22 July 2013South Africa claimed bronze in the 2013 Cosafa Cup tournament on Saturday, beating Lesotho 2-1 in the third place play-off at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, Zambia.Goals on either side of half-time from Mandla Masango and Hlompho Kekana were enough to see Bafana Bafana through, while Maile Tlali replied for Lesotho from the penalty spot.Bafana Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund made three changes to the squad that lost to Zambia in the semi-final – bringing on Masango, Lerato Chabangu and Mzikayise Mashaba, with Ruzaigh Gamildien, Katlego Mashego and Thabani Mthembu making way.South Africa started play the brighter of the two nations, and dictated terms from early on.First chanceTheir first real chance came in the 17th minute when Mashaba’s powerful close- range shot was stopped by the Lesotho goalkeeper.Three minutes later, much against the run of play, Bafana Bafana conceded a penalty when Thulani Hlatshwayo was adjudged to have fouled an opponent in the box. Tlale scored to give Lesotho the lead.South Africa kept on pushing forward and attacking relentlessly, but Lesotho held firm. Bafana, though, came close in the 40th minute when Masango saw his shot cleared off the line with the keeper well beaten.But there was no denying him three minutes later when he levelled matters after a well-worked free kick from Chabangu.Shortly after the restart, Chabangu could have been on the score sheet when, with only the goalkeeper to beat, his lob sailed over the crossbar.LeadBafana Bafana took the lead in the 53rd minute following good play from Hlompho Kekana, who collected the ball out wide, beat one marker and scored from a difficult angle to make it 2-1. It was his second goal in the tournament, and he walked away with the Man of the Match Award.“As a team we carried ourselves very well, the performance was great, we applied ourselves very well and we can’t ask for more,” Kekana said afterwards.“We knew it was going to be tough because all the teams want to beat us, so we had to work very hard to get this win.“Good work from the coach and the technical team for getting this far in the tournament. We really wanted to be in the final, but I guess third place is also something to appreciate,” said Kekana.Penalty saveLesotho was given a life-line in the 69th minute when Buhle Mkhwanazi was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. From the resulting penalty, however, Bafana Bafana captain Wayne Sandilands kept his side in the match with a great save to deny Maile, who had scored the first penalty for Lesotho.“No disrespect to Lesotho, but I think it was too easy for my players,” South Africa’s coach Gordon Igesund commented after the contest.“Lesotho relied heavily on counter-attacks, which did not really work. We had too many chances to score and I hope the players will learn that we have to be more clinical, more ruthless, to finish the opponent off when we have a chance.‘Happy’“But I am quite happy with the result. It shows the boys wanted to be in the final and they did well even though it’s not the same as being in the final. But I am glad we won,” he added.The Bafana Bafana mentor was also pleased with what his players took out of the tournament, but said the squad’s preparation, which was heavily disrupted by withdrawals, needed to be better.“I want to believe it’s been a good experience for most of these players, at the end of the day it was good exposure for them. I also saw a couple of good things from one or two of them, and this tournament was a good stepping stone for them to get that much needed experience,” Igesund said.
Kareem Walker is the No. 1 running back in the 2016 and he’s committed to play at Ohio State. You probably don’t remember him committing, Buckeye fans, because he made his pledge during your team’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game. It’s understandable. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound back out of Wayne, New Jersey, is ranked the No. 9 player in the country by 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings. He’s talented enough to become one of the best running backs the Buckeyes have ever had – and they’ve had plenty. Former Ohio State greats Archie Griffin (1974, ’75) and Eddie George (1995) both won the Heisman Trophy during their time in Columbus. Could Walker become the third running back in Ohio State history to win the award (or, possibly, the fourth if Ezekiel Elliot takes it home in 2015)? Here he is posing in a Buckeye uniform with the trophy. Tb #BuckeyeNation #Heisman pic.twitter.com/gqMKyEFW26— AlⓂ️ightyReem (@_KareemWalker) January 19, 2015Ohio State currently has five commitments in the 2016 class – one five-star (Walker) and four four-stars.
