Brian Kelly Explains Why Notre Dame’s Partnering With Bleacher Report

first_imgA picture Notre Dame's video about Bleacher Report partnership.Bleacher Report.Bleacher Report and Notre Dame announced a “groundbreaking partnership” for social media content on Thursday.From Notre Dame’s release:Bleacher Report, a preeminent next generation content creation company, has reached an agreement with University of Notre Dame football for an exclusive social content partnership throughout the season. The B/R social team will be embedded with the football program in South Bend and travel with the team to road games during the entire season to create custom content for the program’s national fan base.The collaboration will consist of full behind-the- scenes access to the Notre Dame football team including practice, locker room, game day activities, home and away games, travel, academic classrooms and a wide array of student and campus life. The array of content will include a weekly video feature, Facebook Live streams, short shareable social packages and game day Snapchat takeovers, distributed across Bleacher Report’s website and Team Stream mobile app — reaching more than 250 million users — along with B/R social platforms with an audience of more than 200 million fans.At a press conference this morning, Kelly explained the benefits of partnering with B/R for his program.Brian Kelly on Bleacher Report deal: “This gives us a unique relationship that nobody else has in college football.”— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) August 5, 2016Kelly says, flat out, the relationship with Bleacher Report allows them to reach their targeted audience. More so than the Showtime deal.— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) August 5, 2016As I expected, Kelly says the Bleacher Report media deal requires much less time/effort than the Showtime documentary series did.— Stephen Brooks (@StephenM_Brooks) August 5, 2016Notre Dame did a documentary with SHOWTIME last season. Florida State is doing a similar documentary this season.The Fighting Irish released this video about their partnership with Bleacher Report. The start of something new.@NDFootball x @BleacherReportComing this fall… #BRxND pic.twitter.com/8dbeU1jHvN— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) August 4, 2016Notre Dame opens its season on Sunday, Sept. 4 against Texas.last_img read more

Resolute outgoing CEO urges government not to capitulate on softwood lumber

first_imgMONTREAL – A Canadian industry leader in the fight against U.S. softwood lumber duties who is retiring imminently is urging the government not to “capitulate” during what he expects will be a lengthy battle with the United States.“We believe in free trade,” Resolute Forest Products Inc. chief executive Richard Garneau said in an interview before he steps down Thursday afternoon.“We believe in having strong principles and never capitulate, even though you believe that (if) there is someone a lot bigger and stronger you have to defend your principles.”Garneau, 70, has been the strong voice of eastern Canadian lumber, pulp and paper producers.“I was certainly not happy when in 2006 we had to pay a ransom,” he said of the last softwood lumber deal.Garneau’s comments came as weak fourth-quarter results sent the Montreal-based company’s shares tumbling.They closed down nearly 29 per cent to $10.01 in Thursday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.“The government has made all the changes on stumpage, I think now we have to fight for free trade.”Garneau said he is encouraged by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s tough stand defending the industry by challenging U.S. trade actions.Despite threats of doom and gloom from import duties, the industry has thrived by passing on them on to consumers through higher lumber prices.Garneau expects that once U.S. housing starts slow, lumber demand will come down and cause some pain to Canadian producers.“We have to wait and see the impact, but I think history always repeats itself. It seems that the people forget what happened when you take the wrong decision.”During his seven years at the helm of AbitibiBowater, renamed Resolute Forest Products, Garneau has overseen restructuring that he said has made the company stronger.He has been accused of being heavy-handed by filing lawsuits against environmentalists such as Greenpeace who launched campaigns to discredit the company to customers.Despite the battles, Garneau said he’s been able to improve relations with First Nations, small communities, mayors and unions that depend on the forest sector.Industry analysts praised Garneau’s leadership.“I will miss your honesty and more importantly your passion,” Paul Quinn of RBC Capital Markets said in a conference call.“We’re certainly going to miss your strong voice in the industry,” added Hamir Patel of CIBC World Markets.Yves Laflamme — currently Resolute’s senior vice-president of wood products, global procurement and information technology — has been appointed as a replacement effective Friday.A 37-year-old Resolute veteran, Laflamme, 61, said he doesn’t foresee conducting any major changes, including sticking with all four divisions, even though three face U.S. trade sanctions.“I’m going to look at all opportunities but of course it’s going to be more continuity,” he said in an interview.The leadership change was announced as Resolute disappointed despite swinging to a profit of $13 million or 14 cents per diluted share. That compared with a loss of $45 million or 50 cents per share a year ago. Sales for the three months ended Dec. 31 totalled $898 million, up from $889 million a year ago.Excluding special items, the company said it earned $14 million or 15 cents per share for the quarter, compared with a loss, excluding special items of $7 million or eight cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2016.Patel said analysts expected 62 cents per share in adjusted profits.For the full year, Resolute reported a loss of $84 million or 93 cents per diluted share, compared with a loss of $81 million or 90 cents per diluted share in 2016. Sales totalled $3.51 billion, down from $3.55 billion.Excluding special items, Resolute said it earned $12 million or 13 cents per share last year compared with a loss of $12 million or 13 cents per share in 2016.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:RFP)last_img read more

USChina trade war distracting from talks with Canada on steel tariffs Morneau

first_imgMONTREAL — Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute is distracting from talks aimed at solving the steel tariffs issue between Canada and its largest trading partner.At an event in Montreal Friday, Morneau said the Americans’ Pacific trade row puts “multiple challenges on their plate,” making it tough for Ottawa to draw Washington’s attention to tariffs on its home turf.U.S. President Donald Trump slapped tariffs of 25 per cent and 10 per cent on steel and aluminum imports, respectively, from Canada in May, prompting retaliatory tariffs by Canada on $16.6 billion worth of U.S. goods.Meanwhile, American tariffs against China have triggered a tit-for-tat trade war affecting hundreds of billions of dollars in goods over the past year.Despite a 90-day ceasefire announced Thursday in which the two countries agreed to suspend tariff hikes and work toward a resolution, the Dec. 1 arrest of Chinese telecom Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer by Canadian authorities at the request of the U.S. Justice Department threatens to sour negotiations with Beijing.Morneau said his office is in contact daily with U.S. officials as well as metal producers and purchasers, but could not offer a timeline for an end to the tariffs.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Hope to beat KKR at their own den, says Delhi Capitals’ Morris

first_imgNew Delhi: Their campaign back on track after the win over Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals are ready to upset table toppers Kolkata Knight Riders in their own den, said the team’s all-rounder Chris Morris. By virtue of the four-wicket win over struggling RCB in Bengaluru on Sunday, Delhi Capitals have moved up to the fifth position in the eight-team standings with six points from as many games. KKR are currently leading the chart with eight points out of four wins from five matches. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhAsked Morris about their next match, the South African said playing at the iconic Eden Gardens against the hosts would be a tough challenge. “KKR are playing some amazing cricket at the moment. They have some great match winners in their team, players with X-factor. We’ve got a few days in between to rest and recover, and to get our bodies strong and fresh,” he said. “Eden Gardens is a tough place to play for the visiting side, but as a team and as a unit, we look forward to the challenge Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterand hopefully we can pull off a win on Friday.” But it would be easier said than done as in their last outing against KKR at the Feroze Shah Kotla here, Delhi huffed and puffed to register victory in the Super Over. “We will of course go back to the drawing board and see what went wrong in the last match against them in Delhi which went to the Super Over. We will look to improve on those areas and make sure we are ready,” Morris said. Morris was happy with Delhi Capitals’ performance against RCB and said the victory on Sunday instilled confidence among the players. “It was a very pleasing performance from the boys yesterday. To go out and win against RCB was something the boys were preparing well towards. The performance throughout the whole game was great, and even though there was a slight hiccup towards the end of the game in our batting, it was very pleasing to register the win. “I feel that our bowlers have been executing their plans pretty well and this win has surely brought back the confidence among the group.” Morris has taken six wickets with an economy rate of 7.93 in the four matches he played for Delhi Capitals so far in this tournament. Besides, he has also bowled a total of 36 dot balls, which has only been bettered by four other overseas players — Rashid Khan, Jofra Archer, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir. “I think all the bowlers have been doing their respective jobs very well. I know that I have the responsibility of delivering for the team, especially in the middle overs and towards the end,” Morris said. “You will always face tough times during a long tournament like this, but having confidence in your own abilities is something that helps you get through that phase and come out on top.”last_img read more

