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About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Luka Modric on Real Madrid crisis: This isn’t bad luck; our starts are s***by Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLuka Modric blasted his Real Madrid teammates after defeat to Real Sociedad.The midfielder questioned the attitude for the start of the 2-0 reverse.”Many of us are not at our level,” Modric said in the mixed zone.”We cannot take a s*** at the beginning of every game.”We have to be clear, it’s not a matter of luck.”We are creating a lot but the ball won’t go in and we are giving a lot but there are reasons that explain why things are not going well.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Wilshere: West Ham knew all about this Arsenal weaknessby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere has questioned Arsenal’s set-piece defending after Saturday’s win.For Rice’s winning goal, the corner was cleared out of the box before the ball was worked back out to Felipe Anderson for the cross.“I think it’s the second phase,” former Arsenal midfielder Wilshere said, as he worked as a pundit for the game.“Sometimes it’s the most important phase in a set piece.“You’ve done your job and sometimes people switch off.“It goes wide and the second ball goes in and there’s someone free.“Declan was free there and he tucked it away nicely.”
Hot on the heels of his Brit Award nomination, comes a new collaboration from chart-topping sound creator Naughty Boy: a brand-new PETA campaign that shows the Hotel Cabana producer reclining with his beloved cat, Naughty Bob, in his lap above the words “It’s Naughty Not to Neuter.”Naughty Boy’s PETA Ad“There’s no excuse for not neutering,” Naughty Boy says. “Animal shelters are severely crowded with dogs and cats, and that will continue as long as too many puppies and kittens are being born. We can fix the problem by ‘fixing’ our dogs and cats.”Why are Naughty Boy and PETA so fixated on getting animals fixed? One unspayed female cat and her offspring can produce 370,000 cats in just seven years, and an unneutered male can help create limitless litters of kittens. Every year in the UK, many thousands of unwanted animals are left at crowded animal shelters, where many must be put to death. The less fortunate ones will never make it to a shelter – they will be forced to fend for themselves in all weather extremes, lose battles with traffic and disease and have no constant food source. Fixing cats and dogs is also an easy way to ensure healthier, happier animals. Spaying females eliminates stressful heat periods and the risk of developing uterine infections, and it greatly reduces the risk of developing mammary cancer. Neutering makes males far less likely to roam or fight and prevents testicular cancer.Naughty Boy, also known as Shahid Khan, has worked with numerous musicians, including Chipmunk, Wiley, Leona Lewis, Jennifer Hudson, Cheryl Cole and Emeli Sandé. Hotel Cabana is his debut album, and its first single, “La La La,” featuring Sam Smith, reached the top of the UK’s music charts.Naughty Boy joins a growing list of musicians and producers – including Jay Sean, Waka Flocka Flame, Mark Ronson, Simon Cowell, Joss Stone, Paul McCartney and Morrissey – who have teamed up with PETA to promote kindness to animals.For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.
MONTREAL – Canadian National Railway Co. is beginning to recover from a turbulent end to 2017 and deep winter freeze that curtailed its service, the railroad’s interim CEO said Wednesday.Jean-Jacques Ruest told an investor conference Wednesday that February was among the worst months in the company’s history as volume decreased and costs rose.But train speeds have picked up and the railway is moving more freight which will help customer service and satisfaction, he said.“So all these things are saying that the month of March is slightly better,” he told the J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation & Industrials Conference in New York.“It will not be enough to cover the month of January and February. But we’re heading in that direction.”The Montreal-based railway hasn’t changed its guidance for the year because Ruest says there is still time to catch up.The company has apologized for failing to keep grain shipments moving reliably by rail, and said it’s mobilizing more train cars and workers to clear the backlog.CN Rail announced Wednesday that it plans to manage congestion in Western Canada by temporarily restricting the flow of rail cars to gain fluidity and speed, particularly between Edmonton and Winnipeg.That includes controlling the flow of empty rail cars into Western Canada, managing flow for frac sand orders to avoid further congestion and returning empty propane cars from short-term staging locations.Ruest said extreme winter weather starting in December isn’t alone to blame.He said CN Rail entered the challenging winter season a spent force after experiencing 14 per cent revenue ton mile growth in the first nine months of 2017.“We entered the fourth quarter without really any gasoline left in the tank. So the last two months of the year we were sort of flat. And we’ve been flat since then.”Ruest said he expects the transportation sector, including trucking, will face capacity pressure from increased volume growth.CN Rail is spending an extra $500 million this year, half of which will be used to upgrade its network and increase transit times between Chicago and the Canadian west coast.The work to add more sidings and double tracks in spots will start in April and be completed by November.It has ordered new locomotives and will have an extra 130 leased units within weeks.It is also hiring 2,000 workers, including hundreds of conductors.Ruest said that by the fourth quarter, CN should be back to where it was 12 to 18 months ago.Ruest was appointed earlier this month to take over from Luc Jobin, who was dismissed after about two years as CEO.The 23-year veteran CN Rail executive said the company’s board plans to take its time conducting a global search from within the rail industry and manufacturing world to lead the country’s largest railway.“The search will be very wide and the board is not putting themselves on any clock,” he told analysts.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:CNR)
