Earlier today, I was honored to join Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Deputy Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin to unveil designs for the 2017 American Liberty Gold Coin. The unveiling not only marked a historic milestone for the allegorical Lady Liberty, who has been featured on American coinage since the late 1790s, but also served to kick-off the Mint’s 225th anniversary—a year-long public awareness campaign about its mission, facilities and employees. I am very proud of the fact that the United States Mint is rooted in the Constitution. Our founding fathers realized the critical need for our fledgling nation to have a respected monetary system, and over the last 225 years, the Mint has never failed in its mission to enable America’s growth and stability by protecting assets entrusted to us and manufacturing coins and medals to facilitate national commerce. We have chosen “Remembering our Past, Embracing the Future” as the Mint’s theme for our 225th Anniversary year. This beautiful coin truly embodies that theme. The coin demonstrates our roots in the past through such traditional elements as the inscriptions United States of America, Liberty, E Pluribus Unum and In God We Trust. We boldly look to the future by casting Liberty in a new light, as an African-American woman wearing a crown of stars, looking forward to ever brighter chapters in our Nation’s history book. The 2017 American Liberty Gold Coin is the first in a series of 24-karat gold coins the United States Mint will issue biennially. These coins will feature designs that depict an allegorical Liberty in a variety of contemporary forms including designs representing Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Indian-Americans among others to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States. 2017 American Liberty Gold Coin obverse (left) and reverse (right). (United States Mint Photos) Rhett Jeppson is the Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Mint.
In a "watershed" move that has industry watchers scratching their heads, and which will ripple throughout the auto industry, General Motors announced that it is ending a 25-year practice and switching its reporting of U.S. auto sales from monthly to quarterly, effective immediately, in "an effort to give a more accurate view of its business operations." According to the US automaker, Q2 sales will be released on July 3, Q3 sales on Oct. 2 and Q4 sales on Jan. 3, 2019. The latest US sales report for March 2018, will be released as previously scheduled on April 3 at 9:30am ET, at which point there will be a three month radio silence. The change, which does not impact dealers reporting monthly sales to the automaker, was announced Tuesday ahead of GM releasing U.S. light-duty vehicle sales for March, its last monthly report. It follows by five years a decision to stop reporting North American production data. Fiat Chrysler has followed suit on that front. It is unclear how or why providing market updates two-thirds less frequently is supposed to provide a "more accurate view" of the business, and the transition has pundits wondering just how bad recent trends must be for the company to resort to such a dramatic adjustment in public reporting. Coincidentally, the announcement comes just hours after we published that the "Subprime Auto Bubble Bursts As "Buyers Are Suddenly Missing From Showrooms." How did GM justify the move? GM cited monthly sales being subject to many issues that make them more volatile than quarterly sales, including product launch activity, weather, other seasonal factors, the number of selling days and incentive activity. "Thirty days is not enough time to separate real sales trends from short-term fluctuations in a very dynamic, highly competitive market," Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of sales operations, said in a statement, even though it was for nearly three decades. "Reporting sales quarterly better aligns with our business, and the quality of information will make it easier to see how the business is performing." Once again: one wonders what the real cause for the unexpected lack of clarity truly is. According to Autonews, GM is the first major automaker to change how it reports monthly light-vehicle U.S. sales results since the industry dropped 10-day reports in the early 1990s. It is a step certain to be considered by other automakers - if it hasn't been already. Some more details on the decisions: as Autonews adds, the company conducted due diligence prior to making the decision. That included analyzing nearly three years of stock trading data on sales days and researching how other industries and companies report sales. GM benchmarked companies such as Amazon Inc., Apple Inc., AutoNation, John Deere, Penske Corp., Walmart Inc. and Whirlpool Corp. -- all of which do not report sales on a monthly basis. California electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc. also reports quarterly sales instead of monthly results. Well yes, if GM polls companies which all report sales on a quarterly basis, it will find precisely what it is looking for. The question is why was GM reporting sales monthly for decades, and nobody had a problem with that. Until now. "GM gave this decision a lot of thought," said IHS Markit senior analyst Stephanie Brinley, adding this "wasn't a knee jerk" reaction to its sales or business operations. "Other automakers are going to have to take that same look." Michelle Krebs, executive