In This Issue. * Currencies look tired and worn out. * Singapore inflation increases! * U.S. data is ugly. * Chuck retracts his comments on Poland. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. RBNZ Hikes OCR! Good Day! . And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! I’ve got a ton of stuff to talk about today, so get your cup of coffee, and something to nibble on (my fave would be a cheese Danish!), and sit yourself down, for this is going to be an interesting ride today. Now, if I can just remember all the stuff I wanted to talk about today! UGH! Funny, I can hear a song for the first time in 30 years, and remember the lyrics, but I can’t remember what happened 10 minutes ago! Oh, well, I guess I should get worried if I end up forgetting those lyrics, eh? Reminds me a great 70’s song, by the Pousette-Dart Band. Amnesia. I hope that it’s only amnesia, believe me I’m sick but not insane. Front and Center this morning, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) surprised me and the markets for that matter, by hiking their Official Cash Rate (OCR) by 25 Basis Points (1/4%) last night. I wasn’t surprised that the RBNZ hiked the OCR, I was surprised that they did it rate hikes at back to back meetings. Back to back, belly to belly, I don’t give a dang ’cause I’m stone dead already, the Zombie Jamboree! I had told you long ago, and before the first rate hike by the RBNZ in March that I expected the RBNZ to hike the OCR 3 times this year, adding a total of 75 Basis Points (3/4%) to the OCR. Well, there’s two down, one to go! I’m feeling pretty confident that the 3rd rate hike will be coming, maybe not next month, but coming nonetheless, because the RBNZ remained hawkish in their statement last night. In fact, I’m so confident now, I’m going to be like a cheesy infomercial and tell you: That’s Not All! If the RBNZ acts right away, they might be ready to hike rates another 50 Basis Points (1/2%) before summer is over! The New Zealand dollar / kiwi got a boost from the rate hike news, and the subsequent hawkish statements by the RBNZ, but this morning kiwi is flat, and waiting for the U.S. markets to get a view of the new level for the OCR in New Zealand. I think that with rates starting so low in New Zealand, that these first two rate hikes have almost brought rates back to a better starting point, and IF, (that’s a BIG IF) the RBNZ does hike two more times it will bring the OCR to 3.5%… Still quite low for New Zealand, but over 300 basis points better than the U.S., Japan, and Eurozone. nothing to stick your nose up in the air over. OK. The currencies as a whole look tired this morning, and all either flat or down a shade, and wouldn’t you know it, China allowed an appreciation in the renminbi / yuan overnight. Moving in an opposite direction than the other currencies.. Strange but true.. And Gold is still stuck in the mud below $1,300. Well, one of my fave currencies, because of the way it is used to combat inflation, instead of arbitrary interest rate adjustments, The Singapore dollar / Sing $, should be getting the wink and nod from the people who set the trading bands on the currency, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), soon. Why you ask? Well, Sing inflation moved higher in March by 1.2% VS last year. Yes, I think that while inflation in Singapore seems to be under control, you can’t ignore a move from .4% in Feb, to 1.2% in March. History shows us that the MAS is very diligent in maintaining price stability in Singapore, and knowing this, I would expect to hear that the MAS widened the trading band for the Sing $, very soon. Proving once again that the bad weather card is something that will be used when necessary. Canada printed their Feb, yes that’s right, Feb Retail Sales report yesterday. Retail Sales for Feb rose the expected amount of +.5%, which follows a revised .9% gain in January. You might recall, that originally, Retail Sales in January for Canada printed at +1.3%, so the .9% revised number is a downward revision. So, even Canada plays this game, folks. And they don’t have to! Canada is a sound financial, hardworking country, they don’t need to play games with data! Any-old-way you roll the dice, the data was not good for the Canadian dollar / loonie. I did see a write up from one of the writers at Agora that touted the Canadian dollar as a buy. He based it all on a recovery of commodities. And that’s a great place to start, for the loonie is considered a Commodity Currency, and in the past has responded favorably to rallies in commodities. So, I guess the question would be.. Do you believe in a Commodities Rally? For if you do, you might want to look to the loonie in addition.. Well.. Shiver me timbers! I must make amends! Yesterday, I told you how I was watching the Polish zloty and liked the economic and fiscal performance in Poland. I had a dear reader send me a note and ask me if I were crazy? “Didn’t you see that Poland confiscated private pension funds?” I was shocked! Because NO, I had NOT seen that story reported anywhere! But this dear reader thought to tell me where she saw this (Thanks Lynn!) and sure enough there it was on zerohedge.com for all the world to see! OK. first let me set this up for you. Poland has a hybrid pension system: mandatory contributions are made into both the state pension vehicle, known as ZUS, and the private funds, which are collectively known by the Polish acronym OFE. Bond make up half the private fund’s portfolios, with the rest company stocks.. The Polish Gov’t called this, what I’m about to explain as “an overhaul”. I’ll let you decide what you would call it, but I wouldn’t use the word “overhaul”! “On Wednesday, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said private funds within the state-guaranteed system would have their bond holdings transferred to a state pension vehicle, but keep their equity holdings. The funds would effectively be left with only the equities portions of their