Woman tells how she tried desperately to save slain boyfriend

first_imgThe heartbroken girlfriend of a man who was shot dead at their Co Donegal home has told how she tried desperately to save his life.Andrew Allen died within seconds after a gunman shot three times into the bedroom of the couple’s home at Buncrana in February 2012. Mr Allen, aged 24, had been in bed around 9.30pm with partner Arelene Farrelly when the lone gunman called to the house at 26 Links View Park.Ms Farrelly told how herself and Mr Allen were tucked up in bed on the evening of February 9th, he was on his Playstation and she was on her phone while also watching television.In a statement to Donegal Coroner’s Court held at Buncrana Courthouse, Ms Farrelly, who was not present in court, told how she initially heard loud bangs at the front door of the house.She peeked out the curtains and saw a man dressed in a black baseball cap and dark clothing kicking at the door and holding what looked like a sawn-off shotgun in his hand.The scene of the murder of Andrew Allen in Buncrana in 2012.She told Mr Allen and he told her to call the Gardai as he struggled to get some clothing on.Seconds later three shots were fired through the bedroom window and Mr Allen slumped to the bedroom floor.Ms Farrelly’s statement read “He said “Arlene, I can’t feel my legs”. The blood was pumping out of him. It was coming out of his nose and his mouth. I tried to turn him in the bed but he was too heavy. He slid down, …I rang an ambulance.”Ms Farrelly ran to a neighbour’s home to get help and Mr Daniel McGonagle rushed to the scene.He said he could not do CPR but Ms Farrelly tried a number of times but Mr Allen did not respond.She eventually stopped and realised that her partner was dead.Mr McGonagle added that Mr Allen, whom he did not know personally, was turning blue and that his mouth was full of blood. He remarked to another neighbour who arrived in the house – “I think he’s as dead as a Dodo.”He revealed earlier how he had heard gunshots and came out of his house to see a grey or silver-coloured car leaving the scene.He recalled thinking he had seen the same car on the state a few days earlier and remarking that he was parked in a strange manner.In her statement Ms Farrelly revealed how her partner’s name had been on a list of six people sent in an envelope accompanied by a bullet to the Family Centre in Gobnascale in Derry a few weeks earlier.He stayed most of the time in Buncrana after that.However, she added that his family had been telephoned later to say the threat had been lifted and he was no longer on the list.She added “I know he (Andrew) was involved in drugs years ago but he had no involvement while he was with me.”Dr Stephen McNally, who was based at the Nowdoc Service in Carndonagh on the night of the killing, arrived at the scene and officially pronounced Mr Allen dead.The following day, former State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy carried out a post mortem on Mr Allen’s remains.Her report was read into the court by coroner Dr Denis McCauley.He said Mr Allen had been shot three times – in the right shoulder, the right hip and in the abdomen.The bullet which struck his right shoulder traveled down through his right lung and into his heart and this was the bullet which killed Mr Allen, Dr Cassidy’s report said.She found that Mr Allen died from a gunshot wound to the heart.Garda Detective Inspector Pat O’Donnell said he was assigned as the chief investigating officer in the case.He said that hundreds of lines of enquiry have been followed and hundreds of people interviewed.He added “It is my professional opinion that Andrew Allen died as a result of an unlawful killing.”He later appealed to anybody with any information on the murder to come forward and to speak to the Gardai in confidence.The jury of five men and two men only took a short time to agree unanimously that Mr Allen died as a result fo a gunshot wound to the heart and that his death was as a result of an unlawful killing.Coroner Dr McCauley expressed his sympathy to the members of the Allen family present in court as did Garda Inspector David Durkin and members of the jury.The Allen family declined to make a comment after the inquest.Woman tells how she tried desperately to save slain boyfriend was last modified: September 13th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Andrew Allenbuncranacoronerdeaddonegalinquestmurdershotlast_img read more

‘We can learn from Mandela’s life’

first_img19 July 2010President Jacob Zuma has urged South Africans to draw on the lessons of the life of former president Nelson Mandela and use this to better the lives of other people.Speaking at Mandela’s birthday celebrations in the Eastern Cape on Sunday, Zuma paid homage to a “true humanitarian” and called on fellow South Africans to take a leaf out of the 92-year-old Mandela’s book.One of the lessons Zuma outlined was the need for South Africans to continue working together to build the nation that Mandela envisaged.“The patriotism and unity that prevailed during the 2010 Fifa World Cup demonstrated to the world that this nation has a great future,” Zuma said.“We came very close if we did not fully achieve your dream, Tata, of one nation united in its diversity, celebrating its achievements and working together,” Zuma said.The “Madiba legacy” also encouraged African unity and solidarity, Zuma said, urging South Africans to continue in the spirit of African unity, love and friendship they had shown during the World Cup when they embraced African teams and their fans.“South Africa is an integral part of the African continent. Our future is intertwined with that of the African continent. Our government and people must, and will continue to work for the renewal and development of the continent,” he said.The President also encouraged South Africans to emulate Mandela by working hard to help people who are in need.Singling out Mandela’s vigorous charity work, even after he had retired from office, Zuma called on the government and citizens to follow suit by working together to speed up change in the country.Zuma urged South Africans to share Mandela’s concern for children by making a commitment to ensure that every child had an education and that the country was safer and a more loving place for them in live in.