Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City It might have been that middle blocker Celine Domingo used to don the red of the Lady Warriors, but skipper Bernadeth Pons echoed her mentor’s words.Pons admitted what they displayed in their victory over UE, 25-20, 25-17, 24-26, 25-22, wasn’t their best and they vow to do better in the future games.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We all know that the way we played wasn’t in the level on what we are capable of,” said Pons in Filipino Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre. “We weren’t at one hundred percent there, coach said that it was just 60 percent.”The 0-6 Lady Warriors, who played their first game without beleaguered former head coach Francis Vicente, managed to steal the third set to prevent a sweep. Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Read Next LATEST STORIES FEU posts 2nd straight win at expense of UE Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding “We have to explain to each other that we have to give it all especially in our future games,” added Pons as she finished with 21 points.As for Domingo, putting up 19 points and scoring off six blocks was a testament that she’s happy with her current situation with the Lady Tamaraws as they improved to 3-2 in the standings.“It’s quite challenging because I was thinking that I used to play with these girls in front of me, I was with them two years ago,” said Domingo in Filipino. “So what I did is play, do my part, and show that I am happy here in FEU.”Domingo was vital in the clutch for FEU, first denying Mary Ann Mendrez for the Lady Tamaraws’ 23-19 lead in the fourth before scoring an off-balanced kill for her team’s 24-21 match point.ADVERTISEMENT Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa MOST READ Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH AFP official booed out of forum View comments Far Eastern University head coach George Pascua said that his players did show a little bit of mercy when they beat University of the East in four sets in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament.ADVERTISEMENT
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) announced that legendary actors Cicely Tyson, Richard Roundtree, and music icon Dionne Warwick will accept awards for their lifetime achievements in the arts during the 20th Annual Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts.The awards ceremony, which will take place Sept. 14 at the Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW in Washington, D.C. from 8:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., is organized in cooperation with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Spouses Visual and Performance Arts Scholarship program. This event will mark the start of the CBCF’s 46th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC), one of the nation’s leading public policy conferences.“With a lifetime of entertaining and educating us, this year’s honorees have also distinguished themselves as remarkable leaders and passionate advocates for the arts and arts education,” said CBCF president and CEO A. Shuanise Washington. “Their outstanding contributions and continuing commitment to the arts make them ideal to help elevate the visibility of the CBC Spouses Visual and Performance Arts Scholarship Program. The awards are conferred on artists whose legacy includes not only extraordinary works but a commitment to cultivating future generations of artists.”Since 1996, the Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts has raised funds to support the CBC Spouses Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship Fund. Twenty scholarships are awarded annually to highly qualified students pursuing undergraduate degrees in the arts, based on their creative talent, academic excellence, financial need and community service. Two of this year’s scholarship recipients, vocalist Lindsey Reynolds, and Justin Syas, a pianist, will perform during the event.“We have supported arts education for 20 years through the Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts, during a time when arts education has decreased in many schools,” said Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a CBC Spouse and chair of the Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts. “We will continue to highlight the contributions of great artists while raising money to support aspiring scholarship recipients as it reinforces the importance of art and its impact in our communities.”The sponsors for this year’s Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts include Union Pacific Corporation, as the title sponsor, Heineken USA, ASPiRE and UP TV.Found out more here.
WINNIPEG – An investigation has concluded that cracks in a rail joint ultimately led to the derailment of a freight train carrying potash east of Saskatoon last fall.A Transportation Safety Board report says the cracks made the rail joint weak and it ruptured under the weight of the Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) train.Some 37 cars derailed just west of the Rural Municipality of Blucher on Sept. 15.The report says many of the derailed cars spilled potash, but no dangerous goods were involved and no one was hurt.About 760 metres of track was damaged or destroyed.The TSB says all required track inspections had been performed, including three in the previous year that showed some minor defects not needing immediate attention under CP maintenance standards.The train had just passed through a switch at Blucher when the crew felt the locomotive dip and heard a banging sound. An engineer applied the brakes to slow the train and four seconds later an automatic emergency brake was activated.Half a rail joint was recovered during cleanup and had “rail-end batter on the east-end rail head and fatigue cracking in the joint bars.”Potash consists of minerals containing potassium and is used as an agricultural fertilizer.
MONTREAL – Employees at more than 400 Quebec Liquor Corp. outlets across the province held a one-day strike Tuesday in a bid to jump-start contract negotiations.It was the first of six strike days their union has planned as pressure tactics against the Crown corporation.The walkout affected most of the province’s liquor outlets, but management personnel was used to keep more than 60 outlets open.In June, the unionized employees voted 91 per cent in favour of the one-day strikes that are to take place at the opportune moment.The 5,500 workers have been without a contract since March 31, 2017, but negotiations have been ongoing for 16 months.Previous talks took place in late June and last week and the union determined the resumption of the discussions Tuesday was a good time to launch the strike.“The employer has moved a bit on its demands but it is not withdrawing its demands,” union president Katia Lelievre told The Canadian Press.The issue of schedules and work hours is at the heart of the impasse, with the union saying the government wants employees with more experience to work evenings and weekends, which the union considers a major setback.“There is no lack of employees on the weekend,” Lelievre said.She said 70 per cent of employees work part-time and already do full weekends, while more than one-half of the 30 per cent of full-time employees work at least one day on the weekend.In a statement, the liquor corporation said the 60-odd outlets that remained open were staffed by managers.“The SAQ (the corporation) wants to simplify its work methods and is proposing solutions that will both meet its need for flexibility while responding to the union’s priorities and demands, especially when it comes to getting full-time jobs, ensuring the quality of schedules as well as increasing the number of guaranteed hours for part-time employees,” the statement said.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A group of seven environmental organizations say they’re concerned after the federal Ministry of Environment released a report which found that provinces and territories are not doing enough to protect the habitat of the boreal caribou.The seven organizations, among which are the David Suzuki Foundation, the Wilderness Committee, and Greenpeace Canada, issued a statement today expressing their concerns about recent actions by provincial governments in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. The group is calling on all provinces and territories to stop expansion of the industrial footprint in boreal caribou ranges that have exceeded 35 percent disturbance, and to take immediate steps to protect critical habitat. “We expect provinces and territories to do this in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, fully respecting their knowledge and rights including the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC),” said the statement. The group did however point out that positive steps have been taken by several First Nations and other communities, including two in B.C. Peace Region. The Fort Nelson First Nation’s Boreal Caribou Recovery Plan for their territory called the Medzih Action Plan, and the Doig River First Nation’s idenntification of priority areas for caribou habitat restoration based on Indigenous knowledge and science, were two positive examples mentioned by the group.The group added that it is calling on Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to fulfill her duties under SARA by continuing to issue timely section 63 reports for boreal caribou, to begin issuing them for other species, and also by issuing safety net orders for critical habitat that remains unprotected.
