March 2017, Reliance Communications posted net loss of Rs 966 crore as against a profit of Rs 90 crore in the corresponding period last year.Income fell sharply to Rs 4,524 crore for Q4 from Rs 5980 crore for the year-ago period. “For the first time in over 20 years, the telecom sector registered de-growth in revenues, leading to a reduction in the Government’s share in revenues, sharp drop in operating margins, accompanied by increased interest costs arising from a staggering industry debt burden, and higher depreciation and amortisation charges as a result of higher spectrum purchase costs,” the company said in a statement. A worker cleans a mobile store of Reliance Communications Ltd, controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani, in Kolkata, India, September 10, 2016.Reuters file
gunfightAn accused of a rape incident was killed in a reported gunfight with police in Hijaldi village of Kalaroa upazila in Satkhira early Sunday, reports UNB.The deceased is Sohag Dalal of Boalia village and the lone accused of the rape case, filed on Saturday, in connection of raping a class III student.Being tipped off a team of police in a drive arrested Sohag around 2:00am, said Biplab Nath, officer-in-charge of Kolaroa Police Station.Sensing the presence of the law enforcers, Sohag and his associates hurled brick chips and bombs towards police, prompting them to retaliate, triggering the gun battle, leaving Sohag injured, said the OC.Later, he was rushed to Kolaroa Upazila Health Complex where doctors declared him dead. Two assistant sub-inspectors were also injured during the ‘gunfight’.Police also recovered one shooter gun and five round bullets from the spot.The law enforcement’s version of the event was, however, not verified independently as no version of the incident was available immediately either from any witnesses or from any members of the victim’s family.
X 00:00 /01:24 Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen Florian MartinEd Browne and Cynthia Neely are with Residents Against Flooding. The group is suing the city, saying it isn’t doing enough to mitigate flooding.This story was updated from an earlier version.The federal suit is brought by the group Residents Against Flooding and several Memorial City homeowners. Besides the city, it names one of its redevelopment authorities as a plaintiff, the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 17.They allege the city isn’t stopping development that they say causes preventable flooding in Houston.“We haven’t put in proper ordinance-required detention and we look the other way when a developer doesn’t put in that detention,” Ed Browne, chair of RAF, said.He said the neighborhoods around TIRZ 17 in the Memorial area didn’t use to flood, but since new development went up, it floods regularly – including during last year’s Memorial Day flood and the recent Tax Day flood.The lawsuit isn’t seeking money, but for the city to provide flood protection, like detention ponds. It also asks for the appointment of a “special master” to oversee future development in that area.Representatives of TIRZ 17 didn’t respond to an email requesting comment in time for this story.Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city is doing what it can to address flooding, including appointing a flood czar, collaborating with the county and other entities, and seeking grants for flooding projects.“So I think even in a short period of time, we have taken some very definitive steps to move the dime as it relates to flooding,” Turner said.Browne doubts the city prioritizes flooding. He said his group has lobbied the city for years without any improvements, and the lawsuit is their last option.
Kolkata: In a bid to avert any incident of fire, the state government is taking all necessary moves to ensure a “hogla pata free” Gangasagar Mela in 2019.Gangasagar Mela in Sagar Island takes place in January every year, in which lakhs of pilgrims from all over the country turn up to take holy dip at the confluence of river Ganga.The state government initiates the necessary planning from September onwards to ensure a safe and secure Gangasagar Mela and a meeting with the Chief Secretary was already held in Nabanna in the last week. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSources said that following direction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, initiatives have been taken to make the mela “hogla pata free”. Usually, hogla leaves are used in making makeshift accommodation facilities for people who visit the place during the mela.More than 1,000 huts are required to be set up every year for accommodation of the people. But it has been pointed out that the hogla leaves highly inflammable. There was also an incident of a small fire at the Gangasagar Mela in 2017. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe matter came up in the meeting that was held in Nabanna last week and the concerned authorities have started carrying out the necessary work to find out an alternate material, using which the huts can be made.”Engineers of the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department, the modal department to organise the mela, are carrying out a study to finalise the material that can be used to construct the makeshift huts,” said a senior state government official, adding that it was initially thought that corrugated tin can be used to build the huts. “But it would not be that safe as it is a good conductor of electricity. Since many wires need to be laid to transmit power to the makeshift structures, using corrugated tin would not be a good option,” the official said. He further added that the PHE engineers are trying to find out a fire retardant material that can be used to construct the huts.Makeshift accommodation facilities are set up for senior administrative and police officers, media persons, volunteers and pilgrims. Hogla leaf huts lined up one after the other had been a common feature of the mela for ages. Now, with the initiative taken by the state government, it would be a safer and more secure mela for the pilgrims.