“Let us also join forces to make education a real apex priority for this nation. All our goals will be achieved in the long-term if we invest in education with all human and material resources.”Zuma called on South Africans to support the 1Goal Education for All Campaign by informing authorities about children in their neighbourhoods who were not attending school.The President said Mandela’s birthday was a wonderful occasion that united the world and South Africa in celebrating the life of a selfless leader“The 67 years of active contribution to a better South Africa has been recognised by the United Nations and is being celebrated as Mandela Day for the first time this year. We thank the world for never ceasing to recognise the successes of this nation.”Zuma also acknowledged those who had taken 67 minutes to do something positive for the country, the poor or the vulnerable.He paid tribute to the role Mandela played when he became president of the country in 1994. “Tata helped us to internalise that we are one nation, united in our diversity. He taught us to overcome hatred and embrace reconciliation.”Mandela had provided direction and laid down a solid legacy for all South Africans. “In honour of President Nelson Mandela, our actions going forward, should speak louder than any words of praise we may seek for ourselves.”Zuma wished Mandela a happy birthday on behalf of the whole of South Africa, thanking the former President for the supreme sacrifice he had made in his quest for freedom and justice.As part of the celebrations in the Eastern Cape, the President officially opened the Mvezo Multi-purpose Centre and revealed that renovations to the Mvevo Junior Secondary School were nearing completion.Celebrations for the Mandela’s birthday are expected to continue this week with members of Parliament and the Eastern Cape Provincial government visiting schools, embarking on environmental awareness campaign and an anti-child trafficking seminar; fencing of Heritage sites; and renovating the Mvezo dipping tank.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Decentralized P2P Lending Services vs Networks

first_imgWhy is Bitcoin Soaring? Tags:#lending#P2P lending Peer-to-peer lending (crowdfunding) is an alternative financial system, the essence of which is to provide individual lenders and borrowers with a way of lending money to unrelated persons, or equal parties, without involving a traditional financial intermediary.What is traditional P2P lending?This method of private lending has a long history and is even culturally traditional in some areas of the world. But in modern manifestations, it is usually found in the form of specialized online platforms that bring together those willing to lend with those who would like to borrow. Since such websites operate exclusively online, they have fewer and lower fixed costs, and can, therefore, provide their services cheaper than traditional financial institutions.As a result, borrowers can earn more than interest on deposits and other investment products offered by banks, and borrowers can get a loan with lower interest rates. That’s even taking into account the commission of the P2P lending provider itself, which it charges for its services of bringing together borrowers with lenders, as well as the function of checking the creditworthiness of a borrower.It is expected that by the year 2050, the global P2P lending industry will reach an annual turnover of 1 trillion USD.This is also a great moment to create decentralized P2P lending platforms, as more and more countries are now beginning to regulate their P2P lending industries. In countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, and Germany (where the industry is already regulated), it’s already become a popular alternative financing model. Across these countries, about 25 percent of the population is already using decentralized P2P lending to borrow funds.China (where P2P is mostly unregulated) and India (where P2P has until recently been primarily self-regulated) also have a potentially substantial P2P market. As more and more countries recognize P2P as a mainstream financing option, startups in this area will only look better.A decentralized credit system is a beautiful idea, especially when compared to conventional systems tied to large credit institutions. However, it also has its own innate problems.In particular, the creditor’s investments in P2P lending are usually not protected by any government guarantee. In some services, lenders may try to reduce the overall risk by diversifying their investments among different borrowers, and to reduce the risk of bad debts, having the ability to choose the borrowers to which they provide loans. But then the question arises: what information forms the basis for making this choice? Some P2P lending services use external Know-Your-Customer (KYC) solutions as well as solutions for determining the credit rating of potential borrowers. In other words, one must arbitrarily rely on the decisions of trusted third parties.Other problems include the limited scalability of local P2P lending services on an international scale. This ties in with the problems mentioned above of loan repayment guarantees, as well as with regulatory issues (rules and regulations vary from country to country). There is also work to be done on accelerating the process of granting loans, etc.Also, despite the supposed decentralization of P2P lending platforms, they still retain a certain degree of centralization. In particular, all records and identification data are stored and maintained by the central