Mills, Farm Tools, Etc.

first_imgThe proprietor of the Standard Garage in Ganta says the business has given him total independence now unlike the time he was employed with companies.Mr. Amos S. Gbatu told the Daily Observer that apart from making small tools including hoes, his garage now produces mills for processing sugarcane, oil palm, palm kernel, and cassava products.Mr. Gbatu said he is one of those who received early vocational training at the Wallenburg Vocational Training Center in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.He started the Standard Garage in Nimba in 1997 and has worked for many years, thereby giving him broader knowledge in metal works.According to Mr. Gbatu, he was driven into the career through passion, believing he had a solid command of the theoretical and practical knowledge associated with metal works.“There is no way another person will make your career important unless you do it. If you learn anything and do not put it into use, you will absolutely not get anything out of it,” he said.According to him, some non-governmental institutions including USAID-FED do hire his services to provide training and also to produce some tools for farmers.He disclosed that USAID-FED had provided them a grant and a power generator to for training purposes.Although food processing machines produced at Standard Garage are expensive, Mr. Gbatu said his company is flexible with customers to the extent that he gives them time to make payment.To ensure safety of food produced in the machine, he explained that they use certain kinds of metal to produce the machines and not just any metal. “The kind of steel we use is hard to get rusty,” he said, confident about the safety of food produced from the machines.According to Mr. Gbatu, the output of the Standard Garage has drawn attention of not only people of Nimba, but also the belt of farmers in Bong County.“Many farmers in the two counties now are actively engaged in cassava and oil palm productions, because heavy machinery that helps to produce end products of these food crops are made in Ganta,” Mr. Gbatu said. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Cutting on the Blink: Editing Tips From Walter Murch

first_imgWalter Murch’s work as a film editor and sound designer is vital to the history of cinema and he has some serious wisdom to impart to any film and video maker.Top Image: Walter Murch on Apocalypse Now via TransomWalter Murch is a master film editor and sound designer with many famous film credits to his name, including Apocalypse Now, The English Patient, and Jarhead. He’s even directed a movie, Return to Oz. In his highly regarded book, In the Blink of an Eye, Murch offers film and video makers a wonderfully succinct guide to approaching the craft and philosophy of editing. Rule of SixMurch’s “Rule of Six” is a nice hierarchical breakdown to keep in mind when deciding upon where to make a cut, and lists the decision-making factors in this order:Emotion (51%)Story (23%)Rhythm (10%)Eye-Trace (7%)Two-Dimensional Plane of Screen (5%)Three Dimensional Space of Action (4%)Nikole Hidalgo has made a video to illustrate Murch’s rule:Murch admits that the percentage assigned to each item on the list is not the thing to fixate upon, even though it does indicate a significant value difference between the two extremes of emotion and screen space. Rather, the order of the items is the key here and the resulting guide is a good editing checklist when in doubt about a crucial edit on your next movie.Return to Oz via DisneyThe BlinkPerhaps more interestingly, Murch has proposed a theory about how the rate, or speed, in which we blink our eyes may actually be suggestive of our mental state and the way in which we are processing information.According to Murch, to refrain from blinking suggests intense concentration whereas rapid blinking suggests agitation and distraction. There is a middle ground between these two extremes where our blinking coincides with a rhythmic digestion of thoughts and ideas. In other words, the visible evidence of our brain chewing information is through our eyes. This blinking principle can apply to life and it can also apply to filmmaking. It has seemingly guided Murch’s editing razor over the course of his career as he has searched for rhythm and cinematic truth in countless movie scenes. The Conversation via ParamountMurch believes that good actors blink in a way that seems natural to the flow of information within a narrative and the editor can structure cuts and scene rhythms around the way actors blink their eyes. With this advice, it’s seems advisable to schedule a screen test into your casting process whenever possible. The way an actor blinks may be the window into their ability to be natural and believably emotive in your movie. Sven Pape has put Murch’s blink technique into direct action in his own editing work, and has even made a video about editing the film Flesh and Blood:About a decade ago, Transom ran a great article by Walter Murch about his perceptions on sound design. There are some cool examples from his work on Apocalypse Now and THX 1138.If you’d prefer to hear from the man himself, have a look at this video presentation, where Murch talks about making the right editing choices when putting a film together. Murch’s wisdom is undeniable, and his thoughtful approach to cinematic endeavors sets an important precedent for film and video makers. One should aspire to Murch’s contemplation of the medium.Have you employed any of Murch’s suggested techniques in your own work? Has cutting on the blink helped you work your way through a film scene? Please share below.last_img read more

