Debtridden Wasaya Airways in danger of collapsing forced to sell assets

first_imgBy Kenneth Jackson and Cullen CrozierAPTN InvestigatesJust before Christmas the principal owners of Wasaya Airways received a letter.They were warned Wasaya was about to be grounded by a mountain of debt, according to a letter obtained by APTN Investigates in an on-going investigation into the First Nation-owned airway.The letter was written by the chair of Wasaya’s board of directors to the chiefs of the 11 other First Nations that share ownership of Wasaya.“Unless we are able to substantially reduce the amount owed to (Wasaya) Airways by our ownership First Nations, as represented by you, within the next month, (Wasaya) Airways is in danger of collapsing,” wrote Chief Bart Meekis on Dec. 16.Meekis confronted the ownership First Nations, telling the chiefs they had racked up more than $2.6 million in debt to Wasaya as of Dec. 13. Meekis is also an ownership chief, representing Sandy Lake First Nation.Together, they were more than $1 million over their credit limit.A closure wouldn’t just affect them but the many other First Nations that depend on them, Meekis said.“The impact of this would be catastrophic, not only for you and for your community, but also for the other First Nations and businesses within each community, as no other airway will be willing and able to offer the level of service that we currently provide,” he said, adding that he appreciated that government funds were slow coming in to each First Nation, possibly affecting their ability to pay on time.It was just a couple months ago when Meekis raised the alarm in the letter.Wasaya hasn’t gone under and continues to operate.APTN has learned that to do this, Wasaya had to either sell assets or is in the process of selling assets.When questioned by APTN, Meekis said the company had to make changes.“We’re restructuring,” he said during an interview. “There are some businesses that Wasaya had that were eating away at the financials, so right now what’s happening is we’re letting go of some of those side businesses that Wasaya had that’s not making money. It’s just drawing money out from the business.”He didn’t say what those businesses were but according to their website Wasaya owns Wasaya Prop Shop that claims to be a worldwide leader in aircraft repair. The website also lists a fueling company.Wasaya flew over 100,000 passengers in 2012.Wasaya President Tom Morris at first offered this week to speak to APTN face-to-face, but later declined via a letter.In his letter, Morris wrote: “Wasaya Airways LP is a private company and is accountable to the First Nations who are its owners. Wasaya Airways will not comment publicly on any internal matters. ”It’s not clear if the mounting debt has been cleared but it was beginning to interfere with day-to-day business as creditors refused to loan anymore money to Wasaya until they paid up, according to Meekis’ letter.“We have already been refused further credit by some suppliers, pending clearing our outstanding accounts payable,” said Meekis in the Dec. 16 letter. “That is in itself a warning sign that we are in financial trouble.”When asked why the ownership communities ran up the debt to the point of near collapse Meekis said it wasn’t just the owners but other communities that Wasaya provides services to.“It’s not only the ownership communities it’s the other communities that run up the bill,” he said to APTN during a telephone interview.But in his letter to the chiefs, Meekis said the other communities’ debt was considerably low in comparison to what he said ownership First Nations owed.He mentioned, but didn’t name, 10 other First Nations owing just over $200,000.Wasaya staff and chiefs have flown into the communities to try and get First Nations to pay up, Meekis told APTN. Chiefs were warned that Wasaya wouldn’t carry their debt any longer.“So what’s happened is that the staff, and some of the chiefs, have visited the communities to try to, because it’s not a bank. Wasaya’s not a bank. To try to pay their bills because when you owe a bill you got to pay your bill,” he said.According to further documents obtained by APTN and interviews with confidential sources, since Wayaya became 100 per cent First Nation owned in 1998, it’s unclear if ever only turned a profit besides one year and that was in 2009.Meekis partially addressed that in his letter to the chiefs.“We also know that the decisions not to pay your Wasaya account directly relates to your ownership shares in the company. In those communities where the First Nations’ accounts with Wasaya are way beyond their authorized limits, local stores are also way behind with their payments,” Meekis wrote.When asked why Wasaya has rarely provided a yearly return to the communities Meekis said he didn’t know.“I don’t know if I can give you that information right now because I don’t know,” he said.Meekis called a different APTN reporter later the same night of his interview, demanding to know who provided us with a copy of his Dec. 16 letter to the chiefs.The identity of the source was not disclosed.During the phone interview, when Meekis was asked if Wasaya is going bankrupt, he replied that it wasn’t.But in his letter, Meekis warned the chiefs that financial collapse was a very real possibility. He wrote that six First Nations in the ownership group were in “serious arrears.”“Please be prepared to work with us, as we all stand to lose if Wasaya Airways fails,” he wrote.kjackson@aptn.caccrozier@aptn.calast_img read more

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Bombardier wont get financial break despite early C Series closing

first_imgMONTREAL – Bombardier Inc. will contribute up to $225 million to the C Series partnership with Airbus even though the agreement giving the European aircraft manufacturer majority control is closing earlier than originally planned.When the agreement was announced last October, the Montreal-based company was required to fund the C Series until closing — forecast sometime in the second half of 2018 — and up to US$700 million in cash shortfalls over the next two years as it ramps up production.Under the final agreement with Airbus announced Friday, Bombardier has also committed to fund the program until the July 1 closing and contribute up to US$925 million in cash shortfalls through 2021.Total spending on the program remains in line with the company’s original guidance and protects it from paying cost overruns, said Bombardier spokesman Olivier Marcil.Asked why Bombardier isn’t getting some relief because of the early closing, Marcil said it was part of the negotiated general conditions.“We had already planned to spend it in the context of ramping up production,” he said in an interview.Bombardier will receive non-voting shares of the C Series partnership through a cumulative annual dividend of two per cent.Any excess shortfall during these periods will be borne by the partnership’s shareholders.Bombardier’s share will be about 33.76 per cent. The Quebec government — which injected US$1 billion in 2015 — will own the remaining 16.24 per cent. Airbus will hold 50.01 per cent.“It is clear that in the early phase of the ramp-up there is still lot of investment to do . .. . But looking forward, I am very confident that the C Series is going to contribute positively to the cash generation of Airbus in the future,” Harald Wilhelm, Airbus chief financial officer, said in a media conference call Friday.Bombardier will work with Airbus to ramp up production on the C Series passenger jets, which were designed with improved fuel efficiency and less seating capacity than most passenger jets offered by Airbus or its rival Boeing.The C Series partnership’s head office and main assembly line will be located in Mirabel, Que., and a second line — to be built after construction starts in 2019 — will be based in Mobile, Alabama, to service the U.S. market starting in 2020.C Series deliveries are expected to double this year from the 17 aircraft in 2017 and the program is positioned to capture a large chunk of the estimated 6,000 aircraft needed in this market segment over the next 20 years.Bombardier said that, as of July 1 when its second quarter begins, the C Series will not be included in its consolidated results — meaning, among other things, that revenue from the plane’s sales won’t be included in financial statements.Closing of the partnership represents an opportunity to unleash the full potential of the C Series program, said Benoit Poirier of Desjardins Capital Markets.“We also believe Airbus will play an important role in terms of unlocking new orders and ramping up production to meet the strong demand for the aircraft,” he wrote in a report.Bombardier issued revised financial estimates for 2018 to reflect the finalized Airbus agreement, which was achieved several weeks earlier than anticipated after the companies received all necessary approvals.Poirier raised his target price for Bombardier shares 26 per cent to C$6 from C$4.75, expressing confidence that Bombardier’s management will deliver on its 2020 objectives to improve profitability.Bombardier’s shares lost four cents at C$4.88 in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains issued a statement Friday morning calling the Bombardier-Airbus announcement “a good day for Canada’s aerospace sector.”Investment Canada reviewed the deal and Bains said he is satisfied it will “benefit Canadians by growing our aerospace sector and creating good jobs.Bains also said the decision to maintain Mirabel as the primary site for the C Series program is “fantastic news for the talented women and men working in that important aerospace hub.”Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:BBD.B)last_img read more