party, leaving room for human error or manipulation. This point may also impede the growth and coverage of a platform since centralization makes a system more vulnerable to regulations at the regional level. These regulations may differ significantly from country to country, which makes things even harder.And this is only a small sampler of the problems that traditional P2P lending services face; which, by the way, are in one way or another characteristic of all conventional financial institutions. Taken as a whole, they not only slow the business down but also reduce the possibility of scaling.However, there is hope that blockchain technology will solve most of these problems.First of all, the property of decentralization, already inherent in the P2P industry, makes it the blockchain’s natural use case. Also, transparency, equality of interest rates, and improved due diligence analysis make the use of blockchain technology in the P2P lending industry a good fit for both lenders and borrowers.Decentralized Credit ServicesUnsurprisingly, we’ve already witnessed the first P2P lending services beginning to appear on the blockchain. We will divide them into several groups.First of all, these are cryptocurrency-to-fiat P2P lendings, that include:SALTNexoRipioBlockFiOverall, cryptocurrency-to-fiat lending solutions are more like traditional semi-centralized P2P lending services, with nearly all the associated problems and disadvantages. They act as a third party and escrow in the lending transactions between their clients. The only difference from regular P2P lending services is that they don’t limit users to working with fiat, but facilitate the use of cryptocurrencies, and also use their own token for various services and additional incentives for customers. On the other hand, the ability to get cash for cryptocurrency collateral is a desirable option, which is currently more in demand in real life than pure cryptocurrency loans.Secondly, these are purely cryptocurrency P2P lendings, for example:ETHlendElixMaker DAOAs we see, the market for decentralized P2P lending solutions is gradually being filled by projects based on blockchain technologies. However, all these solutions have some impossible or difficult to overcome limitations.As we see, the market for decentralized P2P lending solutions is gradually filling with projects based on blockchain technologies. However, all these solutions have a number of impossible (or at least difficult-to-overcome) limitations.One of the main limitations is that most of these solutions are “closed” within a single cryptocurrency/blockchain ecosystem (Ethereum, in particular). But even when some of these lending services work with several different crypto-assets, their variety is often limited to a couple of the most popular ones. Also, most of the services are trying to tie their users to their native token – that contributes to the exclusiveness of these systems, rather than to their openness. So, in these cases, we can leave out any network effect, serious scalability, or possibility to build a more or less global network.In other words, blockchain-based decentralized P2P lending solutions inherit all the same problems from the primary Layer 1 blockchain projects (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.). These problems also include the lack of transaction atomicity (in cases where cross-chain transactions are involved, or there are fiat-to-crypto transactions).And finally, these are decentralized credit networks, which we will discuss in more detail.Decentralized Credit NetworkUnlike decentralized credit services, the decentralized credit networks can not only overcome the disadvantages as mentioned above of blockchain-based services but also significantly expand the opportunities offered to existing and potential users (including businesses).The principal difference between decentralized credit services and decentralized credit networks is that the latter, in addition to ensuring greater scalability and interoperability, also provide the transitivity of trust. The services must rely on third parties (in particular, to assess the creditworthiness of borrowers). In contrast, each network member in the transitive trust networks establishes his/her own trust lines with other users. And by doing go he/she evaluates and weighs all the risks. At the same time, other participants can use its trust lines (for example, when making multi-hop payments, etc.). A dishonest participant will have fewer trust lines with other network members or indeed have none at all. Thus self-regulation of the credit network will occur without the need for additional involvement of third parties.All this is made possible by the unique technological solutions used in them.Trustlines NetworkTrustlines Network is an Ethereum-based P2P platform for creating IOU networks. Based on the original concept behind Ripple, introduced by Ryan Fugger in 2004, the Trustlines Network will allow users to generate money and make secure payments among themselves. The high-level idea is that individuals provide credit for the people they trust, and only for an amount they consider fair. This provided credit is money that is valid for anyone who trusts the creditor. Thus, Trustlines Network is like the current credit-based monetary system, in a sense, but instead of just banks, anyone can become a creditor.Since the system’s scalability depends on well-connected users, users are motivated to establish as many connections as possible. This is done by including a small capacity fee in every transaction, which is paid to users/nodes that work as middlemen connecting two end nodes. In addition to the capacity fee, there is a relay fee (more on relays below), an imbalance fee (a fee for adding imbalance to a used trust line), and the Ethereum transaction fee. Optionally, users can also add an interest rate to any of their debtors.There can be an arbitrary number of currency networks