Liberty Global has paid roughly €632.5 million for a 12.65% stake in the Netherlands’ largest cable operator Ziggo. Through the deal, Liberty has acquired 25.3 million Ziggo shares from Barclays Capital Securities for €25.00 per share, giving it an almost 13% stake based on the shares outstanding as of December 31, 2012.Commenting this morning, Liberty said that the acquisition was an “attractive opportunity” to make a strategic investment in a market where it already has a strong presence through its UPC Netherlands subsidiary.“The purchase price is also financially attractive given the stock’s approximate 7.4% dividend yield, which is implied by Ziggo’s expectation that it will pay €370 million of dividends during 2013,” the firm said.The deal comes just days after Barclays inadvertently acquired a 14.2% stake in Ziggo after failing to find enough buyers for a block of shares it agreed to underwrite.Private equity owners Cinven and Warburg Pincus moved last week to sell 40 million shares in the operator, the equivalent of a 20% stake. However, the share sale, which was completed on March 19, left Barclays as Ziggo’s biggest shareholder after it failed to find enough buyers. Barclays had guaranteed the sale at €25.05 a share last week.Liberty is funding the acquisition with a non-recourse margin loan and existing liquidity, and does not require regulatory approval as it is taking a minority, not a controlling stake in Ziggo.The deal is Liberty’s latest of the year, after the firm agreed a blockbustert US$23.3 billion (€17.9 billion) buyout of Virgin Media in February.
On a global basis the average internet connection speed increased by 17% year-on-year in the second quarter, according to Akamai’s latest State of the Internet report.Content delivery network (CDN) provider Akamai said that the average global connection speed was 5.1Mbps in Q2, up 3.5% quarter-over-quarter, while the average speeds among the top 10 countries and regions all remained “well above 10 Mbps.”Global peak connection speeds increased to 32.5 Mbps on average, and increased in every top 10 country/region except Sweden, which remained unchanged from the first quarter at 62.8 Mbps, according to the study.Eight of the top 10 saw average peak speeds greater than 70 Mbps, while Singapore was the only country that saw a double-digit quarterly gain – a 12% increase to 108.3 Mbps.Other countries that ranked among the top 10 were Romania with speeds of 72.1 Mbps and Macao with an average of 62.6 Mbps.“We continued to see healthy increases in key connection speed metrics, particularly on a year-over-year basis. The improvement in connection speeds is vital as more content, not the least of which is video at increasingly higher levels of quality, is being delivered over the internet,” said David Belson, editor of the Akami report.Globally, 110 out of 144 qualifying countries/regions saw average connection speeds increase from the previous quarter, with growth rates ranging from a modest 0.4% in Senegal (1.5 Mbps) to a substantial 67% inTunisia (2.8 Mbps), according to the report.The study is based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform.
Eutelsat 172BEutelsat’s first high-power all-electric satellite is to be shipped to French Guiana on March 20 ahead of its planned launch on an Ariane rocket on April 25.Eutelsat 172B will deliver increased capacity for applications including in-flight and maritime connectivity, cellular backhaul, corporate networks, video distribution and government services.The satellite will be located at 172° East, providing reach over the Asia-Pacific region and the Pacific Ocean.The satellite will replace the Eutelsat 172A satellite and will include C and Ku-band payloads connected to a range of footprints.A new Ku-band multi-beam payload delivering 1.8Gbps of throughput will serve what Eutelsat describes as the world’s fastest-growing region for air traffic, with over 8,000 aircraft to be delivered to the region by 2034.According to the operator, Eutelsat 172B will be a major growth platform for in-flight connectivity, thanks to a deal with Panasonic Avionics. Eleven elliptical spotbeams will enable Panasonic to bridge the West coast of North America to Asia and Australia.New technologies deployed on the craft include the Multi-Port Amplifier (MPA), an innovation that will dynamically distribute power between the 11 spotbeams in response to surges in capacity on board aircraft.The satellite is expected to enter service in third quarter 2017.