Notley later criticized Wednesday’s federal fiscal report for underplaying Western Canada’s oil price crisis, blamed on insufficient pipeline capacity to take away a glut of crude trapped in Alberta.She told reporters that if Canada’s manufacturing sector was suffering as much, it would have been mentioned in the first paragraph of the update speech.The CAODC, meanwhile, says it expects little improvement in drilling activity next year, calling in its 2019 forecast for an increase of 51 wells to about 7,000. That’s down from about 13,000 wells in 2014 before global oil prices crashed.“Other industries in the same situation would be holding their hands out for a government bailout. Yet instead our industry has only asked for government permission and support to get our products to market,” said association president Mark Scholz.“The lack of action and attention by the federal government to this pressing issue is deafening.”(THE CANADIAN PRESS) CALGARY, A.B. – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is handing out tax breaks for oil and gas drillers along with criticism of Ottawa’s lack of appreciation for how damaging are current price discounts on western Canadian oil.In a speech at a Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors event in Calgary, she announced her government would add oil and gas drilling to a list of trade-exposed industries exempt from the province’s carbon tax.The exemption, made retroactive to when the tax was introduced at the start of 2017, is expected to provide $750,000 to $1.5 million per year in relief for the drilling industry.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A public information session on solar energy and electric vehicles will be coming to Fort St. John on September 19.Presented by Peace Energy Cooperative, organizers say the ‘Save with Solar’ public session will give residents the opportunity to learn about what the Cooperative does within the community when it comes to renewable energy.A 30-minute presentation will also be given to inform residents about the mechanics and economics of solar energy, along with a review on electric vehicles. The ‘Save with Solar’ public session is taking place on September 19 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Fort St. John Passive House, located at 9904 94 Street.For more information and to register for this event, you can call the Peace Energy Cooperative at 250-782-3882.
Chennai: A total of 172 students has been commissioned as gentlemen and lady cadets, including those hailing from Bhutan and Afghanistan, during a passing out parade at the Officers Training Academy here.Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, General Officer, Commander-in-Chief, reviewed the parade Saturday and encouraged the cadets to adhere to core values of the Indian army. Also, he presented the Sword of Honour and a silver medal to the academy under officer Siddharth Bhawnani. Singh complimented the cadets and staff of the OTA on the excellent standard displayed by all. He presented a gold medal to cadet Sandhya and a bronze medal to battalion under officer Noyonika Binda, an official press release said.
Washington: India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan 2, scheduled for launch in April, would be carrying a NASA science probe, the media reported. Chandrayaan 2 will carry NASA-owned laser retroreflector arrays that allow scientists to make precise measurements of the distance to the Moon, the US space agency officials said, during the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference held in Texas, the space.com reported. Besides Chandrayaan 2, the science instruments will also be flying to the Moon aboard the Israeli lander Beresheet, due to touch down April 11. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year “We’re trying to populate the entire surface with as many laser reflector arrays as we can possibly get there,” Lori Glaze, Acting Director of the Planetary Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate was quoted as saying. Glaze did not provide a timeline for the partnership’s creation. “We were asked rather quickly if there was anything we wanted to contribute to that lander, and we were successful in roughly a two-week time period to come up with an agreement on it,” said Steve Clarke, the deputy associate administrator for exploration within the Science Mission Directorate. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India Retroreflectors are essentially sophisticated mirrors. Scientists on Earth can shoot them with lasers and study the light that is reflected back. That signal can help pinpoint precisely where the lander is, which scientists can use to calculate its — and the Moon’s — distance from Earth. The 3,890-kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, to be launched onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-3, will orbit around the Moon to study its conditions and collect data of its topography, mineralogy and exosphere. The Rs 800-crore Chandrayaan-2 mission comes a decade after the maiden mission Chandrayaan-1 was launched on October 22, 2008 from India’s only spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The lander has been named “Vikram” as a tribute to the pioneer of India’s space programme and former ISRO chairman (1963-71) Vikram Sarabhai. When Chandrayaan-2’s rover lands on the Moon, India will become the fifth country in the world to achieve the feat after Soviet Union in 1959, the US in 1969, China in December 2013, and Israel in 2019.
Kolkata: Major jewellers in the country have appealed to the government for standardisation in hallmarking of gold, contending that multiple measures of purity involved in the process was creating confusion in the industry. The All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) has urged the consumer affairs ministry for standardisation in hallmarking purity across the country. Vice-chairman of GJC, Shaankar Sen, said that various forms of purity like 14, 18 and 22 carats are being used for the hallmarking process. Citing an example, Sen said that for gold bars and coins, the purity required for hallmarking is 20 and 24 carats, respectively. This, he said, was creating confusion in the jewellery industry, necessitating standardisation. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalChairman of GJC, Anantha Padmanabhan, said when the the model code of conduct is in force, there is a need for a standard operating procedure (SOP) regarding the seizure of gold in transit, based on valid documents. “We will meet the chief election commissioner and discuss the matter,” he told reporters here on Saturday. He also said the annual turnover of the gem and jewellery industry is around Rs 4 lakh crore, which is expected to double in the next couple of years. The GJC also launched a sensitisation programme – ‘Labham’ – for jewellers, providing information on regulatory compliance and best business practices.
