To lure visitors back to Los Cabos, the Los Cabos Convention & Visitors Bureau launched today ‘Los Cabos a la Carte,’ a promotion in which travelers can select a vacation package of their choice from a menu of incredible savings offered exclusively online at www.visitloscabos.travel.‘Los Cabos a la Carte’ offers include free room nights, resort credits, complimentary room upgrades, dinners for two at award-winning restaurants, discounts on luxurious spa treatments, free rounds of golf on championship courses and more. Each vacation package offers different discounts and services, specific to the participating resort.For more information and to view the complete ‘Los Cabos a la Carte’ menu of vacation packages, please visit the new official website of the Los Cabos Convention & Visitors Bureau at www.visitloscabos.travel.
Irish telco Eir is in talks to acquire Dublin-based pay TV broadcaster Setanta Sport, according to local press.According to the Irish Times, talks between the pair are at an advanced stage and are likely to be completed next year, subject to regulatory approval.According to the paper, Setanta co-founder and majority owner Mickey O’Rourke would remain with the company for a period after the deal is closed.Setanta operates two sports channels in Ireland and has a carriage deal with Virgin Media.Earlier this year, Discovery Networks Asia Pacific struck a deal to acquire rugby-focused Setanta Sports Asia. Setanta Africa was acquired by Fox International Channels two years ago.
In This Issue. * Currencies back to assaulting the dollar. * China prints very strong Trade Surplus! * ECB balance sheet shrinking. * ECB & Norges Bank meet. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Yellen Says ZIRP Is Warranted! Good Day! . And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! I’m not in the Tub Thumpin’ mood this morning, but I sure hope you are! I’ll be fighting this awful feeling I have this morning, throughout the letter, until as REO Speedwagon sang, “I can’t fight this feeling any longer.” When I turned on the currency screens this morning, I saw a lot of green. Which reminded me of many years ago, when trading systems first came out, and there was a guy at a booth next to ours, at a trade show, that was selling these trading systems, and I kept hearing him say over and over again for 3 days, “when it lights up green you buy, when it lights up red, you sell, it’s that simple!” Of course if it were that simple all that bought that system would have been multi-millionaires! So, it’s all about the currencies again today, after taking a brief pause for the cause yesterday. Yesterday’s Big Event, was Janet Yellen’s first trip to “the Hill” to make the semi-annual testimony to lawmakers on the pulse of the economy. Today, she’ll head to the other side of “the Hill” to repeat her talk. What I found interesting in her talk yesterday, was that it didn’t stray from the script that was prepared ahead of time for her. She didn’t stray, nor did she drop any bombs like Ben Bernanke did last year, when he first mentioned tapering. What Yellen did say, which was not a change, was that, “. Given the “considerable degree of slack” in labor markets and with inflation still well below the Fed’s 2.0% target, a high degree of monetary accommodation continues to be warranted.” So, in other words. Interest rates aren’t going anywhere for what she once again said, “a considerable amount of time after the bond buying ends”, but would NOT be pinned down on describing “considerable time” this time. And so the markets came away from the meeting feeling as though the ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) was set in stone. And what that thought prompted the markets to do? Sell dollars! And so we have another all-out assault on the dollar this morning, except from one main participant, the Chinese renminbi/ yuan. But the euro is at an 8-week high VS the dollar this morning, and the Norwegian krone has dropped below 5.90 for the first time since last October. (krone is a European priced currency, so the lower the number the greater return is VS dollars) It’s about time the krone got moving, I can hear you saying to yourself. And yes, I would agree! There have been many mornings that I’ve sat here beating myself up over the krone’s inability to rally. But that’s here nor there, this morning. The Norges Bank (Norway’s Central Bank) is also meeting this morning, and there’s not any reason to believe the Norges Bank will change horses in the middle of the stream today. The European Central Bank (ECB) is meeting as my fat fingers type away here, and as I said earlier this week, the drama that has surrounded previous ECB meetings is missing at this meeting. The recent strength of the Eurozone economy has ECB President, Draghi, on hold for implementing any new stimulus measures. And with that, the Eurozone balance sheet gets reduced as countries that have taken out loans, pay them back. This is an important piece of the puzzle folks. I’ve talked about this before, so this is for all the new readers or for those that missed class that day. But, the euro is receiving love again from all over the world, because of a lot of things, but none so important than the shrinking of the ECB’s balance sheet, while in the U.S. the dollar has to live with the Fed still pumping more air in their balance sheet, although not at the same pace as before, but still pumping. The best performing currency overnight has been the Brazilian real. The real has the best interest rate differential of what’s considered to be the industrialized world. And when the Fed Chairwoman says ZIRP is not changing, real investors see this as an opportunity to make some hay while the sun shines. I would just caution real investors to keep an exit strategy close at hand, for the Brazilian Gov’t has bitten investors once before, which makes me, Once Bitten, Twice Shy, babe. The real has gained 6.5% VS the dollar this year, mostly because of this rate differential thing. But some of the gains are tied to the hopes that there will be a change in Gov’t at the elections later this year. From first to worst. ( I like it better reversed!) the Chinese renminbi, as described above, was the only currency to book losses overnight VS the dollar, and you have to question the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) as to why that was the case, given the good data from China overnight that saw the Trade Surplus beat expectations! The Chinese Trade Surplus came in at $18.5 Billion in April, beating the expectations of $13.9 Billion! Both import and export growth were stronger in April than in March. The one I look to is the import growth, which is an indication of how the domestic demand is doing. And in this case, domestic demand must be doing just fine! With the euro at an 8-week high this morning, the Swiss franc also gets to jump up and click its heels together over its move VS the dollar. And the Commodity Currencies of: Australia, New Zealand, Canada and S. Africa, are all stronger VS the dollar this morning, on not only current rate differential trades, but future rate differentials. (remember, Chuck expects 2 more rate hikes in New Zealand, and maybe 1 before year-end in Australia) Judging from the emails received yesterday, there are quite a few Al Stewart fans out there! I’m listening to On the Border right now, and that’s what reminded me that I talked about his music yesterday morning, and I received some notes. Always great to know that others are out there humming, whistling, or even singing songs that I reminded them of! Gold is basically flat this morning, although up a buck, after falling below $1,300 again yesterday. This back and forth around $1,300 is beginning to give me a rash! . Yesterday, I talked about the price performance of Palladium, and earlier this week I talked a lot about Silver. But today, I’ll stick to Gold. on a sidebar, did you hear that China has demanded Gold as collateral from Zimbabwe should they loan them any money? I tell you that, because I think we’ll see more and more of this, using Gold as a money tool. It’s already