Gov Newsom released his revised version of the states budget

first_img KUSI Newsroom, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego County’s state legislators largely praised Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised fiscal year 2019-20 budget today for its efforts to tackle high health care and housing costs, prepare for the next economic crisis and invest in the state’s future.In January, Newsom released his first budget since becoming governor, a $209 billion fiscal plan that included a $144 billion general fund and a projected surplus of $21 billion, the state’s largest since at least 2000. The budget included $1.3 billion for housing development and $40 million to fund two full years of tuition for first-time community college students who are enrolled full-time.Newsom’s revised budget, released Thursday, ticked up to $213 billion and builds on the first spending plan by increasing funding for things like housing development and homeless assistance while adding billions to the state’s rainy day fund, which could reach as high as $16.5 billion if state revenue trends remain consistent. The revised budget also includes a slightly higher projected surplus of $21.5 billion.“The affordability crisis families face in this state is very real, and that’s why this budget tackles those challenges head-on by focusing on housing, health care, early childhood and higher education,” Newsom said.Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, lauded Newsom for the revised budget’s gains on its predecessor. Atkins, the Senate president pro-tem, also expressed confidence that the state Legislature would finalize a budget “that will make a real difference for Californians.”“The May budget revision reflects California’s fiscal strength, increases our prudent reserves, and makes important investments for the future,” Atkins said. “I am particularly pleased to see more funding for K-12 education and increases for the Earned Income Tax Credit to help even more working Californians.”But Sen. Pat Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, called the water tax and other new taxes “unfortunate, unhelpful and unnecessary,” arguing that it is unnecessary with the state’s projected surplus and will hurt residents who are already near the poverty level.Bates also railed against Newsom’s proposal to withhold gas tax funds for transportation infrastructure upgrades if cities around the state don’t build enough housing.“His insistence to hold gas tax dollars hostage from local governments unless they do what he wants proves that the gas tax increase was a bait-and-switch on voters,” Bates said. “Promises made to voters on transportation must be promises kept.”Bates allowed that the budget includes provisions worth supporting, such as assistance for low-income families and funding to modernize the state’s public schools.“Making these priorities a reality will help all Californians,” she said.Newsom’s revised budget contains $81.1 billion for education and expands family services and programs like paid family leave, allowing up to eight weeks of paid leave for each parent.The budget also includes a provision that would eliminate sales tax on diapers and tampons, a cause that Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, has championed for years. Newsom estimated the repeal would cost the state roughly $35 million, which is likely to be recouped through other tax increases and state funding within the budget.“This tax relief will go a long way in helping those young families who we know are at their most economically vulnerable,” Gonzalez said. “In California, more than 50 percent of the children born are on Medi-Cal. … We know that diapers are a necessity not only for the health of the child, they’re also required in order to drop your child off at child care.”The revised budget also includes controversial new levies and proposals such as a tax on drinking water, which would fund cleanup efforts in communities without access to potable water. Roughly one million California residents don’t have access to clean drinking water, according to Newsom.The state legislature will now begin its final negotiations with Newsom’s office over the revised budget. The final spending plan must be approved by June 15. KUSI Newsroom Gov. Newsom released his revised version of the state’s budget Posted: May 9, 2019 May 9, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News, National & International News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

MercedesBenz CLA Shooting Brake puts junk back in the trunk

first_img See All • reading • Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake puts junk back in the trunk More about 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 Review • 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 review: Raising the entry-level bar 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 review: More luxurious and techy than ever Mar 7 • New Peugeot 208 debuts i-Cockpit with 3D HUD Combo dashboard Mar 7 • The Ferrari F8 Tributo is the last of the nonhybrid V8s 86 Photos Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake adds function to form More From Roadshow Comment Tags Preview • 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 Sedan: A class above The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is an A-Class that’s been chopped up to add style at the cost of capacity. But what if you want some style and cargo room simultaneously? You could get a regular A-Class hatchback, sure, or you could opt for the new CLA Shooting Brake.Mercedes-Benz on Tuesday unveiled the CLA-Class Shooting Brake at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Just like the last CLA Shooting Brake, this one builds on the style of the CLA-Class with an extra dose of wagon at the back for added versatility.In terms of looks, it’s pretty darn close to the new CLA-Class. The headlights are on the more angular side, the side is largely free of character lines while the rear end relies on the same “coupe” taillights seen on the CLA and CLS. The Shooting Brake’s wagon-ish rear end packs an aggressive taper that helps separate it from the A-Class Hatchback. Its 0.26 drag coefficient is a little less slippery than the CLA-Class (0.23), but not by much.Enlarge ImageAs far as quasi-wagons go, this one’s a looker. Andrew Hoyle/Roadshow The interior is almost a carbon copy of the CLA, with both its screens slapped onto the same “surfboard” piece of glass. There’s ample storage space ahead of the redesigned touchpad controller. If you’ve seen the A-Class or the CLA-Class, the story is pretty much the same here. The centerpiece of the CLA Shooting Brake’s tech is MBUX, Mercedes-Benz’s latest and greatest infotainment system. Like the A-Class and CLA-Class (again), MBUX packs a digital assistant with natural language processing, and the system itself is vastly more responsive and capable than the outgoing COMAND system. It also packs a suite of active and passive driver aids that allow the vehicle to hold itself in a lane on the highway, but it can also change lanes automatically after the driver applies the turn signal.In Europe, the CLA Shooting Brake will be offered with a variety of gas and diesel engines. Both manual and dual-clutch transmissions will be available, and buyers will have a choice of two or four driven wheels. The CLA Shooting Brake goes on sale in Europe in September and, as with the previous iteration, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see it in the US. Heck, we don’t even get the A-Class Hatchback. Share your voice Geneva Motor Show 2019 Mercedes-Benz 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class first drive: ‘The S-Class of SUVs’ earns its title 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 review: Loud and proud, and absolutely divine Wagons Hatchbacks Apr 17 • The 2020 Jaguar XE gets its first major visual refresh Geneva Motor Show 2019 1 Mar 8 • VW is still ‘100 percent’ investigating a pickup truck for the USlast_img read more