SF0.20.1NYG0.10.10.21377 BAL54PIT52PIT 23, BAL 16+4.3– Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 9Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 9 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game 201311531125 WSH43.014.5TB220.127.116.11470 MIN68MIN69MIN 24, DET 9-0.9– 21976ColtsJones22Mitchell23Carr1820.8 The best matchups of Week 10Week 10 games by the highest average Elo rating (using the harmonic mean) plus the total potential swing for the two teams’ playoff chances, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions 82000VikingsCulpepper21Smith18Moss1718.5 PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.ResultREADERS’ NET PTS YearTeamPasserRusherReceiverTriplet Score 191995CowboysAikman15Smith20Irvin1917.7 DEN54HOU54HOU 19, DEN 17+6.0– 91982ChargersFouts22Muncie14Chandler2218.5 51961OilersBlanda22Cannon16Hennigan2119.3 KC84KC87KC 37, CLE 21-0.5– CHI54.715.4DET8.97.723.11507 14199349ersYoung23Watters14Rice2018.2 Game quality is the harmonic mean of the Elo ratings for the two teams in a given matchup.*Average change is weighted by the likelihood of a win or loss. (Ties are excluded.)Source: ESPN.com 31999ColtsManning18James21Harrison2019.6 122000RamsWarner15Faulk22Holt1918.2 152006ChargersRivers18Tomlinson26Gates1418.1 DAL66DAL64TEN 28, DAL 14+0.7– 162014PackersRodgers21Lacy16Nelson1818.1 20200049ersGarcia20Garner17Owens1617.5 The New Orleans Saints already looked like Super Bowl contenders at various times in the first half of this season. But after their 45-35 victory over the previously undefeated Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, the Saints have landed themselves squarely in the conversation of potential championship favorites. Certainly, no team is hotter as we survey the NFL at midseason: New Orleans has won seven straight, including triumphs over the Vikings, Falcons and Ravens. And for better or for worse, they’re doing it in classic Saints style — piling up a ton of points (and taking the occasional end-zone phone call) while simply hoping for the best on defense. Although this method might not ultimately result in the franchise’s second-ever Super Bowl title, it’s going to be damn entertaining to watch New Orleans try to score its way to the top of the NFL heap once again.Leading the way in the Saints’ offensive showcase is, of course, quarterback Drew Brees. Much has been said about how well Patriots QB Tom Brady has continued to play into his 40s, but Brees is only 17 months younger than Brady and has been just as good as ol’ Touchdown Tom was at the same age. Brees currently leads the NFL in passer rating and ranks fourth in Yards Above Backup QB (trailing only Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, the Rams’ Jared Goff and Philip Rivers of the Chargers). All this without the benefit of drinking up to 38 glasses of water a day and sleeping in his own brand of recovery pajamas.Some of the pinpoint throws Brees made Sunday against L.A. demonstrated once again how little touch he has lost — if any — since ESPN’s “Sport Science” scrutinized the mechanical perfection behind his superhuman passing accuracy nearly 10 years ago. Led by that star-powered triumvirate, the Saints’ offense currently ranks seventh in the league in yards per game, second in points per game and second in offensive expected points added (EPA) per contest. (And it’s anybody’s guess how much higher it will soar with new WR pickup Dez Bryant on board.) But the Saints’ undoing might be their backslide on defense, where they’ve fallen from a surprising 16th in defensive EPA last season to 29th this year. In that regard, the 2018 Saints are like too many versions that had come before last season — great on offense but prone to making opposing offenses look great, too. MIA21.210.3GB18.104.22.168457 For Brees’s excellence this season, my ESPN colleague Bill Barnwell made the case that New Orleans’s QB — not Kansas City’s — should be the MVP front-runner at the midpoint of the schedule. But Brees isn’t doing it all alone. In fact, the Saints’ resurgence in recent seasons has been as much about quickly re-assembling elite talent around Brees as it has been about Brees defying Father Time.New Orleans rolled out one of the league’s all-time great rookie classes last year, headlined by running back Alvin Kamara. Sharing touches with veteran ball carrier Mark Ingram in a historic RB tandem, Kamara was tabbed for the Pro Bowl while racking up 1,554 yards from scrimmage and 13 total touchdowns. And with Ingram suspended for the Saints’ first four games this season, Kamara has been even better in an expanded role. His touches per game are up 61 percent, and he’s on track to generate more than 1,800 scrimmage yards with 24 total TDs. Not bad for a player in his first real season as an NFL feature back.1Upon returning, Ingram initially ate a bit into Kamara’s workload, but over the past three weeks, Kamara is averaging 20.7 touches per game. That’s actually higher than his seasonlong average (which includes a 31-touch outing against the Falcons in Week 3).Kamara has provided the kind of monster performance New Orleans needed to build on last season’s explosive offensive output. But Brees also has a mega-productive target at wide receiver who keeps getting better every year: Michael Thomas. Thomas cracked 1,100 yards through the air in each of his first two NFL seasons, scoring 14 total touchdowns — and this year he has reached an entirely new level of statistical achievement. Averaging an astounding 110.0 receiving yards per game, Thomas would rank 15th all-time in the category if he somehow kept it up over the season’s second half.(We should also mention that Thomas’s outrageous catch rate of 88.6 percent is currently the best ever in a season2Since 1992, the first year for the statistic in Pro-Football-Reference.com’s data. among players with at least 750 receiving yards, more than 11 percentage points higher than the next-best season. It’s a friendly reminder that Thomas is having one of the most impressive WR seasons ever.)If we crunch the numbers for the Saints’ Big Three in terms of Approximate Value (Pro-Football-Reference.com’s cross-position measure of single-season player value), we find that Brees is on pace for 20 AV, with Thomas also at 20 and Kamara at 18. Together, the harmonic mean3A special kind of average designed to amplify combinations in which all individual values are high — and penalize ones in which they aren’t. of those AV numbers — a metric I’ll call the “Triplet Score” — is 19.3, which would rank New Orleans’s group fourth-best among QB/RB/WR trios since 1960: SeasonWinsLossesOffenseDefensespecial Teams SF62SF55SF 34, OAK 3-7.3– WSH55WSH52ATL 38, WSH 14+1.5– 172000ColtsManning18James21Harrison1618.1 NYJ1.00.6BUF0.20.20.91388 Even though New Orleans has that shiny 7-1 record, its defensive deficiency is probably something coordinator Dennis Allen will have to iron out if the Saints are truly going to vie for the Super Bowl. Although several other contenders — most notably Kansas City — are in a similar all-offense/no-defense spot at midseason, it’s rare to see such a poor defensive squad hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Since 2006, only one champion (the 2006 Indianapolis Colts) ranked 29th or worse in defensive EPA per game.4The 2011 New York Giants were close: They ranked 24th in defensive EPA. Aside from those two, no other champ since 2006 ranked worse than 13th on defense. But with an average of 62.1 total points being scored in their games thus far, the Saints have certainly been involved in their share of popcorn-worthy shootouts.They’ll take that brand of high-scoring football to Cincinnati on Sunday to face the Bengals. And although the Saints have all but locked up their postseason fortunes, this still counts as one of the best games of the week by our combination of matchup quality (i.e., the harmonic mean of the teams’ Elo ratings in each game) and game importance (how likely it is to swing either team’s odds of making the playoffs). That’s mainly because the Bengals, sitting on the precipice of the postseason picture with a 54 percent chance of getting in, have more than a dozen points of probability to lose or gain, depending on the game’s outcome. 