All good things come to an end. And so it will be with Netflix’s growth spurt. At some point, the pioneering online video provider will run out of new customers willing and able to subscribe – provided it sticks to its current business model. But what if Netflix were to pursue more radical options?It’s first worth stressing that Netflix’s model – offering ad-free, subscription-based access at largely similar prices worldwide – has plenty of distance to run. Although the number of net new Netflix subscriptions peaked in 2017, Ovum forecasts that the company will still be adding over 13 million annually, even in five years’ time.By then, however, its annual growth rates in many of the world’s largest markets will have slowed from double-digit to single-digit percentages. In the US, Netflix’s subscriber base will grow by just 0.2% in 2023 (see Figure 1). And despite its global expansion, the US will still be a hugely important market for the company, accounting for about a third of subscriptions and revenues.So how else can Netflix grow, beyond simply raising its prices? Ovum has identified three options.1. Make mobile video even more affordableOvum forecasts that over 500 million people in India will have smartphones and data connections powerful enough to watch online video in 2022, yet Netflix will have fewer than 5 million subscriptions by then. Why? It’s about affordability.Netflix has taken several steps to make its service more accessible and affordable in emerging markets, such as streaming technologies that consume minimal amounts of data and enabling people without credit cards or bank accounts to charge their subscriptions via their mobile phone bills.But the main sticking point is Netflix’s US$7.99 entry-level price point – great value for consumers in developed markets but too expensive for many in emerging markets, where disposable income levels are often several times lower. Last month, the company was revealed to have acknowledged this issue by trialing a $4 per month “mobile-only” plan in Malaysia for access on one phone or tablet at standard definition quality.For hundreds of millions of consumers in emerging markets, roughly halving prices won’t be enough. Put simply, subscription services aren’t the no-brainer they are in developed countries. In Malaysia, 75% of mobile connections are pay-as-you-go. In India, 95% are. If Netflix really wants to move the needle in these massive markets, it will need to explore more radical pricing and bundles through closer partnerships with local mobile operators.2. Bring a truly fresh take on TV advertisingTo be 100% clear, adopting a Hulu-like model where viewing is interrupted by ads before or during TV shows and movies would be a bad move for Netflix. Using ads to offer a “free” version would risk cannibalising its paid subscriber base, while showing ads to paying customers would ruin the viewing experience.Instead, Netflix could invest in evolving product placement, the practice of including brands within the content and storylines of TV shows and movies. Around three in four Netflix shows already feature at least one example of this covert form of advertising, according to specialist agency Branded Entertainment Network. Augmented reality-like technology could take the concept to the next level, digitally inserting different products into videos for different viewers, so say, one sees a Coke and another a Pepsi.There’s already a precedent in another globalised form of media, sport, with broadcasters overlaying “virtual advertising” over banners at matches. Vendors such as Accenture and Ryff are working on bringing more advanced technology to movies and TV shows. To put this opportunity in perspective, various estimates suggest advertisers will spend over US$20 billion on product placement this year; subscription online video services will generate US$32 billion, according to Ovum’s forecasts.3. Reinvient itself as a TV ‘re-intermediary’Netflix once looked set to become a kind of “Spotify for TV” – before content providers realised that selling their most valuable content to a single, increasingly powerful intermediary was not such a good idea. Netflix has since invested heavily in exclusive and original content to become more like HBO’s TV brand, while HBO, Disney, and others have sought to become more like Netflix.But few established media companies will come anywhere near their inspiration’s level of success. In 2023, Netflix will account for around one in three online video subscriptions worldwide (excluding China, one of the few places where the service is not available). In many countries, its market share will be well over 50%, leaving most rival apps fighting over relatively small numbers of subscribers.Netflix could use its scale to help these providers to survive, by reinventing itself as an Amazon Channels-like aggregator handling marketing, technology, and customer support in exchange for a cut of fees from subscriptions it brokers or manages.The question is whether another company will get there first – not least Amazon. The battle to become the platform that profits most from helping consumers navigate today’s fragmented TV landscape will be fought by the biggest names in media and tech, including AT&T Time Warner, Apple, Comcast Sky, Google, and Liberty Global. Netflix will be increasingly dependent on such “re-intermediaries” for attracting subscribers, billing, and driving viewing – unless it becomes one itself.Playing safe versus changing the gameNever underestimate the power of one big idea – and one company’s ability to deliver on its promise. But no single idea has infinite potential. Sooner or later, Netflix will need to look beyond the limits of its current business model – just like when it made the truly game-changing move from DVD rentals to online streaming.Straight Talk is a weekly briefing from the desk of the Ovum’s Chief Research Officer. To receive this newsletter by email, please contact us.
