Meet the 2017 Volunteer Of The Year Award Nominees!

first_imgTouch Football Australia has countless volunteers who dedicate their time across the country to make significant contributions to our Touch Football family.To celebrate and recognise these contributions, each State and Territory were asked to nominate one highly valued volunteer to be considered for the TFA Volunteer of the Year for 2017.The nominees for the 2017 TFA Volunteer of the Year Award are: Toby Burgess – TASToby Burgess is a name that is synonymous with Touch Football in Tasmania. A lifelong volunteer to sport both as a player, referee and coach, Toby has been a part of Touch Football for over 20 years. Toby Burgess over the last 12 months has been a great asset to the Tasmanian Office. Toby’s focus on improving our Tasmanian State Teams is second to none and has always put his hand up to be a coach over the years. This past year was no different, when Toby was head coach for two of our elite state teams. Toby also implemented additional training sessions for our teams during the week to ensure the highest level of performance at the NTL. Gabe Hodges – ACTGabe has made significant impacts on gender diversity in our sport. She has primarily worked with young female Touch Football players, providing them with opportunities to invest in our game at all levels following their interaction with her. Gabe is also a valuable member of the ACT SOAP, offering her years of experience in junior development over the last 4 years.Gabe has dedicated a significant amount of her time to the growth of Touch Football in the ACT – committing herself to at least four nights of Touch Football per week in a coaching or playing capacity. Her friendly, encouraging and happy disposition has made her a favourite amongst the ACT community. Graham Knights – NSWManly Warringah is one of the top affiliates in NSW, not only for their on the field performances but also their off field performances. Graham’s has been instrumental in this success. His vision of ensuring that the club has policies and procedures for every aspect of their operations has laid out a clear and concise platform to ensure not just success but also sustainability in one of the most competitive environments and landscapes in NSW.This platform paved by Graham importantly is having a great impact at grass roots level and the growth of the organisation. His and his clubs work is not just having an impact with the Manly Warringah TA, but also with other affiliates across the state. Many of whom are looking to Manly to replicate their success by following the programs and principles laid down by Graham and his team. Importantly Graham is willing to share his experiences with other affiliates and members. Thomas Edgword – NTTom has had a huge impact with improving the culture within the sport across the NT. He recognises the need to high standards to set a benchmark for others to strive to achieve to show our sport in good standing. Tom is a damn good bloke. He is loyal, enthusiastic, committed and passionate in all he does. He loves the game of touch and represents our game in the highest both in his personal and work life. He has and continues to represent the Army in touch football at the highest level. He willingly takes others under his wing to guide and nurture them within the touch football environment. Tom is the type of person who will do anything with integrity for our game. Deirdre Morrow – SADeirdre’s positive energy unites the broader touch community in South Australia as she volunteers her time across many levels of the sport. She interacts positively with junior players and parents alike which impacts positively on the Touch Football brand. Deirdre’s professional approach has allowed the TFSA office to entrust her with making decisions that reflect positively on events and roles she volunteers her time for, which also reflects positively on TFSA.Deirdre is trustworthy, honest, committed and a little cheeky which enhances the fun aspect of Touch Football. Deirdre has shown continued commitment to the sport at every level both here in South Australia and Nationally. Steve Watterson – QLDHaving been a part of the Sharks Volunteer crew since 2004, Steve has been a constant familiar face and very well liked amongst the Sharks playing group. SQBD prides itself on setting the standard on and off the field and it has been Steve’s contributions over the many years which has assisted in setting its off-field professionalism and standards. The fact that Steve is prepared to drive 16 hours to take equipment to a tournament to ensure Sharks players receive the same service as any other at another proves his importance to this organisation. As a result of his work and commitment at South Queensland Touch, Steve has also been awarded a life membership. He has also been a long-term member of the South Queensland Board of Directors and still currently supervises junior selection programs. Monique Williamson – WAOver the past 12 months Monique has once again remained President of Perth Brothers Touch Association, a position she has held since 2009. Monique is Perth Brother – she is a coach, team manager, helps in the canteen and looks after the Junior Referees. Monique does everything!Monique’s impact on the organisation has been enormous, she has bought a sense of community and pride to the Perth Brothers through her professionalism, hard work and leadership in a largely diverse area of the Perth Metropolitan area. Monique strongly deserves this nomination as a reward for the professionalism and leadership she has bought to Perth Brothers TA and is now bringing her skill and experience at the SOAP level.Congratulations to all our nominees for their nominations and a big thank you for all your hard work and effort. The winner will be announced in the coming weeks.last_img read more

Employment rate is a better indicator The Fraser Institute

first_imgAn economic think tank says it’s time to update how employment is measured in Canada. The Fraser Institute believes the unemployment rate doesn’t truly reflect how the economy is producing jobs. It states that too many people are leaving the workforce due to retirement, or to go back to school, and such changes are throwing off the jobless numbers.The think tank suggests the employment rate is a better way to evaluate how the economy is producing jobs as it measures the over all percentage of people working, not just those actively participating in the workforce.last_img

Raekwon McMillan helps register voters through fraternity

OSU junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan (5) dances towards the crowd after the Buckeye defense stops the Nebraska offense on their own two-yard line during the first half of the game on Nov. 5. The Buckeyes won 62-3. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorRaekwon McMillan came to Ohio State as one of the most highly rated recruits in the 2014 class. Like any other freshman, McMillan, a Georgia native, was getting acclimated with classes, new teammates and a new scenery. Two years later, McMillan is the face of the OSU defense, the Silver Bullets, and figures to be the next in the lineage of OSU linebackers in the NFL.The junior middle linebacker has been the soul of the defense for the Buckeyes, but also this fall, he began to exercise his political freedom. McMillan became involved in voter registration in central Ohio for the 2016 election season as a member of the Ohio State chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity.“We had a program of voter registration and really just spread the word, mostly to the African-American people throughout central Columbus,” McMillan said. “That’s what we try to focus on, but we just want to build awareness and teach what this election is about, what each candidate stands for.”Omega Psi Phi is a historically African-American Greek life organization that is governed by the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Redshirt sophomore safety Damon Webb also is a member.McMillan joined the fraternity after his sophomore year. At first, he said he never really saw himself as a fraternity member, however he began to look more into the extracurriculars, which drew him to Omega Psi Phi. McMillan said that, before the 2016 election cycle, he never really into politics, but began to pay more attention to it as the presidential campaign intensified. As an “Omega man,” McMillan felt like it was his duty to encourage others to take political action in an unprecedented election.OSU coach Urban Meyer hosted Patriot Week throughout the Memorial Day weekend this past spring, bringing in several guest lecturers to talk to the team about their responsibilities as Americans — voting being one of them. On Monday, Meyer expressed how important it is to him that his team understands the civic duties each individual has, and said he hopes each of his players votes on Tuesday. McMillan, along with redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett, said they will vote on Tuesday.“It’s something that’s going to impact us not only here in Columbus but also around the country,” McMillan said. “So we want everybody to have awareness to what’s going on around us because you’re exercising your political rights.”Webb said McMillan’s activism in Omega Psi Phi has a direct correlation with the linebacker’s ability to persevere in intense situations and uplift his teammates. Webb added that the leadership traits McMillan are not confined to the gridiron.“I would definitely say he’s gotten better. He’s always been a leadership-type dude, so even outside of the football field — our fraternity brothers, he brought leadership to them,” Webb said. “It’s like a brotherhood outside of the locker room … we build a bond that is unbreakable.” read more

