Campion, Immaculate too strong for rivals

first_imgCampion College and Immaculate Conception High showed that they were a class ahead of the rest as they comfortably retained their respective titles at the Mayberry Investments High Schools Swim Meet on Friday at the National Aquatics Centre, Independence Park, National Stadium complex.Campion retained the boys’ title with 419 points, finishing well ahead of Wolmer’s Boys’ (366), Jamaica College (282), Hillel Academy (166), and Calabar High (91).Immaculate blew away their opponents in the girls’ category with a whopping 634 points. Campion College (354) were second, followed by St Andrew High (282.50), Wolmer’s Girls’ (137) and Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha) 57.There was also a two-team tertiary competition, which saw the University of the West Indies (316 points) reign over Caribbean Maritime Institute (121).The high-point trophy winners with the best individual scores were:Boys 12 and Under:- Kyle Sinclair of Wolmer’s Boys’, 41 points, while recent Carifta Swim Championships record breaker Emily MacDonald led the girls’ age group for Campion College with 45 points.In the age 13-14 category, Jordane Payne of Wolmer’s Boys’ scored 43, while Immaculate’s Karci Gibson had 31.Chay Stewart of Wolmer’s Boys’ and Anjuii Barrett of Campion (girls) topped the 15-16 age group with scores of 43 and 41 points, respectively.The 17 and over boys went to Jamaica College’s Yonatan Goren, courtesy of 37 points, and Gabrielle Hopkins of Immaculate won the female award with 32.SEVEN INDIVIDUAL RECORDSSeven individual records were broken at the meet, including a double by MacDonald in the girls 12′ and under 100 and 200m freestyle events.Dominic Mullings set new marks in the boys’ 12 and under 100 and 200m freestyle, while Kyle Sinclair also broke the 50 and 100m freestyle records.The other record fell to Britney Williams in the girls 13-14 200m freestyle, while two relay records were also broken – by Wolmer’s Boys’ in the 15-16 200m freestyle and the UWI women in the 17 and over 200m freestyle.last_img read more

Will Verdier Finish the Fight against Corruption in Liberia?

