first_img Twitter TORONTO – Today, RBC and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (The Canadian Academy) announced their partnership on a new initiative called the Music Video Production Project (MVP Project). The MVP Project will support and promote emerging Canadian recording artists and filmmakers in the creation of music video content, increasing resources available within the national music community.“RBC has worked closely with the music and film communities to create a program that specifically focuses on emerging artists, so they too have access to critical funding,” said Matt McGlynn, Vice President of Brand Marketing, RBC. “We’re thrilled to found the MVP Project alongside The Canadian Academy, which will boost Canada’s music economy.”Established by RBCxMusic and the Prism Prize, the MVP Project will be administered by The Canadian Academy, aiming to enable Canadian creatives to explore their craft, hone their filmmaking skills, and encourage growth within their respective industries. In addition to today’s announcement, The Canadian Academy has officially acquired the Prism Prize, which will be fully integrated into the national organization. Facebook Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: The MVP Project is open to recording artists and/or directors who identify as “Emerging Artists“. Over two rounds of funding support for artists and storytellers will be offered through music video production grants valued between $5,000 and $15,000. Each round will also include a curated component, which aims to foster an existing director/recording artist relationship. In addition to the grants, successful candidates will receive mentorship and networking opportunities.“Canadian music video directors are bringing into the world some of the most exciting, creative and genre-busting visual stories of our time,” said Louis Calabro, Vice President Programming, The Canadian Academy and Founder of the Prism Prize. “We see an undisputed urgency and relevance to the work of music video and we could not be more excited to welcome these often-overlooked filmmakers into the Canadian Academy fold.”Applications will be assessed by a peer-based jury of music and media professionals with representation from all Canadian regions. Submissions for the first round of the MVP Project open October 1, 2018 and close November 1, 2018. The second round of applications will open in January 2019. Successful applicants will be announced eight to 12 weeks after the final application deadline for each round.The new MVP Project is part of the RBC Emerging Artists Project, which helps artists bridge the gap from emerging to established, and supports organizations that provide the best opportunity to advance their career trajectory.More information can be found at: www.mvpproject.ca.About RBCRoyal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 84,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 16 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.‎We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-sustainability.About the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is the largest non-profit professional arts organization in Canada. We are dedicated to recognizing, advocating for and celebrating Canadian talent in the film, television and digital media sectors. Our more than 4,500 members encompass industry icons and professionals, emerging artists and students. Collectively, we deliver professional development programs and networking opportunities that foster industry growth, inclusion and mentorship.For information on membership and programming, visit www.academy.ca. Advertisementlast_img read more


first_imgEvents are free except for the Paint Night to cover fees for the supplies.“This is a celebration and everybody is welcome to attend and enjoy themselves,” said Trudeau TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C.- Is home to the week-long celebration of winter, there are planned daily events that offer something for everybody to do.The Winter Carnival is an initiative by Council that was created after the 2010 Olympics, since that time this event is greatly appreciated and welcomed by the community. With Tumbler Ridge being a Northern community and surrounded by recreation, Council wanted to continue the event every year shared Roxanne Trudeau, Coordinator of Programming District of Tumbler Ridge.The week-long event starts on January 21st, 2019 and runs through until January 26th, 2019, by involving local non-profit groups and other groups from the community to help run the events. last_img read more


first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi Police has arrested a man who sexually assaulted a divorcee after luring her with the false promise of marriage, said an officer on Friday. The incident was reported from Netaji Subhash Place in the national capital where a seven-month pregnant victim filed a complaint with the police on Wednesday. “The woman, 27, and a mother of two, in her complaint alleged that she was first time raped by the accused in June 2018. He raped her on the pretext of marrying her. But when he refused to fulfil his promise, the victim registered a complaint, following which he was arrested,” a senior police officer said. “During the court hearing, the accused had apologised to the victim, and with mutual consent they had agreed to tie the knot. Following this, the court had granted him bail,” he said. “After he came out on bail last year, the accused used to stay with woman and developed physical relation with her again promising to marry her. This time the victim got pregnant. When she would ask the accused to marry her, he would assault her and force for abortion,” he added. The accused is at large and a hunt is on to nab him, the officer said.last_img read more


first_imgFormer Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel believes that Liverpool’s Alisson Becker must not “compromise his style”The Brazil international was signed by Liverpool this summer for a then world-record transfer fee of £67m for a goalkeeper from AS Roma.After keeping three clean sheets in his opening Premier League games, Allison was at fault for Leicester’s goal in Saturday’s 2-1 win for the Reds.The 25-year-old unsuccessfully tried to dribble past Kelechi Iheanacho, who then set-up Rachid Ghezzal to bring Leicester back into the game.But Schmeichel believes that the worst thing that Alisson can do now is changing the way he plays.“This is a new style,” he said on Sky Sports.“It’s what teams and managers are looking for. Someone who is very comfortable with their feet and can pass the ball even in tight areas.“You lose the ball every now and then. Every single player does that, no matter where they are on the pitch.“The worst thing he can do is compromise his style. Stay with it, be comfortable with it, that’s his way of playing.”Cristiano Ronaldo, Nemanja Vidic, Manchester UnitedVidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.The Denmark legend believes that the upcoming months will be critical now for Alisson.“The next few months he will be under pressure. The media will be scrutinising every little thing he is doing,” continued Schmeichel.“How is he reacting to that? Can he still go out and play at this very high level? That is the art of goalkeeping. That you have that ability.“When he made the mistake, the camera was on him a few times, he looked worried. It was playing on his mind. He needs to work on that. It’s the only way you can survive.”The 54-year-old compared Alisson to former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar, who played for the club between 1980 and 1994 while making 628 appearances in the process.“When Liverpool were the most successful team in England and Europe they had a very entertaining goalkeeper,” said Schmeichel.“Grobbelaar was that kind of guy. He would be incredible for many, many games then come out for a cross he should not have come out for, and they concede a goal.“But the team knew that. They lived for that. It wasn’t a problem. He never changed and that, beyond anything, is the most important thing.”last_img read more


first_img Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#HerMajesty’sPrison, magneticmedia Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2017 – Grand Turk – Allegations of excessive force, cold and unnecessary orders and undue punishment for the innocent are among the shocking charges against officials responsible for law, order and living at the Grand Turk prison in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.   The category five hurricane was extremely hard on Grand Turk, the capital of the country and reports to #MagneticMedia from relatives of inmates are that Irma ripped the roof off the maximum security block at the prison and that two convicted murderers managed to escape, living as fugitives for hours before being caught.Clifford Gibson Jr convicted of murdering a 16 year old boy in 2008 and Tyrone Williams, convicted of killing Jason Smith in Grand Turk a few years ago hopped over the fence, which Irma’s winds tore down and were recaptured a few hours later.   We are also told that fire was set, rebellion broke out and the Police Swat team was sent in, in an effort to restore some semblance of calm to #HerMajesty’sPrison when over a dozen maximum security inmates, the most serious of offenders, got into the general population and were said to have been running around the prison yard at nights.The anarchy forced more stringent measures and it is said that with orders from the Governor, Police were dispatched but according to some, those members of the Force went way too far against those who were not responsible for the outbreak of disorder.   One relative said she was told that the command was ‘shoot to kill’.A mother of an inmate explained that she was denied entry and the ability to see her son at the prison, supplies brought from Provo were unable to be shared with him and from another family, allegations that mace was sprayed on their son and others who had nothing to do with the revolt.    Lock down was enforced, drinking water limited, the prison is dark and dank say those speaking to Magnetic Media.Another family shared that they were told about 20 to 30 trips made by the fire department to the prison to put out the fire set there, how the water left behind went un-cleaned for three days.    The families say their children are being treated inhumanely and they are calling on officials, including the Human Rights Association, to do something about the conditions at HMP.Government, during a debrief to media hinted at problems at HMP when it was said that the TCI would not be in the same state as other regional countries where convicts escaped and were on the loose after hurricane Irma destroyed their prisons.    Another indication of challenges came in the Premier’s Monday (Sept 11) report that some prisoners would be transferred to St Lucia, however the gravity of the problems were not expressed and despite questions, who will be transferred and for how long and now new inquiries by us about the charges that conditions are inhumane at the Grand Turk prison, there remains no comment up to news production time.Our news organization is told that while all inmates are accounted for at HMP, conditions are deplorable. T&T companies tap into Cuban market at Expo Caribe 2019 #Metoo-movement-type complaint, now investigation of high-ranking TCI Police Officer opened TCI: Man safe now, says he was trapped after lightning hit truck and it burst into flameslast_img read more


