Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Monday morning probably wasn’t too kind to Cardinals’ starting quarterback Kevin Kolb.Not only was he forced to wake up with extreme soreness in his chest and ribs, but the six-year veteran had to stare the team’s first two-game losing streak of 2012 square in the face.However, for the 58 minutes he did play in the Cardinals’ 19-16 loss Sunday — he left the game late in the fourth quarter after falling awkwardly following a tackle by Buffalo’s Alex Carrington and Chris Kelsay — Kolb was one of the main reasons Arizona even had a fighting chance to pull off another improbable comeback. “With the offensive line the Cardinals have and with the struggles the tackles have had, going up against a tough front four that the Bills can throw out there, Kolb kept them in the game Sunday,” CBS NFL analyst Steve Tasker who called the game with Bill Macatee said Monday. “That game could have gotten out of hand if not for his wheels.”Kolb’s wheels tallied 66 yards on five carries, including a 22-yard scamper on 1st-and-20 that set up the Cardinals’ late game-tying score.Jay Feely’s franchise-record 61-yard field goal might have gotten the headlines, but Tasker told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf that it was Kolb’s intuitiveness and ability to improvise that even gave Feely the chance at an attempt.“That run he had for 22 yards was an absolute back-breaker for the Bills’ defense,” said Tasker, who called Sunday’s game with Bill Macatee. “That was the difference maker. That was a huge, huge spot for him to do that in. He had done that all game and it really frustrated several of the Bills’ players.” – / 19center_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

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Im not sure what to make of what happened yesterd

first_imgI’m not sure what to make of what happened yesterday, although I was sort of hoping that yesterday’s spike in gold may have been short covering.As I pointed out in my closing comments in ‘The Wrap’ in yesterday’s column…gold added about fifteen dollars in early Far East trading in their Tuesday morning…but shortly after lunch Hong Kong time, the gold price topped out…and it was sold down right up until noon in London before it caught another bid.That tiny rally ended about twenty minutes after the Comex opened…and then gold sold off to its low of the day…$1,630.80 spot…which came at the precise close of trading in London, which was 11:00 a.m. in New York.From that low, the gold price worked it’s way about eight bucks higher by 12:20 p.m. Eastern.  Then, in the space of less that fifteen minutes, the gold price tacked on about twenty bucks…and about half an hour after that, jumped to its high of the day [$1,664.90 spot] five minutes before the close of Comex trading, which is 1:30 p.m. in New York.From that high, gold dropped back about five bucks…and spent the rest of the day hugging the $1,660 spot mark.  Gold closed at $1,660.60 spot…up $19.30 on the day.  Net volume was pretty high at 147,000 contracts.From the London open on Tuesday, the silver price followed Monday’s price action very closely…almost too close to be a coincidence.  The London low came mid-morning…and then rallied a bit into the Comex open in New York.  At that point it blasted higher, just like Monday…got sold off at the same times in New York…8:40  and 9:40 a.m. Eastern…just like Monday…and hit its low around 11:30 a.m. Eastern…just like Monday.  The subsequent rally got capped at about the same time in the New York lunch hour as well.The silver price gained a bit more in electronic trading after the Comex close…and instead of closing up a nickel like it did on Monday, it closed up eight cents at $31.84 spot.  Net volume was substantially higher than Monday…around 35,000 contracts.The dollar index poked through the 80.00 price level briefly again yesterday…but spent the rest of the day dancing around just under that mark, pretty much like it has been doing since last Thursday afternoon.The gold stocks opened basically unchanged…and began to slide into negative territory as the gold price did the same.  The gold price blast off is the most obvious feature on the graph below…and the HUI finished up 1.20% on the day.Considering how poorly silver did during the Comex trading session, the stocks themselves finished in positive territory…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed up 0.54%.  A lot of the other silver stocks actually did considerably better than that.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that one lonely gold contract was posted for delivery tomorrow.The GLD ETF had a tiny withdrawal of 14,582 ounces yesterday.  But there was a more substantial withdrawal of 1,262,261 troy ounces out of SLV.There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Monday, only 977 ounces [1 good delivery bar] was reported received…and 449,480 troy ounce of silver were shipped out the door.  