first_imgSecond Phase Asset Declaration AssessmentIn its second phase Asset Declaration assessment report, published October 7, 2013, the LACC named the following as first-category offenders cited for material and intentional misrepresentation of the facts on the Asset Declaration forms:T. Nelson Williams (LPRC Managing Director),Pete Norman,Chris Massaquoi (Police Chief),Brownie Samukai (Minister of Defense),St. Jerome Larbalee,Joseph Johnson,Robert E. Cooper,Danny B.B. Sarte (BIN Deputy)Henry D. MooreSamuel T. NimelyMiekee S. GrayDarlington GeorgeFreddie Robert TaylorOretha Snyder DavisDaniel WarnerBenedict F. SannohHilary Siakor-SirleafHenrietta BadioAbraham Siafa Fahnbulleh This second phase booked 19 of the 77 officials assessed. The first phase listed only four.In the first phase of AD assessments, eighteen (18) officials simply refused to cooperate, and as such, their Asset Declarations were unverified:1. Sebastian Muah, Deputy Minister MOF (cleared in second phase)2. Christian G. Herbert, Deputy Minister MPW3. Etweda Cooper, Supt. Grand Bassa Co MIA4. Victor Boye Smith, Deputy Minister MPW5. Abraham B. Samukai, Comptroller MPW6. Toagoe Karzon, Comptroller MOH7. Ernest Z. Coleman, Finance Officer/Ganta Hosp MOH8. Magaret Ansumana, Deputy Commissioner LiMA9. Emmanuel N. Reeves, Deputy Commissioner LiMA10. Jefferson ES Witherspoon, Accounts Payable Manager LiMA11. J. Tiah Nagbe, Deputy Minister MIA12. Ernest Gray Davis, Asst Supt Dev/Bomi Co. MIA13. John Z. Buway, Supt. Margibi Co. MIA14. Enson J. Amara, Accountant LiMA15. Florence Dukuly, Deputy Minister MIA16. Victoria W. Duncan, Asst Supt Dev/Margibi Co. MIA17. Nathaniel Gbaba, Deputy Managing Director NPA18. Ernest Omaboe, Director of Security, LiMA LACC Chairman, Cllr. James N. Verdier, Jr.Following his confirmation by the Liberian Senate, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has appointed Cllr. James N. Verdier, Jr., as Executive Chairperson of the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission.His appointment took effect February 24.In her letter of appointment to Cllr. Verdier, dated February 24, President Sirleaf said: “Please accept my congratulations and expression of trust in your ability to make a meaningful contribution in your area of responsibility as we strive to move our country forward in a process aimed at enhancing peace, reconciliation and development.”“President Sirleaf in November last year appointed Cllr. Verdier as Acting Executive Chairperson of the LACC pending confirmation by the Liberian Senate,” a press release by Public Relations Officer Ben Kolako said yesterday.Verdier replaces Cllr. Frances Johnson Allison, whose five-year tenure expired in September 2013.At a turning over ceremony last November after Verdier’s appointment as Acting Executive Chair of the LACC, Cllr. Allison described her tenure at the LACC as “challenging”. During her time in service, she said, the LACC developed into an institution. She leaves behind a legacy of having investigated and prosecuted several corruption cases including that of former Police Chief Muna Sieh. Accepting the mantle of responsibility for the controversial Anti-Corruption Commission, Verdier pledged his collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and other related institutions to ensure the institution’s progress.The LACC was created on May 8, 2008 by an Act of the Legislature. Said Act defined corruption as:”Any act or acts, decision or decisions or use of public resource or resources by a public or private official in the discharge of official duties and/or responsibilities which, in order to satisfy the selfish desire or interest of the said official or other person or persons, natural or legal, ignore the established laws, regulations, and thereby, denies, deprives, and prevents, the State or person or persons natural or legal from receiving entitlement, consideration, and/or treatment.”It also described as acts of corruption bribery, embezzlement, extortion, fraud, influence peddling, insider trading, misuse of entrusted public property and vested authority, and any economic and financial crimes, which are now provided for under the Penal Code of Liberia, or may, hereafter, be defined and enacted.The Act also gives the LACC the mandate to create anti-corruption strategies. One such strategy involves the declaration of assets by all public officials.In its first report on Asset Declaration, published on May 20, 2013, the LACC said the Asset Declaration strategy had the full backing of the President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. From March to May 2013, however, the LACC conducted an assessment of the Asset Declarations submitted by 63 randomly selected public officials from the Ministries of Finance, Public Works, Internal Affairs and Health & Social Welfare; the National Port Authority, the Liberia Maritime Affairs and the LACC itself.Of the 63, four (4) were found to be misrepresented, their accumulated wealth unexplained: 1. ORETHA ZEON (NPA Port of Buchanan Operations Manager)(Intentional and material misrepresentation; unexplained wealth accumulation)CASE: Mrs. Oretha Zeon works as Operations Manager at the Buchanan Port. Mrs Zeon is on a net salary of USD 840. She declared no other source of income. Mrs. Zeon declared [i.e., under oath] the value