first_imgLongmere/Forest Lane area in Soldotna. 300+ without power. Cause still unknown at this time. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享7:45 Update from HEA: Original Post: Homer Electric Association is reporting an outage between Soldotna and Sterling.center_img According to the HEA outage map roughly 350 customers are currently without power out towards Sterling near St. Theresa Road. Crews have been notified of the outage- Updates will be posted as they are made available. The cause at this time is unknown.last_img read more


first_imgClose This week, pound sterling hit its highest level against other major world currencies for over seven years (figure 1), judging by the Bank of Englands Pound sterling index.This latest surge has been driven by the political certainty given by a Conservative general election victory, plus a following wind for the UK economy as:Unemployment continues to fallRetail sales surge higher (+4.7% year-on-year in April 2014)The domestic property market resumes its upwards march.Pound posts big gains against the euro and Aussie dollarOf the major world currencies, the pound has gained against virtually all of them so far in 2015, save the Swiss Franc (figure 2).The biggest move has been the near 10% jump against the euro (from €1.29 at the beginning of 2015 to €1.41 currently).The pound has also posted useful gains against the Australian dollar and Swedish crown too, with only the Swiss franc doing better this year so far.Why should sterling stop here?As long as the British economy keeps steaming along and the European Central Bank continues with its programme of bond buying (so-called Quantitative Easing, or QE), we could well see sterling return to the heady heights of €1.50 reached on several occasions between 2004 and 2007 (figure 3).After all, the euro remains undermined by the ongoing Greek saga, while the extremist leftist party Podemos has made large gains in the local elections in Spain, underlining the political fragility of the established ruling parties across the eurozone and introducing yet further uncertainty.Remember, if there is one thing financial markets hate, it is uncertainty – one area where the UK has a clear lead over its continental European cousins with a Conservative majority government now voted in.How can we make money from a stronger pound?One sector a canny investor should look at is the retail sector, given the majority of the goods sold on the UK high street tend to be imported. After all, a stronger pound means cheaper prices for imported goods, especially from the eurozone where the exchange rates have moved the most over recent months.Food and drink is one big category where the UK imports a lot from the likes of Spain, France and Italy. Overall, the UK imports 40% of all the food consumed, much of it from our eurozone neighbours.This should give a welcome boost to supermarket and upmarket food store chains such as Tesco (TSCO) and Sainsburys (SBRY). I would focus more on two other retailers where I see potentially greater currency-related benefits.The first is the venerable Marks and Spencer (MKS), which recently reported strong results. The retailer is continuing its slow transformation into primarily an upmarket food retailer along the lines of John Lewiss successful Waitrose chain.Its Simply Food store format is enjoying a lot of success, and Marks and Spencer is focusing its new store programme on this format. While we may think fondly of the retailer as the nations favourite purveyor of underwear, in actual fact food and drink now accounts for 57% of Marks and Spencers UK sales.The second retailer who could get a big profit boost from the stronger pound is wine warehouse chain Majestic Wines (MJW).This £300m company is the UKs largest wine specialist merchant, with 213 stores selling wine by the case to 643,000 active customers.French, Spanish, Italian and Australian wine imports in particular should all become cheaper in pound terms for Majestic to buy in the coming months and could deliver a useful profit bump.Majestic should also see faster growth ahead following its recent acquisition of leading online business Naked Wines.So go shopping for wine bargains thanks to that stronger pound, and why not add Marks and Spencer and Majestic Wines into your shopping basket while you are at it.Edmund Shing is the author of The Idle Investor (Harriman House), an expert columnist and a global equity fund manager at BCS AM. He holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence.last_img read more


first_imgKapil Sharma, Salman Khan, Katrina KaifTwitterAli Abbas Zafar’s directorial Bharat is near to its release and the film’s lead actors – Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif – have finally shot for The Kapil Sharma Show to promote their upcoming film. But where is Salman’s on-screen companion Sunil Grover?Speculations had been doing the rounds of the industry that Sunil Grover may join his friend-turned-foe Kapil Sharma on his show to promote his film. Sunil had confirmed that Salman had suggested him to come back on the show considering their laugh riot chemistry but the comedian had said that the superstar didn’t force him to be on the show.As expected, Salman and Katrina graced The Kapil Sharma Show with their presence but Sunil Grover, once again, failed to show up for reasons that almost everyone can predict. Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif on The Kapil Sharma ShowTwitterDuring his recent interaction with the media, Sunil had said that he doesn’t even watch The Kapil Sharma Show adding that he does not watch shows which he does not feature in.The ugly war between friends-turned-foes – Kapil Sharma and Sunil Grover – is no secret to anyone. The two comedians fell apart after their infamous mid-air brawl in 2017 and they decided to go separate ways.And it looks like Sunil is still holding a grudge against Kapil even when the latter had said in his earlier interviews that the show’s doors are always open for Sunil whenever he wishes to come back.Now it remains to be seen if Kapil would promote Sunil or not despite his absence on the show.last_img read more


first_imgAnushka Shetty and Madhavan’s next film Silence aka Nishabdam launched.PR HandoutAfter working in two big projects in the form of Baahubali series and Bhaagamathie, Anushka Shetty had taken a break from the films. Now, the actress has returned to full-fledged acting with Madhavan-starrer Silence, which is launched on Friday, 24 May. The team had a formal pooja to mark the commencement of the shooting in Seattle in the US.Anushka Shetty has teamed up with Madhavan after a gap of more than 10 years. They had paired up in Sundar C’s Rendu, which was the debut film of the actress in Tamil. The latest flick also has Hollywood star Michael Madsen, Anjali and Shalini Pandey in the important roles.It is a multilingual movie which will release in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi languages. Silence, which is titled as Nishabdam in Telugu, will be majorly shot in the US.”My first day first shot of #Nishabdam #silence @ActorMadhavan #AnushkaShetty @yoursanjali @actorsubbaraju @ishalinipandey #avasaralasrinivas. [sic]” the director shared his excitement on Twitter about the first day shoot.It is said to be a silent film in which Anushka Shetty will be seen as an NRI businesswoman. As per the rumours, she is a deaf and dumb in the multilingual flick. Hemant Madhukar of 125 KM and Vastadu Naa Raju fame is directing the film which is funded by People Media Factory.The makers have plans to release in multiple languages in 2020. Anushka ShettyTwitterComing back to Anushka, she was missing in action after the Baahubali series and Bhaagamathie. The actress has kept herself out of limelight for the reasons best known to her. Although Chiranjeevi’s Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy marks her official comeback, she is not doing a full-fledged role in the mega-budget film.Hence, Silence will be sort of a comeback film for her.last_img read more