analyst with Autotrader, said she wouldn't be surprised if other automakers followed GM in reporting on a quarterly basis. "I understand the reasons they are doing it," she said. "There can be a lot of fluctuation during a month." Krebs compared the newest change to the auto industry switching from 10-day sales reports to monthly sales in the '90s. "What happened was they decided to go monthly, and everybody did it," she said. "That would make me believe everybody is going to follow suit and follow GM's lead." Foreign units of GM will have separate treatment of sales reporting: GM's Canadian operations, according to company spokesman Jim Cain, will continue to issue monthly sales results. GM China, the automaker's top-selling market, will cease reporting on a monthly basis; however its joint ventures will continue to report wholesale volumes to government and industry associations. GM's operations in Brazil and Mexico will also continue to report sales to their respective associations. Cain declined to speculate if the company expects other companies will cease reporting sales on a monthly basis. "With respect to competitors, we're doing what we think is right for our business," he said. "Competitors will have to assess for themselves whether it makes sense to continue with the status quo." If others do follow GM, it could take years for the entire industry to move to quarterly reporting, much like it did to shift to monthly. For example, the former Chrysler Corp. eliminated 10-day reports in 1991; GM didn't do so until 1994. The move is merely the latest attempt by GM to mask and massage trend data; it comes nearly five years after GM stopped holding a monthly sales call with media and investors, something Ford Motor and other competitors continue to do. Switching to quarterly sales reporting, Krebs cautioned, could lead to "less transparency" and "leave an information gap" for the industry, which could lead to unintended speculation, particularly if some automakers follow GM but others do not. Naturally, GM argues it is not being less transparent, as it will continue to report the same amount of information on a quarterly basis as it currently does monthly. The disclosed data includes total deliveries, brand and nameplate sales, fleet mix and inventory, more than many of its competitors report. The company will also continue sharing J.D. Power PIN estimates for incentive spending and average transaction prices. In the end, all that will happen is that wealthy hedge funds will start using satellite tracking services to keep tabs on dealer lots and be informed on a day to day basis about trends, while the rest of the investing public will once again have to wait for months to realize why the stock - if indeed the subprime bubble has not burst - is down.
A video posted online shows an IDF soldier detaining a Palestinian toddler in Hebron. Israel says the incident was a provocation intended to portray its forces in a bad light. Check out http://rt.com RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaToday Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnews Follow us on Telegram https://t.me/rtintl Follow us on VK https://vk.com/rt_international Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_com Follow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rt Follow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RT RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.
The 4th Global Automotive Lightweight Materials Asia Summit, which takes place on 31 July – 1 August 2018 in Shanghai, China, will focus on designing lightweight structures and selecting the optimal combination of high strength steel, aluminium and reinforced plastics to help OEMs create the next generation of light vehicles meeting new regulatory standards on safety, emissions and performance.The Summit will bring together the best of Chinese and international automotive engineers to lay out lightweight engineering approaches for mixed material bodies from across Asia, the US and Europe to deliver actionable, transferrable insight for Asian OEMs. To find out more about this event and to register, please go to: GALM Asia 2018
The no-drama Energy secretary has demonstrated a remarkable ability to avoid the negative headlines that have dogged other Cabinet members.
The Dodd-Frank Act is shedding some surprising light on Wall Street pay. New disclosures mandated by the crisis-era U.S. law show that the widest income disparities in finance don’t necessarily
South Africa win by 492 runsVernon Philander bags six wickets in an incredible spell of bowlingFeel free to get in touch on email or tweet @JPHowcroft 10.36am BST This was a result that was feared at the start of the match following the week Australia had endured but even so, it remains one heck of a thumping. Biggest Test victory margins by runs:675 Eng beat Aus Brisbane 1928/29562 Aus beat Eng Oval 1934530 Aus beat SA Melbourne 1911492 SA beat Aus Johannesburg 2018491 Aus beat Pak Perth 2004 10.28am BST South Africa arrived on day five knowing they would be celebrating at some point today, they just couldn’t have dreamed it would be so soon. Vernon Philander struck with his opening ball and then again later in his first over to start the rot. Four more fell at his hand in a mesmerising spell of seam bowling before a mindless run-out sealed the deal. Under 90-minutes of play to secure seven wickets and complete a 3-1 series victory, South Africa’s first at home over Australia since 1970. Continue reading...