being used to pay for Oil (see India), and countries like China and Russia are going to attempt to bring Gold back as the true currency it is! The U.S. Data Cupboard yesterday, showed that Consumer Credit exploded higher in March from $12.986 Billion to $17.529 Billion! Although I did see that Margin Debt at brokerage houses dropped in March. So, this is confusing data, but if we look under the hood, we see that Margin Debt had reached an all-time high, it really had nowhere to go but to back off, which it did. I doubt this is a trend, given that everyone and their brother is in stocks right now. Today, we get the usual fare of Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, and that’s about it, besides a Bloomberg Consumer Comfort survey. And tomorrow’s Data Cupboard is pretty bare too. So, the markets are left to Fed Speak. Yes, as I said above, Janet Yellen will repeat her talk today, but she’s not the only Fed member to be on the speaking docket today. Plosser, Evans, Tarullo, and Bullard will all have something to talk about today. Should be interesting to see if there are any tidbits said outside of the scripts. People ask me all the time, “Chuck, what’s your all-time favorite song?” Hmm. Probably the one that’s playing on the IPod right now, from the Captain and Me album, South City Midnight Lady, by the Doobie Bros. So. there you go! For What It’s Worth. Well, believe it or don’t, I found this article on a link provided by LinkedIn. It’s about the Baby Boomers ( like me!). It’s pretty long, so fill up the coffee cup and enjoy. “For decades, the retirement of the baby boom generation has been a looming economic threat. Now, it’s no longer looming – it’s here. Every month, more than a quarter-million Americans turn 65. That’s a trend with profound economic consequences. Simply put, retirees don’t contribute as much to the economy as workers do. They don’t produce anything, at least directly. They don’t spend as much on average. And they’re much more likely to depend on others – the government or their own children, most often – than to support themselves. The recession may have delayed the inevitable for a time. The financial crisis wiped away billions in retirement savings, forcing many Americans to work longer than planned. But the stock market has since rebounded, and there are signs that more Americans are at last feeling confident enough to leave the workforce. The labor force participation rate for older Americans – the share of those 55 and older who are working or actively looking for work – has fallen over the past year after rising through the recession and early years of the recovery. Roughly 17 percent of baby boomers now report that they are retired, up from 10 percent in 2010.1 Now that the wave has begun, nothing is likely to stop it. The Census Bureau on Tuesday released a pair of reports that show just how dramatic an impact the graying of the population will have in coming decades. Nearly a quarter of Americans were born between 1946 and 1964, the typical definition of the baby boom generation. That’s more than 75 million people. In their heyday, the boomers were an unprecedented economic force, pushing up rates of homeownership, consumer spending and, most important of all, employment. It’s no coincidence that the U.S. labor force participation rate – the share of the adult population that has a job or is trying to find one – hit a record high in the late 1990s, when the boomers were at the peak of their working lives. It’s been downhill ever since. The participation rate hit a 36-year low last month, and while there are multiple reasons for the decline, the aging of the baby boom generation is a dominant factor. In 2003, 82 percent of boomers were part of the labor force; a decade later, that number has declined to 66 percent, and it will only continue to fall.” Chuck again. The reason I found this to be interesting, is that, the economy is going to have to find a way to offset all these retiring Baby Boomers. And then there’s also the Unfunded Liabilities number that is just going to keep growing like a week. Today it stands at: $129 Trillion! To recap. The currencies are back to taking liberties with the dollar this morning, except the Chinese renminbi. China posted some very strong Trade Surplus numbers last night, so the overnight depreciation of the renminbi was curious. The ECB and Norges Bank are meeting this morning, but expect no drama. The ECB balance sheet is shrinking while the Fed’s is still getting pumped up, like Hans and Franz. The real is the best performing currency overnight, given their rate differential and Janet Yellen’s speech yesterday in which she emphatically held tight to the thought that zirp is warranted. Currencies today 5/8/14. American Style: A$ .9385, kiwi .8660, C$ .9195, euro 1.3945, sterling 1.6970, Swiss $1.1445, . European Style: rand 10.3770, krone 5.8645, SEK 6.4860, forint 218.15, zloty 3.0050, koruna 19.6605, RUB 35.10, yen 101.80, sing 1.2470, HKD 7.7515, INR 60.07, China 6.1557, pesos 12.95, BRL 2.2155, Dollar Index 79.09, Oil $100.40, 10-year 2.63%, Silver $19.33, Platinum $1,441.80, Palladium $807.29, and Gold. $1,293.50 That’s it for today. WOW, my beloved Cardinals saw their bats come alive last night in Atlanta, and now hopefully those hot bats get packed away and taken to Pittsburgh this weekend! They are 3-3 on this road trip, so taking the series in Pittsburgh is important! Great news from the Water Polo world. Alex was named 1st team All-Conference! But even better, son, Andrew was named the Water Polo Coach of the Year in the state of Missouri! WOW! Now they just have to finish in the final 4 of the state playoffs, which begins this Saturday for the Lindberg team.. Hey! I know that I’ve been remiss in reminding you of this, but Sunday is Mother’s Day! Don’t forget! If your mom is still alive, give her a great big hug and thank her, then tell her you love her. You don’t know how many times you’ll get to do that, believe me. Well, I fought through what was weighing on me this morning, so now it’s time to send this out. I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets
Recommended Links He lauds so-called internationalists (i.e., globalists) as “those who want the U.S. to retain the leading international role it’s held since WW2.” By that he means minions of the U.S. government should roam the world to “spread democracy.” He assumes that democracy—which is actually just a more polite form of mob rule—is always a good thing. Apart from the fact that democracy is only rarely the result of U.S. intervention. Another division he makes (and here I admire his candor) is between the “elites”—like high government officials and people like those in the CFR—and the “non-elites.” He actually uses these words. He terms U.S. invasions and regime change efforts as “an ambitious foreign policy.” He says, even after referencing disastrous U.S. failures like the Korean, Vietnamese, Afghan, and Iraq wars, and ongoing catastrophes in Libya and Syria, that we should continue on the same course. He loves the idea of alliances, of course. Despite the fact that alliances only serve to draw one country into another one’s war. Alliances just take relatively small local disputes, and move them up to catastrophic levels. This has always been the case. But the classic example is World War 1, which signaled the start of the long collapse of Western Civilization. Alliances can only serve to draw the U.S. into wars between nothing/nowhere countries that few Americans can find on a map. Then he goes on to discuss what he calls “free trade,” another dishonest misuse of the term. Free trade exists when there are no duties or quotas, when any business can buy and sell what it wants when and where it wants. What these people actually want is government-managed trade, which they prefer to call “fair trade.” He implies that wise and incorruptible government officials are necessary to ensure that foolish and dishonest buyers and sellers don’t hurt themselves. But shouldn’t we worry if foreigners subsidize their manufacturers, and disregard U.S. environmental and labor