The link to that activity is here.I have a lot less stories for your reading ‘pleasure’ today…and I’m always happy to leave the final edit up to you.We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. – PlatoI’m not sure what to make of what happened yesterday, although I was sort of hoping that yesterday’s spike in gold may have been short covering, but the big jump in volume certainly didn’t indicate that that was the case.Anyway, yesterday was the cut-off for Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report…and that will certainly tell us more when it’s posted.Other than the spike in the gold price, there certainly wasn’t much activity elsewhere.  JPMorgan et al kept silver on a very short leash for the second day running…and as the Kitco silver chart shows, the interventions in the silver market came at precisely the same times on Tuesday as they did on Monday.  One wonders just how more conspicuous they can make themselves as time rolls on.In Far East trading during their Wednesday, gold got sold off about eight bucks and then recovered most of that going into the London open…and as of 4:54 a.m. Eastern time, gold is down about three dollars from Tuesday’s close.  Silver got sold down about 40 cents in Far East trading…and is still down about two bits as I hit the ‘send’ button on today’s column.  Volume in both metals is nothing special…and the dollar index is down about 25 basis points to 79.65.That’s all for today…and after yesterday’s monster column, I’m quite happy that this one was shorter.See you tomorrow. Sponsor Advertisement MAX Resource Corp. (TSX:MXR) is focused on a newly-defined copper/silver/gold porphyry system at Majuba Hill in Nevada that is highly prospective for a bulk-tonnage, open pit deposit.  MAX recently completed a Phase II core drilling program and additional soil sampling in a step-out drilling program at the DeSoto discovery near the past producing Desoto silver mine at Majuba.Drilling earlier in the year encountered long intervals of high-grade silver and copper near surface in five of eight holes, as well as significant gold intercepts, such as 44.2 m of 71.0 g/t Silver, 0.15 g/t Gold and 1.14% Copper.  Further assay results and soil geochemistry are expected in February/March 2012. Permitting is underway for an extensive Phase III delineation drill program at Desoto to begin in the spring of 2012.For more information: www.maxresource.com or info@maxresource.comlast_img read more

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In This Issue   Antipodeans loonies are winn

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Antipodeans & loonies are winners today. *  Gold tries to find a bid after its big gain last week. *  Aussie, New Zealand & U.K. to be fastest growing. *  Which way is the Fed looking? And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. China Prints Stronger PMI. Good Day! .  And a Marvelous Monday to you! Ahhh, that darned “stoppage time”! Yesterday, it turned out to be about 30 seconds too long for the USA soccer team. UGH! Everyone is trying to rationalize this, by saying, “who would have thought we would have 4 points after two games, so we’re fine”. I say. you just had victory snatched away from you in extra time, that’s got to be so devastating, that I don’t see them recovering.  That’s just how I see it. And longtime Pfennig Readers know that I don’t have problems telling people just how I see it! Of course “these days” I have to carefully pick and choose what I’m going to tell you how I see it, for the night has a thousand eyes. Well, did you have a nice weekend? Mine was quiet, and at the same time interesting. Friday, I left you with currencies that had taken big liberties with the dollar on Thursday, only to end the week with a trip to the woodshed. The metals did the same.  It was one of those times when the markets say, “hey! We ought to think this rally over a bit, for it’s gone a little too far, too fast”.  the markets tend to say things like that. really! I’m not kidding!  So, I was interested in how the currencies and metals would look when I came in this morning. Well, the Antipodean currencies are outperforming the rest of the lot, with the Canadian dollar pushing the appreciation envelope this morning. So, that’s a good place to start. with the Canadian dollar/ loonie. Friday, I left you with the thought that Canada would print a stronger Retail Sales report for April than the weak report they printed in March, and that their consumer inflation as measured by CPI, would bounce higher, which would be a boost for the Canadian dollar / loonie.  And guess what? All of those things happened, just like I had spelled it out! Canadian April Retail Sales jumped 1.1%  after just rising .1% in March, and Canadian CPI rose a stronger than expected .5% in May, pushing year on year growth in inflation at 2.3%…  And having these things in its back pocket, the loonie took off! Take off hoser!  (the Mackenzie Brothers!)  At one point in the morning on Friday, the loonie touched 93-cents, but couldn’t hold that lofty level, but still posted a nice gain for the day! The loonie is right back on the rally tracks again this morning, pushing past 93-cents once again, and looking as though it would like to continue this move. The South Pacific dollars, of Australia and New Zealand (the Antipodean currencies) are out performing the other currencies this morning, as both got a real nice boost from the stronger PMI (manufacturing index) in China, as measured by HSBC / Markit. Chinese PMI rose to 50.8 (expansion zone!) VS a forecasted 49.7. Remember China prints two PMI’s, one by HSBC / Markit, and the other one by the government. The HSBC / Markit PMI is usually a bit weaker than the government print, so if the HSBC / Markit was this much of a upward surprise, the government report should be a real doozy! Quick, what’s the best performing currency in the past month? It’s the Aussie dollar (A$)! With a 2.2% gain in the past 30 days. And that rally is a smack in the face of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), who keeps harping about how the A$ is high given commodity price weakness. A Bloomberg report this morning has Australia joining New Zealand and the U.K. as the three fastest growing economies in the developed world this year.  I would have to think that if that fast growth comes to fruition in Australia, that the RBA is going to have to rethink their call for interest rates to remain steady Eddie this year.  So, given the Chinese strong PMI, and this new found interest in Australia’s growth, the A$ is sitting well above 94-cents this morning. And then a currency that I seldom talk about, and quite frankly, there’s not much to talk about most of the time, the Mexican peso got a nice boost Friday when they printed April Retail Sales (what’s with Canada and Mexico with these stale Retail Sales reports anyway?), which showed a 1.1% increase VS March, and 2.1% Year on year.  A modest recovery is expected in Mexico for the rest of the year, so maybe, just maybe, cause you never know, Mexico can get back to hiking interest rates, and improving their “risk premium” because it is at that time, and only then, will the peso start to move strongly. For new readers to class, a “risk premium” is higher interest rates, so that investors can feel better about investing in a country that might be speculative at best. The Brazilian real pays a “risk premium”, And you used to be able to get a “risk premium” in S. Africa, but they’ve cut that back in recent years. In Mexico, you have a country that has a history of indiscretions with investors’ money. So, even if you think, like I do, that those days are behind our neighbor to the south, it doesn’t mean you’re willing to let bygones be bygones, right?  I WANT MY RISK PREMIUM! As I told you on Friday, the euro had slipped below 1.36, and it remained there all day and through the overnight and morning sessions. The Eurozone PMI as measured by Markit, dropped a bit  this month, but remained above 50, at 51.9 (previous at 52.2), and that has not helped the euro stage a rally. Things in the Eurozone are pretty quiet these days, with the European Central Bank (ECB) about the only thing making noise. I always like it when things calm down in the Eurozone, and the relative calm that I began talking about 3 years ago, sets in.  you know those shirts that everyone wears these days that say: “Keep Calm, and  ..” And then you fill in the blank. I say, Keep Calm and diversify! Gold tried and tried to recover that lost ground I told you about last Friday morning. When I hit “send” on the Pfennig, Gold was down $11, after gaining $41 on Thursday.  As I left the office on Friday Gold was down $5, but had almost gotten back to even on the day at one point of the morning. I find this trading refreshing, as it gives moving targets, and provides opportunities. Let’s say, you’re someone that thinks Gold’s bear market days are over, after passing through its 50 and 200 Day moving averages last week, but didn’t want to participate in the Thursday run-up in price. Well, Friday gave you that opportunity to buy cheaper.  Did you take advantage? Not to worry, if you didn’t, as Gold is basically flat to down a couple of bucks this morning. So, you still have Friday’s price if you want it! That is at this very moment while I’m writing! For who knows what Gold will be in a couple of hours when you receive this letter! That’s right. I usually get it all wrapped up in a bow by 6:45 CT, and then after the legal review, it usually goes out by 7.  So, that’s a couple of hours from now. You might wonder just what takes me so long to write this letter every day. Well, wonder on. for I’m right there with you! HA! Our metals trader, Tim Smith, had a nice write up for the Sunday Pfennig & Pfriends yesterday. Did you see it?  