assets, even this would be depleted, and there will be uncertainty about the number of new savers joining. But why is Poland engaging in behavior that will ultimately be disastrous to future capital allocation in non-public pension funds (the type that can at least on paper generate some returns as opposed to “public” funds which are guaranteed to lose)? After all, this is a last ditch step which no rational person would engage in unless there were no other option. Simple: there were no other option, and the driver is the same reason the world everywhere else is broke too – too much debt. By shifting some assets from the private funds into ZUS, the government can book those assets on the state balance sheet to offset public debt, giving it more scope to borrow and spend.” See what happens when a Gov’t gets pushed against a wall by debt? That couldn’t happen here, right? Ahem. think again. Oh, and by the way, I would call this confiscation. plain and simple. Well, since I came in this morning, Gold has dropped another $5 to $1,278.00. That’s just not right folks. But it is what it is. There’s nothing I can do about it, and I learned a few years ago that I can rant and rant about something, but it doesn’t change it, and only gets my blood pressure boiling, which isn’t a good thing! If all things were equal, and there was no such thing as price manipulators, I would say that this current level for Gold looked to be a good opportunity to buy it cheap. Long ago, and far away, I first began to tell you all how I viewed China’s hoarding of Gold as essential to their plan to either 1. Back their currency with a percentage of Gold when they decide to float it, or 2. Have enough Gold to make the rules when everything goes to hell in a hand basket, and countries sit down to see who has the Gold. I lean heavily on the 1st of those two options, and have for some time now. I’ve always thought that China would be the 1st to back their currency with Gold again. Then last year, I started telling you about how Russia was also hoarding Gold. Well, a recent article on Russia, states that “The Central Bank of Russia has made a subtle, yet serious threat against the lynchpin of the American Economy, the U.S. dollar. According to Russian media, The Central Bank just released a new logo, which is a Gold ruble.” So, is Russia planning on moving ahead of China in this race to have a Gold backed currency? Sounds like it, but. I would still think that China is more prepared to do this than Russia. However, having said that, the urgency to back the ruble with Gold seems to be fueled by Russian President, “Putin, who has made it quite clear that any attacks on the Russian economy will be answered in with retaliations of their own.” I think that we should be taking this treat seriously folks. I know that symbolism is huge to Putin. So, now we have two large countries, heading toward backing their currency with Gold. The tide is changing on the dollar’s hold as reserve currency folks. When will everyone else wake up and smell the coffee? The Aussie dollar (A$) is taking another shot to the mid-section this morning, after being down for the count yesterday. The soft CPI (consumer inflation) report from Australia on Tuesday night, has really caused the A$ to look for a place to hide, but finding no place to hide, it takes its punishment for having weak inflation. Now, how smartless does that sound to you? Doesn’t inflation eat away at a currency’s value? Of course it does! So, what’s the frequency Kenneth? The markets are convinced that Central Banks can control inflation, so with that thought, the markets want to see inflation in the countries rise, so that interest rates can rise. It’s a strange and dangerous game the markets are requiring the Central Banks to play right now. For it is my opinion that Central Banks are always late to the party, and always playing catch-up with runaway inflation. Well, the U.S. Data Cupboard printed some ugly data yesterday. I’m sure you didn’t hear about any of it, and if you did, I’m sure the “bad weather” card was played. First, we had Mortgage Applications for last week, drop by -3.3%… Then we had the private firm Markit print their U.S. Manufacturing Index, and saw it weaken a bit for April. and then the New Home Sales, took the Nestea Plunge in March. Sales of new single-family homes in the U.S. fell -14.5% VS Feb. to an annualized 384,000 units, in March. The lowest level of sales since July 2013. This one hurt, for the markets were expecting an increase to 450,000 annualized units. That’s a HUGE difference folks, and I think reflects the fears out there that interest rates are going higher in the near future. And then finally today, the first piece of market moving data for this week will print. Durable Goods Orders for March will find its way to the Data Cupboard’s docket this morning. And in the background, we’ll see something just as important, but pushed to the background by the markets, Capital Goods Orders & Shipments. For What it’s Worth. Man, I feel like today’s letter is a collection of For What It’s Worth ideas! But, fear not, dear reader, for I will still bring you a FWIW section/ story for today. And it’s a real treat this morning, for I have a snippet of an interview with my fave analyst / writer right now, Grant Williams. I’ll set this up first. Grant Williams is talking about how in the West the people don’t understand Gold, but in the East they do. But that’s not the Achilles’ heel that he sees for the West. let’s listen in.. Oh, and I found this on Kingworld.com. “I think the Achilles’ heel of the West is the politicians. I think they are inept and they are focused on all the wrong things. And the danger of a miscalculation on a political level by a very inept group in the West against the very smart operators that you have in the East, is potentially a big Achilles’ heel. Gold is certainly something that, despite protests by Western central bankers to the contrary, they