Ten properties were searched in Derry while two addresses were raided by Gardai in Donegal.£1M DIRTY ASSETS PROBE: FOURTH PERSON REMANDED TO DERRY COURT was last modified: June 22nd, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet The 36-year-old was charged with conspiracy to supply a Class B drug, entering an arrangement to acquire criminal property, converting criminal property, and possession of a Class B drug.Fox was released on bail to appear at Derry Magistrates’ Court on Monday, July 3.A fifth person arrested in connection with the operation is due to appear at Belfast Magistrates’ Court next month.A total of 20 addresses were raided by detectives from the PSNI’s Reactive and Organised Crime Branch as part of the investigation. BARRY FOXCO TYRONEdungannonDUNRAVEN COURTPSNISTRABANE MAGISTRATES’ COURT£1M DIRTY ASSETS PROBE: FOURTH PERSON REMANDED TO DERRY COURT A father of two has face a court as part of a PSNI investigation into a dirty cash racket, drug dealing and property racket with assets totalling £1 million.He was the fourth person to appear in court today for a first remand hearing as part of the year long cross border police probe.Appearing in the dock of Strabane Magistrates’ Court was Barry Fox from Dunavon Park in Dungannon, Co Tyrone.
Keen eye for good stories and big ideas Recommended Link Kansas farm boy generates millions from his California “bunker” He’s just an ordinary guy born on a farm in Kansas. He didn’t graduate from a fancy college. He doesn’t have an MBA. Yet he stumbled upon a “secret key” technique that allowed him to retire at 42… and still make more money in 8 hours… than most people make in a month. But Monday through Friday you’ll find him up by 4 am, in front of his computer… using his “secret key” to generate thousands of dollars per week… without touching stocks or bonds. He calls it his retirement hobby. Click here to see it in action. The Job We Need DoneWe’re looking for someone who loves investment analysis. Someone who wants to make a living reading, thinking, traveling, and writing. Someone who can help us share big ideas with the world.If this sounds attractive—and you meet the criteria above—we’d love to hear from you.The compensation will depend on your level of experience. Know this: Dozens of analysts at Agora (our parent company) who write newsletters have become millionaires.What to Do Now Send us a basic resume. We’d like to see where you’ve worked.Write a letter telling us about yourself. We don’t care much about what school you went to. We do care about what you’ve learned doing whatever it is you’ve been doing. We appreciate odd jobs, but we’re also willing to consider Wall Street refugees.Send us an email with the following information… Independent thinker who is passionate, motivated, and eager to overachieve Trustless SystemThe decentralized revolution is about getting rid of “trusted” third parties. Ultimately, coins like Tether will fail if they can’t find a way to become “trustless.”(With trustless technology, you don’t have to know or trust the person you’re doing business with. The blockchain records and verifies every transaction transparently. So the system builds trust by default.)Back to the University of Texas report… It suggests that more Tethers were issued than had backing by actual dollars. The report makes the case that Tethers were used to prop up—and ultimately manipulate—the price of bitcoin.Kessler’s article attempts to use the study to bolster his argument that bitcoin is just another balance sheet-driven bubble, just like every bubble since the South Sea Bubble of 1720.He argues that temporarily shifting assets from one balance sheet to another inflates a bubble. When the money runs out, the bubble pops.It’s the type of argument that initially reads well… But it doesn’t really hold up under scrutiny.For instance, Kessler tries to pin the dot-com crash on America Online’s dot-com-era ad policies. I read his explanation three times, and I still don’t understand how AOL’s ad policies could have caused the dot-com crash.The dot-com boom was a $5 trillion bubble. It seems a bit of a stretch to pin $5 trillion worth of value destruction on one company’s ad policies.Kessler also blames the infamous Dutch Tulip Mania of 1636–1637 on balance-sheet manipulation. But that doesn’t work, either. If he had really done his research, he would have found out that the Tulip Mania was an overblown myth. It had nothing to do with balance-sheet manipulation.