Body of 28-yr-old woman found near UP highway

first_imgMuzaffarnagar: A body of a 28-year-old woman with bullet wounds was found near a highway in Satheri village here, police said Wednesday. The body was recovered by a team of the Ratenpuri police station and sent for post mortem on Tuesday, Circle Officer Vijay Kumar Singh said. There were bullet wounds on the head of the woman, he said. The matter is being investigated and it seems, she was killed somewhere else, the circle officer said.last_img

More On The Rate Of Domestic Violence Arrests Among NFL Players

In July, I wrote a piece titled “The Rate of Domestic Violence Arrests Among NFL Players,” which has been getting a lot of attention recently — some of it missing the point.I based the analysis in my article on USA Today’s NFL Arrests Database, combined with data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Arrest Data Analysis Tool and some historical data gleaned from the National Incident-Based Reporting System and a variety of BJS reports on domestic violence. The main points I made were:For most crimes, NFL players have extremely low arrest rates relative to national averages.Their relative arrest rate for domestic violence is much higher than for other crimes.Although the arrest rate for domestic violence may appear low relative to the national average for 25- to 29-year-old men, it is probably high relative to NFL players’ income level (more than $75,000 per year) and poverty rate (0 percent).But the article has been cited by a number of people to support the proposition that the NFL does not have an unusually high domestic violence rate. While I think this is a fair characterization of my intermediate results — the arrest rate I noted was 55.4 percent of the national average for 25- to 29-year-old men as suggested by the USA Today arrest data and rough number of players in the NFL — it’s misleading when taken out of context.Let’s be more explicit about the different assumptions that can affect that bottom-line comparison. For that analysis, I generally tried to lean toward assumptions favorable to the NFL, with the intention of showing that, even under those assumptions, the NFL appeared to have a “downright extraordinary” arrest rate for domestic violence.But there are still a lot of unknowns in the data and lot of choices to be made about what exactly we’re comparing to what.Reliability of arrest dataA lot of readers, commenters, emailers, tweeters, media, etc., have questioned the USA Today NFL arrest data. They’re right to be skeptical. There’s a good chance the arrest data is incomplete — particularly when it comes to marginal players who are only attached to the NFL briefly.When I wrote that piece, I was concerned about both over- and under-inclusion: The pool of NFL players who would pop up in the database might be even larger than the estimate based on roster limits (because some players come and go, and players are frequently dropped and replaced throughout the year), but it might also miss some players whose arrests flew under the radar.I hand-sampled a number of cases and found that they appeared to include many marginal players with minimal attachment to the league. With the NFL being so intensely followed, I thought the USA Today data set was probably pretty comprehensive.But some readers have made some good cases for why the arrest count the database produces could be low.On the pure data-collection level, I’ve corresponded with an enterprising reader who compared the frequency of arrests in the USA Today data for players with more games played vs. those with few games played. He found the first group had a much higher arrest rate. From this, he concluded that the database was probably missing arrests for lesser-known players, and he determined that basing the arrest rate on an assumption of 53 players per team (rather than the 80 players per team I used) was the most accurate approach (only coincidentally corresponding to the number of players on the roster during the year).His case seemed strong to me but not conclusive: It’s possible that marginally attached players are arrested at a lower rate. For example, marginally attached players may be younger (unsigned rookies) or older (borderline veterans) than typical players, and thus less likely to have families (younger) or be aged out of the most likely group to commit domestic violence (older). Additionally, we don’t know what’s driving the NFL’s overall domestic violence arrest rate, and I can imagine plausible scenarios in which regular players are more likely to commit and/or get arrested for the offense.Another potential problem, as several readers pointed out, is that virtually any NFL arrest data may understate the equivalent arrest rate in a less privileged population. In other words, NFL players who are involved in domestic violence incidents could be better at avoiding arrests than the general public. Relatedly, it’s possible there have been arrests that were either avoided or kept off the media’s radar because of team and/or league machinations.Whether any of those possibilities are likely or not, we should be explicit as to how our position on them affects our results.An appropriate pool for comparisonIf we want a bottom-line NFL vs. X number, the pool you use for X is obviously quite meaningful. But it’s difficult to figure out which pool we should be comparing to, and even if we do know what pool we want to use, figuring out their arrest rate (especially for domestic violence crimes) can be quite difficult.In my article, I primarily compare NFL arrest rates to arrest rates for 25- to 29-year-old men, and then I compared their arrest rate for domestic violence to their arrest rates for other crimes (it’s about four times higher). While we don’t have arrest data broken down by income, we do have such breakdowns for victimization rates (based on BJS survey data). I compared the relative domestic violence victimization rate for people from households making $75,000 or more to both the overall domestic violence victimization rate (it’s 39 percent as high) and rate for ages 20 to 34 (20 percent as high). It’s impossible to compare this directly to the relative NFL arrest rates with precision, but at least it gives us some benchmark for how income level may affect domestic violence incidents.In addition to inherent murkiness of trying to compare across different types of data, there are a few other possible problems with the $75,000 or more per year comparison.First, NFL players have a number of advantages that your typical member of a household making $75,000 and up each year may not. That’s the highest income group I had data for, but NFL players are typically wealthier than that. NFL players spend a good portion of the year in an extremely structured environment. They have extremely low rates of drug and alcohol abuse (especially relative to arrest rates for drug and alcohol-related crimes), and alcohol and drugs tend to be big risk factors for domestic violence.On the other hand, NFL players didn’t necessarily have the advantages that a lot of $75,000-and-up earners do. NFL players may be more likely than those earners to have come from difficult backgrounds, or to have experienced or observed abuse in their families, and in general to have missed out on the privileges associated with coming from a wealthier background.Finally, there are some differences in the data that we don’t know enough about to say what their effect might be, such as:Are victims from higher-income households more or less likely to make police reports that lead to arrests?How does the extreme wealth disparity between NFL players and their domestic partners affect the power dynamics that may lead to more or fewer arrests?Note: None of this has to be the case, and I haven’t studied these factors or their effects on criminality. But they are questions that affect our assumptions, and affect what type of comparison we should be making and how we should interpret it.Even if we could settle on a perfectly representative pool for comparison, getting even approximate figures for each group is extremely difficult. For example, as I noted in the original article, the BJS’s Intimate Partner Violence reports don’t include breakdowns by income anymore. So we have to make reasonable estimates based on several related numbers. This process has a lot of wiggle room in it as well, so we should be clear to look at what kinds of proxies lead to what kinds of results.Different combinations of assumptionsWith so much murkiness in both our data and our aims, the best thing to do is to look at a range of assumptions and see whether there are patterns that are apparent independent of such choices.Let’s first combine the possible issues with the USA Today data and represent them as a single number — which we’ll call “percentage of arrests captured by USA Today data” — representing its completeness with regards to actual arrests, as well as arrests that were otherwise avoided.Likewise, let’s combine the issues about comparison groups into a single percentage representing the bottom-line arrest rate of our comparable population (whatever it might be) relative to our 25- to 29-year-old average. In other words, we’re using one metric to represent each group by our best estimate for its relative arrest rate (which we can compare to benchmarks).Then we combine these two metrics with the information we have (NFL Arrest Rates in USA Today database, approximate number of NFL players and arrest rates for the general population), like so:We calculate the known NFL arrest rate and scale it to per 100,000 by taking the NFL arrests per year in the database, multiplied by 100,000, and divided by the number of NFL players per year (approximately 2,560).We divide this by the “percentage of arrests captured by USA Today data” (by assumption, per above).We gather data on the known national arrest rate for 25- to 29- year-olds, which is per 100,000.We divide this by our estimated relative arrest rate of a comparable population (by assumption, per above).Finally, we calculate the ratio between 2) and 4) and subtract 100 percent — this tells us how our estimated NFL arrest rate compares to the rate we estimate for a comparable population.Now we can chart the result of this calculation for given values of A and B as heat maps. Even if we assume extremely incomplete arrest data, the NFL’s overall arrest rate is still very low relative to the national average for its age range. But if we hold the NFL to an extremely high standard, we can still find its arrest rate to be subpar.I’ve used the same color scheme for both of these (100 percent = white). So it should be obvious that the NFL’s doing much worse with domestic violence arrests than with arrests overall.Note that the difference between assumptions can be an order of magnitude or more. Under a favorable set of assumptions, the NFL looks better than average; under an unfavorable set of assumptions, it’s doing terribly.For example, if you compare NFL players only to the national average for 25- to 29-year-old men, and you assume that the USA Today database is pretty much complete, you arrive at the 55.4 percent figure.On the other hand, if you assume that the NFL’s domestic violence arrest rate should be proportional to the overall arrest rate, you can see that the NFL has a “domestic violence problem,” whether the USA Today data is complete or not. This was essentially the scenario I was leading to in my initial article. read more