Time talked a lot about Palladium as the “forgotten metal”,  well, it may be the “forgotten metal” by the markets, but not Pfennig Readers! At least not anymore, given his nice article yesterday!  So, in case you missed it. here’s a snippet from Tim’s article yesterday, that can be found at: www.dailypfennig.com “The readers of the Daily Pfennig® newsletter have heard me speak about palladium many times before, so I’ll just give a quick refresher. Platinum and palladium are primarily used in the automotive sector for catalytic convertors to help reduce emissions. As emissions standards get more stringent and more people enter the middle class in emerging markets and purchase automobiles, the demand for these metals will only increase as a result. And, automobile demand is not only increasing in emerging markets, but even here at home in the U.S., we have recently seen a seven-year high in auto sales during the month of May.1 And, since palladium is a much cheaper alternative to platinum, one can easily see why prices would be trending upwards.” The U.S. Data Cupboard gets restocked this week, after going bare on Friday, and first up today is the U.S. Markit PMI for June.  Tomorrow we get to see the latest S&P/ CaseShiller Home Price Index, and New Home Sales. On Wednesday, 1st QTR GDP final, and Durable Goods Orders. And so on the rest of the week. Of all the data this week, I think the Durable Goods Orders will be the most significant. And I’m looking for that data to print negative for May. Before I head to the Big Finish this morning, I wanted to share with you a thought I had this  weekend, while doing some reading. And that is. my new thought on what the Fed is doing. ( I can see the reviewer’s face cringe, as they fear what I’m going to say now.  but now worries).  You know, given what I’ve seen from the Fed, they may be telling us that they are giving forward guidance, but in reality, they seem to be reacting to what’s happened.  What’s already in the books, and saying things like: “The appropriate path of policy, the timing and pace of interest rate increases out to respond to unfolding economic developments”. In other words, what has already happened, they’ll react to. This is why I firmly believe that the Fed will be playing catch up to rising inflation, always behind the inflation 8-ball. For What It’s Worth. You know, over the years, I’ve blamed a lot of stuff on the Fed. I’ve even petitioned to “repeal 1913”. But when I saw this story on MarketWatch on Friday, I had to stop and say, “Even I don’t go that far in blaming the Fed!”  But, this is interesting take on things, and so here it is for your reading pleasure.  The title: How The Fed Helped Cause Ukraine Crisis. “Did you know the Federal Reserve’s move to withdraw stimulus from the U.S. economy helped caused the political upheaval in Ukraine? Or that it could cause more global crises in the next few years? That’s the argument of Benn Steil, a prominent economist who recently wrote a well-received book on the 1944 Bretton Woods conference that led to the creation of the IMF and World Bank. He’s now director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. Steil points out that investors dumped Ukrainian bonds in the summer of 2013 after the Fed initially began to signal publicly that it would soon begin to taper – or cut purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities. The panic among investors sent interest rates soaring on Ukrainian bonds and made it harder for the government to finance its operations. The result: then-Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych spurned economic ties with Europe,  in Steil’s telling, and turned to Russia for help to ease a growing financial crisis. The stunning reversal led to massive civil demonstrations that forced Yanukovych to flee and induced Russia to invade and annex the Crimean region of Ukraine.” Chuck again. Yes, even I think I’ll stick to blaming the Fed for things that go wrong in this country! But still, think about that for a minute, if the Fed does something to damage the economy of another country, then that other country might just decide to manipulate their currency to the U.S.’s chagrin. Oh well. let’s move on for this stuff begins to give me the willies after a while! To recap. The “backing off their lofty levels” for the currencies on Friday, remained in place all day and for a few currencies it’s still in place today. But for the Antipodean currencies, and Canadian loonies it’s all seashells and balloons today. China printed a nice PMI that moved over the deciding level of 50 this month, and that really turned the Antipodeans on. The Eurozone’s PMI saw some slippage, but remained above 50, but the euro can’t seem to find a bid this morning. And Gold tried to comeback on Friday, but ended the day in the dumps, and is beginning this morning flat, to down a couple of bucks. Currencies today 6/23/14. American Style: A$ .9445, kiwi .8735, C$ .9315, euro 1.3586, sterling 1.7020, Swiss $1.1165, . European Style: rand 10.6335, krone 6.1315, SEK 6.7215, forint 224.75, zloty 3.0590, koruna 20.2095, RUB 34.27, yen 101.85, sing 1.2485, HKD 7.7515, INR 60.21, China 6.1557, pesos 12.98, BRL 2.2290, Dollar Index 80.35, Oil $107.07, 10-year 2.61%, Silver $20.79, Platinum $1,445.23, Palladium $815.25, and Gold. $1,311.02 That’s it for today.  