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Skin and haircare tips to ensure safe Holi

first_imgKolkata: Are you worried about the effects of harsh chemicals found in the colours that we use to play Holi?The city-based doctors have prescribed some guidelines on how to play a safe Holi without causing damage to the skin, eyes and hair. Holi is the festival of colours and people love to spend the day by rejoicing and merrymaking. Dr Madhumita Bhattacharya, consultant, department of dermatology at a private hospital in the city, shared effective tips to avoid the side-effects of the chemicals found in colours. Here are some tips to help you take some precautionary measures for a beautiful Holi. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja Dr Bhattacharya said the amount of colours and water one uses during Holi can have a serious toll on your skin unless you are well-prepared in advance. So, here’s what you should do before stepping out of your house. Dr Bhattacharya suggests you should rub ice cubes on your face which will help to close pores on your skin and ensure colours don’t seep into your skin and cause breakage. One should apply oil on your face. Those who have dry or normal skin, can apply oil on their face and body. Oil will keep your skin moisturized all along. People can use coconut oil, castor oil and olive oil for this purpose, she said. One should also use a waterproof sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe doctors suggested the women to apply nail paints before playing Holi which can be removed later. People are also advised to drink lots of water before playing Holi. It keeps one hydrated and will provide energy. The doctor said one should wear sunglasses and remove contact lenses before going outdoors. If colours enter the eyes one should immediately rinse with cold water. Dr Bhattacharya said one should avoid scented or perfumed colours as they might cause allergies. One should wear dark full sleeves cotton clothes which will cover the whole body and can protect from harmful colours. She also urged people to use organic colours. After playing Holi, people should use a mild soap to remove the colours from their skin and use baby shampoo to wash their hair followed by conditioner. One should strictly avoid the use of kerosene, petrol and spirits to remove stains as they will damage the skin.last_img read more

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Ohio State womens basketball loses tripleovertime thriller despite Mitchells schoolrecord 48

OSU coach Kevin McGuff yells during a game against Nebraska on Feb. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 96-70. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorA road matchup against No. 20 Michigan State (22-7, 13-4) was how the No.5 Ohio State (23-6, 15-3) women’s basketball team would end its regular season, and it surely was a thrilling conclusion. After losing to Minnesota just three days ago in overtime, the Buckeyes once again needed extra time to try and secure a win. However, they fell to the Spartans in not one, not two but three overtime periods, 107-105, on Saturday in East Lansing, Michigan. Despite the loss, sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell set a single-game scoring record for OSU after dropping 48 points. Senior guard Ameryst Alston added 19 points and seven assists. It was Michigan State’s senior day, making it the second game in a row that the Buckeyes would battle against an opponent honoring its seniors. The inspired Michigan State roster followed the same strategy that Minnesota set in place against OSU by coming out in a zone defense. After facing a zone the past few games, though, the Buckeyes started to find a flow, moving the ball around the court and being patient until they found the shot they were looking for. The first half was bundled with highlight action from both squads, but neither team was able to take advantage of opportunities that were presented. At the halfway mark, the Buckeyes and Spartans were knotted up at 34 apiece.As could be expected from the matchup between ranked conference foes, the lead was exchanged multiple times between the two teams, with a total of 22 lead changes and 16 ties by the final buzzer. The Spartans came out of the locker room for the second half fired up, willing to do whatever it took so that OSU wouldn’t be able to celebrate a win on their home court, on their senior day.Michigan State swarmed the Buckeyes on the defensive end at the beginning of the second half, forcing five turnovers in a 2:18 stretch, then making OSU coach Kevin McGuff take a timeout to allow his team to regain composure with 6:08 to play in the third quarter.The Buckeyes would finish the game coughing up the ball 25 times, allowing the Spartans to score 18 points off those mistakes.Back and forth the two teams went until the final media timeout of the fourth quarter when the action began to get interesting.At the timeout, the score was knotted up at 63. With the Spartans controlling the final few minutes of play, the Buckeyes had a tough time regaining the momentum to help put them ahead.Down two points with under a minute to play and the game clock ticking down, Mitchell tied it up after making a nifty spin move in the paint and floating the rock through the net. With 25 ticks remaining, the teams were leveled at 72. Michigan State would not have to worry about the shot clock in the final seconds, but redshirt junior Ariel Powers, who has been the Spartans’ main scorer all year, missed the potentially game-winning pull-up jump shot, pushing the game into overtime.The continued exchanges for the lead continued in the extended time, and with 11 seconds left the Buckeyes thought they had the road win wrapped up with a two-point lead. They were wrong.Senior center Jasmine Hines, who finished the game with a career-high 36 points to make for an impressive senior day showing, would answer for the Spartans and tie the game, moving it to another bonus period.The second overtime was controlled by the Buckeyes; receiving contributions from Mitchell, Alston and sophomore guard Asia Doss. The defensive specialist Doss made a huge steal for her team and scored on the other end to put OSU ahead 92-88, but it was immediately was answered by Spartan redshirt sophomore guard Branndais Agee on a 3-pointer.Alston went to the charity stripe after getting fouled off the inbound, where she knocked down both and regained the three-point lead for the visitors.Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant then drew up a play during a timeout, which her team executed to perfection, as junior guard Tori Jankoska drained one from downtown to tie it up 94-94 with 11.1 seconds on the game clock.The Buckeyes put the ball in Mitchell’s hand for the final shot. Dribbling down the floor, the sophomore made a move to the left wing, but after being unable to create space for a shot, she looked to kick out to Alston. But the pass went awry, flying out of bounds.Triple overtime was next on deck.In the third and final overtime period Michigan State would dig down, eventually coming out on top when time expired. Jankoska was the hero yet again for the Spartans, knocking down her three free throws at the end to get the two-point lead and victory.Mitchell’s 48-point performance led all scorers, but with Alston and junior forward Shayla Cooper having a tough time from the field, Mitchell had no choice but to attempt to put the team on her back down the stretch. The Cincinnati native showcased her seemingly unlimited range and speed on the fast break, which she utilized to get to the basket and finish with contact. Mitchell is in the conversation for the national player of the year award, as she is averaging 24.5 points per game and continues to be the go-to option for the Buckeyes.Powers, who is also a nominee for the player of the year award for the 2015-16 season, had an impressive all-around performance, despite being quiet in the first half as she struggled to find her groove from the start.On Saturday, Powers showed that she can do it all, finishing with 23 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists. Before their next game, the Buckeyes will have to play the waiting game to see which team they will be playing in their first game of the Big Ten conference tournament. They will also have to wait to learn their seed in the tournament. A win Saturday would’ve locked up the top seed and a share of the Big Ten title, but instead a Maryland win over Minnesota on Sunday would give the Terrapins the outright title.Last year, OSU fell in the championship game of the tournament against that Maryland team, and it will look to flip the script this year in Indianapolis. Its quarterfinal matchup is set for Friday. read more

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United States mens soccer team silences Jamaica in Crew Stadium 10