Confident Pellegrini hoping to turn things around

first_imgWest Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini believes that his managerial experience has equipped him for adversity as he prepares to face Everton after a four-game losing streak.West Ham sit bottom of the Premier League table after losing all their four matches this season, but Pellegrini insists that he’s no stranger to difficult spells and wants to use that experience to steer West Ham out of danger this season.“Of course I have been in this position before,” Pellegrini told journalists at his press conference ahead of Sunday’s trip to Everton.“I started with Villarreal and we had three points from the first 15 and we finished third in the table.Report: Rice is committed to West Ham not a United moveReport: Rice is committed to West Ham not a United move George Patchias – September 4, 2019 Declan Rice is committed to his West Ham contract and not a move to Manchester United.In an interview reported by football.london, Rice opens up…“After that with Malaga when I arrived in the first season, the team was in the relegation zone. We lost five or six games in a row but we continued in the same way. We were improving every day a little bit more until the results arrived.“We recovered by believing more than ever in what we were doing. We kept talking in the same way with the players. We followed the way we believed was correct and we had no doubt in the bad moments.“I am more confident than ever. In the five years, I was at Villarreal, every time I had the same problem. We finished second, we finished third, we finished fifth and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League. At every club, you have a bad moment in the season.”last_img read more

Allegri Emre Can will likely need surgery

first_imgJuventus boss Massimiliano Allegri confirmed that Emre Can will “very likely” have to undergo surgery on a thyroid problemThe 24-year-old midfielder joined the Old Lady in the summer on a free transfer from Liverpool and has since made 10 appearances in all competitions with three of those being starts.But Emre has been sidelined for Juventus’ last two games against Genoa and Manchester United.Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.Upon detecting a thyroid nodule, Emre has since undergone further tests with Allegri resigned to a long absence from his summer recruit.“He is finalising his medical tests,” said Allegri in a press conference on the club website. “Doctors will decide whether he needs surgery but at this point, it’s very likely.”Allegri also confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will start ahead of Saturday’s game against Empoli in the Serie A.last_img read more

10 Things To Know For Thursday

first_img Share Matt Dunham/APPolice secure the area close to the Houses of Parliament in London on Wednesday.RAIDS LEAD TO ARRESTS IN LONDON ATTACKBritish police also believe the knife-wielding assailant, who killed three outside Parliament with his vehicle and weapon, acted alone and was “inspired by international terrorism.”AP: US PROBES BANKING OF EX-TRUMP CAMPAIGN CHIEFU.S. Treasury Department agents have obtained information about offshore financial transactions involving Paul Manafort as part of a federal anti-corruption probe into his work in Eastern Europe, the AP learns.HEALTH BILL HOURS FROM SHOWDOWN VOTEShort of support, Republican leaders look to Trump to close the deal with a crucial bloc of conservatives, the first major legislative test of his young presidency.US DEEPENING INVOLVEMENT VS ISLAMIC STATE GROUP IN SYRIAThe Trump administration authorized an unprecedented American airlift of Arab and Kurdish fighters to the front lines in northern Syria, supported by the first use of U.S. attack helicopters and artillery in the country.WHO’S NEXT TO BE HEARD ON GORSUCH NOMINATIONLawyers, advocacy groups and former colleagues get their say on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee after the judge emerges unscathed from two days of questioning at his confirmation hearing.6,800-TON FERRY EMERGES FROM THE WATERThe salvage effort comes nearly three years after it capsized and sank into violent seas off the South Korean coast, killing more than 300.WHAT GROUP OF OPIOID VICTIMS IS LESS KNOWNCurious children who come across the drugs dropped on the floor or in a bottle with an unsecured cap, and put them in their mouths, where a single pill can be fatal in their small bodies.LESS-EDUCATED MIDDLE-AGE US WHITES DYING YOUNGER THAN OTHERSResearch by two Princeton economists find that the loss of steady middle-income jobs for those with high school degrees or less has triggered broad problems for this group.WHERE THERE’S A GLIMMER OF HOPE IN JAPANFewer Japanese are taking their own lives, a positive sign in a country with one of the world’s highest suicide rates.BLUE JAYS PITCHER LEADS US TO WBC TITLEThe United States routs Puerto Rico 8-0 to win its first World Baseball Classic in four tries behind six hitless innings from Marcus Stroman.last_img read more