Well, the World Cup began its second week of games, and there have been some pretty good ones. The team I picked, Argentina, won again, on a late goal. Wimbledon kicks off this week, so we have the premier soccer & tennis tournaments going on at the same time. My beloved Cardinals came back to split the 4 games with the Phillies this past weekend, but now have two starting pitchers on the DL.. UGH!  Alex got home last night, ate dinner, showered and left. He did have time to tell me that his team won the Midwest and will be a very highly seeded team when they go to California to play at the end of next month. (where they will get a lesson in water polo, I can bet you that!) Darling daughter, Dawn, sent me some pictures of little d, (Delaney Grace) in her dance outfit. She’s about to turn 7, but these pictures make her look 17! UGH! Oh well, she’s such a cutie!  People are beginning to file in this morning, so that means I need to get this out the door. Are you ready? OK! Let’s go make this a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more

Read more on In This Issue   Antipodeans loonies are winn

first_img— Average Gains of 106% on 105 trades…We’ve discovered one repeating pattern in a small sector of the stock market that has paid out average gains of 106%, over at least thirty years. Here’s how YOU can profit from it… — Justin’s note: If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know a digital currency revolution is underway. Many of these currencies have doubled or tripled in value in recent months. Others are up thousands of percentage points.It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen.Many folks are now wondering if this is the opportunity of a lifetime or a bubble. To help answer this question, we’re sharing a recent essay from Doug Casey’s friend and colleague Bill Bonner. I encourage you to read this essay closely if you’ve ever thought about buying digital currencies. By Bill Bonner, chairman, Bonner & Partners Today, let’s talk about cryptocurrencies – private digital currencies that use encryption to operate without the need for banks and central banks. Herewith begin two days of thinking about why we should spend two days thinking about them. We began our research yesterday: “How much have you lost so far?” we teased one of our sons. He is a big fan of cryptocurrencies and has invested not only his own money, but also some of the family money. We thought it was a bad idea, little different from gambling. But heck, the kids need to learn to make good financial decisions. How do you learn to make good ones? By making bad ones! Grab Your “Trump Refund” Check for up to $127,895! On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, when President Trump releases his new Tax Reform Plan to the American people… Approximately $2.6 trillion may begin flooding America’s economy – almost overnight. Surprisingly, this isn’t money you’ll receive directly from the government, which is why you can collect this money… even if you didn’t file Form 1040… or never paid a dime in taxes last year. President Trump has made it ingeniously simple to claim your fair share. Click here to get started… Recommended Linkcenter_img “Heh-heh… Are you kidding, Dad? I’m glad we didn’t follow your advice. “Bitcoin went up 10% on Saturday. We’re up $100,000 in the family account, since the end of June. That’s a 39% gain since we started. My account has done much better. But I started earlier. “Look, cryptocurrencies are the most profitable investments in the history of the world. In 2010, if you just put $100 into bitcoin, today you have about $6 million. “The Winklevoss twins – the brothers who sued Mark Zuckerberg over the origins of Facebook – have made billions. And ordinary people are getting rich overnight. This is no joke. I put $1,500 into one of these crypto startups. It was worth $36,000 in just a few days. “At first, there were just a few libertarian nerds investing in cryptos. Now, there’s big money. If you can get a 10% gain in 24 hours, you’re going to get a lot of fast money moving in and out. And the crypto startups go much further, faster. “That ‘fork’ they just had in Bitcoin. It created a new cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Cash, which went from being worth nothing to $363 in a matter of hours. “So a guy with $10 million to play with, for example, might put it into a new ‘coin.’ The coin then shoots up and draws in other speculators. And then, he might pull out – in less than 24 hours – with a $10 million profit.” “Well, I suggest you sell out now… while you can,” father offered sage advice. “This looks like a bubble.” Cash-and-Carry “Dad, you just don’t understand,” continued our son. “Yes, it looks like a bubble. And, yes, it’s like buying a lottery ticket. Because you can just put a few bucks into a new crypto and you could be a millionaire in a few months. Or you could lose all your money. “But at the same time, it’s not like a lottery ticket at all. Because there’s something happening that has never happened before. It’s an evolutionary leap in money itself. “It’s like the early days when people found gold and began using it as money. They picked it up off the ground. It was worth nothing. Then, it became valuable as people realized its value as money. The same thing is happening with cryptocurrencies today.” As near as we have been able to tell, when goods and services pass from one physical hand to another set of fingers, gold (or gold-backed tokens) is the best form of money. Cash-and-carry. You don’t need to know anything about your counterparty. His money is good money; that’s all that matters. That’s what made modern civilization possible. But in the credit-based dollar economy, the hands disappear. Instead, there are computer connections… and elaborate, costly barriers: your mother’s maiden name, telephone calls, source of funds verification, security codes, FATCA [Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act] reports, bank exchange fees, transaction fees, bank account fees, negative interest rates, tax inflation… and even hyperinflation. The advantages of cash are lost. Recommended Link Better Form of Money Cometh the cryptocurrencies and cometh a revolution. But what the crypto innovators discovered in the world of the future was the past. Here’s economist George Gilder in his latest book, The Scandal of Money: [B]itcoin’s mysterious, pseudonymous founder, one “Satoshi Nakamoto,” specifically mimicked gold in developing his digital money, which becomes more difficult to “mine” with the passage of time. Its value, like gold’s, is ultimately based on its scarcity. It is not a competitor with gold but an Internet money that simulates the properties of the monetary metal and offers a path toward a gold-inspired standard for the net. The key feature of gold and bitcoin is that they are both tethered to the real world – the world of splinters and time. “It takes energy – in the form of computer processing power – to ‘mine’ bitcoin,” our in-house enthusiast continued. “The more of them you mine, the more time and energy it takes to discover the next one. It’s like gold. You have to go farther… and deeper… to find the next ounce. And now, some of the most powerful computers in the world are mining bitcoins. “But since the supply of bitcoins is strictly limited to 21 million, they remain in tune with the rest of the world, where real resources – and time – are also limited. “Governments can’t increase the supply of time. Central banks can’t increase the amount of real money. With bitcoin, no one can inflate the supply or use it to manipulate the stock market. It really is a better form of money… and people are gradually coming to realize it. “It’s going to be a wild ride. But we’re on this train whether we want to be or not. The advantages of cryptocurrencies over the government’s money are so huge… they’re unstoppable now. “Think about it… Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin do away with the need for banks altogether. And no central bank controls the supply. “Meanwhile, you can do business with anyone anywhere in the world for just a tiny fraction of what it would cost via the banking system. “And cryptocurrencies protect your identity. You don’t have to reveal your name, address, Social Security number, etc. “Too much toothpaste is already out of the tube. From a financial point of view, this is probably the biggest breakthrough… the most liberating breakthrough… since the discovery of gold.” More to come… Regards, Bill Justin’s note: Colleague and self-described “bitcoin bull” Teeka Tiwari spent all of last year traveling the world to learn everything he could about this booming crypto market. Teeka and his team recently uncovered another digital currency that costs a fraction of bitcoin’s price… with even more upside. It’s being tested by banks, and Microsoft recently announced it will allow over 3 million of its developers to work on the currency’s network. To learn about Teeka’s favorite “ground floor” alternative to bitcoin, and how you can buy it, watch his presentation here.last_img read more

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Tech Surge Mounted To Fix Healthcaregov