US lawmakers protect work authorisation of H4 visa holders

first_imgTwo US lawmakers have introduced the H-4 Employers Protection Act in the US House of Representatives, a legislature that protects work authorisation of H-4 visa workers benefitting a large number of women including Indian-Americans.Since the rule was implemented, over 100,000 workers, mainly women, have received employment authorisation. Lawmakers Anna G. Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren have also made the newly formed legislature prohibited from revoking by the Trump administration.The news comes days after The Economic Times reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a notice for the proposed rule-making that will kick in public consultations to ban the H4 EAD (Employment Authorisation Document). The DHS had written that the American citizens would benefit “by having a better chance at obtaining jobs that some of the population of the H-4 workers currently hold”.However, in March 2018, Eshoo and Lofgren led 13 Members of Congress, in writing to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, urging her to reconsider DHS’s proposal to revoke eligibility for employment authorisation to H-4 dependent spouses.As the H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B visa holders, a significantly large number of women who are also high-skilled professionals from India were majorly affected by the US government’s immigration policies.The economic burdens of families of many H-1B workers, particularly those who live in high-cost areas like Silicon Valley on a single income as they await green card approvals created major anxiety among many Indian-Americans.The H-4 Employment Protection Act also prohibits the Trump administration from revoking the legislature as “H-4 visa holders deserve a chance to contribute to their local economies and provide for their families,” said Eshoo.According to an update in the United States Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs website on February 25, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants as a “class of aliens eligible for employment authorization”, labelling the move as “economically significant.””H-4 visa holders deserve a chance to contribute to their local economies and provide for their families,” Eshoo said.”This is a matter of economic fairness and this legislation ensures it will continue,” she addedH-4 visa holders had obtained work permits under a special order issued by the previous Obama administration in 2015. It allowed work permits to be given to spouses who otherwise could not be employed as the process for H-1B visa holders seeking permanent resident status would take a decade or longer for it to be officially sanctioned.Since the H-1B programme offers temporary US visas that allow companies to hire highly-skilled foreign professionals working in areas with shortages of qualified American workers, Indian-Americans were a major beneficiary of this provision.The United States Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs that falls under the Office of Management and Budget has oversight on all “Unified Agenda” policies to make sure they are cost effective. President Trump had provided the H-1B visa program back in 2017, a move that was perceived as a step towards his broader “America First” and “Buy American and Hire American” policies.Lofren stated that nobody benefits from this system, least of all the American economy when H-1B dependent spouses are prohibited from working. “Many of these are accomplished and qualified individuals whose skills we’ll lose to other countries unless the Administration finds a more sensible approach to immigration,” she said.(With inputs from news agencies)last_img read more

Trumps Executive Actions May Mean More Headaches For Struggling Congress

first_img Share Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump makes a statement on the administration’s strategy for dealing with Iran, in the Diplomatic Reception Room in the White House, on October 13, 2017.President Trump has recently taken a series of what appear to be bold executive actions to reverse Obama-era policies: declining to re-certify the Iran nuclear deal, halting subsidy payments to insurance companies and setting an expiration date for the DACA immigration program. But, in so doing, he’s dumping thorny problems on a GOP-controlled Congress already struggling to rack up significant legislative accomplishments.This did not go unnoticed by one of the top Democrats in Congress. Trump “throws destructive bones to his base then tells Congress to fix it: Iran, Health care, Puerto Rico,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted Saturday.While Trump said Friday that Iran had violated “the spirit” of the 2015 nuclear deal, he didn’t pull out of the multi-nation agreement, at least not yet. Instead, he opened the door for congressional action — and that’s exactly what he’s asking for.“I am directing my administration to work closely with Congress and our allies to address the deal’s many serious flaws so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons,” Trump said.And with that Trump dumped another item on Congress’ already very full plate.Just the night before he had announced another decision that could well require Congress to step in: halting cost-sharing subsidy payments to insurance companies. Those payments were designed to keep premiums down for low-income consumers, but Trump said they are illegal and just a gift to insurance companies.Democrats and moderate Republicans including Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida expressed dismay at the move. Both Dent and Ros-Lehtinen have already announced they do not intend to run for re-election next year.“We at the end of the day will own this. We, the Republican Party, will own this,” Dent said in an interview on CNN. “I believe his action will force us to enter into some kind of a bipartisan agreement on the cost-sharing reduction payments” to stabilize the insurance markets.Trump said stopping the payments was part of an effort to undo the Affordable Care Act.“One by one it’s going come down, and we’re going to have great health care in our country,” Trump said in a speech at the Values Voter Summit on Friday. “We are going to have great health care in our country. We are taking a little different route than I had hoped because getting Congress — they forgot what their pledges were.”Still, he said he hoped this would prompt Congress to take bipartisan action to repeal and replace Obamacare. He said Friday he wants Democrats to come to him. They aren’t. And even when it comes to Republicans, it’s not clear the president and the various factions in Congress are even remotely on the same page about how to proceed.And that’s not the only item the president wants Congress to act on. There’s also the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children. When Trump announced he would put a six-month expiration date on the program, he tweeted, “Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!”Early on, it looked like he had reached the broad outline of an agreement with Democratic leaders in Congress, only to then release a list of hard-line demands that Democrats — and even many Republicans — won’t support.“What I want is tremendous border regulation. I want the wall. And we’re going to get other things,” Trump told Sean Hannity on Fox News. “And we’re going to see if we’re going to work something out. Now whether or not we do, I don’t know. But it would be wonderful to solve the DACA problem.”When Trump says “we” as he discusses DACA, Iran and health care, he mostly means “them.” Congress will have to do all the heavy lifting. And none of this will be easy for a GOP-controlled Congress (narrowly in the Senate) that is far from unanimity on any of these matters.“Every time you buck some issue over to their plate, you blow the place up,” said Sarah Binder, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who specializes in Congress. “And Congress is not a well-oiled machine, so disrupting the agenda and putting more things on their lap — issues which are really wedge issues within the Republican Party … it’s almost mind-boggling to me that a president who doesn’t see himself as part of the party in Congress puts them back in that situation.”And all of these items come on top of what was supposed to be the top priority for congressional Republicans this fall: passing a tax system overhaul. In the midst of everything else, Trump has been campaigning for tax cuts and other changes to the tax code. He suggested maybe it could be a “Christmas gift” to Americans.A more likely Christmas gift could well be a shutdown showdown over must-pass government funding legislation. The current funding expires Dec. 8, and at least some of these issues could get wrapped up in negotiations.On Friday, Schumer did express optimism that at least the health care subsidies could pass that way.“I think we’re going to have a very good opportunity in the omnibus to get this done in a bipartisan way, if we can’t get it done sooner,” he said.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Black Victim of St Marys School Shooting Called 911