first_imgAn activist of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) was killed in a bomb attack at Chandrapur village in Jhikargacha upazila in Jessore on Wednesday, reports UNB.The deceased was identified as Abbas Hossain, 40, son of Hazra Moral and brother of upazila BCL general secretary Kamal Hossain.Locals said some unidentified miscreants hurled bomb on Abbas and his brother when they were standing in front of their house around 11:30 am.However, Kamal managed to escape the attack but Abbas sustained serious injuries.Abbas died on way to hospital.Assistant police superintendent of Jessore Imran Mehedi said the attack might have launched over political rivalry.last_img read more


first_imgBob Daemmrich for The Texas TribuneFormer state Senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis speaks to Planned Parenthood supporters at the Capitol in Austin on April 5, 2017.Almost four years after Democrat Wendy Davis’ failed bid for governor, the Texas Ethics Commission has fined her campaign and Battleground Texas for delayed reporting of $3.4 million in political contributions.Neither the campaign nor the political organization admitted doing anything wrong, and the commission conceded the situation “is not explicitly addressed by Texas law.” Nevertheless, the Davis campaign and Battleground Texas each agreed to pay a $3,000 fine.In separate orders from the commission posted Tuesday (here and here), both Davis, on behalf of her gubernatorial campaign, and Battleground Texas, a group that launched in 2013 to help elect Democrats, said they had not “violated any provision of the Election Code and at all times properly reported all of its activities in a manner that is transparent and open to the public. However, for the sake of resolving this matter, without further proceedings, the respondent accepts the Commission’s proposal of resolution without any admission of wrongdoing of any kind.”Working together in the 2014 campaign, the groups employed an unusual fundraising arrangement, collecting political contributions through the “Texas Victory Committee — a Joint Project of Wendy Davis for Governor Inc and Battle Ground Texas.” That outfit — TVC — split its spending and its proceeds evenly between Davis and Battleground.During the second half of 2013, Davis and Battleground hosted “at least eight joint fundraisers,” the commission said in its orders. TVC reported those contributions and the fundraising costs in its January 2014 report. But it didn’t transfer those contributions to Davis and Battleground until March of that year.Both reported the transfers in their July 2014 reports.The commission said the contributions should have been reported six months earlier, when the donors’ checks were cashed. “The effective control over TVC and the donor’s intent support the finding that Battleground and Davis PAC constructively accepted the funds when received by TVC,” the commission said in its orders. As a result, it said, each got “about $1.7 million” that should have been reported in January and wasn’t reported for six more months.It caused a fair amount of confusion during the campaign, creating the impression for some that donors had given twice as much as they had since their contributions showed up under their names in the TVC report in January 2014 and then again in the Battleground and Davis reports in July 2014.That said, the commission said the reports filed by the two “evinced a good-faith attempt by the respondent to comply with Texas disclosure laws for a somewhat complicated and novel fundraising operation not explicitly contemplated by Texas law.” It was clear, TEC wrote, that money given to TVC was bound for Davis and Battleground, that TVC reported its contributions and expenditures, and that the other two eventually reported what they received.Neither Davis nor Battleground “admits or denies” those facts and conclusions, the commission wrote, but they agreed to pay a $3,000 “sanction necessary to deter future violations” and to let the TEC post the orders. Sharelast_img read more


first_imgKolkata: The body of a 14-year-old school student was found from a mustard field at Purbasthali in East Burdwan.The deceased identified as Arshad Shaikh was missing since Monday. On Tuesday, locals saw his body and reported the matter to the police. According to them, Arshad’s father stays outside state due to his profession. As his mother died when he was an infant, Arshad used to stay with his maternal uncle and relatives at Babuidanga, Pachimpara in Purbasthali. He was a student of class VIII in a local school. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeArshad’s family members said on Monday after returning from school, he went to watch a religious programme in the village. As he did not return within the usual time, the family members started searching for him. Despite searching throughout the night, Arshad could not be located. On Tuesday morning, a search for Arshad was again initiated but no one could trace him. In the evening, some villagers located Arshad’s body on the bank of a canal beside a mustard field not far from his home. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHis family members and police were informed accordingly. Cops reached the spot and faced agitation by the villagers. Later, senior police officials went there and assured villagers that steps would be taken accordingly. Sources informed that several injury marks could be seen on Arshad’s body. His face was partly smashed. Police have started a murder case against unknown person/s on the basis of a specific complaint lodged by Arshad’s uncle Raju Shaikh. The sleuths are suspecting that Arshad may been murdered over some family enmity. To find out the possible motive, cops are questioning Arshad’s family members and people, who are close to Arshad and his family. “Probe is on. All possible aspects will be looked into,” said a senior police officials.last_img read more


first_img 5 min read October 4, 2018 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Enroll Now for Free When M.G. Siegler started using Gmail’s task feature to convert his emails into a to-do list, he made a shocking discovery.As many as 50 to 75 percent of the emails he received were actually to-dos from other people.Related: Get it Done: 35 Habits of the Most Productive People (Infographic)Taken individually, each request was reasonable. But, in aggregate, “this is a nightmare,” wrote the general partner at GV, formerly known as Google Ventures. “There’s no way anyone could manage such a system without spending the vast majority of their day doing email.”This, in a nutshell, captures the essence of the email crisis that’s eroding the productivity of companies across the globe. Email has become so entrenched in our business processes that many workers resort to using their inbox as a daily to-do list — a tendency so common that email providers like Google and Microsoft have taken notice, adding task management features to help make it easier. But, treating email as a task manager only encourages employees to spend more time using an inefficient tool that already consumes (and wastes) a disproportionate number of company hours. Consider:Employees spend up to 40 percent of their time reading internal emails.One in five knowledge workers cite email as their biggest time sink.As much as 80 percent of email traffic is “waste.”Unnecessary emails cost businesses an estimated $650 billion a year in productivity.As research increasingly demonstrates how email overload takes too much energy, erodes concentration and elevates stress levels at work, the writing on the wall is clear: companies that want to reclaim lost productivity need to reduce the email load, stat. That means removing everything from the inbox that doesn’t need to be there — starting with the to-do list.Related: How to Manage Time With 10 Tips That WorkWhy email makes a terrible task managerUsing email as a task manager is like using a screwdriver to pound a nail. It can work, sort of, but it’s the wrong tool for the job.Although inextricably linked, communication and task management are two separate things, argues researcher and author Alexandra Samuel. Mashing them together only makes both more cumbersome.”If you’re conflating email and task management, then the job of communicating — reading and replying to your messages — gets bogged down by all the emails you leave sitting in your inbox simply so you won’t forget to address them,” she wrote in Harvard Business Review. “This approach also makes managing your to-do-list problematic: When you need to quickly identify the right task to take on next, nothing slows you down like diving into your inbox to scroll through old messages.”Tracking tasks through email also requires you to keep your email program running all day, opening the door for distractions. Employees already check their email as often as 36 times an hour. After each interruption, it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back to their original task. All of this back-and-forth switching ultimately hampers productivity by up to 40 percent.”Emails, after all, are disruptive,” says New York magazine writer Jennifer Senior. “It takes startup energy to read them; it takes energy to reorient and reboot once we’re returned to the task we’ve left. Over the course of a week, the price can be measured in hours.”Related: 4 Reliable Signs Someone Is About to Waste Your TimeA better way to do to-do listsSeparating email from task management can materially affect staff performance. While email overload depletes the energy of employees, actually completing tasks energizes them — case in point, we all know those people who actually add things to a to-do list just to be able to cross them off! Getting things done makes people happier and more engaged at work, and employees perform better when they’re able to focus on the work they believe matters most.An effective task management tool works in concert with communication tools like email and messengers to help employees waste less time answering emails and spend more time doing meaningful work. And the next generation of productivity tools will need to go a step further — they’ll need to enable employees to manage all of their daily tasks in a single place without having to toggle between email and other tools. In addition, these tools will need to allow workers to complete tasks wherever they are working — on any device, company intranet or messenger. This not only provides them with a simple work experience, but also gives them the freedom to shut out email distractions whenever they need to plow through their to-do list.Effective task management is all about efficiency. Given email’s burgeoning reputation as a massive time sink, it’s obvious that this burdensome communication tool isn’t the best solution. Taking to-do lists out of email and putting them where employees are working on a task helps minimize distractions, reduce the amount of time employees spend in their inboxes, and ultimately, improve productivity.last_img read more


