BBC Worldwide has teamed up with teen social game provider Stardoll to create a virtual community for the teen girl fan base of its Strictly Come Dancing show.The community, which will be initially rolled out in the UK, will offer users of the site access to a Strictly Come Dancing club where they can obtain virtual items inspired by the show to decorate their personal suites. A subscription of £5.95 (€7.20) will allow users to dress their Stardoll ‘MeDolls’ with a range of Strictly Come Dancing-inspired costumes and props. Members can build a stage, and add the set design, spotlight and other items from the show as the membership numbers increase.Versions will be rolled out in international markets in the coming months.
Envivio (Stand E14) is preparing to demonstrate the Envivio Muse software for software available on the Envivio 4Caster encoders and HP blade servers at ANGA Cable.Also on display will be the Envivio Halo network media processor, which protects content, adapts it for final delivery at the edge of the network and enables advanced features such as multiscreen ad insertion.Envivio and its Danish customer, cable operator Stofa, will also jointly deliver a technical presentation (Field Report: Realising Multiscreen Strategies for TV without Boundaries) on the second day of the conference at 13:00-14:15.Speakers will include Arnaud Perrier, vice-president of solutions, Envivio, and Thomas Helbo, chief technology officer, Stofa.
Middle East pay TV provider My-HD has chosen Irdeto to provide content security for its offering of HD channels on the Arabsat satellite platform.My-HD began shipping HD set-tops this month equipped with Irdeto’s cardless Cloaked CA system.My-HD is offering a package of 42 premium channels, including 30 in HD. Irdeto already provides content security services to regional broadcasters including Al Jazeera Sport and Abu Dhabi Media.“The My-HD and Arabsat partnership will shape the future of HDTV in the MENA region, and we required a long-term partner that could deliver a combination of strong security, experience and scalability as well as minimize total cost of ownership,” said Cliff Nelson, CEO My-HD. “Irdeto’s Media Protection technologies are well-respected in the market and its widely-deployed Cloaked CA solution was the clear choice for us. We’re proud to be the first operator in MENA to deploy software CA and join the other innovative leaders around the world doing the same.”
Rovi has appointed former Motorola Home and Arris executive John Burke as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Burke is due to take up his new role this week and has been tasked with leading Rovi’s business groups in discovery technologies – overseeing product management, engineering, professional services and the CTO office.He will report directly to Rovi CEO and president Tom Carson and will be based in Pennsylvania.“John’s appointment and the creation of this executive position underscore our commitment to expand our product businesses and drive improved revenue and profitability,” said Carson.Burke brings with him more than 25 years of leadership experience and most recently worked at Arris as senior vice president, corporate development and strategy, and president, cloud solutions business.He joined Arris as a result of the firm’s buyout of Motorola Home, where he latterly worked as senior vice president and general manager of the converged solutions business. Burke first joined Motorola in 2000.
Russian service provider ER-Telecom, which operates under the Dom.ru brand, has launched its new advanced TV set-top in 55 Russian cities. The advanced TV service includes catch-up TV for popular content for three days after it is initially broadcast as well as video-on-demand.The service also makes content available to Android and iOS mobile devices, which can be used as remotes for the main screen.Boxes have been provided by Humax, designed by UK agency V2 Studios, with remote controls provided by Universal Electronics. The UI has been creted by Russian agency JetStyle while content protection is provided by Nagra. SOTAL Interactive acted as system integrator.
UK industry association the Digital TV Group (DTG) will publish the technical requirements for the recently announced Freeview connected TV platform later this year. The organisation, which already publishes and maintains the technical specifications for Freeview in the UK, known as the D-Book, said that the extension to the Freeview HD platform will include a common set of on-demand services.These are designed to “enable the seamless implementation of both the broadcast services defined in the DTG D-Book and the new Digital UK, HbbTV based, Freeview Connected specification,” said the DTG.“The technical requirements for this platform will build on the foundation on the D-Book and Freeview HD requirements and be published in a separate specification by Digital UK,” it added.The DTG said it will publish the latest version of the D-Book – which defines both the delivery and reception of services – later in 2014. This will be D-Book 8. The existing version, D-Book 7 (Version 4) was published in May.UK DTT platform Freeview announced earlier this month that it will launch a new connected TV service, in partnership with Digital UK – an organisation owned by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva.The connected TV proposition will be developed and marketed as part of a five-year plan that will see Freeview offer broadcast and on-demand TV, along with a range of popular catch-up players and is designed to make “the best of broadcast and on-demand TV available free for everyone.”
Sergey BoykoUkrainian cable operator Volia’s chief executive Sergey Boyko has called on content rights holders and operators to cooperate and adopt a flexible attitude to address the current downturn in the country’s pay TV market, fuelled by the ongoing crisis in the eastern part of the country, the annexation of Crimea by Russia and rising energy prices.Speaking at the Telco Trends 2014 conference in Jurmala, Latvia at the end of last week, Boyko said that the multiple problems suffered by Ukraine in recent months have had a serious impact on the pay TV business, with operators forced to reduce their package prices and give discounts to retain subscribers.He said Ukrainian operators need to renegotiate the fees they pay to content providers. Otherwise, he said, some operators will likely be tempted to resort to underhand practices including under-reporting of subscribers and illegal retransmission of services.
Communications minister Hamid Grine has been tasked with closing down private channelsAlgeria’s prime minister Abdelmalek Sellal has reportedly ordered the closure of around 60 private TV channels in a bid to combat what he describes as “anarchy” in the broadcasting sector.According to Algerian news organisation Tout Sur l’Algérie (TSA), Sellal has ordered communication minister Hamid Grine to close down the country’s private broadcasters in the absence of an “agreement” authorising their right to air.According to TSA, Sellal, justifying the move, said that “the values and principles of Algerian society are red lines” and that “these limits have been breached”. Sellal accused TV channels of disseminating lies and of attempting to manipulate the population. He said that this could destabilise Algerian society, promote schism and favour regionalism.Sellal said that channels that respected the rules would be allowed to continue on air.Non-Algerian news sites including Moroccan online news site Le360.ma suggest that the move is motivated by moves to crush opposition to long-serving president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.The Algerian private broadcasting sector has expanded dramatically since a 50-year state monopoly in TV was ended three years ago.