(The Smithsonian journal did a great write-up on the Great Tulip Mania and called it more of a fanciful fiction than a serious financial crisis. You can read the essay here.) Teeka Tiwari Editor, Palm Beach ConfidentialP.S. For the first time ever, I have an investment announcement so BIG that I’ve teamed up with media personality Glenn Beck to create a one-off, special event. We’re calling it The Great Cryptocurrency Conspiracy of 2018. It will broadcast online on July 19, live from Glenn’s Dallas studios.When you register for the July 19 event, you’ll get a free copy of my new report, The Crypto Manifesto: Why Cryptocurrencies Are the Smartest Speculation You Can Make Today.Plus, you’ll have the chance to claim your portion of free bitcoin during the first $2 Million Bitcoin Giveaway.You can reserve your seat for this free event, plus get a free copy of my report, by registering right here…Reader MailbagToday, a reader responds to Thursday’s Dispatch—“How to Profit From the Biggest Oil Shock Ever”—where we interviewed Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno on why a potential conflict in the Middle East could trigger the next huge oil shock…The oil prices went up because Richard Nixon was colluding with the Saudis to figure out a way for the Saudis to afford US warplanes because Vietnam was winding down and the American war-mongering billionaires needed to make more billions off the backs of US citizens! —RichardAnd another reader shares his thoughts on our recent interview with Doug Casey on California breaking apart…Well, politics is violence, so this separation of “Corruptifornia” into three states is bit like treating the symptom and not the “disease.” Living in the Fresno area, aside from demographics that are dominantly Hispanic, I don’t see much in common with San Diego, Riverside, and the rest of those included in one of those proposed “states.” I don’t believe “statism” is moral. I believe it is just constitutionalism, and both are wickedness.—JackAs always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us right here. Volatile AssetIf Kessler is going to attack the 2017 action as being manipulated, why not attack the 2011, 2013, and 2014 “bubbles”?Were all of those moves manipulated, too?If they were, then those are the most unique bubble manipulations I’ve ever seen.Here’s what I mean…If you bought at the peak of each move, your average “old” peak to “new” peak gain would be 9.8 times your money.How many bubbles do you know of that could make you money if you bought at the peak of every move?I don’t know of any others.I fear Kessler has confused market volatility with market bubbles. Just because something is volatile doesn’t automatically make it a bubble (or mean that it’s been manipulated). Bitcoin is volatile… but it’s also very valuable.Fraudulent assets go to zero. True bubbles don’t continue to make higher highs and higher lows the way bitcoin has done.Bitcoin is a highly volatile asset—not a fraudulent asset.And that’s why I have always recommended that my readers keep their position sizes small.(In Palm Beach Confidential, we recommend that investors with smaller accounts place no more than $200–$400 per trade… and that investors with larger accounts place no more than $500–$1,000 per trade.Cryptocurrencies are volatile. So small position sizes will allow you to keep a cool head during extreme periods of volatility, like we’re seeing in the current crypto market.)It’s the only prudent way to invest in assets like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.But let’s get back to Kessler’s central theme on manipulation…Has the issuance of unbacked Tethers manipulated the market higher? It’s possible. I don’t know if we’ll ever really know for sure.But in the long run, does it really matter? I don’t think it does.The truth is that sometimes, bad people co-opt great companies and great technology.Speculators used to manipulate early railway stocks all the time. In the early days of General Motors, founder Billy Durant routinely manipulated company stock.These short-term blemishes did nothing to diminish the long-term value the rail and automotive industries were ultimately creating.Meanwhile, amid all the manipulation hubbub, we continue to see signs of the mainstream adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. If we poke a little more, we can find more holes in Kessler’s bubble theory.If Kessler is right about last year’s crypto market action, how does he explain the so-called bitcoin bubbles of 2011, 2013, and 2014?That’s right, this is the fourth time bitcoin’s “bubble” has popped… — The net gain on 10 shares of McDonald’s stock purchased January 3, 2007 and sold January 3, 2017, assuming all dividends were reinvested. Recommended Link Wanted: Expert Investment AnalystHey, we’re looking to hire an analyst for the Casey Research team. Our team is growing and a new spot has opened up for an ambitious person to research and write about commodities, stocks, crypto assets, and world markets.For this position, you’ll work directly with Nick Giambruno, Chief Analyst for and editor of The Casey Report and Crisis Investing. Nick is Doug