of a story building [under construction] at US$15,000. However, when the LACC’s AD Verification Team doubted that a concrete storey building could be valued at US$15,000, a revaluation was ordered and funded by Mrs. Zeon and the self-same house was revalued at US$51,200. This is a clear indication of a glaring and intentional misrepresentation of the facts while under oath, which is in violation of the Laws of Liberia.When asked for the source of income to fund the construction project, since her NPA salary clearly cannot cover the project, Mrs. Zeon claimed that her children in the USA assist in the process by sending her money regularly to finance the construction. When asked further to provide evidence of banks transfer documents to substantiate her claims, Mrs. Zeon failed to present the documents to the Team, noting that she started working long before members of the LACC’s AD Verification Team were born. This failure of Mrs. Oretha Zeon, NPA Operations Manager/Port of Buchanan, left the AD Verification Team with no other conclusion but to find INTENTIONAL AND MATERIAL MISREPRESENTATION [while under oath] and UNEXPLAINED WEALTH ACCUMULATION.Mrs. Zeon no longer holds the management position at the Port of Buchanan and now resides in the USA. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) 2. MATILDA PARKER (NPA Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer)(Intentional and material misrepresentation)CASE : Ms. Matilda Parker is the Managing Director (CEO) of the National Port Authority (NPA). Ms Parker embarked on a campaign of misrepresentation from the beginning of the process to the end of the process. Ms Parker purchased a house in the Sophie Community for US$65,000. However, when the LACC’s AD Verification Team asked about the means of payment, Ms. Parker said cash downpayment. After the Team expressed surprise by a US$65,000 cash downpayment, Ms Parker later changed the story and said she made the purchase in installments. Ms Parker was given 2 weeks to bring the receipts of the installment payments. She later wrote back that the receipts were missing. The AD Verification Team asserts categorically, that both of the above statements cannot be true at the same time – a cash downpayment of US$65,000 vs installment payment of US$65,000. One of the two assertions is definitely false and Ms Parker knows exactly which one is false.Ms. Parker was also asked to disclose the seller of the aforementioned Sophie Community Property and the contact details of the seller. Ms Parker disclosed the name of the seller, but declined to give any contact details (telephone, residential address and/or other means of contact). This again is blatantly false information given to the LACC Team. No reasonable person will pay a hefty US$65,000 for a property, but claims not to have any contact information on the seller. This is clearly intentional and material misrepresentation and Ms Parker must be held to account.Ms. Parker’s USA House: Ms Parker USA house was put at US$750,000 (2012) on her declaration. When asked for documents on the mortgage, the house was discovered to be valued only US$300,000 (2012). When asked to explain the gross disparity, Ms Parker said it was an error. LACC AD Team wonders how a US$300,000 house can be erroneously valued at US$750,000. Another one of Ms Parker’s intentional and material misrepresentations, even up to the very end of the process. Ms Parker multiple misrepresentations [while under oath] left the Team with no other option but to find intentional and material misrepresentation of the facts.Nearly one year later, Ms. Parker still holds the position of NPA Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.center_img Eight could not be verified due to “outstanding issues”.1. Sam Foday Brown, Supt. Bomi Co., MIA2. Samuel Kofi Woods, Minister MPW3. Stephen M. Yekeson, Jr., Deputy Minister, MPW4. Boom M. Wilson, Comptroller General, MOF (Cleared in second phase)5. Matthew TK Flomo, Deputy Minister, MOH6. Varney Sirleaf, Deputy Minister, MIA7. Blamo Nelson, Minister, MIA8. Vivian T. Cherue, Deputy Minister, MOH (cleared in second phase)Three (3) officials asked to be exused and were so granted:1. Ranney B Jackson, Deputy Minister, MIA2. Neneh Kroyahn, Finance Manager, LiMA3. Amara B. Konneh, Minister, MOF (cleared in second phase)Of the 63 Asset Declarations assessed, 30 were verified as accurate:1. Z. Adonie Greaves, Asst. Supt for Development, MIA2. Binyan Kessely, Commissioner, LiMA3. Desire S. Satia, Finance Director, LiMA4. Alexander Mitchell, Procurement Manager, LiMA5. Christiana K. Pawlay, Comptroller, NPA6. Patrick M. Konneh, Port Manager/Buchanan NPA7. Joseph D. Wiles, Port Manager/Harper, NPA8. Patrick B. Dunor, Port Manager/Greenville, NPA9. Wheazor Mulbah, NPA10. Christopher B. Gray, Procurement Manager, NPA11. Nyekeh Forkpah, Deputy Managing Director, NPA12. William L. Slour, Assistant Minister, MPW13. Andrew K. Kear, Assistant Minister, MPW14. B. Wion Kanteah, Sr., Procurement Director, MPW15. Bonar Kerkula, Chief Accountant, MPW16. Joseph Y. Forkpah, Assistant Comptroller, MPW17. Decontee King Sackie, Assistant Minister, MOF18. James F. Kollie, Deputy Minister, MOF19. Angela Cassell-Bush, Deputy Minister, MOF20. Dede D. Sandiman, Assistant Comptroller, MOF21. Juah K. Feika, Commissioner, MOF22. Sebastian