first_imgHello and welcome to Stoke-on-TrentLive’s breaking news service bringing you all the latest updates from Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire on Friday January 4. Our team of reporters will be updating this live service with all the latest on the traffic and travel and weather updates – as well as news and entertainment through the day. We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates in our live news feed below. For the latest news and breaking news visit www.stokeontrentlive.co.uk Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you. Follow us on Twitter @SOTLive – the official Sentinel account – real news in real time. We’re also on Facebook – your must-see news, features, videos and pictures throughout Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire. Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive . 17:30Due to an RTC the #A536 is closed at #PexhallRoad on the #Macclesfield side and #BankLane on the #Congleton side. Please avoid until we announce the road clear.— Cheshire Police Taskforce (@CPTaskforce) January 4, 201917:27A527 Porthill Road clear at A500 D Road / Longbridge Hayes Road / Longbridge Hayes Road (Porthill Bank).16:52A527 Biddulph Road coming from Brinley Ford Southbound busy but moving at A5272 High Lane roundabout. 16:52Brownhills Road / Davenport Street / Newcastle Street busy but moving between A500 (Porthill Bank) and Tunstall. 16:27@PoliceShelton & @Hanleypolice have supported Stoke on Trent’s Sudenese community with their peaceful demonstration, which took place this afternoon in Shelton and Hanley. #ProtestLiaisonOfficers #NoIssuse #lawfulProtest @StaffsPolice pic.twitter.com/EfqB1yLCvW— Shelton Police (@PoliceShelton) January 4, 201915:52Moorland Road busy but moving at A5272 High Lane / A5272 Hanley Road / Bank Hall Road (Smallthorne Roundabout). 15:52Services at a stand on Virgin Trains West Coast between Stafford and Crewe due to signalling problem. 12:53Dog left to die in ditch – with another left dumped by busy road just days after giving birthThe RSPCA are investigating after both animals were dumped in Stoke-on-Trent. More here12:01Lane closed due to accident on A500One lane closed and queueing traffic due to accident on A500 D Road Northbound before A34 Talke Road (Talke Roundabout).The accident is just prior to the Talke exit.11:42Man, 38, charged after Douglas MacMillan charity box stolen from shopHe is set to appear in court this morning. More here.11:18Firefighters working to rescue cat from treeThe cat is believed to have been stuck since Tuesday. More here.10:37Cash only at Stafford ServicesA Highways England spokesman said:Stafford Services M6 southbound between J15 Hanchurch to J14 Creswell- Cash only due to no internet – card machines not working. “10:14Shock as town centre restaurant closes ‘with immediate effect’ The restaurant and wine bar has apologised to customers and thanked them for their support. More here. 09:31Four way traffic lights causing delays at Cobridge Traffic LightsQueueing traffic due to temporary traffic lights on A53 Cobridge Road at A50 Waterloo Road (Cobridge Traffic Lights).Four-way temporary lights installed but cause for this is not known. (Image: Inrix)09:13Woman, 58, dies in accident on A500The A500 was closed for more than five and a half hours following the accident last night. More here.08:58Bull Lane partially blocked due to accident between Brindley Ford and PackmoorBull Lane Westbound partially blocked due to accident from Handley Drive to Mellor Street. Traffic is coping well.Between A527 Outclough Road and Newchapel. (Image: Inrix)08:53Police step up patrols as youths cause anti-social behaviour in townThe youths are believed to have travelled from Crewe to Congleton. More here.08:53Arrest made after break-ins at businesses Police have made the arrest overnight following recent burglaries in the town. More here. 08:33Broken down lorry causing delays on M6M6 Northbound lane closed on exit slip road, queueing traffic due to broken down lorry at J14 A34 (Stafford North).Lane one (of two) is closed heading down to the roundabout. (Image: Inrix)08:20Abandoned Snoop the dog moves closer to being put up for adoptionThe charity hopes to assess the dog, abandoned just before Christmas, to help find him a forever home. More here.’Snoop’ the dog08:15Statement expected on A500 accidentWe have contacted Cheshire Police about an accident that closed the A500 for more than five hours overnight. We understand a statement will be issued later today.07:55Woodhouse Lane now closed due to accidentWoodhouse Lane in both directions closed due to accident, a single vehicle involved between Pennine Way and Under The Hill.Traffic officers are at the scene. 07:43Accident in Biddulph MoorWoodhouse Lane partially blocked, queueing traffic due to accident from Under The Hill to Pennine Way.Between Biddulph Moor and A527 Congleton Road. (Image: Inrix)06:53Arrest after charity box stolen from furniture storePolice made the arrest last night. More here.06:29Police warn motorists in Staffordshire not to leave cars unattended while defrosting windscreensA Staffordshire Police spokesman said:Frosty morning across Staffordshire today. Don’t leave your car unattended whilst defrosting the windscreen. “06:27A34 busy but moving in Trent ValeA34 Newcastle Road busy but moving between Springfield Retail Park and A500 D Road (Hanford Interchange). (Image: Inrix)06:11Good morningWe’ll be keeping you up to date with the latest news throughout the day.last_img read more


