Use the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to Strengthen Your Donor Communications

first_imgDonor communications that connect—that appreciate, energize, and activate your prospects and donors—are the key to fundraising success. But you already know that.What you may not know, however, is that few organizations do donor communications well. Most have lots of room to improve, as evidenced by the focus on donor communications in conference agendas, e-newsletters, blog content in the field, Facebook chats, Twitter discussions, and more. If that’s your organization, you’re not alone!Now, with the release of Integrated Fundraising: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, by Mal Warwick/DonorDigital, we have proof of the ways most donor communications fail and the impact of those failures. If you’ve asked for resources to strengthen donor communications and have been turned down or just haven’t found the time to tackle them, this is the kick in the pants you need. These striking findings come from a six-month study of donor communications—both online and offline—from 16 large nonprofits, following online contributions to each organization. Since “multichannel donors are more loyal than single-channel donors,” researchers focused on how much and how well outreach is coordinated across channels for a consistent, recognizable, and satisfying donor experience.What I love about this report is that the researchers share what’s good, bad, and ugly in multiple dimensions so we get an idea of what’s working well (that is, what to strive for and what’s happening in organizations you’re competing with for donor dollars), as well as what’s not. Take a look at these findings:Thank you letters—a reliable cultivation tactic—arrive way too late or not at all. The quickest thank you letter, sent via USPS, arrived in 12 days. The slowest took 28 days. Eight organizations didn’t mail a thank you at all.Most donor communications content is inconsistent—in tone, message, and or/graphics—across channels, so it’s more likely to confuse and annoy recipients than to strengthen loyalty or motivate them to give. Most organizations do reach out to donors via multiple channels.Follow-up appeals via direct mail are frequently implemented, but that second ask can come months after the initial online gift, diminishing its success rate.Sustainer programs (aka monthly giving) provide a strong base of revenue, especially during economic dips, and “new online donors are highly responsive to monthly giving recruitment.” But only one organization integrated its monthly giving ask into mail and email, whereas four didn’t make monthly giving asks at all. There’s much more to learn in the full report, and I recommend that you download it now. Wherever your organization currently sits on the good, bad, and ugly continuum, there’s always room to do donor communications better.With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build the strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org.last_img read more

Nonprofit Spotlight: Firecracker Foundation

first_imgNetwork for Good works with so many amazing nonprofits and we want to introduce you to them and the great work they are doing! Because May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I want you to meet one of my favorite customers who is doing amazing work helping child sexual abuse survivors heal their whole being.Meet Firecracker Foundation The Firecracker Foundation challenges their supporters to build a blaze, to be a part of the network that keeps and builds the lively sparks in child survivors. From the adult survivors who serve as mentors to the therapists and yoga instructors who offer their time and expertise, Firecracker truly has built a community of healing around the children survivors they serve. That community isn’t just by happenstance; they’ve consciously made recurring giving the heart of their fundraising strategy as a way to ensure the continued success of their communal work. On a larger scale, however, The Firecracker Foundation is about community. Tashmica Torok, the founder of Firecracker, has built her organization around the historical idea of community members being charged with keeping the communal fire burning. From their mission to their fundraising strategy, this ethos of the many coming together for a common goal is extremely evident. We are honored to serve the Firecracker Foundation as their online donation software provider! You guys are amazing! Using Facebook to rally attendance at events is a great way to meet supporters where they already are: Facebook. During their year-end campaign Firecracker Foundation’s Instagram feed kept supporters updated on how close they were to hitting their goal. http://t.co/FKbNzanWBF #ItsTimeToAct #SAAM2015 #LetsEndViolence #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth— The Firecracker Fdn (@FirecrackerFdn) April 7, 2015 Due to the sensitive nature of their work, it might not be safe to display the photos of those they serve. However, they embrace that challenge and still share images that show the impact of donors’ gifts, without showing clients’ faces. Social media gives organizations the unique opportunity of giving supporters an inside peek into all the work you do. In addition to their work with sexual abuse survivors, Firecracker Foundation also trains advocates. Their Model Stellar Social Media Don’t worry about constantly generating original content, share content that will resonate with your supporters and promote your mission. On a day-to-day basis, The Firecracker Foundation works with survivors of childhood sexual trauma through long-term strategies of therapy, arts enrichment, and yoga practice. Their work is focused on healing the whole individual. Firecracker Foundation takes their emphasis of community involvement and engagement beyond the clients they serve and the advocates they train. They also take that energy to social media. Check out these posts from their social channels: As one of our “Spotlight” nonprofits, we encourage you to take a look at the great work they’re doing and spread the love by following them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.last_img read more

GMHC2013: Stay Tuned to the Live-stream!

first_imgPosted on January 7, 2013June 21, 2017Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The Global Maternal Health Conference is right around the corner! In an effort to engage a broad audience, the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the three plenaries will be live-streamed and archived. In addition, all conference sessions will be archived and available for viewing within 24 hours of presentation time.Stay tuned to www.gmhc2013.com to access the live-stream and archived videos.View the conference program here.About the conference:GMHC2013 is a technical conference for practitioners, scientists, researchers, and policy-makers to network, share knowledge, and build on progress toward eradicating preventable maternal mortality and morbidity by improving the quality of maternal health care.The conference is co-sponsored by Management and Development for Health, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and the Maternal Health Task Force at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA.GMHC2013 will be held at the Arusha International Conference Center in Tanzania, January 15-17, 2013.Interested in guest blogging?Are you presenting at the Global Maternal Health Conference 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania? Do you plan to tune in to the live stream to view sessions remotely?Join the team of guest bloggers for the conference! The MHTF is looking forward to a lively online scientific dialogue about the issues presented at the conference sessions. In an effort to fuel this conversation, we hope to engage a variety of perspectives–from various geographic regions and sub-fields–by connecting with health and development bloggers around the world.You might be interested in writing a guest blog post if:You would like to connect with a broader audience about the work you are presenting at GMHC2013,You work in global health and development and would like to share your thoughts on how the issues discussed in the sessions relate to your work in your specific context,You are working on similar issues to those discussed in the sessions, and would like to share your insights,You have a passion for global health and writing, and would like to help synthesize lessons learned from the sessions.Guest posts will be posted on the MHTF Blog and cross-posted on a number of other leading sexual and reproductive health, development, and global health blogs.If you are interested in sharing a guest post, please contact Kate Mitchell (kmitchel@hsph.harvard.edu).Please also get in touch if you plan to post on your own blog or your organization’s blog. We would love to discuss linking to your posts and cross-posting content.Join the conversation on Twitter! #GMHC2013Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

New PMNCH Knowledge Summary Highlights Integration of Immunization and Maternal and Child Health

first_imgPosted on April 26, 2013March 13, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The latest in the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Knowledge Summary series highlights the potential for integration of immunization services with other reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. This summary, “Integrating Immunizations and Other Services for Women and Children,” was prepared by IDEAS. As with the series as a whole, it synthesizes scientific evidence into a brief, user-friendly format so that key findings can inform policy and practice.From the introduction to the “Integrating Immunizations” knowledge summary:The Expanded Program on Immunizations (EPI) has dramatically decreased childhood morbidity and mortality since its introduction in 1974, and now reaches over 85% of the world’s children. Some countries and regions are still working to achieve high coverage, however, and many non-vaccine programs have not gained the same traction needed for maximum impact. Integrating service delivery, for example, health service providers could use the opportunity of immunizing a child to provide nutrition and family planning services for the parents, can provide a program foundation through which broad services can be equitably provided as well as give a beneficial boost to EPI coverage. While integration requires thoughtful and measured planning, the potential impact for families and communities is great.For the full series, including summaries on child marriage, the economic benefits of investments in maternal and child health and midwifery, visit PMNCH’s RMNCH knowledge portal.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