Weah, Director, MOF23. Jerry Taylor, Director, MOF24. Frances Johnson Allison, Chairperson, LACC25. Walter T. Gwenigale, Minister, MOH26. Bernice Dahn, Chief Medical Officer, MOH27. Ka-Rufus Morris, Procurement Director, MOH28. Annette Dennis Doe ,Chief Accountant, MOH29. Daniel D. Young, Hospital Administrator, MOH30. Zolia Y. Martor, Assistant Minister/Planning, MOH”It is a maxim amongst corruption fighters that ill-gotten wealth is going to show up somewhere – in bank accounts, in lifestyles, in personal property collections and in real estate investments etc,” the LACC Asset Declaration report stated. “In an open and transparent society, ill-gotten wealth must not have hiding place(s)… In the fight against corruption there has to be examples – good examples made of those who lied on their AD forms, those who failed to file, and those who are caught spending well above their declared means. Without good examples made of violators of the public trust, the fight against corruption is doomed.”Six months to one year later, many of the officials listed, whose asset declarations were found wanting (not to mention those who have yet to declare their assets) still hold their positions. Most notable among them is NPA Director, Matilda Parker. These findings give solid evidence to the local and international outcries against unpunished corruption in the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration. It remains to to determined whether the incoming LACC boss will make good examples of these violators of public trust or soft-peddle the fight against corruption. 3. BLAYON BROWN SARLEE (Comptroller, Ministry of Internal Affairs)(Intentional and material misrepresentation; unexplained wealth accumulation)CASE – Mr. Blayon Brown Sarlee works as Comptroller, Ministry of Internal Affairs. He disclosed a Gross salary of US$1,350. He disclosed no additional source of income, including the fact that he has been a civil servant at MIA for more than a decade. Mr Brown Sarlee, as an accountant, declined to disclose the value of his house(s) – in the space for value he wrote N/A. The LACC AD Verification Team then requested an independent and objective appraisal from Mr. Sarlee. He then disclosed his “objective” appraisal of the house (picture below) to be US$45,000. LACC AD Team, suspicious of the appraisal, contacted the engineer. Mr. Sarlee’s [contracted] engineer disclaimed the appraisal at LACC’s Office – noting that the appraisal was done for banking purposes but NOT acceptable at all for LACC purpose.Notwithstanding the aforesaid, Mr. Sarlee knows or should know that the house picture aside cannot under normal circumstances cost US$45,000. This is a deliberate effort by Mr. Sarlee to understate his assets so as to have his assets commensurate with his declared gross income of US$1,350. This property is clearly 3-4X the value declared by Mr. Sarlee. AD Verification Team’s only logical conclusion on Mr. Brown Sarlee’s AD is intentional and material misrepresentation of the facts [under oath]; unexplained wealth accumulation.An Observer investigation also uncovered a 2010 audit of the Grand Kru County Administration by the General Auditing Commission (GAC), covering the 2007/2008 fiscal period, during which Sarlee held the post of MIA Comptroller. According to the report, Sarlee withdrew US$10,950 on an unsealed and unnumbered voucher that was signed by then MIA Minister Ambullai Johnson, who was finally dismissed for graft. The amount withdrawn by Sarlee was accounted for by Sarlee as a “quarterly disbursement of non-taxable income” for nine (9) county development staff personnel’s salaries. The report notes that “for the period under audit, Superintendents and other county administration did not follow the Budget Law and the procedures established by MIA through CDSS”. Sarlee is also mentioned in the same regard in a 2010 GAC audit of the Grand Gedeh County Administration.4. ATTY. CHARLES GONO (Deputy Commissioner, Marine Safety and Environment)(Unexplained wealth accumulation)CASE – Atty. Charles Gono, made a declaration on his cash position. He also disclosed several concurrent work-in-progress construction projects, which necessarily restricts his ability to save. Atty. Gono was asked to explain the cash deposit of US$34,000 (in 3 installments) over a period of 2 months (June – August 2011) which deposit is within the period under verification. Mr. Gono responded in writing that (1) My salary being paid at ECOBANK and the bank workers were allegedly stealing from customers accounts; hence I withdrew my salary and took it home…. (2) also I noticed my son was stealing my money so I took it to International Bank Liberia Ltd.The AD Verification Team reviewed the above-mentioned ECOBANK salary account of Atty. Gono and found that that account was never used to accumulate savings. It was basically used as a conduit for the deposit of salary and the gradual withdrawal of salary. Accordingly, this account, most certainly, could never have been the base from which Atty. Gono accumulated the savings, from which he claimed the three-installment deposit of US$34,000 in only 2 months in the IBLL account was made. This invalid and incorrect explanation led the AD Verification Team to reasonably conclude unexplained wealth accumulation.last_img read more