Venezuela’s chief prosecutor said Monday that investigators believe prisoners started the blaze that killed 68 people in one of the worst jail fires in the nation’s history by lighting some mattresses on fire.
England 307 & 352-9 dec; New Zealand 278 & 256-8 Draw sees New Zealand win two-Test series 1-0It was captivating until the end and – for England – hugely frustrating. They could not bowl New Zealand out on the final day at the Hagley Oval despite the bonus of taking two wickets with the first two deliveries of the day, which were bowled by Stuart Broad.At lunch England had taken four wickets; at tea they had six and the second new ball had only been used for two overs. But in the last session they could muster just two more wickets as New Zealand’s tail resolutely combatted just about everything propelled in their direction, which, when the pacemen were in action, consisted mostly of bouncers. For a jubilant home side the lower order, Colin de Grandhomme, Ish Sodhi and Neil Wagner, who was dismissed by Joe Root with the last ball of the game, heroically augmented the excellent innings of Tom Latham. This trio of lower order batsmen faced a total of 368 balls between them. Continue reading...
A Baltimore councilman wants to focus on punishing people who purchase sex as a way to curb demand, but will it work in a city that has a bustling red-light district just blocks from city hall? Visit http://therealnews.com for more stories and help support our work by donating at http://therealnews.com/donate.
Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com, The American colonies were made up of people who could not accept the downward progression in Europe and said, “I’m leaving.” That took great courage, as they were leaving their few known comforts for unknown difficulties. However, once they had made the move and overcome the difficulties of settlement, they understood that their courage had been rewarded. Such people never look back and say, “Maybe we shouldn’t have left.” There can be little doubt that they taught their children and grandchildren the values of courage, determination, hard work, and self-reliance. And more and more immigrants were added to their numbers, each of whom was also courageous enough to abandon Europe for freedom and opportunity. They raised generations of people with a “pioneer spirit.” Not surprisingly, then, that when the American colonists were squeezed by King George for increases in tax, it wasn’t difficult for them to refuse. They chose to go it alone, rather than allow the British king to steal the fruits of their labours. Although the tax level at that time was a mere 2%, it was the principle that taxation is theft that angered them. Further, they had already proven to themselves that they had all the character qualities necessary to determine their own future. And so, in a sense, the American Revolution was Act II of the quest for freedom and, of the two challenges, it may have been the easier one to face. However, the America of the late eighteenth century is not the America of today - and the outcome will not be the same for Americans in the present era. It’s important to remember that only a very small percentage of people actually left Europe to find freedom. The great majority remained behind, complaining about the ever-increasing loss of freedoms, but doing nothing about it. Although their governments took more and more from them, the great majority simply tolerated it, saying, “What can you do?” They became the eventual victims of that oppression, as has happened throughout history. Those in America today are, in essence, a subjugated people, just as Europeans were prior to the American Revolution. They’re accustomed to the concept of the “nanny state”—one which taxes its people heavily and throws back a portion of what they’ve stolen in the form of “bread and circuses,” as in ancient Rome. Americans today complain continually, either that too much is being taken from them or that the state isn’t providing them with sufficient largesse. Some even complain of both at the same time. And yet, a very large percentage of Americans holds out “hope” that somehow, the process will reverse itself—that a new political candidate will appear—a “Freedom Fairy,” who will somehow stand in front of the runaway train, stop it, and