18199249ersYoung22Watters16Rice1718.0 OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION PIT81.2%+/-10.5CAR75.2%+/-10.120.51618 CAR76CAR73CAR 42, TB 28-3.4– 20167953022 Team ACurrentAvg. Chg*Team BCurrentAvg. Chg*Total ChangeGame Quality KC99.80.2ARI0.20.10.41520 PHI60.013.3DAL10.59.322.61548 MIA62MIA59MIA 13, NYJ 6-4.2– NO59LAR52NO 45, LAR 35-12.4– Home teams are in bold.The scoring system is nonlinear, so readers’ average points don’t necessarily match the number of points that would be given to the average reader prediction. JAX9.16.6IND10.56.212.81456 201711521615 Playoff %Playoff % Saints’ NFL Rank in … 42018SaintsBrees20Kamara18Thomas2019.3 ATL43.78.9CLE0.10.19.01434 LAC86.86.9OAK0.00.07.01454 2018712293 The Saints’ defense is reverting to (poor) formYearly record and NFL rank in expected points added (EPA) for the New Orleans Saints since 2013 131964BrownsRyan17Brown23Warfield1618.2 As for the Saints, we’ll keep a close eye on how far their high-octane offensive attack can take them in the season’s second half. Our model gives them a 16 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl, which is tied with New England for second-best in the NFL (behind K.C. at 18 percent). And with Brees, Kamara and Thomas lighting up opposing defenses, New Orleans might lead the league in excitement either way, win or lose.FiveThirtyEight vs. the readersBe sure to check out FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings using our NFL prediction interactive, which simulates the rest of the season 100,000 times and tracks how often each team should make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. And did you know you can also pick against the Elo algorithm in our prediction game? Maybe you can also climb up our giant leaderboard (or, if you’re like me, fall down it with each passing week).Here are the games in which Elo made its best — and worst — predictions against the reader picks last week: 20147953223 The Saints’ 2018 trio is on a historic paceTop QB/RB/WR trios ranked by their “Triplet Score” — the harmonic mean of each player’s Approximate Value (AV) — 1960-2018 20157923223 CHI54%CHI69%CHI 41, BUF 9+9.7– SEA61SEA51LAC 25, SEA 17+9.0– 101999RamsWarner19Faulk25Bruce1418.3 1199449ersYoung23Watters19Rice2120.9 2018 AV is pro-rated to a 16-game schedule.Source: pro-Football-reference.com Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group SEA33.713.4LAR22.214.171.124592 111992CowboysAikman17Smith20Irvin1818.3 72004ColtsManning21James21Wayne1518.5 62001RamsWarner20Faulk22Holt1619.0 CIN54.013.0NO94.14.017.01583 NE81NE71NE 31, GB 17-7.6– TEN40.513.7NE97.82.015.71590 Team Leaders and their Approx. value Readers kept it relatively close against Elo this week, losing by an average of just 5.1 points across all of Week 9’s games — their second-best showing of the season, behind Week 7. Of course, that tells you what kind of year it’s been picking against the algorithm: Elo has beaten the average reader in eight of nine weeks in 2018 so far. This time around, the readers’ bet against Nathan Peterman paid off (big surprise…) and they also picked up points with the Chargers’ victory at Elo’s longtime team-crush, the Seattle Seahawks. But the Saints’ win over the Rams hurt readers’ average score — perhaps they didn’t read that L.A. is good but not necessarily historically great.Anyway, congrats to the mysteriously named _ACN_, who led identified users in Week 9 with 204.0 points, and to Brian Hake, who pulled into the No. 1 slot for the entire season with 764.5 points. Thanks to everyone who has been playing — and if you haven’t, be sure to get in on the action! You can make picks now and still try your luck against Elo, even if you haven’t played yet.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
Max Allegri has revealed Juventus have not yet hit top form despite maintaining a 100% record to the start of the season.The Bianconeri brushed Young Boys aside 3-0 thanks to a hat-trick from Paulo Dybala.“We started well and took the early lead, only really feeling the danger once, and Wojciech Szczesny did well to push the forward wide when we were temporarily down to 10,” the Coach told JTV and Football Italia.“We had plenty of chances and should’ve scored more goals with greater sharpness when going on the counter.”The undoubted star of the show was Dybala with a hat-trick, becoming only the fourth Juventus player to achieve this feat in the Champions League.Juventus confirm Mario Mandzukic could leave this month Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Sporting director Fabio Paratici confirmed reports that Mario Mandzukic could leave Juventus for a move to an unnamed Qatari team.“I am happy for him, he is improving and playing with greater consistency, but everyone played well this evening and showed maturity against an organised Young Boys side.They are a physical team and tried to block us off in any way possible, so it was tough.“I always said that Dybala’s greatest quality is his ability to make the team play and then go to finish off the move at the end. Tonight he did that brilliantly.”
Republic of Ireland head coach Martin O’Neill insists he is proud of his team’s display, despite a disappointing draw against Denmark.The Irish hosted Denmark in only their second game of the group in the UEFA Nations League after losing their first game to Wales and were greeted by jeers after the draw with the Danes.O’Neill said, according to IrishMirror: “We had pockets of possession and I thought we had a feeling we could do something with it but we wanted to create more than we did.”“I thought we started the game well but we allowed Denmark dictate things possession wise.”“And while they didn’t cause us that many problems, they had more of the ball and we were chasing it. But when we kept the ball much better in the second half.”Meanwhile, the former Aston Villa manager praised Cyrus Christie who played in an unfamiliar role, tucked into midfield with Matt Doherty making his competitive bow at right wing-back.Report: Former Liverpool striker Heskey reveals all George Patchias – September 10, 2019 Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey reveals all in his new book.In Heskey’s new book “Even Heskey Scored,” serialised in the Guardian, the player talks,…“I thought Cyrus was terrific and I’ve a lot of faith in him. He is athletic and strong and he keeps himself in great condition.”“I thought Sisto might cause us problems and Cyrus was usually the first one out to deal with him and he also had a great shot on goal.”Doherty who plays his club football with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League, winning the PFA Player of the Month award.And O’Neill said: “There was a lot of expectation on him as he’s doing well with Wolves and is getting used to the Premier League. He didn’t do too badly.”But O’Neill was not crying foul about Shane Duffy’s late penalty appeal, stating: “I think it would have been harsh on them. He has touched him, but I don’t think it’s a penalty.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp revealed they are taking assessing Trent Alexander-Arnold’s fitness on a daily basis ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Manchester UnitedThe English full-back was forced to withdraw in the closing stages of Liverpool’s decisive Champions League victory against Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday night.Arnold remains a doubt for this weekend’s clash against United at Anfield with Joel Matip and Joe Gomez definitely out.“With Trent, it’s not as serious as it is with the other two boys, but of course it is absolutely not top-class news, that’s clear,” said Klopp on the club website.Pochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.“It was unlucky as well, especially with Joel; the last second of the game. When you asked me in the press conference I had no idea about it because I had to go doing different stuff pretty much immediately and I didn’t see him on the pitch because I spoke to Carlo [Ancelotti].“The rehab has already started pretty much, the same for Joe.“Trent, we have to see. For him, it is day by day how we judge it. It’s not cool but as long as we still have enough players, it is our job to always find a solution for it – and we will have a solution for the weekend, but of course, it is not perfect.”The German added that full-back Nathaniel Clyne has been back in training for the last four days and is set to return from injury.