AFC expels Charandass Persaud

first_img…party recommits to APNU Despite publicly announcing that he will resign from the party following his support for the No-confidence Motion against the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government, the AFC in an immediate act of retaliation on Saturday announced that it has taken the decision to expel Charandass Persaud.The AFC said the decision was taken following a meeting of the Disciplinary Committee while adding that they have already initiated steps to have him recalled as an MP. Additionally, the AFC said it feels “betrayed and shocked” by the ‘yes’ vote, which ultimately led to the fall of the David Granger-led Administration.After voting in favour of the No-confidence Motion, Persaud told the media that he took a “conscious” decision since the AFC has a subordinate role to the majority A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). Persaud cited examples, such as Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence’s recent controversial statement about hiring party faithfuls and pointed out that the AFC leadership did not condemn, but rather condoned the statement.“I’m extremely disappointed in the AFC team. My reason for voting in favour of the motion is that I have no confidence in what the AFC team will do,” Persaud said, when questioned by the media.Meanwhile, the AFC on Saturday said, “at no time did Mr Persaud express that he had lost confidence in the APNU/AFC coalition Government, its policies, programmes and vision. To the contrary, he gave his solemn commitment, on more than one occasion, that he will vote resoundingly against the motion.”The statement added that all the while Persaud has been on board with the Government’s plans for development since he would have made an animated presentation during the 2019 National Budget Debates.Additionally, the minority coalition partner said they have already begun to plan, prepare and mobilise for the impending General and Regional Elections.“The AFC held an internal executive meeting today (Saturday) and will engage our supporters, our coalition partner A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the people of Guyana, on the way forward. The AFC assures its supporters and all Guyanese that it remains unwaveringly committed to the APNU/AFC coalition Government. The AFC reaffirms its commitment to the rule of law and reassures Guyanese that in this Yuletide season of peace and goodwill will prevail,” the party indicated.Persaud became a parliamentarian following the May 2015 Regional and General Election but this is not the first time he has expressed his dissatisfaction with the AFC. The Berbician resigned from the Party in September 2013 but would later face the media and indicate that his resignation was non-existent.The lawyer has since indicated that his vote was one of conscience since he is was tired of towing party lines. He left the country on Saturday morning after he had been openly threatened by his colleagues in Parliament.On Friday, the APNU/AFC coalition Government fell when the No-confidence Motion brought by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party was passed in the National Assembly.A total of 10 MPs debated the motion, but when the dust was settled, and a vote of division was called, Persaud’s vote changed the numbers to 33 in favour of the motion versus Government’s 32 votes against.last_img read more