Eutelsat has leased satellite capacity from Yahsat for its Broadband for Africa venture, after Spacecom’s Amos-6 satellite exploded earlier this year.Broadband for Africa will use capacity on up to 16 Ka-band spotbeams on the Yahsat 1B satellite to roll out broadband services during the first four months of 2017.Further expansion will be supported later in the year using capacity on 18 spotbeams on Yahsat’s Al Yah 3 satellite, scheduled for launch in early 2017.The capacity will replace the payload Eutelsat previously contracted on Amos-6, which was destroyed in September following a launchpad explosion.Under the new deal, Eutelsat will revert to its initial business plan for Broadband for Africa, of a revenue contribution of €15 million in full year 2017-18 and €25-30 million in full year 2018-19.“We are delighted to initiate this relationship with Yahsat and to put our Africa broadband programme back on track,” said Laurent Grimaldi, Chief Executive Officer of Broadband for Africa.Amit Somani, chief strategy officer of Yahsat, said: “We are delighted to have Broadband for Africa as a long-term customer on our satellites, laying yet another cornerstone in our expansion strategy and reinforcing the global trend towards higher efficiency Ka-band solutions.”The news comes a day after Yahsat announced that it has appointed Airtel Africa executive Farhad Khan as its Chief Commercial Officer.Spacecom has set itself an internal end-of-year deadline to buy an in-orbit satellite to replace Amos-6, senior vice-president of sales, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, Jacob Keret told DTVE at IBC last month.
Liberty Latin America has made its first big acquisition since becoming an independent company, acquiring an 80% stake in Costa Rica cable operator Cabletica.The all-cash deal values Televisora de Costa Rica-owned Cabletica at CRC143 billion (€200 million), representing a multiple of 6.3 times the company’s 2017 financial year EBITDA.Televisora will retain a 20% stake in the company. The company will also retain control of Cabletica’s content assets, some of which will be provided to the cable network on an exclusive basis.Cabletica’s HFC network passes about 562,000 homes – about 40% of the country’s total – and had 207,000 customers taking 327,000 services at the end of September last year. The company provides analogue and digital TV, broadband internet and fixed-line phone services.Cabletica launched its own VOD platform, Cabletica Play, in 2016, including content from HBO such as Game of Thrones. The company does not currently have a mobile offering. Rival players in the TV market include multinational cable operator Tigo and Grupo ICE-owned Cable Visión, as well as DTH player DirecTV.Balan NairLiberty plans to finance the deal through a combination of debt and existing cash. Cablitica is expected to have net debt of about US$125 million (€102 million) at the time of the deal’s closing.“The acquisition of a leading cable operator in Costa Rica is an exciting move as it adds further scale to our growing platform and diversifies us into one of the region’s most attractive markets. We look forward to building on Cabletica’s achievements and partnering with its current owners, further investing in enhancing products and services for Cabletica’s customers, while also integrating the business with Liberty Latin America. This transaction is a prime example of our consolidation ambitions, leveraging our unique subsea and terrestrial footprint, in a region that remains highly fragmented and continues to be both underpenetrated and underserved by high-speed data services,” said Liberty Latin America CEO Balan Nair.“We are delighted to enter into this agreement and look forward to a long and successful partnership with Liberty Latin America that will deliver many benefits for both our customers and employees. We also look forward to further developing the strong content alliance between Cabletica and Televisora and have extended the carriage of exclusive local sports channels TD+ and TD+2 as part of the transaction,” said René Picado, president of Televisora.
ShareTweet 101BLACK FORD FIESTACO DERRYCONSTABLE GREGG CHAMBERSlimavadyPOLICE IN LIMAVADY APPEAL TO ‘CLARE’ TO COME FORWARD AFTER CAR DAMAGEDRATHBRADY ROADTERMONCANICE SCHOOL THE PSNI are appealing for witnesses over damage caused to a car in Limavady, Co Derry last week.A black Ford Fiesta was damaged on the Rathbrady Road around 3.30 pm last Thursday, November 24.A police spokesperson said: “The Fiesta was parked opposite Termoncanice School and it is believed that a parking car has caused the damage. “A note was left on the car by ‘Clare’ but the phone number isn’t valid.“If you witnessed this incident please get in touch with Constable Gregg Chambers at Limavady Police Station by ringing 101 and quote reference number 960 on 24/11/16.“If you are Clare, please also get in touch.”POLICE IN LIMAVADY APPEAL TO ‘CLARE’ TO COME FORWARD AFTER CAR DAMAGED was last modified: November 28th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags:
Home NewsWatch Local News Avoiding Tragedy: Taking Precautions to Avoid Fires WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – In just six days, seven people in West Virginia have died in separate fires.The National Fire Protection Association says the leading causes of home fires and home fire injuries is cooking equipment and heating equipment.Although some fires are inevitable, there are ways to take precaution. If a fire does occur, officials say you can still make sure everyone makes it out safely.“Number one, make sure your smoke detectors are working and they’re placed properly,” said Hinton assistant fire chief Steve Pack. “The fire department has gone through the community for people who wanted to sign up through the American Red Cross.”Pack also recommended carbon monoxide detectors for those who have gas appliances. Local NewsNewsWatchTop Stories Avoiding Tragedy: Taking Precautions to Avoid Fires By Kassie SimmonsMay 13, 2019, 17:57 pm 212 0 Previous PostAuthorities In Beckley Investigating After Finding Man’s Body Pinterest Google+ Kassie Simmons Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism.During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing.Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about.Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Linkedin Next PostCommunity Mourns Loss of Two Children in Fire Twitter Facebook Tumblr Mail
Dear Reader,Vedran Vuk here, filling in for David Galland. Today we’ll cover a number of topics, most importantly Bud Conrad’s coverage of the Fed’s announcement on Wednesday. For a while, investors were basically allowed to sleep through these Federal Open Market Committee statements – we get it; they’re keeping rates low. However, this meeting had a few key points that should stir investors from their slumber. I’ll start with a discussion about the weakening core of European nations. Then I’ll return to touch on other topics of interest. Cracks in the European CoreBy Vedran Vuk, Senior AnalystWhile the euro crisis has taken a momentary breather, let’s not forget the even bigger dangers on the horizon. We’ve all seen the spreads between the PIIGS and German bonds. Needless to say, they aren’t pretty. But another chart is scaring me even more at the moment: It’s the 10-year bond spread between Germany and France:(Click on image to enlarge)The media always want to frame financial news in the classical sense: the good guys versus the bad guys. In this case, it’s the responsible and prudent core of Europe versus the lazy and uncontrollable PIIGS. However, the chart above tells a different story. The crisis has reached the core itself. Rather than being an impenetrable fortress, countries such as France have their own problems.That should come as no surprise. The rest of Europe has been following the exact same path as Greece, Portugal, Spain, and all the other “bad guys.” It’s the same story of excessive spending programs, disastrous labor laws, and widespread government interventions. In fact, the European core must necessarily experience the same problems. If you’re following the same stupid policies, you should expect the same bad results. It’s logically inconsistent to think that certain policies are absolute failures in Greece while they magically work in France.The only difference is that the core countries have been able to afford their programs thus far. Countries such as Greece aren’t following a unique Greek policy agenda. Instead, Greece essentially tried to mimic Western European policies on an Eastern European budget. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t work… but those policies won’t work for Western Europe in the long run either.Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that France or some of the other core countries are going into a crisis. I’m just pointing out that the cracks are starting show. If Europe can’t shake its obsession with the welfare state, I have little doubt that some of the biggest European countries will be the PIIGS of tomorrow. They’re walking the same path as Greece, Ireland, Italy, and Portugal. But because of their stronger economies, they are taking this stroll at a much slower pace while the PIIGS are sprinting toward the end of the road… and the cliff waiting there. Though one country is running for the cliff and the other is walking, make no mistake – they’re both on the exact same path.But let’s put this in perspective for now. The spread over German bonds is a little above one percent. This isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it’s very far from it, and considering all the problems in Europe, I’d still much rather hold French bonds than many other options. However, there are a few important things to take away from this situation. The spread between French and German bonds can teach us an important lesson about US interest rates.For years, the spread was almost nonexistent at less than half a percent. Then investors got just a little worried and within months, the spread widened. The exact same thing can happen with US interest rates. We at Casey Research have often mentioned the possibility of rising rates as a result of inflation kicking in, the Fed raising interest rates, or investors losing faith in the US. To some people, these sound like doom-and-gloom scenarios. In some ways, yes, they are; but you don’t need a major event to send interest rates upward.Suppose investors become a little concerned about the United States – just like they’re a little worried about France at the moment. No one is saying that the end is near or that utter ruin and collapse is just around the next quarter. Instead, imagine just enough worry to send ten-year interest rates jumping from 2% to 3% in a matter of months. We’re not talking about a herculean leap from 2% to 7% or a sudden default crisis. Instead, this would be a small move, and it’s far from a radical prediction. Unfortunately, for many bond investors flirting with longer-maturity bonds, even this one percent move could hurt. If this is already happening between the spread of two “safe” European countries, it can happen here as well.The media condition us to not think in shades of gray. And you can understand their perspective. The half-a-percentage-point spread increase between German and French bonds isn’t exactly shocking, copy-selling material. As a result, the media like to frame the European core as strong and PIIGS as foolish and weak. In reality, there’s less difference between them than you may think. Similarly, we’re often told that US Treasures are perfect AAA investments, or that they’re in the danger of defaulting within years. The trouble is that while paying attention to the extremes, a whole lot can happen in the middle – and that action can be just as destructive to an unprepared portfolio. The Fed Returns to PrintingBy Bud Conrad, Chief EconomistOn January 25, the Federal Reserve announced important policy changes after its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Here are the three most important takeaways, in its own words:The Committee decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that economic conditions – including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run – are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014.The Committee judges that inflation at the rate of 2 percent, as measured by the annual change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures, is most consistent over the longer run with the Federal Reserve’s statutory mandate. In the most recent projections, FOMC participants’ estimates of the longer-run normal rate of unemployment had a central tendency of 5.2 percent to 6.0 percent.The Fed released FOMC participants’ target federal funds rate for the next few years.Immediate ReactionsThe first item is the most important as it was not expected – and it had an immediate effect on markets. As seen in the chart below, gold spiked higher on the surprise news of extending the zero-rate policy through 2014.(Click on image to enlarge)The news prompted a similar jump in silver services:(Click on image to enlarge)Keeping rates low requires the Fed to print new money to buy Treasuries, so the dollar weakened against the euro, although the reaction wasn’t as big as in those in the gold and silver markets. This is partially due to the fact that the ECB is on its own campaign of printing money.(Click on image to enlarge)The promise to keep short-term rates low for a longer period also caused longer-term rates to fall slightly, as seen in the 10-year Treasury rate chart below, which fell from about 2.05% to 1.95 %, a relatively modest decline.What Does This Say about the Fed‘s Policy?The most important action of the three was to extend the zero Fed funds rate to the end of 2014. This is a form of easing that could affect more rates than just short-term rates. Furthermore, there is a debate as to whether the action was the result of the Fed’s concern about the economy slipping back into recession. Or, this could also be a bullish sign for the economy and stock market, as the guaranteed low rates could increase investment to improve our economy. Zero rates drive investors to take on risks – such as buying stocks – to gain higher returns. As a result, this induces more investment toward riskier parts of the market, which might otherwise be underfunded. Though the Fed aims to stimulate the economy, we’re more likely to see a slip back into recession rather than see an effective Fed stimulus improving the economy.The press conference suggested that quantitative easing (QE) remains on the table. As a result, new targeted asset purchases by the Fed are likely in our future. These additional purchases with newly printed money could become inflationary. That is why gold shot higher and the dollar weakened in the short term.Both the Fed and the ECB have decidedly less-hawkish members and leadership than just last year. Both have now moved toward more money printing to keep rates low. The chart of central bank balance sheet as a ratio to GDP shows that the central banks of the world are clearly “printing”:(Click on image to enlarge)Longer-Term ImplicationsThe problem with printing money and promising to do so for years ahead of time is that the negative consequences of inflation only happen after a delay. As a result, it’s difficult to know if a policy has gone too far until years down the road at times. Unfortunately, if confidence in the dollar is lost, the consequences cannot be easily reversed. One problem for the Fed itself is that it holds long-term securities that will lose value if rates rise. The federal government faces an even more serious problem when interest rates rise, as higher rates on its debt mean greater interest payments to service. Due to this federal-government debt burden, the Fed has an incentive to keep rates low, even if the long-term result is higher inflation. However, for now the Fed’s statement suggests it sees inflation as “subdued,” so it’s putting those concerns aside for now.Along with the promise of low rates, the Fed for the first time gave an inflation target of 2%, as measured by Personal Consumption Expenditures. The actual and target inflation show that the Fed is currently not under major pressure from missing its target… not yet.