Football Chase Young finds himself against Penn State

Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) and sophomore defensive end Chase Young (2) shake hands following the Ohio State-Penn State game on Sept. 29. Ohio State won 27-26. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorChase Young wants the play to go to him. He prays for it. With Penn State facing a 4th-and-5 at the Ohio State 43-yard line down one point with 82 seconds left in the game, the sophomore defensive end was lined up, ready to jump off the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped. As Nittany Lions redshirt senior quarterback Trace McSorley stepped off, changing the play call, Young touched his chest and pointed to the sky, something he said he does often, though it’s not caught on film. “I think everything is in God’s plan,” Young said. “I prayed and said ‘God, if this play’s coming to me, help me make it.’ I sent one up and it came to me and I made it.”As McSorley snapped the ball, Young moved around Ohio State redshirt junior defensive lineman Jashon Cornell, who held off the right tackle, immediately plugging the hole Penn State junior running back Miles Sanders attempted to run through for the first down, securing the victory for the Buckeyes. This tackle capped off a career day for Young, who recorded three tackles for loss, including two sacks, two quarterback hits and two pass breakups in Ohio State’s 27-26 win over Penn State. Young was recognized as Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week, given to the defensive end with the best performance in college football that week. Young was the second Ohio State defensive lineman to receive the award this year, with junior defensive end Nick Bosa receiving the award after his performance in the season opener against Oregon State. After Bosa suffered an injury during the TCU game, and with no clear timetable for return, Ohio State’s defensive line has had to lean on Young to become a dominant pass-rusher — something he has embraced against both Tulane and Penn State. “Coach [Urban] Meyer, he tries to tell us not to wait, so I think every chance I got to get on the field, I tried to put my best out there,” Young said. “I guess the Penn State game, I just had a real good game. I thank God I had a real good game. It was a national stage, ABC, and I just thank God that the Penn State game was that I had a good one.”Even with all the success, Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson said he still sees a young player when he looks at the sophomore defensive end. With the high expectations Young had going into his career at Ohio State, a five-star recruit out of Hyattsville, Maryland, Johnson said there is still a lot more for him to learn. Things like using his hands at the line of scrimmage, something Young said Johnson called out as he watched tape from the Penn State win. However, he is looking to correct the mistakes made against Penn State for the Indiana game on Saturday. Young, according to Johnson, strives for greatness. “He’s a great learner, he wants to learn everything,” Johnson said. “He picks Nick’s brain every day on how to rush the passer, things he can learn. And I think that’s what you want out of a player who’s a highly competitive guy and wants to be a great player.” Without Bosa, Young played more snaps than he ever had in a collegiate game against Penn State. And Johnson said as he continues to play, offensive lines will have to begin to notice. But with other weapons on the defensive line, like redshirt junior defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones, Johnson said it will be hard for opposing lines to treat Young like they might Bosa. That’s the kind of attention Young wants from opponents, the attention the injured All-American has. “He wants the role,” Johnson said. “I think Chase, he’s a competitor, so he wants to do well.”So far this season, Young has shown potential. He leads the team with four sacks and is tied for the team lead with six tackles for loss. However, Young still thinks he has a ways to go to meet the expectation he has for himself. “Not close at all,” Young said. “I made a few mistakes and I got to get the corrected. Obviously, you never want to play a perfect game, but you want to play, you want to try and play a perfect game. That’s what I am trying to do.” For sophomore cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, the defensive line sets the bar for the rest of the defense in terms of what each unit strives to be. “Once everyone hits [the level of the] defensive line group, we are just all going to elevate together,” Okudah said.Even with Bosa out, that mentality for the rest of the defense has not changed. Instead, the rest of the defense strives to be like Young. read more

Official Sampaoli leaves Argentina

first_imgThe Argentine Football Association (AFA) have confirmed that head coach Jorge Sampaoli has vacated his post following Argentina’s disappointing World Cup campaignAfter two shock results against Iceland and Croatia, the South American side barely managed to scrape through the group stages of the competition before falling to eventual champions France in the Round of 16 with a 4-3 defeat.While Sampaoli had only been appointed Argentina boss in May 2017, there were reports that had emerged during the World Cup that had suggested that he was following Lionel Messi’s orders.Raheem Sterling, EnglandTop 5 best players from the international break weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 After a fresh international break just came to an end, we need to talk about the Top 5 best players during this whole weekend.We…Now the 58-year-old has had his contract at Argentina mutually terminated with the AFA.“The Argentine Football Association [AFA] and the ex-coach of the national team Jorge Sampaoli today reached a mutual agreement to rescind his contract,” read the statement on Sky Sports.Argentina had their worst World Cup campaign this summer since 2002, which saw them being eliminated from the group stages at Japan and South Korea.last_img read more

Gattuso defends Higuain He feels a lot of pressure

first_imgAC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso hopes Gonzalo Higuain will remain calm following his sending off against Juventus on SundayThe 30-year-old striker has enjoyed a good start to life on loan at Milan from Juventus with seven goals in 13 games.However, Higuain was unable to prevent Milan from losing to his parent club at the San Siro and was dismissed after having a penalty saved.The Argentine was handed a second yellow card after shouting in the match official’s face.But Gattuso believes that Higuain’s angry outburst came about due to putting too much pressure on himself.Mario BalotelliCorini tells Balotelli to “raise his game” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 According to the Brescia coach, Mario Balotelli “needs to raise his game if he wants to face Juventus” as his team is set to host Bologna.“At this moment he feels a lot of pressure, my words from yesterday’s press conference were not by chance,” Gattuso told Milan TV on the club website.“Right now, he feels a huge weight on him and it shows. He must remain calm, he should apologise and assume his responsibilities.“He has to put aside his nervousness, he is the most important player we have and he has to make the difference. He has to be clear-headed.”Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo were the goalscorers for Juventus, who remain unbeaten after 12 Serie A games.last_img read more

10 Years since GT with Domestic Fire Department

first_img Cruise figures forecast to drop, says Tourism Director Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 01 Feb 2016 – It has been about a decade since Grand Turk has had a domestic fire department and the Premier on Friday confirmed that only Providenciales has a domestic fire department; this means thousands of residents, guests and their properties are left vulnerable to the ravages of a fire.It also means, in the case of Grand Turk, the risk is very high for the airport to be shut down when the community needs the aerodrome unit’s help.In speaking to why there is no fire truck in the Capital island which is home to a cruise port which caters to nearly a million tourists per year, a hospital, three government schools and is the seat of government for the country; Hon. Dr. Rufus Ewing said the decision is now taken to establish a domestic fire branch, but the family islands won’t see the same. Hon. Dr. Rufus Ewing: “There are plans but those will come with need and demand because obviously the best model is to have domestic and the aerodrome, but, as you know most of the family islands do not have frequent air flight services. So it is really not the best cost effective to both services. In Grand Turk the chances of having a fire at the same time a flight is landing is increasing so we have to have both services.” Minister of Works puts government buildings reconstruction post hurricanes at $8.6m Beaches puts former Premier on blast about controversial pier Related Items:fire truck, grand turk, premier rufus ewinglast_img read more