first_imgBy Sean Yoes Baltimore AFRO Editor, syoes@afro.comDesmond Barnes, one of the victims of the Great Mills High School shooting in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, called 911 after he was shot in the right thigh.“I was just shot at my school,” Barnes, 14, told the 911 operator from inside a classroom at the high school on March 20. The 911 phone calls by Barnes and others at the school were released by the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office earlier this week.14-year-old Desmond Barnes, was one of the shooting victims at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. (Courtesy Photo)After he initially called 911, a teacher who was with Barnes in what has been identified as classroom EO1 takes the phone.“He’s lying on the floor, he’s in pain,” the teacher told the 911 operator. After several minutes, Barnes begins to speak to the 911 operator again.911 operator: “Desmond?”Barnes: “Yes sir.”Operator: “I need you to stay calm. We have help coming to you, okay?”Barnes: “Yes sir.”Later in the conversation, Barnes complains his knee is burning. “My knee hurts so bad,” he said. “We’re getting help to you Desmond, okay? You need to stay strong with me buddy,” the operator replied.Barnes was released from the hospital a day after the shooting. Tragically, his schoolmate, Jaelynn Willey, 16, died after being taken off of life support two days after the shooting. According to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, the shooter, 17-year old Austin Rollins was killed when he shot himself in the head, after he was confronted by the school resource officer, Deputy Blaine Gaskill.A “YouCaring” fundraising account has been set up to help Barnes and his family with medical expenses from his injuries. As of March 30, $24,733 had been raised toward a goal of $25,000.If you would like to make a contribution for Barnes’ medical expenses, hit the link below.www.youcaring.com/desmondbarneskimshundennisparents-1137665last_img read more