within the Trustlines Network ecosystem, using a related Currency Network Token Factory smart contract. Thus, there is no single “Trustlines token,” but instead an arbitrary number of coexisting currencies that share only the Trustlines Network platform, which are called Trustlines Money. From the point of view of Helsinki, this type of dynamic IOU network would necessarily mean that the city should act as a central bank of sorts.The idea is quite promising, but TN is still tied exclusively to the Ethereum platform, which severely limits the versatility and scalability of this solution.GEO ProtocolThe GEO Protocol is a decentralized P2P protocol for value transfer. The basic idea is very similar to the idea of the Trustlines Network (or rather, Ryan Fugger’s original Ripple idea). But, unlike TN, the GEO has a more global approach to the problem – plus it is not tied to Ethereum or any other Layer 1 blockchain.The GEO is a Layer 3 protocol solution, one of the main goals of which is to solve the interoperability problem of various cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystems, as well as to interconnect them with traditional financial systems. In other words, the developers of the GEO Protocol set themselves the task to provide the possibility of creating the so-called Internet of Value: a universal system that unites all possible carriers of value, as well as methods for its transfer, into a single global network of value exchange.As you can see, this task is much broader than that considered in this article. However, the GEO Protocol also enables the creation of a number of use cases based on its technology, one of which is a decentralized P2P credit network: a network in which each user can define, create and maintain their own credit links.Other benefits of the GEO Protocol technology include the following:Provides atomicity of all payments (including cross-chain payments).Automatically finds payment paths between nodes with no direct credit links, and also determines the maximum payment (maximum flow) capacity of these paths. Allows automatic clearing of convertible debt obligations (finding and closing debt cycles between several network participants – up to 6 hops).Off-chain and blockchain agnostic protocol.Local consensus between the nodes directly involved in a particular payment; a unique system for resolving possible conflicts, based on Observers.Increased privacy (all information about connections and payments is stored locally on the nodes themselves), plus the post-quantum cryptography is utilized in the protocol.Dharma ProtocolThe Dharma Protocol is also a protocol solution, but with a view to debts’ tokenization in the broad sense. The project plans to achieve this by standardizing the process of issuing, certifying and administering tokenized debts.Earlier, the Dharma development team tried to implement individual solutions for specific types of debt obligations but later realized the need to create a global and universal solution, which is what they started to do.Possible use cases are building the following specialized solutions on the Dharma Protocol such as:Tokenized municipal bonds: municipalities often finance public infrastructure projects by issuing municipal bonds. Using the open debt standard, municipalities, large and small, can sell tokenized bonds directly to their citizens in a process similar to an ICO.Decentralized margin lending: a healthy financial system requires both speculators and skeptics, so buying and selling margins are fundamental components of any liquid financial market. Using the open debt standard, peer-to-peer margin lending schemes can be built using smart contracts and price-feed oracles.Tokenized SAFT: projects often raise staggering amounts of capital to finance their eventual token sales in vehicles known as SAFTs. With an open debt standard, SAFT agreements can be tokenized as generic debt tokens, where the expected repayment is defined in units of the soon-to-be-deployed protocol token.So, the Dharma is an exciting project with an appropriate approach to a specific problem. But they are eager to solve precisely this particular problem, rather than dealing with broader goals. However, this project can contribute significantly to those more immense tasks.ConclusionThe real power of decentralized P2P lending solutions will be recognized only if they manage to become not just services, but networks (or an integral part of more extensive global networks). Then, the original idea of these systems will be fully realized, and their utility for everyone will increase in proportion to the number of lenders and borrowers in the network (the network effect).Any (largely or entirely) centralized service, or its binding to any of the existing ecosystems (or the creation of its own one, closed and unconnected to the rest) represents half measures only. That would be an attempt to limit and prioritize what should be open, borderless, and accessible to all.At present, most of the existing solutions so far represent, to a greater or lesser extent, these same half measures we just mentioned. However, technologies such as the GEO Protocol are emerging, giving the opportunity to unleash the full potential of decentralized credit networks and more. What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… Related Posts Max DemyanCEO at GEO Protocol Has an intensive experience in the field of real business (he is an owner of one of the national retail chains) and trading on traditional and crypto stocks. His financial education allows him to analyze and predict the situation, and develop new disrupting products for the future. Max is an ideologist and visioner of the decentralized credit network, economy, and payment tools expert. Blockchain – Impending Revolution in Glob… Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industrylast_img read more

Rep Hoitenga announces district photo contest