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. ‘Tech Surge’ Mounted To Fix Healthcare.gov The Obama administration promised Sunday to enlist experts both inside and outside the government to solve the problems that have crippled healthcare.gov and caused consumers frustration as they attempt to shop for coverage. But some federal contractors worry the system may be weeks away from operating smoothly.The New York Times: Contractors See Weeks Of Work On Health SiteFederal contractors have identified most of the main problems crippling President Obama’s online health insurance marketplace, but the administration has been slow to issue orders for fixing those flaws, and some contractors worry that the system may be weeks away from operating smoothly, people close to the project say (LaFraniere, Austen and Pear, 10/20).The Washington Post: HealthCare.gov’s Glitches Prompt Obama To Call In More Computer ExpertsThe Obama administration said Sunday that it has enlisted additional computer experts from across the government and from private companies to help rewrite computer code and make other improvements to the online health insurance marketplace, which has been plagued by technical defects that have stymied many consumers since it opened nearly three weeks ago. This expanded team has come up with new ways of monitoring which parts of the federal Web site, HealthCare.gov, are having problems and has been taking the site offline for rigorous overnight tests, according to a Department of Health and Human Services spokesman (Goldstein, 10/20).The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: ‘Tech Surge’ Planned To Fix Obamacare ExchangesThe Department of Health and Human Services said Sunday it was bringing in outside help to resolve some of the technical woes that have beset the federally run insurance exchanges, which the agency acknowledged “has not lived up to the expectations of the American people” (Radnofsky, 10/20).Politico: Tech ‘Surge’ To Tackle Obamacare WebsitesThe Health and Human Services statement didn’t explain everything that’s wrong, or give technical details about the repairs underway. It outlined some steps being taken to fix the site, including updates with “new code that includes bug fixes.” The department also says it’s installing monitors to catch parts of the website that are proving the most troublesome for consumers. And it also said it had seen some improvements in wait times and consumer access to the website, the online portal to health insurance exchanges or marketplaces the federal government is running in 36 states (Millman, 10/20).Politico: HHS Makes Changes To Obamacare Home PageHealth and Human Services officials announced Sunday that consumer-friendly changes have been made to the homepage of the troubled Obamacare enrollment website. The changes to the homepage aim to relieve some user frustration — but it isn’t a wider fix to the buggy and crash-plagued signup system (Kenen, 10/20).USA Today: HHS ‘Committed To Doing Better’ On Insurance ExchangesSignaling a shift in tone in acknowledging problems with the launch of the Affordable Care Act website, the government posted a blog Sunday taking responsibility for issues millions of Americans have had trying to sign up for health insurance (Kennedy, 10/20).NBC News: Damage Control: Administration Pledges Obamacare Enrollment FixesAs the Obama administration scrambles to rectify the rocky rollout of the online health care marketplace, the Health Department said Sunday that it has enlisted the “best and brightest” to help fix the website’s torrent of technical glitches and bugs as the president prepares to address the problems at the White House on Monday. “Our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve HealthCare.gov,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in a blog post published Sunday. The blog post also says technology officials have been working “around the clock” to ensure that individuals can create accounts and apply for health care coverage without any digital roadblocks (Welker and Arkin, 10/20). CBS News: Outside Help Called In To Fix Obamacare WebsiteThe Obama administration has called in additional help from inside and outside the government to fix glitches that have plagued the Obamacare website. Critics say the issues reveal that Obamacare is a bad idea, while the White House says half a million people have successfully enrolled (Pegues, 10/20). Bloomberg: Obamacare Hustles To End Delays As Deadline Talk GrowsThe Obama administration said it has reached out to the “best and brightest” from inside and outside of government to get its health-insurance exchange up to speed, even as it faces another missed deadline for the rollout. The promised debut this week of a Spanish-language version of its website is uncertain after an administration spokeswoman said no date had yet been set for it (Wayne, Armstrong and Nussbaum, 10/21).The Fiscal Times: Can An Army Of Private Programmers Fix Obamacare?The Congressional Budget Office established two simple benchmarks for Obamacare to meet in its projections last February: 1) 7 million Americans would receive private insurance through