The AGDC in April 2017 provided the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with a site map of the LNG plant in Nikiski, showing locations for the three liquefaction trains, two LNG storage tanks, material offloading facility and north and south plant entrances. Story as aired: Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation has said they’ll need to move the Kenai Spur Highway around the natural gas liquefaction and export terminal that the state plans to build in Nikiski. Download ADGC’s Spur Highway reroute filing Both of these options run roughly a quarter mile east of Bernice Lake and route back to the Kenai Spur Highway around Mile 25. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Kenai Peninsula Borough have been engaged in the process and both are on hand as well to speak with the community. The AGDC is planning to schedule a public meeting in Nikiski around February to give additional details to the community. Would veer from the existing highway around Mile 19 and pass through the inside of Miller Loop RoadWould leave the highway intact around Mile 18 and run outside Miller Loop to the east. Following the site map, the AGDC filed a map of eight possible alternatives for relocating the Kenai Spur Highway around the LNG plant site to FERC. In December, the AGDC narrowed those possibilities down to the final two. Audio PlayerJennifer-on-AGDC-road-plans.mp3VmJennifer-on-AGDC-road-plans.mp300:00RPd
Apple Card and iPhones, two peas in a pod. Apple The Apple Card, Apple’s new digital and physical credit card, is a bold, brilliant move that reimagines credit card payments on the iPhone. What makes the move so gutsy has nothing to do with the service itself and everything to do with drawing you deeper into Apple’s ecosystem.The Apple Card’s benefits sound immediately appealing: Apple promises security measures designed to avoid common avenues of credit card fraud. It gives you up to 3 percent cash back and a visual financial tracker that helps you stay on top of your payments. And there are no fees for going over your limit, using the card internationally or even paying off the card late — things that other cards are happy to charge for. You will, however, accrue interest on top of your balance.The world of payments isn’t new to Apple, which launched Apple Pay, its mobile payment system, in 2014. But a full-fledged credit card, backed by Mastercard’s payment network and Goldman Sachs, represents Apple’s cannonball dive into banking in a way that will have ripple effects for Visa, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and every other digital payment player. Everything from management to verifying transactions takes place on the iPhone. Apple The competitors should pay attention. Apple has an uncanny ability to leverage its cult status to create hype around products and services in a way that compels others to follow, even if they got there first. But it’s Apple’s rival phone brands that should be most concerned — Samsung, Huawei and Google’s Pixel — not because they may want to create their own credit cards (they probably won’t), but because anyone who signs up for an Apple Card is essentially binding themselves to the iPhone for as long as they have the card. Many owners of Apple products are already locked into the ecosystem by virtue of their Macs, iPads, iTunes and App Store purchases. Staying in the Apple family is more convenient. iMessages and Notes on the iPhone also sync with the Mac, for example, and AirDrop is a wonderful way to seamlessly transfer files between devices. But it’s still possible to coexist with a Macbook Air and an Android phone. I do this at least 50 percent of the time. But a credit card that works on the iPhone alone will only make you more dependent on your iPhone. See It See it This story originally published March 27 at 4:30 a.m. PT and updates frequently. It was last updated April 3. See It Now playing: Watch this: A physical Apple Card is a workaround because Apple Pay isn’t everywhere. Apple is also adding value by giving subscribers a way to flaunt their status with an instantly recognizable titanium card. It’s genuis, really #AppleCard #AppleEvent https://t.co/6rBY9wne8n— Jessica Dolcourt (@jdolcourt) March 25, 2019 Apple Card = iPhone 4 lyfeThe iPhone is fundamental to the inner workings of the Apple Card itself. Most of the Apple Card’s functionality lives in the digital Wallet app on your iPhone. This involves more than tracking your balance and paying off your card online. The Apple Card relies on the Secure Element chip in your iPhone to process transactions with each purchase, which means you have to have one if you want to use the credit card. You also need the Wallet app to monitor your account — remember, this data is calculated on your device, not online, so you can’t just look up your account details from a browser window on your desktop or in a separate app like you would with your usual bank. Apple thinks this will safeguard you from hacks because the details of your digital transactions are computed on your phone. No iPhone, no Apple Card.You track your Apple Card account maintenance on the phone, not online. Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET The physical card is meaningless on its ownHow does the physical Apple Card fit in? Great question. Apple also gives you a physical card with your name engraved on a titanium rectangle and that’s it — no numbers, no expiration date, no CVV (those three numbers on the back that verify your card), no other identifying details that would allow someone to commit fraud against you if they see your card or take it from you. You’ll use the physical Apple Card like any other payment card that has a magnetic stripe and a chip. If you need to access those details like the expiration date and CVV digits, you’ll fire up the iPhone’s Wallet app to take a peek. Another reason not to lose your iPhone.The titanium card isn’t meant to be used as your primary way to pay. It’s a fallback that exists because not all point-of-sale terminals accept Apple Pay. Contrast that with Samsung Pay, which can also work like your credit card’s magnetic stripe. However, in making the card look so iconically Apple, the company geniusly turned a negative — Apple Pay doesn’t work at every payment terminal — into a coveted status symbol by creating a product that people will instantly recognize. A titanium card is the Apple Card. But it won’t work without your iPhone. It’s showtime for Apple’s streaming service CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Tags Boost Mobile Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X $999 Read more $999 See All See It $999 Apple Card perks make iPhone payments easierApple wants to manage all aspects of your credit card through the iPhone, from issuing a line of credit in “minutes” (you must have a high enough credit rating to qualify) to paying for things in any online or brick-and-mortar store and transferring payments to others through the app. You won’t have to load a new card into Apple Pay, you can use the card across your Apple devices and you can authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID. The iPhone’s Wallet app will also help you track your finances and estimate how much you’ll have to pay if you can’t clear your monthly balance at once.Plus, you’ll accrue Daily Cash — between 1 and 3 percent cash back — which can go toward any purchase or even paying down your monthly bill. Those cash back rates aren’t top of the scale, but the convenience factor will be high, especially if you use some of that cash back to buy next year’s iPhone.The physical Apple Card is made out of titanium. Apple What happens if you quit Apple Card?We’ve walked through the Apple Card’s perks, but