15Patriots2002-16170249ers1984-981697Cowboys1970-841655 While this can complicate things when trying to use Elo to make predictions (as with the 2016 Raiders), the stat is much stronger when it looks backward because it struggles to immediately pick up a team’s rises and declines.Public perception tends to lag when a traditionally bad team gets good, or a traditionally good team goes all to hell. And football is less dependent on individual players than basketball, where LeBron James can leave town and send the Cavaliers to the lottery for nearly half a decade. So when we see the Patriots maintaining these high ratings across different eras and team compositions, what we’re seeing isn’t just sustained performance, but sustained relevance.VIDEO: The Patriots better worry about Julio Jones 22Patriots1995-2016165049ers1981-20021645Packers1995-20161615 24Patriots1993-2016163549ers1980-20031628Packers1993-20161611 2Cowboys1992-931786Patriots2003-041782Dolphins1972-731779 1749ers1981-971685Patriots2000-161684Cowboys1970-861637 849ers1987-941718Patriots2003-101713Steelers1972-791700 14Patriots2003-16171349ers1984-971700Cowboys1970-831663 9Patriots2003-11171549ers1987-951715Steelers1972-801689 How we qualify success is a big part of how we define a dynasty, so a quick note on the method we’re using here: Elo ratings are a favorite around FiveThirtyEight because they are relatively simple to calculate and don’t require many points of input, making it possible to apply them to time periods when data collection wasn’t very good. Want to know if the Cleveland Spiders of the 1890s were the sorriest team in baseball history? Elo can do that.The price of that simplicity is, well, a fairly simplistic stat, without the benefit of modern advancements like player tracking data in the NBA or PITCHf/x in MLB. Elo doesn’t know about star players coming or going or fortuitous bounces or egregious penalty calls — it just knows who won, who lost, and by how much, and trusts that the specifics will even themselves out over time. The top dynasties in NFL history, by number of years 3Cowboys1992-941759Seahawks2013-151743 # OF YEARSTEAMAVG. ELOTEAMAVG. ELOTEAMAVG. ELO BEST DYNASTYSECOND-BESTTHIRD-BEST 1Patriots20071824Patriots20071824 749ers1988-941722Patriots2003-091713Patriots2010-161713 5Patriots2003-071747Patriots2003-071747 ALL-TIME BEST DYNASTIESBEST DYNASTIES SINCE 1997 15Patriots2002-161702Patriots2002-161702 25Patriots1992-2016162149ers1980-20041615Cowboys1971-951611 1849ers1981-981683Patriots1999-20161673Cowboys1970-871628 2Cowboys1992-931786Patriots2003-041782 All-time dynasties and dynasties since 1997, by number of years 10Patriots2003-121714Patriots2003-121714 Should Terrell Owens Be In The Hall of Fame? 23Patriots1994-2016164649ers1981-20031639Packers1994-20161614 1949ers1980-981666Patriots1998-20161665Packers1994-20121617 The numbers are self-evident: Win or lose Sunday night, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have put together one of the best runs in NFL history. Since 2001, the team has made seven Super Bowl appearances, with four wins (and another possible this week), and it has achieved a level of sustained success unheard of in the modern NFL. Exactly where does this stretch rank among football dynasties, though? Well, it depends on how you define dynasty.Do two titles in three years qualify as a dynasty? What about three in five? The end points for runs of dominance have always been up for debate. So rather than pick one definition and stick to it, we went looking for the best team over any number of years.1This is an update to a feature we ran a few years ago, which used a different version of Elo, so the ratings will be a little different, but reflect the same principles. The table below shows the top teams over a given period — from the best one-year teams, to the best team over a quarter-century, based on FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings: 6Patriots2003-081732Patriots2003-081732 # OF YEARSTEAMAVG. ELOTEAMAVG. ELO 20Patriots1997-20161662Patriots1997-20161662 4Cowboys1992-951751Patriots2004-07174749ers1989-921734 6Patriots2003-08173249ers1989-941727Steelers1974-791726 749ers1988-941722Patriots2003-091713 10Patriots2003-12171449ers1987-961709Steelers1972-811677 1Patriots20071824Patriots20041816Bears19851796 20Patriots1997-2016166249ers1981-20001654Packers1995-20141614 849ers1987-941718Patriots2003-101713 1149ers1984-941712Patriots2003-131711 1749ers1981-971685Patriots2000-161684 Related: Hot Takedown 4Cowboys1992-951751Patriots2004-071747 16Patriots2001-161700Patriots2001-161700 12Patriots2003-141714Patriots2003-141714 1149ers1984-941712Patriots2003-131711Cowboys1971-811671 14Patriots2003-161713Patriots2003-161713 16Patriots2001-16170049ers1983-981692Cowboys1970-851647 12Patriots2003-14171449ers1984-951710Cowboys1970-811670 That the 2007 Pats (undefeated until a loss against the New York Giants in the Super Bowl) are the top one-year team of all time, despite not winning the title, isn’t all that surprising. But the Patriots’ dynasties being at the top of the longer-term ranges is. Consider that the Pats claimed the top spot for the 25-year stretch despite a dreadful 2-14 1992 season, when they were coached by Dick MacPherson, as well as a couple painful years during Bill Parcells’ brief tenure, which also included