regulations? My answer is: No. It’s wonderful if a foolish, mercantilist government subsidizes U.S. consumers; we’re enriched while they’re impoverished by selling dollar bills for 50 cents. And if the Chinese can make something cheaper than Americans, that’s wonderful. The Americans—who still have the world’s largest pool of capital, technology, and educated labor—are freed to do something more productive. Anyway, the Haass article is horrible on every level. I’d reprint it here, but it’s too long and too boring. And it would violate the Journal’s reprint policy. But there’s another article, even more egregious, more stupid, and more destructive, that the Journal recently ran, by Kenneth Rogoff. He is, of course, a Harvard “economist.” You’ll have to get hold of it yourself, because of the newspaper’s reprint policy. But I urge you do so. It lays out—in clear and well-written English—the “elite” rationale for negative interest rates, and the abolition of cash. It literally beggars belief, and makes me think the author is criminally insane. I mean that literally, in the clinical sense. Criminal because he actively advocates aggression against other’s property, and in effect, their lives. And insane because his thoughts and beliefs are completely delusional and divorced from reality. All in all, every day there are more indications on every front that the trailing edge of the gigantic financial hurricane we entered in 2007 is going to be very, very ugly. The Greater Depression is going to be worse than even I thought it would be. Editor’s note: Doug says we’re on the edge of a genuine precipice. The economy is crumbling…and there’s a good chance things will only get worse. But nothing will be as destructive as what’s coming…something Doug says “could trigger the worst Depression in the history of America.” And there’s nothing the government and Feds can do to stop it… Fortunately, there’s a way to protect yourself and your family—and even make money—during this major economic crisis. You can learn more about this collapse—and the steps you should start taking immediately—right here. — – “I make $80,000/month with ONE asset” It’s not gold, silver, or any other precious metal. But it could make you six times your money. Get the full details here. Editor’s note: Today, we’re sharing an eye-opening essay from Casey Research founder Doug Casey that sheds light on what the disillusioned “elite” are thinking right now…and what it means for the future of America. As Doug explains, it’s more proof that we’re near “the trailing edge of the gigantic financial hurricane we entered in 2007.” [This piece was originally published in last month’s issue of The Casey Report.] By Doug Casey, founder, Casey Research Mark Twain said, “If you don’t read the papers you’re uninformed. If you do read them, you’re misinformed.” That’s why I want to draw your attention to an article called “The Isolationist Temptation,” in The Wall Street Journal on August 7, written by Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. The piece wasn’t worth reading—except that it offers some real insight into what the “elite” are thinking. The CFR is one of about a dozen groups, like Bilderberg, Bohemian Grove, and Davos, where the self-identified elite gather. These groups don’t have political power, per se. But their members are members of governments, large corporations, universities, the military, and the media. They all went to the same schools, belong to the same clubs, socialize together and, most important, share the same worldview. What might that be? They believe in the State—not the market—as the best way to organize the world. Believe it or not (I still don’t…) I’ve been invited to one of these conclaves later this month. Probably by mistake. I don’t expect to be a fox in the henhouse, but more like a skeleton at a feast. I’ll tell you all about it next month… But back to the current topic. Like me, you’ve probably asked yourself, “Who are these people? Are they knaves, or fools, or both? What are they smoking? Are they actually crazy?” Haass starts out by dividing the world of foreign policy observers into the “internationalists” and the “isolationists”—a false, misleading, and stupid distinction. They’re not “internationalists” (which are people who move between countries); they’re “globalists” (people who want to work for one world government, that they control). He uses the term “isolationists” as a pejorative term for the enemy camp, conflating them with non-interventionists—who are a totally different group. Isolationists bring to mind a backward cult, hiding from the rest of the world. Non-interventionists simply don’t want to stick their noses in other people’s business. 2017: “Recall” Election Already Planned? Will American voters demand a “rewind” on this November’s election outcome? They might, after this new reality sets in…
I enjoyed Shibumi by Trevanian. It’s about a Westerner who grew up in Japan during World War II and became a political assassin – perhaps the template for the TV series The Blacklist. The book is well-written, well-researched, and interesting partly because it debunks much of what the U.S. government and its agencies do in the area concerning assassins and terrorists. It got my attention because the third novel in The High Ground Series that John Hunt and I are writing is called Assassin.In the category of quasi-fiction, I read a recent translation of The War Nerd Iliad, by John Dolan, which was excellent. He’s a self-taught expert on the theory and practice of war from ancient times to the present day – and has vastly more common sense than any general employed by the White House for at least 50 years. He also publishes an excellent newsletter called The War Nerd.And I have to say that when you read ancient history, the translation is critical to how enjoyable and understandable a book is.I suppose that’s also true of the Quran. But frankly, the book is beyond redemption. Its 400 pages are inane, shallow, and repetitive. H. L. Mencken described it best when he said it’s like a dog down on all fours, barking. I felt obligated to actually read it, though, because about 20% of the planet doesn’t just take it seriously – many are fanatical about it.About 25% of the book is about Allah (the compassionate, the merciful) telling you how great he is. Another 25% of it is retold tales that Muhammad remembered from the stories he’d heard from the Bible. But they lack the poetry of the originals. Another 25% is threats and imprecations about how you’ll be punished if you don’t do as Allah says, and how you should slay the kafir, the infidel, wherever you find them. The last 25% is just miscellaneous stuff and filler. It’s absolutely amazing that this book got the traction that it did. I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that Mohammad (peace be upon him) was a political and military genius.I followed up reading Why I Am Not a Muslim, which is excellent for explaining the background of the Quran. It also underlines some of the book’s particularly objectionable passages. The two books should probably be read in sequence. Once you click here, you’ll understand why Justin: Doug, what have you been reading lately?Doug: One of the advantages of being out here in the middle of nowhere is that distractions are limited, and I have time to do some serious reading. Both books and articles. Magazine articles can be quite valuable, since many books are just extended articles, with no added value except to polish the author’s resume, and add to a publisher’s revenue stream.Since, thanks to the Internet, there are about 1.5 million new books published every year, you have to try to spend time only with those that are most worthy. For instance, I’m looking at the 11th Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica on the shelf in front of me. It was published in 1910, and is a work of literature. Its articles aren’t written by nameless committees, like subsequent encyclopedias, but by people like Albert Einstein. Further proof, I think, that Western Civilization – which, I hasten to repeat, is the only civilization