The MHTF is Pleased to Announce the Launch of the MHTF Quarterly

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 1, 2013August 15, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The MHTF is excited to announce the launch of the first issue of our newsletter, the MHTF Quarterly.  Each issue of the Quarterly will highlight critical issue in maternal health, compiling resources, including new and important research, multimedia and news. For the first issue, the Quarterly focuses on malaria in pregnancy.From the Quarterly:Despite encouraging progress, coverage of malaria control efforts among pregnant women remains low. Malaria in pregnancy continues to be a substantial contributor to maternal and infant mortality and morbidity in malaria-endemic regions.Malaria in pregnancy programming is at a critical juncture. Important gains have been made in malaria control, but without continued efforts, the gains achieved may quickly erode.Given the existing synergies and overlap between the malaria and maternal health communities, several opportunities exist to collaborate more effectively. These areas of overlap include the target population (pregnant women), common health outcomes (maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity), and a shared delivery mechanism (the antenatal care platform).To receive the Quarterly or any of our other features, including the biweekly MH Buzz, by email, please sign up using our online form.Share this:last_img read more

New MHTF Topics Page: Post-2015: What’s Next for Maternal Health?

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 23, 2014August 10, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The MHTF is pleased to announce the launch of our latest topic page: “Post-2014: What’s next for maternal health?” Along with our ongoing guest blog series on the proposed maternal health goal for the post-2015 development agenda, the topics page will compile key findings and debates on the position of maternal health in ongoing global and national discussions of health and development goals and challenges. The page includes resources on progress and lessons learned under the MDG framework, as well as on the position of maternal health in the ongoing process for developing the next global development framework. As with all of our topics pages, the post-2015 topics page will serve as a hub, featuring the latest in research, news and debates. To recommend a resource, please contact us.  If you would like to submit a blog post for our ongoing guest blog series on proposed maternal health targets, please email Andrea Goetschius: goetschi@hsph.harvard.eduShare this:last_img read more

Maternal Health Jobs

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 21, 2014August 10, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Looking for a job in maternal health? Here’s a round up of what’s available:Jhpiego – Maternal Health Team Leader; Program Officer IICARE – Senior Technical Advisor for Maternal and Child Health; Senior Technical Advisor for Maternal and Child NutritionBill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Senior Program Officer, Maternal Newborn and Child HealthMerck for Mothers – DirectorTo apply, go to this link. Select “Merck Kenilworth” as Location and “Long Term Assignment” as Position Type. Click “search” and select Job Number 301.Share this:last_img read more

Top 3 Storytelling Essentials for Fundraising

first_imgOnce Upon a Time…Everyone loves a good story. In celebration of National Tell a Story Day, we’re opening up early registration to our May Masterclass Webinar, “How to Tell Stories That Take Supporters from Passive to Passionate.” Discover the four steps to successful storytelling with Julia Campbell, author of Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Guide for Nonprofits.Whether you prefer to curl up with a good book or get lost in a film, the story is what captures our imagination. A good narrative brings people together and forms a common ground; it evokes emotion, sparks passion, and creates empathy.For a nonprofit, a good story can:intrigue journalistsinspire donorsmotivate staff and boardrally supportersignite advocacysecure corporate sponsorshipStories are the basic building blocks for reaching our goals.As fundraisers, you’re responsible for arousing sympathetic emotions and inspiring action. The most powerful way to do that is to tell a great story. But what makes your story great? What do you need to include?The essential elements of any good story are the character, desire, and conflict.CharacterYour protagonist is who your audience relates to. Personalize your organization and mission. Look at your data and find those case studies that can serve as representational stories for the work you do. People are twice as likely to give a charitable gift when presented with an emotion-inducing personal story that focuses exclusively on one character’s plight.DesireWe all want something. What is the desire within your character’s story? Is it a need to change their world, to obtain something, get rid of something, restore order, or escape a threat? Make sure their need is powerful and immediate.ConflictConflict refers to the obstacles that arise and prevent the character from getting whatever she or he wants. Powerful stories about relatable people overcoming challenges inspire the reader (or listener) to help. Tap into those universal human emotions and your audience will engage with you.Particularly when it comes to telling your nonprofit’s origin story—whether you’re discovering how to tell it for the first time, or simply want to refresh your approach—a powerful narrative is the foundation of successful fundraising.Join us for our May webinar “How to Tell Stories That Take Supporters from Passive to Passionate” to explore more tips to create the ideal story for your fundraising.Early registration now open. Sign up today!last_img read more

15 New Jobs in Maternal Newborn Health!

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on July 15, 2016July 28, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Interested in a position in maternal, newborn or reproductive health? Every month, the Maternal Health Task Force rounds up job and internship postings from around the globe.AfricaCommunications Director: Population Services International (PSI); Dar-Es-Salaam, TanzaniaCountry Director – Liberia: Jhpiego; LiberiaQuality Improvement Practitioner: Jacaranda Health; Nairobi, KenyaSenior Technical Advisor – Maternal Health and Family Planning: Jhpiego; MaliAsiaClinical Trainers: EngenderHealth; Bihar, IndiaSenior Program Officer, Measurement, Learning & Evaluation (Delivery Efficiency, Mechanisms, & Financing): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; New Delhi, IndiaSenior Program Officer, Measurement, Learning and Evaluation (Health Coverage, Quality, & Delivery): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; New Delhi, IndiaEuropeResearch Fellow in Reproductive & Maternal Health: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; London, EnglandNorth AmericaCommunications and Development Manager: Global Health Media; Waitsfield, VTCommunications Coordinator: Jhpiego; Washington, D.C.Communications Specialist: Jhpiego; Washington, D.C.Policy Communications Officer, Advocacy & Public Policy: PATH; Washington, D.C.Program Officer – Zika: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Baltimore, MDSpecialist, Communication and Advocacy, Global Health: Save the Children; Washington, D.C.Technical Writer: Jhpiego; Washington, D.C. Is your organization hiring? Please contact us if you have maternal health job or internship opportunities that you would like included in our next job roundup.Share this:last_img read more