first_imgBy Jeff Clark, Casey Research Inflation is a natural consequence of loose government monetary policy. If those policies get too loose, hyperinflation can occur. As gold investors, we’d like to know if the precious metals would keep pace in this extreme scenario. Hyperinflation is an extremely rapid period of inflation, but when does inflation (which can be manageable) cross the line and become out-of-control hyperinflation? Philip Cagan, one of the very first researchers of this phenomenon, defines hyperinflation as “an inflation rate of 50% or more in a single month,” something largely inconceivable to the average investor. While there can be multiple reasons for inflation, hyperinflation historically has one root cause: excessive money supply. Debts and deficits reach unsustainable levels, and politicians resort to diluting the currency to cover their expenses. A tipping point is reached, and investors lose confidence in the currency. “Confidence” is the key word here. Fiat money holds its purchasing power largely on the belief that it is stable and will preserve that power over time. Once this trust is broken, a flight from the currency ensues. In such scenarios, citizens spend the money as quickly as possible, typically buying tangible items in a desperate attempt to get rid of currency units before they lose value. This process increases the velocity of money, setting off a vicious cycle that destroys purchasing power faster and faster. The most famous case of hyperinflation is the one that occurred in Germany during the Weimar Republic, from January 1919 until November 1923. According to Investopedia, “the average price level increased by a factor of 20 billion, doubling every 28 hours.” One would expect gold to fare well during such an extreme circumstance, and it did – in German marks, quite dramatically. In January 1919, one ounce of gold traded for 170 marks; by November 1923, that same ounce was worth 87 trillion marks. Take a look. (Click on image to enlarge) Inflation was at first benign, then began to grow rapidly, and quickly became a monster. What’s important to us as investors is that the price of gold grew faster than the rate of monetary inflation. The data here reveal that over this five-year period, the gold price increased 1.8 times more than the inflation rate. The implication of this is sobering: while hyperinflation wiped out most people’s savings, turning wealthy citizens into poor ones literally overnight, those who had assets denominated in gold experienced no loss in purchasing power. In fact, their ability to purchase goods and services grew beyond the runaway prices they saw all around them. One can’t help but wonder how the people whose wealth evaporated in Germany during this time felt. In effect, they were robbed by the government – they were on the losing end of a massive transfer of wealth. Of course, there are two sides to the story, as those who held significant amounts of gold and silver were the recipients. We can’t help but speculate about whether most citizens dismissed the idea of inflation during the calm period in 1920-’21. Did respected economists scoff at the idea that Germany could suffer hyperinflation, just before it struck? Did some politicians proclaim that “a little inflation would be good?” Those who today argue that our obscene debt levels, runaway deficit spending, and money-printing schemes are sound strategies and believe they won’t lead to out-of-control inflation might want to rethink those beliefs. We’ve seen this movie before: it doesn’t have a happy ending. The historical record is clear on what happens when countries embark on fiscal and monetary paths today’s leading economies are embracing. If gold’s recent price performance is anything like the calm before Germany’s hyperinflationary storm, this is a time to be accumulating more gold. Keep in mind that hyperinflation is not a rare event. Since Weimar Germany, there have been 29 additional hyperinflations around the world, including those in Austria, Argentina, Greece, Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan, and Zimbabwe, to name a few. On average, that’s one every three years or so. While hyperinflation devastates those who experience it, there is a healing aspect to it. Since the responsibility for this type of disaster lies solely at the feet of government, there may be some Darwinian justice to the way hyperinflation purges the perverse fiscal and monetary imbalances from an economy. After the Weimar Republic hyperinflation, the second half of the 1920s was a strong period for Germany, with low inflation and steady growth. It’s no secret that many currencies around the world, including the US dollar, are choosing the path of inflation. If we were to slip into hyperinflation, there will be disastrous consequences for those unprepared. Given that the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency, the problems would spread to practically every country on earth. Hyperinflation will shake people’s confidence not only in the US dollar, but in the paper currency system as a whole. What will actually come to pass, we don’t know. What we do know is that the measures to cure hyperinflation include tying the currency to a hard asset or even replacing it with one. When creditability in fiat money dissipates, gold may be the only viable option left standing. Again, the investment implication is obvious: continue to accumulate gold. How much is enough? Well, how many ounces do you own in relation to your total assets? Anything less than 5% will not offer you a sufficient level of protection in a high inflationary environment. Another way to look at it is this: how many ounces do you need to cover your monthly expenses? In Weimar Germany, inflation rose uncomfortably for two years – and then pinched harder, spiraling into a destructive hyperinflation for another two. Consider what it would take to maintain your standard of living for a couple years instead of just a couple months. And don’t listen to any government’s ongoing pronouncements of confidence in the current system, along with the mainstream media’s noisy and frequently inaccurate portrayals of the gold market. (For example, these two headlines appeared on the same day: Gold Edges Lower as Worries over Europe Simmer; and Gold Settles Higher on Spanish Bailout Plans.) In a world awash in ignorance about real money, if not deliberate obfuscation, you have to study the relevant history, draw your own conclusions, and stick with them. This example shows how gold can perform during hyperinflation. If that worst-case scenario comes to pass, will the example your family’s finances sets be a positive or a negative one? Don’t let your family be one of the millions slowly being robbed by the US federal government’s policies that are, among other things, eroding the value of its dollar. Start preparing yourself now, and you can not just survive what looks to be ahead – you and your family can thrive. And that, ultimately, is what investing is all about.last_img read more


first_imgHere’s how to write an award-winning movie: pick a random Middle Eastern country with oil… insert conflict that can threaten the oil supply… enter the United States with guns blazing and people dying. Sounds pretty unoriginal, but it’s the plot of the 2005 movie Syriana, which won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (go figure). But what’s even more frightening than the limited imagination of Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is that the US government has followed this plot line to a T so many times. And it’s not any different this time around. The United States will invade Syria or even Iran, secure the oil supply, and occupy the country for decades to come. Politicians will become richer, innocent people will die, and thinking Americans will have yet another reason to doubt their government. America’s involvement this war around probably won’t be as controversial, because many Western countries have already stated their support for the Syrian rebels. Russia’s support for the Syrian government will definitely stir things up, but we don’t think that will be too big of an issue. In fact, the US has already been training non-Islamist rebels in Jordan and has approved providing lethal arms to this group. Next, watch for the pro-war rhetoric to flare up. It’s almost that time again, when the White House and Congress will say and do anything to get the public riled up enough to happily march to the frontlines or, at the very least, “support our troops kids who are being sent to the desert as cannon fodder.” US Secretary of State John Kerry has accused the Syrian government of destroying evidence in an area believed to be the site of a chemical weapon attack, and (gasp!) Syria has been refusing to allow the UN to investigate the alleged attack sites. All of this sounds just a little bit too familiar for our taste. We all know how much of a problem the Iraq debacle has been for the US government and its budget. In fact, we may just be weeks away from seeing Tomahawk cruise missiles raining on Damascus. As Doug Casey likes to put it, never let a good crisis go to waste. Though Syria is not a major producer of oil, the impact of its civil war can reach far beyond its borders to countries such as Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. We believe this saber-rattling by the US government is simply another step toward trying to secure the Persian Gulf… and its precious oil resources. Every time the US government does this, oil has the potential to skyrocket—which, while being bad news for most people, is fantastic news for those who are already invested in the sector because it lifts all oil plays, whether in the desert or elsewhere. Right now, we’re monitoring a promising investment that could massively profit from the next Middle Eastern oil crisis. This company’s plans are so secretive that the company’s lawyers would not even allow us a site tour to find out about its next—and quite possibly crucial—drill results. However, as soon as the company breaks its silence, Casey Energy Report subscribers will hear about it immediately, for a chance to jump into what may be the energy opportunity of a lifetime. The critical drill results are only weeks away. If you give the Casey Energy Report a risk-free try today, you’ll be among the select few who will not just survive these turbulent markets, but who could multiply your net assets with just one investment. Click here to find out more. Additional Links and Reads Gas-Rich Tanzania to Start Power Exports in 2015 (Gulf Times) Due to BG and Statoil’s success in offshore Tanzania, the once energy-starved African nation is set to become an exporter by 2015. Unfortunately for the United States, 2015 is also around the time other countries begin ramping up their liquefied natural-gas (LNG) exports, namely Australia, which is poised to become the Qatar of the Asian-Pacific and own about 20% of the market by 2020. With all these developments, can LNG really be the real savior of the US gas market? Sierra Leone Man Busted by Undercover US Agents for Attempted Uranium Sale to Iran (Jerusalem Post) At least someone was set to make money in the uranium markets. Just how much is 1,000 tons of uranium? Even at current, depressed market prices, the man was set to pocket a cool $70 million for his company. It appears he has brokered deals with other countries in the past. It will be interesting to see where this goes. China National Petroleum Corp. Executive Is Investigated (Wall Street Journal) We recently published a report on national oil companies (NOCs) vs. international oil companies (IOCs). In it, we highlighted many reasons why NOCs sometimes trade at a discount to IOCs. One reason why is highlighted in this article: officials abusing their powers and taking advantage of the lack of transparency in reporting. It really is no surprise; but there are still opportunities when it comes to NOCs. Click here for more information.last_img read more