reverse it. Historically, this never happens. What happens is that a small number decide to set sail and escape. Whether it’s the Roman commercial class, who walked away from their shops and travelled north to live amongst the barbarians, rather than accept Rome’s increasing domination, or the German Jews who locked up their shops and homes and boarded ships to the West, just prior to the lockdown of 1939, every burgeoning new “free” society has been created by the few who took courage and made an exit from a dying society. In every case, those who exited did so with fear in their hearts that they would fail. They left their larger possessions behind and travelled light, sewing coins and jewellery into their clothing, not knowing whether they would succeed. However, when they arrived at the new frontier, they met other like-minded people, each of whom had also shown courage and determination. They then created a new society that was, predictably, based upon the principles described above. Today, a similar exodus is occurring. It’s made of those who place their liberty and hope for a promising future above the comforts and freedoms that, one by one, are being taken from them by their governments. Of course, the details are not the same. They no longer travel by ship, but by jet. No one sews valuables into their clothes, as they’d never get through the metal detectors. Instead, they convert their assets to cash and purchase precious metals, to be stored in a country where there is diminished risk of confiscation by governments. As has happened throughout history, the exodus is being undertaken quietly. Those who emigrate do not wish to call attention to themselves, but then, neither do the governments of the countries they’re leaving. It’s never seen on the news, and the official numbers who leave are far below the number that actually departed. But the details of the exit are unimportant. What is important is that, when people meet the challenge to exit to find freedom and self-determination, they then build an extremely strong and free society. And there are many locations in the world where this is presently taking place. But what of those left behind? Surely, the present-day US is at a breaking point and may very well explode into civil disobedience—even revolution. Yes, this is quite so. And again, history shows us what happens in countries where the majority feel that they’re entitled to be looked after; that the rich must “pay a little more” to provide them with largesse. Good examples of this are the Russian Revolution and the French Revolution. Both of these are marked by a predominance of belief that “someone has to pay so that I can benefit.” In both revolutions, the aristocracy were violently removed and the rebels scrambled to grab as much of the spoils as possible. Disorder became prolonged and the new leaders that rose up were, if anything, more oppressive than those they replaced. Today, in visiting the US and talking with Americans, it’s palpable that most Americans now have a gut feeling that this will most certainly not end well. Most hope that there might be a peaceful transition of some sort. Some vainly hope that a “Freedom Fairy” will emerge. But, Americans, more than most people in the world, incorrectly believe that freedom only exists in their country and that, when it dies there, it will die everywhere. This is far from true, but it does mean that those who were born in the former “land of the free” are more fearful and discouraged than those elsewhere. The great majority doubt that it’s possible for them, individually, to choose freedom, rather than to go down with the ship. They, in effect, are exactly the same as the great majority in Europe in the eighteenth century. The American colonies were built upon the courage of a few who chose to leave the dominance and stagnation in Europe. The same is true today. The USA may be a sinking ship, but the concept of “America” is not. It’s a movable concept and it can exist anywhere that people have chosen future freedom over tentative comforts. * * * A “pioneer spirit” isn’t the only thing you need if you want to leave the sinking ship and pursue freedom. You’ll find details on what else you’ll need in Doug Casey’s special report, Getting Out of Dodge. Click here to download your free PDF copy.