In This Issue… Fed disappoints and risk assets

first_imgIn This Issue… * Fed disappoints, and risk assets get sold… * Aussie jobs losses wipe out previous gains… * China 2nd QTR GDP to print tomorrow.. * Chuck gets disturbed by the 5… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! The Season Of Disappointment! Good day… And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! I hope it turns out to be a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday because right now, I’m just not feeling it! More like dragging the line! But don’t let me dragging the line stop you from a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday! I get there eventually today! Well… the FOMC meeting minutes were the cat’s meow for the markets yesterday, and boy did they come away feeling like someone just stole their puppy! Once again, the Fed has disappointed the markets, who, for some reason, thought for sure the FOMC meeting minutes would give them reason to believe that more stimulus was coming… I tried to warn them, if they had only read yesterday’s Pfennig, they would have known that Chuck said, the meeting minutes were stale… for they took place a full week ahead of the Jobs Jamboree disappointment… But, acting as if they were just left at the altar, the markets took their fury out on the risk assets… and they took no prisoners… The euro lost ground, the Aussie dollar (A$) lost over a cent, and Gold lost another $10… I just don’t get these trader guys (& gals) what the heck do they want? Well, I know what they want, but do they “really” want that? They think they want more stimulus, that the market can’t function without it… But in reality they want to be right… they want to be able to say, “see, I called this stimulus, and I was right!” Never mind the damage that the stimulus actually does to the country’s balance sheet… I was sitting at the desk yesterday watching the euro losing footing it had gained overnight once again, and began to think about what I had said at the start of this year… “That I wouldn’t be surprised to see the euro fall to 1.18, or rise to 1.40 this year”… I think the first part of that thought is about to come true, folks… Here’s why I think that way… Remember the Eurozone Summit, that took place a couple of weeks ago? Well, the Eurozone leaders surprised the markets by actually coming up with a plan, and a new suggestion to use the ESM for recapitalizing the troubled Spanish Banks… And the euro found some terra firma… but… not much, and soon that gained ground was lost… Now it’s been 2 weeks since the meeting, and nothing really has come of it… and now we learned the other day that 12,000 complaints have been filed in the German Constitutional Court (GCC) against using the ESM that way… It’s going to take the GCC most of the summer to get through everything and make their decision… That’s just too long for the markets, folks… In addition, summer is normally a slower time in the markets, especially in August when most of Europe goes on Holiday (vacation). The exception to that was last summer, when the U.S. debt ceiling debacle unfolded, giving everyone in the markets the willies toward the U.S. dollar… Now, when a few months ago, I thought that the U.S. election campaign would focus on the debt, and the debt ceiling issue will be revisited in August or September again, that the euro would be saved, for the moment, from revisiting 2005 levels of 1.18.. But, from what I’m watching on TV, the election campaign is going to focus on jobs… so out the window goes the knight on the white horse for the euro this summer… I’ve gone on pretty long here with regards to the euro, but since it is the offset to the dollar, it’s important, folks… But there you have it… Chuck’s thoughts on the euro for this summer… And since I’m in such a dour mood on the euro this morning… I might as well get this out there too… Yesterday, I mentioned that someone sent me a note about the Aussie dollar (A$) being overvalued… Well, I’m reading more and more research reports calling for the A$ to get downsized as China bottoms out, and struggles to regain their economic prowess. They all make sense to me, except… what if China takes the bull by the horns, and really turns their economy around, like they did in 2008? Of course that will take 3 or more months to confirm, so… until then we could be looking at cheaper levels to buy A$’s… So, as an A$ holder, you could very well take profits, and look to buy cheaper, or… just batten down the hatches… Why does it feel as though the dog days of summer for the currencies and metals, are right here, right now? Because that’s what’s happening! I wish I could tell you something different than this, but… as I say all the time… “it is, what it is”… This morning… Eurozone Industrial Production printed for May, and showed an increase of .6% VS April… with Germany providing the cushion for all the countries posting negative numbers. And while May’s number is good, it’s May’s number… that’s right, it’s two months old! I just don’t get why it takes so long for data to print! The other problem with the number… and that is, we could average out April and May’s IP and it would still be .9% below production levels of the 1st QTR… So, the slowdown in the Eurozone continues to extend its roots… And the forecasters in Australia were right for once, as they had forecast no job growth for Australia in June, and in fact it was negative… with June’s job losses wiping out May’s job gains… This was much weaker than expected or forecast, and it weighed heavily on the A$ as the night went along. It’s almost like a perfect storm for the A$, because now it will have to deal with the China 2nd QTR GDP report that will print tomorrow… I’ve already told you how it is widely expected that China’s 2nd QTR GDP will be very weak… But, again, let me go through this, for those of you who missed class yesterday. All those that attended can skip to the next paragraph, that is, unless you need a review… OK… the Chinese economy probably bottomed in the 2nd QTR… which means this GDP report is going to be ugly folks… and the knee jerk reaction to sell the A$ will be