Di Matteo and Newton must stay, says former Chelsea man

first_imgFormer Chelsea defender Frank Sinclair says he would be amazed if the club allowed Roberto Di Matteo and Eddie Newton to walk away.There has been speculation that interim boss Di Matteo may not be given the manager’s job at Stamford Bridge this summer – despite leading the Blues to Champions League glory.Along with right-hand man Newton, the Italian has transformed the team’s fortunes since being placed in charge following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas.Chelsea say they will make a decision on the managerial position before their pre-season tour.And Sinclair, who played alongside both Newton – who he has known since childhood – and Di Matteo, hopes owner Roman Abramovich will resist any temptation to look elsewhere.“Winning the Champions League has to give Robbie a great chance of getting the job,” Sinclair told West London Sport.“Having that on your cv when you go into the interview has to count for a lot and I think he will get the job. He deserves it.“I played at school with Eddie since the age of 11 and then all through Chelsea and no-one is more chuffed than me that he is there and doing such a great job.“He has a brilliant knowledge of the game, he’s passed all his coaching badges and he’s a Chelsea man. He was at the club from the age of 14 and knows the club – as does Robbie.“They know each other inside out, they played together, they worked together at Milton Keynes and at West Brom, and they have that trust.“All Chelsea fans recognised and realised what a good appointment he was and Robbie obviously did as well. They are a great team.”Who was your man of the match against Bayern? Click here to voteSee also:Overjoyed Di Matteo celebrates incredible Chelsea winDrogba the hero as Chelsea are crowned European championsBayern v Chelsea: player ratingsFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

10 months agoChelsea midfielder Kovacic: Sarri management as you would expect

first_imgChelsea midfielder Kovacic: Sarri management as you would expectby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic says he appreciates the management of Maurizio Sarri.The Croatia international is on-loan at Chelsea from Real Madrid this season.He said of Sarri: “He likes us to have possession of the ball to play and that is what we are trying to do. I think we play good football, we are playing forward and that is the most important, we are scoring goals, we do not concede so much so we are a good team but the coach is six months here so we have a lot to improve and I am sure this team can do great things.”He [Sarri] is like he should be. When he needs to be relaxed he is relaxed and when he needs to be tough and sometimes also angry, he is. He knows what to do and he knows his job and it is really great to have him with us. We train good, we are playing good football but it always can be better and I am sure it will be.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Photo: Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy Plays Pokemon GO At Team’s Stadium

first_imgPokemon Go at Oklahoma State's stadium.Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy likes to try and keep up with the latest trends. Last time it was hoverboarding; today, it was Pokemon GO.The craze, which is based on the old card game Pokemon, has taken the country by storm. Pokemon GO is played on a downloadable cellphone app, and CNN has a breakdown of what it is all about. Anyway, the app, which is free to download and play, uses GPS to make a cartoony map of your neighborhood and basically anywhere you go. In this colorful, slightly Big-Brother-y version of reality, Pokémon are interspersed throughout, and when you come within range of a Pokémon you can “approach” them and they will show up on your phone.Today, Gundy posted a picture of him catching a Pokemon named Pidgey inside T. Boone Pickens Stadium.Gotta catch ’em all! #POKEmon pic.twitter.com/j0Kd5CyD7J— Mike Gundy (@CoachGundy) July 11, 2016Ok, who had Mike Gundy as the first coach to publicly acknowledge that he plays Pokemon Go? Our bet would have been Jim Harbaugh, because, well why not? [ Pistols Firing ]last_img read more

Get ready for ultimate cosmic collision Two gigantic black holes are now

first_imgEven though these two supermassive black holes are already emitting gravitational waves, these waves will not reach us for billions of years, even if it travels at the speed of light. However, the way in which these black holes collide will help astronomers to get a better understanding of these dark space entities. It should be noted that astronomers were not aware of supermassive black hole collision until now, and this new development will help humans to know more about the aftermath of these crashes.”Even though these two supermassive black holes are already emitting gravitational waves, these waves will. For everyone in black hole physics, observationally this is a long-standing puzzle that we need to solve,” said Jenny Greene, the study’s co-author in a recent statement, Phys.org reports.A few weeks back, another study report had revealed that Milky Way and Andromeda, two of the biggest galaxies, will collide in about four billion years. As per experts, this galactic collision will be huge. Only one of these space entities will become victorious while the other one will be absorbed. Ohio State UniversityBlack holes are one of the most complex entities in the universe and apart from taking photographs, modern science is still unable to answer questions regarding these cosmic bodies. Now, a new study has revealed that two black holes are now heading towards a cosmic collision.The study published in Astrophysical Journal Letters reveals that these two supermassive black holes, each 800 million times more massive than the Sun, will collide around 2.5 billion light-years away from Earth. As the collision is taking place at such a huge distance, astronomers will have to wait for a very long time to detect the cosmic waves triggered by this upcoming collision.last_img read more