a Super Bowl appearance following the 1996 season.In the in-between lengths, New England owns many but not all of the top spots. It never had as dominant a three- or four-year run as the Cowboys in the 1990s, but at the five-year mark, New England begins a run of taking a top-two spot in most ranges, trading off occasionally with the 49ers. But by the time we get into the 20-year windows, with Walsh and Montana having given way to Mooch and Garcia, even San Francisco begins to fade.And we haven’t even accounted for the NFL’s modern era of parity yet, although things begin to look a little unfair once we do. If we look at the post-Cowboys-era NFL, beginning in 1997,2The salary cap was instituted for the 1994 NFL season, but by then, powerful teams in the league had already been assembled. It’s an approximation, but we used 1997 and post-Cowboys as a rough estimate of when the “parity era” began. the Patriots take the top spot in every dynasty range, from one year to 20 years, except for the three-year range, which Seattle locked down from 2013 to 2015. 5Patriots2003-071747Steelers1975-79172749ers1988-921725 1949ers1980-981666Patriots1998-20161665 1849ers1981-981683Patriots1999-20161673 13Patriots2004-161710Patriots2004-161710 13Patriots2004-16171049ers1984-961706Cowboys1970-821667 3Cowboys1992-941759Dolphins1972-741751Steelers1974-761743 9Patriots2003-111715Patriots2003-111715 21Patriots1996-2016166049ers1981-20011651Packers1995-20151614
Michael Chaput (39) of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Mats Zuccarello (36) of the New York Rangers battle for a puck during a game at Nationwide Arena Nov. 7. The Rangers won, 4-2. Credit: Courtesy of MCTGiven the directions the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers have been sliding lately, it hardly comes as a surprise that the decisive goal Thursday came off a Columbus stick and into their own net.Mark Letestu failed to control the puck to the right of Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, watching in horror as it slid into past the posts. The goal, credited to Carl Hagelin – his second of the night – turned out to be the difference in a 4-2 decision, as the Rangers won their fifth game of their last six contests to improve to 8-8-0.“That was embarrassing hockey tonight, and to me that’s losing hockey, the way we played. We got exactly what we deserved,” Jackets coach Todd Richards said after the loss.The loss was the Jackets’ fifth in a row, dropping them to 5-10-0 overall in front of a modest but lively crowd of just under 12,000 at Nationwide Arena.“We shouldn’t have to talk about [the effort], but unfortunately right now we’re talking about it…we should hold each other to a high standard and be able to know that the guy sitting next to us in the dressing room is going to go out and perform and do his job and do everything he can to help the team win,” Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky said.There was no shortage of familiar faces on either bench, as the two teams met for the first time since a pair of blockbuster trades between them during last season. Former Jackets Derek Dorsett, Derick Brassard, and John Moore – each acquired in the trade deadline deal for Marion Gaborik – made their return to Nationwide Arena, while Gaborik, along with Rick Nash trade acquisitions Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov faced their former teammates for the first time.Nash, the Blue Jackets franchise leader in nearly every offensive category, was unable to make his return to the ice in Columbus as he continues to deal with concussion-related issues. Nash has only been able to play in three games this season.Hagelin got the scoring started early in the first, when he deflected a shot past Bobrovsky and into the net. The Jackets answered back late in the period, with defenseman Fedor Tyutin sneaking one past Rangers backup goalie Cam Talbot. Talbot started in place of star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who did not play after the Rangers’ victory Wednesday against the Penguins.In the second period, it was again a deflected shot early in the period that put the Rangers back in front, when captain Ryan Callahan registered his second goal in as many nights. After Letestu’s own goal put the Rangers up 3-1, Jackets rookie defenseman Ryan Murray answered back with a goal off an assist from James Wisniewski – the 200th point of Wisniewski’s career.However, the Jackets were unable to break through and tie the game in the third period, eventually surrendering a goal on an empty net by Ryan McDonagh that put the game away.“We had the same start last year. I know it’s not ideal, but we’ve got to take a step back tomorrow and regroup, and figure out how we can win here Saturday…times like this test the character of the individual, but you can’t let yourself get down,” Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson said.Richards did not agree with Johnson’s assessment of using last season’s turnaround as motivation, however.“It’s a different year. It’s different. We’ve got different players. An 82 game schedule. It’s different,” Richards said.The Jackets will attempt to get back on track at Nationwide Arena when they take on the New York Islanders Saturday. That puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m.