Justice Kennedys Retirement Wont Just Shape The US Supreme Court — It

first_img Share Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O’Rourke/Robin Jerstad: CruzU.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso (left), and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.In recent weeks, the race between U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, has largely revolved around immigration, playing out in detention centers along the southern border and over immigration bills in Washington.But U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s abrupt retirement announcement Wednesday sent shockwaves throughout the country — and quickly turned the two Texans’ attention to the nation’s highest court.“After today, this race to represent Texas in the Senate matters more than ever,” O’Rourke wrote on Twitter Wednesday.“Fully agree,” Cruz replied Thursday in his own tweet. “And the overwhelming majority of Texans want Supreme Court Justices who will preserve the Constitution & Bill of Rights, not undermine our rights and legislate from the bench.”The power of consent for Supreme Court nominees is one of the Senate’s greatest powers, and now — after a controversial change to Senate rules last year — the chamber’s Republicans have the numbers to potentially confirm a nominee over unified opposition from Democrats.For Republicans, the Supreme Court vacancy represents an opportunity. For Democrats, it has inspired fear. And for the U.S. Senate race in Texas, it has already become a rallying cry.The Texas Republican Party opened its latest fundraising email Friday morning with a call for donations to Cruz in light of the court vacancy. A day earlier, Cruz’s campaign sent out its own pitch to supporters for funds to ensure Republicans retain their Senate majority.“If we lose the Senate, we will lose the opportunity to approve the nominations of strong Constitutionalists to the Supreme Court and other important positions. This is why we need your support. These are the stakes,” the Cruz campaign email reads.O’Rourke’s campaign, meanwhile, sent an email to supporters Thursday soliciting $3 contributions “to help our grassroots, people-powered campaign be a check on Trump’s Supreme Court pick.”Though some Democrats have demanded the Senate postpone the vote until after the November election — pointing to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s move to do just that in 2016 — McConnell has pledged to hold a confirmation vote ahead of the midterms. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said the vote will likely happen in September.Republicans are banking on the Supreme Court vacancy to turn out far-right voters who see it as an opportunity to push a conservative agenda through the courts.“I think it actually energizes the Republican base, it makes people feel united,” Republican strategist Brendan Steinhauser said. “People seem to be very fired up. It seems very positive for Cruz.”Cruz told Fox News Thursday he thought 2016 was a litmus test of the Supreme Court’s importance to voters, suggesting that the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — which set off a more than year-long showdown in the Senate over Scalia’s successor — helped propel Donald Trump to victory.“This was a major issue the American people decided,” he said. “It was a major reason that we have President Trump and we have a Republican majority in the Senate — because the American people want justices who will defend the Constitution, will defend the Bill of Rights.”Cruz, who clerked for former Chief Justice William Rehnquist after graduating from Harvard Law School and later argued before the U.S. Supreme Court nine times, said on Fox that filling Kennedy’s seat “could prove to be the most significant thing the Republican Senate does.” He has begun promoting a handful of candidates for the job, including U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.Cruz’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment.If Republicans succeed in their plans to vote Trump’s nominee onto the court before November, O’Rourke has little chance of swaying the outcome of this confirmation process. In an interview Thursday, he distanced himself from Democratic leaders who are calling for delaying the vote.“I don’t know that you want to set an arbitrary timeline on this. I just think, you know, the President should nominate and the Senate should do its due diligence,” he said. “My understanding is historically that would take you past the November election anyhow if the Senate were truly to do its due diligence.”Instead, O’Rourke’s campaign is focusing on the importance of Democrats retaking the Senate and regaining control of the confirmation process for future nominees.“The choice is clear: we can either have Ted Cruz or Beto in the Senate voting on Supreme Court nominees,” the O’Rourke campaign’s fundraising email said. “Someone who will vote for the agenda of special interests and corporations or someone who will vote for the people of Texas. We need to work every single day to cut Cruz’s narrow lead and ensure it’s Beto.”O’Rourke campaign spokesman Chris Evan said the campaign will emphasize what O’Rourke would look for in a nominee down the line — namely, someone who supports civil rights, abortion rights, access to healthcare and ending partisan gerrymandering.O’Rourke said he still doesn’t know where the Supreme Court ranks among issues on voters’ minds, so he will take their temperature at town halls across Texas in the coming week, starting with one Friday afternoon in San Antonio.“We’ll see if these issues come up at the town halls. I’m assuming they will, but we’ll see,” he said.On both sides, abortion may emerge as a particular flashpoint. The Supreme Court vacancy casts doubt on the future of the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade, which declared abortion a constitutional right. Kennedy cast several decisive votes to protect abortion rights over the course of his career, and a more conservative justice could spell the end of those protections.The extent to which hopes and fears of repealing Roe v. Wade will translate into votes in November remains an open question, said former state Sen. Wendy Davis, whose famous filibuster of an anti-abortion bill in the Texas Senate in 2013 boosted her national profile, leading to a failed run for governor a year later.“It depends on how many people make choice a central part of why they vote. Those who are opposed to abortion most certainly do. But many supporters continue to take for granted that they will always be able to access abortion,” she wrote in an email. “Will this recent development…be enough to motivate independent suburban women to vote with protecting abortion access in mind? Hard to say. But I certainly hope so.”Anti-abortion activists in Texas and around the country are already seizing on Kennedy’s retirement as an opportunity to take aim at Roe v. Wade. During most election cycles, Texas Right to Life typically spends more on state legislature races than congressional ones, said legislative director John Seago. But Kennedy’s retirement will likely prompt the group to boost its intended advertising for Cruz. He predicted other groups opposed to abortion will do the same in the months to come.“In his race with O’Rourke, the Kennedy retirement is just going to electrify the race even more,” he said.O’Rourke, who has so far outraised Cruz, has pledged not to accept PAC money — so abortion rights groups like the Planned Parenthood Action Fund can’t donate to his campaign directly.But Yvonne Gutierrez, executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, said in a statement that the group will “lead grassroots efforts” across the state to mobilize voters.“The Supreme Court vacancy poses a real and immediate threat to women in Texas, a state where access to safe, legal abortion is already on the line. It is critical that Texans – especially Texas women –make their voices heard in November by electing leaders who are committed to protecting women’s health and rights,” Gutierrez wrote.Abby Livingston contributed to this report.Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s party. He is a Democrat.Disclosure: Planned Parenthood 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 themhere.last_img read more

Texas Senate School Safety Committee Recommends Focusing on Mental Health Avoids Gun