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Klay Thompson says ‘he’ll be fine’ after pulling hamstring in Warriors’ Game 2 win

first_imgDA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew ESPN’s Doris Burke, who was working courtside, reported during the game that Thompson felt tightness in his left hamstring.After the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr reportedly said Thompson told him “he’s fine” but added the severity of the injury remains unclear at this point.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“Klay said he’ll be fine, but Klay could be half dead and he would say he would be fine. We’ll see. He pulled his hamstring. He thinks it is minor, so I don’t know what that means going forward,” Kerr said during the post-game press conference after steering Golden State to a 109-104 win that leveled the series.Thompson still led the Warriors with 25 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the three-point area that went with five rebounds and five assists in 32 minutes. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Toronto Raptors guard Danny Green (14) pressures Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) as he drives down court during the first half of Game 2 of basketball’s NBA Finals, Sunday, June 2, 2019, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson got hurt early in the fourth quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors and did not return.Thompson limped toward the locker room after landing in a split following a three-point attempt.ADVERTISEMENT Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Steph Curry shrugged off a slow start to finish with 23 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the field.The series shifts to Oakland at Oracle Arena for Game 3 on Thursday (Manila time).Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Dwyane Wade surprises graduates at Stoneman Douglas Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport View commentslast_img read more

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10 months agoDONE DEAL: Marco Baroni named new coach of Frosinone

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say DONE DEAL: Marco Baroni named new coach of Frosinoneby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveMarco Baroni has been named new coach of Frosinone.Baroni replaces Moreno Longo after the latter’s sacking yesterday.The 55-year-old is best known for his stints in charge of Juventus Primavera and Benevento, the latter of whom he guided into Serie A for the first time in their history.He takes over a Frosinone side already five points adrift in 19th place after just one win all season. last_img read more

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April 30 2001 April Workshoppers Leif foregroun

first_imgApril 30, 2001April Workshoppers, Leif(foreground) and Franz (background) transport concrete from the mixer to the silt-castpanel formwork. [Photos and text by JenniferThornton] A few weeks ago, Landscaping and Construction teamed up to dig a ditch to the Minds Garden with a Ditch Witch.The ditch would eventually house a water pipe. The Garden Crewbuilds a rock wall or armored swale to manage the run-off down the Mesa. Itis one of a series of small dams built to capture rain water for the soil.last_img read more

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In This Issue… Jobs are very disappointing…