Matt Marton/APChicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks during a January news conference. On Sunday he announced the city will sue the federal government in defense of its status as a so-called sanctuary city and against threats to withhold U.S. grant funds.Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing back against the federal government.On Monday, the city is filing suit against the Department of Justice, which announced it would withhold millions of dollars in police grant money from so-called sanctuary cities.Emanuel is suing because he says new rules for a federal crime-fighting grant go against the Constitution and the city’s values.“Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate,” Emanuel said.Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said grant applicants have to share information about undocumented immigrants to federal officials if they want the funding.But Emanuel said he refuses to choose between immigrant rights and having well-funded community police.“We’re going to act immediately,” Emanuel said, “to make sure that there’s a ruling by the court, as there’s been on other issues as relates to immigration and refugee policies — where the court has basically stopped the Trump administration in its tracks.”Chicago was expecting to get $3.2 million from the grant to help with crime fighting this year.“The Department of Justice cannot commandeer local law enforcement to carry out federal immigration law functions,” said Ed Siskel, the city’s lawyer. “We cannot be forced to violate our residents’ constitutional rights.”Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson also expressed concern about the application guidelines.“Our job is to investigate crime, our job is not to investigate immigration status or documentation,” Johnson said.Attorney General Sessions sent letters to four other cities last week warning them that they also wouldn’t be eligible for funding: Baltimore, Albuquerque, N.M, and San Bernardino and Stockton in California.A spokesman for the Department of Justice declined to comment.Copyright 2017 WBEZ. To see more, visit WBEZ. 00:00 /01:51 Share X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen
Think. Eat. Save- Reduce our Foodprint. Follow the theme of the year as the world gets together to celebrate the World Environment Day. Capital joined in the global celebrations with a function organised by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. 5 June was declared as the ‘World Environment Day’ on the recommendations made by UN Conference on Human Environment in 1972.Raising awareness about the environmental consequences of our food choices, this year’s campaign calls for minimizing waste of food at all stages of the food chain. This is to ensure that everyone gets enough to eat and no one is left malnourished or undernourished. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister for Environment & Forests presided over the function to celebrate World Environment Day. Addressing the gathering, she said that there cannot be sustainable development without environment given due importance. Emphasizing the importance of sustainable development in everyday life, Natarajan said that the debate of progress versus environment or development versus environment is completely irrelevant and unnecessary. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix On the occasion, Natarajan presented this year’s ‘Young Environmentalist of the Year Award – 2013’ to Arundhati Srivastava, for winning a national poster making competition on the theme: Face of Climate Change.As the part of the celebrations, five publications namely, Animal Discoveries- 2012, Plant Discoveries 2012, Coastal Zones of India, National Wetland Atlas: High Altitude Lakes of India and National Wetland Atlas : Wetlands of International Importance under Ramsar Convention were released for sensitizing the citizens. Highlighting the importance of this year’s theme, Natarajan said, that there is an urgent need to become more aware of environmental impact on the food choices we make. If food is wasted, it means all resources and inputs used in the production of all those foods are also lost, she added.
Radisson Blu Hotel Coimbatore, India opened recently. The hotel, which is located centrally on Avinashi Road and a mere seven kilometres away from Coimbatore International Airport and Coimbatore Junction is also close to textile and engineering industries, educational institutions as well as multi-specialty hospitals.The hotel offers 135 rooms and suites with amenities such as a wide array of meeting spaces including a 9,400-sq ft banquet hall with an additional pre-function area and a lawn for pre-event entertainment. Dining options include Seasons, which is an all-day-dining restaurant serving international cuisine, The hotel also provides 24-hour In-Room Dining and other facilities that include a Business Class Lounge, business centre, swimming pool, spa and fitness centre.Raj Rana,Chief Executive Officer-South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group said, “Radisson Blu Coimbatore is set to raise the bar on the city’s upper-upscale hospitality landscape and bring new hospitality standards to the city. We are honoured to be partnering with GBJ Hotels Pvt. Ltd and appreciate their trust in our brand and expertise. With 140 hotels in operation and under-development, this hotel will be a valued addition as we expand and grow our footprint in South India.”G. Balasubramaniam, Managing Director, GBJ Hotels Pvt. Ltd., added, “This is our first hospitality venture and we are happy in the strong leadership of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and its South Asia team. We are confident that their proven experience and marketing expertise will benefit the hotel and I look forward to a mutually rewarding long-term association with the Group.”