Members of the United State’s men’s national soccer team like to think of Crew Stadium as home. The American’s most recent visit to Columbus is yet another example of why there’s no place like home. The U.S. improved its all-time record at Crew Stadium to 6-0-3 with a 1-0 win against Jamaica in a 2014 World Cup qualifying match Tuesday. American forward Herculez Gomez struck a set-piece goal in the 55th minute to give the Americans a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard also helped keep a shutout intact for the Americans, who avenged their 2-1 loss to Jamaica on Friday in Kingston, Jamaica. With the win, the U.S. moves into a three-way tie for first-place in its World Cup qualifying group with Jamaica and Guatemala. The Guatemalans defeated Antigua and Barbuda Tuesday, 1-0, to keep pace in the group, from which only the top two teams can advance in World Cup qualifying. The Americans will resume World Cup qualifying Oct. 12 with a game against the group’s last-place team, Antigua and Barbuda, in St. John’s, Antigua. Crew Stadium was a powder keg and the U.S. came close to lighting the fuse numerous times in the first half. Chance after chance went just wide of Jamaican keeper Dwayne Miller’s goal. American midfielder Graham Zusi set the tone for the first half when he clanked an 18-yard shot off the upper right corner of Miller’s goal, which was besieged in the first half. All told, three U.S. shots caromed off the posts of Miller’s net by the time 30 minutes had passed. Other U.S. attempts whistled wide as the American fans standing on temporary bleachers waited to erupt. Howard, by comparison, wasn’t tested once in the opening half, and his teammates kept the pressure up on the other end of the field, outshooting Jamaica, 8-0, in the opening 45 minutes. Jamaica was barely hanging on, but the Americans weren’t able to break through and the teams went to half in a scoreless tie. Fans remained at a roar as the second half began and before long, the moment the entire stadium had been waiting for finally arrived in the 55th minute. After the U.S. earned a free kick from about 25 yards out, Gomez stepped to the ball and bent his kick around a wall of Jamaican defenders. Miller made a full-stretch lunge to save the shot, but could only manage to get part of his left hand on Gomez’s rip from distance. The white twine of the net rippled and Gomez had put the U.S. up, 1-0, to spark Crew Stadium to life. From there on out, it was all defense for the U.S. and few additional offensive chances.  Howard and his backline of defenders managed to deal with Jamaica’s three second-half shot. In the midfield, Jermaine Jones, a dual citizen of America and Germany, pushed and muscled his way around the field to stop the Jamaican attacks. Jamaica never had a shot on goal. In the 82nd minute, Howard skied to tip a seemingly threatening corner kick away from the mouth of his goal, and most of the 23,881 still in attendance roared with approval. Jamaica, nicknamed the “Reggae Boyz,” wouldn’t mount another serious attack.  After three minutes of extra time, Honduran referee Jose Pineda blew his whistle to end the game and send the packed stadium into one final frenzied cheer. read more

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Xhaka Nothing is finished yet

first_imgArsenal’s Grant Xhaka has admitted that is “unbelievable” that 10-man Atletico Madrid managed to escape with a 1-1 draw against them, but he remains certain that “nothing is finished” yetThe Swiss midfielder started for the Gunners in what was Arsene Wenger’s final European home match in the first leg of their semi-final tie against the Spanish side.Due to Sime Vrsaljko’s 10th-minute dismissal, Arsenal dominated the game and looked set to take a lead to Madrid next week when Alexandre Lacazette headed them in front.But Antoine Griezmann then took advantage of some poor defensive work to score a vital away goal.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“I think we played a great match… Atletico had one shot on our goal and scored. It’s unbelievable because we didn’t want that today, we wanted to have a good result at home. But it’s 1-1 and now we must focus on next week.” Xhaka told the club website.The 25-year-old feels that Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak proved to be crucial in keeping his side in the game.“No, I don’t think so. We had a lot of chances. We were a bit unlucky with the amazing match of the goalkeeper of Atletico. A 1-1 draw isn’t the result we wanted but nothing is finished,” analysed Xhaka.On the return leg, he added: “We know we must score one goal. We must play like we did today, we must focus for over 90 minutes because you can see it’s always dangerous against Atletico.”last_img read more

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Bimini man killed in family feud

first_img Related Items:#Biminishooting, #magneticmedianews, #mankillsbrotherinBimini Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, March 13, 2017 – Bimini – The murder toll for the country is at 34 now after a weekend shooting in Bimini, reportedly between brothers.  A 21 year old man is dead, shot at a home in South Bimini, he was rushed to medical care but he still died.#MagneticMediaNews #mankillsbrotherinBimini #Biminishootinglast_img

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Search for San Diego Police Departments next police chief

first_img Categories: Local San Diego News Tags: Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, San Diego Police Department FacebookTwitter January 16, 2018 Steve Bosh Steve Bosh, Posted: January 16, 2018center_img Updated: 10:12 AM 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The process for selecting San Diego’s next police chief has come under fire by some community groups who say there needs to be more than an advisory role for the public in choosing a new chief.Eighteen community leaders and six other members from city boards and commissions make up the advisory group that’s interviewing the candidates.Their information will then go to the search firm hired to oversee the process.Critics of the process see a lack of transparency because the members of the advisory panel will remain secret and the public will not have a chance to question the three finalists for the job.This is about the public’s safety and two audits of the police department, one by the Justice Department and one by San Diego State, found flaws in how the department has handled internal problems, citizen complaints and problematic behavior such as racial profiling. Critics of the process want to confront the finalists on these concerns and they want to know the identity of the panel members.“If they are members of the community or not, and having that open process everybody can see and know that there’s real transparency, you know it leaves us in the dark, and therefore we can’t trust the process,” said Cornelius Bowser of Alliance San Diego.The Mayor’s Office said naming the panelists would open the process up to lobbying by special interest groups.There have been several community forums for public input and an online survey. But again, these are advisory. The process follows the city charter, the mayor appoints a chief with approval from the council. Councilmember Chris Cate said calling it a secret panel is unfortunate.“What I do appreciate though is that the city and the mayor’s office is gonna be holding community hearings to hear feedback, the online survey will allow people to provide feedback,” said Chris Cate back in October of last year.Becky Hunt of one of those critics.“I would like to see one that there is no more racial profiling. That bothers me,” Hunt said.Tony Thomas suggests the ultimate public input is a vote of the people.“There are certain things that they don’t let us vote on,” Thomas said.In his state of the city address, Mayor Faulconer spent a few minutes on the city’s new contract with the cops to keep the department competitive in recruiting and retaining officers.Mayor Faulconer didn’t mention the controversy over the search for a new chief except to say, “Our next police chief will help to keep our city one of the safest cities in the nation.”The process has three stages: The selection of the 24-panel members, reducing the candidates to three and the mayor interviewing the three finalists. The process outlined by the mayor’s office says they are in phase three. Search for San Diego Police Department’s next police chieflast_img read more

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Bill Reilly Founder of Primedia Dies

first_imgA wake is scheduled for October 21 in New York at the Frank E. Campbell funeral home from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The funeral will be held Wednesday, Oct. 22 at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in New York at 10:00 a.m.Reilly founded Primedia (then K-III Communications) in 1989 in partnership with Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts & Co, creating one of the country’s largest publishing companies through the aggregation of special-interest magazines, including, at the time, New York magazine, Soap Opera Digest and hundreds of other titles. “If you stay in the niches, you’re fine,” Reilly once told the New York Times.(In 1996, Reilly oversaw the controversial dismissal of New York editor Kurt Andersen, who had written “several unflattering articles” about friends of Primedia owner Henry R. Kravis.)Reilly, though, was forced out by KKR in 1999.Post-PrimediaIn 2001 Reilly partnered with Providence Equity Partners, forming Aurelian Communications, which acquired F+W Publishing for $130 million the following year. F+W was sold in 2005 for $500 million.Reilly broke into publishing as president of Macmillan, Inc. in 1980. He also served on the board of directors at a number of companies and institutions, including FMC Chemicals, WNET, Barnes & Noble, Harvard Business School Publishing and was a trustee of the University of Notre Dame.He founded Summit Business Media in 2006 through a partnership with Wind Point Partners, which acquired Highline Media and Pfingsten Publishing in November of that year.Reilly stepped down as CEO of Summit last year, relinquishing the role to Andy Goodenough. He retained the title of chairman.”Going into the formation of Summit in November 2006, my plan was to drive the initial growth of the business for several years as CEO, and then step back to the Chairman role,” Reilly said at the time.  “I am delighted to be able to report that Summit, in less than two years, is off to a great start and has taken its place as a major B2B media company with more than 26 magazine titles, 150 reference books and electronic products and 100 live events.”Reilly was a deal man at heart. In 1998 he told attendees at the American Magazine Conference that he “welcomed a recession because it might allow him to snatch up some new properties.”And, it appears, Reilly remained a shrewd investor until the end. According to the New York Observer, Reilly recently sold his East River mansion—a home comprised of two converted townhouses—for $32.5 million, well above its $25 million asking price.Reilly had paid $5.1 million for the properties in the 1990s before combining them. RELATED: Magazine Industry Reacts to Death of Primedia Founder Bill ReillyWilliam F. Reilly, a well-regarded executive whose career spanned more than 30 years in special interest and b-to-b magazine publishing, died at his home on Friday after a year-long battle with cancer, his family said. He was 70.Reilly [pictured] had most recently served as chairman of Summit Business Media.last_img read more