Are We Measuring Correctly? A Way Forward for Improving Maternal and Newborn Health Surveillance in Pakistan

first_imgPosted on February 17, 2017February 22, 2017By: Jasim Anwar, Doctoral Candidate, University of New South Wales, Sydney, AustraliaClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Globally, more than half a million women die each year from pregnancy-related causes, and almost all of those deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Pakistan is among the ten countries that comprised 58% of the global maternal deaths reported in 2013. Many births and deaths are not registered, and information on the cause of death is often unknown or unreliable. The lack of information about maternal mortality at the regional level and among high risk populations makes it difficult to identify target groups, for whom scarce resources should be focused. Similarly, risk factor data such as socioeconomic status and medical conditions are not routinely analyzed and reported. Therefore, it is not possible to determine the mortality rate of various high-risk subgroups within populations and to identify problems in a timely manner.In Pakistan, a significant reduction in maternal mortality from 431 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 178 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015 has been achieved. However, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of 140 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births was not achieved. The recent Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS) estimated neonatal mortality at 55 newborn deaths per 1,000 live births, accounting for 74% of all infant deaths in Pakistan, while the perinatal mortality rate (death of an infant occurring between the seventh month of pregnancy through the first seven days of life) was estimated at 75 deaths per 1,000 pregnancies.Many births and deaths are not registered, and information on the cause of death is often unknown. As a result, maternal mortality estimates for Pakistan are likely underestimated. In countries where there is no maternal and child health surveillance system, surveys like the PDHS provide useful information to estimate morbidity and mortality, but their reach is limited.In our research project conducted under the University of New South Wales, Sydney, we estimated maternal, perinatal and neonatal mortality rates by complete enumeration of all pregnancies, births, and maternal, perinatal and neonatal deaths in a rural district of Pakistan using an existing information system of the Lady Health Workers (LHWs) Programme. We also extended data collection to areas without existing information systems by recruiting community health workers (CHWs). The LHWs Programme covers about 70% of population in the Pakistan. Data from the LHWs Programme covered 79% of our study population; for the remaining 21%, we recruited CHWs to ensure 100% population coverage and, therefore, a more accurate and timely estimation of maternal, perinatal and neonatal mortality rates—including area-specific causes of maternal and neonatal deaths.A total of 51,690 women between the ages of 18 and 49 years were recruited for the study. Any of these women who became pregnant between 1 June 2015 and 31 May 2016 were registered and followed throughout their pregnancies through 42 days after delivery. Births were counted and maternal, perinatal and neonatal mortality rates calculated. A “short household questionnaire” developed by the National Institute of Population Studies and used in the 2006-2007 PDHS was adapted for a cross-sectional survey of all households in the study area. Data were compared with those from the LHWs Programme and the PDHS 2012-2013. The causes of deaths were ascertained using World Health Organization’s verbal autopsy tool.Our research found variations in maternal, neonatal and perinatal mortality rates estimated using different information sources. Pakistan, as well as many other countries, currently have weak civil registration and vital statistics surveillance, often missing the most vulnerable women and children. Complete enumeration of all pregnancies, births, maternal, perinatal, and neonatal deaths provides the most reliable mortality estimates, thus enabling health authorities to monitor the progress and impact of ongoing public health programs in a timely fashion.—Learn more about Demographic Health Surveys.Read about the Lady Health Workers Programme in Pakistan.Search organizations working on maternal health issues in Pakistan. Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Passing of bill delayed as Oppn buys time for talks

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal Staff Selection Commission (Repealing) (Repealing) Bill, 2019, which was supposed to be passed in the Assembly on Thursday got postponed after opposition leaders demanded further discussion.The matter would be taken up in the Assembly on September 3. Main objectives of the proposed bill is to fill up the non-public service commission posts in various state government establishments within a very short span of time. Incidentally, it may be mentioned here that the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently said that various vacant posts in government departments would be filled up soon. She has also given an impetus to the government to recruit candidates in the vacant posts thereby bridging the gaps which are still there in the system. The main motto of the Chief Minister is to ensure that not a single person is deprived of various social schemes extended by the state government. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe state government felt the need of reviving the erstwhile West Bengal Staff Selection Commission established under the West Bengal Staff Selection Commission Act, 2011 which was subsequently repealed by the government in 2017 through the implementation of the West Bengal Staff Selection Commission (Repealing) Act, 2017. The opposition party MLAs demanded a further discussion on the bill when it was tabled in the House citing some technicalities regarding the bill. The matter was finally postponed for further discussion on next Tuesday.last_img read more

National Basketball Wives Association Celebrates Womens Empowerment

first_imgLast Saturday saw The National Basketball Wives Association (NBWA) gather at the Women’s Empowerment Summit Luncheon, alongside the other activities of the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend.Moderated by Gayle King, panelists included Cookie Johnson, Ayesha Curry, Jada Paul, Elaine Baylor, Tracy Wilson Mourning, Adrienne Bosh.Gayle King and Cookie Johnson start off the panel discussion at the NBWA Women’s Empowerment Summit Luncheon on Saturday, February 17, 2018Credit/Copyright: The National Basketball Wives AssociationThe women were each able to bring their own style and expertise to the summit, with decades of experience in the field of philanthropy between them.Cookie Johnson has been working with her husband’s Magic Johnson Foundation since it was founded in 1991. She has created fundraising jeans and T-shirts through her clothing line and has spoken at schools to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS.The panel at NBWA Women’s Empowerment Summit Luncheon on Saturday, February 17, 2018, covered the importance of empowerment and mentorship.Credit/Copyright: The National Basketball Wives AssociationTracy Wilson Mourning believes that building up children’s self-esteem is key in helping them achieve greatness. She and Gayle King hosted the “Power of Influence Through Sisterhood” event in support of Tracy’s Honey Shine, Inc., a mentoring organization under the Mourning Family Foundation (MFF) umbrella. Tracy has also been involved with LEAP (Ladies Empowerment and Action Program), a program that helps women at the Homestead Correctional Institution understand how to start a business, seek employment and develop skills needed for success after leaving prison.Jada Paul helps boost young women’s confidence every year with her prom dress, shoe and purse giveaway. She takes girls shopping, offering style and etiquette tips to help them feel their best on their special night. She also works alongside her husband, Chris, in their CP3 Foundation.Adrienne Bosh participates as a panelist at the NBWA Women’s Empowerment Summit Luncheon on Saturday, February 17, 2018Credit/Copyright: The National Basketball Wives AssociationAdrienne Bosh keeps herself busy with a variety of social good and charity endeavors, such as fundraising for Team Tomorrow, Inc., a non-profit organization, started by husband Chris Bosh, dedicated to supporting community-based organizations that promote the upliftment of children, families and the community. She has also organized the “Chris Bosh Presents Home Strong Celebrity Gala” and the “Welcome Home” Veteran’s Day Ceremony in Miami in support of US troops, served Thanksgiving meals to less fortunate residents of Miami and brought Christmas cheer through the “Annual Christmas With Bosh & Team Tomorrow” program. She strives to bring confidence to women through programs such as “Today I Can”, the Dress For Success Gala, and opened the doors of her Sparkle and Shine shop to people who wanted to join her in making signs for the Women’s Rally in South Florida.Ayesha Curry cracks a laugh during the panel at the NBWA Women’s Empowerment Summit Luncheon on Saturday, February 17, 2018Credit/Copyright: The National Basketball Wives AssociationAyesha Curry uses her company, Little Lights of Mine, to raise money for No Kid Hungry, and has previously volunteered with Feed the Children to help deliver food and personal care items to 400 families. The celebrity cook has raised funds for the Ada Jenkins Center and urged people to donate to the Red Cross and UNICEF to help families in need. She and her husband Stephen joined #Ham4all, a viral campaign which encouraged donations to the Immigrants: We Get the Job Done Coalition, an immigrants’ rights advocacy effort by the Hispanic Federation. She has also backed a campaign that urges women to realize how remarkable they are.last_img read more