Submitted by Nicholas Colas of DataTrek Research Today we offer up our quarterly Off the Grid economic indicators to look at the state of the US economy with fresh eyes. Everything looks pretty good, even as expectations for Q1 GDP growth falter slightly. Our best observation, courtesy of some Google Trend data hounding: still disappointing wage growth may be a lingering after-effect of the Great Recession. You need genuine confidence to demand higher compensation, and many workers aren’t there yet. With estimates for US Q1 GDP coming down, today we turn to our quarterly “Off the Grid” indicators to see if first quarter growth is really as sluggish as more traditional measures say. We’ve been looking at non-standard measures of US economic growth since the Financial Crisis. Over the years we have found a handful that reveal both underlying growth trends and consumer confidence. One of our favorite vectors for this analysis is the US auto industry. Specifically: Full sized pickup truck sales are weakening. February 2018 posted an 8.0% decline to last year, the worst comp since March 2011. January was only 1.0% higher. Some of the decline may be due to storm damage replacement last year pulling demand forward, but this is a critical indicator of the health of American small business. And it is moving in the wrong direction. Used car prices, as measured by Manheim Auctions, have been ticking down from their post-hurricanes Q4 highs and are now equal to where they were last August. Since almost every new vehicle sales comes with a trade-in, the value of used cars is an important driver of new car sales/product mix.Now, used car prices have remained elevated far longer than most experts thought possible. The recent drops may not mean much, but they do bear watching as we go into spring selling season. Vehicle inventory on new car dealer lots is, at least, in good shape. At 74 days supply, current stock is the same as last year at this time. This bodes well for production schedules (and economic growth) in Q2, especially if consumers use some of their tax reform savings to purchase a new car or truck. Overall score here as it relates to US economic strength: C+. While light vehicle demand has remained very good for this point in the economic cycle, lower pickup truck sales and used car prices are worrisome. Turning to the strength of the US consumer and their confidence in the domestic economy and financial system: Google search volumes for “Food stamps” in Q1 2018 were less than half peak levels from October 2013 and near 12 month lows. Program participation at the end of last year was down to 41.3 million people (of which roughly half are children) from 47.7 million in 2013. Current program levels remain slightly elevated from last year’s storms, but are among the lowest levels since the Great Recession. Gold and silver coin sales from the US Mint, which reliably ran over $250 million on a monthly basis from 2010 to 2013, are now just $51 million/month. These are levels we haven’t seen since mid 2008. Google autocompletes (where the search box algorithm suggests common endings to your partial query) for “I want to buy” include: bitcoin, a house, a timeshare, and ripple (in that order). In Q3 2011, the top autocomplete for this partial search entry was “used”. Top autocompletes for “I want to sell my” are: car, fur coat, and furniture. As recently as 2015, “kidney” was a top Google suggestion here. Overall score for consumer confidence in the economy and banking system: B+/A-. While way too many Americans still need (and qualify for) government assistance to purchase necessities, the general trend is thankfully positive. Worries over the banking system (manifested in interest in precious metals) are very low. And if the top Google autocompletes for “buy” and “sell” are highly volatile crypto currencies, we trust consumers have the basics largely covered. Other items of note/interest related to the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate of inflation and employment: When we go off the grid, we measure consumer inflation expectations through the lens of a commonly purchased treat: a bacon cheeseburger. The Consumer Price Index subcomponents cover all the bases here, with long-term price records for all three ingredients. Through this greasy lens, we see that these commonly purchased food items are collectively exceeding the Federal Reserve’s 2% inflation target. Year to date, bacon, ground beef and cheese are up 3-4% over last year. Moreover, the momentum of these changes is broadly accelerating, for last year at this time price levels were declining by 1-3%. No word on whether new Fed Chair Powell likes his bacon cheeseburger rare, medium, or well done. But no matter his preference, consumers are seeing rising inflation in this all-American food item. And since consumer inflation expectations can anchor on things they purchase frequently, this should/could boost public perceptions of inflationary pressures. This was, for example, a large piece of the 1970s inflation story. “Take this job and shove it”. Jessica covers the monthly JOLTS data in detail, but we lift one piece of this report for Off the Grid. We have found that consumer confidence is closely aligned with the percentage of workers who quit their job rather than being let go. In January 2018 (latest data available), the percentage of workers who submitted a resignation letter rather than receiving a pink slip was 60.5%. While not the highest percentage in the dataset (December 2017 was 62.9%, for example), it is significantly above average. Since 2010, the mean quits/separation ratio is 51.5%. Overall score for inflation and labor markets: B. Our two Off the Grid items point to the conundrum the Fed will face this year. Labor markets are tight, so workers have their choice of employment and are quitting at near-record levels for (presumably) better opportunities. Inflation should be ticking higher. The missing piece: wage growth. On that point, we have one last Off the Grid Indicator: the number of domestic Google searches for “Ask for a raise” (polite) and “get a raise” (brusque). The former has not increased in popularity for more than 5 years. The latter has doubled in terms of Google search volumes in the same period. Our take: wages may be stagnant in part because workers are still a bit shy about pushing for a pay increase. Total US search volumes for “Ask for” and “get” a wage bump aren’t that different. And, we suspect, the people that Google “Get a raise” have a better chance of that result than those who “Ask”. The Great Recession damaged consumer (and therefore worker) confidence in many ways. The ability to push for a wage increase may well be one less appreciated bit of that damage.