Casey’s globetrotting protégé. He writes about geopolitics, value investing in crisis markets, the cannabis market, global banking, and survival techniques for financial crises.If this sounds stimulating, keep reading for more details and how to apply.Who We AreWe’re a fast-growing company with all the opportunities of a small start-up and the stability of a deep-pocketed firm with a 30-year track record.We publish half a dozen advisories covering finance and economics. We have hundreds of thousands of readers around the world. Our business is in providing profitable ideas, explaining how the markets really work, and telling great stories.We’re completely independent and unbiased. We don’t take money from Wall Street or the government. Our revenue comes from selling subscriptions. We make money only if our readers are happy.Who You AreYou’re able to analyze assets from macro, technical, fundamental, and sentiment perspectives. You’re overflowing with investment and trading ideas. And you’re a voracious consumer of information.You have a genuine passion for finance and the investment industry. You’re intensely curious, and live and breathe the world’s markets. And you’re willing to travel anywhere and everywhere. You’re ready to improvise, adapt, and overcome.You’re a good thinker, storyteller, and writer. You’re also good company, and you’re the one your friends say is the smartest person in the room.“Must-haves”: The St. Louis Fed recently announced it has created an index to track the top four cryptocurrencies. 2018 bubble “pops”: $20,000 to $6,500—down 66% so far… Goldman Sachs announced plans to start a bitcoin trading desk. 2011 bubble “pops”: $32 to $2—down 94% Your full name. And there’s more…By 2002, the dot-com crash caused the Nasdaq to drop 80%. In 2002, venture capital (VC) investment dropped by 90%.Contrast that with cryptos.Right now, the crypto market is down around 67% from its high. It seems logical that funding for new VC deals would dry up. But it hasn’t.VC investment has already doubled from last year, and it’s expected to quadruple by year end.The key takeaway is that even with the news of manipulations, government meddling, and massive volatility… institutional money is still flowing into this asset in droves.And what an institution chooses to do with its money will always carry more weight with me than a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece.Let the Game Come to You! Personal philosophy of voluntarism, anarcho-capitalism, or something similar Current Casey Research subscriber (paid memberships to Crisis Investing or The Casey Report win extra points) Weird new “antennas” popping up all over America NASDAQ calls it: “The biggest investment opportunity in years.” These antennas have nothing to do with your cell phone, hiding inside is the biggest hi-tech secret of the decade. Click here to learn more. — 2013 bubble “pops”: $230 to $70—down 70% Exceptional writing ability or a willingness to learn how to write Justin’s note: Today, I’m handing the reins to world-renowned cryptocurrency expert Teeka Tiwari, who has an important update on the crypto space.Below, Teeka responds to a recent piece in The Wall Street Journal that claims bitcoin’s spectacular price run in 2017 was partly due to market manipulation. But Teeka says the author’s missing a major detail… By Teeka Tiwari, editor, Palm Beach ConfidentialAt first blush, Wall Street Journal technology writer Andy Kessler makes a compelling case for why bitcoin’s 2017 meteoric 1,368% rise was not “real.”In an article published on Sunday, July 1, Kessler cites a University of Texas study that argues manipulation was behind half of bitcoin’s 2017 move upwards. The study pins the blame on a crypto coin called Tether (USDT).Tether is a fixed-value, or “stable” coin. It supposedly backs each coin with one U.S. dollar. To be clear, I have never been a fan of Tether because it requires you to trust that there is $1 backing each coin.In the January 2018 issue of my Palm Beach Confidential newsletter, I wrote:[Tether] claims that for every Tether in the market, it has an actual dollar bill in a vault somewhere.Let me be clear: I HAVE NEVER BELIEVED THAT CLAIM. That’s why I never recommended the token.To date, I still haven’t seen proof of Tether’s reserves.Many people share my misgivings about Tether… But that hasn’t stopped it from issuing more than $2.5 billion worth of coins. Does Tether have $2.5 billion in cash reserves to back that up? Or is it just printing its own money at will?Nobody knows. Can governments shut down bitcoin? Explain why or why not. The cause of the Great Depression in the U.S. and why. Japan’s Nomura Holdings (a $100 billion-plus financial firm) just announced it’s creating a crypto custody consortium (an institution that holds securities or assets for safekeeping) called Komainu. The top three biggest risks to the global economy and why. 2014 bubble “pops”: $1,200 to $173—down 85% Why has the average person’s standard of living declined since the early 1970s? Affinity for Austrian economics, monetary history, financial markets, and general history Prepare for conversation and travel. If you have what we’re looking for, you’ll start out with a one-on-one conversation with Nick. If that goes well, we’ll fly you to Delray Beach for a full day of interviews. And if we still like each other after that, we’ll discuss the next steps.Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Investment Analyst” in the subject line. That’s your first test. In Case You Missed It…The economy is growing, and stocks remain near all-time highs. But behind the scenes, something strange is happening…The US government and global financial elites are considering implementing a radical new change to America’s money. If passed, the money in your bank account would fall firmly under government control.They call it “The Chicago Plan.”
Want to know what the teenagers in your life really think about sex and drugs?Are you sure?Well, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a pretty good idea, thanks to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Every other year, thousands of teens in public and private high schools across the country take this nationally representative survey. The CDC just released results for 2017, and here are a few of the highlights:SexTeens’ experiences with sex are changing, and the news is almost all good, says Kathleen Ethier, director of CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health.”Fewer are initiating sex,” Ethier says, “fewer are currently sexually active, they’re having fewer partners, and they’re using more effective hormonal birth control methods.”In 2007, nearly 48 percent of teens said they’d had sex at least once. A decade later, it’s 39.5 percent. One change in the data that Ethier’s not happy about is a recent decline in condom use.In 2007, 61.5 percent of teens said they’d used a condom during their last sexual encounter. By last year, that rate had dropped to 53.8 percent. Ethier says this is due, at least in part, to “a decrease over time in requirements that school cover HIV and [sexually transmitted diseases] in health education programs.”According to the report, young people aged 15-24 account for half of the roughly 20 million new STDs reported each year.One more red flag, Ethier says: More than one in 10 young women (11.3 percent) reported being forced to have sex.DrugsWhen it comes to illicit drugs — like cocaine and heroin — teen use is way down, from 22.6 percent in 2007 to 14 percent in 2017.For the first time, though, the survey also asked teens if they have ever misused prescription opioids. Fourteen percent said they had.”We don’t know what this 14 percent number means, but we were quite surprised by it,” Ethier says, adding that CDC has more work to do to understand what these new data say about the opioid crisis and teens’ role in it.ViolenceThe survey also asked high-schoolers about bullying and violence at school. One in 5 said they’d been bullied at school. Fifteen percent said they’d been bullied electronically.The rate of students who said they’d been threatened or injured with a weapon at school has dropped significantly in the past decade. But students of color are still far more likely than white students to say they missed school because of safety concerns at school or in their communities.Mental HealthPerhaps the biggest red flags were in the section devoted to mental health.Roughly a third of teens surveyed said they’d experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.”I think that’s really significant,” says CDC’s Ethier, “and certainly not what we want to see if we’re trying to send our kids into adulthood in the most healthy way.”The news is even worse for students who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.Nearly two-thirds reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.In fact, in every category, LGB teens were at higher risk than their heterosexual classmates. They were twice as likely to report being bullied in school or electronically, three times as likely to seriously consider suicide and four times as likely to attempt suicide.”It’s shocking and alarming and tells us that things are terribly wrong,” says Ellen Kahn, director of the Children, Youth & Families program at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “We seriously need to address this.”Kahn says these data are a stark reminder of the lack of protections at the federal, state, district and school level for LGB teens and of why, she says, these protections are so sorely needed. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