(Click on image to enlarge)The Fed has not even tried to set a target for the unemployment rate, which is only expected to edge below 8% by 2013. The Fed says that that the longer-run unemployment range is 5% to 6%. The big difference from the current level of 8.5% indicates that the Fed faces a greater challenge with unemployment than inflation now.(Click on image to enlarge)My conclusion from the Fed’s actions is that it doesn’t care as much about its inflation target as it does about improving the unemployment rate. Thus, it will err on the side of letting inflation rise, if it would improve unemployment. But holding rates too low too long fueled the housing bubble. Repeating the same game will have consequences of malinvestment in the form of new bubbles in the economy. The Fed hopes to restore employment before the negative consequences of loose monetary policy show up.The Fed provided the accompanying chart of the Fed funds rates expected by the seventeen members of the FOMC. Each dot indicates the value (rounded to the nearest quarter-percent) of an individual participant’s judgment of the appropriate level of the target Federal funds rate at the end of the specified calendar year. Over the long run, the Fed expects the funds rate to rise to around 4.25%. Eleven of the members indicate that the rate will rise before 2015. Only six expect the rate to stay close to zero through 2014.(Click on image to enlarge)The above chart should not be taken very seriously, as Fed predictions have been notoriously inaccurate. Furthermore, it’s likely that rates will rise before 2014 as a result of market forces pushing them upward due to mistrust of the currency – measured by rising gold and commodity prices.The Federal Reserve balance sheet expanded dramatically as the credit crisis became acute in 2008. The Policy Tools (shown below in black) grew by $2 trillion with the QE1 purchase of mortgage-backed securities and the QE2 purchase of long-term Treasuries. This was an unprecedented effort to support those markets, provide liquidity, and drive rates down to zero. A simple extrapolation of similar expansion policies to the end of 2014 suggests that the Fed may require an additional $2 trillion to extend its goals. The problem is that such action would surely weaken the dollar and drive gold much higher. If confidence is lost, rates could rise even as the Fed continues to print and buy securities. The Fed says that it will change its policy if conditions warrant. I think they will be forced to stop this policy well before 2014 is over. Nonetheless, in the meantime, they will plant the seeds of rising prices with ultralow rates.(Click on image to enlarge)The gold price is driven by Fed policies and its bias toward printing money rather than defending the dollar’s purchasing power. This Fed bias was again reconfirmed by this announcement. With all the Fed’s renewed vigor toward keeping rates low longer, we can once again reconfirm the ongoing downward slide for the dollar. As a result, gold remains the best investment against the damaging government deficits and central bank policies around the world.[While the dollar may look good compared to the other fiat contestants on the global money stage, the United States’ debt situation is untenable – and various factors could bring it to its knees faster than anyone expects. Don’t let it burn you: learn how to protect yourself and your assets.] Don’t Be Blind to Your InvestmentsBy Vedran VukIn last night’s Republican debate in Florida, Newt Gingrich went after Mitt Romney for owning shares of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Goldman Sachs. Romney pointed out that his investments for the past ten years were managed by a blind trust. Furthermore, the trust held mutual funds which in turn held those shares. As a result, Romney never handpicked those companies. In a nice jab back at Newt, he pointed out that Gingrich also owned those same companies through his mutual funds. Needless to say, that fact silenced Newt rather quickly.Now, Mitt is partially right here. When buying a heavily diversified mutual fund, one is hardly choosing every single company in there. However, at the same time, one does own a small number of those shares through the mutual fund. Is it right or wrong? That’s hard to say; it’s definitely a morally gray area. It really depends on one’s point of view.At Casey Research, we often boast of our returns, but there are also non-pecuniary rewards to managing your own investments. You get to decide what’s in your portfolio. It doesn’t matter whether you’re pro-life, an environmentalist, anti-bailouts, or anti-war, if you’re holding a diversified mutual fund or ETF, I can almost guarantee that you’re holding a company that would make you want to puke. I’m serious… you might not want to look at all.Unfortunately, diversified funds are the exact things our employers and financial advisers throw us into. Trust me, your financial advisor is not going to ask about your ethical qualms when offering fund options. But aren’t there SRI (socially responsible investment) funds? Yes, but these have problems too. It can often be impossible to find a fund matching one’s exact beliefs. Many of them overlap various beliefs together. Take for example, something like the Ave Maria Rising Dividend Fund (AVEDX), a fund supporting pro-life Catholic values. Sounds great for a pro-life supporter, right? Yes, but suppose that one is both pro-life and an environmentalist. In that case, the Ave Maria fund wouldn’t work, as its top holding is ExxonMobil with a 4.1% allocation. The SRI funds can get one closer to an ideal portfolio, but it’s still hard to find an exact match.Now, many of readers might not care at all about this – and that’s all right. But if you’re the sort of person who can’t sleep at night knowing that you own shares of BP, Lockheed Martin, or Goldman Sachs, then there’s only one way to go. You’ll just have to manage your money yourself, as it’s almost impossible to avoid some morally troublesome company through a diversified mutual fund. If you’re a hardcore environmentalist, perhaps our energy and mining publications are not the biggest help. For everyone else, we can help better guide your investment decisions. You can make great returns without owning the bailout bandits and other thugs in your portfolio. Hockey Player Turns Down Presidential VisitBy Vedran VukHere’s an interesting story, oddly enough from the world of hockey. Tim Thomas, goalie for the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, refused an invitation to the White House to meet President Obama with the rest of the team. What was his reason? Here’s Thomas in his own words (all capitalization his):I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.Those are some powerful words; I especially like his laying responsibility on both parties. As you can imagine, Tim Thomas is getting a lot of heat for his actions. How could he treat a US president with such irreverence? In my opinion, Thomas sent a message more