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Coco Remember Me Wins Oscar For Best Original Song

first_img Twitter Previous winners for ‘Frozen”s “Let It Go,” songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez win again, making him the only double-EGOTPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Mar 5, 2018 – 11:58 am In a repeat from the Oscar success of Frozen four years ago, the movie Coco won on March 4 for Best Animated Feature as well as for Best Original Song. The previous winning song was titled “Let It Go” and encouraged self-expression. This year’s “Remember Me” is an instruction that will be obeyed, as songwriting couple Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez must now consider whether there is room for their second Oscar on their awards shelves.At the 57th GRAMMY Awards, the Frozen composers won for Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media and for “Let It Go,” which won Best Song Written For Visual Media. Robert Lopez previously had won Best Musical Theater Album at the 54th GRAMMY Awards for composing The Book Of Mormon together with “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. ‘Coco’: “Remember Me” Wins Oscar For Best Original Song Facebook News The acronym EGOT stands for Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar, and Tony, the four major entertainment industry awards voted on by peer professionals. Thanks to his track record of Broadway and television success, this second Oscar win puts Robert Lopez over the top to become the first person ever to win two of each award.Robert Lopez has won three Tony Awards for his stage work, Best Book Of A Musical and Best Original Score for The Book of Mormon and a previous Best Original Score for the imaginative Avenue Q, which combined human actors with puppets. He twice won the Daytime Emmy Award in Outstanding Music Direction and Composition for “The Wonder Pets,” which ran for four seasons.Getting The Latest Music News Just Got Easier. Introducing: GRAMMY Bot. Find it On KIK and Facebook MessengerRead more “Remember Me” Wins Best Original Song Oscar coco-remember-me-wins-oscar-best-original-song Email https://twitter.com/DisneyPixar/status/970510305489969152last_img read more

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Quota protests across country Sunday

first_imgProthom Alo File PhotoQuota protesters demanding gazette notification in line with the prime minister’s pledge, will hold demonstration on Dhaka University campus on Sunday.They said there will be no classes and examinations at all universities across the country till 1:00pm on Sunday as part of their demonstration.Leaders of Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Songrokkhon Parishad (General Students Rights Protection Council), the platform that initiated the demonstration for quota reforms in public services, announced the programme at a press conference in front of the central library of Dhaka University on Saturday.”The demonstrators are being harrassed. The police personnel are trying to arrest them in Cumilla and Rangpur. The students will not sit idle if such attempts continue,” the council’s convenor Hasan Al Mamun said.He demanded release of the demonstrators who were arrested and condemned terrorist attacks on protesters.The terrorists allegedly attacked the home of the council’s joint convenor Jasim Uddin and roughed up his family members.”We will not leave the streets until the gazette notification (abolising quota system) is issued,” said the council’s joint convenor Faruk Hassan.At the height of quota protests, prime minister Sheikh Hasina announced in parliament on 11 April that there would be no quota from now on.The public administration ministry has recently sent a proposal to the prime minister, to constitute a committee for recommending measures on whether quota system would be abolished or amended.last_img read more

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24 killed in Iran parade attack Tehran blames US ally

first_imgThere was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting rampage dubbed a “terrorist” attack by the authorities, in which at least 53 people were also wounded. This picture taken on 22 September 2018 shows the long-range Iranian missile `Khoramshahr` being shown during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein`s Iraq, in the capital Tehran. In Iran`s southwestern city of Ahvaz during commemoration of the same event, dozens of people were killed with dozens others wounded in an attack targeting another army parade, state media reported on 22 September. Photo: AFPMilitants shot dead at least 24 people including women and children at a military parade in southwestern Iran on Saturday, state media reported, in a rare attack the government blamed on a US ally in the region. “Of the four terrorists, three were sent to hell at the scene, while the fourth who had been wounded and arrested went to hell moments ago due to his severe wounds,” Shekarchi told state television. Khuzestan was a major battleground of the 1980s war with Saddam’s Iraq and the attack on the anniversary parade in Ahvaz had significant symbolic value. The deadly shooting targeted the city of Ahvaz in Khuzestan, a province bordering Iraq that has a large ethnic Arab community and has seen separatist violence in the past which Iran has blamed on its regional rivals. Armed forces spokesman Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said that the dead included a young girl and a former serviceman in a wheelchair. In April, 26 alleged IS jihadists went on trial on charges connected with that twin attack. “This event once again reminds us about the necessity of an uncompromising battle against terrorism in all of its manifestations.” On 7 June 2017, 17 people were killed and dozens wounded in simultaneous attacks in Tehran on the parliament building and on the tomb of revolutionary leader Ruhollah Khomeini — the first inside Iran claimed by the Sunni Muslim extremists of the Islamic State group. “They are funded by Saudi Arabia and attempted to cast a shadow over the Iranian armed forces.” “Those who opened fire on civilians and the armed forces have links to the Ahvazi movement,” Guards spokesman Ramezan Sharif told ISNA. Khuzestan deputy governor Ali-Hossein Hosseinzadeh told the semi-official ISNA news agency that a journalist was also among the dead. He also said earlier that “eight to nine” troops had been killed. Attacks by Kurdish rebels on military patrols along the border further north are relatively common. In a keynote speech, Rouhani vowed to boost Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities despite Western concerns that were cited by his US counterpart Donald Trump in May when he abandoned a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran. But foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he held a US ally in the region responsible. “Terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz,” Zarif said in a tweet, adding: “Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attacks”. Washington has said it is ready to open talks on a new agreement to replace the July 2015 accord, but Tehran has said repeatedly it cannot negotiate under the pressure of the sanctions. But attacks on regime targets inside major cities are far rarer. – Rouhani defiant -The attack in Ahvaz came as Iranian president Hassan Rouhani was among the dignitaries at the main anniversary parade in Tehran. The province saw unrest in 2005 and 2011 but has since seen been largely quiet. Zarif vowed Iran would “respond swiftly and decisively in defence of Iranian lives”. Police said that five people were arrested at the scene of the attacks and dozens more arrests were reported in the following months — many along the borders with Iraq and Turkey. Trump and Rouhani will both be in New York next week for the United Nations General Assembly. But Iran has repeatedly ruled out any meeting. “The number of martyrs of the terrorist incident reached 24, some of whom were women and children among the spectators,” IRNA said, adding the death toll could rise further as many of the wounded were in critical condition. – Finger pointed at Riyadh -Zarif did not specify which regional government he held responsible for the shooting, but Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said the attackers were funded by Sunni arch rival Saudi Arabia. Iran has ballistic missiles with a range of up to 3,500 kilometres (2,200 miles), enough to reach both Israel and US bases in the Middle East. In a message of condolence to Russia’s close regional ally, president Vladimir Putin said he was “appalled by this bloody crime.” The United States reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran last month, and a new round of even harsher sanctions targeting Iran’s vital oil sector is set to go back into effect on 5 November. “We will never decrease our defensive capabilities… we will increase them day by day,” Rouhani said at a military parade. “The fact that the missiles anger you shows they are our most effective weapons,” he said, referring to the West.last_img
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Thailand to hold delayed election in Feb military govt

first_imgPeople vote behind booths at a polling station in Bangkok on 2 February 2014. — Photo: ReutersThailand will hold a much-delayed general election on 24 February 2019, the election commission said on Tuesday, after the junta lifted a ban on political activity it imposed after taking power in a coup in 2014.The junta imposed the strict ban on political activity citing the need for order after months of street protests against the democratically elected government of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.The election, which many hope will restore democracy in Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy, will likely pit the populist political movement backed by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and supported by many in rural areas against the military and royalist establishment.The Bangkok-based establishment seized power in successive coups in 2006 and 2014 and now has its own proxy political parties.The junta began easing the ban in September, when it allowed political parties to resume organising ahead of an election expected in February.It still retains sweeping powers to maintain law and order despite lifting the ban, including conducting searches, freezing assets, and making arrests.The election commission confirmed the Feb. 24 election date on Tuesday, just before a statement announcing the ban on political activity had been lifted was published in the Royal Gazette.“The people and political parties will be able to take part in political activities during this period leading up to the election in accordance with the constitution,” the statement said..Thailand last held a successful election in 2011 but the election commission said it was ready to go ahead with the 24 February poll.“The lifting of the ban means political activities can resume, including political campaigning, but this has to be done under the law,” deputy election commission secretary-general Sawang Boonmee told Reuters.last_img read more