there’s still one more reason why Apple’s credit card locks you to an iPhone: What happens if you cancel? People open or cancel lines of credit every day, but they can have repercussions that impact your credit score. Common wisdom suggests that frequently opening and closing cards can make you appear less reliable, so deciding to get the Apple Card means you’ll want to hold onto it for a while — and, by extension, an iPhone. Credit card advice sites such as Credit Karma and Nerd Wallet warn against closing your oldest account, which has the effect of lowering the average age of your credit history. That, in turn, makes it look like you have a shorter history paying down debt than you might actually have, and history is good when you apply for a loan, rent an apartment or put a down payment on a house.Apple didn’t publicly say it won’t support Android, which would make it available to families or individuals with both iOS and Android devices. But its security setup and home in the Wallet means that it’s iPhone or bust. If you want to use an Apple Card, you’re using an iPhone. And if your iPhone is tied to your credit card, why would you ever own anything else? Apple Card’s fine print: 7 things we learned about Apple’s new credit card Apple Card won’t drive Google, Samsung to offer their own credit cards Apple Card: Sign-up info, launch date and privacy deets $999 4:02 Aug 30 • Apple will launch iPhone 11 on Sept. 10 in Cupertino Apple Card FAQ: What you need to know Apple Pay Mobile payments Google Huawei Samsung Apple 69 Comments Apple iPhone XS Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Aug 30 • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11R and 11 Max: Price, specs and features we expect on Sept. 10 Best Buy reading • The new Apple Card won’t let you switch from iPhone to Android, probably ever Aug 26 • Every Apple TV Plus show announced so far Sprint Aug 29 • New iPhones, Apple Watch and more: Apple’s September event preview Phones Tablets • Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) 97 Photos Apple Event Apple Event Share your voice
2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 2017 Ford Fusion Sport: A 325-horsepower midsize sleeper sedan 58 Photos 1:34 Ford Fusion V6 Sport blows the competition away More From Roadshow Tags Now playing: Watch this: 2019 Ford F-150 review: Popular pickup keeps on truckin’ Enlarge ImageThe Fusion Sport makes 325 horsepower from its 2.7-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine. Jon Wong/Roadshow The Ford Fusion sedan is expected to go out of production in the coming years, all part of the Blue Oval’s plan to scale back its car lineup in order to build more crossovers and SUVs. A new report from CarsDirect this week confirms the 325-horsepower Fusion Sport will be the first variant to go — in fact, it won’t even live to see 2020.A Ford spokesperson told CarsDirect that discontinuing the Sport will allow the company to focus on higher-volume, more popular Fusion models. The rest of the Fusion line received a modest update for the 2019 model year, which included the standard fitment of Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 driver assistance tech.The Fusion Sport was introduced in 2017, and honestly, we rather liked it. With a 2.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 under its hood, the Fusion Sport put 325 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque to the ground, and standard all-wheel drive and adaptive dampers made it pretty engaging to drive on winding roads. It was a real sleeper, and came loaded with driver assistance features and Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment tech.That said, the Fusion Sport was kind of a hard sell. Despite its ample power and sophisticated suspension tech (it could even mitigate potholes), it was never quite as sharp as similarly sized rivals from Germany and Japan. Even now, at over $40,000, a 2019 Fusion Sport is some $3,600 more expensive than a comparably equipped, all-wheel-drive Fusion Titanium, which uses a more efficient (but still plenty potent) 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.It’s unclear exactly when the rest of the Fusion range will get the ax, though we’ve heard the Fusion name could be resurrected on a Subaru Outback-like crossover-wagon thing. For now, though, pour one out for the Fusion Sport: the powerful midsizer that struggled to gain traction. Sedans Ford Subaru Comment 1 Ford Share your voice 2016 Ford Explorer review: Go road-tripping in Ford’s updated, EcoBoost-powered SUV
To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /32:59 Listen X It’s time again for the Houston Matters weekly political roundup when we discuss national, state, and local political stories — with an eye for how they might affect Houston and Texas.This week, our experts discuss results of the Texas primary runoff elections, to primary results across the country, to Gov. Abbott’s roundtable discussions on school safety.Our panel of experts this week includes David Branham, professor of political science at the University of Houston-Downtown, and Houston Chronicle columnist Erica Grieder. Share
Share Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT NewsIn the aftermath of the Sante Fe school shooting, some state leaders have questioned whether the design of public schools could be changed to improve security.In the months and years after a gunman killed 28 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, their community embarked on the painful and painstaking task of tearing down the old building and starting over. In the process, they built not just a new school, but a high-tech security marvel.Phil Santore is the vice president and managing principal of the Connecticut-based security and consulting firm DVS. The company was lead security consultant when the new Sandy Hook Elementary was built.Santore says that consulting engineers juggled many different voices during the rebuilding project – families of victims, law enforcement, local elected officials and state legislators – as they developed a strategy.“The first component was maintaining the mission of the school, and that’s the educational mission,” Santore says. “The first thing we had to remember was this is a school and there’s going to be seven-year-olds walking through these doors and we didn’t want them walking into something that felt like a prison. That was a real key driver in everything we needed to do.”After that, Santore says they focused on managing traffic, securing the physical perimeter of the building and hardening the facility with better locks. He says the design was a tricky balancing act.“Remember, we’re not trying to build Fort Knox,” he says. “We’re trying to buy enough time until law enforcement arrives.”One strategy in the redesign was to looks at potential threats and vulnerabilities, then working to reduce those risks.“For an example,” he says, “at Sandy Hook all the classrooms are in the back side of the school, if you will. So if someone did get onto the property and drove past the front of the school and did a drive by shooting, their chance of hitting a student would be much, much less than if the classrooms were in, say, the front of it or by the roadway.”The school is also designed to control who comes in and out of the building by managing the perimeter of the building. That can be costly.“That’s a problem everywhere,” he says. “I’ve not run into a public school that doesn’t have a budget issue.”Still, he says schools need to invest in good locks, good doors, and good management of those doors. Lastly, he says, schools should work on designing quick communication systems both inside and outside of the school in the event of an incident.Written by Jen Rice.