DHX Media Licenses Kids Series to Amazon Prime in the UK and

first_imgJosh Scherba, SVP, Distribution at DHX Media, said: “Following on our recently announced exclusive deal with Amazon Prime Video in the US, this newest Amazon agreement for the UK and Germany highlights the global appetite for our well-loved brands. With our deep library, we are seeing considerable demand for our kids’ content, and we are delighted that our growing relationship with Amazon will allow Prime members to enjoy so many terrific DHX Media shows.”About DHX MediaDHX Media Ltd. (www.dhxmedia.com) is the world’s leading independent, pure-play kids’ content company. Owner of the world’s largest independent library of kids’ and family content, at more than 11,500 half-hours, DHX Media is recognized globally for such brands as Teletubbies, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Caillou, In the Night Garden, Inspector Gadget, Make It Pop, Slugterra and the multiple award-winning Degrassi franchise. DHX Media is comprised of four main business units: DHX Studios creates high-quality original entertainment at its Vancouver and Halifax animation studios, its Toronto live-action studio, and in working with top international producers; DHX Distribution is a major provider of content to the global market; DHX Television, home to the Family suite of channels, is dedicated to delivering best-in-class programming to Canadian families; and DHX Brands specializes in creating, building and managing high-profile global entertainment brands within the children’s and young-adult markets. DHX Media also owns the full-service international licensing agency, Copyright Promotions Licensing Group Ltd. (CPLG), which represents numerous entertainment, sport and design brands. DHX Media has offices in 15 cities worldwide, including Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Munich, Amsterdam and Beijing. The Company is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol DHXM, and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols DHX.A and DHX.B.DisclaimerThis press release contains “forward-looking statements” under applicable securities laws with respect to DHX Media including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company’s library of content, Amazon Prime’s offering of the Company’s content and the availability of such content via Amazon Prime, the Company’s digital presence in the UK and Germany, the business strategies and operational activities of the Company, and the markets and industries in which it operates. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on information currently available to the Company. Actual results or events may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, among other things, include risk factors discussed in materials filed with applicable securities regulatory authorities from time to time including matters discussed under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent Annual Information Form and annual Management Discussion and Analysis, which also form part of the Company’s annual report on Form 40-F filed with the SEC. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law. DHX Media (or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: DHXM; TSX: DHX.A, DHX.B), the world’s leading independent, pure-play kids’ content company, has grown the digital presence of its shows in the UK and Germany in a deal with Amazon Prime Video, which will see the subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) service offering more than three-dozen DHX Media kids’ shows to its subscribers.Amazon Prime Video in the UK has licensed a number of titles, including season one of each of the new Teletubbies, Messy Goes to Okido and Looped; seasons one and two of Hank Zipzer; season three of In the Night Garden; and seasons four and five of Caillou.In Germany, Amazon Prime Video has licensed a variety of titles including a first-run exclusive of Messy Goes to Okido, season one of each of classic Teletubbies and Slugterra plus seasons one and two of Hank Zipzer; and season five of Fireman Sam. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

Fixing Michigans roadways will take innovation

first_img03May Fixing Michigan’s roadways will take innovation Categories: Annette Glenn News,Glenn News By state Rep. Annette Glenn of Williams TownshipGovernor Whitmer’s proposed 45-cent per gallon gas tax ran her 2019-20 state budget off the road in Lansing and nothing – including her threat to shut down state government unless lawmakers agree – will pull it out of the ditch. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy calculates Whitmer’s tax increase will severely damage our economy, eliminating 22,500 private sector jobs. It will hit those who can least afford it the hardest: seniors and other citizens living on fixed incomes, working families, college students and our ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population. An April poll by Marketing Resource Group found 75 percent of Michigan voters oppose Whitmer’s tax hike—89 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of Independents and even 58 percent of her fellow Democrats.   In the fall of 2015, the Legislature approved a sweeping plan intended to provide a long-lasting solution to Michigan’s road funding crisis. The initiative will not be fully phased in until 2021, adding $1.2 billion per year to road repairs through new and existing revenue. In addition to the increased funding from 2015, the Legislature in recent years – through responsible budgeting – has committed even more resources to accelerate road repairs. All combined, Michigan is making record-high investments in road repairs and is expected to spend $4 billion in 2019. It’s evident if we are to truly repair our state’s roadways, it’s going to take more than just throwing record amounts of money at the problem. It’s going to take innovation. Americans have managed to build a rover that lasted 15 years on Mars, yet we can’t construct roads that hold up longer than a few years before needing to be repaired in Michigan? We all understand the impact freeze-thaw cycles and the punishing winters have on our roadways.  It gives us all the more reason to explore new options on types of asphalt mixtures and to find longer-lasting solutions. If you look at other states, you will find Dow Chemical is currently creating a new use for post-consumer recycled plastic to pave roads. While deeming the project a success and will take more years of evaluations, the preliminary results look promising. Drivers rolling atop an asphalt mixture composed of discarded shopping bags could be mainstream. If Michigan were to follow suit on this, we wouldn’t just be finding a cheaper remedy for our roadways – we would be finding a use for the millions of pounds of plastic that would otherwise be clogging our communities’ landfills. Another innovative asphalt mixture even uses old tires! We can be proactive in finding common-sense and fiscally responsible solutions to improve our roads. That begins by using existing tax dollars entrusted to us in the most efficient and effective methods possible, so we don’t further burden Michigan drivers and their families with even more taxes. As your state representative, I encourage people to reach out with ideas. You can also watch the House Transportation Committee at http://www.house.mi.gov/htv.asp to follow the progress of this discussion.  If you have suggestions on road funding or any other state-related issue, please contact my office at (517)-373-1791 or AnnetteGlenn@house.mi.gov.last_img read more

The Fight for Net Neutrality The Sequel

first_imgShare31Tweet7Share2Email40 SharesPhotos by Rick Barry of Broken Shade Photo.April 28, 2017; The HillRemember the blissful days of 2015? Back then, the Federal Communications Commission declared that broadband Internet service was a telecom service under Title II of the Communications Act and enacted measures to ensure an open Internet not throttled or manipulated based on content or provider. At that time, Ajit Pai was one of the members of the Commission and dead-set against such moves, which fall under the common moniker of “net neutrality.” Now, Pai heads up the FCC under the Trump Administration, and he’s moving to undo all that was done under Tom Wheeler’s reign and supported through several appellate decisions in the years that followed.At the next FCC meeting on May 18th, Pai wants to take action. He’s issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that lays out the following measures:Propose to reinstate the information service classification of broadband Internet access service and return to the light-touch regulatory framework first established on a bipartisan basis during the Clinton Administration.Propose to reinstate the determination that mobile broadband Internet access service is not a commercial mobile service and in conjunction revisit the elements of the Title II Order that modified or reinterpreted key terms in section 332 of the Communications Act and our implementing rules.Propose to return authority to the Federal Trade Commission to police the privacy practices of Internet service providers.Propose to eliminate the vague Internet conduct standard.Seek comment on whether to keep, modify, or eliminate the bright-line rules set forth in the Title II Order.Propose to re-evaluate the Commission’s enforcement regime to analyze whether ex ante regulatory intervention in the market is necessary.Propose to conduct a cost-benefit analysis as part of this proceeding.The FCC plans to release an official proposal on Thursday. If approved, that would start a 90-day period of public comment and response that would lead to a final order that the Commission could vote on. The release of the initial proposal is a move toward transparency, but senior FCC officials have emphasized that this isn’t a public opinion poll.Pai has said he supports the basic tenets of net neutrality, but not the means of implementation. However, as Politico writes, there’s no clear path to maintaining that ethos once this decision is undone.It’s unclear how Pai will be able to preserve the FCC’s net neutrality role without grounding its rules in the regulatory structure, approved two years ago, that treats ISPs like telephone-style utilities, subjecting them to tighter oversight. The FCC lost a court battle over a previous version of the rules that did not employ that structure, but the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 2015 order last June in a 2-1 decision.Pai initially floated an idea to seek voluntary commitments from internet providers to adhere to net neutrality principles, under the purview of the FTC, but that concept appears to have fallen by the wayside amid a backlash from net neutrality activists. Even Pai’s fellow GOP commissioner, Michael O’Rielly, who’s no fan of the current rules, expressed some skepticism about obtaining voluntary commitments from private companies.At this early stage, those who wish to step up and fight for net neutrality can make their public comments known at the FCC page and contribute to organizations like Fight for the Future. There’s even a crowdfunding effort set up to wage the second battle in this ongoing conflict—although this time, the tidal waves of funding seem to have slowed to a trickle.—Jason SchneidermanShare31Tweet7Share2Email40 Shareslast_img read more