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Nearthreshold computing could enable up to 100x reduction in power consumption

first_img Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. In a recent study, a team of researchers, Ronald Dreslinski, et al., from the University of Michigan, have investigated a solution to the power problem by using a method called near-threshold computing (NTC). In the NTC method, electronic devices operate at lower voltages than normal, which reduces energy consumption. The researchers predict that NTC could enable future computer systems to reduce energy requirements by 10 to 100 times or more, by optimizing them for low-voltage operation. Unfortunately, low-voltage operation also involves performance trade-offs: specifically, performance loss, performance variation, and memory and logic failures. Continuing Moore’s lawAs the researchers explain, reducing power consumption is essential for allowing the continuation of Moore’s law, which states that the number of transistors on a chip doubles about every two years. Continuing this exponential growth is becoming more and more difficult, and power consumption is the largest barrier to meaningful increases in chip density. While engineers can design chips to hold additional transistors, power consumption has begun to prohibit these devices from actually being used. As the researchers explain, engineers are currently facing “a curious design dilemma: more gates can now fit on a die, but a growing fraction cannot actually be used due to strict power limits. … It is not an exaggeration to state that developing energy-efficient solutions is critical to the survival of the semiconductor industry.” In the past, technologies that required large amounts of power eventually became replaced by more energy-efficient technologies; for example, vacuum tubes were replaced by transistors. Today, transistors are arranged using CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) circuitry design techniques. Since beyond-CMOS technologies are still far from being commercially viable, and large investments have been made in CMOS-based infrastructure, the Michigan researchers predict that CMOS will likely be around for a while. For this reason, solutions to the power problem must come from within. Using Moore’s law as the metric of progress has become misleading: starting around the 65-nm node, improvements in packing densities no longer translate to proportional increases in performance or energy efficiency. Researchers predict that near-threshold computing could restore the relationship between transistor density and energy efficiency. Credit: Dreslinski, et al. ©2010 IEEE. “NTC is an enabling technology that allows for continued scaling of CMOS-based devices, while significantly improving energy efficiency,” Dreslinski told PhysOrg.com. “The major impact of the work is that, for a fixed battery lifetime, significantly more transistors can be used, allowing for greater functionality. Particularly, [NTC allows] the full use of all transistors offered by technology scaling, eliminating ‘Dark Silicon’ that occurs as we scale to future technology nodes beyond 22 nm where ’more transistors can be placed on chip, but will be unable to be turned on concurrently.’”Operating at threshold voltageNear-threshold computing could be the key to decreasing power requirements without overturning the entire CMOS framework, the researchers say. Although low-voltage computing is already popular as an energy-efficient technique for ultralow-energy niche markets such as wristwatches and hearing aids, its large circuit delays lead to large energy leakages that have made it impractical for most computing segments. So far, these ultralow-energy devices have operated at extremely low “subthreshold” voltages, from around 200 millivolts down to the theoretical lower limit of 36 millivolts. Conventional voltage operation is about 1.0 volts. Meanwhile, near-threshold operation occurs around 400-500 millivolts, or near a device’s threshold voltage.Operating at near-threshold rather than subthreshold voltages could provide a compromise, enabling devices to require less energy while minimizing the energy leakage. This improved trade-off could potentially open up low-voltage design to mainstream semiconductor products. However, near-threshold computing still faces the other three challenges mentioned earlier: a 10 times performance loss, five times increase in performance variation, and an increase in functional failure rate of five orders of magnitude. These challenges have not been widely addressed so far, but the Michigan researchers spend the bulk of their analysis reviewing the current research to overcome these barriers.Part of the attraction of near-threshold computing is that it could have nearly universal applications in high-demand segments, such as data centers and personal computing. As the Web continues to grow, more data centers and servers are needed to host websites, and their power consumption is currently doubling about every five years. Personal computing devices, many of which are portable, could also benefit from increased battery lifetime due to reduced power needs. Dreslinski notes that previous studies have shown that the impact of NTC on devices will vary based on a particular consumer’s usage. “A user who only uses their device for making phone calls won’t see much impact because most of the power is consumed outside the CPU,” he said. “However, users who utilize music/video players and other compute-intensive tasks on their phone could see significant battery life improvements and reduced heat generated by the device. Quantifying these numbers is difficult based on the varying workloads of users coupled with parallel advances in battery technologies. My unofficial estimate would be a 1.5x to 2x improvement in battery lifetime, although some users could see significantly more or less.”Near-threshold computing could also be useful in sensor-based systems, which have applications in biomedical implants, among other areas. While these sensors may have a size of about 1 mm3, they often require batteries that are many orders of magnitude larger than the electronics themselves. By reducing the power requirements by up to 100 times in sensors, near-threshold computing could open the doors to many possible future designs. (PhysOrg.com) — While electronic devices have greatly improved in many regards, such as in storage capacity, graphics, and overall performance, etc., they still have a weight hanging around their neck: they’re huge energy hogs. When it comes to energy efficiency, today’s computers, cell phones, and other gadgets are little better off than those from a decade ago, or more. The problem of power goes beyond being green and saving money. For electrical engineers, power has become the primary design constraint for future electronic devices. Without lowering power consumption, improvements made in other areas of electronic devices could be useless, simply because there isn’t enough power to support them. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Explore further Nanotech SRAM for battery devices unveiled Citation: Near-threshold computing could enable up to 100x reduction in power consumption (2010, February 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-02-near-threshold-enable-100x-reduction-power.html More information: Ronald G. Dreslinski, Michael Wieckowski, David Blaauw, Dennis Sylvester, Trevor Mudge. “Near-Threshold Computing: Reclaiming Moore’s Law Through Energy Efficient Integrated Circuits.” Proceedings of the IEEE. Vol. 98, No. 2, February 2010. Doi:10.1109/JPROC2009.2034764last_img read more

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Proposal moved in Assembly to bring DDA within Delhi government ambit

first_imgIn a bid to improve infrastructural development in the national Capital, the Delhi Assembly on Friday passed a private member bill to bring Delhi Development Authority (DDA) under the control of the Delhi government, amid claims that the land-owning agency has no free land for infrastructural development. AAP MLA Sanjiv Jha moved a resolution in the Assembly seeking DDA to come under the Delhi government. Moving the proposal on Friday, Jha said: “The DDA has failed to execute the master plan and it is responsible for the condition of the unauthorised colonies. If Delhi government needs land, it has to place a request before the DDA.” Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreHe alleged that corruption in DDA has casted a shadow on regularisation of unauthorised colonies.“DDA’s land pooling policy doesn’t say how it will do land pooling in unauthorised colonies,” the AAP lawmaker said.Another AAP MLA, Dinesh Mohaniya told the Delhi Assembly that the elected government in Delhi has limited mandate to carry out development works. “Delhi government has made a payment of Rs 210 crore for buying land for construction of schools and hospitals. The same money could have been used aid other development works. Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrested“The public has voted for the Delhi government, but DDA reports to the Lieutenant Governor,” the AAP legislator from Sangam Vihar said. However, the BJP in the Delhi Assembly snubbed at the AAP, saying that the DDA can’t be brought under the control of Arvind Kejriwal-led government.“President of India has the ownership of the land acquired in Delhi. His representative, Lieutenant Governor has been vested with the power to administer the same,” BJP legislator from Vishwas Nagar, Om Prakash Sharma, said.last_img read more