By Jeff Clark, Casey ResearchEurope owns a sizable chunk of the world’s natural resources.Over the past few decades, however, EU countries have mostly imported their resources.Outlandish? Maybe.But it was simply easier, cheaper, and most importantly it avoided most environmental conflicts.Getting through government regulation and facing off eco-friendly groups is a time-consuming and outrageously expensive business… a fool’s errand.When you can simply import and let other countries deal with all the hassle, it made a lot of sense. But things change.When no one’s got a job, it truly focuses the political agenda.Europe’s job market is a mess. Demonstrators are crying out for action, for opportunity, for jobs.And mines employ a lot of people.The trend is reversing because of Europe’s sluggish economy and the real benefits of the increase in local jobs and the leap in tax revenue that mining projects bring.Of course, local economies benefit. Hotels are full of transient engineers and specialists, grocery stores feed the workers, and bars serve liquor to quench their dusty throats.Then, of course, the government got involved…Brussels, 2011.Seeing the benefits of the jobs, income-tax revenues, and all-around political advantages, a “Raw Materials Strategy” was initiated in 2008, then revised and updated in 2010, and again in 2011.The aim was to encourage sustainable supplies of raw materials from within the EU.It calls for policies in support of domestic mining.So far, so good…In September 2011, the European Parliament adopted the “EU Raw Materials Strategy,” a generally pro-mining document, though it’s sometimes criticized by the industry for being “too bureaucratic.”“It’s positive, of course, that the political climate in Europe is at least in theory becoming more supportive of mining” So on the one hand, the government says, “Sure, go ahead,” and spends years (and no doubt millions of euros) coming up with a plan, while the other hand slaps down a bunch of rules that stifles initiative, adds massively to production costs, and once more makes mining companies think twice before they put down the millions it takes to get started.Driller killers, indeed.Yet the gold mining sector in Europe represents 16,000 direct and indirect jobs as of 2009, and that is surely growing.So for the gold, the tax, the jobs, and for more than a few political careers, mining is right up at the top of the political agenda.And despite the regulation stranglehold governments put on mining companies, they are still reopening abandoned mines and are exploring entirely new areas.For investors, that’s very positive, exciting news.Europe’s New Gold RushIn Casey Research’s BIG GOLD, we’ve been talking a lot lately about the three main zones of metallogenic significance for gold in Europe: the Iberian Pyrite Belt; the Carpathian Arc; and the Baltic Shield.The first crosses from Portugal through southern Spain.The second stretches from the Czech Republic through Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, and into Turkey.Number three, the Baltic Shield, traverses from western Russia through Finland, Sweden, and Norway.Europe’s gold mining contribution is approximately 1.2% of global mine production (though demand from the EU is roughly 15% of worldwide totals).Sweden, Finland, Spain, and Bulgaria are currently the largest gold producers in Europe. They mine about 640,000 million ounces of gold annually.Other countries with operating gold mines are Greenland, France, Greece, Romania, Portugal, Slovakia, and the UK.Among the gold companies operating in the region are Eldorado Gold (EGO) in Greece and Romania; Agnico-Eagle (AEM) in Finland; and Gabriel Resources (T.GBU) in Romania, as well as other majors and juniors across the continent.Europe’s New Frontiers2011 was a banner year for European mining.Exploration expenditures were estimated to reach approximately €400 million (US$490 million), an all-time high. The largest share of those exploration dollars was concentrated in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Greenland.These countries, together with Poland, accounted for €288 million or two-thirds of total exploration expenditures last year.This is even more impressive when put into historical perspective.As you can see in the chart below, Nordic exploration spending has grown by almost four times in just ten years.[Source: Euromines.org]Both local and international companies are active in this region.Further, junior companies that we look at in detail in BIG GOLD are expanding rapidly; Euromines reports that in Sweden, for example, juniors account for some 50% of total exploration dollars being spent.Why has the attractiveness of the Nordic countries increased so dramatically?The area is largely underexplored, and its geological similarity to Canada, Australia, and West Africa makes the Baltic Shield a highly prospective place for new discoveries. Miners know what to expect and they already have the technology in place, so profitability for them and their investors comes that much sooner. These countries have well-developed infrastructure (roads and railways) and telecommunication.They have access to highly educated, trained, and experienced staff to support projects during all phases of mining is widely available.The attitude of both the public and politicians toward exploration and mining is generally positive, especially in the northern parts of the region, though anti-mine protests still take place. Since the area is not densely populated, the NIMBY (“not in my back yard”) factor is largely absent.Keeping the green lobby happy means keeping the mines open, operating, and creating a robust, investment-worthy business.Europeans tend to be very concerned about ecology, so environmental issues are closely watched and strictly regulated.Though most responsible miners make concerted efforts to reduce their impact on the environment, miners in Europe focus on this to a high degree.The divide between miners and environmentalists has shrunk over the past few decades due to advances in technology.But a bigger reason for the cooperation is the eroding economic situation. To a certain degree, politicians have been forced to find a more reasonable balance between conservation and the economic benefits mining can bring.Spain, for example, has its economic back to the wall, starting with a record unemployment rate of more than 24%.Astur Gold (V.AST) is working on getting the Spanish Salave gold deposit into production (which a previous company failed to do in 2005). The jobs it will bring no doubt add to the appeal; the company has received over 6,300 job applications.Management has received two of three environmental permits and hopes to finalize the third by year end. If the project is fully permitted, the economic impact on the area will be both immediate and dramatic.Will the Driller Killer Return?The biggest threats to mining in Europe are resource nationalism, significant skills shortages, and infrastructure access in certain areas (see first news item below).However, even on these issues, Europe is in a better position than many other areas.The continent has a strong tradition of transparent and stable laws, along with respect for private property, leaving few in support of outright nationalization.Western European countries also usually have well-developed infrastructure and an educated and skilled labor force.On the other hand, bureaucratic procedures, overregulation, and a dense population outside of the northern countries have worked to keep massive mine development across Europe from accelerating as it has elsewhere.Still, the carrot dangled by the mining industry looks awfully juicy…If Romania approves Gabriel Resources’ Rosia Montana gold mine, for example, the project is estimated to bring some US$30 billion of economic benefits to the country. The company