strong. But, everyone needs to calm down here… as I said above, the GDP report is old… and if the Chinese economy actually is rebounding in the 3rd QTR, then what good is it to sell A$’s now, on a old report? Alright… I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the euro and A$’s this morning… And China! What about the other guys? Well… let’s see… the Japanese yen is a bit stronger this morning, nothing to write home about, and the rest are following the euro and A$ down the road to the woodshed. Well… my mood just changed, and I can credit the song Black is Black by the Los Bravos… Ever want to get the blood going? Turn that song on… you’ll be dancing in your seat! The Bank of Japan (BOJ) also disappointed the Japanese market watchers by holding back on more stimulus… So, it’s the season of disappointment for the markets… I have to say that I’m somewhat impressed that the Central Banks, mostly the Fed, have held back on their feeling that the economy can be saved with stimulus. But, they will revert to that feeling soon, folks… so don’t go giving Big Ben Bernanke any gold stars now. Speaking of Big Ben… Yesterday, the FOMC meeting minutes noted that a “few members were for adding more stimulus”… I said to the boys and girls on the trading desk that “all of the members could feel that way, but unless Big Ben feels that way, no stimulus will be implemented”… Yes, this Fed is run just like Big Al Greenspan’s Fed… It’s pretty much like here on the trading desk… I remind the people here from time to time, that this is a benevolent dictatorship, and I can remove the benevolence at any time! HA! Well.. the third California city has filed for bankruptcy and seek protection… San Bernardino was the latest to file… And why isn’t this Big news? I’ve pointed to California’s debt problems for over two years, and still everyone is fixated on Greece… The problems for San Bernardino aren’t just confined to payroll, benefits and pensions… Nearly half of the homeowners in the city, with mortgages owe more than their homes are worth, increasing the risk that they will default on their loans. But, it’s all about Greece, or Spain or whomever, right? Well, the last time I checked… California was the 8th largest economy in the WORLD! I don’t think you would see Greece in the top 100… But, just like things in Greece… Things in California aren’t a problem, until they are a problem… sound likes a Yogi-ism… but its true… One day, investors and trader decided that things weren’t good in Greece, which for years was able to issue debt at the same yields as Germany… and then one day they couldn’t… It will be the same for the U.S…. and to further this discussion… Just wait until the Gov’t gets their hands into the California foreclosure problem and acts like they know what they are doing… Then There Was This… Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said the U.S. fiscal position is as weak as some euro-area countries’ and lawmakers must take “dramatic” measures to tackle it and restore confidence.“The U.S. fiscal situation is similar to that of some countries in Europe and requires dramatic and sustained attention,” Bullard said in a speech in London. “The political compromise in the U.S. has been to delay action until after the November election, but markets tend to pull the uncertainty forward.” Chuck again… Bullard went on to say something that I thought I would never hear from a Fed Head… Let’s listen in… “Increased government spending today followed by higher future taxes is not likely to produce more rapid growth,” he said. “The most likely way forward continues to be a long period of debt pay down and sluggish growth, both in Europe and the U.S., and that the most pressing policy issue is to accept this path and prevent any additional problems from developing.” Are you kidding me? Did a Fed Head actually say, a long period of debt pay down and sluggish growth? Why, yes, Chuck he did! Well… James Bullard gets a Gold Star! To recap… The FOMC meeting minutes, although they were stale, disappointed the markets and the markets took their fury out on the risk assets. The euro has fallen below 1.22 for the first time in some time, and Chuck gives us his dour outlook for the euro this summer. Eurozone Industrial Production was strong in May, but not as strong as the month reports from earlier in the year, thus confirming the economic slowdown of the Eurozone. June job losses in Australia wiped out job gains in May, and the A$ has lost over 1-cent overnight… Currencies today 7/12/12… American Style: A$ $1.0120, kiwi .7870, C$ .9770, euro 1.2190, sterling 1.5445, Swiss $1.0150, … European Style: rand 8.375, krone 6.1305, SEK 7.0385, forint 237.10, zloty 3.4540, koruna 20.8460, RUB 32.80, yen 79.30, sing 1.2725, HKD 7.7565, INR 55.86, China 6.3730, pesos 13.45, BRL 2.0360, Dollar Index 83.70, Oil $85, 10-year 1.49%, (proving once again that yes, Virginia yields can go lower in the U.S. ) Silver $26.69, and Gold … $1,563.85 That’s it for today… with only the Pacific Coast All Star Game on the tube last night, I turned my attention to reading and research…. It was quiet in the house as there was a swim meet, so, I did a ton of reading… This is very important folks… so I’m going to put it right here… Yesterday, our friends over at the 5-Minute Forecast wrote some disturbing stuff about a bank that was using Gold for trading purposes… They did this to highlight their new affiliation with a Gold dealer in Switzerland. Let me first say that I found this way of going about this to be very disturbing… EverBank has metals accounts, and we have never been short to customers’ holdings and will never be short to them. So, they weren’t talking about us… but given our long term friendship with them, wouldn’t it have been nice for them to simply say something like, “our friends over at EverBank tell us they have never been short to a customer’s holdings” and we trust them”? That’s all I have to say about that… I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday! I’m searching high and low for mine… but it will come… Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 www.everbank.comlast_img read more