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79 youth in JK have joined militant ranks this yr Govt

first_img79 youth in Kashmir Valley have joined various terror outfits during this year, a figure which is 30 per cent higher than that of the previous year, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday.Replying to a written question by BJP member Lal Sinh Vadodia, Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said as per reports, 79 youths have joined militant ranks during 2015 (as on November 30) whereas 60 youths joined militant ranks during the corresponding period of 2014.There has been a growing concern within the security establishment about the sudden increase in disappearance of youths in Kashmir Valley this year and reports coming in suggest that they have joined various militant organisations, especially pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen led by Burhan Wani.The minister informed the Upper House that the terrorist activities in the Jammu and Kashmir were regularly being monitored and reviewed at various levels. He said that the government has adopted various counter measures to neutralise these efforts and capabilities of militants to disturb peace in the state.Chaudhary said the government has also encouraged policies to mainstream the youth, including providing employment opportunities to wean them away from militancy.He said various steps have been initiated, including proactively taking suitable measures to safeguard the borders from cross-border terrorism and containing militancy.last_img read more

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Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman now accepting reservations

first_img Travelweek Group Share Thursday, January 19, 2017 Posted by Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman now accepting reservations << Previous PostNext Post >> GRAND CAYMAN – Reservations are now open for Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman, the multi-million-dollar renovation project situated on Grand Cayman’s famous Seven Mile Beach.Nightly rates start at US$229, depending on room type, for stays beginning after Feb. 4. Each of the 285 rooms will feature a work desk, walk-in shower or tub, 55-inch LCD television, high-speed Wi-Fi, Keurig coffeemaker and more.Other hotel amenities include the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill, now open during the resort’s soft opening phase. Following shortly thereafter will be License to Chill Bar and Margaritaville Coffee Shop. A complete soft opening will also include 109 guestrooms, the resort’s main pool and a signature steakhouse called YARA.Once complete, Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman will feature an activity pool with a waterslide, a large pool with swim-up bar, a zero-entry kiddie pool area, an adult-friendly pool, live entertainment, retail shops, complimentary kids club, 24-hour fitness centre, flexible meeting and event space, an on-site Red Sail Sports Desk, and six food and beverage venues.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agency“We have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to create an incredible, one-of-a-kind island getaway and we are thrilled to celebrate this milestone, opening reservations,” said Michael Evans, executive vice president of HHG Holdings, the ownership group for Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman. “We look forward to welcoming guests for what we know will be an unforgettable Caribbean escape featuring warm, authentic Caymanian hospitality and of course, the Margaritaville lifestyle!”For more information go to MargaritavilleResortGrandCayman.com.last_img read more

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Playacar Palace shows off its complete transformation

first_img Monday, February 12, 2018 Share Posted by Playacar Palace shows off its complete transformation MIAMI — Palace Resorts’ Playacar Palace, the brand’s luxury retreat in Playa del Carmen, has reopened following an extensive US$14 million multi-phase renovation.The latest refurbishment marks the hotel’s second phase of renovations since it opened its doors in December 2005.Photo courtesy of Palace ResortsThe transformation “was designed to elevate the resort to the highest possible luxury standards”, says Palace Resorts.Renovation details include upgrades to guest rooms, lobby, front desk, restaurants, and lounge areas.Each of the 201 rooms boasts new décor, installation of modern furnishings, enhanced showers and vanity areas, top-of-the-line Lavazza coffee makers and advanced jets added to the in-room double whirlpool tubs.The property’s existing ‘Walk Out’ suites now feature a private terrace which adds to the romantic ambiance.Suite access is now available via wearable tech wristbands, allowing guests to open the door to their suites with a wave of the hand.Photo courtesy of Palace ResortsKeeping the keyless addition consistent, by downloading the Palace Resorts app via their mobile phone (available in the App Store and Google Play), guests can also open their room doors with their phones.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoTechnological upgrades were also made to the property’s AC systems, featuring new hydraulic systems to ensure the resort meets eco-friendly standards.“As a brand, we are always looking to reinvent ourselves and elevate each part of any guests experience. It’s not only about being better but also about offering our guests a completely unique experience, while offering the highest quality of standards,” said Gibran Chapur, Executive Vice President of Palace Resorts.“The renovations to Playacar Palace are only one of the many ways, our brand continues to evolve and stay ahead of the most demanded trendy in the luxury all-inclusive We are proud to open our doors to the newly-revamped Playacar Palace.”Photo courtesy of Palace ResortsThe property’s main restaurant, Café del Mar, now has new furniture and reupholstery. The venue now features a cold show cooking area where guests can see chefs artistic plating-style each dish as it receives its final touches before making its way to the table.The Italian cuisine restaurant formerly known as Terraza has reopened as Bocelli, sporting a new style and menu, that’s in line with the brand’s look and feel. The newly released menu features some premium quality Certified Angus Beef cuts in tasteful signature dishes such as Controfilleto e Formaggio, Ribeye con Grani di Pepe and the ever-popular Petit Filet. To accompany these flavorful dishes will be the brand’s own pasta which is created by an expert team of chefs in-house. Antonio Bachour’s decadent desserts are also now part of the offerings at Bocelli.Photo courtesy of Palace ResortsLast but not least, Momo, known for its traditional oriental cuisine, features a new menu built to create a culinary sharing experience for the whole dining party. Featuring items such as Maki sushi, Nigiri, Special Sushi Cakes, Temaki and more. Antonio Bachour’s new desserts will be included throughout the property’s new culinary upgrades at each restaurant.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemGuests who book a stay of five nights or more are privy to what Palace Resorts says is the most valuable vacation promotion on record – $1,500 resort credit – which can be used on spa and beauty salon treatments, golf outings, romantic dinners, wedding packages, and off-site excursions and tours.Photo courtesy of Palace Resortscenter_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Palace Resortslast_img read more

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Interviewed by Louis James Editor International