first_imgIn This Issue… * Jobs are very disappointing… * The focus shifts to U.S. problems… * Gold soars $66! * Central Bank meetings galore this week! And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Jobs Jamboree Was UGLY! Good day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well… what a glorious, near full moon, weather-wise weekend! I hope your weekend was grand. It was a disastrous weekend for my beloved Cardinals, as the wheels have fallen off that wagon… Sort of like what’s happened to all those rose colored glasses wearing, cheerleaders for the strong U.S. economy… It was the elephant in the room on Friday, so we might as well, talk about it front and center this morning. In case you didn’t have a chance to check out the Jobs Jamboree on Friday, here is your update… U.S. job growth slowed sharply in May, the latest indication that the economy has lost momentum. Nonfarm payrolls grew by a lackluster 69,000 last month, the smallest gain in a year. The unemployment rate, obtained by a separate survey of U.S. households, ticked one-tenth of a percentage point higher to 8.2%, the first increase in nearly a year. And remember that 115,000 job increase in April? Well, it was revised downward to 77,000… And… Oh, you won’t believe this… or… maybe you are “all-in” on what the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does with the number… In either case I’m going to give it to you anyway! The BLS added over 400,000 jobs in the past two months… So… let’s see, using my new math… If we take 77,000 and 69,000 (which are bad enough on their own), and add them together, we get 146,000… But if we take away the 400,000 ghost jobs the BLS decided to add, the economy is actually losing jobs! 400,000 – 146, 000 = a negative 254,000… Well… the markets decided that this was just too bad to allow the dollar to be rewarded… And immediately, the calls for more Quantitative Easing (QE) were heard, thus adding to the pressure on the dollar. Gold soared, Silver tried to keep up, and the euro soared through the 1.23 handle which it had lost the previous day. For once, in a blue moon, the focus was on the problems here in the U.S. for one fleeting day of trading, the Eurozone was on the back burner… I wonder how all those net shorts in the euro, were feeling as the euro gained over 1-cent on Friday… For the record, net shorts in the euro as of May 29th had reached a record all-time level! Of course the euro was born in 1999, so the time period is not that long, but still there were over 200,000 net short euro positions on May 29th… I wonder how many there are now? But that was Friday… What about the new week? Well, the focus, albeit this is before the U.S. opens trading, is back to the Eurozone… Now, it’s Spanish Banks that are need of a bailout… And the calls for a Eurozone bond are still being heard… And every time a Eurozone bond idea is mentioned and Germany rejects it, the euro gets hit… But, as I write this morning, the euro is holding on to the 1.24 handle… Funny… but the markets were really focused on what the Bank of Japan (BOJ) was going to do about the yen, which was very close to gaining to the 77 handle, overnight. I think the markets have the BOJ on the run, right now… Sure the BOJ has a ton of yen reserves it could sell, but are their pockets deeper than the markets pockets? I don’t think so… So, no use in throwing away yen only to have the markets run the value right back up. But the BOJ is a Central Bank, and you and I know all too well that Central Banks do stupid things, and never consider what the unintended consequences might be… The other piece of data on Friday that was not up to grade for a so-called expanding, recovering economy was the ISM manufacturing Index data, which showed a slow-down falling to 53.5 from the previous month’s 54.8 number… And we can’t forget the Personal Income and Spending data, which showed us once again that we spent (.3%) more than we made (.2%)… U.S. vehicle sales were not as strong as expected, and neither was Construction spending in April… so… You can see why the focus was on the U.S. on Friday. But, with only Factory Orders for April on the docket for today, that focus will be easily shifted back to the Eurozone… The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) meets tonight (tomorrow for them) and while I’m of the opinion that the RBA has overstayed its visit to the rate cut table, I do believe that they will cut rates again… Tonight? Maybe… the markets have marked down the Aussie dollar (A$) in anticipation of a rate cut tonight. Up in Canada… the Canadian economy’s data has been pretty consistent, with the final print of 1st QTR GDP remaining moderate at 1.9%, which was unchanged from the 4th QTR. But, the May RBC Canadian Manufacturing Index rose for the 4th consecutive month to 54.7 from 53.3 in April and May’s number represents the high water mark since September 2011, when the period low of 50.6 was registered. May’s jump represented the strongest improvement since September 2011… The Canadian dollar / loonie, gained with the other currencies on Friday, and is gaining an additional amount this morning. The moves are miniscule though… The Bank of Canada (BOC) meets this week and once again, all the promises of rate hikes, will be left at the altar, and the BOC will leave rates unchanged… I’m sure the markets will be tuned in to see what the BOC Gov. has to say after the rate