Recommended Links

first_img Recommended Links — – Last Chance: VIP Access To Doug Casey’s Shocking 2016 Forecast Doug Casey fears a severe crisis is brewing. Not a currency collapse or stock market crash. A specific threat that could wreak more havoc than the Great Depression. That’s why tomorrow, in an urgent broadcast event, Doug’s pulling back the curtain on his shocking warning. And revealing how to profit from it in the months ahead, in a big way. Last chance to get VIP access ends tonight. Click here now for full details. Is Now the Time to Buy Silver or Gold? Dr. Steve Sjuggerud: “One critical number will tell you if now is the perfect time to buy gold, silver, or the best precious metals stocks. This is how you get the biggest gains.” Full story here…center_img One of America’s key industries just gave us another warning sign… Last Wednesday, stock in Macy’s (M)—the largest department store in the U.S. and an iconic American brand—plunged 15%. The next day, department store Kohl’s (KSS) fell 9%… And on Friday, high-end retailer Nordstrom (JWN) joined the bloodbath, dropping 13%. The massive selloff—which the media is calling the “Retail Wreck”—was due to terrible first-quarter results. This is the latest bad news in what’s been an extremely ugly earnings season. As you may know, earnings season is when companies tell investors if earnings grew or shrank last quarter. A strong earnings season can send stocks higher. A bad one—like we’re in right now—can cause stocks to crash. Companies in the S&P 500 are on track to show a 7.1% decline in earnings. That would mark the fourth straight quarter that earnings have fallen. That hasn’t happened since the 2008-2009 financial crisis. • Retail companies have been some of the biggest losers this earnings season… Macy’s reported a 5.6% drop in its “same-store sales” last week. This metric measures how much sales rose or fell at stores that have been open for at least a year. Because it strips out the sales bump from opening new stores, same-store sales can tell us more about the health of a company than total sales. Macy’s sales decline last quarter was its biggest since 2009. As we mentioned, Kohl’s also had a poor quarter. Its same-store sales fell 3.9%, its biggest decline since 2009. And Nordstrom reported a 1.7% decline in same-store sales. • The retail sector can tell us a lot about the U.S. economy… This industry is a reliable economic indicator. It often flashes early warning signs when trouble is ahead. It’s not hard to see why. Consumer spending makes up 67% of the U.S. economy. When the economy slows, folks will stop buying designer jeans and expensive cologne to make sure they don’t miss a mortgage payment. They’ll hold off on buying a new watch to save money for the essentials. Today, many of America’s biggest retailers are trading like we’re in a recession. Macy’s is down 56% over the past year. Nordstrom is down 51%. Kohl’s is down 48%. • We don’t think these companies will recover anytime soon, either… If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know we think the U.S. economy is stalling out. The signs are all around. Corporate profits are drying up. Huge companies are laying off workers by the thousands. Global trade has practically come to a standstill. A slowing economy is bad for most companies. It’s especially bad for companies that sell “want” items—or things people would like to buy, but don’t need. “Want” items are the first place people cut spending when the economy slows. They buy off the clearance rack rather than the latest fashions. Nordstrom customers are already starting to cut back. Business Insider reported last week: Comparable sales for Nordstrom’s full-price businesses fell 5.4%, including a 7.7% drop at its US department stores… While sales are plunging in Nordstrom’s full-price business, comparable sales for the company’s off-price brands, including Nordstrom Rack—which sells steeply discounting clothes and accessories—grew 4.6%. According to Investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS), Nordstrom customers aren’t the only ones changing their spending habits. Business Insider continues: “Notably, this shortfall was entirely driven by lower trips/transactions,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note ominously titled “High-End Recession.” The declines confirm a terrifying new reality for high-end retailers: Wealthy shoppers are reining in spending and, along with the rest of American consumers, refusing to pay full price for anything. • Americans aren’t spending money like they used to… Macy’s and Kohl’s both blamed their bad results on the weather. They said folks bought fewer coats and scarves due to an “unfavorably warm winter.” Companies often blame the weather or other things beyond their control when they have a poor quarter. It’s much easier to do this than admit business is bad. We aren’t buying this excuse. Retail companies have much bigger problems than a warm winter. For one, Americans aren’t spending money like they used to. Fortune reported last week: Department store operators have been hit in the past year as consumers choose to spend on smartphones and electronics, dining out and travel, and invest in assets such as vehicles and homes. • Retail giant Amazon (AMZN) is eating “brick-and-mortar” retailers alive… Amazon isn’t your traditional retailer. It doesn’t own huge stores or employ thousands of cashiers. It runs an online store where you can buy just about anything with a few clicks of a mouse. It’s also one of the world’s most dominant companies. Its sales have increased for 77 consecutive quarters. Last year, the company’s sales topped $100 billion for the first time. Amazon has changed how people shop. That’s bad news for traditional retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Kohl’s. The chart below says it all… Last quarter, earnings for department stores in the S&P 500 plunged 48%. Meanwhile, earnings for large online retailers jumped 143%. Online retailers are stealing business from companies like Macy’s and Nordstrom. Amazon is the big reason why. Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida May 18, 2016 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to feedback@caseyresearch.com. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful. • E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, warned the retail industry was in trouble in November… Retail stocks were still hot at the time. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT), which holds 99 major retailers, was up 408% since March 2009. That was more than double the S&P 500’s 203% return in the same period. E.B. said retail sales were slowing, and warned that the retail stocks would soon rollover. He also warned that problems in the retail sector would soon show up in other parts of the economy: Consumers cut back spending on mostly unnecessary items first. Pretty soon, Americans are going to stop buying steak and start buying hamburger. When the economy sours, every penny counts. Before you know it, people are pawning off all the expensive junk they bought with cheap credit since the last financial crisis. That’s one way markets unwind seven years of excess borrowing and spending. Several major American retailers have tanked since E.B. made this warning. Watch maker Fossil (FOSL) is down 21%. Department store Sears (SHLD) is down 49%. Furniture company Restoration Hardware (RH) has plunged 64%. • E.B. is still worried about the economy… He’s advising Casey Report readers to “crisis-proof” their portfolios. E.B. recommends holding cash and physical gold. A cash reserve will save you from losing money if stocks sell off. It will also prepare you for the next big buying opportunity in stocks. Owning gold is another simple way to protect your wealth. That’s because it’s the ultimate safe-haven asset. It’s served as money for centuries. It’s protected wealth through history’s worst financial crises. And gold could also make you a lot of money if stocks crash. It’s already starting to take off… This year, the price of gold has jumped 21%. It’s at its highest price since January 2015. E.B. recommends you keep 10% to 15% of your wealth in gold to protect your portfolio against a stock crash or financial crisis. • E.B. isn’t avoiding stocks completely… He recommends owning companies that “feed the masses.” E.B. likes these stocks for a simple reason: people have to eat. Unlike retailers that sell “want” items, companies that sell food can do well no matter what happens with the economy. One of those stocks, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), is up 21% since January. E.B. thinks ADM will keep rising even if the economy continues to struggle. That said, E.B. doesn’t recommend buying the stock at current prices. He rates ADM as a Hold after its big jump. But if you want to profit from “feeding the masses,” E.B. has another stock you can buy today. It’s a world-class agricultural product company with an impressive dividend history. You probably have this company’s top brand in your pantry right now… This stock is up 14% since January. It’s also paying a 5.4% dividend yield. That’s more than double the S&P 500’s 2.1% dividend yield. You can invest alongside E.B. by signing up for The Casey Report. Click here to begin your risk-free trial. • REMINDER: Today is your last chance to sign up for our Crisis Investing workshop… If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know we’re hosting a very special training event tomorrow. During this training series, you will learn one of the most powerful wealth-building strategies. Legendary investors like Warren Buffett, Jim Rogers, and even our own Doug Casey all used this strategy to build their fortunes. For the first time ever, Doug will share this great wealth-building secret in a free series of online training videos. You’ll also discover why this strategy has never been more crucial. It could up end being one of the most important events in our company’s history. If you’re interested, don’t wait to sign up. After today, we will close the doors to this free training series. Click here to reserve your spot. Chart of the Day Amazon hasn’t just crushed retailers. It’s crushed the entire stock market. Today’s chart shows the performance of Amazon over the past seven years. As you can see, the stock has been ripping higher. It’s up 935% since March 2009. That’s more than five times the return of the S&P 500. Chris Wood, editor of Extraordinary Technology, thinks Amazon will keep rising…but that doesn’t mean you should buy it at today’s levels. Here’s Chris: I like Amazon a lot as a long-term investment. It’s the seventh largest company in the U.S. in terms of market cap. Companies this huge often have trouble growing. But Amazon is growing as quickly as a much smaller company. Still, if you’re the type of investor who hold stocks for a year or less, I’d recommend staying away from Amazon right now. The stock has been making higher highs and higher lows since late March. This indicates a clear uptrend, which is a good thing. But the stock is getting expensive… Its price-to-sales ratio is up to 2.9, which is well above its five-year historical average of 2.1. In other words, investors are paying more for each dollar of Amazon’s sales today than they have in the past. Investors are paying a “premium” even though Amazon’s sales aren’t growing as fast as they have been. Annual revenue growth over the past year was 20%. That’s well below its five-year average of 26%. Slowing sales and a high valuation aren’t the only reasons to avoid Amazon in the near term. Chris explains: Another thing to consider is insiders selling Amazon’s stock. An insider is a person who knows more about a company than the general public. Think CEOs, board members, and upper management. Insiders sell stock for a lot of reasons. They might sell to diversify their holdings, pay for medical care, or take a nice vacation. They may also sell if they think the stock is going down. Amazon insiders have sold 2.2 million shares of Amazon stock over the past year, while buying exactly zero shares on the open market. Just this month, CEO Jeff Bezos sold more than $670 million worth of Amazon stock. There’s no way to know why these insiders are dumping Amazon stock. But it’s another reason to not buy Amazon at current prices. We’ll likely get the opportunity to buy Amazon at much better prices over the next few quarters.last_img read more