hopes to mine 9.6 million ounces of gold and 51.5 million ounces of silver over 16 years. Eldorado’s Olympias and Skouries mines in the Halkidiki region will produce about 350,000 ounces of gold annually beginning in 2015. Management is spending €1.3 billion to develop the projects, which will create 1,800 jobs in a country where unemployment is close to 20%.Overall, the atmosphere for gold mining in Europe appears to be improving. Its importance is recognized in Brussels; even though only a few clumsy steps have been taken, the general attitude is making a positive shift.With the benefits mining can bring – more jobs and greater revenue – we think there will be fewer objections overall, especially in the more desperate countries. It won’t solve all their problems, but there’s no doubt it would relieve some of the fiscal pressure.From an investment point of view, it’s a region to watch. We fully expect to find increasing opportunities here.Jeff Clark is the senior editor of BIG GOLD, a monthly newsletter that follows the world’s best precious metals production and near-production companies. Jeff has recently completed a rather interesting special report – The Four Stocks I’m Buying My Mother – with details on precious metals stocks that are so undervalued he has recently begun buying them for his mother’s retirement account. Readers can receive the special report for no charge with a 90-day, risk-free trial subscription to BIG GOLD.
We see the potential in gold equities, as we believe the price of gold is going higher, but big investors with billions of dollars to pour into an market don’t. Their money, for the most part, is still on the sidelines. This phenomenon leads us to predict that someday these institutional investors will enter this sector en masse. Once the facts sink in and the institutional world becomes convinced gold and silver prices will maintain a sustainable uptrend, they’ll be much more attracted to the equities – and just as stubborn about changing their minds once they’re on board. Now, it’s possible this group may have to be beat over the head by relentlessly rising precious-metals prices before they enter the industry. They’ll have to believe that, say, gold hitting $1,900 again isn’t a temporary fluke but a sustainable uptrend. I don’t know what price the metal would have to maintain or how long it would have to stay there before they jump on board, but given the above chart, I think it’s safe to say they won’t be the first to the party. I personally think it will be something along the lines of what we outlined in the recent Hard Assets Alliance letter. Whenever and however it happens, though, the stampede from institutional investors into this tiny industry will be sudden and dramatic, because they tend to have a herd mentality. No one wants to be left behind. Just like they don’t want to risk buying something all their colleagues are ignoring now, they’ll rush to own the popular and exciting investment when gold stocks have their day. The consequence of this will result in dramatically higher stock prices. How high? Well, this group loves to use price models, and fair value for Newmont Mining (NEM), based on its Reserves, would be about $200/share (it’s currently trading around $44). And that’s at $1,700 gold – as the spot price rises, the value of NEM will rise exponentially, since gold would be rising faster than costs, even when inflation kicks in. That is why I’m excited about the producers. It’s the first place the institutional world will turn when gold makes a sustained move higher. Come the day those investors believe gold is about to become part of the monetary system, that bonds are no longer a safe place for money, that inflation is about to get out of control, or whatever it might be that changes their paradigm, they’ll flood into our little market and push share prices higher by an order of magnitude. When this shift gets under way, we’ll already own the stocks that institutional investors will be clamoring to buy. Maybe we should thank them now. Bank and brokerage analysts know their products, too. But when it comes to helping you make an informed decision about where the gold market is headed, they have, as Rick Rule is fond of saying, a record unblemished by success. Every year major banks and brokerage houses provide their four-year forecasts for the gold price. The following chart documents the average price projection of 25 top analysts over the past seven years, many of whom specialize in the resource industry. I might suggest pushing away from your desk so that when your jaw drops it doesn’t hit the keyboard. Common sense dictates that when you need information or advice on something you’re unfamiliar with, you consult with a professional. That’s what people do, whether refinancing a home, choosing an insurance product, or fixing a broken heater. While professionals certainly have their own agendas, they still know more about their products or services than others, and can at least help them make more informed decisions. If institutional investors are largely absent from this market, why is gold rising every year? Gold is not a trading sardine for institutions. Gold is supported by strong physical demand from individuals around the world and from central banks. Read our take here. You can see that every year since 2007, bank and brokerage analysts have as a group predicted that gold would fall, sometimes dramatically, over the next four-year period. For example, in 2007 the consensus of all estimates was that gold would decline from $656 to $523 by 2011. Instead, the price rose 140% to an average of $1,572 that year. Similarly, they predict this year that gold will fall from $1,665 to $1,515 by 2017. Even if they thought gold would move higher the first year, their best guess was that it was ultimately headed lower. So far they’ve been wrong every time. For the most part, these are analysts who do nothing but study the resource markets all day long. It’s their job. No one gets it right all the time, but this kind of track record is embarrassing. The obvious lesson is for investors to ignore price predictions from the major banks and brokerage houses – they just don’t get it. I’m sure most readers of this publication already know that. However, there’s a much bigger implication of this data that may not immediately come to mind… Why would I as a fund manager or institutional investor buy a gold stock if my analysts tell me the price of gold is going to fall? Answer: I wouldn’t. If the price of the product a company sells is expected to decline over the next few years, would you buy the company’s stock? Its earnings are almost certain to fall. As a manager of millions (or billions) of dollars, you wouldn’t buy any investment with this kind of outlook. There’s more. These same banks and brokerages have also been predicting the price of oil will rise (almost) every year. While they’ve occasionally been right about that, it means that margins for the gold producers would be expected to fall, since roughly 10% of their costs are related to fuel. So again… Why would I as a fund manager or institutional investor buy a gold stock if my analysts tell me profit margins are expected to fall? Answer: I wouldn’t. It doesn’t matter that analysts have been consistently wrong. What matters is that if the institutional world believes the gold price is likely decline and/or that margins are likely to fall, they’re not going to stick their necks out and buy gold stocks. They could lose their bonuses or even their jobs if their analyst’s predictions came true and they’d bet against them. This could be the explanation for why hedge funds, institutional investors, and other large investors haven’t entered this market en masse and could account for the disconnect between the price of gold and the trajectory of gold stocks.