first_img29May Rep. Hoitenga announces district photo contest Categories: Hoitenga News Rep. Michele Hoitenga of Manton announced today she will host a photo contest for residents of the 102nd District. The theme for the contest is summer fun.Three winners will be selected by the representative, and the winning photos will be displayed in her Lansing office. The photographers will be invited to join her in Lansing to unveil the pictures.“People come from all around the state to visit our region and take advantage of the excellent trails, lakes, and festivals we have to offer,” Hoitenga said. “There is no better way to decorate the office than by showing off our district.”Photos may be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to S-1386 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909. Qualified participants must live within the district that Hoitenga serves, and photo submissions should include name, address and contact information of the individual. The deadline to submit a photo is September 1.Questions about this contest may be directed to (517) 373-1747 or [email protected]last_img read more

In This Issue Greece and creditors nearing a f

first_imgIn This Issue * Greece and creditors nearing a final agreement. * Dollar’s broad based rally comes to an end. * ECB on cruise control, as economy heals * Mining Co. writes to CFTC. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts Tsipras’ Agreement Would Mean No More Grexit! Good day..  And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, no soul searching questions to myself this morning, so that’s a good thing. I really need to apologize for saying that stuff out loud yesterday morning. I don’t know what I was thinking, putting it in the letter. UGH!  Of course I know you dear readers care, otherwise you wouldn’t read the Pfennig! I think I was just feeling sorry for myself, which is NOT something I’ve done much of in my life, even with the bumps in the road that I’ve experienced. So, I’ll just write it off as a bad moment at 4 in the morning Well, the currencies certainly look quite different this morning from where they were yesterday morning at this time. In case you missed the brouhaha in the currencies yesterday, the euro gained nearly 2 full cents at one point, so did the Swiss franc, and the euro alternatives of Norway and Sweden also saw nice gains in their respective currencies.  So, what goosed them like that, you might be asking?  Ahhh, grasshopper, that is what we come to the Pfennig for, some answers, and not soul searching questions! Did they, or didn’t they?  So, yesterday morning, I told you that Greek PM Tsipras was going around telling everyone that he had an agreement for loans from the Eurozone/ IMF creditors that 95% of Greeks would like. And right after I sent the Pfennig out, the WSJ sent out an email saying that “Greece’s creditors reach consensus on proposal to Athens.”   So, I went out of my office to the trading desk, to make sure everyone had seen the news and the reaction of the euro, which gained nearly 2 full cents right out of the blocks after the WSJ email.  Not everyone had seen the move or the article.  But while we were talking about how the euro was reacting so favorably,  a German leader, made a statement on the Bloomberg, that there was no deal, and that the two parties were still too far apart.   What the heck is going on here?   The euro immediately lost ½-cent of its gains, but then settled in with a good strong entry into the 1.11 handle As the day went along, we saw more statements about a proposal and then contra statements about there not being one in place.   We all did have a laugh when I said that if there was a proposal, that the Greeks still had to vote on it, and then Dane said, “wouldn’t it be like the Greeks to have a proposal and then have them vote it down”?     Not that voting it down would be funny, but the idea would be funny.     So, what’s the skinny this morning?  Well, from what I can see so far, is that Tsipras was jumping the gun once again, but apparently they are so close to an agreement that they are within spittin’ distance.  And one thing that Tsipras said that I thought was a good first pitch strike was that his “proposal would end the question of Grexit”.   So, this morning, there seems to be some profit taking going on in the euro and other currencies that soared higher yesterday. But beyond that, the whole Broad Based dollar rally from the past week, is a thing of the past, once again This morning, we have the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting, which is strange for them, given that usually their meetings are held on Thursdays. But they’re meeting nonetheless. I don’t expect anything from the ECB at this meeting, basically they are on cruise control, as the Eurozone economy heals. There was more evidence of the Eurozone economy healing this morning, Retail Sales for April grew at a faster pace than forecast, printing at 0.7% VS 0.6% consensus.   The Unemployment rate for the Eurozone dropped to 11.1% from 11.3%, (see, they don’t use hedonic adjustment to count their unemployed, it is what is is!)   And then we also saw the PMI’s (manufacturing indexes) from two of the laggard Eurozone members, Italy and Spain, and.. Drum roll please. Both remain above 50, and Spain manufacturing index reached its highest level since April 2007!    So, the healing is going fine, and therefore the ECB, and it’s President, Mario Draghi, should be quite pleased, and should be in a the kind of mood that just leaves things alone!  Let the economy heal on its own pace, DO NOT think that it needs goosed, like every other Central Banker around the world would do! The Chinese renminbi was allowed to appreciate last night, as the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) gets back to the window dressing they’ve been applying to the renminbi / yuan as the PBOC prepares for the IMF inspection.  