Aussie military says tracking app doesnt breach security

Australia’s military said on Tuesday that a fitness tracking application did not breach security despite revelations that an interactive, online map using its data can show troop locations around the world. In this March 1, 2017, file photo, Fitbit’s new Alta HR device is displayed in New York. The Pentagon is doing a broad review of how military forces use exercise trackers and other wearable electronic devices in the wake of revelations that an interactive, online map can pinpoint troop locations, bases and other sensitive areas around the world. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The Pentagon announced this week that it was doing a broad review of how the U.S. military forces use exercise trackers and other wearable electronic devices after the revelations about GPS tracking company Strava’s application. Strava’s online Global Heat Map shows the locations of its users.Australian Defense Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said the Defense Department was preparing a report for the government on the matter. A department statement said it was aware of the possible risks of the collection of location data through personal electronic devices and apps.”The circumstances of this application do not constitute a security breach,” the statement said.The issue was first publicized last weekend when Nathan Ruser, a 20-year-old student who is studying international security with a double major in Middle Eastern studies at Australian National University in Canberra, tweeted that “U.S. bases are clearly identifiable and mappable.” It was later reported by The Washington Post.The map uses satellite information to show the locations of subscribers to Strava’s fitness service. The map shows activity from 2015 through September 2017.Heavily populated areas are well lit, but warzones such as Iraq and Syria show scattered pockets of activity that could be caused by military or government personnel using fitness trackers as they move around. Those electronic signals could potentially identify military bases or other secure locations.”Who knows if someone from any of the intelligence services noticed it before, but as far as I know, I’m the first person in public to put two and two together,” Ruser told The Associated Press from Thailand, where he is visiting family.He said more people were interested in the issue than he expected.”I expected it to hang around pretty quietly in some of the open-source analyst circles, intelligence wonks would look at it and then for the government or the company to quietly fix the security vulnerabilities, but it’s got pretty big,” he added.He called the map a “wakeup call.””I wouldn’t say it provides an acute security risk to any personnel because a lot of those bases are known and even though this map gives you a huge advantage if you were to prioritize targeting the base, none of America’s current adversaries like ISIS can walk up to one of those bases and bomb it,” he said.Ruser said he had not been contacted by Strava or any security agency since his tweet attracted attention. Citation: Aussie military says tracking app doesn’t breach security (2018, January 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-aussie-military-tracking-app-doesnt.html © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Pentagon probes fitness-app use after map shows sensitive sites (Update) Explore further read more

Hacky hack hack Australia teen breaches Apples secure network

first_imgPolice reportedly raided the boy’s home last year and found hacking files and instructions saved in a folder called ‘hacky hack hack’ Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A schoolboy who “dreamed” of working for Apple hacked the firm’s computer systems, Australian media has reported, although the tech giant said Friday no customer data was compromised. © 2018 AFPcenter_img Apple fined millions for Australia false iPhone claims The Children’s Court of Victoria was told the teenager broke into Apple’s mainframe—a large, powerful data processing system—from his home in the suburbs of Melbourne and downloaded 90GB of secure files, The Age reported late Thursday.The boy, then aged 16, accessed the system multiple times over a year as he was a fan of Apple and had “dreamed of” working for the US firm, the newspaper said, citing his lawyer.Apple said in a statement Friday that its teams “discovered the unauthorised access, contained it, and reported the incident to law enforcement”.The firm, which earlier this month became the first private-sector company to surpass US$1 trillion in market value, said it wanted “to assure our customers that at no point during this incident was their personal data compromised”.An international investigation was launched after the discovery involving the FBI and the Australian Federal Police, The Age reported.The federal police said it could not comment on the case as it is still before the court. The Age said police raided the boy’s home last year and found hacking files and instructions saved in a folder called “hacky hack hack”.”Two Apple laptops were seized and the serial numbers matched the serial numbers of the devices which accessed the internal systems,” a prosecutor was reported as saying. A mobile phone and hard drive were also seized whose IP address matched those detected in the breaches, he added.The teen has pleaded guilty and the case is due to return to court for his sentencing next month. Citation: ‘Hacky hack hack’: Australia teen breaches Apple’s secure network (2018, August 17) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-hacky-hack-australia-teen-breaches.htmllast_img read more