first_img Gold Producers (GDX) 20.66 24.78 45.55 Oil 97.65 94.80 86.26 Silver Stocks (SIL) 10.82 12.59 22.11 TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) 13.280.72 13,380.41 12,151.13 Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ) 28.89 37.15 83.12 Louis James Senior Metals Investment Strategist Casey Research P.S. New phyles are launching in Sleman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Cuenca Canton, Ecuador; and Birmingham, England. The Antwerp, Belgium; Sydney, Australia; Princeton, NJ; Edmonton, ON; and London, ON, Canada phyles are looking for coordinators. Anyone interested in any of these areas or in checking for an existing phyle in his region should send an email to phyle@caseyresearch.com. Silver 19.54 21.77 33.04 Copper 3.21 3.24 3.63 One Month Agocenter_img Dear Reader, I have written repeatedly about the futility and foolishness of trying to time the market—tops or bottoms—but I know the desire for such a crystal ball is overpowering. So this week, we’ll indulge in a bit of crystal-ball gazing. But first, it is with great pride that I announce the publication of Doug Casey’s new book, Right on the Money. This is our second volume of “Conversations With Casey,” but this one includes several conversations between the two of us that weren’t distributed for free in our former column by that name. In the book, Doug and I delve into the specifics of how to apply his contrarian philosophy to making money. The Book When I mentioned the new book on my Facebook page a few days ago, I received a slew of congratulations. Thank you all. I enjoyed the conversations greatly, as well as the opportunity to draw out Doug’s knowledge and experience to share with all who are intellectually honest enough to consider what he says. But one fellow wrote in to say that Doug and I were quite brazen to publish a book called Right on the Money after being wrong about gold for the last two years. I understand completely that people who’ve invested recently in the gold sector are likely underwater and wondering how long they can hold their breath. I feel the pinch myself, with many of my own stocks in the red at the moment. However, we were not wrong about the current correction. Back in 2011 when gold hit its nominal peak over $1,900, we warned readers in print that a retreat was likely. Granted, given all the Wile E. Coyote economics governments around the world have been engaged in, we didn’t expect the temporary bear to stay so long or grow so large, but we did see it coming, and we did—and still do—see it as a fantastic opportunity for those who didn’t get in at the beginning of the bull cycle back in 2001. In point of fact, we have not been proven wrong about that yet; we’ve just seen a predictable level of panic among those who don’t see or have confidence in the bigger picture and long-term trends we’re betting on. Further, we found ways to make money on gold’s slide since 2011, including three highly successful “gold insurance” plays that more than doubled readers’ investments when gold went down. We’ve also included more dividend-paying companies in BIG GOLD, and even found one company for the International Speculator that profits from processing gold regardless of the gold price (one so far—I’m on my way to see another possible pick as you read this), as well as been able to upgrade our portfolio with high-grade exploration and development companies on sale while the market is down. This is what it means to be a contrarian—as Doug likes to say: “Make volatility your best friend.” And he should know: he’s been profiting from the metals and mining markets for almost 40 years. If one pulls back to view the big picture—in both global breadth and historical depth—as few people can do like Doug, it’s easy to see that the current slump in our market sector should not be cause for fear, but for excitement. It’s the best bargain-hunting opportunity for commodities investors in a decade. And it just may be the best wealth-creation opportunity in a generation. Exactly how one goes about this is what we explore in Right on the Money, and you can preorder a copy now to receive a 13% discount. Just in time for holiday reading—and giving. I hope you take advantage of this deal while it lasts. The Crystal Ball Doug likes to say that it’s a big mistake to make a prediction that includes both an event and a time. But then he often goes ahead and does exactly that—”for entertainment purposes only.” So I’m going to go out on a similar limb: I think it will be clear to most investors that the precious metals correction is over and the second half of this record-smashing gold bull market is under way well before the end of 2014. One of the reasons for this is a very different conversation I recently had, not with Doug, but with Krassimir Petrov. Krassimir is a true international man, like Doug: an Austrian School professor of economics from Bulgaria, currently living in Thailand. More important at the moment is that the previous time I interviewed him, he predicted the timing of the current gold bull cycle more accurately than Doug and I did—a fact that impressed me greatly. That interview is a relatively quick read, dense with important ideas and insights, but it’s too long for this dispatch, so I’m going to give you the bottom line and encourage you to read the whole interview here. Based on cyclical analysis, technical analysis, fundamental analysis, and portfolio analysis, Petrov says the bottom for gold could be in already, but most likely will be behind us within one to seven months. That’s early to mid-2014, now rapidly approaching. (Note that in the interview, he says three to nine months, but I recorded our conversation two months ago.) That said, I should also mention that Krassimir is convinced that the actual Mania Phase in gold – when the investing herd throws itself head-first into the gold market and you’ll get gold stock tips from your friendly cab driver – is still at least six to eight years away. While that may be somewhat disappointing to us gold investors waiting for our big rewards, it isn’t bad at all, because we’ll make plenty of money on the ramp up before the Mania Phase, just as we did in the first half of this epic bull market. I still believe it’s impossible to predict the exact bottom of a market correction, but given that cashed-up, high-grade exploration plays—and even profitable producers—are already on the deep-discount rack, it seems clear as day to me that the thing to do is to build a position while the market is down. You do not want to miss this boat. And best of all, tax-loss selling this month is likely to provide spectacular buying opportunities in the best of the best stock picks in the sector. I strongly encourage any and all with the contrarian courage to buy what others are selling (the hardest part of implementing the “buy low, sell high” formula) to act. Right on the Money shows you how, and the International Speculator offers you specific and detailed guidance. (If you try the International Speculator risk-free for 3 months today, BIG GOLD is included in your subscription, at no extra charge.) I know I’m tooting my own horn here and repeating some things readers have heard before, but I believe 100% in what I’ve said, and I’ve put more of my own money where my mouth is than ever before. Heart and mind, I wish you a happy and very prosperous 2014. Sincerely, Rock & Stock Stats Last Gold and Silver HEADLINES GFMS: India’s Silver Imports Likely to Touch New Record Highs in 2013 (Scrap Monster) According to Thomson Reuters GFMS, silver shipments into India reached 338 tonnes (10.8 million ounces, or Moz) in October, surging 40% over the 241 tonnes (7.7 Moz) imported in September. Through October, the country imported 4,652 tonnes (149.5 Moz), and analysts project that total silver imports could reach 5,200 to 5,400 tonnes (167-174 Moz) this year, exceeding the previous record of 5,048 tonnes (162.2 Moz) achieved in 2008. Silver demand in India has two key drivers. The first is low prices, which have plunged by nearly 37% year to date. The second reason is that increasing numbers of Indians have opted for silver jewelry and coins as gifts at festivals and weddings instead of gold, due to government restrictions that have led to a supply shortfall. Given the strength of the gold tradition in India, it will be interesting to see what happens when this dam finally bursts—as eventually it must. Silver Eagle Coin Sales Lag in November, But Still a Record 2013 (Mineweb) November American Silver Eagle bullion coin sales declined by 787,000 ounces from October levels, as the US Mint reports 2.3 million Silver Eagles were sold in November, down from 3,087,000 coins in October and 3,159,500 coins in November 2012. However, according to the Gold and Silver Blog, “the lower sales figures for November do not reflect a drop in demand for silver bullion coins, but rather the opposite due to the fact that the US Mint has run out of coins due to unprecedented demand.” Last year, the Mint unexpectedly sold out of 2012 Silver Eagles on December 17; the Mint is thus limiting coin orders for the remainder of this year to conserve blanks for the 2014 program. The Mint plans to issue its last weekly allocation of 2013 Silver Eagles on December 9. The 2014 silver Eagle bullion coins will not be available to order until January13, 2014. Meanwhile, year-to-date sales of American Eagle gold bullion coins at the end of November totaled 800,500 ounces, surpassing last year’s total sales of 753,000. This is already a new all-time record. Korea Exchange Targets Gold Trade as Park Hunts Taxes (Bloomberg) In an attempt to improve trading transparency and generate new tax revenue and financial opportunities, the Korean Exchange will begin physical gold trading on March 24, 2014. Asia’s fourth-largest economy, which already offers gold futures trading on the Korean Exchange, has been entertaining the possibility of a physical bullion market since 2010. Illegal trading to avoid taxes accounts for as much as 3.3 trillion won, depriving the government of an estimated $300 billion in tax revenue. The surge in gold-related services and institutions continues, especially in the East. We recommend investing with this trend in mind. This Week in International Speculator and BIG GOLD—Key Updates for Subscribers International Speculator One of our advanced, high-grade explorers just received a critical permit for underground work—a major step forward for this project, which has been significantly de-risked. Gold 1,230.70 1,317.80 1,701.80 One Year Ago TSX Venture 916.65 941.31 1,186.70 This Canadian explorer released outstanding met-test results, showing that its flagship project should have relatively low costs. The market ignored this value-adding news, making this company a Best Buy. BIG GOLD We updated all our stock recommendations in the latest issue of BIG GOLD, which are also posted on the portfolio page.last_img read more