You know, this past weekend, I submitted an article for the Sunday Pfennig, regarding the Chinese plans to remove the dollar as the reserve currency.  There were quite a few naysayers that let me know that I was wrong. And that’s OK. But they all had one thing in common, they were talking about right now.  I was talking about 5 years from now.  Yes, you don’t need to tell me that China’s bond market isn’t large enough right now, but will it be in 5 years? Look at the changes and how quickly China has pushed them on the markets in just the past couple of years?  The stock market was opened up to foreigners, the bond market was just opened up.  Look, we won’t know who’s right or wrong for 5 years, maybe sooner, but, until then, I’ll be sitting and watching the moves, and with each one, I’ll put another notch on the wall Speaking of my Sunday Pfennig last week, The guys over at the 5 Minute Forecast (The 5) picked up a lot of it for their issue yesterday. I love it when I see my name up in lights!  I loved the map they included in their letter that showed all the countries with currency swap agreements with China, that no longer require dollars to be in the terms of trade. As Dave Gonigam at The 5 said, “It’s one thing to say the world is slowly abandoning the U.S. dollar. It’s another thing to grasp it virtually.”    So, I guess you’ll have to take my word on it, since I don’t have that ability to print that map here. Or. better yet! Go sign up for an Agora publication and then get The 5! In Australia last night the Aussie 1st QTR GDP print beat the expectations of a 0.7% increase by printing at 0.9% increase over the last quarter.  I think the thing to take away from this report is the fact that we all know that mining and resources have been the suppliers of GDP growth for years in Australia, but we also know that mining and resources have faltered in the past year, with the economic slowdown of China, so this report tells me that Australia found new sectors with growth in the 1st QTR. That’s a good thing folks!  The Aussie dollar (A$) is flat today, after polishing up their best performer trophy from the night before In Canada, the April Trade Balance printed, and it showed some improvement in the previous C$ 3 Billion Deficit, printing at $1.9 Billion Deficit. That will go a long way toward improving the GDP of Canada in the second quarter. But, it will only go so far as the next print for May, so therefore the Canadian dollar / loonie is basically flat this morning The U.S. Data Cupboard wasn’t so much of a mixed-bag-o-results yesterday, printing bad data only instead. So, let’s start with Factory Orders for April. And here we see the 2nd QTR starting off in the negative, and Factory Orders printed -0.4%…  then we had the ISM New York (manufacturing index for the region) and here we saw a HUGE drop in the index number from 58.1 to 54.   Economic Optimism, as measured by Investors Business Daily and TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence fell from an index of 49.7 to 48.1..      None of this was good, or gave us any indication that the 2nd QTR was going to be better than the 1st QTR for economic growth.   But as I’ve been saying all along, it’s not just “transitory”.   But something got under the skin of the U.S. Treasury /bonds traders.  The U.S. Treasury 10-year  yield, kept pushing higher yesterday, and ended the day adding 6 Basis Points, which is a strong move in this market. This morning, the 10-year yield is closing in on 2.30%   It started yesterday at 2.21%.. I haven’t seen anything from anyone telling me what is going on here, except a blip on Bloomberg talking about European bonds rising, and taking Treasuries along for the ride. Hmmm, I thought it was supposed to be the other way around.  Another chink in the armor? Yesterday, in the Daily Reckoning/ DR www.dailyreckoning.com They highlighted a graph of Final Sales Annual Growth Rates.  I have to say that I was impressed with it, so I’ll try to explain it to you.. . First of all let me set this up for you. Final sales to domestic purchasers is GDP minus net exports and inventory investment. It measures demand for goods and services from US households, businesses and government, regardless of whether those goods and services are imported or domestically produced. GDP, by contrast, measures demand for US-produced goods and services, regardless of whether that demand is from foreigners or US residents.   So, in my mind, and that of many right-thinking economists (I know, I know that reduces the numbers! HA!)  Final Sales are a better gauge of the U.S. economy.   So, let’s take a look at the numbers. for the period of 1957-1964 Final Sales were 3.8%… Pretty steady Eddie, eh?   From 1990-1997 they were 3%… Uh-Oh, seems like we’re slipping. 2001-2008 another slip to 2.2%, and now from 2007 to 2015, we’ve really only seen the economy grow at 1%…     Now that sounds about right to me.  From now on, it’s Final Sales data for this guy!  The U.S. Data Cupboard this morning, as the ADP Employment Change, which is supposed to be an indication of what the BLS Jobs Jamboree will have on Friday this week. But normally, that doesn’t play out, since the BLS plays games with the jobs numbers. For instance, last month the ADP said job growth was 169,000. But the BLS said it was 282,000. But then the BLS did add out of thin air I might add, 213,000 jobs to the surveys.   So, somewhere between 69,000 and 169,000 was the real job growth last month. So, anyway, the ADP today is expected to show 200,000 jobs created in May.   We’ll also see the Trade Deficit for April, which should show an improvement from the $51.4 Billion March Deficit, and then this afternoon the Fed will print their Beige Book, as if anyone really cares any longer about that!  Gold is flat this morning.. I was surprised that I didn’t get a rise out of readers yesterday regarding the stuff about the Texas Gold Depository. But even more surprising was the fact that Gold itself couldn’t find an ounce of wind for its sails.  