announcement, but I just can’t help but think that if I were there listening to him, the Pink Floyd lyrics of: Haven’t you heard, it’s a battle of words, and most of them are lies, would most definitely be in my head… Speaking of Central Bank meetings… We’ve already talked about the RBA and BOC, but the Bank of England (BOE) and the European Central Bank (ECB) will also meet this week, and Big Ben Bernanke will be making his trek to Congress this week to give his testimony on the U.S. economic outlook… I doubt that Big Ben will even mention further stimulus, much less Quantitative Easing in Congress, unless that is he wants to get grilled by Ron Paul! I believe that we took a step closer to QE3 after the Jobs Jamboree last Friday, but I think there’s something else that the Fed has targeted over the years… stock prices… Well, the S&P 500 closed below its 200-day moving average on Friday… It’s like smoking pork… the digital probe in the meat might indicate that it’s done, but not yet… seasoned smokers of pork know that you have to let it cook, until it’s done, and then cook it some more! Well, QE3 is done, it just needs to cook some more… But if stock prices continue to get swamped, look for Big Ben to do something to save stock prices from the alligators! And I have believed, still believe and will continue to believe that the Fed wants to own all the Treasury issues… I called for QE3 last year, and it’s taken a long time to get here, but expect an announcement by the Fed next week of an easing program very similar to QE1 &2 , where the size and duration is announced… The won’t call it QE3, but we all will know exactly what this is… and even though the Fed has been buying Treasuries all along, by the truck load, the actual announcement of an easing program, whatever they decide to call it, will be a psychological event for the markets… and should, as long as we follow the footprints of the previous two rounds of QE, put Gold squarely on the rally tracks once again… Of course I could be wrong about all this, and the Fed doesn’t come to the aid of stocks… What do you think they’ll do? And how about that moon-shot that Gold experienced on Friday? Up $60 as I was leaving the office, and the shiny metal has held steady overnight, which is good, because I’m sure plenty a-trader was tempted to take a profit… Of course, with Friday’s run-up, the consistent calls for a higher Gold price grew a little louder. And as I look around, I did one of those “I could have had a V-8” head slaps… If you just look at deposit rate competition for Gold, there is none, and with yields continuing to fall in both the U.S. and Germany to levels that scream a Minsky Moment, Gold should be rallying… just based on that! Then There Was This… I read this story the other day, and my conspiracy blood began to boil! Now, as you read this, keep in mind that Egan-Jones Rating Agency, has downgraded U.S. debt twice in the past year… “U.S. securities regulators charged credit-rating firm Egan-Jones and its president Sean Egan on Tuesday with making material misrepresentations to the agency in its 2008 regulatory application to rate asset-backed and government securities. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s administrative charges, which were first reported by Reuters last week after a closed-door SEC meeting, also include allegations of record-keeping and conflict of interest violations. Lawyers for Egan-Jones have previously said they plan to vigorously defend itself against the SEC’s lawsuit.”Chuck again… OK, if you have no conspiracy blood, then that whole story probably doesn’t do anything for you… But if you’re like me, and this kind of stuff is what gets you going, then I’m sure you enjoyed that… To recap… The Jobs Jamboree numbers, just using BLS numbers was disastrous, and using Chuck’s numbers they were UGLY! The other data that printed on Friday was also not of the recovering economy flavor, and for once in the blue moon, the focus shifted to the problems here in the U.S. and not the Eurozone. With the focus shifted the dollar was sold and the currencies rallied along with Gold. There are a ton of Central Banks meeting this week, and Big Ben gives his economic outlook testimony to Congress this week. Currencies today 6/4/12… American Style: A$ .9705, kiwi .7565, C$ .9645, euro 1.2435, sterling 1.5380, Swiss $1.0355, … European Style: rand 8.5135, krone 6.12, SEK 7.2415, forint 244.50, zloty 3.5370, koruna 20.6960, RUB 33.74, yen 78.10, sing 1.2870, HKD 7.7605, INR 55.62, China 6.3638, pesos 14.23, BRL 2.0385, Dollar Index 82.78, Oil $81.58, 10-year 1.48%, Silver $28.59, and Gold… $1,623.30 That’s it for today… Well… missed my darling daughter’s husband, Jerry’s, birthday on Friday… I made him dinner along with the rest of the kids yesterday. Jerry gets a huge kick out of seeing his name in the Pfennig… So there you go! Two mentions! Had a great dinner (that I made) with neighbors Saturday night, we sat out on the deck, and have a great time! Son Andrew came over to cut the grass for me yesterday, a Big Thanks to him for that! Alex returns home tonight, and then for another week, my beautiful bride will still be gone, and it will just be the Butler boys in the house! Looking down and seeing the time of day, I had better get the process started for getting this out the door! I hope you have a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.comlast_img read more