Share For school districts with chronically failing campuses, a recently passed law that allows them a reprieve from state sanctions was supposed to be a lifeline. A year on, less than a tenth of those districts are on track to take advantage of it.About 60 Texas schools in more than two dozen districts were considered failing for four or more years in 2017, putting them at risk for being shut down by the state next year. Several of those school districts considered using Senate Bill 1882, which allowed them to partner with outside organizations to turn those schools around and get an extension from harsh state penalties, but only five are currently on track to do so.Others had trouble meeting the tight application deadline or faced backlash from school communities that protested giving up the management of their low-performing schools, many of which are located in majority Hispanic and black neighborhoods.“They’ve taken on a new process, challenging because it is new, and they’ve done it in a really hard context of a long-term, low-performing campus,” said David Anderson, policy analyst at Raise Your Hand Texas, which has been following the implementation of this law. “It’s sort of a perfect storm in the sense of hard to do.”The Texas Education Agency last week made a first round of decisions on six districts’ partnership applications, rejecting one district’s proposal, approving another’s contingent on technical changes and requesting interviews with the proposed partner organizations for the last four. It plans to make final decisions before the next school year begins.Three years ago, Texas passed a strict law intended to force districts to take responsibility for bolstering schools that failed to meet standards by setting deadlines for improvement and imposing sanctions on those that didn’t meet them. After a slow phase-in, the state is poised next school year to impose those sanctions, which include forcibly shutting down schools considered failing for more than three years or taking over the school boards of those districts.SB 1882 at first seemed like it could offer some help for school administrators in need of more time to implement fixes: districts that partnered with a nonprofit, charter organization or university to overhaul failing schools could receive a two-year reprieve from state penalties as well as additional state funding.But the process was harder than it seemed. “People go through a couple of stages of this where they initially say, ‘Oh my, that’s a bunch of money.’ Then they see what they really have to do to make it work, and that is daunting,” Anderson said.Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said he was unwilling to wait months to decide how to proceed with three schools that had been listed as failing for four or five years. “We would be insulting your intelligence as well as any potential partners to have them consider something and have a plan in by March 1,” he told board members in November, according to the Dallas Morning News. The TEA released the guidelines in late February and March, and districts faced an April 30 final deadline to submit their applications.Some Dallas ISD board members and community members also didn’t want to give up the reins of their schools, said board member Miguel Solis. Under SB 1882, districts are required to sign contracts giving the charter group or university authority over the schools’ operations and employees.“The fear from some of my colleagues was that the innovation that we are actually doing related to school choice in Dallas ISD would have been at risk of being taken away from the district’s control and basically given away to universities to run as they pleased,” Solis said. Instead, Dallas ISD officials are planning to close and consolidate some schools and use the district’s own program to try to turn struggling schools around by paying high-performing teachers stipends to work at them.Solis argued the state should be spending more money on innovative programs districts already have in place. “We have data that shows this is a more effective innovation strategy,” he said.Victoria ISD Superintendent Robert Jaklich proposed partnering with local University of Houston at Victoria to manage two schools that had been failing for five years. It would have received an estimated additional $1,921 per student — $2.1 million total — from the state each year of a proposed three-year partnership.But he couldn’t get the contract together in time and so got a terse letter from the state last week saying his request for an extension on state sanctions had been denied. Jaklich isn’t too worried about the rejection: he’s positive that school leaders have managed to turn those schools around, and that they’ll receive passing marks in August’s accountability ratings, largely based on standardized test scores. “We’re extremely confident that all of them are going to make it,” he said.Not all school administrators are as optimistic. Houston ISD has been the key example for the high stakes of the upcoming state penalties, with 10 failing schools putting Texas’ largest district at risk of state takeover. In a disastrous board meeting that ended in multiple arrests, Houston ISD proposed applying for a turnaround partnership to hand over the management of its schools to a charter group called Energized for STEM.Community members turned out in protest, furious at the drastic proposal on a tight timeline, and district officials and board members backed away from the proposal.Houston ISD has another option for a reprieve. It could receive a waiver from its state ratings this year because of the massive financial and phsyical destruction it suffered under Hurricane Harvey — which would delay the sanctions another year.Anderson thinks more districts will be poised to apply for partnerships next year, with more time to plan, and especially as schools continue to trigger potential state takeover. “The campuses people weren’t so concerned about because they were three-year low-performing, if they turn into four-year [low-performing campuses] in August, you have this whole discussion again,” he said.Disclosure: Raise Your Hand Texas and the University of Houston have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Via The Texas TribuneMock weapons used to train educators in Harrold, Texas. The North Texas school district was the first to allow educators to carry guns on school grounds in 2007.Following a deadly mass shooting at Santa Fe High School, Gov. Greg Abbottrolled out a 40-page plan to keep schools safe. Proposals ranged from beefing up existing mental health screening programs to encouraging voluntary use of gun locks at home, but one component seemed to divide lawmakers, districts and Texas schools: arming school employees.If Texas schools want to arm their staffs, they have two options. One is the Marshal Program, which Abbott proposed using state funds to help schools implement. It allows local school boards to authorize employees to carry a handgun on campus, but they must be specially trained and licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Under the program, armed school personnel can’t carry firearms around students.The other option was already around when then-Gov. Rick Perry signed the Marshall Program into law in 2012. Created by Harrold Independent School District Superintendent David Thweatt in 2007, the Guardian Plan allows local school boards to determine training standards and authorize specific employees to carry on campus at all times.Here are four things to know about the two existing plans that allow school districts to arm their employees:The Marshal Program creates a new kind of peace officerFor districts that choose to adopt the Marshal Program, teachers and other school staff members who undergo the required training are taught to act as armed security officers — or peace officers — in the absence of law enforcement.“The Marshal Program is about creating an entirely new class of peace officers — certified and [Texas Commission on Law Enforcement] trained — who can act in a moment of crisis to disable and neutralize an active shooter,” said state Rep. Jason Villalba, the Dallas Republican who authored the bill that created the Texas school marshal program Abbott wants to expand. “That’s why the program is so starkly different than what Mr. Thweatt calls the guardian plan.”The Guardian Plan, on the other hand, lets school staff carry guns with or without marshal training. It doesn’t train school personnel as peace officers, but lets them carry their weapons as long as they undergo district-specific training and have a handgun license. And it doesn’t have a maximum requirement for how many teachers can be armed, unlike the Marshal Program which lets schools only designate one employee a marshal for every 400 students.Despite the differences in approach for the two plans, they both aim to mitigate tragedies in the event an active shooter comes on campus grounds.“That’s the reason we’re doing it, and I think we can do that because they’re not going to know from where our particular defense is going to come,” Thweatt said.“When [an active shooter] comes to the school, they’re going to get swarmed from multiple directions,” he added. “Armed shooters go where they know there’s going to be little resistance, but if they don’t know where they’re going to get resistance, they’re not going to come to our schools.”Rural districts are more likely to adopt one of the plansMore than 200 of Texas’ 1,000-plus school districts have adopted one of two programs. And a majority of those districts tend to be in rural communities, according to Dax Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Texas Association of School Boards.