first_img(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator)[Skype rings: It’s Doug Casey, calling from Cafayate, Argentina. He sounds tired, but pleased with himself.]Doug: Lobo, get out your mower; it’s time to cut down some green shoots again, and debunk a bit of the so-called recovery.L: Ah. I have to say, Doug, the so-called recovery is looking more than “so-called” to a lot of smart folks. Even our own Terry Coxon says the recovery is real, albeit weak.Doug: Terry’s probably looking at it by the numbers, some of which are reported to be improving. But let’s come back to the numbers later and start with fundamentals. The first order of business, as usual, is a definition: a depression is a period of time in which the average standard of living declines significantly. I believe that’s what we’re seeing now, whatever the numbers produced by the politicians may seem to tell us.L: I was just shopping for food and noticed that the bargain bread was on sale at two for $5. My gas costs almost as much per gallon. That’s got to hurt a lot of people, especially on the lower income rungs. I don’t need to ask; a member of my family just got a job that pays $12 per hour – about three times what I made working for the university food service back when I was in college – and it’s not enough to cover his rent and basic bills. If his wife gets similar work, they’ll make ends meet, but woe unto them if anyone in their family crashes a car or requires serious medical treatment.Doug: That’s just what I mean. Actually, the trend towards both partners in a marriage having to work really started in the early ’70s – after Nixon cut all links between the dollar and gold in August of 1971. Before then, in the “Leave it to Beaver” era, the average family got by quite well with only the husband working. If he got sick or lost his job, the wife was a financial backup system. Now, if something happens to either one, the family is screwed. I think, from a very long-term perspective, historians will one day see the ’60s as the peak of American prosperity – certainly relative to the rest of the world… but perhaps even in absolute terms, even taking continued advances in technology into account. Maybe the ’59 Cadillac was the bell ringing at the top of that civilizational market.My friend Frank Trotter, president of EverBank, was just telling me that the net worth of the median US citizen is only $6,000. That’s the median, meaning that half of the people have less than that. Most people don’t even have enough stashed away to buy the cheapest new car without going into debt. It used to be that people bought cars out of savings, with cash. Now they have to finance them over at least five years… or lease them – which means they never ever have even that trivial asset, but a liability in the form of a lease.The bulk of the 49 percent below this guy don’t even have that – with the concentration of wealth among the top one percent, most of those below average have seriously negative net worth, at least compared to their earning capacity. In other words, the US, Europe, and other so-called First World countries are in a wealth-liquidation cycle that will be as profound as it will be protracted.By that I mean that people are on average consuming more than they produce. That can only be done by living out of capital – consuming savings – or accumulating debt. For a time, this may drive corporate earnings up, and give this dead-man-walking economy the appearance of returning health, but it’s essentially, necessarily, and absolutely unsustainable. This is an illusion of recovery we’re seeing – the result of our Wrong-Way Corrigan politicians continuing to encourage people to do the exact opposite of what they should do.L: Which is?Doug: Save. People shouldn’t be getting new cars, new TVs, and new clothes. They should be cutting expenses to the bone.The Obama administration, just like the Baby Bush administration before it – there really is no great difference between the Evil Party and the Stupid Party – and its minions in the US and its cronies around the world, stubbornly stick to the bankrupt idea that economic growth is driven by consumption. This is confusing cause and effect. Healthy consumption follows profitable production in excess of consumption, resulting in savings – accumulated capital – that can either be spent without harm, or invested in future growth.Consumption doesn’t cause an economy to grow at all. To paraphrase: “It’s productivity that creates wealth, stupid!”L: Policies aimed at encouraging consumption, instead of increasing production, are what turned the savings rate negative in the US and resulted in the huge sovereign debt issues we’re seeing in supposedly rich countries…Doug: Well, the governments themselves have spent way more than they had or ever will have, and that’s par for the course when you believe spending is a virtue. However, it’s the false signals government interference sends to the market that caused the huge malinvestments that only began to go into liquidation in 2008. That has to do with another definition of a depression: It’s a period of time when distortions and malinvestments in the economy are liquidated. Unfortunately, that process has barely even started. In fact, since the bailouts started in 2008, these things have gotten much worse. If the government had gone cold turkey back then, cut its spending by at least 50% for openers, and encouraged the public to do the same, the depression would already be over, and we’d be on our way to real prosperity. But they did just the opposite. So we haven’t yet entered the real meat grinder…L: Those false signals the government sends to the market being artificially low interest rates?Doug: Yes, and Helicopter Ben’s foolish leadership in the wholesale printing of trillions of currency units all around the world – I don’t really want to call dollars, euros, yen, and so forth money anymore. When individuals and corporations get those currency units, they think they’re wealthier than they really are and consume accordingly. Worse, those currency units flow first to the state – which feeds it power – and favored corporations, which get to spend it at old values. It’s very corrupting. There is also an ongoing regulatory onslaught – the government has to show it’s “doing something” – which makes it much harder for entrepreneurs to produce.In addition, keeping interest rates low encourages borrowing, and discourages saving – just the opposite of what’s needed. I don’t believe in any state intervention in the economy whatsoever, but in the crisis of the early 1980s, then-Fed Chairman Paul Volker headed off a depression and set the stage for a strong recovery by keeping rates very high – on the order of 15-18%. They can’t do that now, of course, because with the acknowledged government debt at $16 trillion, those kind of rates would mean $2.5 trillion in annual interest alone – more than the government takes in taxes. At this point, there’s no way out. And there’s much more tinkering with the system ahead, at the hands of fools who remain convinced they know what they’re doing, regardless of how abject their past failures have been.L: And yet, the interventions seem to be working. The “orderly default” in Greece seems to have saved the Eurozone for now, and critically important employment figures in the US show definite signs of improvement.Doug: Perhaps, but let’s take a closer look. I advocate the Greek government defaulting, overtly and immediately, on 100% of its debt, for several reasons. First, it would punish those who lent it money to do all the stupid and destructive things it’s done. Second, it would ensure that the Greek government wouldn’t be able to borrow again for a very long time. Third, it would liberate young and yet unborn Greeks, who are being turned into serfs by all that debt. It would also mean that most European banks would fail. Tough luck for those who relied on them. When new banks are established it will serve as a lesson to people to be more careful about where they put their capital. Anyway, it would be much less of a catastrophe than the way we’re currently heading.Here in the US, the twelve-month fiscal deficit is still over $1.2 trillion, an extreme situation that is gutting the value of the dollar, because it’s mostly financed by the Fed buying US debt. It’s temporarily expanded the eye of the storm we’re in, but it’s done nothing to dissipate the storm itself. Their easy-money policies may have bought them a little more time, but they will only make it worse when we do exit the eye of the storm.There’s a third definition of a depression that I use: a depression is the end phenomenon of an inflation-caused business cycle. Inflation is the sole cause of business cycles, and inflation is caused by governments and their central banks printing money. The government – the state – is 100% responsible for society’s economic problems. But it arrogantly represents itself as the cure. And people believe it. There’s no hope until the psychology of the average person changes.L: As Bob Lefevre used to say: “Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.” Want to update us on when you think the economy will return to panic mode?Doug: Earlier this year, I was expecting it sooner than I do now. Unless some black-swan event upsets the apple cart suddenly, I would not expect us to exit the eye of the storm at least until after the US presidential elections this fall. Maybe not until early 2013, as the reality of what’s in store sinks in. I pity the poor fool who’s elected president. In a way, I hope it’s Obama who wins, mainly because the worthless – contemptible, actually – Republican candidates yap on about believing in the free market, which means if one of them is somehow elected, the free market will be blamed for the catastrophe. Too bad Ron Paul will be too old to run in 2016, assuming that we actually have an election then…L: So, what about those numbers, then? Employment is up, and the oxymoronic notion of a “jobless recovery” was one of our criticisms before…Doug: Yes, but look at the jobs that have been spawned; they are mostly service sector. Such jobs can create wealth for certain individuals – it looks like we’ve put more lawyers to work again, as well as waiters and paper-pushers – but they don’t amount to increased production for the whole economy. They just reshuffle the bits around within the economy.L: Unlike my favorite – mining – which reported 7,000 new jobs in the latest report, if I recall correctly.Doug: Yes, unlike mining, which was more of an exception than the rule in those numbers. But that’s making the mistake of taking the government at its word on employment figures. As we’ve discussed before, if you look at John Williams’ Shadow Stats, which show various economic figures as the US government itself used to calculate them, unemployment has actually reached Great Depression levels.The US government is dishonestly fudging the figures as badly as the Argentine government – which is, justifiably, viewed as an economic laughingstock in most parts of the world. One reason things are going to get much worse in the US is that many of those with economic decision-making power think Cristina Fernandez Kirchner is a genius. A little while ago there was an editorial in the New York Times – the mouthpiece for the establishment – written by someone named Ian Mount. Get a load of this. I’ve got it in front of me.If you can believe it, the author actually says: “Argentina has regained prosperity thanks to smart economic measures.” The Argentine government “intervened to keep the value of its currency low, which boosts local industry by making Argentina’s exports cheaper abroad while keeping foreign imports expensive. Argentina offers valuable lessons … government spending to promote local industry, pro-job infrastructure programs and unemployment benefits does not turn a country into a kind of Soviet parody.”Well, no, I guess it turns it into something the US can ape. He goes on: “Argentina is hardly a perfect parallel for