Kate Lanphear Replaces Nina Garcia at Marie Claire People On the Move

first_imgMarie Claire has appointed Kate Lanphear as creative director, replacing Nina Garcia who was recently named editor-in-chief of Elle. Lanphear joins the publication from a consulting position at Google, where she was helping develop a fashion portal of the arts and culture division. Prior to Google, she spent about a year as editor-in-chief of Maxim, overseeing an ultimately short-lived refresh of the magazine before departing in late 2015. She’s also spent time as style director for both Elle and T: The New York Times Style Magazine.“Kate is one of the most creative, stylish, sought after talents in fashion today,” said Anne Fulenwider, editor-in-chief  of Marie Claire in a statement. “She brings with her invaluable expertise and relationships in the fashion and tech community that align perfectly with the vision of Marie Claire.  Her discerning eye for smart style will help us continue to create extraordinary content for our readers.”Here are the rest of this week’s people on the move…The Atlantic has announced two editorial promotions. Sarah Yager, formerly managing editor of The Atlantic magazine, has been promoted to a newly created position, deputy executive editor. Additionally, Adrienne Green (pictured), formerly assistant editor, has been promoted to managing editor of the magazine. Breaking Media has promoted Elie Mystal to executive editor of Above the Law. Mystal first joined Breaking Media in 2008 after winning Above the Law‘s ATL Idol “reality blogging competition,” beating out five other finalists in a reader vote to select the site’s next editor. Prior to his promotion, Mystal most recently served as Breaking Media’s editor at large.Business Insider has promoted Nicholas Carson to chief content officer and global editor-in-chief. Carson most recently served as editor-in-chief of Business Insider‘s lifestyle site, Insider.Hearst Magazines Digital Media has promoted Mallory Rice to editor of Sweet, a Snapchat-exclusive lifestyle brand. Rice formerly served as deputy editor. Additionally, the organization has named Liz Riccardi art director. Riccardi formerly served as Nylon magazine’s digital design director.Michael Howerton has been named editor-in-chief of Granite Media, the first at the new digital media company co-founded by Livingly Media’s Tony Mamone. Howerton formerly served as editor-in-chief at the San Francisco Examiner.last_img read more

New Dark Phoenix trailer hints at end for XMen

first_img #XMenDay wouldn’t be complete without a ticket drop for #DarkPhoenix:— Fandango (@Fandango) May 13, 2019 More on movies Tolkien movie taught me I’ve been saying Tolkien wrong all this time It: Chapter 2 teaser trailer delivers a spooky look at upcoming film Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner marries Joe Jonas in Las Vegas In the new Dark Phoenix trailer, released Monday, Turner’s Gray admits that “when I lose control, bad things happen, but it feels good.”It might not be all good for her fellow X-Men, however, who suddenly must face off against one of their own. Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender,  James McAvoy, Tye Sheridan,  Alexandra Shipp, Nicholas Hoult and Evan Peters reprise their roles from previous X-Men movies. Jessica Chastain  joins the series as a  mysterious shape-shifter.Dark Phoenix is expected to bring the past 20 years of X-Men movies to a close, CNET sister site ratings.Twentieth Century Fox Studio declared Monday to be “X-Men Day,” and also released a video looking back at the series.Tickets for the movie also went on sale Monday. Tags 57 Photos 1 Commentcenter_img Game of Thrones stars, from season 1 through today Marvel Target X-Men Dark Phoenix opens June 5 in the UK, June 6 in Australia, and June 7 in the US. TV and Movies Forget Sansa Stark. Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, who played Ned Stark’s beautiful and battered daughter in the HBO hit series, has more power than ever before. Share your voicelast_img read more

Cortana is disappearing from Xbox One

first_img Post a comment Computers Smart Home Consoles Gaming Accessories Home Entertainment Gaming The 28 best games on the Xbox One $339 Walmart Share your voice Xbox One S: All-Digital Edition drops discs Review • Microsoft Xbox One S review: The Xbox One S is here, just three years too late Preview • 9 reasons why the Xbox One S is better than the original 28 Photos Microsoft Xbox One S 5:18 Xbox says it’s moving away from on-console experiences to cloud-based assistant experiences.  Xbox Wire Microsoft has a message for Xbox gamers: It’s removing virtual assistant Cortana. Instead of talking to Cortana via their headset, users will have to use the Xbox Skill for Cortana via the Cortana app on iOS, Android or Windows, or use a Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker, according to a blog post by Microsoft Wednesday.The change comes at a time when the company says it wants to move away from “on-console experiences to cloud-based assistant experiences” for users.The update concerns select Alpha Skip Ahead members, who are Xbox insiders, but it will roll out to everyone this fall. Players should also keep in mind that the new changes will temporarily disable dictation for the virtual keyboard on the Xbox One until further notice.  Mentioned Above Microsoft Xbox One S (1TB) 0 Additional user interface updates include an experimental Home screen where Twists are replaced with separate buttons to start games. This will allow users to have more room to see their recently played titles as well as jump to Game Pass, Mixer and the Xbox Community and Microsoft Store seamlessly. Earlier this year, CNET reported on the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition — Xbox’s latest console without a disc slot. The new console was similar to the size of Xbox One S and cheaper than other models on the market. Microsoft didn’tt respond immediately to a request for comment. See it See It Now playing: Watch this: CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Tags $259 Cortana Microsoftlast_img read more

Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastris musical chair to blame for Indian defeat