“Generally speaking, districts with police departments … do not tend to allow staff to carry firearms,” Gonzalez said. “Those 217 are likely smaller, more rural districts that feel they cannot be serviced by local law enforcement quickly enough.”Villalba told POLITICO in February that he believes anywhere between 20 to 50 districts have adopted the marshal program. At least 172 Texas districts have adopted the Guardian Plan.Training and gun storage requirements varyArguably one of the biggest differences between the two programs is different requirements for teachers or other employees who want to carry a gun.Marshals have to receive 80 training hours and keep their firearms under lock and key. The Guardian Plan, on the other hand, lets teachers keep their firearm with them at all times — as long as they have a concealed handgun license and go through 15 to 20 hours of training.It’s worth noting that these requirements could change, however. Abbott previously proposed streamlining the training course under the Marshal Program — which he called “burdensome”— and eliminating the lockbox requirement.Villalba was critical of Abbott’s tweaks to the Marshal Program, saying that parents might be upset if teachers didn’t have to lock up their weapons.But several Texas Republicans, including Jerry Patterson, Texas’ former land commissioner who helped get the state’s concealed handgun law passed in 1995, say the lockbox requirement does more harm than good.“The lockbox requirement is silly. The gun needs to be carried on the person and accessible immediately,” Patterson said. “Not where you have to run to the office, go through a combination and then get the gun. If you carry it all the time, you won’t lose the weapon.”Individuals schools and districts that adopt the Guardian Plan are also allowed to choose their own training requirements. At Harrold ISD, for example, employees who choose to carry go through at least 15 hours of training that includes videos of hostage scenarios and shooting drills. Fayetteville ISD, which adopted the plan in February, doesn’t require a specific amount of firearms training (though most staff do around 20 hours per year). And at Keene ISD, which adopted the Guardian Plan in 2016, Superintendent Ricky Stephens previously told The Texas Tribune he requires staff to undergo 80 hours of initial training and 40 hours annually after that.Only one plan receives money from the stateTo adopt either plan, districts have to find a way to pay for training, purchase firearms and ammunition and, in some cases, a lock box.But only the Marshal Program has received state funding to help pay for those expenses.When the Marshal Program was first signed into law, the state had a grant program in place to help districts cover training costs. But that money ran out and funding has not been reauthorized. That’s why Abbott proposed that the state pay for school marshal training this summer to ease the burden on individual districts.Funding for the Guardian Plan was notably missing from the governor’s proposal, however. Instead of getting approval from the Legislature, authorization for the plan is outlined under the Texas Government Code, which lets certain school district employees who have a handgun license to carry their weapon.Since there’s no legislative recognition of the Guardian Plan, Thweatt said, districts that adopt the plan have to pay for it themselves. Thweatt said Harrold ISD reimburses employees who participate for the cost of guns, ammunition and training.“I’ve never received any funding [from the state] for the Guardian Plan,” Thweatt said.Note: This story was inspired by a discussion on education policy happening now in our Facebook group, This is Your Texas. Sign up here to join the conversation.Disclosure: The Texas Association of School Boards has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here. Share
Darjeeling: State CID on Monday filed the charge-sheet for the June 8, 2017 case in which Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters and leaders had locked horns with security forces in Darjeeling while a Cabinet meeting was on in the hill town. Around 72 persons including Bimal Gurung have been named in the charge-sheet.A CID team on Monday filed the charge-sheet on Monday at the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Darjeeling. “A total of 72 persons has been named in the charge-sheet including Bimal Gurung, Asha Gurung, Roshan Giri, Dipen Malay, Prakash Gurung and Swaraj Thapa,” stated Pankaj Prasad, Assistant Public Prosecutor, Darjeeling. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA total of 7 persons including Binay Tamang, Mandip Sharma, Amod Mukhia, Jyoti Kumar Rai, Dewraj Dewan and John Rai has been discharged owing to lack of evidence. “However, the charge-sheet stated that investigation is still open and that the CID can file a supplementary charge-sheet later on,” added Prasad. The accused have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including Sections 307 (attempt to murder); 120B (criminal conspiracy), along with different sections of the West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) under the leadership of Gurung had locked horns with the security forces on June 8, 2017. The GJM party was on agitation in the Hills. Police reports claim more than 45 security force personnel were injured in the clash. A police booth was set on fire. Around 15 police vehicles were torched along with a state government Bus. Army was deployed in Darjeeling, Ghoom and Kurseong to control the situation. On that day, the GJM had taken out rallies and staged a sit-in demonstration a short distance away from Raj Bhawan where the Cabinet meeting was taking place. Later, the demonstration turned violent and clashes ensued. The GJM in turn had alleged that many of their supporters were also injured in the clashes. Police had lodged a suo moto FIR and a case had been started at Darjeeling Sadar Police Station on June 9. The case was handed over to the CID on June 29, 2017. On September 6, arrest warrants were issued against Gurung, Asha Gurung, Roshan Giri and 5 front rung GJM leaders. The CJM Court had ordered them to appear in court and surrender in November 2017. Bimal Gurung, Asha Gurung, Roshan Giri and others failed to appear on the designated date. On March 28, 2018, the CID had prayed these absconders be declared as offenders and their movable and immovable properties be attached. The court then issued an order of attachment of Gurung’s house. It was attached on August 2. Following this, properties of other leaders including Prakash Gurung were also attached as per the court order. Prior to this, in June, Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri’s names were struck off from the electoral rolls in Darjeeling.
We recently asked whether Dart programming was dead, but news of its death might well have been exaggerated. Version 2 of the programming language has just been released, with a range of updates and changes that should cement its popularity with admirers and win new users too. With Dart playing a big part in Google’s much-anticipated Flutter and Fuchsia projects, there’s a possibility that version 2.0 represents a brand new chapter in Dart’s life. News of a Dart ‘reboot’ first emerged in February 2018. Anders Thorhauge Sandholm said at the time that “with Dart 2, we’ve dramatically strengthened and streamlined the type system, cleaned up the syntax, and rebuilt much of the developer tool chain from the ground up to make mobile and web development more enjoyable and productive.” It would appear that six months later the team have finally delivered on their promise. They’ll be hoping it makes a positive impact on the language’s wider adoption. What’s new in Dart 2.0? There’s a whole host of changes that Dart developers will love, all of which can be found in the changelog on GitHub. Most notable is a stronger typed system, which includes runtime checks that will capture errors more effectively, and, for those developers working on Flutter, you can now create an instance of a class without using the “new” keyword. Among other updates, other key changes to Dart include: “Functions marked async now run synchronously until the first await statement. Previously, they would return to the event loop once at the top of the function body before any code runs.” “Constants in the core libraries have been renamed from SCREAMING_CAPS to lowerCamelCase.” “…New methods have been added to core library classes. If you implement the interfaces of these classes, you will need to implement the new methods.” All the changes you’ll find in Dart 2.0 amount to the same thing: improving the developer experience and making the code more readable. The obvious context to all this ‘reboot’ is that Google is betting on the growth of Flutter and Fuchsia over the next few years. With these improvements, it’s possible that we’ll begin to see Dart’s fortunes changing. CodeMentor may have called Dart the ‘worst programming language to learn in 2018’ at the start of the year, but it will be interesting to see if it’s popularity has grown by the time we hit 2019. You can download Dart 2.0.0 for Windows, Mac, and Linux here.