first_img But in the oil patch, you either innovate or disintegrate. The need to bring down costs and increase the recovery of oil and natural gas is now a prerequisite to stay alive in the oil patch during a major price correction, such as we’re currently in. The need to modify drill and production programs to be efficient is greater than ever. Companies will focus on increasing the number of wells per pad and down spacing, which allows producers to increase extraction efficiency by reducing the length between wells on a per acre basis. But I believe the greatest efficiency and success of this downturn will be re-fracking. Re-Enter and Re-Frac In the next few years, you’ll very likely be hearing a lot about re-fracking… and it will likely also become as common as fracking is today over that time frame. What is re-fracking? Essentially, rather than drilling a new well, a company re-enters and re-fractures existing horizontal wells. This can be done currently at about 25% of the cost; that cost will only improve with more “re-fracks” and as better techniques develop with time. Now that oil has fallen to new lows and management teams are coming to the realization that prices aren’t going up anytime soon, oil producers need to find ways to reduce drilling costs and increase production (recovery) from existing wells. I believe that one of the absolute best ways to do this is to eliminate as much of the drilling costs of a new well as possible and focus on re-entering an existing well. By applying better modern technology and better equipment, the company can re-frack the older horizontal wells to unlock the trapped oil and natural gas left behind in the initial frack process. And there’s a lot of oil left behind in the existing fracked wells. Bam! Innovation out of necessity. Re-fracturing horizontal oil wells is new to the industry, but I think it will actually revitalize the declining wells in the shale sector. I’m not saying that the re-fracked wells will be better than the original fracked wells initially, but thus far, the future is very promising for re-fracks based on the results I’ve seen. Not only can re-fracking revitalize these declining wells, it can also increase the companies’ drilling inventories significantly, which is a huge positive. “Drilling inventory” is the number of potential wells per section. More wells means more reserves, which is good, especially if the cost  to re-enter those existing wells is one-quarter or less the cost of drilling a new well. Now I know there will be an old guard—the same guys who in 2007 and 2008 told me that fracking is science fiction—who won’t believe in re-fracking, but that’s their problem. I’m already planning how I am going to position myself and my subscribers to take advantage of this trend that no one is talking about. One of the first companies to test re-fractures is Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO) in its core Bakken acreage in Mountrail and Dunn Counties. So, we called the company up and starting asking questions. They really didn’t like the fact we came knocking and didn’t want to give out much information, as this is cutting-edge stuff, and the company has a leg up on its competition. But anyone who knows me knows I don’t give up easily, so I got the story… and it gets very good. The re-fractured wells significantly outperformed expected results. In the third quarter of 2014, Marathon Oil completed 13 re-fractured wells, all with very positive results. So I kept the search on for other management teams that have the know-how to deploy re-fracks. I called Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), one of the true pioneers in the early days of the Eagle Ford shale in Texas. PXD is seeing major success using re-fracking the Eagle Ford. I didn’t stop there. I have the whole list of who’s re-fracking and who isn’t. But that information is for my paying subscribers. That said, I’d be remiss if I left out my fellow Canadians and failed to mention that the Canadian companies such as Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) are not too far behind this new re-fracking trend. CPG will begin re-fracturing its Alberta Bakken wells in 2015. Who will really benefit from the re-fracking boom? I think I nailed this one… and it will be the basis of my March Casey Energy Report newsletter. I spoke to one of the world’s leading minds in well re-fracking recently, to pick his mind on where the industry is currently and where it will be going in a few years. His insights and experience are incredible. This executive was one of the final candidates to be the president of one of the world’s largest service companies; and after not getting the nod, he left the company (into which he’d put over 30 years of service) and formed a multibillion-dollar fund which is now capitalizing on the new enhanced oil recoveries. I also plan on making money for my Casey Energy Report subscribers with it. The reason for the recent emphasis on efficiency is due to the adversity facing oil and gas producers, with lower oil prices and a business model built upon levered growth. Many companies have over-accumulated debt to fund growth projects, and as oil prices fall, they must look to efficiencies to keep growth alive or keep existing production stable. Shale wells face production decline rates ranging from 50%-85% in some wells of the three main formations. Therefore, US shale producers have to keep drilling just to maintain production and continuously pay out large interest payments to their debt holders. These interest payments are burdensome on the profitability of producers, but if they even slow production, their interest payments would be at risk at $50 oil. Looking at the large and small producers in the three main basins in the US, we can see how much these interest payments can cost a company as a percentage of operating profit. If highly levered US producers were to cut production, their interest costs could rise to greater than 50% of their operating profit and would put the company at risk of default. If that happens, debt is likely to dry up, and lenders would tighten lending restrictions on these companies. US companies are using down spacing, pad drilling, and re-fracturing as a way to stabilize and grow production while cutting costs in order to avoid accumulating additional debt or seeking additional credit facilities to fund their production. The United States is a place that fosters innovation. With companies like Google, Apple, and Tesla, it’s easy to overlook innovation in the oil and gas industry. As oil and gas producers face the adversity of low oil prices and high leverage, they rely on the main characteristic that birthed the shale revolution: innovation. The Saudis may be dictating the price of oil currently to fight for international market share, but oil production from shale formations will not be destroyed, as OPEC hopes it will. The US oil producers will continue to pump record amounts of crude, not because they want to, but because they have to—and having to do something spurs the type of innovation we’re seeing in the oil and gas industry today. The future of fracking is re-fracking, and we’re on the cusp of what will be the next phase of the US Shale Revolution. How Do You Make Money from the Re-fracking Revolution? The current energy markets are volatile, but a speculator must use volatility to his own advantage to build positions in companies that have suffered as a result of the current market correction. I follow a very disciplined approach and use very advanced mathematics and technical knowledge to position myself in the best energy companies. If you’re looking for in-depth research, experience, and exposure to my vast network in the resource sector, then you may want to pay attention to what I’m doing. If you believe that to be successful in the resource sector one must be a contrarian to be rich—as I do—now is the time to become engaged. Come see what I’m doing with my own money. You’ll get access to every Casey Energy Report newsletter I’ve written in the last decade, as well as my next two monthly reports, which will not only cover the potential of re-fracking, but will reveal which companies will be best situated to make their shareholders money in the current depressed energy market. It’s all available right here. I can’t make the trade for you, but I can help you help yourself. I’m making big bets—are you ready to step up and join me? This will be one of the most important missives I will ever write. The future of fracking is re-fracking. This cutting-edge technology is new, and I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the next game-changing technology in the shale revolution. Some will call it Fracking 2.0., but I call it Re-Fracking. Adversity is understating the potential headwinds heavily indebted oil and gas companies face as 2015 begins, oil prices stay suppressed, and hedges on their production eventually wind down. Adversity always results in innovation in the top oil and gas producers, operators, and servicers in the industry in every downturn. Where We Were, Where We Are, and Where We’re Going In 1956 Marion King Hubbert, a geoscientist from Shell, predicted peak oil production would be reached between 1965 and 1970. He became famous when his prediction became reality in 1970. But everything changed when the innovations in horizontal drilling and fracturing allowed companies to recover oil and natural gas from new and deeper formations such as the Bakken, Eagle Ford, and Permian Basin at the dawn of the 21st century. Hydraulic fracturing has experienced many innovations, such as increased lengths both vertically and laterally as well as new completion designs which have increased fracture stages along the well and perforations (number of fractures) between each cluster stage, to name a few.center_img I prefer to spell the shorthand for hydraulic fracturing as “fracing,” because it’s an adaptation of the word “fracturing,” which is what happens to the formation of rock. But mainstream media, Microsoft Office Word 2013, and most important, my proofreaders disagree. The latter tell me it should actually follow some rule involving a part of speech called a “gerund” and get the “k” added. It’s a battle I don’t care to fight (I care about making money, not academic nonsense), so fracking will be the spelling in Casey publications moving forward. Whether you read the word fracking, fraccing, or fracing, they all refer to hydraulic fracturing.last_img read more