do think a lot about and it is something they watch. But if they did the right thing, the gold price would go higher. When I say the right thing, I mean that if they converted more reserves in the West to gold, yes, the price would go higher. And when you look at the incredible problems facing the West, with the sheer amount of the debt, watching the price of gold soar is not something they can allow if they are trying to print massive quantities of money. If they allow the price of gold to head significantly higher, then the underlying inflation in the West is going to become far more evident, and that’s something that doesn’t play well politically. So I think the political class is by far the most dangerous thing that the West has to face at the moment. And we are in a year where there are going to be elections all over Europe, midterms in the United States, so the political landscape is where we are going to see some real fireworks this year.” – Grant Williams Chuck again. I’ve told you all before that Grant Williams writes a newsletter called “Things that make you go hmmm”. It’s the one newsletter I get, and I get a boatload of them, that I open up and read the minute it hits my email box! Comfortably Numb was just playing on the IPod, and that’s what we’ve all become, regarding debt in this country. To recap. The currencies look tired and worn out, and for the most part are either flat or down a bit this morning, except the renminbi / yuan which saw an appreciation overnight by the Chinese Central Bank. The RBNZ hike rates last night, which surprised Chuck for the timing not the actual rate hike. Chuck now believes his original forecast of 75 Basis Points of rate hikes from the RBNZ was too conservative, and has now boosted it to 100 Basis Points before summer is over. 50 down, 50 to go! Chuck puts his tail between his legs on a statement he made about Poland, Singapore inflation jumps higher in March! Currencies today 4/24/14. American Style: A$ .9270, kiwi .8575, C$ .9075, euro 1.3825, sterling 1.6785, Swiss $1.1325, . European Style: rand 10.5650, krone 5.9860, SEK 6.5590, forint 222.90, zloty 3.0315, koruna 19.8560, RUB 35.68, yen 102.40, sing 1.2570, HKD 7.7530, INR 61.08, China 6.1589, pesos 13.03, BRL 2.2215, Dollar Index 79.80, Oil $101.87, 10-year 2.71%, Silver $19.09, Platinum $1,398.25, Palladium $785.56, and Gold. $1,278.15 That’s it for today. Long winded today, eh? Well, I think I recalled everything I wanted to talk about and then some! Little Feat are playing Dixie Chicken right now on the IPod. I love to sing along with that song! I’ve seen the bright lights of Memphis. And the Commodore Hotel. And underneath a street lamp, I met a southern belle. see what I mean? Well, our Blues lost their mojo these last two games, and head back to St. Louis for Game 5, tied 2-2 in games won. I hope they find the magic here on home ice! And Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha struck out 9 Mets batters for his first 9 outs last night, but still lost the game. UGH! So, another bad night for St. Louis sports! Alex picked up his tux last night, his senior prom is this Saturday night. I told him he could drive my car if he wanted to, and he was all over that in a heartbeat! Kathy’s baby boy is getting ready to graduate High School and move on to college, I have a feeling she’s going to be emotional about this. but maybe not. OK. once again, I’ve carried on too long. so for that I apologize. Now let’s go make this a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets
Recommended Link Recommended Link World-renowned crypto expert: “I’m revealing my cryptocurrency investment secret” For the next few days, the crypto expert who’s been called “The Oracle” of cryptos on the internet and is followed by over 100,000 people across the globe is revealing his proprietary investment strategy. It’s already helped an “average Joe” named Paul turn $500 into just under $140,000… click here to see what it could do for you. • Tesla’s stock plummeted 7% on the news… You can see that big drop in the chart below. Tesla’s now 22% off its recent highs. You might be tempted to buy it now. But that would be a huge mistake…• Tesla isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination… It still trades at a price-to-sales (P/S) ratio of 4.8. That makes it more than twice as expensive as the average large-cap U.S. stock. More importantly, it’s 13 times more expensive than competitor General Motors. And it’s 15 times more expensive than Ford, another major U.S. carmaker. There’s absolutely no reason why Tesla should be this expensive. The company has never once booked a profit. Instead, it’s lost about $4.3 billion since it was founded 14 years ago, and that’s despite massive government handouts. As if that weren’t bad enough, Tesla’s bleeding cash. It’s burned through $2.6 billion in cash in just the last two quarters…and more than $10 billion since it was founded in 2003. If this keeps up, Tesla could run out of cash within the next 12 months.• This is a serious problem… But Musk and Co. aren’t actually trying to fix it. Instead, they’re trying to “paper it over.” According to Bloomberg, Tesla has issued new stock eight times in the last seven years. That hurts existing shareholders. But it gets worse. Tesla also borrowed obscene amounts of money just to keep the lights on. Back in August, it issued $1.8 billion in “junk bonds” to finance the production of its Model 3 vehicles. This isn’t just unsustainable. It’s a recipe for disaster. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tesla’s stock goes down in flames the next time it reports a “hiccup.” So, continue to avoid Tesla like the plague. You may even want to consider shorting (betting against) TSLA. Just understand that shorting is risky. So, make sure you know what you’re doing before you put this trade on.Regards,Justin Spittler New Orleans, LA November 6, 2017 P.S. I recently wrote about a better way to profit from the electric car revolution. You can read about it here. Reader MailbagRecently, we shared an interview with Doug Casey’s longtime friend and colleague Bill Bonner: “Bitcoin—Better Money Than Gold?” Today, readers weigh in… It’s only as good as the government that rules over it! Fools rush in where wise men never go… Remember?