first_img Watch: Virat Kohli takes rare wicket during practice match IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:09/0:48Loaded: 0%0:10Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:39?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Closecenter_img There was a glimmer of hope when Bhuvneshwar Kumar joined Kedar Jadhav in doing what every batsman prior to him should have; but as the required rate started mounting, one mistimed shot followed another and necessity led to both batsmen’s downfall. India thus stood defeated on home soil – their first since 2015; and Virat Kohli’s first since he took over the reins from MS Dhoni.The five-match home series against Australia was supposed to be India’s opportunity at fine-tuning their combinations ahead of the impending World Cup. But, in their last international assignment prior to the quadrennial event, India not only managed to expose the chinks in their own armour but more importantly allow Australia to tell the world, ‘Don’t count us out yet. We are Australia and come the World Cup, we are always favourites’ – all this without David Warner, Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc.From dismantling New Zealand in their den, and hardly breaking a sweat in the process, to being outplayed at home, what went wrong for India one would wonder – the basics as it turned out.Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri and the musical chair Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri together.BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty ImagesIndia had questions they needed to answer and the number 4 spot was their primary concern. In fact, the number 4 spot has been India’s primary concern since the 2015 World Cup; and it is perplexing how a nation so littered with batting talent, has failed to finalise someone for that spot in four years.Since the last World Cup, India has tried Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer in the position but none of the above has been given a fair run of games. It has always been a case of a couple of games here and one game there. This not only does not give enough time to judge the ability of a player but more importantly plays with their confidence.Thus, it is hardly surprising that the team is yet to zero in on anyone at number 4 and a lot of the blame has to be shouldered by the team management. The think tank headed by captain Kohli and coach Shastri must look at their methods of giving people opportunities. If someone is given an opportunity, he must be afforded an extended run before being dropped and once dropped, the next person should be given the same run of games.The opening conundrum Barring one match, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have not got going in this series. In fact, Dhawan’s form has been iffy for a good while now and his century in Mohali was his first since September 2018 when he scored his 15th ton against Pakistan in the Asia Cup. Keeping the Mohali match aside, Dhawan’s average in the series reads an abysmal 8.50. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will need to return to form for India to succeed.SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty ImagesWhile Rohit has not been as disappointing, he hasn’t taken responsibility in finishing games for his nation. Oftentimes, Rohit has got off to a good start and even scored half-centuries but failed to carry on to see his team through to victory, especially in run chases.Given that India’s success over the last six years has been formed around the top three, the consistent failures of the openers in the recent past has rendered India slightly toothless against quality opposition.last_img read more

Trump not yet as damaging to environment as feared

first_imgFormer US vice president Al Gore listens to a question during an interview in Greensboro, NC on 13 August. Photo: APThe Trump administration has made some dangerous changes to environmental policy, but the damage so far has been less than it initially appeared, former vice president Al Gore said in an interview Monday.“He (president Trump) has had less of an impact so far than I feared that he would. Someone said last year his administration is a blend of malevolence and incompetence,” Gore said in an interview with The Associated Press in Greensboro. “I think they’ve made some mistakes in some of the moves they’ve made. The courts have blocked some of what they wanted to do as a result.”Even the Republican-controlled Congress has stepped in at times, he said. “The US system has a lot of inherent resilience,” Gore said. “It’s hard for one person, even the president, to change things very quickly if the majority of American people don’t want them changed.”Gore was in North Carolina on Sunday and Monday to speak on behalf of the Poor People’s Campaign, which names “ecological devastation” as one of the problems hurting poor people. Gore shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his campaign to protect the environment. He authored a 1992 book on the climate, “Earth in the Balance,” just before he became vice president. His work also includes the 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” More recently he founded The Climate Reality Project .Historians say a 1982 campaign against a PCB landfill in North Carolina’s majority-black Warren County helped give birth to the environmental justice movement so it’s especially appropriate that the Poor People’s Campaign has its roots in the state, Gore said. The campaign’s co-chair is the Rev. William Barber, who founded the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina and has served as president of the state NAACP chapter.Low-income communities typically suffer the brunt of environmental damage because they lack the “economic and political clout necessary to make their case and defend themselves” so they’re more likely to become locations of “these pollution streams and waste sites,” Gore said.He said current dangers include the loosening of regulations for dumps for coal ash, which contains toxic metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic. The new acting secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler, was quick to ease rules for handling the toxic ash from more than 400 US coal-fired power plants. Coal ash is a particular issue in North Carolina, where a major leak from a Duke Energy site in 2014 left coal ash coating 70 miles (110 kilometers) of the Dan River on the North Carolina-Virginia border.“And there are hundreds of other environmental procedures and regulations that Trump’s group has begun to undo,” Gore said. “So he’s doing some damage, but overall I would say less than I had feared.”Gore cited the Paris Climate Accord as one example of the Trump administration failing to change environmental rules as quickly as it might want. While the United States withdrew from the accord, he says the first date that can become official is the day after the 2020 presidential election.“If there’s a new president—excuse me for a moment,” Gore said as he placed in hands together as if in prayer, “then a new president could simply give 30 days’ notice, and we’re right back in the Paris agreement.”last_img read more

Forum Caterers Black Girls Vote

first_imgBlack Girls Vote is hosting a girl’s night out at the Forum Caterers, 4210Primrose Ave., Baltimore, MD 21215 for an evening of networking and political empowerment on Feb. 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  RSVP your attendance to www.eventbrite.comlast_img

How Should Black People Discipline Their Children

first_imgMost Black people of a certain age (I’m thinking 40 and over) can tell vivid stories about the most severe beating (or beatings) they received as children at the hands of parents or other family members, in the name of “discipline.” The stories are often wrapped in the nostalgia of the, “good ol’ days,” when you got caught doing wrong and a neighbor had the duty (or right) to beat (correct) you, then you would get it again when your parents (or parent) got home. Oh, how we long for the good ol’ days!But, too often those stories of childhood whuppings are deep, painful memories, suppressed and never uttered.Sean Yoes (Courtesy Photo)Dr. Stacey Patton, an assistant professor of multimedia journalism at Morgan State University and author of the book, “Spare the Kids: Why Whupping Children Won’t Save Black America,” wrote an essay adapted from the book, which appeared in the New York Times this past weekend.“It’s something that I’ve thought about ever since I had moved into my adoptive parents’ home when I was five years old,” she told the AFRO on March 13. “From the very first time she (adoptive mother) ever…popped me in the mouth, my entire world felt like it came crushing down because this was an adult who was supposed to love me and keep me safe and I was supposed to trust her,” Patton added. “And so, as I got older the whippings escalated and eventually funneled me into the foster care system and while I was in the foster care system, I saw so many young people, particularly Black children who had been intellectually, physically, spiritually, psychologically destroyed by that kind of aggressive child rearing practice.”Beyond her own destructive experiences being physically disciplined as a child, Patton illustrates what many believe is the undeniable link between, “aggressive child rearing practice,” a “bastardized” Christian tradition and the ubiquitous American systems of Black oppression, slavery and Jim Crow.“It is a European idea that children are ‘born in sin’ and should have the devil beaten out of them with a ‘rod of correction.’ That brutality cascaded across other cultures through slavery, colonialism and religious indoctrination,” Patton wrote in the New York Times. “It should not be surprising, then, that Black American slaves, who endured trauma of their own beatings, inherited their oppressors’ violence and, for centuries, passed down these parenting beliefs. This is one of the saddest untold stories in American history — the way in which the victims of racist oppression and violence have hurt the bodies of their own children in an effort to protect them from a hostile society,” Patton declared.She says the reaction to her observations have always been varied and sometimes volatile, from incredulous Whites saying, “How dare you blame White people for Black child abuse,” to the more nuanced argument of, “there’s a difference between spanking a child and beating a child,” Patton said and there has also been affirmation for her findings. “There’s been quite a number of people on both sides of the color line, writing to say thank you, to share their own personal experiences of having gotten corporal punishment as a child, so the piece was validating to them,” she revealed.Patton also refutes that somehow corporal punishment of Black children has somehow saved Black lives from death and destruction.“Between 2006 and 2015, more than 3,600 Black children were killed as a result of maltreatment, according to the Administration for Children and Families. That’s an average of 360 children a year, three times higher than for other racial and ethnic groups,” Patton wrote in the New York Times.“The truth is that White supremacy has done a masterful job of getting Black people to continue its trauma work and call it ‘love,’” Patton wrote.“Black children are also more at risk of being assaulted, seriously injured or killed by a parent than by a police officer, a neighborhood watchman or an irritated racist who hates rap music. We have to stop hurting our children to protect them. It is not working. And worse, it erodes our children’s humanity and co-signs the slave master’s logic that you have to hit a Black body to make it comply.”Sean Yoes is a senior contributor for the AFRO and host and executive producer of, AFRO First Edition, which airs Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m. on WEAA 88.9.last_img read more