TV remains the dominant video platform across all

first_imgTV remains the dominant video platform across all demographics, with millennials still spending 80% of their video time with TV, according to the Video Advertising Bureau.The US-based VAB’s second quarter Multi-Screen Insights report claims that TV still commands 90% of total video viewing time and that among teens and young adults “TV is still the principal viewing platform.”However, the migration of video viewers from computer to smartphone has also accelerated, with a 16% increase in smartphone video consumption and an 8% drop in consumers watching video on computers, according to the report.The VAB said that smartphone apps and web use is driven by both young and old viewers, across all ethnicities, but that the largest increases in multimedia usage was among younger consumers.last_img read more

Keep in mind that gold tends to moves in anticipat

first_imgKeep in mind that gold tends to moves in anticipation of inflation – think of it as inflation insurance. By the time inflation is “high,” the big moves in gold and silver will have most likely already occurred.Stay vigilant, my friends, because higher inflation is coming – and as a result, so are higher gold and silver prices.If you’ve ever dreamed of making a fortune in the markets, today’s junior precious-metals mining sector offers the best opportunity you’ll likely ever see. To help you understand this market more clearly, Casey Research is hosting a free special web video event, Downturn Millionaires. It will feature serially successful speculators who will reveal how they made their millions in junior miners, and how you can follow in their footsteps. What we use for money will experience a significant – perhaps catastrophic – loss of purchasing power. As shown, this is not speculation, but a process of cause and effect observed repeatedly throughout history. As a result, you will likely use some of your gold and silver to protect your standard of living – that is, after all, one of its purposes. The point here is to make sure you own enough ounces to offset a significant decline in purchasing power. “All this money printing, massive debt, and reckless deficit spending – and we have 2% inflation? I’m beginning to believe that either the deflationists are right, or the Fed’s interventions are working.” – Anonymous Casey Research readerThe CPI, in our view, does not accurately measure inflation, which accounts for some of the discrepancy our reader is pointing out. However, the proper definition of inflation is “an increase in the quantity of money,” which we’ve had in spades. We’ve not experienced the concomitant increase in prices, which is what we’re addressing in this article.It’s logical to assume that when you create more of something, you dilute the value of what’s already in existence. That’s exactly what has happened to the US dollar since the 2008 financial crisis hit. Economics 101 says this should lead to higher inflation – yet official Consumer Price Index (CPI) levels remain benign.It’s this unexpected development that led a reader to pen the above quote. Is the inflation argument dead? If so, does that mean gold’s big run is over? It’s a timely question since the current selloff in gold is largely attributed to low inflation expectations.This is the first installment in our in-depth series of examining the next big catalysts for the gold price. This month we’re looking at inflation. While a low CPI may be puzzling in the midst of massive, global currency abuse, there are three realities about inflation that convince us it’s not only coming, but will catch an unsuspecting citizenry off guard.Let’s take a look at why we’re convinced inflation will be one of the next big catalysts for the gold price…Reality #1: History shows that high levels of debt and deficit spending eventually lead to inflation.This statement makes sense on the face of it, but seminal research has been done that confirms it. A country simply cannot escape high inflation when carrying oversized debt levels and/or running massive deficits. Sooner or later, these sins catch up to you, regardless of what the current thinking may be.Debt. The first of these historical studies is detailed in the book, This Time Is Different by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, who’ve extensively researched the impact of high debt on inflation and gross domestic product (GDP).Based on a comprehensive study of global incidences, Reinhart and Rogoff gave the following conclusion:Debt levels over 90% of GDP are linked to significantly elevated levels of inflation.When specifically studying US history, they again observed that:Debt levels over 90% of GDP are linked to significantly elevated inflation.When US debt levels met or exceeded 90% of GDP, inflation rose to around 6% – roughly triple current levels – vs. the 0.5% to 2.5% range when the ratio was below 90%.However, with regard to timing, they state:There is no apparent pattern of simultaneous rising inflation and debt.In other words, inflation is a clear and definite result of high debt levels, but it’s not a day-to-day link. This likely explains the current lag between high debt and a low CPI reading.So are we nearing that 90% mark? Bud Conrad, chief economist of Casey Research, estimates we’re currently at approximately 110%. Further, he projected from his research in December that…Using my assumptions, gross debt to GDP crosses 120% in 2014. That is well past the danger point of 90% that Reinhart and Rogoff cite. What’s scary is that my assumptions are not even close to a worst-case scenario, so the situation could be much worse.Bud does not expect to see much more deflation. One reason is because…In essence, much of the deflationary pressures have been cleared out. Going forward, there should be fewer outright losses from bad loans, and thus less deflationary pressure. For that reason (and many others), I expect higher inflation sooner rather than later.Deficit Spending. Peter Bernholz is widely considered the leading expert on the link between deficit spending and hyperinflation. He conclusively states from his research that…Hyperinflation is caused by government budget deficits.The US budget deficit totaled $5.1 trillion during Obama’s first term in office. The longer deficits last and the bigger they are, the closer a country moves toward very high inflation levels.The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently reported, however, that the 2013 deficit will drop to $845 billion. Good news, right? Not exactly, because the reduction is largely a result of higher taxes. The CBO was therefore forced to admit…The fiscal tightening from higher taxes and lower spending will slow economic growth to an anemic 1.4 percent by the end of 2013, causing the unemployment rate to edge back higher.It turns into a vicious cycle, because if unemployment grows, money printing will continue and even increase. The CBO further admitted…Deficits are projected to increase later in the coming decade, however, because of the pressures of an aging population, rising health care costs, an expansion of federal subsidies for health insurance, and growing interest payments on federal debt.If deficits grow – or even just remain elevated – we inch closer and closer to the hyperinflation Bernholz warns about. Breaking this cycle will be very difficult, if not impossible… at least not without serious consequences.These studies present clear and direct evidence that spending more than is brought in and continually adding to the national credit card leads to higher inflation. Sooner or later, this type of reckless behavior catches up to an economy. The sobering reality is that avoiding moderate to high levels of inflation in our current fiscal state would be an historical first.Unfortunately, that’s not the only inflationary fear we have to contend with.Reality #2: History shows that inflation can occur suddenly and grow rapidly.Not only is higher inflation a near certainty, history tells us that once it grabs hold, it can quickly spiral out of control. Given our crumbling fiscal state, we must consider the possibility that price inflation could kick in abruptly and rise rapidly.Amity Shlaes, a senior fellow of economic history at the Council on Foreign Relations and a best-selling author, provides some examples from the past century of US inflation that was at first subdued but then abruptly rocketed to alarming levels. Look how quickly inflation rose in just two years from “benign” levels.According to Shlaes, US inflation was 1% in 1915 (based on an earlier version of the CPI-U). Within just two years, it soared to 17%. As she states, it happened because the Treasury “spent like crazy on the war, creating money to pay for it…”In 1945, the official inflation rate was 2%; it accelerated to 14% in 24 months. Inflation registered 3.2% in 1972 and hit 11% by 1974.It’s clear that the arrival of inflation can be sudden, and that prices can quickly spiral out of control. Given the profligate amount of money being printed by many countries around the globe, we could easily become victim to rapidly rising inflation. If we matched the increases in the chart, our CPI would register 11%, 15%, and 19% respectively, by February 2014.Regardless of the timing, though, this is a clear warning from history: expecting the CPI to remain low indefinitely is a dangerous assumption.Reality #3: Most developed-world governments need inflation.It is a fact that high inflation reduces the real cost of servicing debt. Our debt levels have grown so high that the only politically acceptable way to deal with them is to inflate the currency. Politicians and central bankers have no incentive to stop, and thus will continue until disastrous price inflation emerges. Just because it hasn’t occurred yet doesn’t mean it won’t.Other political solutions simply aren’t realistic. There is no amount of politically acceptable increase in tax revenue or austerity measures that can meet existing and future obligations. Printing money is the only viable solution. Once you internalize this, an understanding of the most likely consequences becomes clear.Even if deflation in select asset classes persists or we get another deflationary event like 2008, we can rely on central bankers to concoct more rescue schemes financed with freshly created money. Perhaps just as likely is that the economy does improve and all the money that’s been held back enters the system and sparks inflation.ConclusionsBased on these realities, we can draw some well-grounded conclusions about the coming rise in inflation.The onset of higher inflation isn’t certain, but the outcome is. These realities make clear that higher inflation is virtually ensured at some point. It’s thus imperative we prepare for it.center_img When inflation begins rising, precious metals will respond and move to higher levels. We don’t know if this is the next catalyst for gold, but we’re confident it will be a major driver of future prices.last_img read more