worthy of the name – peaked before World War I.I rely on reviews and personal recommendations. Let me talk about the last six months or so.In the way of fiction, I read The Adventurers by Harold Robbins. I’d read his Descent from Xanadu in college, and thought it was excellent pulp fiction. Which, notwithstanding what I just said about being selective, is an underrated category.Harold Robbins has a bad reputation among the literati because he wrote potboilers, page-turners. He was the Charles Dickens or James Patterson of his day. But I found The Adventurers to be particularly fun. An upper-class South American takes over his little country with a violent revolution and then, in turn, gets overthrown. Just because he’s very un-PC, I’d like to reform the bad reputation Robbins has among The New York Times-style book reviewers. This Plan Could GUARANTEE Trump’s Victory in 2020Obama, Hillary and the mainstream media think Trump’s presidency is a complete failure. But wait until they see Trump’s shocking new plan to help distribute cash to American patriots. It could secure Trump’s reelection in 2020. — — Justin: What about in the nonfiction department? Pick up anything good lately?Doug: One excellent nonfiction book that I’d recommend is The Darkening Age. I’m drawn to classical history, and The Darkening Age tells the tale of the rise of Christianity from the time of Jesus to late antiquity. Which is to say up to about 600.Basically, the book’s message is that Jesus had absolutely nothing to do with what Christianity turned into. It points out how all the early fathers of the Church like Origen, Tertullian, Eusebius, and Augustine, were basically just puritanical, prudish busybodies. And it shows how Christianity under their influence – as Edward Gibbon eloquently pointed out in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – was extremely instrumental in the collapse of Rome and its conquest by the Barbarians.I’m not sure if it’s exactly Christmas reading, but it’s an excellent, worthwhile book. I wrote an article for The Casey Report in December 2013 on the collapse of the Roman Empire that covers the same ground.[Editor’s note: If you’re not a subscriber to The Casey Report, click here to sign up today and see how you can access our latest book, Totally Incorrect 2.]Justin: You’re clearly something a history buff, Doug. What other periods do you enjoy reading about?Doug: I’m very interested in the Renaissance and medieval Italy. So, I read a book a friend gave me called Magnifico about Lorenzo de Medici, a contemporary of Leonardo da Vinci and Cesare Borgia, among others. The period from 1500 to 1914 was critical to most of what we have today. Perhaps the most important time since the period from about 600-300 BC in Greece.I also recommend 1177 BC, about the collapse of the Bronze Age. Everybody knows about the collapse of the Roman Empire, which essentially took place between 378 and 600 AD. But few people know that there was a very vibrant civilization in the Mediterranean over 1500 years beforehand during the late Bronze Age. This book centers around the year 1177, which is about when Troy was conquered by the Mycenaean Greeks. Civilizations all over the eastern Mediterranean collapsed with lots of deaths and burnt cities. Interesting read about a little-known period.On a related note, there’s a currently popular book called The Silk Roads. It’s interesting because it offers a view of history not from the point of the West but from the point of view of Central Asia. The author feels that, up to about 1500, the Mid-East and Central Asia were by far the most important parts of the world. We tend not to think about it, but that’s largely correct. The problem is that the author has a tremendous bias, but one which isn’t clearly stated. There’s nothing wrong with a bias, per se. His – that the West is “bad” and the East is “good” – appears throughout the book. OK, thanks for the opinion. But he never spells out his premises. Which gives the whole thing a snide tone.Nonetheless, it’s a different point of view with some good data. It’s also an extremely dense book, full of obscure facts, with footnotes that run to about 200 pages. I’d only recommend it to those who are very specialized in this area. The real problem with the book is that the author has somehow—against all odds—made it boring. It reads like a poorly compiled encyclopedia article. Yet, it surprisingly appears in lots of reading lists and a few bestseller lists. Which is why I bought it.In somewhat the same class – but quite readable – is Homo Deus by an Israeli named Yuval Noah Harari.It’s good for pointing out the big flow of history. But vastly overrated, with no real original thoughts, or interpretations, or predictions. Which makes me think that most people don’t think about these things, or else it wouldn’t be a bestseller. Then again, like the Silk Road author, he’s probably a member of this literary coterie that runs The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and London Review of Books. They’re a bunch of intellectuals who have the same worldview – it’s like the intellectual equivalent of the Deep State in politics. They speak well of each other, favorably review each other’s books, and try to make each other into household names. A lot of these types come to the Aspen Institute in the summer, where they’re insufferable.Sadly, I only read one science book, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs. It’s good popular science, centering around current personalities in paleontology, written by an enthusiastic young paleontologist. I enjoyed it. Like a lot of boys, and a few girls, I was wild about dinosaurs when I was a kid. Thousands of species have been cataloged, with about a new one every week now.Justin: What’s on your reading list for 2019?Doug: Believe it or not, I’m reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott over the holidays – mine are longer than most people’s, since I celebrate the Winter Solstice and Saturnalia as well as Christmas. I never read it when I was a kid but many say it’s a fantastic novel and one of the best novels they’ve ever read, in a class with those by the Brontës and Jane Austen.Justin: I’m surprised you haven’t mentioned any science fiction titles yet, considering you’re a huge fan.Doug: Almost forgot. I had never read Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein until this year. It’s a war story, early Heinlein. He went through different writing stages.Starship Troopers was made into a movie, but the book’s better. The movie only has the loosest relationship with the book itself.I’m a big fan of Heinlein. He’s generally very ideologically sound, although in his early books, he’s quite nationalistic and militaristic.But if you’re going to read Heinlein, and I urge people to, three books should be on top of the list. Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Glory Road. Fantastic books, much better than Starship Troopers.The next science fiction book that I’m going to read is The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated from Chinese. I’ve heard very good things. But I can’t say anything about it because I haven’t read it yet.Justin: Thanks for speaking with me today, Doug.Doug: You’re welcome.Justin’s note: I also recommend picking up copies of Doug’s fantastic novels: Speculator and Drug Lord. You can get signed copies right here.Reader MailbagWhat did you think of today’s Conversations With Casey? Share your thoughts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Recommended Link Recommended Link If not, see shocking details here This Could Be America’s Greatest Energy Secret for 2019Less than the equivalent of two gallons’ worth of “Brandt Oil” contains enough raw material to power your house for 9 years. Based on advancing technology, a single barrel’s worth could soon unleash more than enough energy to power 20,000 homes for a decade. But get this: You get 130 miles for every gallon you put in your car because the energy it helps produce burns much, much slower than natural gas. Are you using this clean and new super fuel yet?