Minteye offers notype CAPTCHA as a security twist

first_img Explore further The user has to move the slider until the user sees the image as normal. Minteye kicks in to see if the user moved the slider to the correct position and alerts the website that the user is human so that further navigation can occur. The company said it built its product on a cross-technology platform. Its SLIDING CAPTCHA supports common Web languages such as PHP, Java and ASP.NET and plugins for content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal.The slide-to-fit CAPTCHA has a success-rate of 94 percent, impressive if compared to the industry standard of 76 percent for text-based tests. Enabling user happiness in not having to struggle with repeat efforts to translate CAPTCHA strings, however, is only a part of the company’s mission. With offices in North Bergen, New Jersey, and Tel Aviv, Minteye is presenting this solution as a way to monetize the CAPTCHA process for site owners and advertisers.A product name in the image would be the money-maker that wins users and influences better brand recognition. The company’s mission is “to combine CAPTCHA security technology with advertising.” Minteye’s team says it is “dedicated to delivering nonintrusive advertising products that overcome online advertising blindness.”The SLIDING CAPTCHA is designed to work with a mouse or with a finger slide, which means it would be just as able to operate on a tablet and smartphone as on a mouse-connected PC. In turn, the company believes it has the potential of becoming an appealing opportunity for CAPTCHA-seeking industry players in mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Site owners get a share of advertising revenues. Advertisers use the tool customized to their targeted audience and budget.CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. The test is attributed to a Carnegie Mellon University computer science graduate student and his advisor in 2000 who wanted to provide a security tool that could safeguard web sites from automated bot attacks and spammers. As such, it has become an effective way for site owners to make sure that a submission for registration is coming from a real person. Nonetheless, a staunch belief in security circles is that 100 percent CAPTCHA security would only be fiction. As for the slide technique that is being presented by Minteye, similar doubt is expressed outside Minteye that computers, not humans, will always remain stumped by this process. Speaking in Technology Review, however, Gadi Hadar, the CEO of Minteye, is also not harboring any illusions. He said there is no CAPTCHA in the world that cannot be cracked. CAPTCHA evokes sympathetic (aka correct) response Citation: Minteye offers no-type CAPTCHA as a security twist (2012, December 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2012 Phys.orgcenter_img (—Minteye is offering a no-type option to annoying CAPTCHA tests where users’ first tries turn into third and fourth tries to get the blurry, blotched letters and digits correct for entry. The company Minteye, made up of “engineers, designers and entrepreneurs,” has come up with a solution that is targeted both at advertisers and web site owners, called SLIDING CAPTCHA, with the idea being “slide to fit.” Minteye’s flavor of a CAPTCHA appears as a twisted, wavy, deformed, image with a small slider below the image. More information: 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.last_img read more

Designing lightharvesting organic semiconductor microcrystals with wavelengthtunable lasers