first_img Share Rachel Zein for The Texas TribuneLeft to right: State Sens. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownville, and John Whitmire, D-Houston, at the second day of hearings held by the Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security on June 12, 2018.A special Texas Senate committee devoted to fighting school violence has recommended improving mental health resources for students and increasing funding for a program that arms some members of school staff, but shied away from any measures aiming to limit access to guns.Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican, formed the Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security following the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School south of Houston. Committee members heard testimony during four meetings in June and July on ways to improve school safety infrastructure, address mental health issues among students and consider controversial “red flag” policies that would take guns away from those deemed a risk to others.Several of the committee’s recommendations focused on “hardening” schools, adding funding for metal detectors and other security apparatuses on campuses. The committee also recommended that the state explore increasing financing for school marshal programs, which allow certified staffers to have access to firearms in schools. During its public hearings, committee members heard testimony that marshal programs can strain school budgets, since they require training and lockboxes for guns. The committee hopes to alleviate that strain with state funds, though it didn’t give specific dollar amounts for any of its recommendations.The recommendations were in line with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott‘s proposal to expand the school marshal program, included in a 44-page school safety action plan he released soon after the Santa Fe shooting.School marshal programs are one of two ways the state allows schools to arm teachers. School districts can also allocate “guardians” who can carry firearms in schools without a minimum amount of training. The committee recommended considering a minimum training requirement for school guardians.A proposal raised by state Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, during the committee’s June 12 meeting to arm school staff with rifles was not in the recommendations.Committee members also pushed for increased mental health resources for students, including expanding mental health first aid training for school staff who interact with students and videoconferencing psychiatric help to students who wouldn’t otherwise have access to mental health professionals.Testimony from counselors and school social workers showed a pattern of schools using counselors for administrative work. Committee members recommended considering legislation that would enumerate counselor duties. They also proposed looking into ways to make counselors more accessible to students, particularly in rural areas with fewer school personnel.Stephanie Rubin, CEO of advocacy and research group Texans Care for Children, lauded the focus on mental health care, but expressed concern at the report’s lack of specific methods to implement its recommendations. In a statement released soon after the report, Rubin said the Legislature will still have to work out several of the details in the upcoming session in 2019 for any substantive change to occur.“We hope state leaders build on these efforts and take real action, with meaningful increases in state funding, to support student mental health,” the statement said.The committee did not recommend the implementation of “red flag” laws, which Abbott proposed in his school safety recommendations but Patrick has fiercely challenged. Instead, members proposed clarifying legislation on whether people convicted of domestic violence can own firearms to begin with and on returning guns to people who have been detained but declared not to be a risk to themselves or others.That drew a rebuke from Mike Collier, the Democrat who is challenging Patrick for lieutenant governor.“Red flag laws work, and the only language in this report regarding red flag laws is the recommendation to clarify current statutes,” Collier said in a statement.last_img read more

Football Closes Drills with Spring Showcase

first_imgAfter 14 spring practices, the first-year head coach will open the final workout of the spring to give fans their first glimpse of the 2019 UofL football team. The practice will last for approximately two hours, with a couple of 11 on 11 scrimmage periods mixed in throughout the workout. Parking lots will open at 2 p.m., followed by gates at 6 p.m. Cardinal Authentic, which is located at Gate 2 on the east side of the stadium, will open at 11 a.m., with many items marked off as high as 50 percent. Story Links LOUISVILE, Ky. – Head coach Scott Satterfield and the University of Louisville football team will close spring football practice with the 2019 Spring Showcase at Cardinal Stadium on March 7 at 7 p.m. Admission is free to the event. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

No 25ranked Cardinals Down Miami RedHawks 30 in Exhibition

first_imgUofL opens the regular season Next Friday, August 30 at 7 p.m. with Florida at the Cardinal Classic. The Cardinals home slate includes 15 matches against teams that were nationally ranked in 2018, as well as 11 matches against teams that earned an NCAA Tournament berth last season. The Cardinals posted a 22-9 record in the 2018 season and made their 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. UofL is led by returning HM All-American Melanie McHenry as well as starters Emily Scott and Piper Roe, a member of the US Collegiate National Team.   The season will highlight one of the best Cardinal recruiting classes in recent memory. The 2019 UofL volleyball recruiting class was ranked No. 16 in the nation, the highest ranked class in the ACC and the highest ranking Cardinal class since 2006. UofL hit .413 in the match with five aces and 12.5 blocks.  Miami hit .065 with two aces and one block.  The RedHawks were led by Lindsay Taylor’s seven kills. Single match tickets can be bought here  LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Claire Chaussee, Aiko Jones and Melanie McHenry each had eight kills to lead the No. 25-ranked University of Louisville volleyball team to a 25-8, 25-23, 25-14 win over Miami University in an exhibition match Saturday afternoon at L&N Federal Credit Union Arena.    Tickets can also be purchased by phone at 502-GO-CARDS, or by visiting the Louisville Cardinals Ticket Office, located near Gate 2 at Cardinal Stadium (2800 South Floyd Street) on weekdays from 9 a.m., until 5 p.m., ET. Single match tickets will also be available for purchase on match days at the L&N Federal Credit Union Arena ticket windows starting one hour prior to match time. In the first set,  UofL hit a torrid .458 led by Claire Chaussee’s four kills.  After taking a 15-1 lead, the Cards cruised to a 25-8 win.   The RedHawks pushed back in the second set, never trailing by more than two points  until 16-14 when a kill by Piper Roe sparked a four point run to go up 20-14. The teams traded points before the Cards prevailed 25-23. In the third set,  UofL ran out to a 14-6 lead early and then closed out with a 25-14 win.center_img Photo Gallery The ranking was announced by PrepVolleyball.com, where a panel of college coaches from across the country and representing all three NCAA women’s volleyball divisions determines the top list of classes. Story Links To see the complete schedule, click here   Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Shocking moment children spotted dropping objects off A500 bridge as cars whizz

first_img Follow StokeonTrentLive Download our app  – You can download our free app for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store , or get the Android version from Google Play .  Follow StokeonTrentLive on Facebook –   Like our Facebook page to get the latest news in your feed and join in the lively discussions in the comments. Click here to give it a like! Follow us on Twitter –   For breaking news and the latest stories,  click here to follow SOTLive on Twitter . Follow us on Instagram – Featuring pictures past and present from across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire – and if you tag us in your posts, we could repost your picture on our page! We also put the latest news in our Instagram Stories.  Click here to follow StokeonTrentLive on Instagram . Punter found hiding in bushes Police search for missing woman Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital windowcenter_img Driver named following fatal collision Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailChildren were spotted ‘dropping objects’ off a bridge as cars travelled at 50mph on the A500 below. The youths – believed to be young teenagers – were reportedly seen leaning over the railings as they watched their missiles fall to the busy D-road under Porthill Bank roundabout as drivers whizzed past. A photo emerged on social media over the weekend although it is not clear whether they were reported to police. It is the latest incident of yobs throwing bricks, rocks and other items at motorists on the D-road and A50 with Meir and Normacot being particular hotspots. A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “This kind of behaviour is completely irresponsible and can result in serious consequences. “Drivers are urged to report any similar incidents as soon as possible, with the location and as much detail as possible. “Anyone with any information or relevant dash-cam footage is asked to contact police via 101. StokeonTrentLive readers have previously told how they have been victims of ‘moron’ youths hurling objects at them on the A50, A500, Leek Road, Leek New Road and Foxley Lane to name a few. Read MoreStoke-on-Trent man who died after falling from scaffolding named   They spoke out after a mum told how two young daughters were left terrified when a stone hit the car on the A50 as she drove towards Longton last April. It is believed the children were taking aim from Meir Road, behind the Royal British Legion Club in Normacot . Officers were immediately dispatched to the scene but the youngsters could not be located. Read MoreStoke-on-Trent man suffers serious injuries in hit-and-run motorway smash involving van, car and HGV   Anyone who spots people throwing objects at cars is urged to call 999 immediately. Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLivelast_img read more

TriCounty educator joins Rep Lower for State speech

first_img Categories: News 17Jan Tri-County educator joins Rep. Lower for State speech PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake, was joined by Joe Williams, an assistant principal at Tri-County High School in Howard City, as a guest for tonight’s State of the State address in the state Capitol. Williams has been in the Tri County School District since 1999, starting as a science teacher and then assistant principal at the middle school. At right is Rep. Lower’s wife, Kristen.last_img read more

