Festive demand for gold in India got off to a tepid start, with local prices still at a heavy discount to the global benchmark, a bad sign for a period when buying is typically strong.Though sales picked up this week with the onset of the festival season, demand was lower than usual, retailers said, even as jewellers splashed newspapers across the country with ads promising good deals and discounts.Following the nine-day Hindu festival of Navratri, India celebrates Dussehra on Thursday, when buying of gold jewellery, coins or bars is considered auspicious.The fourth quarter is typically a strong period for gold purchases in India, the world’s second biggest bullion consumer, due to festivals and weddings.”This year fewer customers are visiting our showrooms compared to last year,” said Tanya Rastogi, a director at Lala Jugal Kishore Jewellers in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.”For the last two to three years, gold has been giving negative returns. It has badly affected investment demand,” Rastogi said.Still, next month India will celebrate Dhanteras and Diwali, when demand could improve, she added.Global gold prices are on track to post their third straight annual loss this year, already down nearly 40 percent since hitting a record high in 2011.Dealers in India were offering a discount of $8 to $12 an ounce this week, compared to $7 to $11 last week.Demand from rural areas has been hit particularly hard as farmers suffer from the first back-to-back drought in India in three decades.Two-thirds of gold demand in India comes from farmers and residents of small villages who see jewellery as way to store wealth. But lower-than-normal monsoon rainfall this year due to El Nino weather pattern has eroded rural incomes.”Demand from rural areas has moderated due to drought. Jewellers from the countryside made thin purchases in the last few weeks,” said a Mumbai-based dealer with a private bank.Elsewhere in Asia, demand remained lacklustre. In top consumer China, prices on the Shanghai Gold Exchange ticked up to a premium from a small discount late last week, though dealers at bullion banks said physical buying wasn’t strong.”Demand is very sluggish,” said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers Ltd in Hong Kong, adding that a strong dollar and a recent price rally was hurting demand.In Hong Kong this week, premiums dropped to 80 to 90 cents an ounce, from $1.20-$1.30 last week.
A head-on collision between two buses on Thakurgaon-Panchagarh Highway claims life of four people.A head-on collision between two buses on Thakurgaon-Panchagarh Highway left four people dead and 29 others injured on Thursday morning, reports UNB. The deceased are Babul, 28, a minibus driver Abul Kalam Azad, 50, son of Abdul Majid, Mojibur Rahman, 75, and Quamruzzaman, 35, of Thakurgaon Sadar upazila. The accident took place at Salandar Bhutpara in the upazila around 10:00am. A Panchagarh-bound bus hit the Thakurgaon-bound minibus of ‘Nirnoy Paribahan’, killing three people on the spot, said sub-inspector Firoza Begum of Sadar police station.Police and fire service officials rescued the victims and took 22 of them to the Sadar Hospital. Later, another injured man succumbed to his injuries at Sadar Hospital in the afternoon.
Tuesday, June 18, 2019Top afternoon stories:Ivanka Perez/Houston Public MediaHouston Police Executive Assistant Chief Troy Finner (center) said at a news conference Jackson had remained a suspect for HPD even though an initial charge was dropped in 2017.Breakthrough In Josué Flores Murder CaseHarris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced on Tuesday that a grand jury has indicted Andre Jackson for the alleged murder of Josué Flores after being presented with new DNA evidence that was examined in a Florida laboratory.Flores’ murder shocked Houston in May 2016 because of its brutality. The killer stabbed the child multiple times at the 1900 block of Fulton Street when the 11-year-old boy was returning to his home after leaving Marshall Middle School in the Near Northside neighborhood.Jackson, a 30 year-old homeless veteran, had previously been charged with Flores’ murder. But Ogg dropped the charges in July 2017 because of insufficient evidence that prosecutors felt could lead to a conviction. Now, the district attorney says there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt against Jackson.Houston Police arrested Jackson in Baytown and he is in custody. He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday and faces five to 99 years in prison, or life. Jackson has publicly claimed he is innocent.Florian Martin/Houston Public MediaThe public safety campaign will urge gun owners to safely store their firearms to prevent accidents and shootings.Texas To Launch $1 Million Gun Safety Awareness CampaignThe Texas Department of Public Safety will launch an awareness campaign to urge gun owners to lock away their firearms.The initiative is part of the state budget Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law this past weekend.The budget allocates $1 million over two years to the campaign, which will likely be similar to DPS’ Don’t Mess With Texas and Turn Around Don’t Drown awareness campaigns.Currently, if a child 16 years of age or under gets a hold of a loaded weapon in Texas, the owner of the gun can be charged with a misdemeanor (Class A misdemeanor if someone gets hurt, otherwise Class C).The gun safety campaign is scheduled to start by Sep. 1, 2020.Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz/Houston Public MediaThis August 25, 2018, photo shows a voting sign in Harris County regarding the election on the county’s bond for flood prevention and mitigation projects.Poll Says Texas Voters’ Election Qualms Run HighTexas voters find a lot wrong with who does and doesn’t get to vote in the state’s elections, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.Generally speaking, Democrats see voter suppression and Republicans see voter fraud.“Partisans on both sides can find things to fault,” said Joshua Blank, manager of polling and research for the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. “Texans as a whole look upon the election system pretty poorly.”Half of the voters said noncitizens vote “sometimes” (24%) or “frequently” (26%) in the state’s elections — a view held by 75% of Republican respondents and 54% of independent voters. Among Democrats, 27% said noncitizens “never” vote in Texas elections and another 37% said it “rarely” happens. White voters (56%) think noncitizens vote sometimes or frequently; 33% of black voters and 40% of Hispanic voters agreed with them.But those Democrats don’t think everything is rosy: 68% said eligible voters in Texas are sometimes (37%) or frequently (31%) prevented from voting. That view is shared by 44% of voters overall, by 24% of Republicans and by 37% of independent voters. Among all voters, 43% think eligible voters are never or rarely blocked from casting ballots. A majority of black voters (53%) said voters are frequently or sometimes prevented from voting; 49% of Hispanic and 40% of white voters agreed with them. Share
In this Nov. 5, 2014 file photo, Washington Mayor-Elect Muriel Bowser speaks during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. Bowser won on the strength of the Black vote.The District’s mayor-elect recently announced her transition team that will aid her move toward power. Residents seem pleased by what they see thus far.Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser (D) appointed former D.C. Superior Court Judge Mary Terrell, Brookings Institute and public financing expert Alice Rivlin, retired Pepco executive Beverly Perry, Mary’s Center leader Maria Gomez and union leader John Boardman as the co-chairs of her transition team on Nov. 7. Bowser also appointed four former mayors of the city, Sharon Pratt Kelly, Anthony Williams, Adrian Fenty and Marion Barry, who now is the Ward 8 council member, as co-chairs of the committee.“We have just 56 days to work on our transition,” Bowser said. “We all are committed with a sense of urgency.”She said that she will make further appointments in the form of working committees specializing in areas such as criminal justice, employment and economic development.Bowser will take the reins of the District’s government in early January 2015.Lorenzo Green, who serves as an advisory neighborhood commissioner in Ward 8, is impressed with Bowser’s selections.“I feel that she is moving in the right direction,” Green said. “She has selected people from the city’s past and present, and they should serve her well.”Green was also pleased that Bowser opted to make her transition announcement in Ward 8 at an office building under construction in the Historic Anacostia neighborhood. While Green is pleased with Bowser’s efforts, Martin Moulton, a Libertarian and resident of Ward 6, has some reservations.“It seems like to me that we are getting the same old people running things,” Moulton said. “I like Miss Bowser, but seem like to me that corporate money is dictating things. Corporate money buys politicians and matters like housing, jobs and schools are being ignored.”He continued, “We have qualified people in the city who can help her run it. We have a diverse population and there are people with top talent who live here already. We need competition for those jobs that Bowser is offering, not just the same old faces.”Rivlin served on the transition team of D.C. mayor Vincent Gray (D) in 2010 and is a well-known economist and has served on the Federal Reserve Board as a governor and vice chair. She has worked as the director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and founding director of the Congressional Budget Office. She has also served as the chairman of the District’s financial control board from 1998-2001, which was the agency that helped the city get out of its perilous fiscal state during that time.Terrell is known locally for her efforts to support young people through her term on the Superior Court bench from 1997-2008. She is also the founder of the High Tea Society, an organization that encourages Black girls to learn and practice social graces and etiquette.Gomez is the president and CEO of Mary’s Center, headquartered in Ward 4. Mary’s Center provides social and health care services primarily to Latino residents in Washington, D.C.Perry is the former senior vice president for governmental affairs for Pepco and has raised money on behalf of the African American Civil War Memorial. Boardman is the head of UNITE HERE Local 25, a hotel union that backed Bowser in her mayoral bid.The Rev. Anthony Motley is impressed by Bowser’s selections but said that a key element is missing.“I don’t think there is someone from Ward 8 or Ward 7 on her transition team other than Mr. Barry,” Moulton said. “She made a pledge to pay attention to the concerns of residents east of the [Anacostia] and she said that she will have a deputy mayor dedicated to east Washington. I think she could have selected someone other than Barry.”Barry’s presence on the transition team is a relief to Debora Rowe, the executive director of Returning Citizens United Inc.“We know that Barry will watch out for our interests because he has been a returning citizen,” Rowe said, referencing the six months Barry served in federal prison in the early 1990s for drug charges.