When Blessing Okoedion was 26, she headed to Spain for a job she had been offered at a computer store. In her home country of Nigeria, she had earned a degree in computer science and started her own business repairing computers.But the job offer was a ruse. Her work visa had been faked by human traffickers. There was no computer store job.After a brief stop in Spain, her captors sent her to Naples, Italy. They told her that she owed them 65,000 euros — more than $70,000 in today’s dollars. And they forced her into sex work on the streets of an Italian town.That was five years ago. Today, Okoedion is an activist working to combat human trafficking in Italy and Nigeria. She was one of 10 people honored for these efforts in June by the U.S. State Department at the 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report launch ceremony in Washington, D.C. The report is an annual assessment of foreign governments’ anti-trafficking efforts.She received the State Department award “in recognition of her extraordinary courage in using her lived experiences to … prevent human trafficking [and] her selfless efforts to assist survivors and lend a helping hand to those still subjected to the crime,” said Kari Johnstone, acting director of the State Department’s Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons, at the event.A few days after she had been forced to start working on the streets, Okoedion snuck away to a police station to report what had happened to her. The police brought her to Casa Ruth, a shelter in Caserta run by nuns who help trafficking victims, she says.Sister Rita Giaretta founded the shelter, called Casa Rut in Italian, and has been fighting against human trafficking for more than 20 years.”She’s actually the force behind me,” says Okoedion.Since 2014, Okoedion has been working with Casa Ruth. She goes on rescue missions to get trafficked girls and women from Nigeria and other countries off the streets. She helps connect women who are still on the streets with medical care. And she works to ensure trafficking victims who have escaped have the support they need, she says.Sex trafficking victims can be afraid to get medical care because they’re undocumented, she explains, so that’s often a starting point of the rescue missions.”From there, we start building confidence, then many of them start to open up, tell us everything, their fears, everything. Then we start counseling,” she says. “There are some who, when we approach them, immediately tell us, ‘I want to quit this job. I was not told about this, I just need somebody to help me.’ Then we rescue them immediately.”Once they’re free from their traffickers, a new set of challenges begins. High unemployment rates in Italy can make it tough for them to find jobs there, she says. She also accompanies trafficking victims who want to return to Nigeria through the Italy-based organization Slaves No More. The group focuses on helping Nigerian trafficking victims reintegrate into society.Okoedion travels to rural areas in Edo State, where she grew up, to tell women and girls about the tactics traffickers may use in attempts to lure them to faraway jobs that don’t exist. Benin City, its capital, is a human-trafficking hub, she says.Many women and girls who become victims of trafficking are from poor, rural areas and might not have had much education, she says. Traffickers can seem like a sort of savior.The Nigerian government is taking some steps to address trafficking. But “widespread and pervasive” corruption throughout the government and security forces makes it tough, according to the State Department’s new report.The report references international NGO and media reports of trafficking crimes by government officials, service providers and security forces at more than a dozen internally displaced persons camps. Reported crimes included forced sex in return for food.And authorities found trafficking victims from Nigeria in at least 40 countries, including Italy, during the past year. They had often been trafficked by Nigerians, the report says.Points of optimism in Nigeria: The governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, declared trafficking one of his top priorities, the report says. He created a task force to fight it, which has arrested at least 10 potential traffickers so far. And the government is spending more money to fight trafficking.Even at her lowest point, Okoedion says she didn’t see her first name — Blessing — as some kind of curse.”I never attached what happened to me to my name,” she says.Courtney Columbus is a multimedia journalist based in the Washington, D.C. area. She covers science, global health and consumer health. Her past work has appeared in the Arizona Republic and on Arizona PBS. Contact her @cmcolumbus11. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.