important than his words – his absence brings the presidency down to Earth.We currently have this strange relationship with politicians in our society. On one hand, practically everyone recognizes that politicians are the biggest liars and scum in these 50 states. Yet on the other hand, we’re supposed to treat them like celebrities or god-kings. As they ruin our lives, enrich and empower their wealthy friends, and promise a worse future for our grandchildren, we’re supposed to be overjoyed at an opportunity to shake their hands and smile for a photo opportunity. It’s absolutely ridiculous.Maybe my D.C. work experience has made me a bit jaded, but I just don’t see anything special about meeting Congressmen, heads of state, and various Washington power players. They’re all just people… most of them heavily flawed. They deserve no bowing down from regular citizens – especially from those who have been hurt by their policies.Furthermore, the media don’t look at things from Thomas’ point of view. If Thomas doesn’t support the president and doesn’t personally like him either, then why should he partake in a smiling photo-op with the president? In our personal relationships, we certainly don’t go out of our way to spend time and take pictures with people whom we dislike. I applaud Tim Thomas not just for his words, but for seeing beyond the glamour of Washington, D.C. Friday FunniesHere’s a good one that’s been going around for a few years. Supposedly, it’s originally from the winning submissions from a Washington Post neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words. The winners are:Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.Gargoyle (n), olive-flavored mouthwash.Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.The Washington Post‘s Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are this year’s winners:Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)Karmageddon (n): it’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.Glibido (v): All talk and no action.Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.Arachnoleptic fit (n..): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you’re eating.And the pick of the literature:Ignoranus (n): A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.That’s it for today. David should be back next week. Thank you for reading and subscribing to Casey Daily Dispatch. I’ll see you again the next time David is out.Vedran Vuk Casey Daily Dispatch Editor
This is an extension of the child’s understanding of integrity, but it also, at least in older toddlers, encompasses an understanding of equity. Talking a child out of this understanding would be a horrific act. I know that people have done this ignorantly – which is certainly less bad for them than doing it purposely – but it doesn’t minimize the damage done to the child… and to the adult he or she will become. “It’s not fair.” If you let me duplicate a report on your copy machine, I should help you in some way, perhaps to help paint your porch. This exchange is not equal – we’re not going to count sheets of paper, ounces of paint and minutes of work – but we will expect the other to do something as a recompense. That’s equity, though not equality. And children come quickly to understand that as well. Respecting Children Children may be ignorant, but they are not entirely ignorant. They understand basic concepts early, even if they aren’t yet able to explain them. And those understandings should never be taken from them. Children should be treated with respect. What they do know should be left alone to grow. What they lack should be added to them… gently. Yes, children need correction too, but that should be undertaken for the improvement of the child, not the convenience of the adult. Children are adults in a preliminary form. They deserve our respect; we should never talk them out of truths. Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.com Think about what is implied by this statement: The child expects integrity, even demands it. The same thought, set in adult terms, would be this: You said. “Fairness,” however, is not simply equality; it is also equity. We all know the concept of equity, though we seldom use the word very well. If you say something, you must also act upon it, or else you negate your own words and thus judge yourself to be bad. Not only is that opinion very clear and healthy, but it is the basis of all contracts and agreements. It is also the basis of morality, and was precisely that in the eyes of Jesus of Nazareth: It’s not fair. I doubt there’s a semi-intelligent adult in the English-speaking world who hasn’t heard those words dozens of times. So, let’s look at the understanding they contain: “It’s mine.” By your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned. Our physical nature requires private property; that’s a very simple and obvious truth, and one that young children grasp. The fact that so many adolescents and adults have been talked out of this truth (confused out of it) shows us the terrible power of authority combined with confusion. “You said.” I’m hardly the first person to recognize that basic truths are more easily grasped by the young and the uneducated. For example, here’s a passage from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to Peter Carr in 1787: State a moral case to a plowman and a professor. The former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules. What we generally call “education” and “socialization” are mostly efforts to separate the young from what they know innately. They do know things innately and by simple self-reference. Those things should never be pulled away from them. We are to add to them and clarify them, not take them away. What Toddlers Know Toddlers may be ignorant of many things, but they understand basic elements of life quite clearly. And we can see that understanding in the three things we hear every toddler say, over and over: It’s mine. This displays a basic understanding of property. Most things – certainly most things a toddler may be concerned with – are either one person’s or another’s. Food, for example: If one child eats a bowl of cereal, that cereal cannot be eaten by anyone else. It is either one person’s or another’s. The same goes for a bed: two people cannot sleep in the same spot at the same time. The child judges whether something is fair or not, depending on how it matches the other person’s words. But they also judge based upon exchanges: If we’re doing something together, we should both contribute to the venture. If I put in several items, you should also.
In This Issue. * Antipodean currencies outperform overnight. * Euro needs a few days for the markets to forget the pain. * Richard Duncan on Creditism. * S. African strike boosts metals. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Consumer Credit Soars! . Good Day! . And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! I’m late, I’m late, to a very important date! Well, I’m late in getting here, at least! Late for me that is! Just moving as slow as the turtle crossing the street that I told you I was as tired as yesterday! It’s rain, rain, and more rain for our area, and if it’s not raining, it looks like it should be! I hear that the sun is supposed to come back by the end of the week. Who knows by then, I might resort to doing something drastic! You know, like heading somewhere sunny! The euro would certainly like to find somewhere that’s sunny these days. After recovering nicely last Thursday, and then holding on to those gains on Friday, the single unit has looked pretty sickly, moving slowly, like me, and the turtle crossing the road! I think that the euro has to get through a few days of this, and let the water flow under the bridge. You know, let the markets forget the pain, and let them get back to comparing the euro to the dollar, and see what happens. I have my thoughts on that, but I think you can guess what they are, being longtime devoted, loyal Pfennig Readers! Oh, you’re new to class? Well, first of all, the euro is the offset currency to the dollar, so when you get right down to it. Who has the worst scenario, long term? And any dollar weakness shows up in euro strength, and vice versa. Yes, the euro has its own warts, and ugly ones to boot, but their ugly warts aren’t as many or as ugly as the warts on the dollar. period. I hate to say that, for the dollar is my base currency, but I was taught at an early age to call a rock a rock, and don’t sugarcoat it! Alrighty then. Now that we’ve established that’s the corner I’m coming from, we can move along. Oh. and for those of you keeping score at home, Personal Incomes haven’t risen in a few decades, but the cost of living just keeps rising. We as Americans can’t seem to dig out of the hole we’re in, and then we have the Gov’t piling loads of debt on top of us. YIKES! What’s a poor boy to do? Well, making certain that a portion of your investments are allocated outside of the dollar, so that you can recover the lost purchasing power of a weak dollar, would be the place to start! One thing I’ve been tracking is Credit. And the expansion of Credit here in the U.S., is amazing folks. Now I like Richard Duncan, and I’ve told you all that before, and Richard does a great job illustrating what he calls Creditism. He believes that Credit in the U.S. has to expand by 2% per year, or else the house of cards which represents the U.S. economy comes crashing down. And what caused this Creditism? It was the removal of the dollar from Gold. Let’s listen in to Richard Duncan talking about all this. “When the private sector effectively defaulted in 2008, we would have spiraled into a new great depression then and there had the government not jumped in with Trillion dollar budget deficits every year, financed to a certain extent by paper money creation. It’s that government life support that kept us from collapsing into a great depression. We must continue to have that in order to prevent us from collapsing into a great depression in the years ahead.” So. The U.S., according to Richard Duncan, who let me remind you, I admire quite a bit, has to continue what it’s doing now, which is borrowing and spending massive amounts through Trillion dollar budget deficits, financed in part through Quantitative Easing. Keep spending the way they’ve spent now, essentially without difficulty for another five years, and maybe even as long as ten years. Whenever that comes to an end, they will go bankrupt, just like Greece, and then we will collapse and enter a great depression.” – Richard Duncan The reason I went down that road, was that I read a report last night about how the writer believed that the Credit Bubble was back here in the U.S. Here is some data to back up what he claims. Total (financial and non-financial ) Credit jumped $484 Billion in the 1st QTR to a record of $59.399 Trillion or 34% of GDP. Corporate borrowings grew at a 9.3% pace. Federal Government Debt mounted a 7.1% pace. Consumer Credit rose at a 6.6% rate. So, what gives? Why is this all ramping up now? Well, if you’re one of those people that say the glass is half full, then you’re dancing in the streets because the U.S. Consumer and Corporation is finally feeling good about the economy. But if you’re a glass is half empty kind of person, then you take the approach that basically, this was bound to happen eventually, due to the zero interest rates policy or ZIRP. I already told you about the car loans getting outrageous once again, and just last Friday, while everyone else was looking at the Jobs created out of thin air by the BLS, the Gov’t reported that Consumer Credit had spiked from $19.5 Billion in March, to $26.847 Billion in April. So, wages aren’t going anywhere, and haven’t for decades, but Consumer Credit is spiking. Does anyone else see this ending in tears once again, like I do? And while we’re doing some dollar comparisons to any currency or metal, let’s keep this little ditty in mind. The U.S. 401K pension system will turn cash flow negative in 2016, and then will see the deficit each following year widen, as we get to the core of the baby boomer retirements. What does this hurt, I hear you asking? Well. if more cash is taken out of the pile than is put in, eventually there’s no more cash in the pile, and when the next person goes to take their cash out, uh-oh! Add to that, when the cash is withdrawn, most likely assets like stocks and bonds will be sold. OK. I’ve really ended up a long way down that road, and it’s time I turned around and got out of here, before I really begin to stomp and yell at the walls! There are some currencies that have decided to rally without the Big Dog euro getting off the porch overnight and this morning, so let’s go have a look at them! The Antipodean Currencies (A$, & kiwi) are outperforming the other currencies overnight and this morning, and neither one had any data to show as the reason for their moves. Both will, however, have some data tonight . In Australia, the May Employment Report will print. The pace of employment gains so far in 2014 has been much faster than the so-called experts believed to be possible, so the risk here is that the May report “slows down” . But another strong report would put the A$ squarely back on the rate hike discussion table. In New Zealand, The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) will meet, and I totally expect a rate hike from the RBNZ today of 25 Basis Points (1/4%), which would leave one more to come by this fall. The risk here is that the RBNZ waits and doesn’t hike at this meeting. But I doubt that will happen, as everything, every report, statement, etc. has pointed to this meeting for the rate hike. And then in the Mother Country of these two, the U.K. saw some very good labor data reports with the April Unemployment Rate dropping to 6.6% from 6.8% in March. And this data has kicked the pound sterling higher this morning VS the dollar, and VS the euro! You know I haven’t really discussed the movement in Scotland to leave the U.K.. The vote will be in September, so we have plenty of time between now and then. I see where the writer, J.K. Rowling has donated $1.7 Million to the anti-dependence movement. I don’t have a horse in this race, so I’m just reporting the facts, and you decided what side you want to be on. Well, going into this past weekend, there were many hopes that the MSCI Index for currencies would include the Chinese currency in their Emerging Markets Index, and remove the S. Korean won and place it in the advanced markets index. Well, neither of those things happened. The won remained in the Emerging Markets Index, and the renminbi was left out in the rain and cold. These are Big things folks. You see, if the renminbi were to be added to the index, every hedge fund, institutional investor, mom & pop, Corporation, etc. would have to buy renminbi as a part of the index. And it would have been very prestigious for the won to be moved from Emerging Markets to Advanced Markets. The Advanced Markets Index is a much larger index and would mean more buying of won. So, none of it happened, this time. I would have to think that the renminbi is close, but still too much of a closed currency for the MSCI’s taste. I remember about 12 years ago, I was doing some research and came across this info that the British pound sterling would be added to the Advanced Index, and I wrote about it, and one of my colleagues at the time, told me it wouldn’t make any difference for pound sterling and that I shouldn’t have gotten people all lathered up about it. Well, it WAS BIG for pound sterling, and those that got lathered up about what I wrote, were rewarded. So, neener, neener, neener ! I see where the World Bank has cut their Global Growth Forecast for 2014, after a “bumpy start to the year”. The World Bank cut their forecast from 3.2% to 2.8%… And the U.S. Forecast was cut from 2.8% to 2.1%… And here it is, we’ve all be waiting for this, and here it is. The World Bank said that , “The global economy got off to a bumpy start this year buffeted by poor weather in the U.S.” Man! I’m so glad they decided to include that interlude to poor weather, I missed it so!