first_img More information: Kang Wang et al. Exciton funneling in light-harvesting organic semiconductor microcrystals for wavelength-tunable lasers, Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2953 I. D. W. Samuel et al. Organic Semiconductor Lasers, Chemical Reviews (2007). DOI: 10.1021/cr050152i Luis Cerdán et al. FRET-assisted laser emission in colloidal suspensions of dye-doped latex nanoparticles, Nature Photonics (2012). DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2012.201Mingjian Yuan et al. Perovskite energy funnels for efficient light-emitting diodes, Nature Nanotechnology (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2016.110 Illustration for exciton funneling in the light-harvesting systems. (A) Schematics of light harvesting, where the wide-bandgap hosts (gray spheres) act as antenna and locally formed CT complexes with narrow bandgap (pink spheres) act as acceptor. (B) Diagram for exciton funneling in light-harvesting systems. The black arrows represent the exciton transfer process. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2953 They introduced C60 into OPV to achieve light-harvesting ability and balanced the carrier mobility. The OPV and C60 interactions formed localized CT complexes with narrowed bandgap to function as acceptors in the light-harvesting system. Wang et al. synthesized the OPV microcrystals doped with controllable amounts of C60 using liquid-phase self-assembly to form strong intermolecular interactions and engineer a one-dimensional structure, which they confirmed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. Lasing performances in the light-harvesting microwires. (A) PL spectra recorded from a typical C60@OPV microwire (doping concentration, 5.6 mol %) pumped with different laser energies. Inset: PL images of the C60@OPV below and above the lasing threshold. Scale bar, 10 μm. (B) Emission intensity (red) and full width at half maximum (FWHM) (black) as a function of pump fluence. (C) Normalized lasing spectra of the OPV microcrystals with different C60 doping concentrations. Inset: Corresponding PL images of the doped OPV microcrystals pumped above lasing thresholds. Scale bars, 10 μm. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2953 , Chemical Reviews , Nature Photonics 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. Explore further Preparation and structural characterization of C60@OPV light-harvesting microcrystals. (A) Chemical structures of OPV and C60, and molecular structure of the resulting CT complex. (B and C) SEM images of typical OPV and C60@OPV microwires. Scale bars, 5 μm (B) and 2 μm (C). (D and E) TEM images of individual OPV and C60@OPV microwires. Scale bars, 2 μm. (F and G) SAED patterns of the corresponding microwires in (D) and (E). Scale bars, 2 1/nm. (H) Raman spectra of individual OPV, C60, and C60@OPV microwires. a.u., arbitrary units. The C60 doping concentration of the C60@OPV microcrystals used for these characterizations is 5.6 mol %. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2953 Theoretical investigation of the CT processes in light-harvesting systems. (A) Molecular orbital diagrams of OPV, C60, and CT complex calculated by density function theory. (B) Schematic of efficient exciton funneling for the formation, accumulation, and radiative deactivation of CT excitons in the C60@OPV light-harvesting systems. (C) Maximum emission wavelength of microcrystals versus C60 doping concentration. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2953 In this way, Kang Wang and co-workers reported on exciton funneling and stimulated emission in light-harvesting organic semiconductor microcrystals. Using theoretical and experimental demonstrations they controlled the CT complexes for effective lasing and regulated the emission of light-harvesting microcrystals to build wide wavelength-tunable micro-lasers. While at present the results only provide detailed insight into the exciton funneling process in light-harvesting systems to enable electrically driven organic lasers. The outcomes of the work offer a promising route to develop efficient organic materials and achieve electrically driven lasers for full-color laser displays in the future. To provide in depth insight to the light harvesting systems at the level of energy-orbitals, Wang et al. performed theoretical studies and calculated the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) of the separate molecules and the C60-OPV CT complex. While the HOMO electron density of OPV was distributed across the entire molecule, LUMO was mostly localized on different sites of the molecule. Using the experimental and theoretical results, Wang et al. drew an energy diagram of exciton evolution in a light-harvesting system and observed the comprehensive process that formed exciton funnels. The researchers subsequently conducted optically pumped lasing measurements to test the lasing performance in the light-harvesting microwires using a micro-photoluminescence (micro-PL) system. They verified the occurrence of lasing in the C60@OPV microwires at different pump intensities and controlled the emission from CT complexes by doping varying concentrations of C60 in to the OPV hosts. The scientists could tune the light-harvesting molecules in the present work to provide a key step to ultimately synthesize organic laser diodes in further studies. center_img Scientists develop polariton nano-laser operating at room temperature Exciton funneling into the CT states in the organic light-harvesting microcrystals. (A) Absorption spectra of OPV (green), C60@OPV (red) microwires, and C60 dispersed in polymer hosts (black). a.u., arbitrary units. (B) Fluorescence microscopy images of OPV (top) and C60@OPV (bottom) microwires. Scale bars, 20 μm. (C and D) Streak camera images and PL spectra of OPV (C) and C60@OPV (D) microcrystals excited with a 400-nm pulsed laser (~100 fs, 1 kHz). tD and tDA are the average lifetimes of donor (~551 nm) in the absence (pure OPV) and presence (C60@OPV) of the acceptor, respectively. The C60 doping concentration of the C60@OPV microcrystals used for these characterizations is 5.6 mol %. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2953 In its pure form, the OPV microcrystal displayed a well-defined wire-like appearance with smooth and flat surfaces. Upon introduction of C60, the resulting microcrystal maintained similar morphology to indicate that C60 did not significantly alter the morphology of OPV crystals. The scientists verified the structure of the crystal microwires using Raman spectra, transmission electron microscopy(TEM), select-area electron diffraction (SAED) and X-ray diffraction. The results suggested a strong presence of OPV with C60 doped in its matrices. The interaction between C60 and the OPV molecules generated a new CT state, which Wang et al confirmed using absorption spectra. When observed under ultraviolet excitation (UV), the C60@OPV molecules showed red emission, in sharp contrast to the yellow emission in pure OPV microwires and non-luminescence in the C60 microwires. The scientists identified the new CT excitation state of C60@OPV crystals using photoluminescence and calculated the efficiency of the energy transfer to show effective funneling potential between the molecules and efficient energy accumulation in the CT states of the light-harvesting microcrystals. Journal information: Science Advances To synthesize the light-harvesting microcrystals, Wang et al. used a cyano-substituted molecule referred to as OPV (for oligo-(α-phenylenevinylene)-1,4-bis(R-cyano-4-diphenylaminostyryl)-2,5-diphenylbenzene) and fullerene (C60). The two molecules met conditions where; OPV is a typical p-type semiconductor with high optical gain, and C60 is a typical n-type semiconductor with high electron mobilities and large absorption cross-sections. They surrounded locally formed CT complexes containing narrow bandgaps with hosts of high levels of energy to behave as artificial light-harvesting systems. They captured the resulting excitation light energy using hosts to deliver to the CT complexes for their function as exciton funnels in order to benefit lasing actions. Wang et al. expect the preliminary results to offer in depth understanding of exciton funneling in light-harvesting systems to develop high-performance organic lasing devices. The new results are now available on Science Advances. Organic semiconductor lasers that function across the full visible spectrum are of increasing interest due to their practical applications from multiband communication to full-color laser displays. Although they are challenging to attain, electrically pumped organic lasers can advance the existing laser technology to rival organic light-emitting diodes. Wang et al. formed localized CT complexes by adding a small amount of electron acceptor/donor into the electron donor/acceptor host matrix. The setup contained CT complexes with a narrow bandgap, surrounded by the host matrix with high energy levels to serve as artificial light harvesting antennas. The harvested excitation light energy produced excitons, which were transferred downstream to the acceptors to function as an ‘excitation funnel.” In the present work, Wang et al. investigated the process of exciton funneling in light-harvesting systems to offer guidance to design high performance organic optoelectronic materials for electrically pumped lasers. , Nature Nanotechnology © 2019 Science X Network Organic solid-state lasers are essential for photonic applications, but current-driven lasers are a great challenge to develop in applied physics and materials science. While it is possible to create charge transfer complexes (i.e. electron-donor-acceptor complexes among two/more molecules or across a large molecule) with p-/n- type organic semiconductors in electrically pumped lasers, the existing difficulties arise from nonradiative loss due to the delocalized states of charge transfer (CT). In a recent report, Kang Wang and a team of researchers in the departments of chemistry, molecular nanostructure and nanotechnology in China demonstrated the enduring action of CT complexes by exciton funneling in p-type organic microcrystals with n-type doping. Citation: Designing light-harvesting organic semiconductor microcrystals with wavelength-tunable lasers (2019, June 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

More care should be taken while planting trees Experts

first_imgKolkata: City based ecologists feel that the state Forest department, as well as the Parks and Squares department of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, should strictly adhere to some basic theories of urban plantation when they go for planting trees in the city. The observation comes in the wake of nearly 150 trees toppling in the city on Tuesday evening.”Rapid urbanisation in the city is emerging as a bane for the trees. Work for underground sewerage, underground telephone cables and underground electric wires are taking place on a regular basis, which is often destroying the roots of the trees, making them vulnerable to storms and squalls,” feels noted ecologist Nandadulal Parui. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to Parui, trees that usually follow a lateral growth pattern can withstand greater wind velocity than those that have a vertical growth pattern. “Trees like Bakul, Jarul, Gulmohar and Shirish have a lateral growth pattern. They grow to a medium height and have the capacity to withstand high wind velocity, which trees with vertical growth pattern cannot. In urban areas, taking care of the nature of trees before plantation is of utmost importance. There are trees whose wood is tough enough to withstand the velocity of wind,” he maintained. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedSoumitra Paul, Assistant Professor of the Botany department of Calcutta University, however, feels that the state Forest department and KMC plants trees in a much more scientific manner than what was done ten-twelve years ago. “Trees are not getting proper space to expand because of rapid urbanisation. The soil is losing its strength to hold the trees, resulting in their felling,” Paul said. He feels that putting concrete, cement or any sort of barrier at the bottom of the tree allows it to absorb rain water or precipitation of similar nature in a better way and is favourable factor for its growth. “If a tree is situated at an upward or sloping level, the water flows downwards and the trees fail to absorb water properly. We should remember that a tree uproots because of problems in its roots that lie below the ground. It has nothing to do with cement or concrete surrounding the tree above the ground,” Paul said.It may be mentioned that in well-planned cities, especially in Europe, a minimum of 50 cubic feet of soil is provided for a tree’s root system to expand. However, in the city, hardly 10 cubic feet of soil is available on an average for a tree’s root system to grow and therefore, toppling of trees during squalls and thunderstorms is becoming a common phenomenon every year, according to the environmental experts.last_img read more