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In This Issue Labor picture seems to be impro

first_imgIn This Issue. * Labor picture seems to be improving in the US… * Japanese yen hits a 5 year low… * Commodities move higher in thin trading… * Congrats to Chuck on another anniversary… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Labor picture seems to be improving in the US… Good day. We had a pretty busy day on the desk yesterday as we were short a couple of folks, but thankfully the markets are still pretty quiet so Ty, Mike H., Tim and I were able to handle the volume.  I actually enjoyed jumping back into the ‘queue’ and getting to discuss currencies and metals with a couple of clients.  All of the clients I spoke to were making ‘year-end’ adjustments to their portfolios, reallocating back into some of the currencies which they feel have value at these levels.  We should be close to full staff again today, so the day should be a bit easier. The currency markets continued on their smooth glide yesterday as most of Europe was closed for ‘Boxing day’ and the New York trading desks were as short staffed as ours.  The most active markets were over in Asia as the Japanese yen continued to fall vs. the US$.  The yen hit a five year low vs. the dollar yesterday, surging above 105 for the first time since September of 2008.  The yen has faced increased selling pressure as investors look at the divergent paths each of the central banks are taking regarding monetary policy.  The BOJ is working to increase inflation, and have also discussed the possibility of increasing the level of their Quantitative Easing.  In contrast, the FOMC has just announced a decrease in the amount of Quantitative Easing, and many believe the bond buying will come to an end later this year.  But as Chuck suggests below, the FOMC bond buying may not come to as quick an end as these economists believe.  But you don’t need me explaining what Chuck thinks, he sent me the following note so there is no need for me to interpret.  Take it away Chuck: Well, here I am on the day after Christmas, all the family members that were here the last two days, have gone with no return scheduled for today. Today is my beautiful bride’s birthday, I always make sure that I separate the two days, Christmas and her birthday, never combining them! So, I’m always wishing people a Happy Birthday in the Pfennig, I would be worthy of 40 lashes if I failed to say Happy Birthday to Kathy in the Pfennig! I read in the Pfennig that Chris wrote on Wednesday with much interest in that he said it appeared that the data would indicate that Chairman Bernanke made the right decision to start tapering in January. I’ve thought long and hard on this announcement since it was made on 12/18, and I’ve come to a different conclusion than the markets or any other pundit..  Now, let’s just for a minute put ourselves in Big Ben’s shoes. Knowing that he’s leaving, and Janet Yellen will be taking over, don’t you think that you would want to leave with the markets thinking that everything is coming up roses for the economy, and so you announce a tapering, knowing all too well that when the crack in the dike finally opens up to all the bad things that the polices decisions of the past 5 years has pent up, and Janet Yellen has to come back to the QE table, You (Big Ben) can say. Well, everything was just hunky dory when I left! It may not happen for some time, but, the crack in the dike will open up eventually. At least that’s how I see it, and I could be wrong, of course, and all this suppression of bond yields, and mortgage rates, zero interest rates, and monetary base building will just lead to seashells and balloons for the economy and us.  One would think that watching the 10-year yield go past 3% yesterday would be a good indication that things are going awry. But then maybe not! I’m sure the Spin Doctors will have their say. So, there you have it from Lake Woebegone.  