Walking through the woods alone can be a scary pro

first_imgWalking through the woods alone can be a scary prospect for a kid, but not for 7-year-old Matthew of Portland, Oregon. He doesn’t have much of a backyard at his condo, so the woods behind his house essentially serve the same purpose. He spends hours out there: swinging on a tire swing, tromping across the ravine to a friend’s house, and using garden shears to cut a path. He lays down sticks to form a bridge across the small stream that flows in the winter.And he does all of this without any adult supervision.Matthew’s mom, Laura Randall, wants her son to gain the sort of skills and confidence that only come with doing things yourself. But she didn’t just toss her 7-year-old out the door with some hiking boots and garden shears one day. They worked up to it gradually with what Randall calls “experiments in independence.””Just those moments, incrementally bigger moments, where he can choose to be on his own,” Randall explains. Randall knows this isn’t the norm for today’s parenting style, where kids are shuttled from one supervised, structured activity to another. Gone are the days where kids ride their bikes alone until the streetlights come on.And Randall has encountered people who think she’s a bad parent — like the man who identified himself as an off-duty police officer, and started yelling at her when she left Matthew alone in the car for a few minutes while she ran into the pharmacy to pick up a prescription.Randall knows that parents in several states have been arrested for leaving kids unattended, for letting them walk to the park on their own, or even allowing them walk to school. And so she was worried about what this man might do.”[H]e … says, ‘Do you know how many kids go missing a year?’ And I said ‘By coincidence, I think I do know, and it’s very small!’ “They talked it out, and the man eventually threw up his hands and walked away. Randall’s heart was pounding, but she felt confident defending her parenting — partly because she had connected with a group called Free Range Kids, which promotes childhood independence, and gives families the information they need to push back against a culture of overprotection. Its founder is Lenore Skenazy.”This very pessimistic, fearful way of looking at childhood isn’t based in reality,” Skenazy explains. “It is something that we have been taught.”For years, Skenazy sought to correct the misconception of childhood dangers — telling parents that childhood abductions and murders are at record lows, even as perceptions of danger have risen.But even as she talked about the benefits of giving kids independence, of free time, and of self-directed play, she realized that addressing the individual parents was only half the battle. Because even if they have the facts, parents could still feel uncomfortable if they’re the only ones affording their kids these freedoms. Also, it could get lonely being the only kid riding your bike down the street.”You send your kid outside and there’s nobody out there for them to play with — they’re gonna come right back in,” Skenazy laughs. “Because there is somebody to play with if they’re online.”Skenazy set out not just to change parents’ minds, but the culture at large. And founded a project called Let Grow.While its goal is a cultural shift, its methods are almost laughably simple. Let Grow is reaching out to elementary schools across the country to assign kids the Let Grow project as homework. Participating kids decide to do something on their own that they haven’t done before — whether it’s walking the dog around the block, or making dinner, or walking a few aisles over in the supermarket to get some eggs. The schools also set up “Let Grow play clubs” — mixed ages, no structure, and no adult direction. Just free, child-led play.Lori Koerner is the principal at Tremont Elementary in Long Island, one of a dozen New York schools piloting the project. She said that they saw a direct effect in the classroom. “The children were just more self-assured, and confident.”Koerner says with Let Grow, kids discover skills and abilities they didn’t know they had. And they also discover what it’s like to fail. While on the surface might not sound all that appealing, failure is how kids learn how to overcome obstacles, try out new ideas, and become resilient. It’s also how adults learn as well — ask any CEO.)”If we don’t offer them these opportunities to communicate, to collaborate, to problem-solve, then how can they be successful in a global society?” Koerner asks.According to psychologists, that’s an important question. Dr. Peter Gray, research professor at Boston College who focuses on child play, says that erring on the side of caution isn’t helping children. By trying to give kids a leg up, scheduling every free minute with karate or Little League or music lessons, parents are in fact doing them enormous harm.Gray says that over the past 50 years, as we’ve seen a decline in children’s freedom, we’ve seen an increase in responses on standardized questionnaires that indicate both depression and anxiety disorders. Specifically, an eight-fold increase on depression, and five-to-ten-fold increase on generalized anxiety disorder. Gray notes that this is just a correlation, and he’s looked at many possible explanations.”It doesn’t correlate with economic cycles, wars, or divorce rates. But it correlates very well with the decline of children’s freedom to play.”To Gray, this makes perfect sense. Especially when you consider that not having control of their decisions and life creates an external rather than internal locus of control.Internal locus of control is “the degree to which you feel that you’re in control of your own life, versus the degree you feel you’re a victim of fate and circumstance and powerful other people,” he says. “Every decade, young people report less internal locus of control, more external locus of control.”Putting kids in control helps them learn to solve problems, and cope better in new environments. Gray says animal studies even indicate that free play can promote pathways in the prefrontal cortex, strengthening control over the emotion-eliciting areas of the limbic system.For parents, like Laura Randall, it’s all part of the goal of parenting.”There’s the short game, where you’re sort of doing the best you can in the moment,” Randall explains. “But there’s the long game. And there’s paying attention to allowing a little risk, because it will pay off in the long run.”Randall understands that life has real risks. But so does getting in a car. And most of us still do it every day, because that’s how to get where we want to go. For her son Matthew to become a confident, competent adult, Randall wants him to go outside, make his own mistakes, and figure things out. And she hopes he won’t be the only kid out there doing it. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more