The Food and Drug Administration is holding its first public hearing on CBD, the cannabis extract that has quickly grown into a billion-dollar industry. Today’s hearing will help officials determine how to regulate CBD products.The compound can be extracted from marijuana or from hemp. It’s promoted as a way to ease anxiety and inflammation – and it doesn’t get people high because it doesn’t contain THC, the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.People are using oils with cannabidiol, or CBD, to help with everything from menstrual cramps to insomnia. While the hype around CBD has gotten ahead of the science, there are a growing number of small studies that do point to some health benefits. But the FDA has concerns over how these products are marketed, and is seeking more data about their safety.”Questions remain regarding the safety considerations raised by the widespread use of these products,” FDA officials wrote in a Federal Register notice about today’s hearing. “These questions could impact the approaches we consider taking in regulating the development and marketing of products.”Regulators are expected to hear from many players in the CBD industry eager for the agency to step in and set some clear rules, because there’s been a cloud of uncertainty over the legality of marketing and selling CBD products.The 2018 farm bill lifted longtime restrictions on hemp, meaning that hemp would no longer be regulated as a controlled substance. The hemp industry saw this as a green-light to move ahead in promoting CBD products.”When the farm bill passed last year, we were beyond thrilled. This ended a multi-decade prohibition on hemp,” says Jonathan Miller who serves as general counsel to the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a coalition of dozens of hemp companies. “It was a historic moment.”But the FDA quickly stepped in to make it clear that it has regulatory authority over CBD. The agency has said, for example, that cannabidiol products cannot be sold as dietary supplements.So the industry is asking for a more definitive set of rules, and the FDA hearing is a first step.”We really need the FDA to join in and help us lay a path toward a regulated legal product,” Miller says. This is the main message he says he’ll deliver during today’s hearing.But the FDA has a lot of questions for his industry, and researchers who study cannabis say there’s still a lot to learn about cannabidiol.”We’re really in the infancy of understanding the physiological effects of cannabadiol right now,” says Ziva Cooper, research director for the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative.Cooper says there are important questions to answer, such as: What doses are safe? And what happens when people use it for long periods of time?The FDA has already approved one drug made of purified CBD, called Epidiolex, which is used to treat two rare and serious forms of epilepsy.You need a doctor’s prescription to get this medication, and it contains a much higher dose of CBD than what people typically get from the oils sold online or in dispensaries or markets.Clinical trials of Epidiolex found that the high dose of CBD was generally safe but that it did cause side effects in some people, including lethargy and gastrointestinal distress. The FDA also pointed to concerns about possible liver injury.”This is a potentially serious risk that can be managed when the product is taken under medical supervision in accordance with the FDA approved labeling for the product,” agency regulators wrote in the Federal Register notice. “But it is less clear how this risk might be managed if this substance is used far more widely, without medical supervision.”One potential strategy to regulate CBD may be to set a threshold. High-dose products could be restricted and require a prescription, while low-dose products similar to many of the CBD oils currently on the market would be widely available.The hemp industry has signaled its support for this approach. The lower dose products could be sold “over-the-counter in natural food stores, drug stores and grocery stores,” says Miller of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable.The FDA has set no timeline to regulate CBD products, and its evaluation is likely to continue over the coming months. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
This article was produced in partnership with nonprofit news organization MLK50, which is a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.This year, a hospital housekeeper left her job just three hours into her shift and caught a bus to Shelby County General Sessions Court in Memphis, Tenn.Wearing her black and gray uniform, she had a different kind of appointment with her employer, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare: The hospital was suing her for unpaid medical bills.In 2017, the nonprofit hospital system based in Memphis sued the woman for the cost of hospital stays to treat chronic abdominal pain she experienced before the hospital hired her.She now owes Methodist more than $23,000, including around $5,800 in attorney’s fees.It’s surreal, she says, to be sued by the organization that pays her $12.25 an hour. “You know how much you pay me. And the money you’re paying, I can’t live on,” says the housekeeper, who asked that her name not be used for fear that the hospital would fire her for talking to a reporter.From 2014 through 2018, the hospital system, which is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, has filed more than 8,300 lawsuits against patients, including some of its own workers. After winning judgments, it has sought to garnish the wages of more than 160 Methodist workers and has actually done so in more than 70 instances over that time, according to an MLK50-ProPublica analysis of Shelby County General Sessions Court records, online docket reports and case files.Some of the debts were accrued while the employees worked at Methodist; others predated their time there. The figures do not include debts incurred by onetime Methodist employees who have since moved on.It’s not uncommon for hospitals to sue patients over unpaid debts. In fact, as NPR reported Tuesday, recent research shows that more than a third of hospitals in Virginia do so. And earlier reporting from NPR and ProPublica found the practice in several other states.But what is striking at Methodist, the largest hospital system in the Memphis region, is how many of the patients being sued are the hospital’s own employees. Hardly a week goes by in which Methodist workers aren’t on the court docket fighting debt lawsuits filed by their employer.Between January and mid-June, a reporter observed more than a dozen Methodist employees in court to defend themselves in suits brought by the hospital over hospital bills.That includes a Methodist Le Bonheur employee who owes more than $1,200. In January, she proposed paying $100 a month, even though her sworn affidavit listed monthly expenses that exceeded her $1,650 monthly income. After conferring with an attorney for Methodist, Judge Betty Thomas Moore agreed to the worker’s proposal, but she has already missed a payment.A few weeks later, a Methodist employee appeared for an initial hearing wearing hospital scrubs. The hospital had sued her for more than $4,000. When she left the courtroom, she was annoyed. Her employer knew where she worked, she said, and should have contacted her before suing her.”I don’t know why they can’t come upstairs,” she said outside the courtroom.And in May, an employee who has worked for Methodist for more than four years carried a large envelope full of bills with her into the courtroom. She owed more than $5,400, which included a 2017 hospital charge from the newborn unit. That is the same year that her daughter was born, according to her sworn affidavit, which also listed a checking account balance of less than $4.The woman offered to pay $10 biweekly, or $20 most months, but Methodist’s attorney wanted $200 per month. The judge ordered her to pay $100 per month.What makes matters worse, employees say, is that Methodist’s health insurance benefits only allow employees to seek medical care at Methodist facilities, even though the financial assistance policies at its competitors are more generous.A specialist in hospital billing practices says that if the hospital is suing a fair number of its own employees, it’s time to examine both the insurance provided to workers and the pay scale.Given that the hospital is suing some of its own employees, “one would hope … the hospital would look at the insurance they provide workers,” says Mark Rukavina, a former nonprofit hospital consultant and currently a manager at Community Catalyst, a health care advocacy organization.Methodist declined requests for an interview. It did not respond to specific written questions about the lawsuits it files against its workers or about how its policies reflect the values of the United Methodist Church. Instead, in a written statement, it said it is committed to working with patients who are having trouble paying their medical bills.”As the second largest private employer in Shelby County, we recognize the responsibility we have as an organization to contribute to the success of the diverse communities we serve and are purposeful about creating jobs in our community — intentionally choosing to keep services like printing, laundry and others in-house that are typically outsourced by the health care industry,” the hospital said.Methodist also declined to answer a question about whether it has any policy that prohibits employees being sued by Methodist from talking to a reporter about the lawsuits filed against them by the hospital.Employer and legal adversaryOn a single January day, there were 10 defendants on the docket whose place of employment was listed in court records as Methodist.Employees in scrubs sat just feet away from the attorneys in dress suits — attorneys their employer had hired to sue them. The hospital’s role as a tax-exempt organization that both employs the defendants and is suing them went unremarked upon by judges, attorneys and the defendants themselves.Methodist’s financial assistance policy stands out from peers in Memphis and across the country, MLK50 and ProPublica found. The policy offers no assistance for patients with any form of health insurance, no matter their out-of-pocket costs. Under Methodist’s insurance plan, employees are responsible for a $750 individual deductible and then 20% of inpatient and outpatient costs, up to a maximum out-of-pocket cost of $4,100 per year.The housekeeper’s story is documented in Shelby County General Sessions Court records, including online docket reports and online payment history. A reporter interviewed the housekeeper multiple times in person and on the phone. The employee gave the reporter six years of itemized Methodist hospital bills, her credit report and other past-due medical bills. Most of her debts were incurred before she started working at Methodist.Five times between 2012 and 2014, she visited the hospital for stomach problems, according to the itemized bills. (Years later, she had surgery to treat diverticulitis.) At those times, she had insurance through her job at a hotel, where she cleaned rooms for $10.66 an hour. After insurance paid its share, she owed just over $17,500.In 2015, the housekeeper left the hotel job and lost her insurance. Three times that year she went to Methodist’s ER, but since she was uninsured and had little income, she qualified for financial assistance. Methodist wrote off more than $45,000 in hospital bills.In a statement, Methodist said it gives an automatic 70% discount to uninsured patients and free care to uninsured patients at or below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. For a single adult with two dependents, that would be just over $26,600. Uninsured patients who earn more than that, but less than twice the poverty limit, are also eligible for discounts, it said.In 2016, unable to find work, the housekeeper left Memphis. For more than a year, she says, she and her son were homeless, bouncing between relatives in Chicago, where she was born, and Texas.But she missed her daughter and grandchildren in Memphis. So in 2017, she returned. In August 2017, Methodist sued her for the bills she accumulated when she was insured years earlier. Later that month, she was hired at a Methodist hospital, starting at $11.95 an hour.The hospital’s collections agency, which it owns, didn’t have her correct address and was unable to serve notice that she had been sued, but last year, Methodist tried again. This time, it had the right address.In November, a process server handed her the civil warrant at her South Memphis apartment.At the process server’s recommendation, she called the hospital’s collection agency and offered to pay $50 every two weeks. “But they said it wasn’t enough,” she recalls. “I would just have to go to court. They said I’d be owing them all my life.”In a sworn affidavit filed with the court this year, the housekeeper listed her dependents as a grandson and her 27-year-old son, who she says has bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. She told the court she earned $16,000 in 2017, which puts her more than $4,000 below that year’s federal poverty level for a family of three. (Because she had insurance, though, she was ineligible for assistance under the hospital’s policy.)Fred Morton, a retired Methodist minister in Memphis, says he was surprised to learn that Methodist is suing its own employees.”The employees should be paid an adequate minimum wage at the very least,” he says. “Certainly they should not be predatory to their own employees on medical bills. That’s very much contrary to Scripture.”He said that Methodist bishops who serve on its board bear responsibility for reminding it of the denomination’s values.”It’s a matter of the church pushing on its own,” Morton says.Three United Methodist Church bishops serve on the hospital’s board. Bishop Gary Mueller’s office referred a reporter to Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare’s communications office. Bishop Bill McAilly declined to comment. Bishop James E. Swanson did not respond to multiple requests for comment.When the housekeeper appeared before a General Sessions Court judge this year, she’d filed a motion offering to pay $50 biweekly, or $100 in most months. When the hospital’s attorney asked for a $200 per month, she was stunned.”This is my only job, this is my only income, so how am I supposed to live?” she remembered thinking.Nervous that the judge would side with the hospital, the housekeeper made another offer.”I could do $75 every two weeks,” she said quickly.The attorney agreed and the judge signed the order.Being an employee and defendant is “really kind of sad,” the housekeeper says. Asked how she manages to make ends meet, she says she doesn’t: “It’s killing me — killing me softly.”She says she didn’t reach out to the hospital’s payroll department or a manager about the hospital bills she’s being sued for. “They don’t care about that. … That I do know.”