Subject to inflation increase

first_img *Subject to inflation increase Age 65 65 65 Benefit Period 3 years 3 years 6 years Many advisors would recommend the first policy with the 30-day elimination period, because you might not require care for long periods of time. The 180-day elimination period means you pay for an additional 150 days out of pocket before the insurance company kicks in. The additional cost is $22,500 (150 days x $150/day), and many argue it’s a poor investment because the probability of needing care for three years or longer is small. On the other hand, the 180-day elimination period (quotes #2 and #3) gives you a lot more coverage for the same premium. In effect, #2 and #3 cost $22,500 more out of pocket in exchange for $54,750 or $208,050 in additional coverage. The only way to turn the policy premium and additional out-of-pocket costs into a good investment is to require expensive, long-term care. Most of us would prefer to never have to collect a dime. Families with a member requiring years of expensive care would tell you it was one of the best investments they ever made. But insurance is not an investment; it’s a transfer of risk.The Risk of Leaving Your Spouse Penniless If a couple has enough assets to be ineligible for Medicaid coverage, a week or two in a nursing home is not the risk they should be transferring. That’s a big nuisance, not a catastrophe. The risk they should transfer is financial ruin for the surviving spouse—in other words, 90 or 180-plus days of care. Paying insurance premiums for short waiting periods is like buying a $100 deductible on your car instead of a $500 deductible. If you have an accident, you have to make up that gap out of pocket. Your insurance dollars are better spent insuring against the catastrophe, not avoiding the deductible. Today, Jo and I would opt for door #3. I have two policies: one with a 90-day waiting period and the other, 180 days. I would not recommend anything less than 90 days. My primary concern is leaving Jo with enough assets to live comfortably for the rest of her life, which could easily be 20-plus years. Paying for 90 days of care would not undo that.Family Is Not Always the Answer Why have long-term care insurance? To make sure you have enough money for the best care right until the end without depleting all of your assets. Whether your final days are at home, in an assisted-living facility, or in a nursing home is secondary. If you can pay for the most appropriate care, that decision will be based on your health and comfort, not your wallet. Many advocates of long-term care insurance actually call it “avoid nursing home insurance” because it helps pay for in-home care. Jo’s parents never thought about nursing home insurance. They could tell you every detail about their fire insurance, auto insurance, or crop insurance, but long-term care insurance was not part of their world. Without realizing it, they were committed to self-insuring. When Jo’s mom died, she was in an assisted-living facility and able to do some of her ADLs, but not all. Which reminds me—assisting with three of the ADLs requires caregivers to do heavy lifting. Don’t make the mistake of thinking a family member, particularly an aging spouse, will be able to do the job even if he or she is willing. We have a dear friend whose husband is nearing the end. She asked Jo to look at nursing homes with her since soon she’ll be unable to care for her husband without around-the-clock help, which can be more expensive than a nursing home. They have some tough financial and emotional decisions ahead. No one wants to feel they’ve let their spouse down at the end, but logically she knows he’ll receive better care than they can afford at home.No, I Do Not Sell Insurance There is a reason they call it “long-term care insurance” and not “short-term.” The exorbitant cost of health care over the long haul can wipe out a nest egg and leave a family penniless. After publishing a recent missive on annuities, several subscribers wrote kind notes saying it was the first time they’d read something on the topic not written by annuity salesman. That’s because our mandate is education—education to help you retire rich and stay that way.Money Forever gives you the tools to build, protect, and preserve your nest egg over the long haul. Without adequate planning, long-term care costs and a slew of other threats could wipe you out. Tumultuous markets aren’t the only menace. For guidance on how to protect yourself from financial jeopardy and unique investment opportunities geared to seniors and savers, sign up for a no-risk subscription to Money Forever today. A newsletter that might not fit your needs is one risk you don’t have to worry about. Try us out, and if we’re not your cup of tea, we’ll refund 100% of the cost without hassle or headache.On the Lighter Side This season marks the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field. They’re celebrating a different decade with each home stand, and this week it’s the 1930s. In 1932 the Cubs and the New York Yankees were in the World Series. Of course, the Cubs lost. Babe Ruth came to bat, and the pitcher got two quick strikes on him. The team and fans were giving him a hard time. He pointed his finger—some say at the pitcher, but legend has it he was pointing out to center field. The next pitch came whizzing in to the plate, and he hit a blast deep into the seats where he’d pointed. The mighty Babe had struck again and became even more famous for calling his shot. What a treat it was last week when the Cubs invited his daughter, who’s in her late 90s and legally blind, to come lead the fans singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Listening to her was a real treat. And finally… Over the last few weeks, young men and women all dressed up for prom enjoyed themselves at local restaurants. Now the graduation season is upon us. I wish all the graduates the best of luck as they pass this important milestone. It seemed like the blink of an eye before we were celebrating our 50th class reunion. My oldest grandson Justin is celebrating his 10th-year reunion this year. For this week’s funnies, I thought I would pass along a cute cartoon. Until next week… Risk Class Preferred Preferred Preferred We’d all been waiting for the big day, but the chapel the ceremony took place in was very small—just a room with Christian symbols and a few chairs. Jo’s father was waiting for us in his hospital bed, grinning from ear to ear. Despite the feeding tube, he still managed to devour a few bites of our wedding cake. Parkinson’s is a powerful disease; it can take the sturdiest tree in the forest and wilt it like an aging rose. Yes, Jo and I got married in a nursing home chapel. Little did we know that we would spend the better part of the first 18 years of our marriage dealing with nursing homes and assisted-living facilities for both sets of parents. Constant care is expensive. Jo’s father didn’t have long-term care insurance, and in 1988 his care cost close to $3,000 per month. Fortunately, he and my mother-in-law had the money to pay for it. It’s frightening to imagine a time when you can no longer bathe, dress, eat, transport yourself, or hold your bladder and bowels. In insurance-speak, those are called “activities of daily living” (ADLs). Mercifully, not everyone reaches that point. However, two out of three Americans over age 65 will need some form of long-term care during their lifetime. That might mean home health care or moving to an assisted-living facility or a nursing home. Regardless, it’s pricey. Nationwide, the average cost of a single-occupancy room in a nursing home is $6,653 per month. Home care averages $3,432 per month; assisted living, 3,300; and adult day care (which sounds just awful), $1,322. Years of paying those costs can spell financial ruin for an aging couple—the surviving spouse in particular. My aunt spent close to 10 years in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s disease before she passed away. Her long stint is not at all unusual. While most patients live an average of 4-8 years after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, many live as long as 20.Medicaid Is Not the Solution While Medicaid will pick up the tab for lower-income people, the income and asset limits to qualify are quite stringent. While the rules vary from state to state, a helpful rule of thumb is that an individual must make less than 300% of the Supplemental Security Income limit, or $2,130 in 2013, and have less than $2,000 in countable assets to qualify. Although your home (up to a certain amount of equity) is not normally a countable asset, many if not most of our readers don’t fall in this camp. After a recent chat on long-term care insurance with financial guru David Holland on his radio show, David told me anyone choosing to self-insure should have at least $2 million in liquid assets. Even then, it’s risky. One of my biggest fears is needing long-term care, having the ability to pay for it, depleting our assets, and leaving Jo flat broke. So where does that leave people unlikely to qualify for Medicaid but unable or unwilling to self-insure? Long-term care insurance, of course.Opt for the 180-Day Elimination Period Buying any type of insurance means transferring some type of personal risk to an insurance carrier. Clearly defining the risk you want to transfer and then tailoring a policy to best accomplish that goal is critical to getting the best value. David Holland generously shared some quotes to help illustrate this point. While there are countless long-term care options available today, we’re going to keep this example simple. Mary Sample is age 65. She wants a policy paying $150 in daily coverage with some inflation protection. Name Mary Sample Mary Sample Mary Sample Total Premium $6,415.20 $6,415.20 $6,375.51center_img Benefit Amount $150* daily $200* daily $170* daily Policy Limit $164,250 $219,000 $372,300 Home Care Benefit $4,500 $6,000 $5,100 Elimination Period 30 days 180 days 180 days Benefit Selection Quotation 1 Quotation 2 Quotation 3 Inflation Option 5% compounded 5% compounded 5% compoundedlast_img read more