—Howard By Justin Spittler, editor, Casey Daily Dispatch“Tesla’s shareholders will be in for a rude awakening… Its share price could soon fall off a cliff.” I issued this warning on October 5. But I’m sure some people thought I was crazy for saying this. That’s because Tesla’s stock was up 66% on the year…and more than 900% since the start of 2013. It was one of the hottest stocks on the planet. But it shouldn’t have been.After all, it’s not like Tesla’s raking in cash. It’s never booked a yearly profit in its history.• Instead, Tesla was rallying because Elon Musk is a “visionary”… Musk is the founder and CEO of Tesla. But unlike most CEOs, Musk doesn’t care about quarterly profits. He only cares about changing the world. He wants everyone to drive electric vehicles (EVs). He wants to put solar panels on every home in the United States. And he wants to colonize Mars. These are wildly ambitious goals. But they make for a great story.• That’s why Tesla has some of the most loyal shareholders on the planet…It’s also why many of its investors ignore problems that would send most people running for their lives. Just consider how Tesla shareholders reacted to awful news last month. Regular readers know where I’m headed with this. On October 2, Tesla announced that it had produced just 260 Model 3s, its first mass-market vehicle, during the third quarter. Musk had promised investors 1,500 vehicles. That’s an 83% shortfall. • Normally, a stock crashes when a company whiffs this bad… But Tesla rallied on the news. Again, that’s because Tesla shareholders don’t care about profits, cash flows, or debt. They only care about Musk’s dreams. But here’s the thing. Dreams don’t last forever. Eventually, you must wake up and face reality. That’s why I urged readers to avoid Tesla on October 5. Tesla will miss its production goal again… Tesla’s shareholders will be disappointed again. And next time, they might not be so forgiving. And that’s exactly what happened…• Last Thursday, Tesla reported its worst quarterly results ever… The electric carmaker lost $619 million last quarter. That’s nearly double the $336 million loss it suffered during the second quarter. That’s a staggering loss. But it looks like things will get even worse for Tesla. After all, the company just laid off about 700 employees. That’s about 2% of its workforce. Tesla’s also struggling to ramp up production of its Model 3 vehicle. Last month, Musk said Tesla would produce 5,000 Model 3s per week by the end of the year. But now he’s saying they won’t hit that mark until early 2018, at the earliest. He also scrapped the company’s longtime goal of eventually producing 10,000 Model 3s per week. — In Case You Missed It…Last week, cryptocurrency investing expert Teeka Tiwari hosted the largest webinar in our industry’s history. More than 80,000 fellow readers tuned in to learn how Teeka has found his readers gains as high as 1,626%, 3,274%, and even 21,127% in the cryptocurrency market. If you missed it, Teeka agreed to show a replay of the webinar. Watch it for yourself right here. — Teeka’s new cryptocurrency prediction could make you a fortune by January For the next few days only, crypto expert Teeka Tiwari is revealing his next big cryptocurrency prediction for 2018. Last year’s prediction was spot on… Those who followed his best ideas had the chance to turn a small stake into nearly $200,000. Click here to be among the first to hear his latest. I have one fundamental question—most of the banks are prohibiting sending money from our account to buy cryptocurrencies. Then how to pay for it?—Mukesh
The death of a former major league baseball player in his native Venezuela this week is renewing concerns over the Latin American country’s growing health crisis amid ongoing economic and political turmoil.Marcos Carvajal, a 34-year-old former pitcher for the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins, died of pneumonia on Tuesday. He fell sick in December, but the antibiotics needed to treat the illness were hard to find. Drugs for Carvajal eventually were sent from abroad but he relapsed, returned to the hospital on Monday and died the next day. The Pharmaceutical Federation of Venezuela estimates the country is suffering from an 85 percent shortage of medicine amid an economic crisis also marked by severe hyperinflation and food scarcity.The entire Venezuelan health care system is on the verge of collapse, says Francisco Valencia, head of the public health advocacy group Codevida. Some hospitals lack electricity, and more than 13,000 doctors have left Venezuela in the past four years in search of better opportunities.”They don’t give food to the patients in the hospital,” Valencia tells Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd. “They don’t have the proper medical supplies to take care of the people who go to the emergency [room] like gloves, like every basic thing they need for an emergency.”According to the pharmaceutical association, there is also a 90 percent deficit of other medical supplies and drugs used to treat more serious conditions like cancer.The shortage has forced Venezuelans to go looking for medicine on the black market, Valencia says. Even if they find the right medicine, which is often smuggled from Colombia and Brazil and could be expired, most people can’t afford it.The crisis affects Valencia personally, who relies on medication for a kidney transplant.”I haven’t received my medicine since August last year,” he says. “Right now, I’m taking medicines that [have] expired, and my transplant is at risk.”Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has refused to accept humanitarian aid, blocking shipments of medicine and first aid supplies. Government data shows infant mortality rose by 30 percent in 2016 and malaria infections shot up 76 percent, Reuters reports.”So most countries when they’re hit by a crisis, they’re taking aid from other countries, from NGOs,” Associated Press reporter Hannah Dreier told NPR in 2016. “But Venezuela keeps refusing to take donations that other countries are offering and is actually turning back shipments of donations that people have given in places like the U.S., not letting medicine in.”Drug prices have skyrocketed along with those for food and other basic necessities. The International Monetary Fund predicts inflation will soar to 13,000 percent this year and the economy will shrink by 15 percent.Earlier this week, the government announced it would abandon one of its two official foreign exchange rates, which had been used for food and medicine imports, Reuters reports. The policy change could encourage businesses to import more goods, but critics say it won’t be very effective due to the lack of hard currency in Venezuela.The elimination of the exchange rate was “a step in the right direction because it helps correct foreign exchange distortion,” Asdrubal Oliveros of local consultancy Ecoanalitica told Reuters. “But without dollars, things will continue to be more complicated.”Since the collapse of Venezuela’s oil-rich economy in 2014, the country has struggled to raise hard currency. The monthly minimum wage for many Venezuelans is now equal to $3, according to the AP.Maduro blames the country’s growing crisis on foreign economic sanctions, claiming that the U.S. is leading an effort to wipe out socialism in Venezuela, according to Reuters. Presidential elections are set to be held by April 30, which is much earlier than usual, but Venezuela’s pro-government Supreme Court last week banned the main opposition party from running. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Director of Sales and Marketing at Strategic Sales & Marketing Register Now » 5 Content Marketing Lessons From SNL in the Age of Trump Guest Writer Add to Queue Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. –shares Content Marketing Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Take today’s key issues and create meaningful content for your customers. 4 min read Image credit: Will Heath | NBC | Getty Images February 27, 2017 Whatever you think of his politics, President Donald Trump has been great for comedy. Saturday Night Live is having a revival of popularity as its hard-hitting satire and perfectly casted actors — like Melissa McCarthy’s hilarious portrayal of White House spokesman Sean Spicer and Alec Baldwin as Trump — speaks to the country’s latest concerns about the various chaos and insanity emerging from Trump’s administration. Related: Is Vocally Opposing President Trump Risky Business?What can other content creators and marketers learn from SNL’s recent resurgence of Trump-related success? Seize upon key issues and crucial conversations.Trump’s presidency is the biggest story in recent political history, so this is an easy one for SNL. Everyone in the national media is talking about Trump all the time. But what about your business or your industry? What are the key issues that your customers are worried about and focusing on? Don’t assume that you know the answer. Use Twitter as a listening tool to see which keywords and topics are trending for your industry and your key audiences. Then you can create content that speaks directly to those areas of concern. Slay sacred cows.SNL is not afraid to be irreverent, even offensive, toward the most powerful people in Washington. What is the biggest controversial topic/issue in your industry? What are the things that people in your industry should be saying? What stands should they be taking that they are not? What is the elephant in the room or the emperor with no clothes? Find these opportunities and create content that speaks to those issues. Build a reputation as a truth teller. Related: What to Consider Before Your Brand Takes a Stand PoliticallyRally your base.SNL is probably not going to win many fans among Trump’s supporters, but they’re focusing instead on getting a bigger share of fans from the large percentage of Americans who are opposed to Trump. Don’t be afraid to be controversial or even polarizing. Sometimes it’s better to speak passionately to the people who are most enamored with your brand, even at the risk of not appealing to lots of other people. SNL is rallying a big audience of people who are not Trump supporters — and SNL’s ratings are up! In content marketing on TV, it’s often better to have a passionate and lucrative niche following than to fail to appeal to a mainstream mass audience that no longer really exists. Make unconventional choices. McCarthy was cast as White House spokesman Sean Spicer — and her performance was brilliant — but the choice of a woman to play Spicer was also oddly inspired and unexpected. Don’t be afraid to be unconventional. Keep trying new things and elevating new voices within your company. Your content strategy doesn’t have to look like the usual suspects. But stay focused on quality.SNL is having a resurgence of popularity as people tune in to try to get some laughs out of our latest national political news, but even Trump’s biggest opponents won’t want to watch if the show’s not funny. SNL can’t become just a strident platform for anti-Trump statements; it still needs to be a comedy show first and foremost that makes people laugh. In the same way, content marketing can’t be just a stunt or a gimmick or push an agenda. You need to have a foundation of insight and quality that keeps people coming back. Related: How 10 Brands Thoughtfully Chimed In on President Trump’s InaugurationWho knows what will happen during Trump’s presidency, but SNL is leading the way for a vibrant, engaging, no-holds-barred national conversation about politics. This fearless spirit is something that all content creators and content marketers can try to emulate in our own work. Next Article Gregg Schwartz
