Cocoa pricing hits 25-year high The price of cocoa hit a 25-year high this month, with LIFFE March 2010 price, reaching £2,256/tonne. The International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), said one of the main reasons for the price rise is three consecutive years of supply deficit. “For the current cocoa year (October-September) there has been uncertainty surrounding supply this is the main reason behind this price rise,” said ICCO’s senior statistician Laurent Pipitone. However, he noted that fears of another supply deficit are by no means substantiated.”We’ve had a good start to the harvest,” said Pipitone. But he added that the ICCO expects supply will tail off quite early in the period from January-March in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, which produce around 40% and 20% of the world’s total cocoa, respectively. “Depending on the extent of the decline, the price could sustain this current high level or possibly even increase. We also expect demand to increase this year compared with last year.”According to the Financial Times, the price of cocoa is at its highest level since February 1985. It is feared the global market could face a supply deficit for the fourth year in a row, due to disease affecting yields in the world’s largest cocoa producer, the Ivory Coast.According to LIFFE, the price of cocoa has risen by more than £600 in the last 52 weeks up by around 37%.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s administration is moving to revoke the designation of Yemen’s Houthis as a terrorist group, citing the need to mitigate one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. President Donald Trump’s administration had branded the Iranian-backed Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization, a move that limited the provision of aid to the beleaguered Yemeni people, who have suffered under a yearslong civil war and famine. A State Department official confirmed the move Friday after members of Congress were notified of the administration’s plans. The official said the removal changed nothing about the Biden administration’s views of the Houthis, who have targeted civilians and kidnapped Americans.
Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ The feeling is starting to sink in for Alessondra Parra and Emily Harman. By the end of this weekend, they will have played their last home matches in a Syracuse uniform.For Parra, this weekend’s matches are a cold reminder that her time at SU is almost up.‘I feel like my time at Syracuse has gone really quickly, and this is kind of a realization that it’s going to be over soon,’ Parra said.After travel budget restrictions forced Army to cancel next Sunday’s match at Drumlins Tennis Center, this weekend’s home matches against Binghamton and Boston University will be the last for the senior duo. The last homestand is special for Harman and Parra as well as their young teammates. With an NCAA bid on the line in every remaining match, though, No. 47 SU (10-4, 5-1 Big East) has little time to reflect.‘I got to spend time with Emily and Alessondra for two years now, so it’s going to be a very sensitive moment,’ sophomore Aleah Morrow said. ‘But, you know, we’re gonna go out there, be ready to compete, be ready to get the win.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter a deflating 5-2 loss to then-No. 59 William & Mary on Feb. 24, head coach Luke Jensen decided to play Harman and Parra together at No. 1 doubles. The pair knocked off ranked doubles team Hanna Yu and Vicky Brook of then-No. 25 Yale to help the Orange register a historic victory.The senior doubles tandem and the SU team haven’t lost since.Having Harman and Parra at the top doubles spot strengthens the entire team. Jensen considers the veteran duo the ‘compass’ of the team.Marrow usually plays No. 2 doubles with Maddie Kobelt on the next court over from Harman and Parra. Competing next to them gives her an extra dose of motivation, she said.‘They show a lot of support, and you want to win for them,’ Marrow said. ‘You want to win for yourself obviously, but you want to win for them, too, because they’ve worked so hard.’Even with the leadership of Harman and Parra, Jensen is wary of a ‘spring break hangover.’ The Orange hasn’t played since March 4, and last year’s results against this weekend’s opponents add little comfort. SU narrowly beat Binghamton 4-3 and lost to BU 6-1.With a healthy and re-energized team, Jensen is looking to send Harman and Parra out in style. Doing so will require a quick start to this weekend’s matches, something the senior doubles team will have to help provide. Harman expects she and Parra will lead the way at No. 1 doubles once more.‘To us, it’s a responsibility, something that we take very personally,’ Harman said. ‘… We want to lead them, and we want to really set the tone for the match. It’s something that we take personally and that we want to hold on our shoulders.’When Harman and Parra ultimately graduate this fall, their absence will leave a void with the team. The two have combined for more than 200 wins in their four years at SU, but their biggest contribution to the program has been intangible.Marrow said the seniors have shown their younger teammates how to play ‘the Orange way.’ Leading vocally and by example, Harman and Parra have instilled what Jensen calls ‘Orange energy’ in the rest of the team.Heading into the first of SU’s last four matches, the Orange’s final home match of the season represents the end of the seniors’ careers at Drumlins and the excitement that comes with the conclusion of their historic careers.‘It’s going to be a weird feeling, but I’m excited to close a very proud chapter of my life and open up a brand-new one,’ Harman [email protected] Published on March 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_