This years IBC will feature a kenote session cele

first_imgThis year’s IBC will feature a kenote session celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema featuring iconic actor Amitabh Bachchan and Bombay Talkies producer Ashi Dua.The IBC Convention Keynote will take place on Friday 13 September at 09:30 in the Forum, at the RAI Amsterdam. This session, titled “100 Years of Indian Cinema: Creative Evolution and Global Markets” will feature what IBC desribes as a star-studded and action-packed review of the brilliant, diverse and extraordinary living history of Indian Cinema.The event marks the 100th anniversary of the release of Dadasheb Phalke’s film Raja Harishchandra.The session, which will be open to all attendees, will be chaired by Mohinder Walia, managing director of Mumbai Media City, India’s largest studio, broadcast, content management and media school facility.Panellists will discuss an industry which today sees 1,000 films released each year and turned in box office receipts of US$2.6 billion (€2 billion) in 2012.“There are certain set perceptions about Indian cinema, beyond Indian shores,” said Bachchan. “The truth is that it is the breadth of styles and genres that makes the Indian cinema industry so vibrant and so culturally exciting. I am delighted to have been invited to take part in IBC 2013, a global event at which we can share our knowledge, our experiences and our enthusiasm with our peers from all around the world.”last_img read more

Russian pay TV provider Tricolor TV has added a ne

first_imgRussian pay TV provider Tricolor TV has added a new classic movie and TV series channel in standard and high-definition to its programming line-up.The platform has added Nashe Lyubimoye (Our Favourite TV) in both SD and HD variants.Nashe Lyubimoye provides a mix of Soviet and Russian films as well as TV series familiar to Russian viewers, including comedies, melodramas, dramas and action movies.The channel is available 24 hours a day and will feature titles including Vlyublen po Sobstvennomu Zhelaniyu, Svad’ba v Malinovke, 3+2, Chelovekamfibiya and Zvezda Plenitel’nogo Schast’ya.last_img read more

In This Issue Durable goods disappoint Mar

first_imgIn This Issue.. * Durable goods disappoint * Market on hold for Fed * QE3 still an option * Quiet day for currencies And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! FOMC held the cards… Good day…and welcome to the last Thursday in April. As Chuck mentioned, I’ll be steering the ship today while he travels to Florida for some conferences, so the call to the bullpen has been made. All in all, it was a fairly quiet day and if I had to make a call one way or the other, I would have to say Wednesday turned out to be a risk on type of day. While the US earnings season has definitely fueled the risk on campers, it was touch and go for a while. We started the day pretty flat as the euro traded at 1.32 and gold was in a holding pattern at $1,643, neither of which showed any direction. All of the other currencies were either trading at breakeven or very close, so the markets were obviously waiting for something. The first bit of market moving material was staring us down right out of the gate yesterday morning, which was the durable goods figure from March, and it wasn’t pretty. The headline durable goods number decreased 4.2%, which is the most since January 2009, as demand for transportation equipment, namely aircraft, fell quite a bit from February’s robust numbers. Orders for aircraft, which can be volatile from month to month, does act as a gauge for the broad domestic and global economy, but I think the auto portion of transportation is more telling of the domestic and local economies. Bookings for cars and associated parts only increased 0.1%, which was quite lower than last month’s 2% rise, but they at least held steady. Still, it was a mixed bag at best. The durable goods minus transportation fell 1.1% from the revised 1.9% gain in February. The piece of the puzzle and the spin that had economists talking was the goods shipped portion, which is one of the components in calculating GDP. The gauge of shipped goods actually increased 2.6% and has some calling for a higher than expected first quarter GDP reading. We won’t have to wait long as the initial reading is due tomorrow morning. The markets all but overlooked the fall in durable goods as nothing really moved and the currencies were still sitting in the same place before the report was released. While it was a light day in the data department as far as the number of reports, the focus of the day fell squarely on the shoulders of the Fed. That’s right, the Fed rate meeting was yesterday so everyone was sitting on seat’s edge just waiting to see what would happen. Of course, it wasn’t the rate decision itself that held the market hostage, but instead, the sound bites that would follow garnered all of the attention. The rate decision was announced at 11:30 central time, so I looked up at the currency screens shortly thereafter and saw that gold was down about $15 and that silver was trying to stay above $30. I wasn’t expecting any earth changing developments, so it took me for surprise. I saw rates remained on hold so it wasn’t that. As it turned out, there was a knee jerk reaction immediately following the meeting to the fact that unemployment forecasts were reduced and no additional stimulus measures were announced or planned. In fact, the unemployment rate estimate was reduced down to a range of 7.8%-8.0% by year end from January’s projection of 8.2%-8.5%. Oddly enough, the currency market didn’t have much of a reaction and seemed unfazed by the initial release. About an hour later, it was Bernanke’s turn on stage as he spoke at the proceeding press conference and reversed previous thoughts that QE3 was all but out of the picture. I think the big headline from Bernanke was his announcement that the Fed is prepared to do more, if needed, to make sure the recovery continues and that inflation stays close to target. In other words, additional stimulus is still on the table and the recent strides forward aren’t enough to rule out future action. For the most part, everything he explained yesterday didn’t change much from the past several meetings as the European crisis remains a concern, economic growth is expected to moderately continue in the coming quarters, and unemployment isn’t falling as fast as they would like. As quickly as gold lost ground prior to the press conference, it quickly climbed back to where it began the day since QE3 wasn’t totally removed as an option after all. The last notable news bits from the meeting were a couple more revisions to growth and inflation. We did see an upward revision to GDP this year from a range of 2.2%-2.7% to 2.4%-2.9% so it looks like the Fed is hopeful jobs growth will continue moving in the right direction. They also increased the inflation outlook to 1.9%-2.0% and acknowledged it has picked up due to higher oil and gas prices. They still maintain