Date: Monday April 02, 2018 Today on Infowars Live TV - The Alex Jones Show Monday, April 2nd: Nuclear Option - Trump urges Congress to pass border legislation as an emergency maneuver to bolster America’s existing laws. In light of the invasion of illegals dubbed a caravan, Trump specifically... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit http://FinanceArmageddon.blogspot.com or http://lindseywilliams101.blogspot.com for full links, other content, and more! ]]
From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Begin April Near 2-Month LowsMortgage rates moved lower today as underlying bond markets generally followed a much bigger move in stocks. ...with rates already fairly close to recent lows and with lenders generally holding back ahead of the extended holiday weekend, all it took was that modest improvement in bond markets for mortgage rates to drop to the lowest levels since early February. [30YR FIXED - 4.5%]emphasis addedTuesday:• At 10:00 AM ET, Corelogic House Price index for February.• All day, Light vehicle sales for March. The consensus is for light vehicle sales to be 17.0 million SAAR in March, down from 17.1 million in February (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate).
Just days after initiating its 'petroyuan' futures contract, and hours after an unprecedented announcement that China will pay for oil in yuan, The Global Times, the unofficial mouthpiece of the Chinese government, printed a remarkable story from 'one of its editors' highlighting the 'petroyuan' and its potential to topple the US Dollar as global reserve currency. The Shanghai debut of China's first yuan-denominated crude futures trading market on Monday proved a great success, with major domestic and foreign traders displaying active interest. Total turnover amounted to 18.3 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) on the first trading day. The market's better-than-expected performance is believed to have significantly contributed to the recent strength of the yuan on global currency markets. As China largely depends on crude imports, price volatility in the commodity market is a major impediment. It launched the crude futures market to address the problem and also to gain more pricing power over the crucial commodity. An important move by Beijing to open up its financial sector, the new crude benchmark has garnered increasing attention, because it challenges the current dollar-dominated pricing scheme of crude oil markets - commonly known as the petrodollar system - which helps underpin the dollar's status as the major international reserve currency. Once the yuan-denominated crude futures market is established as a major oil benchmark with active trading volume and significant domestic and global investor participation, the acceptance of the Chinese yuan as a mode of global transaction will rise. Analysts expect sufficient demand for crude futures contracts from both industrial and financial clients, as they need a tool to manage risk and hedge against inflation. The market offers companies in the real economy a hedging tool that can better reflect market conditions in Asia. The evident enthusiasm for the new yuan-denominated crude contracts in the past few days will have pleased the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE) and China's regulators. They aim to establish a third global crude benchmark in the country. There is no reason why the INE contract should not take its place alongside the UK's Brent and the US' West Texas Intermediate (WTI). It is a far more useful marker for China and for the rest of the economically fast-growing Asia, given that the seven grades of crude accepted for delivery on the INE are heavier and more sour than the light grades that make up Brent and the WTI. Some have warned that the growing clout of China's currency in international financial markets could gradually erode the primacy of the US dollar. But at the current stage, nobody knows for sure what impact China's new benchmark will pose to the oil hegemony the dollar has held since the 1970s. With few exceptions, any country wishing to purchase oil must first obtain US dollars, creating a significant demand for the currency in international financial markets. As a result, the petrodollar mechanism has played a critical role in generating global confidence in the greenback, which has benefited the US economy a great deal. The widespread pricing and trading of crude oil in the yuan, or the "petroyuan," is likely to shake people's confidence in the US dollar, and theoretically back up the value of China's yuan in the global market place. One clear objective for China's regulators is to seek ways to internationalize its currency to boost its own economic prominence and reduce its longstanding reliance on the dollar. As the world's largest crude oil importer, China would naturally benefit from using its own currency over that of an economic rival and strategic competitor. At the same time, China's Belt and Road initiative, which seeks to create trade networks across the Eurasian continent, the Middle East and Africa, will almost certainly invigorate the yuan's march toward wider usage and the currency's globalization. However, the dollar will not cede its present dominance in oil markets any time soon. Instead, China is likely to build confidence in the yuan gradually, through steady measures of reform and opening-up, more robust economic growth, proactive foreign engagement and liberalization of its monetary policy.