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gol

first_img The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday.  With only three delivery days left in the April contract, I find this lack of activity very strange. The CME Preliminary Report for the Thursday session showed that gold open interest in April declined by 31 contract—and total o.i. left remaining is 440 contracts.  In silver, o.i. fell by 1 contract, leaving 22 left to deliver. There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday—but there was a big deposit in SLV, as a chunky 1,912,276 troy ounces were deposited by an authorized participant. Since yesterday was Thursday, Joshua Gibbons, the Guru of the SLV Bar List, updated his website with the current data from the iShares.com Internet site—and this is what he had to report. “Analysis of the 22 April 2015 bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list:  1,435,000.1 troy ounces were added (all to Brinks London)—and no bars were removed or had serial number changes.“ “The bars added were from: Solar Applied Materials (0.7M oz), Russian State Refineries (0.6M oz), Yunnan Copper (0.1M oz), and 2 others.“ “As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was overallocated 699.3 oz.  All daily changes are reflected on the bar list.“ There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint on Thursday. There was no in/out movement in gold at all at the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday—and not a lot of activity in silver, as only 5,772 troy ounces were reported received—and only 53,779 troy ounces were shipped out the door.  The link to the silver activity is here. It was a another monster day over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on Wednesday.  Brink’s, Inc. reported receiving 10,288 kilobars—and shipped out 8,100 kilobars.  One wonders if this level of hyperactivity is a permanent feature of this newly-created depository.  Time will tell, I suppose.  The link to the above activity in troy ounces is here. Here are a couple of charts that Nick Laird passed around yesterday evening while I was working away on today’s column—and I hope you find them as interesting as I did.  They show Switzerland’s gold imports and exports for March.  Nick says that the export number to China would include Hong Kong’s imports as well.  There’s a story about this further down in the Critical Reads section. Here’s the 5-minute gold tick chart courtesy of Brad Robertson.  The volume really began to pick up about 12:45 p.m. in London, when the rally that was underway at the time got turned over.  After that, heavier volume began to appear as the short sellers of last resort were on hand to provide “liquidity/price capping” against the new buying that was coming into the market.  You should also note that the price decline that started at 2:45 p.m. EDT was accomplished with very little volume.   The vertical gray line is 10:00 p.m. MST/midnight EST, so add two hours—and don’t forget the ‘click to enlarge’ feature. The dollar index closed late Wednesday afternoon in New York at 98.06—and chopped higher from there, hitting its 98.40 high tick shortly after 8:30 a.m. BST in London.  The 97.15 low came at 2:30 p.m. EDT, which was about the time that gold began to get sold off in electronic trading in New York yesterday.  It rallied a bit from there—and closed at 97.31—down 75 basis points on the day. Up until the 10 a.m. EDT London gold fix, there was absolutely no correlation allowed between the dollar index and the precious metal prices.  But the moment the dollar index bottomed out at 2:30 p.m. EDT—and then rallied a hair, there was a seller there to make sure that almost half of yesterday’s gains in gold vanished before the close. The silver price followed a similar pattern, but was much more subdued.  However, the inflection points all occurred at the same time as gold.  Silver’s low came at the London p.m. fix—and not in morning trading in Hong Kong, as did gold’s low. The low and high were recorded as $15.705 and $15.92 in the May contract. Silver finished the Thursday session in New York at $15.85 spot, up 9 whole cents.  Gross volume was very high, but once the roll-overs were netted it out, the volume was only 21,000 contracts. The gold stocks opened up a bit—and then rallied in a straight line until the not-for-profit seller showed up around 2:45 p.m. in the gold market—and sold the price down going into the close.  The equities followed suit, as the HUI finished the Thursday session up 2.42 percent. And as I write paragraph, the London open is about fifteen minutes away.  Gold sold down a few dollars in Far East trading on their Friday, with the low over there coming at 1 p.m. Hong Kong time—and at the moment it has rallied a buck above unchanged.  Silver, platinum and palladium have erased their tiny losses as well during the last hour or so. Net gold volume is 11,000 contracts, with 99.9 percent of that occurring in the current front month, so it’s all of the HFT variety.  Net silver volume is around 2,700 contracts, with roll-overs out of the May contract in that metal about 25 percent of the gross volume.  The large traders have to be out of the May contract by the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday—and the rest by the COMEX close on Wednesday—and first day notice for delivery in May silver is Thursday.  All eyes should be on JPMorgan at that time.  Mine certainly will be. The dollar index rallied to around 97.57 just before lunch in Hong Kong on their Friday morning—and began to slide from there.  It then did a 35+ basis point face plant about 2:15 p.m. Hong Kong time, about forty-five minutes before the London open.  It’s sitting at 97.04 right now, down 27 basis points from Thursday’s close in New York, but over 50 points off its Far East high. Today at 3:30 p.m. EDT we get the latest COT Report from the CFTC’s website for positions held at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday—and as I said yesterday, gold is a tough call.  I’d guess that we’ll see some deterioration because of the upward penetration of the 50-day moving average during the reporting week, but I wouldn’t bet the ranch on that.  Silver is much easier, as there will be further improvement in the Commercial net short position in that metal, as prices are down on the week.  And as I also said yesterday, it’s too bad that Wednesday’s price action won’t be in it, as we would have substantial improvements in both metals—so in a way, today’s COT Report is already yesterday’s news.  I’ll have all the details tomorrow. And as I hit the ‘send’ button on today’s column at 5:10 a.m. EDT, I see that with the exception of palladium, which is only up two bucks at the moment, the other three precious metals are now down a bit on the day even though the dollar index is 38 basis points lower at the moment—and was down over 50 earlier.  Net gold volume is around 19,500 contracts—and silver’s net volume is at 3,600 contracts.  This is very light volume. Here’s the 1-year dollar index chart—and it’s current as of 5:10 a.m. EDT this morning—and it certainly looks toppy to me.  But so far, the powers-that-be have not allowed precious metal prices to reflect the decline of the last few weeks—and it remains to be seen how the dollar/gold ratio unfolds if this dollar decline really develops some legs. I have a very decent number of stories for you today—and I will ruthlessly edit any further news items that come in over the remainder of Thursday evening. The big news event, of course, [was Tuesday’s] joint filing of civil charges by the CFTC and criminal charges by the Justice Department against a London trader for his participation in the infamous “Flash Crash” in the stock market on May 6, 2010. That was when the Dow Jones Average fell 1,000 points in a very short period of time before recovering almost as sharply. Yesterday’s filing places much of the blame for the crash on this London trader who “spoofed” the market, by entering and immediately canceling large orders on stock index futures contracts whose prime intent was to manipulate prices. (I suppose he’s not the one spoofing prices lower in COMEX gold and silver today, Wednesday, but someone certainly is). According to Eric Hunsader, from the market data company, Nanex, “I’m dumbfounded that they missed this until now.” After watching the agency’s handling of the increasingly obvious silver manipulation, I’m less surprised and I am left with the feeling that the evidence provided by the unnamed whistleblower must have been overwhelmingly convincing for the CFTC to change its tune so radically. I am not at all surprised at the article’s negative portrayal of the role of the CME in this matter. The article quotes the London trader, in an e-mail more than four years ago, as having told the exchange who was inquiring into his activities, “to kiss my ass.” I’m sure that wasn’t what took the CME so long to crack down on the trader, since there is no evidence the CME ever cracked down on him. The CME hasn’t cracked down on High Frequency Trading, no matter how egregious it has become for the simple reason it is the greatest beneficiary of the mindless and manipulative trading in the form of exchange fees. The CME is the prime promoter of HFT. That’s the problem with self-regulation when the regulator is a beneficiary of the manipulative trading – it will never be ended by the conflicted regulator. The irony, of course, with the charges of manipulation in the stock market that occurred five years ago is that the same manipulation is occurring in COMEX silver and gold today [Wednesday – Ed] as I write this. As I’ve written previously, the HFT computer jocks have been careful not to trip off another stock market crash because they know it will not be tolerated. But because both the CFTC and the CME have openly signaled that high speed computer manipulation is OK in COMEX silver and gold, the manipulative practice has actually intensified. Whereas crashing the stock market damages too many investors, the number of investors hurt in the silver manipulation is so small in comparison that the CFTC and the CME look the other way. Th at’s the way these regulators swing – they only do what they are forced to do. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 22 April 2015 I was happy to see that the precious metals rallied yesterday, but as I pointed out earlier, it had nothing whatsoever to do with what was going on in the currency markets, as the dollar index was in the dumpster during the whole time they were trading flat—and the only time that they were allowed to rally meaningfully was once the London p.m. gold fix was in.  They even capped those rallies in electronic trading in New York, so they were modest, at least in gold and silver—and that’s being kind. Gold made it to its 50-day moving average, but didn’t close above it.  Silver hasn’t been above its 50-day moving average for over two weeks, so there wasn’t much damage done from a Commitment of Traders perspective. Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals as of the close of trading yesterday.center_img As to what may happen during the rest of the Friday session, I haven’t a clue—although I’m somewhat apprehensive because of the punk price action on the big drop in the dollar index, the second one in as many days.   And as I’ve pointed out on many occasions, we’ve still got a ways to go in both metals to the downside before JPMorgan et al can get maximum long and minimum short in all four precious metals, so nothing will surprise me, up or down, when I crawl out of bed later this morning. Enjoy your weekend, or what’s left of it—and I’ll see you here tomorrow. In a way, today’s COT Report is already yesterday’s news Except for the spike low just after 9:30 a.m. Hong Kong time, the gold price traded mostly in a five dollar price band through all of Far East and London trading on their respective Thursday’s.  Once the London p.m. gold “fix” was in, the price rallied a bit before getting sold down starting around 2:45 p.m. EDT in electronic trading. The low and high ticks were reported by the crooks over at the CME Group as $1,183.60 and $1,197.40 in the June contract. Gold finished the Thursday trading session at $1,193.50 spot, up $6.70 on the day—and would have obviously closed above $1,200 spot if the sellers of last resort hadn’t shown up during the electronic trading session in New York.  Net volume was 112,000 contract, with 93 percent of that number trading in the current front month. The silver equities opened unchanged—and then sold down a bit, but reversed direction around 10:20 a.m. EDT.  They then followed an identical trajectory as the gold stocks—selling off at the same time was well, giving up about a percent of their gains in the last hour or so of the trading day.  As a result, Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up only 1.60 percent. The platinum and palladium prices traded similarly, with platinum closing at $1,134 spot, up 6 bucks on the day—and palladium closed at $753 spot, up 16 dollars on the day, recouping all of Wednesday’s loss, plus a few dollars more.  Here are the charts. PERUVIAN GOVERNMENT AWARDS DYNACOR PERMIT TO BUILD NEW LARGER-SCALE MILL AT CHALA Dynacor’s newly approved, second gold processing plant will create value for many years as a direct result of production increases and lower cost/units. Another near term catalyst exists in the form of exploration results at our high-grade gold project, Tumipampa.  As the steady flow of news hits the wire, value will be added to the asset through demonstration of the economic viability and a growing resource base. Dynacor is debt-free, results driven company proving its mettle year after year with or without a ‪bull market. The company exercises discipline in its strategy to build growth by eliminating the risk of having to sell equity to the public to raise cash for operations or pay back debt payments. With zero debt, solid working capital of $21 million and a consistent flow of cash coming from operations even in a low gold price environment, Dynacor is in a unique and strong position to advance both of its divisions, production and exploration/development. Dynacor, with its last equity financing over five years ago, is a shareholder-first company focusing on delivering real value. Please contact Dale Nejmeldeen with questions or to learn more about the company.last_img read more

Marian Smith somehow missed getting a flu shot thi

first_imgMarian Smith somehow missed getting a flu shot this year, which is unlike her — in the past, she always got one.The 58-year-old Washington D.C. resident says it was easier to remember to get it when the vaccine was provided at a clinic at work. But now the clinic is a bus ride away, and getting the shot wasn’t at the top of her mind.”Of course, I could get it right here at the grocery store,” Smith tells NPR, as she rushes to pick up her lunch. “But I just didn’t get it — I don’t know, I can’t tell you why.”Maybe a reminder from her doctor would have been the nudge she needed. A review study published by the Cochrane Library this month suggests that reminding people when their vaccinations are due or overdue increases the number of people who get immunized.The team of researchers reviewed 75 studies from 10 countries. Fifty-eight were performed in the U.S.; the remainder were conducted in Australasia, Europe and Africa.The research looked at reminders — via phone calls, texts, email, or post cards — for routine immunizations in infants and children, including MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and polio. The scientists also reviewed 24 studies of influenza vaccination in adults, and several studies of vaccination rates for routine adult vaccines against other illnesses, such as tetanus and hepatitis B.Overall, the scientists say, about 8 percent more people got their vaccination after getting a reminder compared with those who got no reminder. Similar results were found among studies of children and adults.That may not sound like a lot, the researchers say, but when you consider the population of the U.S., it means many, many infants, children and adults might benefit from a reminder.”All types of patient reminders and recall are likely to be effective,” says Julie Jacobson Vann from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, who led the Cochrane review.But the most effective reminder, she says, was the “old fashioned telephone call — where somebody personally calls someone and lets them know about the benefits of vaccinations, and invites them to come in and be vaccinated.”The next best reminder? Snail mail or a text message.Reminders might be particularly useful for flu shots. While about 90 percent of children are immunized against the most common childhood diseases, that rate sharply drops when it comes to annual vaccinations again influenza. And roughly a third of adults over 65 don’t get the annual shot; they can be at even greater risk of severe complications from the flu than kids.The vast majority of flu-related hospitalizations and deaths occur among people 65 and older, Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., points out.Fortunately, Schaffner says, there are now two vaccines specifically formulated for older adults.”They give more punch to the immune system,” he says, “stimulating it to work better and therefore you get more benefit from the vaccine.”Medicare also covers the cost of the flu vaccine. “All you have to do is roll up your sleeve,” Schaffner says. “Nobody reaches into your wallet — it doesn’t cost you a penny.”But you do have to remember to get the shot before you’re exposed to the flu.Schaffner suggests that the findings of this new analysis, along with the increasing use of electronic medical records, which can make it easy to keep track of vaccinations and send out reminders automatically, should encourage more doctors and healthcare providers to give their patients the helpful nudge many need. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