Brazil Chile Colombia Mexico Peru Czech Republic Egypt Hungary Morocco Poland Russia S. Africa Turkey Europe, Middle East, Africa China India Indonesia Korea Malaysia Philippines Taiwan Thailand Asia Source: Bloomberg So, a rise in the Index implies an increase in the production of food, electricity, housing, and steel, and points to future global economic growth. As shown in the above chart, the BDI has doubled since early August and tripled year to date. A big slowdown in global economic activity doesn’t seem to be in the cards. A Good Story The facts, however, seldom present an obstacle that a good media story can’t overcome. Such was the case with the media-induced, emerging-market selloff ahead of the Fed’s anticipated “taper” announcement. The story—or at least a chapter from it—went something like this: Emerging markets are carrying big current account deficits… any twist of the Fed’s liquidity spigot will slow the flow of Western capital into emerging economies and aggravate the deficits… a rise in interest rates would ensue… higher rates will slow economic growth… better to sell emerging markets and their currencies ahead of these events. The sand in the ointment that lubricated the media jaws is that “emerging markets” is not a homogenized thing, but an array of countries with distinct economic and fiscal profiles. For a real-world perspective, let’s look at the 21 emerging markets as defined by the MSCI Market Index. Here they are, sorted by region, with countries that run a current account deficit shown in red, and those with a surplus shown in green: The skies were clear as we started final approach into Changi International Airport. Still several kilometers out in the Singapore Strait, dozens of container ships sat idle, tethered to the seabed, and seemed to stretch clear to Batam Island, part of the Indonesian archipelago. Each ship formed part of a nautical queue and waited its turn for cargo to be transshipped or offloaded at Singapore’s port terminals. Singapore is the world’s second-busiest port in terms of cargo tonnage, and number one for the transshipment of cargo. This volume of traffic and trade has turned the Singapore Strait into a major link in one of the world’s most strategic shipping lanes that connects the South China Sea with the Strait of Malacca, and all destinations west. The above anecdotal observation from my window seat aligns with recent action in the Baltic Dry Index (BDI). The BDI is an indirect measure of global supply and demand for shipping capacity. The index acts as a leading indicator in that it measures the demand for “dry” commodities (grain, coal, timber, ores) that are the raw materials used in intermediate and finished-goods manufacture. America’s Hmmm… I see a pattern here. The farther east you look, the greener it gets. It’s pretty obvious that most Asian markets were smeared as card-carrying members of the current-account-deficit club, a grossly inaccurate generalization. Indonesia, by the way, hiked interest rates in early September and revised its GDP estimate for 2013 lower to 6%, a growth rate that countries in the left and center columns of the table are yearning to achieve. Without Us, You’re Toast In 1965, Singapore, following a decade of strife to attain self-rule, became an independent nation. The thumb of British colonial occupation was lifted. The prognosis from the foreign press was immediate and unequivocal: Singapore was doomed. The only question was when. Britain had agreed to maintain its military bases in the country, the primary source of security and economic support for the fledgling country. The bases were a hundred-million-pound burden on the British treasury—closure was inevitable. A British withdrawal from Singapore was compared to the decline of the Roman Empire, where law and order collapsed as the Roman legions retreated and barbarians filled the vacuum. The latest round of emerging-market skepticism, concocted and perpetuated by an ill-informed Western media, embodies the nauseating ideal of Anglo-exceptionalism and is reminiscent of the “you can’t make it without us” conceit of the 20th century. Singapore is not an emerging market, of course, but it was, having clawed its way from backwater trading post in the hinterlands of the British Empire to today’s economic and financial powerhouse. Other Asian nations are following the path it trod, and intra-emerging-market export trends and demographics suggest that the region’s growth story is far from over.