Eating well and working out pays off. These celebrities are proof you can rock a bikini regardless of age.
New Zealand won a series at home to England for the first in 34 years after an immense rearguard action on a dramatic day at Christchurch 7.22am BST I suppose that’s an appropriate end to a trying winter for England. But today is more about New Zealand - a resourceful, likeable, sometimes brilliant side who fully deserve this victory. On behalf of all the OBO writers, thanks for your company all winter, and for keeping us sane during the small hours. It feels a long time ago that James Vince made 83 on the first day of the Ashes at the Gabba. Bye! Related: England frustrated by New Zealand and bad light as second Test is drawn 7.21am BST Kane Williamson speaks “It was an amazing day of Test cricket. I want to thank Joe and his team - that was a really hard-fought series. We didn’t get off to a great start but the guys showed a lot of steel. Ish Sodhi and Neil Wagner were just phenomenal.” Continue reading...
President Donald Trump's tweet in support of Sinclair Broadcast Group leaves little question his administration will approve the conservative TV empire's bid for Tribune Media, according to the company's critics.Trump came to the broadcaster's defense after a viral video showing dozens of TV anchors at Sinclair-owned stations reciting the same Trump-like script bashing the media for spreading "fake news."While the president didn't mention Sinclair's pending $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune, opponents of the deal say Trump's comments send a message to regulators now reviewing the transaction.“If anybody didn’t understand that the green light was on for the Sinclair deal, I think it’s crystal clear now,” said Michael Copps, a former Democratic FCC commissioner who now serves as an adviser to public interest group Common Cause.The Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission are reviewing Sinclair’s bid to buy Tribune's stations, which would allow the company, known for injecting must-run conservative segments into local stations' programming, to reach nearly three out of every four households in the U.S.The reviews, however, have taken longer than expected, with Sinclair revising the deal several times and committing to sell off some of the TV stations it wanted to buy after discussions with regulators.Trump had steered clear of talking about Sinclair, but that changed Monday, when he tweeted that it’s “so funny” to see criticism of Sinclair from other media outlets, arguing that the company is “far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke."Opponents of Sinclair pounced on what they called evidence of Trump bias."At a moment when millions of people are waking up to what it looks like when Sinclair comes in and controls your local TV station, Trump is rushing to their defense, just like they’ve rushed to his defense a countless number of times,"said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of consumer advocacy group Free Press. A Sinclair representative declined to comment on Trump's tweet, but the company said its promotional announcements on local news are meant to differentiate its news programming from less reliable sources of information.“We aren’t sure of the motivation for the criticism, but find it curious that we would be attacked for asking our news people to remind their audiences that unsubstantiated stories exist on social media, which result in an ill-informed public with potentially dangerous consequences,” Scott Livingston, Sinclair’s senior vice president of news, said in a statement. Sinclair has faced criticism over reports that it gave favorable treatment to Trump while airing negative stories about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.POLITICO reported shortly after the election that Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner boasted that the campaign had struck a deal with Sinclair for better media coverage. (Sinclair has disputed the characterization, saying it was an arrangement for extended sit-down interviews offered to both candidates.)FCC watchers say the agency's actions under the Trump administration have benefited Sinclair. They point to Chairman Ajit Pai's decision last year to revive a regulatory loophole, known as the UHF discount, that allows Sinclair to expand its footprint without vastly exceeding federal limits on media ownership.Under Pai, the FCC also got rid of regulations that required broadcast companies