the exchanges; and 2) 8 million more Americans would enroll in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. That means 15 million Americans total would have health insurance coverage. The administration is currently on pace to get a fraction of those projections. Millward Brown estimates that just 36,000 Americans bought insurance through Obamacare during the first five days of the online exchanges. Just 2 percent of the 9.47 million unique visitors to the federal exchange during that period even began the application process. (Boak and Ehley, 10/21). Fox News: ObamaCare Site Glitches Run Risk Of Turning Off MillenialsThe prolonged glitches with the ObamaCare website are frustrating many of the president’s most high-valued customers — the young, tech-savvy generation that helped him win two terms and whose participation is critical to the success of the health care exchanges (10/19). The Kansas City Star: Glitches Persist In Health Insurance Marketplace Mandated By ObamacareWould-be health insurance buyers and the merely curious continue to be frustrated by the rocky rollout of the federal Health Insurance Marketplace. Nearly three weeks into the planned launch of this centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act, Kansas City area residents, as well as millions nationally, are unable to get enough policy details to make purchase decisions (Stafford, 10/21).The Fiscal Times: Obamacare Tech Fail May Do What The GOP Couldn’tThe myriad of obstacles raise questions as to whether the White House will be forced to push back deadlines and even postpone the tax penalty for Americans who forgo health coverage. “There are so many key technical problems you can’t sum them up,” said Robert Laszewski, president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, a policy and marketplace consulting firm. “I mean, it’s [Internet] architectural problems at the front end, it’s coding problems in terms of the inefficiency in the way the system works and wastes people’s time, and it’s screens that freeze. And then connections between insurance companies simply aren’t working” (Pianin, 10/21). last_img read more

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New study points to potential cure for addiction

first_img Source:http://www.uh.edu/news-events/stories/2019/february-2019/020519-nicotine-pregnant-akay-cure.php Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 7 2019The Akay Lab biomedical research team at the University of Houston is reporting in the journal Nature Scientific Reports that a possible cure for addiction may be found by following the pathways of significantly altered dopamine neurons in newborns who were chronically exposed to nicotine in utero. The findings of the altered neurons come from recordings of dopamine and non-dopamine neurons in the brain’s addiction center, called the ventral tegmental area (VTA), following chronic nicotine exposure during pregnancy.Metin Akay, John S. Dunn Endowed Chair Professor of Biomedical Engineering and department chair, and his research team noted that the dopamine neurons, in response to nicotine exposure during pregnancy, were significantly activated, allowing the release of unusually high levels of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex.Related StoriesGene modulation goes wireless hacking the “boss gene”Cochrane Review looks at different ways to use nicotine replacement therapiesGenomics study reveals five genes linked to treatment resistance in prostate cancerActive dopamine, known as the “feel good” hormone, might seem a good thing at first glance. It’s a neurotransmitter that carries information between neurons and regulates emotional responses. It allows us to see rewards and encourages action that will lead to reward, but since it contributes to those feelings of pleasure and reward, it also plays a part in addiction.”The impacted dopamine can result in babies being born addicted to nicotine, but once we understand which genes are altered, which gene regulator networks are altered and which gene pathways are altered, we can develop targeted medication that could eliminate addiction in offspring,” said Akay.Exposure to nicotine during pregnancy through maternal smoking or nicotine replacement therapy is associated with adverse birth outcomes as well as several cognitive and neurobehavioral deficits.The Akay lab previously published work indicating that dopamine neurons in the VTA are very likely involved in nicotine addiction. Their current work speaks to the very nature of health itself, exploring how the dopamine of nicotine-exposed offspring alters gene expression, a fundamental building block of health. Many diseases are caused by a change in the DNA of a single gene.Akay’s team includes Renee F. Keller, Tina Kazemi, Andrei Dragomir and Yasemin M. Akay, assistant professor of biomedical engineering.last_img read more

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