‘I don’t want to be homeless again’Part of what makes paying medical bills so hard for some Methodist employees is that their wages are low, lagging behind several other large employers in the Memphis market. In December, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital announced it was raising its minimum pay for full and part-time workers to $15 an hour. St. Jude’s decision followed a similar commitment by the Shelby County government, Shelby County Schools and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee.At Methodist, which operates five hospitals in Shelby County, the lowest-paid employees make $10 an hour and about 18% of workers make less than $15 an hour, the hospital reported in response to MLK50’s 2018 Living Wage Survey.As recently as 2017, the Greater Memphis Chamber advertised on its website that the city offered a workforce at “wage rates that are lower than most other parts of the country.”The United Methodist Church’s Social Principles, which state the denomination’s position on everything from climate change to the death penalty, speak directly to what employees should earn. “Every person has the right to a job at a living wage,” it states. The Living Wage Model statement on the church’s website says, “Exploitation or underpayment of workers is incompatible with Christ’s commandment to love our neighbor.”Methodist, which made Forbes’ 2019 list of Best Employers by State, did not answer specific questions about pay for employees. On its website, it says, “It is the policy of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare to pay its employees competitive, market-based wages.”Neither Methodist, nonprofit Baptist Memorial Healthcare nor Regional One, the public hospital, pay all their employees at least $15 an hour. Even that figure would make it impossible to make ends meet for an employee trying alone to support a household with dependents, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator and another created by the Economic Policy Institute, both of which take into account local living expenses.The housekeeper’s $12.25 an hour pay falls well short of that. Without overtime, she says, her take-home pay would be around $1,600 per month. Her rent is $610.Even with as much overtime as she gets, she’s turned to payday loans. Since December, she’s renewed a $425 payday loan every two weeks, paying $71 each time. “You have to rob from Paul to pay Peter,” she says. “It doesn’t never seem like you can get ahead.”The housekeeper applied for a job at Walmart but was told the store nearest her is not accepting applications. She doubts the pay will be any better, but she hopes it will be less stressful.”Times be hard, because sometimes my body feels like I can’t make it,” she says. “But I get up anyway, because I don’t want to be homeless again.”Wendi C. Thomas is the editor of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism. Email her at email@example.com and find her on Twitter at @wendi_c_thomas.ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up for ProPublica’s Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox as soon as they are published. Copyright 2019 ProPublica. 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HORSE RACING1.50 SligoFirst Class Ticket 9/2 > 2/14.15 CurraghGroundfrost 11/2 > 3/15.05 SouthwellKristal Star 12/1 > 13/2MENS’ FINAL1/5 Federer 7/2 CilicBET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321 [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Sunday 16 July
Ask any CMO about the formula for winning with Digital Advertising, and the answer will inevitably center around Relevance – the ability to leverage data to achieve that state of marketer nirvana bringing together the right person, right message, right time and right context. But while Programmatic Media has come a long way in terms of its sophistication around Audience Targeting, it still lags when it comes to consumer reaction, perhaps the most relevant insight of all. The next evolution of programmatic must take lessons from an unlikely source of inspiration: the door-to-door salesperson.Think about all of the advantages that door-to-door salespeople possess when it comes to audience understanding. They know the context, the neighborhood, and the weather. Also, they know the address, the date and the time. They know the size of the house, along with the gender, age and financial profile of the prospect. And they know whether they have knocked on that same door in the past.Among all of this anecdotal information, perhaps no insight is as relevant as the salesperson’s ability to read facial expressions and other small cues to detect when the consumer objects, retreats or appears put off — information that the seller can use to alter his approach on the fly. (There’s a reason why the lion’s share of sales literature is devoted to overcoming objections: The consumer usually has them).Programmatic media’s ability to read and react to these consumer cues is still in its infancy, which presents a serious challenge for today’s media buyers. After all, if you can’t gauge when a person doesn’t want to see your ads, you can’t know when to stop showing them.But with a growing body of evidence suggesting that restraint is a key driver of relevance, it’s clear that a brand’s ability and willingness to suppress advertising where it is known to (or likely to) cause irritation represents the next signature advance in people-based engagement. To get there, advertisers will need to attain not just a people-based view of the customer, but one that can resolve her identity and respond to behavioral cues in real-time.Read More: Marketers Shouldn’t Have to be Data ScientistsThou Shalt Not Annoy the ConsumerWe know that individual consumers are unique. That’s why we’ve spent decades building a vast and intricate infrastructure for targeting them on an individual level based on income, preferences, purchase history and other attributes. But consumers are also unique in terms of how they think about the value exchange required to share their information and attention, as well as their perspectives on data privacy and even on specific products and categories — consider how personal beliefs and sensitivities can determine an individual’s response to messages promoting sports betting, pharmaceuticals or alcohol.Respecting these wishes should be reason enough to show restraint in advertising, but simple math points to an even stronger imperative. Quite simply, bad advertising is expensive, and even if you don’t consider the long-term effects of annoying the customer (which are considerable), it always pays to advertise to people who are receptive to your pitch. A dollar spent on anything else is a waste — and there is still plenty of waste happening out there.Anecdotally, we see evidence of this wastefulness with brands like JPMorgan Chase and Procter and Gamble, which have put in the work to improve spending efficiencies. JPMorgan Chase found it was able to reduce the number of sites on which its ads appeared from 400,000 to 5,000 with “little change in the cost of impressions or the visibility of its ads on the internet.” Likewise, P&G managed to cut $200 million in digital ad spend and actually increase its reach by 10 percent. Still more evidence of the amount of waste inherent within the machine when it’s running along “as usual:” studies like the one that found nearly half of Western Europe’s online ads aren’t reaching intended targets.This waste usually isn’t due to fraud, ad blocking or poor creative, but rather to bad audience targeting — or more specifically, the inability to know when enough is enough.That’s because, for all the sophistication in the programmatic machinery, advertising remains a mostly one-way proposition that allows brands to speak to consumers, but doesn’t provide an efficient mechanism for listening to them. This means that even though reading and understanding a consumer’s willingness to engage a brand’s advertising is essential to the relevance CMOs celebrate, advertisers still struggle to know when and why to slam the brakes — not to mention facing a tough time stopping even when they do know.Read More: Top 3 Do’s and Don’ts Every Healthcare Marketer Should KnowAnd that’s why the way forward in programmatic — the path by which marketers will at last travel the final mile to understand audience reaction, as well as audience attributes — is built on real-time recognition of who the customer is and what she’s up to. Marketers that capture live intent data and persistently resolve identity across devices and channels not only can deliver individualized messages and promotions that