But, oh well, we carry on despite the shortcomings of the markets! HA! So. did you hear about the mining Co. that wrote a letter to the CFTC (commodities, futures Trading Commission)  bringing the price manipulation in Silver to their attention?  The mining company is First Majestic Silver. They got Ted Butler (no known relation) the Silver guru, to write the letter for them, so you can be sure that he had nothing but facts in the letter.  Kudos to this mining Co. for doing this!  Of course the CFTC already did their own investigation into this allegation of Silver price manipulation a couple of years ago, and told us that they found nothing.  I would have to think that they were looking for love in all the wrong places!   I doubt the CFTC will do anything about this, but now that the miners are taking notice you have to wonder what comes next for them?  A strike? A Shutdown? I hope it doesn’t come to that! To recap. The Broad based dollar rally ended yesterday, and while most the currencies are either flat or down a bit today, as they give back some profits, the currency landscape looks much different today.. Greek PM and the WSJ were touting an agreement yesterday between the creditors and Greece, but that failed to materialize once again, but they must be close, because the euro has taken to the 1.11 handle nicely. The ECB meets today, and they should be on cruise control, as the Eurozone economy continues to heal, as evidenced by the strong print of Retail Sales, and the PMI’s from Spain and Italy. The U.S. economic data was awful yesterday, and lead to some of the currency gains. Today’s ADP report is the highlight of the day’s data prints For What It’s Worth. Later this week, actually on Friday, there will be an OPEC meeting.  the U.S. is not invited to this meeting. Usually, I don’t give two hoots about OPEC meetings, because these guys caused me much pain in the 70’s and early 80’s and that’s all I’m saying about that. But, this OPEC meeting might be different, in that there are rumors going around that Saudi Arabia is going to spring a surprise at the meeting that could spell trouble for the dollar.  Now I don’t usually see the worth in talking about this stuff, unless it has a real “conspiracy angle to it”  and then I have to keep that on the Butler Patio, for I’ve been forbidden to talk about Conspiracy theories any longer in the Pfennig. I know, I know, it’s “my letter” I should be able to say what I want to say, right?  Well, not so fast there. The letter has a sponsor. And that sponsor gets to make the rules.   But meanwhile back at the ranch, I want to point out that this rumor might have smoke.  I don’t believe that there’s much love that remains between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, right now. So, there’s the smoke.. Now we’ll have to wait-n-see if there’s a fire Chuck again. Actually, I never left you today!  So, I wonder, don’t you? About what it could be that is rumored to be bad for the dollar?   And then it could end up being nothing, which is probably the case, but in just in case there was something, you can say you read about it here first! HA! Currencies today 6/3/15. American Style: A$ .7770, kiwi .7140, C$ .8040, euro 1.1120, sterling 1.5285, Swiss $1.0665, . European Style: rand 12.2575, krone 7.8435, SEK 8.4465, forint 280.35, zloty 3.7120, koruna 24.6885, RUB 53.40, yen 124.40, sing 1.3485, HKD 7.7540, INR 63.90, China 6.1176, pesos 15.46, BRL 3.1395, Dollar Index 96.20, Oil $59.81, 10-year 2.27%, Silver $16.71, Platinum $1,114.70, Palladium $764.97, and Gold. $1,192.45 That’s it for today. My wife just sent me a link to a St. Louis Business Journal report of the most influential Women in St. Louis Business and our old neighbor and good friend, Lisa Yanker is on the list! WOW!  Lisa is one of the sweetest people on earth, and she is quite successful at IBM. Congrats Lisa!   Make sure you tune in to tomorrow’s Pfennig, same bat time, same bat channel, as I’ll have something on the missing audits at Ft. Knox.  Cardinals turn the tables after losing 1-0, they win last night 1-0.  Good pitching will defeat good hitting is the old baseball adage, but this is ridiculous! I was really dragging the line last night, but seem to be rested and ready to go today. The cellulitis is attempting to comeback in my leg, as the pains increase. I’ll have to get back on antibiotics to combat this strange infection.  But no worries, I’m on top of it!   Alex got a stationary bike delivered to the house last night, for his training for the ½ Ironman he’ll be a part of in August. It was his birthday present, early that is, as his birthday isn’t until the end of the month, when he’ll turn 20! That means it was 17 years ago, that I got to spend days with him, as I was “retired” for a while, and he would sit on my lap as I wrote the Pfennig, and contribute to the letter with: ))&*$NG)09#E(()_   great stuff I would tell him, the readers are going to love it! And he would giggle with that big smile.  So where were you 17 years ago?  Think back, and have fun doing it!  And with that, I’ll get out of your hair for today. I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday! Chuck Butler Managing Director EverBank Global Marketslast_img read more

The World Health Organization Thursday announced t