Unity releases MLAgents toolkit v05 with Gym interface a new suite of

first_imgIn their commitment to become the go-to platform for Artificial Intelligence, Unity has released a new version of their ML-Agents Toolkit. ML-Agents toolkit v0.5 comes with more flexible action specification, a Gym interface for researchers to more easily integrate ML-Agents environments into their training workflows, and a new suite of learning environments replicating some of the Continuous Control benchmarks used in Deep Reinforcement Learning. They have also released a research paper on ML-Agents which the Unity platform has titled “Unity: A General Platform for Intelligent Agent.” Changes to the ML-Agents toolkit v0.5 A lot of changes have been made pertaining to ML-Agents toolkit v0.5. Highlighted changes to repository structure The python folder has been renamed ml-agents. It now contains a python package called mlagents. The unity-environment folder, containing the Unity project, has been renamed UnitySDK. The protobuf definitions used for communication have been added to a new protobuf-definitions folder. Example curricula and the trainer configuration file have been moved to a new config sub-directory. New features New package gym-unity which provides gym interface to wrap UnityEnvironment. The ML-Agents toolkit v0.5 can now run multiple concurrent training sessions with the –num-runs=command line option. Added Meta-Curriculum which supports curriculum learning in multi-brain environments. Action Masking for Discrete Control which makes it possible to mask invalid actions each step to limit the actions an agent can take. Fixes & Performance Improvements Replaced some activation functions to swish. Visual Observations use PNG instead of JPEG to avoid compression losses. Improved python unit tests. Multiple training sessions are available on single GPU. Curriculum lessons are now tracked correctly. Developers can now visualize value estimates when using models trained with PPO from Unity with GetValueEstimate(). It is now possible to specify which camera the Monitor displays to. Console summaries will now be displayed even when running inference mode from python. Minimum supported Unity version is now 2017.4. You can read all about the new version of ML-Agents Toolkit on the Unity Blog. Read Next Unity releases ML-Agents v0.3: Imitation Learning, Memory-Enhanced Agents and more. Unity Machine Learning Agents: Transforming Games with Artificial Intelligence. Unite Berlin 2018 Keynote: Unity partners with Google, launches Ml-Agents ToolKit 0.4, Project MARS and more.last_img read more

Viasat has acquired TV rights to the 2014 Olympic

first_imgViasat has acquired TV rights to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games and the 2016 Olympic Games for the Baltics.The Modern Times Group-backed channel operator will have ‘first pick’ for each Baltic country to show one discipline from each of Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 exclusively on its commercial free-TV channels in each of the Baltic countries. Viasat also has exclusive pay TV and online rights to both Games in the Baltics. MTG brokered the deal through rights agency Sportfive International.Hans-Holger Albrecht, president and CEO of MTG, commented: “This is a major step for us and follows our acquisition of the exclusive Swedish broadcasting rights to the 2014 and 2016 Games last year. Our range of channels and services across multiple distribution platforms will ensure that the Games get more coverage than ever before in the Baltics – this is the first time in Olympic history that viewers will be able to see live TV coverage of all events on a pay TV platform.”last_img read more