In This Issue.*A sticky question… *Budget negotiations stall… *BOJ to announce more stimulus… *Gold and Silver reverse…And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!Is all debt bad???Good day. I was met with the above question as I walked through the door last night. As I came home from work my 14 year old asked me the answer to the question ‘Is all debt bad?’. My daughter, Lauren, is in the middle of exams and she was upset that she had missed this question on a civics exam. She occasionally reads the Pfennig, and has listened in on enough of our dinner conversations to realize that much of the world is currently in a debt crisis. So when she was presented with a true false question regarding debt, she answered True – all debt is bad. From reading your comments about yesterday’s Pfennig, many of you would have given Lauren extra credit, but unfortunately I had to let her know that her answer is technically wrong. As I explained to Lauren, not all debt is bad. There are times when a country, company, or individual needs to borrow money. Debt can be used to fund all sorts of very good projects, and keeps economies rolling through slowdowns. But debt is meant to eventually be paid off, not accumulated in a never ending cycle. So yes, Lauren missed that question on her civics exam; but in a way I am glad she missed it as I don’t think it is a bad thing that my daughter is a bit scared of debt. I just wish some of our leaders in Washington would match my daughter’s concern over debt accumulation. But enough of my dinner table economics lecture, let’s get to the currency markets.It was a ‘risk off’ day in the currency markets, but the moves were dampened by the holiday thinned trading desks. The yen finally reversed its recent sell off, and the dollar also climbed a bit as US lawmakers moved further apart on a budget deal. President Obama told business leaders that budget talks have regressed and accused Republicans of wasting a lot of time with political posturing (perhaps a bit of the pot calling the kettle black). Today we have an absolute plethora of data which will be released here in the US. We start off the morning with GDP projections for the 3rd quarter which are expected to show the US economy grew just under 3% compared to previous estimates of 2.7% growth. It is Thursday, so we will also get the weekly jobs numbers which are projected to show another 360k workers filed for jobless claims last week. Continuing claims are predicted to have increased to 3200k in another indication the labor market will be very slow to recover. This employment data will be followed up with existing home sales and leading indicators. Yesterday’s data showed a drop in Housing starts (down 3% MOM) but an increase in building permits (3.6%MOM). Definitely some conflicting data, so the existing home sales may help give investors a better picture of the housing recovery. Finally, the leading indicators are expected to show a decrease of .2% during November following an increase of the same amount in the previous month.The yen had dropped for three straight days as investors worried the new Prime Minister would successfully push for more aggressive rounds of stimulus. The BOJ ends their two day meeting today, and are expected to announce additional stimulus moves. Adding to the worries regarding the yen was a Japanese government report released yesterday which showed the trade deficit widened in November. Traditionally Japan has run a trade surplus, and the deficits have caused investors to re evaluate their demand expectations for the yen. A country which runs a trade surplus creates demand for their currency, while trade deficits will typically drive the demand for (and value of) a currency lower. The yen has bounced back a bit this morning as some investors apparently believe the three day selloff was overdone.The euro continued to climb through most of the morning yesterday, moving just above $1.33 for a short period. But the renewed worries out of Washington caused it to give back some of these gains and it is now holding in the $1.32 handle. I had a reader scold me for not writing more on the Swiss Franc and its recent rise. I haven’t mentioned the Swiss franc simply because of its peg to the Euro. So as the euro moves, so will the Swiss franc. The 3.44% increase in the euro over the past month has been matched with a 3.36% increase in the Swiss franc vs. the US$. As long as the Swiss National Bank defends the peg to the euro, there is really no need to talk about the Swiss as it is tied to the euro. Now it will certainly be interesting if/when the peg is relaxed, and you can bet Chuck or I will inform all of you when we start hearing any indications of that. Until then, readers can simply watch the euro.Several readers asked me to comment on the big drop in gold prices over the past couple of days. Many of you pointed me toward various manipulation theories, but I think there are two possible explanations for the recent drop in prices. First, there was improved confidence that a compromise would be reached between the two parties over the fiscal cliff. As we approached the year end, demand for gold climbed as investors looked for an asset they could hide in if/when our leaders in D.C. took us over the cliff. A second possible explanation is year-end selling due to the probable increase in tax rates. Silver has had a nice 12 percent rise this year, and gold is up 6.72% so investors could just be taking these gains off the table before 2013. By the way, this will be the 12th consecutive year of gains in the price of gold. No matter what caused the selloff, both metals rebounded yesterday as concerns over the fiscal cliff agreement returned. Negotiations in Washington have deteriorated, so my first theory on what caused the recent sell-off has been flipped and gold is now climbing again. Most of the gold refineries are also going into a end of year / holiday shutdown, so additional supply will be limited over the next couple of weeks.On a longer term basis, I am confident that demand for precious metals will be increasing. The fiscal problems facing many of the Western nations will shake global investor confidence in ‘fiat’ currencies. And my thoughts on the ‘rise of the Chinese consumer’ also support higher metals prices. As consumers in both China and India see even a slight increase in disposable income, a percentage of that income will likely be invested into the precious metals markets. Gold and Silver are much more accepted as forms of wealth storage in the Asian cultures, so any increase in disposable incomes should lead toward an increase in demand. Just another reason I think precious metals should be a part of every investors diversified portfolio.And then there was this. The Fed’s holding of interest rates at record low levels have had a very different impact on two separate classes of investors. A story I spotted on Bloomberg this morning pointed out the dramatic divergence between savers and professional investors. The story, written by Bob Ivry starts out with this line “Deepak Narula’s mortgage-bond fund is up 39 percent this year. George Sanchez’s monthly annuity payout is down 41 percent.” Ivry goes on to explain some of the unintended consequences of the FOMC’s interest rate policies. “The near-zero interest rate the Federal Reserve charges financial firms, as well as securities purchases that will balloon the central bank’s balance sheet to almost $4 trillion next year, have made it easier for Narula’s $1.6 billion fund to thrive and more difficult for Sanchez, a former college library director, to enjoy retirement.”The story includes an excellent quote by Nobel Prize-winning Columbia University economist Joseph E. Stiglitz: “Monetary policy has been indirectly, surreptitiously helping the top and hurting the bottom.” Stiglitz blames the Fed policies for starving money-savers of income and boosting certain asset prices, widening the gap between the rich and the rest of the country. Bob Ivry has written some excellent pieces on the Fed, and I always enjoy reading his take on things. To recap. Debt is not always bad, but the constant accumulation of debt is! Budget negotiations hit a snag, sending investors back toward safe havens. Today will be a big day for data here in the US markets, but holiday thinned trading desks should keep volatility down. The BOJ is expected to announce more stimulus, but the yen has already been adjusted for the expected increase in supply. Gold reversed its recent sell off, and started moving back up on worries on the budget negotiations. And the FOMC’s zero rate policies have caused a divergence in returns for savers vs. professionals.Currencies today 12/20/12. American Style: A$ $1.0493, kiwi .8343, C$ $1.0113, euro 1.3255, sterling 1.6262, Swiss $1.0974. European Style: rand 8.5159, krone 5.5498, SEK 6.5114, forint 216.0, zloty 3.0708, koruna 19.0335, RUB 30.6835, JPY 84.10, SGD 1.2184, HKD 7.7501, INR 54.8544, China 6.2306, pesos 12.7715, BRL 2.0619, Dollar Index 79.163, Oil $89.88, 10-year 1.78%, Silver $31.22, Gold $1,670.62, and Platinum $1591.24.That’s it for today. Congratulations to Antione Lawrence as his lovely wife Brooke gave birth to a beautiful baby girl yesterday. It is the couple’s first child, and the first of three babies on their way for the WorldMarkets desk (Both Mikes, Harrell and Meyer, are also expecting). We anxiously awaited the news yesterday morning after Antione let us know he and Brooke were headed into the hospital. Both baby and mom are doing fine, and I’m sure proud papa Antione is beaming! Sounds like we could see our first snow of the year, it is currently raining but the temps are supposed to drop and the rain should turn to snow later today. I will wrap up today’s Pfennig on that great news. I hope everyone has a great day, and thanks for reading the Pfennig!Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837