I’ll be back in the saddle on Monday. Thanks to Chuck and Happy Birthday to Kathy!  One of the reasons I believed the FOMC would wait until next year to start the taper was that they are taking a risk that the US economy sputters and they are forced into giving the economy another shot of the liquidity drug which it has become addicted to.  But for now investors seem to be convinced QE will end in 2014, and the US economy will remain on a solid recovery path. The weekly job numbers supported this view as initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 42,000 to a seasonally adjusted 338k.  While the holidays make this week’s data a bit hard to interpret, the direction is still positive and reflects a recovering jobs picture here in the US.  But a revision adding 1,000 more applications to last week’s numbers and a climbing ‘continuing claims’ number which is nearing 3,000k both indicate just how fragile the labor recovery is.   Data released in Japan showed the manufacturing sector expanded in December at the fastest clip in more than 7 years and another report showed inflation is ticking higher.  Japanese consumer prices rose the most in five years and regular wages halted 17 straight months of declines in a sign that Abenomics seems to be having the desired effect on the Japanese economy.  But as I mentioned in the opening paragraphs, these positive numbers were not enough to keep currency investors from selling the yen.  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set a policy goal of achieving 2 percent inflation by 2015, and yesterday’s data showed CPI rose 1.2% in November from a year earlier, roughly in line with forecasts.  This is the fastest pace of increase in consumer prices since October of 2008 and was also accompanied by wage gains.  The Japanese economy has been mired in a deflationary funk for the past two decades, so the price increases are excellent news for Abe and his government.  A weaker yen should also help boost the export driven economy of Japan, something which is not lost on the Japanese leaders who were probably happy to see the yen move above 105. As I suggested earlier this week, the cash crunch which had taken hold in China seems to have eased after China’s central bank injected 29 billion renminbi into the banking system.  The PBOC’s open market injection of cash relieved the liquidity squeeze and money market rates are back to more ‘normal’ levels.  I read a story last night which again pointed to the Government’s own actions as the reason for the cash squeeze.  I had written about the Government’s attempts to limit ‘risky lending’ practices in the shadow banking system, but the story pointed out another example of how the government may have contributed to the squeeze.  Typically the Ministry of Finance hands out tax refunds to companies around the end of the year and spends money in the form of subsidies and year end events.  These payments boost liquidity in the interbank markets, and in recent years the amount of this liquidity has reached 1 trillion yen.  But apparently the government delayed these tax refunds and spending, adding to last week’s cash crunch.  But the report states that the government is still planning on spending a similar amount as in years past, so the markets have calmed and rates have returned back down to more normal levels.  In other news out of China, the official Xinhua news agency reported that China’s economic growth will come in right at 7.6% this year, just above the government’s target of 7.5% and just slightly below last year’s figure of 7.7%.  When take into account the size of China’s economy, this is incredibly impressive growth, and again confirms that China will continue to be the globe’s growth engine in the coming years. Good news for the future of the Chinese renminbi. Commodities moved higher as Oil popped above $100 and the precious metals finally found a bid.  