gas prices will only affect inflation temporarily, but I’m not sure how that would be the case if they expect continued expansion in the US economy. Speaking of oil, we did see it rise back above $104 after the higher growth outlook, so US demand still remains in the driver’s seat when it comes to price action. I think I’ve gone on long enough with the Fed meeting, so let’s take a look and see what reports are due today. We’ll see the usual Thursday reports on weekly initial jobless claims and the continuing claims number, both of which are supposed to show slight improvement from last week. The initial claims are expected to come in at 375k, but with the constant revisions, it’s tough to maintain a firm comparison point. With that said, we’re still far from a range needed to firmly put a dent in what I would consider the most telling and important economic figure. The March jobs numbers of 120k sure doesn’t go far in my book to justify the Fed’s rosier employment outlook. We will also see the results of pending home sales from March, another area of concern by the Fed. Housing has been flailing around with no sense of direction as prices continue falling, albeit at a much slower pace than in the past, but purchases have been slow to rise as buyers try to guess the market bottom. The estimates I’ve seen aren’t much to write about, but maybe that summer like weather in March coaxed more buyers into signing contracts. Other than that, we get a gauge of consumer confidence and a regional manufacturing report, so it looks like today will be a balancing act between that ever present lake of lava, which is employment and housing. Depending how those reports turn out, we could see the market remain in a holding pattern until tomorrow since we get some big reports. We’ll see the initial printing of first quarter GDP, personal consumption, and inflation so this trio certainly has enough clout to hold the market captive until then. As I mentioned earlier, the currencies remained in a very tight range so there isn’t much to talk about on the currency front today. In fact, yesterday turned out to be one of the narrower trading days that we’ve seen lately as the euro floated within a 0.5% window between the high and low of the day. Usually, we’ll see at least a full cent deviation throughout the course of a given day, but that wasn’t the case. Since the Fed left the door open for QE3 if needed, the dollar did finish down on the day but only by a small margin. The top currencies were all commodity based as the rand broke away from the pack with a 0.7% gain. The rest of the currencies ranged from breakeven to slight gains as the Aussie and Canadian dollar took the silver and bronze medals respectively. The only sizable moves came from gold and silver, when they fell 0.7% and 2.25% immediately following the rate announcement, but they did regain all lost ground by the time I left the office last night. The rise in equities kept most currencies in positive territories to finish the day. I did see where S&P lowered India’s sovereign credit outlook to negative from stable, citing slower economic and investment growth along with a wider current account deficit as the rationale. While the actual rating was not downgraded, they did say if steps to reduce structural fiscal deficits and improvement in the investment climate are taken, they will reevaluate. The Indian finance minister quickly stepped in to say that reforms are on track and economic growth should remain intact, but only time will tell. Surprisingly enough, the rupee actually finished slightly higher on the day. Other than that, the only other development I saw before I called it a day was in New Zealand. The central bank met late in the afternoon, our time, and kept rates on hold as expected. The statement released after the meeting said the economy is still growing at a slower pace and inflation isn’t presenting any problems, so rates will probably be on hold for quite a while. The central bank governor, who is known for talking the currency down, went on the say that if the exchange rate remains strong and isn’t justified by stronger data, they might reassess the rate outlook. In other words, nothing new here since he frequently expresses concern of a strong currency. As I came in this morning, everything is trading in yesterday’s clothes and there is an ever so slight bias to sell the dollar so far. There aren’t many headlines to speak of, but we did see a report on European economic confidence fall more than expected as more austerity and economic uncertainty loom on the horizon. Even though the UK economy slipped back into recession following yesterday’s negative GDP print, we saw a report of investor sentiment rise this morning. Then there was this… If Congress and President Barack Obama can’t agree on extending some of the tax breaks set to expire at year-end, the U.S. economy will be harmed so greatly that there is nothing the Federal Reserve can do to compensate for it, Chairman Ben Bernanke said. “If no action were to be taken by the fiscal authorities, the size of the fiscal cliff is such that there’s absolutely no chance that the Federal Reserve could or would have any ability to offset that effect on the economy,” I saw this article in Bloomberg this morning, so hopefully this is yet another wake up call to get things under control. To recap…We started the day with the worst durable goods print since January 2009 but the markets were focused on the Fed rate meeting. They did keep rates on hold, as we expected, but an increased economic growth forecast initially sent some investors calling for no more QE3. Once Bernanke held the press conference, he said additional stimulus is an option if the economy stumbles. Gold and silver went for a ride around the block but the currencies stayed home. S&P lowered India’s outlook and New Zealand kept rates on hold. Currencies today 4/26/12… American Style: A$ $1.070, kiwi .8165, C$ $1.0173, euro 1.3215, sterling 1.6188, Swiss $1.0996… European Style: rand 7.7547, krone 5.7216, SEK 6.7166, forint 217.53, zloty 3.1673, koruna 18.7394, RUB 29.2812, yen 80.83, sing 1.2416, HKD 7.7591, INR 52.5375, China 6.3057, pesos 13.1581, BRL 1.88, Dollar Index 79.02, Oil $103.92, 10-year 1.96%, Silver $30.70, and Gold… $1,646.75 That’s it for today… Even though it was a quiet day in the currency market, it was a busy day at the office yesterday as it felt like I needed a couple extra hours in the day to get everything done. We found out the first game of the next playoff series for our St. Louis Blues starts Saturday against the LA Kings, so let’s go Blues!! Tonight marks a big night for football fans as the draft kicks off with the first round in primetime. The first two picks are basically made, but I’m hoping the Rams finally put together a solid and lasting draft class. With that said, I’ll you get the day started. Until next time, Have a Great Day!! Mike Meyer Assistant Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.comlast_img read more