A close look at the brains of 40 US Embassy work

first_imgA close look at the brains of 40 U.S. Embassy workers in Cuba who developed mysterious symptoms has found no evidence of injury. The State Department has said the employees were hurt by some sort of attack.Advanced brain imaging techniques did reveal some subtle differences in the workers’ brains, says Ragini Verma, a professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania and an author of the study published in this week’s JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.But those differences “do not reflect the imaging differences that we see in [traumatic brain injury] or concussion,” Verma says.”All you can say is something happened, which caused their brain to change,” she says.And even that conclusion was challenged by brain scientists who have been skeptical that any diplomat was attacked or injured from what became known as “Havana syndrome.”The differences could have been random or simply the result of different life experiences that can change the brain — like learning a foreign language, says Sergio Della Sala, a professor of human cognitive neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh in the U.K. He called the study in JAMA “half-baked.””There is no evidence of any pathology,” says Douglas Fields, a neuroscientist who has investigated and written about the events in Cuba. “And when you look at the data, there’s no coherent syndrome, no pattern.”The new results should end speculation that embassy workers were injured by a sonic weapon or something even more exotic, Fields says. “The physical evidence to support the idea that there was some sort of an energy beam is completely lacking,” he says.The study is the latest development in a mystery that began in 2016, when dozens of people associated with the U.S. Embassy in Havana began reporting strange, high-pitched sounds or sudden changes in air pressure. Shortly after these events, they began experiencing dizziness, headaches, sleep problems, hearing problems and foggy thinking.The State Department began referring those workers to the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Brain Injury and Repair.In 2018, doctors there reported in JAMA that 21 workers had symptoms that resembled those of a traumatic brain injury or concussion.As part of their evaluation, people sent to the University of Pennsylvania also got MRI brain scans, which appeared normal.”Just a traditional read of the images did not reveal much,” Verma says.Verma and several colleagues decided to take another look using advanced imaging techniques usually reserved for scientific research.They studied brain scans from 40 government workers who had reported symptoms. Then they compared those images with brain images from groups of healthy people.This time, the team did find something.”The most important thing is that there were differences,” Verma says.The differences were subtle and involved measures of brain volume, brain networks and the fibers that carry signals around the brain. They were most apparent in an area called the cerebellum, which is involved in balance and movement, and were also found in areas of the brain that process sound.Differences in those areas, Verma says, might help explain why the workers reported symptoms involving balance and hearing.But Fields says even that is a reach.”First of all, these techniques are not diagnostic, they are descriptive,” he says. “And they don’t provide any clinical evidence of any kind of abnormality or pathology. What they show are minor differences between two groups.”And the existence of some differences is hardly surprising, he says.”These methods are used to find differences that are associated with being left-handed or right-handed, male or female, low IQ [or] high IQ, whether you are a musician or not,” he says. “They’re all within the normal range.”And 12 of the workers had a history of concussion, which also could account for some of the differences.The real importance of the study is in what it did not find, Fields says.”If there’d been brain injury, that would have been evident on the clinical brain imaging studies that were done before,” he says. “There was no evidence of any pathology, and these more sophisticated measures confirm that.”The State Department did not respond to requests for comment on the study. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Trump Basically Says ObamaEra Marijuana Policies Arent Going to Change

first_imgCannabis It’s been an April to remember for the legal marijuana industry in the United States.First came the news that former marijuana opponent John Boehner, the former Speaker of the House, had joined the board of Acreage Holdings, one of the largest cannabis companies in the United States.Now President Donald Trump has reportedly assured U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado that he will support protection of states that have legalized marijuana from federal interference.But Trump apparently went beyond even that. In January, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to rescind the Cole Memo — an Obama-era Justice Department memo that essentially protected states that have legalized marijuana from federal interference — caused concern in the cannabis industry that a crackdown could happen.According to Gardner, Trump told him that will not be the case. He then went one step beyond that, saying he plans to support changes at the federal level that will strengthen state’s rights.Related: Where to Find Funding for a Cannabis BusinessAll this is based on a statement Gardner released on his website, in which he said, “I received a commitment from the president that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry. Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all.”The White House later confirmed the accuracy of Gardner’s statement.Art of the Marijuana DealApparently, all of this — which seemed unlikely just months ago — happened because of Sessions’ decision to rescind the memo.In reaction to Sessions’ action, Gardner has since held up 20 of the Trump Administration’s nominations to the Department of Justice. Gardner said he would stop blocking nominees “based on these commitments” he received from Trump that Colorado’s marijuana industry is not in jeopardy.While not straightforward, it’s one of the first signs from the Trump Administration that it won’t crack down on legal marijuana states.Sessions position is well known. Up until this month, Trump had remained largely silent on the marijuana. Marc Short, the legislative affairs director for the White House, told the Washington Post the administration was “reluctant to reward” Gardner’s maneuvering.“But at the same time, we’re anxious to get our team at the Department of Justice,” Short said. He also went on to say that Trump “does respect Colorado’s right to decide for themselves how to best approach this issue.”That last part is likely what marijuana industry entrepreneurs will most pay attention to.Related: Marijuana Edibles Make the List of Top 10 Food Trends This YearChallenges AheadTrump’s assurances to Gardner, coupled with the Boehner decision, has created yet another buzz in many places about marijuana moving into the mainstream and the challenges it still faces.One good example is from NPR. While making the point that Boehner certainly did well politically in opposing marijuana, the article also notes that his decision to join the Acreage Holdings board signals a shift.His decision “comes in time to help people who see cannabis as a promising business opportunity,” the article states. However, it also points out that minorities continue to get arrested for marijuana in disproportionate numbers and could get shut out of the legal marijuana industry.To stay up to date on the latest marijuana related news make sure to like dispensaries.com on Facebook Next Article A conservative Republican senator from Colorado has wrung a big concession from the administration to protect his state’s booming cannabis business. dispensaries.com Add to Queue 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Download Our Free Android App Free Green Entrepreneur App Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. Image credit: Mandel Ngan | Getty Images Trump Basically Says Obama-Era Marijuana Policies Aren’t Going to Change Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. –shares April 24, 2018 Guest Writerlast_img read more