Gold was up $11 this morning, and Platinum had the biggest daily gain in three months adding almost 2% to its price.  Signs of an improving labor market propelled the metals higher in the thin holiday markets.  These gains also helped the commodity currencies of AUD and NZD both of which have been stuck in a very tight range over the past week.  The Aussie dollar almost broke through .90 and the kiwi moved above .82 in overnight trading.  Then there was this.  The ‘big boss’ Frank Trotter mentioned that he had something for the Pfennig as he ran past me on the way to his office yesterday morning.  He knows I am always thankful for any ‘Pfennig Pfodder’ he can provide, and I figured he had written up some eloquent view on the FOMC taper or China’s global domination.  So I was a bit surprised when I opened his email and found the following: Two pounds of lucite, thirty-two years of partnership.   In 1981 I was a fresh MBA grad assigned, as was the custom at Mark Twain Banks, to EVP and Chief Lending Officer Bob Butler.  At some point during that year as we departed his office for a meeting he mumbled – “well lets go see what Butler is made of.”  I thought it odd to be talking about himself that way until I arrived at the Internal Audit wrap up and met a slender young man named Chuck Butler.  He had been brought in as Operations Director of the Bond Department after the previous tenant had created an operational near disaster.  The audit went brilliantly of course and we all know what Chuck has done over the past 32 years.  Fast forward to this morning and a package is dropped on my desk.  It’s a commemorative item, very heavy, lauding Chuck’s 15th anniversary at EverBank.  Around our part of the EverBank shop you can’t get any more seniority since we started the banking division in 1998.  Despite its mass the recognition seems light for all that Chuck has done for EverBank World Markets and his mission of global diversification these many years.  Here’s celebrating 15 years of EverBank, and 32 years of friendship.  Hip-Hip-Hooray. Chris again.  I think we all share in congratulating Chuck for this big anniversary.  I haven’t known Chuck quite as long as Frank, but am happy to be able to call him a friend and co-worker for the past 24 years.  He continues to be an inspiration to all of us.  Congrats Chuck!! Recap. Data showed the labor markets may be improving here in the US, but Chuck still questions just how long this improvement will last.  With most of Europe and the US on holiday, markets were focused on China and Japan.  Japanese data showed inflation continues to move higher and manufacturing is recovering, but the yen still sold off to 5 year lows.  The cash crunch in China ended as the government injected cash into the banking system.  And commodity prices moved higher helping to boost the commodity currencies.  And in TTWT, Frank Trotter writes a congratulatory paragraph to Chuck Butler on his 15 years at EverBank. Currencies today 12/27/13. American Style: A$ .8907, kiwi .8178, C$ .9382, euro 1.3836, sterling 1.6530, Swiss $1.1310. European Style: rand 10.407, krone 6.1133, SEK 6.4876, forint 214.74, zloty 2.9972, koruna 19.836, RUB 32.5105, yen 104.97, sing 1.2665, HKD 7.7546, INR 61.998, China 6.105, pesos 13.1264, BRL 2.3552, Dollar Index 79.877, Oil $99.60, 10-year 3.0149%, Silver $19.84, Platinum $1.367.50, Palladium $704.50, and Gold. $1,211.20 That’s it for today.  And that is it for me at least for a while.  I will be heading down to Florida to spend next week laying on the beach with my family.  As Chuck mentioned above, he will be back in the saddle on Monday to close out the year for everyone.  I certainly have enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you these past two weeks and appreciate all of the comments you readers have sent.  I hope all of you have a wonderful New Years celebration, and a Fantastic Friday!  I’ll talk to you all next year.  Thanks for reading the Pfennig. Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