Here are my last two plant photos  The first was

first_imgHere are my last two plant photos.  The first was taken at The Alamo.  It’s a papaya bush/tree—and this one was about a meter and half high—and that’s 4 feet and change in American!  When fully grown, they’re much taller than this, of course.  The second photo was taken on the resort hotel grounds—and it goes by the name American beautyberry.  You can eat them, but their astringency will pucker your mouth up real quick. For the Friday trading session, gold got smacked for 1.94%—silver for 1.40%—platinum was creamed for 3.24%—and palladium 1.57%.  Nothing free market about this, as da boyz pulled out all the stops.And, as always, not a word in protest from the precious metal miners or the two organizations that purport to represent their best interests—the World Gold Council and The Silver Institute.So—are JPMorgan et al done to the downside yet?It seems like I’ve asked that question every week for the last two or three weeks—and they keep surprising us to the downside.   Considering how ‘in your face’ and extreme these engineered price declines have been in all six key commodities this time around, it’s hard to accept the fact that the ensuing rallies may be cut off at the knees before they really get anywhere.  But I suppose one should be prepared for any eventuality.That’s all I have for today, but before heading out the door I want to remind you one last time about the 40th Annual New Orleans Investment Conference from October 22-25, 2014.  That’s less than three weeks away!  If you’re interested, you can find out everything you need to know by clicking here.That’s it for the day—and the week.I await the 6 p.m. open in New York on Sunday evening with great interest.Enjoy what’s left of your weekend—and I’ll see you here on Tuesday. So—are JPMorgan et al done to the downside yet?The gold price got sold down a few dollars as soon as trading began in the Far East on their Friday—and another five bucks or so got carved off the price shortly before the London open.  From there it traded unchanged until the release of the job numbers at 8:30 a.m. EDT in New York.  The HFT boyz used the opportunity to put the boots to gold once again—and the low tick came around 12:45 p.m. EDT.  After that, the price didn’t do a lot.The high and low ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,215.70 and $1,190.30 in the December contract.Gold finished the Friday session at $11,90.70 spot, down $23.60 from Thursday’s close.  Net volume was 174,000 contracts.Here’s the 10-minute gold chart going all the way back before the Comex opened at 6 p.m. EDT in New York on Thursday evening—and you can see that the two small declines before the London open didn’t have much volume associated with them—and JPMorgan et al saved the heavy lumber for the Comex trading session, as volume exploded when their HFT boyz worked their magic starting at 8:30 a.m. EDT.  Don’t forget to add two hours to the Mountain Daylight Times shown on this chart.It was more or less the same price pattern in silver, except the low tick came at 10:30 a.m. in New York—and the subsequent rally got capped around noon, and then sold down a bit.  Silver traded flat from the 1:30 p.m. close of Comex trading into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.The high and low prices were reported as $17.155 and $16.64 in the December contract.Silver finished the trading day yesterday at $16.855 spot, down 24 cents.  Net volume was 45,000 contracts.The pounding of platinum continued again yesterday, as the HFT boyz took two 20 buck slices out of the salami—once in early morning trading in the Far East—and again starting at, or just before, the London a.m. gold fix.  The beating stopped around 11 a.m. EDT—and the metal traded flat into the close, finishing down another 41 bucks.  Platinum has never been this oversold—ever.It was similar for palladium, as da boyz peeled another 12 bucks off the price—and it finished off its low by around five dollars.You’ll note that the HFT boyz only went after gold and silver at the 8:30 a.m. EDT job numbers report.  Neither platinum or palladium even twitched during that time.Of course it’s almost superfluous to point out that all four precious metals set new lows for this move down.The dollar index closed late on Thursday afternoon at 85.61—and rallied quietly starting almost immediately after the 6 p.m. EDT open—and was at the 86.00 level when the jobs numbers released.  The NASA space launch in the index that occurred at that point took the dollar to its 86.75 high shortly before 11 a.m. EDT—and it gave up 10 points of its gain by the close.  The index finished that up 103.4 basis points—and closed at 86.65.The gold stocks got pounded—gaping down at the open—and hitting their lows around 1 p.m. EDT—and never moved off the floor from there.  The HUI got smacked for a breathtaking 4.47%—closing at 189.77.And even though silver only closed down 24 cents, the shares got slammed even harder, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 5.36%.The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and 13 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday.The CME Preliminary Report for the Friday trading session showed that 327 contracts disappeared from the October delivery month, leaving 1,913 contracts still open.  The silver contracts still open in October rose by 78—and the contracts open now sits at 291.There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday—and as of 6:24 p.m. EDT, there were no reported changes in SLV.There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, they reported that 16,075 troy ounces of gold were received—and 22,364 troy ounces were shipped out.  The link to that activity is here.There was much more activity in silver, of course, as they received 899,995 troy ounces—and 371,102 ounces were shipped out the door.  Most of the activity was at Brink’s, Inc. and Canada’s Scotiabank.  The link to that action is here.The Commitment of Traders Report, for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday, was not quite what I was hoping to see—and I’m wondering out loud if all the data from the big down day on Tuesday made it into this report, which was something I mentioned as a possibility in my Wednesday column.  Anyway, the numbers are what they are.In silver, the Commercial net short position declined by only 1,306 contracts—and the new Commercial net short position now stands at 77.3 million troy ounces.Under the hood in the Disaggregated COT Report, the Managed Money category increased their short position by 3,924 contracts, which is understandable considering the price action during the reporting period.  But the non-technical traders on the long side of the Managed Money category actually increased their long position by an impressive 2,458 contracts.  Almost all the selling came out of the Nonreportable/small trader category.The Managed Money on the short side is now at a new record—and it’s a good bet that, as a group, they don’t hold a single solitary Comex long position in silver between them.  So the question begs to be asked—who are the non-technical fund traders in the Managed Money category that are quietly adding to their positions on the long side—and why are they doing it and what do they know that we don’t?Ted Butler said the it appears that JPMorgan decreased their short position by around 500 contracts during the reporting week—and that brings their short-side corner in the Comex silver market down to 11,000 contracts, or 55 million troy ounces.  That amount represents about 70 percent of the total Commercial net short position.In gold, the Commercial net short position only declined by 3,590 Comex contracts, or 359,000 troy ounces.  The Commercial net short position is now down to 6.07 million troy ounces.The shorts in the Managed Money category only added 43 contracts to their combined short positions—and the non-technical traders in that category added another 837 contracts to their huge long position.  As in silver, all the selling came from the Nonreportable/small trader category—and the Commercial traders were buying everything they were selling.Ted said that JPMorgan reduced their long-side corner in the Comex gold market by 2,000 contracts during the report week, and they’re now down to 23,000 contracts, or 2.3 million troy ounces.There was a big improvement in copper as well, as the Managed Money traders added another 9,324 Comex contracts to their collective short positions, while the non-technical traders in the Managed Money category added a small amount to their huge long position.Platinum and palladium improved as well, but we won’t see the full effect of what happened in those two precious metals until next Friday’s COT Report, as most of the engineered price decline this week didn’t start until Tuesday—and has continued for the last four trading days—and it’s a good bet [looking at yesterday’s COT Report] that not all the trading data from Tuesday for platinum and palladium made it into Friday’s report, either.The big revelation for me from this COT Report was the fact that monster long positions in all four precious metals, plus copper, are being held by these unblinking non-technical funds in the Managed Money category that have been increasing their long position regardless of whether prices are rising or falling.  Opposite them in the Manged Money category are short positions held by the technical funds, who will run for cover like scared rabbits on the next rally.If the Managed Money non-technical funds longs—and the traders that are massively long in the Commercial category decide to put their hands in their pockets on the next rally, how high will the Managed Money shorts have to bid the price in order to get the long holders to sell so they can cover their short positions?The last two times this year, the Commercial long holder have let the short-side holders in the Managed Money category off easily.  Will they do so this time???The answer to that question is all that matters—and how high we go in price and how fast we get there will be 100 percent determined by how the long holders react when the short holders rush to cover.  That applies to copper and crude oil as well—plus the opposite in the dollar index, where the technical funds are massively long.And, without doubt, the positions held by all parties, short or long, has become even more extreme since the cut-off on Tuesday.So we wait.Here’s a chart Nick Laird sent our way yesterday.  It’s the live spot gold price going back five years—and with the spot price close of $1,191.30 on Friday, JPMorgan et al have set a triple bottom.  But since they’re capable of printing any chart pattern they want, you have to ask yourself if this really means anything.I have a fair number of stories for you today—and I hope you can find enough time during what’s left of your weekend to read the ones you like.Of course, I must be open to the possibility (some would say probability) that this might not be the final sell-off because the commercials could once again sell aggressively on the next rally and let the technical funds off the hook with minimal damage.This year alone, in February and June, the commercials sold aggressively on sub-par silver rallies of around $3 when they could have extracted from the technical funds much, much more. Worse, I still don’t fully understand why the commercials let the technical funds off the hook so lightly on those two prior (and other) occasions. The best I can come up with is that the commercials knew they were in firm price control of the COMEX and knew that they could dictate what the technical funds would do in advance; that the commercials knew they could put the technical funds back on the short side whenever they wanted to. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 01 October 2014Today’s pop ‘blast from the past’ is another iconic piece that needs no introduction—and neither does the American jazz rock band that performs it.  The link is here—and while I’m at it, here’s another one of their big hits.I’m going to watch/listen to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra perform tonight—and today’s classical ‘blast from the past’ is one of the reasons I’ll be there.  It’s my 66th birthday present to myself.  It’s Edvard Grieg‘s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16, which he composed in the summer of 1868—and is, without doubt, one of the most popular piano concertos ever written.  It’s for a very good reason that audiences all over the world just eat this thing up every time its scheduled to be performed—and I know that for a fact, as I was on the programming committee of the ESO for 11 years.Here’s the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra performing under the baton of Thomas Dausgaard—and world renowned pianist Alice Sara Ott does the honours.  The link is here.  Enjoy!You don’t need me to tell you what happened yesterday, as JPMorgan et al—along with their HFT buddies and their algorithms—used the jobs numbers and the dollar rally to do the dirty across the board.  They started quietly in Far East trading—and then really hammered gold and silver at the 8:30 a.m. EDT job numbers.  Then later they put the boots to platinum and palladium.  Much to my surprise, they didn’t set new lows in either copper or crude oil.Here’s the carnage in the four precious metals—and it’s ugly.last_img read more