to maintain studios in local communities and prevented them from owning more than one top-rated TV station in a market — changes also seen as helping Sinclair."One way or another, Chairman Pai is going to approve this deal," said Andrew Schwartzman, an attorney with the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center. "He doesn’t need the president to encourage him."Chris Ruddy, CEO of the conservative news network Newsmax and a Trump confidante, said he agrees with Sinclair's stance on the dangers of fake news but said he's concerned about the policy changes by the FCC that will allow the broadcaster to grow larger."The FCC has essentially become a subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcasting company and is rubber stamping a lot of things to help them package and homogenize news and have a huge national reach," Ruddy said in an interview. "I don’t think it's good for free press. It creates a very dangerous precedent. I believe the actions the FCC has taken literally stink."Ruddy met with Trump recently but declined to say whether he discussed Sinclair."I can tell you the president likes Sinclair and thinks they were very fair to him during the election, and I agree with that sentiment," Ruddy said. "But I think that the president was elected because there were many station owners in local markets in red states, not just Sinclair."Some antitrust experts dismissed the significance of Trump’s bluster in the regulatory reviews.Trump’s tweets about his personal likes and dislikes are “pretty much irrelevant," said Allen Grunes, an attorney at Konkurrenz Group who spent more than a decade at the Justice Department's antitrust division. "My experience at DOJ and later on is that elected officials expressing their opinions doesn't impact the outcome of the antitrust review."But Trump's accusations of unfair coverage have become an issue in another media deal: AT&T-Time Warner. The president's frequent bashing of Time Warner-owned CNN has shadowed that merger, which the Justice Department is seeking to block. The judge in the case, though, has so far rejected attempts to explore potential White House influence over the government's antitrust review.More broadly, the president's pro-Sinclair message guarantees that the issue will remain front and center for Democrats, particularly as the midterm elections approach."It is a blatant conflict of interest for this President to help his campaign contributors become bigger and bigger, while media choice and diversity becomes smaller and smaller," Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said in a statement. "The Department of Justice should reject this acquisition, and the FCC should reform ownership rules that make it possible."
Цена на фьючерсы на нефть марки Light с поставкой в мае по итогам торгов на NYMEX снизилась на 1.93 долларов до 63.
Цена на фьючерсы на нефть марки Light с поставкой в мае сегодня по итогам торгов на NYMEX снизилась на 1.93 долларов или 3.0% до уровня 63.01 долларов за баррель. Нефть подешевела в фарватере общего отступления американских фондовых и товарно-сырьевых рынков после того, как Китай включился в торговую войну и в свою очередь повысил импортные пошлины на ряд товаров из США.
ЛОНДОН, 4 декабря. /ТАСС/. Саудовская Аравия с января 2015 года снизит поставочные цены на нефть для США и Азии. Об этом сообщает агентство Bloomberg. Стоимость нефти Arab Light снижена на $2 за баррель. Как ранее сообщал Wall Street Journal со ссылкой на источники, Саудовская Аравия не намерена сокращать объемы добычи нефти и рассматривает в качестве допустимой для себя цену барреля Brent в $60. Крупнейший производитель нефти в рядах ОПЕК Саудовская Аравия считает, что нефтяные цены способны стабилизироваться в районе $60 за баррель. Эр-Рияд и другие страны Персидского залива уверены, что способны выдержать этот ценовой уровень", - пишет издание. Страны Персидского залива не установили для себя определенную целевую цену барреля, и если она упадет ниже $60, то длительное время на данном уровне не продержится, говорит источник WSJ. По мнению источников газеты, нынешний подход Саудовской Аравии означает, что в ближайшей перспективе она не пойдет на сокращение добычи, даже если цены на нефть продолжат падение. Глава "Роснефти" Игорь Сечин также допускает, что цена нефти может упасть до $60 за баррель и ниже в первой половине 2015 года. В интервью австрийской Die Presse, опубликованном 27 ноября, он отметил, что у "Роснефти" достаточно запасов и места для маневра.