the United States. But the stark difference between its austere policies and low growth of the late 1990s and the pro-government, high-growth 2000s offers a test case for how to get an economy moving again. Washington would do well to pay attention.”The guy has obviously never been here, though he admits that “Argentina is far from perfect.” His modest concession is that the taxes to imports and exports have “scared away some foreign investment, while high spending has pushed inflation well over 20 percent. And it would be laughable to suggest that the United States follow its lead and default on its debt.”When I first read the article, I thought I was reading a parody in The Onion. I love Argentina and spend a lot of time down here. It’s a fantastic place to live – but not because of the government’s economic policies. Its only competition in state stupidity is Brazil, which regularly destroys its currency. Fortunately, though, the Argentine government is quite incompetent at people control, unlike the US. It leaves you alone. And there’s a reasonable chance the next president down here won’t be actively stupid, which isn’t asking much. But it’s amazing that the NYT can advocate Argentine government policy as something the US should follow. A collapse of the US economy would be vastly worse than that of the Argentine economy – the US dollar is the world’s currency. Here in Argentina they’re used to it and prepared for it to a good degree. Very unlike in the US.L: In the US, the welfare state has bloated beyond imagination. The damage already done is less visible because where there used to be private charity soup kitchens, there are now “food stamps” that look like ordinary credit cards, making the destitute among us look like everyone else at the supermarket. There are 50 million recipients, and that number is growing, not declining.By the way, John Williams is a speaker at the Casey Research Recovery Reality Summit we have coming up, April 27-29 in Weston, Florida. Perhaps this would be a good time to invite our readers down to hear John’s take on what the numbers really are – and to meet us. We’ll both be there.Doug: That’s true. Several readers made it to the event we just had at La Estancia de Cafayate, which went very well. We have some of the most interesting people in the world reading these conversations – it’s fun to get to meet more of them.L: Ah, that must be why you sound both upbeat and tired. A pity I didn’t get to sit in on Coffee with Casey with you in the new spa you built down there…Doug: Yes, it’s been a long couple of weeks, but I am pleased. You should see the place now; not only has the spa been completed since you were last here, they’re making good progress on the hotel, and there are houses going up all over the place. I’m tickled pink with our world-class 3,500 square-foot gym, where I was pumping iron for an hour today, and resistance swimming pool, among lots of other stuff. But the real attraction isn’t the toys, it’s the people.L: I’ll see it next time. It may be time to sit down with an architect. Meanwhile, back at the ranch here, what are the investment implications if the Crash of 2012 gets put off until the end of the year, or even becomes the crash of 2013?Doug: There are potentially many, but generally, the appearance of economic activity picking up is bullish for commodities, especially energy and raw materials like industrial metals and lumber. That’s not true for gold and silver, so we might see more weakness in the precious metals in the months ahead. I wouldn’t count on that, however, because government policy is obviously inflationary to anyone with any grasp of sound economics. That will keep many investors on the buy side. Plus, the central banks of the developing world – China, India, Russia, and many others – are constantly trading their dollars for gold. There are perhaps seven trillion dollars outside the US, and about $600 billion more are sent out each year via the US trade deficit.L: I know I bought some gold and silver in the recent dip and would love to have a chance to do so at even lower prices ahead.Doug: That’s the logical thing to do, given the fundamental realities we started this conversation with, but a lot of people will be scared into selling if gold does retreat. A good number will sell low, after buying high – happens every time, and is a big part of why commodities have such a tricky reputation. Most investors just don’t have the strength of conviction to be good speculators. Instead of looking at the world to understand what’s going on and placing intelligent bets on the logical consequences of the trends, regardless of what anyone else says or does, they go with the herd, buying when everyone else is buying and selling when everyone else is selling. This inverts the “buy low and sell high” formula. They let their thoughts be influenced by newspapers and the words of government officials.L: In other words, everything you see calls for gold continuing upward for some time – years – making any big retreats along the way great buying opportunities for those with the guts to act on them. Same for silver, and doubly so for the precious-metals mining stocks, and triply so for the junior stocks.Doug: Just so. I look forward to the day when I can sell my gold for quality growth stocks – but we’re nowhere near that point. But silver might correct less than gold if gold corrects due to the appearance of economic recovery – silver is, after all, an industrial metal as well as a monetary one.L: Agreed. And I can see the positive implications for energy as well, but Marin was just saying that natural gas has dropped below $2. That’s apparently starting to force oil and gas companies to remove reserves from their books – because reserves need to be economic, not just exist – which the market isn’t going to like. He sees some great bargains on solid companies ahead, and not just “gas” companies as many oil companies, including the major ones, produce both. Marin said one major company gets half its top line from gas sales. This is a huge shift.[Ed. Note: Louis is referring to Marin Katusa, chief energy investment strategist for Casey Research and editor of Casey Energy Opportunities and Casey Energy Report.]Doug: The devil is always in the details – it’s dangerous to oversimplify things, painting with a broad brush, as in, “A recovering economy will be bad for gold” or “A recovering economy will be good for energy.” You have to understand these markets well enough to really see how different forces and factors will affect them. Marin is unquestionably one of the sharpest analysts I’ve met in my life. He’s actually something of a genius, both academically smart and very street smart, in addition to being a workaholic. He runs a lot of my money. He’s done spectacularly well, and I expect him to do even better, because he constantly learns. Not much gets by him.L: Good reminder. So, if we’re looking at signs of economic recovery for a time, would you buy into copper, nickel, or other base-metal plays?Doug: Well, just because we might see signs of a temporary economic recovery, that doesn’t mean we will – and even if we do, they could easily be swept aside by any number of events, such as Europe taking another turn for the worse, or Japan or China starting to come apart at the seams. But, as a hedge, some near-term bets on industrial metals might not be a bad thing.L: How about agriculture?Doug: That’s one thing for which demand can never go down. Economic upturns or downturns may affect the mix of what people eat, but they won’t stop people from eating – or, if they do, we’ll have more pressing concerns than which way to play the markets. I remain especially bullish on cattle.L: Anything else?Doug: [Laughs] Many things. The right technology companies should do well; finding ways to do things faster-better-cheaper always adds value. Select mainstream equities in currently profitable sectors might do well as well – but I’d be very careful there. I can’t stress enough how close to the edge of collapse the global economic house of cards is – it could take another year or more to topple, or it could be starting today.L: Which leads to the other reason for owning precious metals – not as a speculation on skyrocketing prices, nor as an investment for good yield, but for prudence.Doug: Yes. Gold remains the only financial asset that is not simultaneously someone else’s liability. Anyone who thinks they have any measure of financial security without owning any gold – especially in the post-2008 world – is either ignorant, naïve, foolish, or all three.Look, we saw it coming, but everyone in the world could see Humpty Dumpty fall off the wall in 2008. Now we’re just waiting for the crash at the bottom, and no amount of wishful thinking otherwise is going to change that. It’s a truly dangerous world out there, and blue chips are no longer the safe investments they once seemed to be. You don’t have to be a gold bug to see the wisdom of allocating some capital – and not just a token amount – to cover the possibility that I’m right about what’s coming. There’s some opportunity cost associated with taking out this kind of insurance, but it’s not catastrophic if I’m wrong, and the cost of failing to do so if I’m right is catastrophic. That really is the bottom line.L: Financially. If you’re right about the coming Greater Depression, people also need to take steps to batten down the hatches on their physical life arrangements.Doug: Right. As we’ve said many times now, your government is the greatest threat to your well-being these days. If at all possible, you should be taking steps to diversify your political risk. Foreign bank accounts are not illegal for most people in most countries, though they need to be reported. Getting one is a good start. Buying real estate I like in various countries is one of my favorite ways to diversify risk in my life. That’s partly because I like speculating in real estate, but much more so because whichever government thinks you’re its tax slave can’t force you to repatriate real estate you own abroad. Most of all, it’s because it’s good to have places to go if things get ugly wherever you happen to be.L: Very well. Any particular triggers you think we should watch out for – warning signs that we really are about to exit the eye of the storm?Doug: In the US, the Fed being forced to raise interest rates would be one, or inflation getting visibly out of control – which would force a change in interest rates – would be another. Who knows – Obama getting reelected could tip the scales. War in the Middle East could do it, or, as we already mentioned, China or Japan going off the deep end. The ways are countless. Black swans the size of pteranodons are circling in squadron strength. A lot of them are coming in for a landing.People will just have to stay sharp – sorry, there’s no easy way to survive a depression. As my friend Richard Russell says, “In a depression everybody loses. The winner is the guy who loses the least.” It will take work and diligent attention to what’s going on in the world and around us. We’ll do our best to help with The Casey Report, but each of us is and must be responsible for ourselves.L: Okay then, thanks for the guru update. No offense, but in spite of the investments I’ve made betting that you’re right, I hope you’re wrong, because the Greater Depression is going to destroy many lives, and the famines and wars it spawns even more – millions, I’m sure. Maybe more. The mind balks.Doug: Oh, I agree. I only wish I could believe otherwise, because I’m sure it’s going to be even worse than I think it will be… although I hope to be watching it in comfort and safety on my widescreen TV, not out my front window.L: I think we need to find something more upbeat to talk about next time.Doug: [Chuckles] Maybe. If there’s something important in the news we should cover it. It’s sure to be fodder for comedy – at least black comedy.L: As you say. ‘Til next week then.last_img read more

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