In This Issue Election worries force yen lower…

first_imgIn This Issue.*Election worries force yen lower… *The German recovery stalls… *UK jobless claims rise… *General ‘risk off’ day pushes commodity currencies lower…And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!Election uncertainties push the yen lower… Good day. I want to kick off today’s Pfennig with a thank you to all of the readers who pointed out the glaring mistake I made in yesterday’s post.  Yes, Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF is a female.  I apologize for my error and to Mlle Lagarde if she was offended by my early morning mistake (I can only dream that she is a Pfennig reader!) All kidding aside, I do enjoy reading all of your emails and I’m sure many of the Pfennig readers would love to hear many of your comments also.  With the conversion of the Pfennig to a blog, I want to encourage readers to go to to post your comments and replies. This way you can share your opinions and insight with all of the Pfennig nation!  Now let me get started with today’s Pfennig so I can see if I can stimulate some reader comments.The currency markets were fairly flat yesterday, with the dollar moving higher against some currencies, but losing against others.  The Japanese yen was on the losing side of the equation yesterday, dropping .86% vs. the US$.  Uncertainty over elections drove the yen lower as investors fear a new government will take a more aggressive stance on monetary easing.  I bet many of you are thinking “Uncertainty?? Chris, the elections are over, Obama won”.  But I’m not talking about elections here in the US, but rather elections which will probably occur in Japan.  Japan’s Prime Minister said he is going to dissolve the Diet as soon as next week, setting the stage for elections.  The Prime Minister’s party will likely lose the new elections, and power will shift to the Liberal Democratic Party which has called for additional stimulus to try and revive the Japanese economy.  Japan’s central bank recently increased their quantitative easing efforts in an attempt to overcome deflation which has gripped the country.  The yen has lost just under 4% of its value vs. the US$ this year, after setting a post-WWII high back in October of last year.  The Japanese yen is still seen as a safe haven currency by many investors, but the economy certainly doesn’t support the label. On the other side of the ledger, the Mexican Peso, euro, and Norwegian Krone boasted some of the largest gains vs. the US$ yesterday.  But as I mentioned earlier, the markets were pretty flat and even the best performing Mexican peso was only up .44% vs. the US$.  The euro rose after Greece was able to find enough bids in their debt auction to keep from defaulting on a T-bill maturity at the end of the week. While this was a bit of good news for Greece, the data coming out of Europe continues to be disappointing.  Yesterday a report showed German investor confidence unexpectedly declined in November to minus 15.7 from a reading of 11.5 in October.  Economists had predicted a slight increase in confidence, and the report worried some that the sovereign debt crisis may finally be impacting the German economy.  Most of the recent data coming out of Europe’s largest economy shows the European area is in serious danger of slipping back into a recession.  Germany is the economic engine of Europe, and Chancellor Merkel has been doing a good job of keeping the euro together in order to help keep German factories exports within Europe rolling.  But the austerity measures which have been forced on the weaker euro-members are starting to be reflected in the numbers.  Merkel may have to relax her hard line on austerity in order to allow some of Germany’s best customers a bit of breathing room!Elsewhere in Europe, UK jobless claims rose at the fastest pace in more than a year.  Claims rose over 10k to 1.58 million in October, the most since September of last year.  BOE Governor Mervyn King said the UK economy is in danger of contracting in the current quarter and that additional stimulus measures may be needed.  “We face the rather unappealing combination of a subdued recovery with inflation remaining above target for a while”, King told reporters in London.  “There are limits to the ability of domestic policy to stimulate private sector demand as the economy adjusts to a new equilibrium.  But the Committee has not lost faith in asset purchases as a policy instrument, nor has it concluded that there will be no more purchases.”So now we have King sounding eerily similar to our own Federal Reserve Chairman who, after announcing QEIII in September said “I personally don’t think it’s going to solve the problem.”  “I don’t think our tools are strong enough to offset a major fiscal shock.”  Neither Bernanke nor King believe their efforts will be able to stimulate demand, but they continue to just try to throw more money at the problem.  The US followed the BOE down the QE path, and the BOE followed the BOJ.  Is anyone seeing a pattern here??  The Japanese economy has been in a decade long funk and QE hasn’t pulled it out.  The UK economy is starting to slide backwards toward recession, causing many of the policy makers on the Monetary Policy Committee in London to question the effectiveness of QE. One thing is certain, all of the stimulus flooding into the globes largest markets will eventually lead to rising inflation.  But that is exactly what many economist want to see, rising inflation and declining currency values which will enable them to pay down their debts with cheaper currency.      Shifting back across the pond, US retail sales numbers are due to be released later this morning along with the PPI numbers and a gauge of business inventories. Hurricane Sandy is being blamed for the slowdown in retail sales during the month of October, but that sure seems like a stretch to me.  I believe Sandy reached landfall on October 29/30th right?  So the popular press wants us to believe a few days of storms in October caused the entire month’s numbers to be skewed?  I can buy the fact that November’s sales will be impacted, as many of the unfortunate residents on our East coast were without power.  But I would think the coming storm would have actually boosted purchases in October as people went to the stores to prepare for the coming storm.  It will be interesting to see just where the numbers come in later this morning, but don’t be fooled by the spin that a poor number was caused by Sandy. Tomorrow will bring additional opportunities for the spin masters as we get the ‘official’ numbers on Consumer Inflation which are expected to show prices rose just .1% MOM in October (you can still go to to take a look at the unadjusted numbers). And since tomorrow is Thursday, we will see the weekly job numbers which are expected to show another 375k applied for unemployment benefits. The commodity currencies were off a bit yesterday, with the New Zealand, Australian, Brazilian, and South African currencies all posting losses vs. the US$.  The Kiwi was lower after a report showed retail sales unexpectedly fell in the third quarter.  Sales adjusted for inflation dropped .4% in the 3rd quarter, following a 1.3% rise in the 2nd.  This latest report, combined with rising unemployment and slowdown in manufacturing has led some investors to increase bets the central bank will cut rates during their next meeting.  The New Zealand Treasury department last week said GDP has slowed, and most economists believe the data will show a growth rate of just 1.1% in the second half.  The RBNZ has kept rates steady since March of last year, but pressure is starting to mount for another cut in December. Brazil’s real dropped for a fifth day as central bank intervention continues to stem the flow of funds into Latin America’s largest economy.  Brazil’s central bank has been selling the real through ‘reverse currency swaps’ in an effort to keep the value of Brazil’s currency down.  But the markets helped to push the real lower yesterday as investors sold all of the ’emerging market’ currencies in a general ‘risk off’ day.  The South African rand fell to its lowest value vs. the US$ in over a month as investors were concerned over the potential slowdowns in both Europe and the UK. The Canadian economy has been held up as a model for the US during the latest fiscal crisis.  Canadian Banks were seen as some of the most stable in the world and Canada is the only G7 country with a stable AAA debt rating.  But confidence may be shaking a bit after Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said he will delay plans to balance the federal budget by one year.  Flaherty’s latest budget update, released yesterday, projects a return to a balanced budget by 2016.  “Our country is not immune to global forces, nor can we control the economic shocks that ripple outwards from other nations”, Flaherty said in a speech yesterday.  His latest budget cuts revenue projections as lower commodity price predictions cut into exports.  Flaherty also sounded concerned about the Fiscal Cliff waiting for his neighbors to the south at the end of the year.  This latest news shouldn’t be seen as a big negative on our overall opinion of the Canadian dollar.  Canada’s economy is still in relatively good shape when compared to other industrialized countries, and a balanced budget by 2016 is still impressive given the current state of the global economy.  Canada remains on very solid fiscal footing.Then There Was This.  I am a big fan of The Economist magazine, and try to flip through it from cover to cover each week.  The stories are short but packed with information, and lately I have even found some interesting insights in the ‘help wanted’ section.  A few weeks ago I sent a note to Chuck pointing out a full page ad looking for applicants to fill a job opening at the Bank of England.  I was amazed to see the position they were trying to fill was that of the Governor!  Yes, the Bank of England actually ran a ‘help wanted’ ad looking for a new Governor in the Economist magazine.  So I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised to find another help wanted add in this week’s Economist looking for individuals to fill ‘Forthcoming Vacancies at the European Central Bank’. Sounds like we may be seeing some turnover at the ECB in the coming months.  Perhaps next week we will see an ad looking for someone to take over as Chairman of the Fed, and I think US Treasury Secretary Geithner is looking to leave pretty soon also.  Maybe I should dust off the old resume.. no, I wouldn’t want to have to face all of the headaches of the global debt crisis.  In fact, that is probably just why these big institutions are having to place the help wanted ads in the first place; nobody wants to take on the job!To recap. Currency markets were pretty flat yesterday, with the dollar higher vs. the yen but lower vs. many of the European currencies.  The yen dropped as concerns increased over the uncertainty surrounding Japanese elections which may be called as soon as next week.  The euro eeked out a small gain vs. the US$ after Greece found enough buyers during an auction of Tbills to avoid a potential default later this week.  UK jobless claims rose at the fastest pace in over a year prompting the BOE Governor to raise the possibility of another round of stimulus.  US data is expected to show some weakness in retail sales, and the inflation numbers will be released tomorrow.  Finally, the commodity currencies were down as we had a general ‘risk off’ day.Currencies today 11/14/12. American Style: A$ $1.0429, kiwi .8141, C$ $.9991, euro 1.2736, sterling 1.5867, Swiss $1.0582. European Style: rand 8.8316, krone 5.7532, SEK 6.7729, forint 223.19, zloty 3.2746, koruna 20.0031, RUB 31.6485, yen 80.07, sing 1.2217, HKD 7.7507, INR 54.875, China 6.2252, pesos 13.1901, BRL 2.0605, Dollar Index 81.039, Oil $85.58, 10-year 1.62%, Silver $32.4675 and Gold $1,722.55.That’s it for today. I was talking with my family about the Pfennig blog at dinner last night and my kids said they would be happy post some comments.  They decided their number one all time favorite Pfennig comment was ‘You suck, bring back Chuck’.  Not exactly what I was looking for!  You can see the kind of support I get at home, but that is what you get with two teenagers.  We are having the first ‘EverBank Chili Cookoff’ today, but I don’t think the trading desk is going to have an entry since our fearless leader Chuck is out of town.  Chuck is a great cook, especially when it comes to the grill, but I’m pretty sure he could make a mean chili also.  I just heard Tim say he went ahead and brought in some of his ‘fire’ chili, so I guess we still have a chance to win it all!  Hope everyone has a Wonderful Wednesday and thanks for reading the Pfennig!Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more