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When Cyclone Idai a devastating tropical storm s

first_imgWhen Cyclone Idai, a devastating tropical storm, swept across southeastern Africa on Thursday, it killed at least 150 people, displaced hundreds of thousands and left Beira, a coastal city of a half-million people in central Mozambique, almost totally destroyed.In the aftermath, with some of their neighbors still trapped on rooftops or in trees, some local residents began the long process of recovery with a small but notable rebuttal to nature, by beginning to move the beach back to its rightful place.The storm, which made landfall on Thursday, pushed tons of sand from the city’s beach onto downtown streets, complicating emergency response efforts that were already hampered by a total lack of electricity, telecommunications networks or running water, says Jamie LeSueur, emergency operations manager for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, who is helping to lead emergency response efforts in Beira and was one of the first aid workers to reach the scene.”We saw massive destruction,” LeSueur says. “But within two days, people were in the streets with shovels. Seeing the response has been just awe-inspiring.”But nearly a week after the storm, sand and rubble are still being cleared. As aid begins to trickle in, it’s becoming clear that other impacts of the catastrophe, which LeSueur calls “the worst humanitarian crisis in Mozambique’s history,” will be much harder to resolve. An unknown number of people are still stuck on rooftops, in trees or on small islands of land that stayed above the floodline. The IFRC estimates that at least 400,000 people in Mozambique were made homeless by the storm.The death toll could rise to more than one thousand as search-and-rescue efforts coordinated by the government and the United Nations continue, Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi told the Associated Press on Monday. Hundreds of deaths were also reported in neighboring Malawi and Zimbabwe, where the storm triggered flash floods, high winds, and mudslides. Altogether, up to 2.6 million people were affected by the storm, according to the U.N., which on Tuesday said it will need $40.8 million in emergency relief funding.As of Tuesday evening in Beira, electricity and water pipelines were still down. The main hospital is open but has sustained severe damage, and a number of smaller clinics lost their roofs or were otherwise taken out of commission. Some roads are open but not the main one leading out of town to the capital, Maputo, meaning that the only way for aid to reach the city has been by helicopter. According to The New York Times, more than a dozen aid trucks are stuck on roads outside the city.The few emergency aid groups that have managed to reach the site are severely outnumbered by the people they’re trying to help: LeSueur has a team of ten, which he hopes to increase to 30 in the next few days. Claudia Aguiar, advocacy manager for Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Maputo, says her group has managed to bring in seven people so far, in addition to 150 Mozambican staff who had already been based in Beira at an HIV clinic (all are unharmed, she says).For now, many displaced people are taking shelter in schools and churches, and humanitarian groups are focused on delivering food, clean water for drinking, bathing, and cooking and blankets. LeSueur says that aid helicopters have been dropping floating aid parcels into the floodwaters near homes, and using the draft from the choppers’ propellers to blow the packages close to those in need, so that the draft and the dropped packages wouldn’t further damage fragile buildings.The situation is even more precarious in the vast countryside surrounding Beira, where roads remain inundated and affected towns are still largely unreachable by emergency responders. By the end of this week, MSF plans to complete its assessment of the human toll in order to determine what services are most needed — and where, Aguiar says.”It’s a really dire situation,” she says. “We need to decide where it’s most pressing to for us to intervene. We don’t want to duplicate efforts of other relief organizations.”Even as the work to save lives continues, other risks loom in the near future. Paul Spiegel, director of the Center for Humanitarian Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says he expects to see an increase in cases of dysentery and cholera, since clean water, soap, and functioning latrines are scarce. Especially for children under five, diarrhea can quickly turn life-threatening. Rain is still falling; the damp conditions are associated with a higher risk of contracting pneumonia and other respiratory diseases, which can then spread easily in crowded shelters, he says. At the same time, people who suffer from non-communicable diseases like epilepsy and diabetes may lose access to their medication, he says.Gert Verdonck, MSF’s emergency coordinator in Beira, said in an emailed statement that providing medical treatment will be a challenge even as medical supplies become available.”It’s even difficult to get to the health centers, because the roads are destroyed or because the health centers themselves are destroyed,” he said. “I think that’s our biggest challenge right now.”As more people move into emergency shelters, a key priority for humanitarian workers will be to construct sufficient latrines, supply soap and water chlorination equipment and remind displaced people to wash their hands, a step that’s easily overlooked in a crisis but can be crucial to cut off hygiene-related diseases before they begin to spread, LeSueur says.”Really the priority right now is saving lives,” LeSueur says. “But we want to make sure displaced people have a blanket over them and roof over their head, and we want to get ahead of the water situation.”Once the flood waters recede and search-and-rescue operations end, the storm will likely lead to food shortages for months or years in a region where a high portion of the population are subsistence farmers, says Kieran McConville, a spokesperson for the humanitarian group Concern Worldwide, which has operations in the affected countries. The storm hit just before the annual harvest season, damaging at least 330 square miles of crops, according to the U.N., and killing an unknown number of cows and other livestock.”We’re in the hungry season, when food from last year has started to run out and the harvest has not started to come in,” McConville says. “So people are not in a good place to cope with something like this.”For now, LeSueur says, the top priorities are expanding the reach of first responders and aid workers into rural areas along with opening transportation lines so that aid can get in more easily.Tim McDonnell is a journalist covering the environment, conflict and related issues in sub-Saharan Africa. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

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