BSP chief rejects alliance with Cong in MP RajasthanBSP chief rejects alliance

first_imgCOMMENTS Mayawati claims Cong more keen on demolishing her party than defeating BJP October 03, 2018 Opposition unity suffered a major setback on Wednesday with the most critical element in anti-BJP political chemistry, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), rejecting any alliance with the Congress in either Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan. Assembly elections are due in the next few months in both these States.BSP president Mayawati accused the Congress of “stabbing me in the back” — casting grave doubts about the viability of opposition alliances, especially in the politically critical Uttar Pradesh, in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.“The Congress is not willing to make any compromise despite the challenge that the BJP has put before the voters. The BSP has always bowed to the national interest and supported their government at the Centre for ten years. But the Congress has stabbed the BSP in the back. It was the BJP that first targeted me with the Taj corridor case but it has escaped no one that the Congress used it to hound me for years. I was given a reprieve only by the Supreme Court,” said Mayawati. Mayawati has announced an alliance with former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi in Chhattisgarh, where also elections will be held this year.This is likely to hurt the Congress in a State where the difference of votes between the Congress and the BJP in the 2013 Assembly elections was 97,574.The BSP, on its own, secured 5,58,424 votes although it managed to win only one Assembly seat. The difference led to the BJP cornering 49 seats and a majority in the 90-member Assembly while the Congress got 39 seats. This time, Mayawati’s tie-up with the Congress rebel Ajit Jogi is bound to hurt the Congress in a closely fought election.The extent of political cost of the BSP chief’s short press conference, accusing the Congress of “stabbing me in the back”, cannot be over-estimated in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, as also in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections where the Opposition had been counting on Mayawati to be the magnet for Dalit and most backward caste voters.Congress “not serious”Describing the Congress’s attitude as “rassi jal gai par bal nahin gaya (they’ve lost everything but arrogance)”, Mayawati heaped further scorn on the Congress, saying, “They (Congress) are pathetic. Despite repeated losses in elections — look at what happened in Gujarat— they still believe they can take on the BJP on their own. That leads me to suspect whether they are actually serious in defeating the BJP.”Mayawati proceeded to narrate past humiliations that the Congress meted out not just to the BSP founder Kanshi Ram but also to BR Ambedkar who “had to resign from the Law Ministry, was not given Bharat Ratna”. She said the Congress is “arrogant and obdurate” and not willing to cede space to other parties even when it is not in a position to fight the BJP on its own.BSP to contest alone“We have now decided that even in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the BSP will fight on its own. The Congress’s attitude shows that they are more interested in eliminating the BSP than in defeating the BJP. It is because of this attitude of the Congress that the BJP has been winning elections and staying in power for so long in MP and Gujarat. What is it if not arrogance that despite being out of power for 15 years, they are not willing to give more than 20 seats to the BSP out of 230 in MP and not more than 5-6 seats in Rajasthan,” she said.Mayawati said that that her’s was the only party with the ability to transfer its vote to the other parties. Still, she said, the Congress is adamantly forcing her to go it alone.The BSP chief said, “In alliances, the BSP suffers more than the other parties. The BSP is the only party with a transferable vote. But we are now forced to believe that the Congress is conspiring to finish our party in the garb of destroying the BJP. Bur we are the stone that changes the course of the river.”She continued, “We are the party that struggles for the rights of the poor and the next election will prove that we are capable of defeating the BJP.”“We do not want to fight any election with the Congress. We will have no alliance with the Congress,” she said. Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati – PTI politicscenter_img SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on COMMENT SHARElast_img read more

Trumps Pentagon pick says he wont be bullied into making stupid decisions

first_img {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Senator Angus King, a political independent from Maine who caucuses with Senate Democrats, responded by explaining why the top U.S. military officer must feel empowered to correct a president or explain something that ran counter to the president’s desired course of action.Milley replied by saying he and other Pentagon leaders, including Marine General Joseph Dunford, the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs, had seen a lot of combat and knew the costs of war.”We’ve buried these soldiers. Arlington (National Cemetery) is full of our comrades,” he told King at the hearing.”We know what this is about and we are not going to be intimidated into making stupid decisions. We will give our best military advice regardless of consequences to (ourselves).”Milley is widely respected among Democrats and Republicans in Congress and is seen easily winning Senate confirmation. U.S. officials also say he has a good rapport with Trump, who first announced his plans to nominate Milley last year, months earlier than expected.TENSIONS WITH IRANMilley would take over as the Pentagon’s top military officer at a time when critics in Congress are accusing Trump of politicizing the military, including with his deployment of U.S. troops to the Mexico border.It also comes as tensions simmer with Iran. Last month, Iran shot down a U.S. drone near the Strait of Hormuz, prompting Trump to order retaliatory air strikes, only to call them off.In the hearing, Milley declined to discuss military planning on Iran but dismissed a question from a Republican senator who asked whether there was any discussions of sending 150,000 U.S. troops to counter Iran.”I don’t think anyone is seriously considering anything approaching” that figure, he replied.Three Iranian vessels tried to block a British-owned tanker passing through the strait that controls the flow of Middle East oil to the world, but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship, Britain said on Thursday.Milley said there appeared to be an attempt by small naval vessels to “take over” a British commercial vessel.”Freedom of navigation is a fundamental principle and a norm for the international order that has been in place now for seven decades, and we have a crucial role to enforce that norm,” Milley said.If confirmed as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Milley would not be expected to usher in any major strategic shifts for the U.S. military. His views on the threats from Russia and China are in step with Pentagon top brass and the Trump administration.As Army chief, Milley last year launched the Army’s Futures Command, which looks at ways to usher in a new generation of advanced weaponry to preserve the United States’ narrowing edge against potential adversaries like China and Russia.Another of Milley’s innovations at the Army was last year’s creation of special brigades to help advise local forces in counterinsurgency wars, including the nearly 18-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.Milley told the hearing that a premature exit from Afghanistan would be a mistake but noted “some progress” in efforts to find a negotiated settlement with the Taliban.The United States and the Taliban are getting closer to a deal that is expected to be centred on a U.S. plan to withdraw troops in exchange for a Taliban promise not to let Afghanistan be used as a base for terrorism, officials say. (Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali; editing by Nick Zieminski and Jonathan Oatis) Related News World 10 Jul 2019 U.S. wants military coalition to safeguard waters off Iran, Yemen World 11 Jul 2019 Premature exit from Afghanistan would be ‘strategic mistake’ – U.S. generalcenter_img World 10 Jul 2019 U.S. seeks a Congress-approved deal with Iran – Hook WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee to become his top uniformed military adviser told Congress on Thursday that he would not be “intimidated into making stupid decisions,” saying he would always give his best advice, regardless of pressure.The remarks by Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley during a line of questioning about his ability to stand his ground in the Oval Office is likely to reassure Trump’s critics in Congress, who worry about the risk of impulsive decisions by the president on Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan and beyond.Still, Milley never referred directly to Trump nor suggested that he expected to face any such pressure when he said he would “absolutely not” allow himself to be intimidated.”I’ll give my best military advice. It will be candid. It will be honest … every single time,” Milley told the Senate Armed Service Committee during his hearing to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a position he would take on Oct. 1. Related Newslast_img read more