first_imgIn the past few years, consumer advocacy groups have pressed restaurant chains to offer healthier kids’ meals and more nutritious side options like milk and fruit, and the restaurants have responded.In 2013, McDonald’s pledged to remove all mentions and images of soda from Happy Meal menu boards, and shortly thereafter, other fast-food restaurants began to devise policies to introduce nutritious drink and side options beyond fries and dessert. McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Subway — the four biggest fast-food chains — replaced soda on kids’ meal menus with low-fat milk, water and 100 percent juice, and McDonald’s and Subway promised to make fruit and vegetable sides available.So have the voluntary pledges to make fast food healthier meant parents are purchasing more of the healthier food for their kids at the restaurants?Not really, says a study released Thursday by the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. And that may not be a good sign for children’s health.The study documented about 800 parents’ purchases for their children at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Subway through online surveys conducted in 2010, 2013 and 2016.Between 2010 and 2016, the percentage of parents who purchased kids’ meals and received healthier drinks remained about the same at 59-60 percent. And from 2013 to 2016, the percentage of parents who purchased kids’ meals with healthier sides actually declined from 67 percent in 2013 to 50 percent in 2016.Also, parents report buying fast food for their children more often. In fact, 91 percent of parents surveyed in 2016 said they had purchased a meal for their child at the four largest fast-food chains in the past week, compared with 79 percent in 2010.”It appears that restaurants’ voluntary policies as currently implemented are unlikely to substantially reduce children’s fast-food consumption overall, or increase their consumption of healthy items,” the study says.The report doesn’t really surprise researchers. Past studies conducted by Rudd have shown that fast-food restaurants are following their own voluntary pledges inconsistently.For example, at one McDonald’s location, the cashier may automatically include soda with a kids’ meal, at another location you might need to ask, and the same goes for french fries, the study found. While all chains removed the items listed in their pledges from their online menus, many still listed soda on kids’ meal menus in the brick-and-mortar restaurants.Still, the “health halo” of the healthy offering policies seems to resonate with parents. Nearly all parents surveyed in the latest Rudd study said they would purchase food for their children at that restaurant more frequently because of the healthy offerings. But Harris says while they may have health in mind when entering the restaurant, this doesn’t always lead to healthy choices.”The marketing of the healthy options available is getting people in the door, but it’s unlikely they’ll take the effort to ask if [the restaurant has] something healthier,” says the study’s lead author, Dr. Jennifer L. Harris, the director of marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center.Instead, Harris says, the best option for public health would be to automatically include the healthy options with the kids’ meals. “If fast-food restaurants start automatically giving patients healthy choices, that would be encouraging,” she says.Hillary Caron, a senior policy associate at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, says that the Rudd Center’s study is particularly interesting because it demonstrates the power of defaults in consumer decision-making. That is, if the meal comes with fries unless you ask for apple slices instead, you’re likely to get fries.Some government officials have already taken this message to heart. Just last week, California became to first state to pass a healthy-kids’-meal policy when Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that prohibits soda and other sugary drinks from being the designated beverages that come with kids’ meals. Similar bills have passed in cities like Louisville, Ky., and Baltimore and have been proposed in New York City and D.C.Harris says that the findings of the latest Rudd study indicate a need for such public policies. Voluntary and mandatory policies could work hand in hand, though, according to Caron.”Both approaches reinforce each other,” Caron writes in an email to NPR. Voluntary commitments from restaurants, she says, help make the case for state and local policies because they show that the changes are achievable. But state and local policies ensure that the principles apply to all restaurants, not just chains that propose voluntary health policies.Still, Harris wants people to remember that even if the fast food offered at restaurants is billed as healthy, most fast-food meals still consist of chicken nuggets, burgers and fries.”It’s important to communicate that fast-food meals are not healthy options,” Harris says. “Replacing soda with milk or water doesn’t make the meal healthy,” she adds. “It’s a small step, but in the right direction.”Rachel D. Cohen is an intern on NPR’s Science Desk. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more