… NOT! Still now Biggie data from the U.S. Data Cupboard today. We will see the May Monthly Budget Statement (read deficit). But finally tomorrow, we’ll see May Retail Sales, which, as I’ve already told you, should be better than last month’s anemic print of +.1%, and May’s total should be given a boost by car sales, (bought on super charged credit probably). I would watch for a revision to last month’s number giving that we were really just a rounding error from a negative number! Gold, finally saw some love yesterday, gaining $8 on the day. And this morning, the shiny metal is up nearly $4, as I write. Platinum & Palladium spiked higher on the day, outperforming both Gold & Silver. the mining strike in South Africa failed to end, and is now going on 19 weeks! I heard business superstar, Steve Forbes, banging the podium for a return to the Gold standard once again yesterday. I do like what he had to say about Gold. “Gold give money. stability, just like the ruler measures length, the clock measures time, a scale measures weight, a dollar measures value and the value is stable, you get a lot more investment, a lot more growth, a lot more opportunity. Without the Gold Standard in place, the dollar has grown increasingly unstable.” For What It’s Worth. I found this in my MarketWatch email yesterday, and highlighted it to use today, and then saw it on Ed Steer’s letter this morning too. So, once again, great minds think alike! HA “A college degree will help Americans get a leg up on the job market. But financial independence proves more elusive as graduates tap their parents for help with living expenses, new research finds. Some 50% of recent college graduates say they’re receiving financial help from their family, while an additional 19% say they need financial help from their partner or spouse. This is despite the fact that half of these graduates have full-time jobs, according to the latest installment of an ongoing study, “Arizona Pathways to Life Success for University Students,” carried out by Joyce Serido, an assistant research professor at the University of Arizona, who has been tracking 2,000 people at colleges nationwide since they were freshmen in 2008. The study underscores the continuing struggle facing college grads at a time of relatively high unemployment and rising student-loan debt.” Chuck again. There’s nothing wrong with kids coming back home for a period, while they get their careers established, etc. But it sure does throw a house upside down when that happens! To recap. Another day of no data had the currencies and metals searching for something to trade off of yesterday, and finding nothing, the euro slipped further down the slope, and the Antipodean currencies outperformed the rest. Pound sterling got a boost from stronger labor data, and the mining strike in S. Africa going on 19-weeks, really has Platinum and Palladium reaching for the stars. Currencies today 6/11/14. American Style: A$ .9400, kiwi .8560, C$ .9180, euro 1.3555, sterling 1.6780, Swiss $1.1130, . European Style: rand 10.7695, krone 5.9865, SEK 6.6765, forint 225.30, zloty 3.0370, koruna 20.2440, RUB 34.39, yen 101.95, sing 1.2505, HKD 7.7515, INR 59.27, China 6.1506, pesos 13.05, BRL 2.2225, Dollar Index 80.68, Oil $104.63, 10-year 2.64%, Silver $19.24, Platinum $1,486.25, Palladium $857.26, and Gold. $1,263.19 That’s it for today. Well. Yesterday was our colleague Pam Gettinger Birthday, and today is Justin Gunderson’s Birthday, so Happy Birthday to you two! I don’t always remember to check the birthday calendar, so when I miss one, please done be mad at me! Cardinals are nearly shut out, but a St. Louis area kid, but win 1-0 last night! The Cardinals are in St. Pete, FL I first went to spring training in St. Pete, at old Al Lang Stadium. It’s still there with the marina outside of left field. a beautiful sight line. The new spring training facility doesn’t have a marina, or water anywhere near it, but it’s still fine with me! In another example of: People don’t listen to Chuck. I told Alex over and over again to take it easy and rest longer than he thought he needed to.. did he listen? NO! And now he’s back in the sick bed! The L.A. Kings are one win away from the Stanley Cup. I really didn’t think the Kings would find the Rangers to be a stumbling block on their way to the Cup! Not that the Rangers didn’t put up a good fight. I’m not saying that at all. And with that, this looks like a good place to stop the bus and get off for today. I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets
A former Moundville municipal court magistrate and court clerk has been charged and stands accused of stealing more than $135,000 from the court system.Rhonda Jean Wilson, 37, of Moundville was arrested and booked into the Hale County Jail Monday on charges of theft and use of an official position or office for personal gain, according to court documents.Moundville Police asked for the Alabama Special Bureau of Investigation to look into the matter after the funds were found to be missing after a routine audit.SBI officials interviewed Wilson on Monday and she was arrested.Wilson worked for Moundville from 2010 to 2015 as city magistrate and court clerk.
BERLIN (AP) — Borussia Dortmund finally ended its winless streak in the Bundesliga by beating Mainz 2-0 in Peter Stoeger’s first game in charge on Tuesday.Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos broke the deadlock in the 55th minute and Shinji Kagawa sealed it in the 89th after Dortmund missed a host of chances to do so.It was Dortmund’s first league win at the ninth attempt since September, and only its second in 14 games across all competitions.The side’s slump led to the sacking of Peter Bosz on Sunday, when Stoeger took over.Stoeger was sacked by Cologne the week before after his side failed to win in 14 Bundesliga games, but the Austrian coach is respected for leading Cologne to Bundesliga promotion in 2014 and overseeing steady progress in each of the following seasons – up to this one.“I admit, after a long time in red and white, the new color (yellow and black) is a bit unusual. I don’t need the black for my figure, but it suits me quite well,” said Stoeger, who oversaw his first Bundesliga win of the season.“It’s been a while,” he added.However, Dortmund’s uncertainty from its barren spell was clear to see in Mainz.Suat Serdar rattled the crossbar early on for the home side, and blazed over minutes later, then Abdou Diallo was next to head over.The home side was aggressive, first to every ball, winning challenges, and Dortmund struggled to create any attacking opportunities.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should have scored toward the end of the half after a simple ball over the top, but the Gabon striker fired wide when he had only the goalkeeper to beat.Ten defenders made it hard for Dortmund to break through in the second half, but a foul on Christian Pulisic provided the opportunity. Omer Toprak deflected Kagawa’s free kick onto the post and Sokratis hammered in the rebound.Dortmund wasted numerous good chances as Mainz tired, but Aubameyang finally set up Kagawa to seal it.“Part of this victory belongs to Peter Bosz. I wish him all the best,” Stoeger said.BAYERN’S CHANCELeipzig dropped points for the fourth consecutive game in a 1-1 draw at Wolfsburg, giving Bayern Munich the chance to go even further ahead.Bayern is already seven points clear and it hosts bottom side Cologne on Wednesday.Paul Verhaegh’s first-half penalty was enough for Wolfsburg to remain unbeaten in seven games at home under Martin Schnidt as coach, but the side enjoyed better chances toward the end of the game and Leipzig was grateful for the draw.Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano was sent off in injury time for his second yellow card.FREIBURG FLYINGFreiburg, which came from three goals down to beat Cologne 4-3 away on Sunday, upset Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-0 thanks to Nils Petersen’s first-half penalty. He scored two late penalties in the win over Cologne.‘Gladbach could have gone third with a victory.The win over ‘Gladbach took Freiburg out of the relegation zone, where Hamburger SV dropped after losing at home to Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1.—CIARAN FAHEY, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shares
By TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer.MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo started the game with an emphatic dunk. The next possession, a sprawling block to deny Marc Gasol. The next possession, another dunk.The tone was set.And it never changed.The Eastern Conference doesn’t belong to Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks — yet. But they’re two wins away, after Antetokounmpo had 30 points and 17 rebounds, Ersan Ilyasova came off the bench to add 17 points and the Bucks never trailed on the way to a 125-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night and a 2-0 lead in the East finals.“He plays so hard, he lays it all on the line, every time,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “It was a great start for us. I think everybody fed off of Giannis and how he started the game.”How he finished, too.Antetokounmpo scored 11 points in the fourth for the Bucks, who wound up with six players in double figures — three of them reserves. Nikola Mirotic scored 15, Malcolm Brogdon had 14, George Hill 13 and Khris Middleton 12.“We really rely on each other … especially the bench,” Ilyasova said. “The starting five set the tone.”Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points for Toronto, which gave up the game’s first nine points, never led and trailed by double digits for the final 39 minutes. Kyle Lowry scored 15 and Norman Powell had 14 for the Raptors.“We didn’t do much well tonight, obviously,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.Game 3 is Sunday in Toronto.“We get to go back home and protect our home court, like they did these last two games,” Lowry said. “We’ve got a chance to go home, protect home court and do what we’re supposed to do.”Milwaukee, an NBA-best 60-22 record during the regular season, became the 16th team to start a postseason with at least 10 victories in its first 11 games. Only three teams — the 1989 Los Angeles Lakers, the 2001 Lakers and the 2017 Golden State Warriors — opened the playoffs 11-0.The Bucks led by as many as 28, before Toronto did just enough chipping away to keep some semblance of hope.Eventually, Antetokounmpo decided enough was enough.With 5:51 left to play Antetokounmpo backed Leonard down on the block, spun back toward the center of the lane, scored while getting hit and starting a three-point play. He yelled to the crowd and punched the air. The knockout blow was landed, and the Bucks are two wins from their first NBA Finals berth in 45 years.“At times, I forget that I have to stay aggressive,” Antetokounmpo said.Not in that moment, he didn’t.Aggression wasn’t an issue for the Bucks at any point.Milwaukee’s lead was 35-21 after the first, 64-39 at the half. It was the first time Toronto had been outscored by 10 or more points in each of a game’s first two quarters since May 25, 2016, against Cleveland and the 25-point halftime hole was, by far, the Raptors’ worst of the season. They trailed Houston 55-37 on March 5.“The beginning kind of set us in a real bad spot,” Gasol said. “We couldn’t get a grip of the game early on.”Toronto was down 21 when Lowry got his third foul with 1:27 left until the break. The Raptors left Lowry in; he wound up getting his fourth foul while battling Mirotic for a rebound 24 seconds later and let the referees have an earful as he headed to the bench. Another roll of the dice didn’t pay off, either: Raptors forward Pascal Siakam got his fourth shortly after halftime, then got his fifth with 9:26 left in the third.“Give them credit,” Siakam said. “They came with a lot of intensity.”Antetokounmpo started the second half with a three-point play, pushing the lead to 28.That’s when Toronto found a bit of a groove.The Raptors outscored Milwaukee 31-16 over the next nine minutes, getting within 83-70 on a 3-pointer by Fred VanVleet. But a quick flurry by the Bucks restored order — Brogdon rebounded his own miss and scored, then set up George Hill for a score in transition, and Hill scored again off a Raptors turnover a few seconds later.Just like that, the lead was back up to 19, and it was 95-78 going into the fourth.“We came out, had a couple defensive stops that led to some transition baskets,” Hill said. “And we ran from there.”TIP-INSRaptors: The 14-point deficit after one quarter was Toronto’s second-largest of the season, with a 38-19 opening quarter at San Antonio — Leonard’s return there— on Jan. 3 the only one that saw them down by more. … Lowry became the second player in these playoffs with four fouls by halftime. Detroit’s Bruce Brown did it April 22, also against the Bucks. … The Raptors are 0-63 all-time when trailing by 20 or more at the half.Bucks: Milwaukee had a big rebounding edge for the second straight game — 60-46 in Game 1, 53-40 in Game 2. … It was Milwaukee’s 70th win of the season, tying the 1973-74 Bucks for the second-most in franchise history. The 1970-71 Bucks won 78. … Ilyasova’s 15 first-half points matched a season high. … Milwaukee has won its last six playoff games, tying a franchise record. … The Bucks are 50-13 vs. the East this season.HISTORY LESSONThe Bucks have never lost a series when leading 2-0; they’ve been in this spot 13 previous times. Toronto has never overcome a 2-0 series deficit in seven previous attempts.AWARD FINALISTSThis series has plenty of NBA individual award finalists, revealed Friday. Antetokounmpo is a finalist for MVP and Defensive Player of the Year; Budenholzer is a finalist for Coach of the Year and Siakam is a Most Improved Player finalist. Antetokounmpo will be Milwaukee’s highest finisher in the MVP race since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won in 1974.UP NEXTGame 3 is Sunday in Toronto.TweetPinShare0 Shares
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Argentina couldn’t manage more than a 1-1 draw against Paraguay in the Copa America on Wednesday, staying last in its group and facing an early elimination in the South American competition.Derlis Gonzalez opened the scoring for Paraguay in the 37th minute at the Mineirao Stadium and Lionel Messi leveled it from the penalty spot in the 57th.Gonzalez missed a penalty kick shortly after Messi’s equalizer, with goalkeeper Franco Armani stopping his shot from the spot.Colombia leads Group B with six points and is already through to the knockout stage thanks to a late 1-0 win over guest Qatar earlier Wednesday. Paraguay is second with two points, and Argentina and Qatar have one.Argentina trails Qatar on the tiebreakers.In the last round on Sunday, Colombia faces Paraguay and Argentina plays Qatar.TweetPinShare0 Shares
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