Apple’s HomePod speaker is a depth charge dropped into the ocean where Google Home and Amazon Echo sail. At $349, it’s not going to dominate the voice assistant world. But for Apple to achieve its goals, the HomePod just needs to keep the waters rough enough to make its competitors seasick.There are a bunch of weird things about Apple’s HomePod announcement. First, Apple doesn’t like to announce products six months in advance. And while the iPhone and iPad are expensive, they’re not double the prices of rivals. The HomePod is also being sold as a music device above all else rather than virtual assistant. One interpretation is that Apple isn’t going after competing voice assistants but the midrange, wireless multi-room speaker market; the domain of companies like Sonos, Bose and Logitech. Yes, those companies have $200 options, but the Sonos Play:3 costs $299, and the Bose SoundTouch 20 costs $350. Those companies have been slow to adopt the kinds of flexible voice capabilities we’ve seen on Echo and Google Home, and they tend to appeal to a higher-end consumer who thinks the Amazon and Google products look and sound cheap.But I think Apple’s strategy is a little trickier than that. The midrange speaker market is in fact ripe for disruption, and I think Apple’s correct to assume that people who have expensive speakers probably have an iPhone. But by announcing the HomePod six months in advance, Apple’s also trying to draw developer attention away from Alexa and Google Home, making sure that it’s in second, not third place in the eventual war of the voice assistants.Second place is a very comfortable place for Apple, because it’s focused on profit share rather than market share. In a battle between Apple and Amazon, it’s easy enough to see a repeat of the iOS/Android war, where Echo speakers eat up the bottom end of the market while Apple reaps profits at the top. Amazon actually wouldn’t mind this, as (like Google with Android, but not like Android phone makers) its business isn’t dependent on making a profit from hardware.Developers can only handle two platforms.Platforms need developers, and we’ve seen over and over that the tech world is capable of supporting two — not three — platforms in most areas.On the desktop, it’s Mac and Windows, not Linux. On phones, it’s Apple and Android, not BlackBerry 10 or Windows Phone. On high-end tablets, increasingly, it’s Windows and iOS, with Android shunted down to the low end. Sure, the third platform often manages to hang on as a niche, but the two major ones dominate the market. Developers just don’t seem to have the resources to split their attention more broadly.Right now there are three players in voice assistants: Apple, Google and Amazon. Apple is coming late to the game, but it understands the value of not being third. And as it implied by focusing on music in its presentation, SiriKit is way behind the competition in attracting developers right now.Apple needs to get SiriKit into the conversation and to make sure Google and Amazon don’t lock down voice-assistant developers, which could definitely happen in the next six months. By announcing the HomePod now, Apple throws a bit of confusion into that community; should developers keep their powder dry?Google is likely to suffer more than Amazon from this, because Amazon has a lot of third-party partners and an already vibrant developer community. Look at our list of Alexa skills vs. our list of Google Home voice actions: Google is just getting started here. Google’s speaker also sounds better, and costs more, than Amazon’s hot-selling Echo Dot, putting it in a little more danger from Apple’s higher-end product.This doesn’t mean that Apple’s HomePod is going to be a best-seller. Sure, it could be the next Apple Hi-Fi, an expensive audio accessory that ends up being overlooked for better third-party products. But it keeps the waters roiled, and keeps the Google/Amazon duopoly from fixing in place. When developers can only focus on two platforms, that means at least Apple has a chance. This story originally appeared on PCMag With HomePod, Apple Just Wants to Shake Things Up (for Now) Next Article Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Image credit: Apple via PC Mag Add to Queue 35shares Lead Mobile Analyst June 7, 2017 4 min read There’s room for two smart voice platforms; Apple just wants HomePod to be in second place. Register Now » Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Sascha Segan Apple
June 26, 2013 Microsoft Launches New Effort to Bolster Its Startup Support Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC –shares 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Catherine Clifford 2 min read The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Tech-behemoth Microsoft is making a move to be more startup friendly.The Redmond, Wash.-based software company announced Microsoft Ventures, an umbrella organization for its various entrepreneurship resources, according to a statement from Rahul Sood, the general manager of Microsoft Startups, on the official Microsoft blog. Microsoft has already provided software tools and resources to 75,000 startups since 2008 through its Biz Spark program and graduated more than 100 startups from its accelerator programs. The new effort will unify and bolster Microsoft’s mentorship, technology guidance, seed funding and joint selling opportunities to startups.Related: New York University’s Accelerator is Looking to Jump Start Startups“Startups have enough to worry about,” Sood says. “We want to make access to us as intuitive and friction-free as possible.”Microsoft Ventures will take a “holistic approach,” as a three-channel, global support system for startups including a seed fund, a handful of accelerator programs and a community of local experts. Microsoft will open new accelerators in Berlin, Moscow and Rio de Janeiro, adding to its existing programs in Bangalore, Beijing, Paris, Seattle and Tel-Aviv, says Sood. Also, the seed funding Bing Fund will grow, allowing Microsoft to provide early-stage funding to more startups.Related: Microsoft and Oracle Join Forces Against Smaller Rivals in Cloud Add to Queue Next Article Technology Apply Now »