speak to customers in that particular moment in time; they also can suppress customers who don’t fit the campaign criteria (e.g., shoppers who previously converted) or opted out of a brand’s advertising for personal reasons — spend that can be redirected to more impactful, rewarding ends.At a time when both consumer frustrations over retargeting and expectations for personalized experiences continue to increase, the ads brands choose to suppress can be as meaningful as those they choose to send. Creating a programmatic campaign without a nimble and efficient suppression mechanism is akin to a door-to-door sales rep talking over a customer’s objections instead of working through them, around them or with them. Any sales rep can tell you that’s just not how it works. It’s not how programmatic should work, either.Read More: Finding the Whale and Other Ways Big Brands Can Learn from Start-Ups Restraint Is the Key to Relevance – Sometimes It’s What You Don’t Say Jay StockiJune 18, 2019, 9:00 amJune 17, 2019 Digital advertisingmedia buyerspeople-based engagementRelevancesignal Previous ArticleComscore Vice Chairman, Bill Livek to Participate in Measurement Panel on FreeWheel Main Stage During Cannes Lions 66th International Festival of CreativityNext ArticleTechBytes with Katie Paulsen, VP of Influencer Marketing at RhythmOne
Explore further Two British built-cars, a Bentley Flying Spur and a Range Rover, pictured in London in 2015 Sales of diesel cars in Germany drop after court permits ban This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. New registrations for all vehicles sank 15.7 percent in March year-on-year to 474,069 cars, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said in a statement.The number of new diesel-powered cars plunged 37.2 percent to 153,594, with demand sliding on UK government plans to improve air quality.Consumers continued to ditch diesel cars last month for automobiles that are regarded as more environmentally-friendly.March is usually a busy month for car purchases owing to the release of new registration plates.”March’s decline is not unexpected given the huge surge in registrations in the same month last year,” SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said Thursday regarding the latest data. © 2018 AFP Citation: UK car sales slide for 12th month: industry body (2018, April 5) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-uk-car-sales-12th-month.html New car sales in Britain fell for a 12th month in March, as demand for diesel vehicles slumped further, this time by more than one third, industry data showed Thursday.
Jammu and Kashmir: IED module busted in Shopian, 2 arrestedPolice claimed to have recovered incriminating materials.advertisement Asian News International ShopianJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 18:54 IST A case under relevant sections of law has been registered. (File Photo)Jammu and Kashmir Police busted an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) module in Shopian on Saturday and arrested two persons in connection with the case.Police claimed to have recovered incriminating materials.A case under relevant sections of law has been registered.Further investigation is underway.ALSO READ | Jammu and Kashmir: Couple injured in Pakistani firing along LoC in RajouriALSO WATCH | Pakistan violates ceasefire along LoC in J&K’s PoonchFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySnigdha Choudhury Next
Arms licences of Uttarakhand MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion seen dancing with guns suspendedUnder the notice, Uttarakhand MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion has been asked to reply within 15 days as to why the licences of all the three weapons should not be cancelledadvertisement Indo-Asian News Service DehradunJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 18:26 IST Uttarakhand MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion is seen holding a pistol in his mouth and a carbine in one hand while there is another pistol in the other hand.Three arms licenses of Uttarakhand MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion, seen dancing with two pistols and a carbine in a viral video, have been suspended, officials said on Saturday.Suspended from the party for an indefinite period after the video came out, the BJP MLA has also got a notice from the party why he should not be expelled.”After getting reports from the Haridwar police, I have suspended three licences of (Kunwar Pranav Singh) Champion,” District Magistrate Dipendra Kumar Chaudhary said.Under the notice, Champion has been asked to reply within 15 days as to why the licences of all the three weapons should not be cancelled, he added.The action came following a report by Haridwar Senior Superintendent of Police Janmejay Khanduri that the licenses of the three weapons – a double barrel rifle, a revolver and a modified carbine, should be cancelled on security and safety reasons.”There are some cases against Champion. So we have decided to recommend the cancellation of the licences,” said Khanduri.Champion has criticized the move saying his son, who is a shooter, used to practice with these weapons. “With this decision, the sports future of my son looks bleak,” he told his supporters.State BJP President Ajay Bhatt on Wednesday had served notice seeking Champion explain why he should not be expelled as the opposition launched scathing attack on the ruling party on the issue. Led by state Congress Vice President Suryakant Dhasmana, a host of Congress leaders sought strict action against Champion – a former Congress MLA – on the basis of this video and called for filing an FIR against him.”In a section of media there are reports that Champion has been expelled from the party. But we want to clarify that a decision to expel Champion would be taken after the reply of Champion to the notice,” state BJP spokesman Devendra Bhasin said.He also said that senior party leaders have also asked the central leadership to decide on the expulsion of Champion.On the other hand, senior police officials clarified that no FIR has been filed against Champion so far in the incident. The application regarding the FIR has been forwarded to Haridwar for further action, said a police official.Dancing to the tune of “Gup Chup” song from Bollywood blockbuster “Karan Arjun”, Champion is seen holding a pistol in his mouth and a carbine in one hand while there is another pistol in the other hand. Holding a glass of whiskey, he is even seen allegedly abusing Uttarakhand.After remaining in controversies for a long time, Champion had been suspended for three months by the ruling BJP last month, after a preliminary report prepared by the state party unit’s disciplinary committee found him guilty of gross indiscipline and also took cognizance of his alleged threats to a journalist.A video had gone viral last month also in which Champion, the MLA from Khanpur, was seen threatening an electronic media journalist.He was also in the news for publicly making fun of fellow party MLA Deshraj Karnawal, and later challenging him to a wrestling match to settle their long-standing dispute. Karnwal however did not turn up for the match.Champion, who wanted a ticket for his wife for the Lok Sabha polls from Haridwar, had described the then sitting MP from the seat and now Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank as a “migratory bird”.Champion was among the nine Congress MLAs who had rebelled against then Chief Minister Harish Rawat and crossed over to the BJP in 2016. Later all the nine MLAs were disqualified by the Speaker under the anti-defection law.ALSO READ | Viral video edited, intrusion into my privacy: BJP MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh ChampionALSO WATCH | Drunk BJP MLA Pranav Singh Champion brandishes guns while dancingFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySnigdha Choudhury Next