first_imgThe World Health Organization Thursday announced the formation of an international committee aimed at establishing uniform guidelines for editing human DNA in ways that can be passed down to future generations.The 18-member committee “will examine the scientific, ethical, social and legal challenges associated with human genome editing,” according to the WHO announcement.”The aim will be to advise and make recommendations on appropriate governance mechanisms for human genome editing,” the WHO says.The committee’s formation was prompted by the disclosure last year by Chinese scientist He Jiankui that he had created the world’s first gene-edited babies, twin girls.That sparked international outrage. Scientists, bioethicists and advocates condemned the experiment as unethical and irresponsible.But many scientists think it may be ethical someday to use the powerful new gene-editing technique known as CRISPR to edit the DNA in human embryos to prevent genetic disorders.Nevertheless, most scientists say it’s far too early to try to create babies that way since it’s unclear how well CRISPR works to edit DNA in a human embryo and whether it’s safe.Chinese scientist He said he had edited embryos to try to enhance the babies’ immune systems, to protect them from infection with the AIDS virus.He claims another woman is pregnant who received an embryo created the same way, for the same purpose.He’s announcement prompted some bioethicists and scientists to call for a global moratorium on using CRISPR to edit the DNA in human embryos.Others, however, say a moratorium would stifle important research. Instead, they are calling for more specific guidelines for how scientists could ethically proceed with such research. That sentiment, in part, led to the formation of the WHO committee, which is co-chaired by Dr. Margaret Hamburg, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner and Edwin Cameron, a justice on South Africa’s highest court.Several teams of scientists around the world are continuing to conduct research on editing DNA in human embryos, including a group in New York that recently disclosed experiments that are underway. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Inclusive education campaigners are supporting par

first_imgInclusive education campaigners are supporting parents and their disabled children today (Thursday) as they take part in marches around the country to highlight the special educational needs and disability (SEND) funding crisis.Parents are calling for reform of the SEND system, increased funding, and improved accountability and assessment, as well as an end to a culture which “encourages the blaming, shaming and dismissal of parents of young people with SEND”.Marches are set to take place across England and Wales, in more than 25 locations including Liverpool, Yorkshire, Sussex, Birmingham, Derby, Reading and Widnes, with one leading to the handover of a petition in Downing Street.The SEND National Crisis campaign has been set up by two parents of disabled children, and it has been backed by The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), which said disabled pupils had been increasingly excluded from schools and pushed out of mainstream education.Simone Aspis (pictured), ALLFIE’s policy and campaigns coordinator, said: “The funding cuts are creating rife disablism and disability-related discrimination in our mainstream education system.“For the first time in history, more disabled pupils with [education, health and care plans] are being educated in special schools than in mainstream ones.“This needs to stop right now – this government has a duty to promote inclusive education among disabled pupils.”Nadia Turki, one of the founders of SEND National Crisis, said: “We have decided to act instead of repeatedly say the words ‘we need to do something’.“I’ve been saying this for almost two years now and nothing has changed to the effect of making a positive difference to education provisions and access for disabled children and young people.“We believe that now is the time to stand together and let our voices and the voices of our young people be heard.”She added: “This crisis is leaving thousands of individuals emotionally and physically exhausted due to the direct failings of our local authorities and the discrimination faced when trying to access their fundamental right to an education.“There are so many of us struggling and battling an unfair system for our children or the people we care for and it is an exhausting process that hammers us into the ground daily.”Next month, ALLFIE is also supporting a judicial review case being taken at the high court by three families with disabled children.The families believe inadequate government funding is not allowing councils to fulfil their legal obligations to support disabled pupils.ALLFIE wants the court to make “an explicit declaration” that the government’s level of funding of SEND is unlawful because it fails to provide the support that disabled pupils need to “flourish within mainstream education on a par with their non-disabled peers”.It also wants new guidance that will make it clear that the government has to ensure sufficient funding for schools and councils to fulfil their legal duties to “promote the presumption of mainstream education free from disability-related discrimination”.In response to plans for the march, children and families minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Our ambition is for every child, no matter the challenges they face, to have access to a world class education that sets them up for life.“Funding for the high needs budget is a priority for this government and we know that councils and schools are facing pressures – that’s why in December, we provided an extra £250 million up to 2020 to help manage these costs.“This takes the total amount that we have allocated for high needs funding to £6.3 billion this year, compared to £5 billion in 2013.“At the same time, the education secretary has been clear that we are working closely with the sector as we approach the spending review, we have launched a call for evidence to make sure the funding system is getting money to the right places at the right time and we are revising the SEND code of practice to improve ways to identify and meet special educational needs.”His department said it also planned to spend £31.6 million to train more educational psychologists, who play an important role in identifying special educational needs and contributing to education, health and care needs assessments.A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more