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 22 2019The increase in cesarean sections is on the verge of a global epidemic. Though the World Health Organization recommends an optimal C-section rate of 10-15 percent, the United States’ C-section rate is more than 30 percent.In many Latin American countries, the procedure is sky rocketing, reaching more than 50 percent in some.While C-sections are lifesaving in some cases, they are increasing beyond recommended rates with harmful consequences for children’s health.Cesarean delivered children tend to be susceptible to infections, obesity, asthma and allergies. This occurs in part because many mothers are unable to successfully breastfeed them after a C-section.However, recent research shows that this may be culturally mediated. In some parts of the world, mothers are able to breastfeed successfully after C-section deliveries, and this practice may reduce their negative child health effects.Amanda Veile, an assistant professor of anthropology at Purdue University, and her team report that indigenous mothers in farming communities in Yucatán, Mexico, breastfeed for about 1.5 months longer following cesarean deliveries than they do following vaginal deliveries. Veile believes this is possible because the mothers live in an exceptionally supportive breastfeeding environment.”Moms living in this Mexican community don’t have to hide in a bathroom to feed their child when they are in public,” says Veile, a biological anthropologist who specializes in infant and child development. “Here, it is a cultural norm to breastfeed anytime, anywhere, and to sustain breastfeeding for longer than two years. And we think that prolonged breastfeeding offers protective benefits that reduces some of the health problems we often see in children delivered by C-section.”Veile’s research appears in the American Journal of Human Biology’s special issue on the evolutionary and biocultural causes and consequences of rising cesarean delivery rates. Veile and collaborator Karen Rosenberg, a professor from the University of Delaware, are the guest editors for the special issue. It features 10 research articles written by anthropologists, biologists and healthcare practitioners, which are available open access through spring 2019.Related StoriesBreastmilk antibody necessary to prevent necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infantsMothers can transfer life-long protection against infection to infants by breastfeedingPre-pregnancy maternal obesity may affect growth of breastfeeding infantsIn Veile’s study, she and her team compared breastfeeding durations and childhood infection rates based on how the child was born to Yucatec Maya farmers. Following 88 children from birth until age 5, the results show that those children born via C-sections were breastfed for about 2.7 years, whereas vaginally delivered children were breastfed for just over 2.5 years. There was no difference in infection rates between the two groups of children.”What a powerful message supporting breastfeeding,” Veile says. “We need to continue studying this issue, but it seems that these mothers, perhaps subconsciously, increased their breastfeeding efforts post-cesarean.”Veile says that Yucatec Maya women do experience post-cesarean challenges in the hospital environment, such as prolonged separation from their infants, latching issues and delayed milk let-down reflex. Still mothers overcome these challenges through determination, consumption of special foods, and the use of herbs and compresses. They also receive emotional support and breastfeeding advice from their family and friends.”Now that C-sections are becoming more universal, it is important to understand more about the consequences for children’s health in a variety of settings,” Veile said. “This includes very rural communities worldwide that are transitioning to increased health care access, while simultaneously experiencing poor community sanitation and the double burden of malnutrition.” Source:https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2019/Q1/c-sections-are-seen-as-breastfeeding-barrier-in-the-u.s.,-but-not-in-other-global-communities.html
Source:American Academy of Family Physicians Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 15 2019Visits to the doctor for a respiratory tract infection can lead to unnecessary antibiotic prescribing, but an online intervention with real-time information on locally circulating viruses may reduce mothers’ intentions to visit their primary care doctor.A representative sample of mothers in the United Kingdom (N=806) was randomized to receive the online intervention, including locally enhanced influenza statistics, symptom information, and home-care advice, either before (intervention group) or after (control group) responding to a hypothetical respiratory tract infection illness scenario.Participants in the intervention group had lower intentions to visit the doctor than those in the control group when adjusted for demographic and clinical characteristics. Intervention material was generally well received, with information on symptoms and when to visit the primary care doctor rated as more important than information on locally circulating viruses. If the intervention were rolled out widely, the authors surmise that it would have impact, given the high rates at which parents of children with respiratory tract infections visit primary care clinicians. The authors call for research to evaluate intervention effects on observed behavioral outcomes in real-world settings and examine long-term effects and cost-effectiveness.