Although only half of the season has passed in the best leagues of the world, calculations have already started about who might win the Golden Shoe for the best striker of the current season this year. Edin Džeko is also mentioned among the candidates.At this moment, according to the latest data from October 15 this year, Edin Džeko is 12th in the race for the best striker of the world with 14.0 points. Seven other players, including Chelsea’s Diego Costa, have identical number of points as the BiH Diamond, which definitely announces the uncertain “matches” in which the players will fight for the Golden Shoe.What is interesting is that the only player above Edin Džeko on the list, in terms of the League of five, is Modeste from FC Köln, who is on the 11th place with seven scored goals and 14.0 points won, which is the score identical to the one of Džeko.Ten more players are above them two, but since the coefficient of the League of five is 2.0, unlike the coefficients 1.0 and 1.5, if he continues the great goal-getter performance this year Džeko might be on the top of the ranking for the Golden Shoe. The coefficient is very important because it is multiplied by the number of scored goals, which eventually gives the number of points that each player achieves.First on the table is Vitali Rodionov from the Bulgarian Borisov, who scored 14 goals in the league with a coefficient of 1.5 and has 21.0 points in total.In comparison with the best world football players of today, Džeko is better than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Officially the best player of the world, the star of Barcelona Messi has 10.0 points with five goals scored, while Ronaldo has only 4.0 points with only two goals.This is another one in a row of successes of the BiH Diamond. Congratulations and lots of luck in the race for the best striker in the world!(Source: radiosarajevo.ba)
The film geeks of CineFix shine a light on some of the most interesting, well-executed, and groundbreaking visual effects in cinematic history.Above image from the National Library of New ZealandCineFix has joined forces with Indiewire to drop a new movie list every other Monday. Our favorite videos in the series are the ones that cover the world of visual effects. We rounded up the videos we liked best – so let the mind melting begin!There’s Just Something About Being PracticalBefore the advent of computers, Hollywood had to build magic by hand, a practice that’s still thriving thanks to movie makers like Peter Jackson and JJ Abrams. Let’s check out CineFix’s picks for the Top 10 Practical Effects of All Time.All Hail the OGs of CGILet’s fire up the Flux Capacitor, get the DeLorean up to 88mph, and head out to Isla Nublar with Woody and the gang. Here are the Top 10 CGI Moments from Last Century.The Future is NowWe’ve come a long way from the wire and foam model of King Kong back in 1933. We’ve flown through a stargate and traveled to a galaxy far, far away. Then came the real 2001 and the cutting edge got even sharper. You’ll see what we mean in CineFix’s Top 10 VFX Innovations of the 21st Century.Number One with a Bullet TimeSlow motion and film go together like Zach Snyder and comic book adaptations. Whether we’re watching stuff blow up or some intense Kung Fu action, everything looks cooler when it’s slowed down. With that in mind, here are CineFix’s Top 10 Slow-Mo Moments of All Time.Kiss and MakeupMakeup effects are incredibly powerful. Who didn’t love Sloth’s ugly mug – even though you were a little scared of him at first. For our final video, here’s Cinefix’s Top 10 Makeup Transformations of All Time.What are your thoughts on these videos? Do you agree with the films they mentioned? What’s missing? Give us your list in the comments below.
On Thursday evening, May 2, 2013, Covenant House California (“CHC”) will host their Annual Awards Dinner: A Magical Night of Hope at Skirball Culture Center in Los Angeles.This year’s honorees include award-winning musician, composer and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock. The event features a silent and live auction, A-list entertainment including celebrity presenters and hosts as well as dinner and dancing. CHC will also be honoring Executive Director George R. Lozano, who is retiring after 22 years of service.The event will feature a special performance by Grammy Award-winning jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter. Celebrity talent includes Gabriel Mann (Revenge); and Vinessa Shaw (3:10 to Yuma); Mekhi Phifer (ER); Cesar Millan (Dog Whisperer); Khandi Alexander (CSI: Miami); Dayanarra Torres (former Miss Puerto Rico); Quddus (Duets); Kaitlyn Black (Hart of Dixie); Brandi Burkhardt (Hart of Dixie); Quinton Aaron (The Blind Side); Ashlynn Yennie (Human Centipede) and more.WHERE: Skirball Cultural Center 2701 North Sepulveda BoulevardLos Angeles, CA 90049WHEN: Thursday, May 2, 6pm
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Nuit Blanche has travelled broad-ranging turf in its nearly a dozen years, from spectacle to activism and everything in between. Next year, it ranges farther than it ever has: To Scarborough, where a sizeable chunk of the annual overnight art event will touch down at dusk on Sept. 29, 2018.If Alyssa Fearon, the Scarborough segment’s newly named curator, has her way, Nuit’s move will break ground in more ways than one.“You always hear about Scarborough as a place that’s underprivileged, that’s at risk, that’s a ‘priority,’” she says. “I really think that does a disservice to what’s happening there. There’s a lot of resilience, a lot of creativity. That’s what I want to illuminate — the great things that are there already.” Nuit Blanche, Scarborough edition, will centre around its Civic Centre, which will serve as a hub in much the same way as Nathan Philips Square does for the downtown core. The two events will take place the same night.READ MORE Facebook
Editor’s note: As regular readers know, when it comes to spotting the next explosive investment trend, we turn to Strategic Trader editor E.B. Tucker.Last year, he told us about one of the top money-making opportunities today: the legal sports betting industry.But recently, E.B. found a backdoor way to profit off of this young market – by tapping into the growing electronic gaming industry.He’s already recommended two ways to profit from this boom in his Strategic Trader letter.One’s up 291% in just over two months. The other’s up 167% in just over one month.Those are incredible returns. As you can see, this is real. It’s happening today. And now’s the time to take advantage.E.B. recently sat down with Chris Lowe for Legacy Inner Circle to share all the details… and explain why you should be paying attention to “virtual sports”…Chris Lowe: I want to touch on a big shift in the gambling world that you’ve put on the radars of your Strategic Trader readers. As I gather now, folks aren’t just betting on real-life games between real-life players. There’s a new market for “virtual sports” that’s blowing up.E.B. Tucker: That’s right. First, we should make some definitions clear. There’s an important distinction between virtual sports and “esports,” which is also becoming a big deal right now in the betting world.Virtual sports are computer-simulated games. Other than the person placing the bet, there’s no human involved. The football game, or NASCAR race, or NBA final you’re betting on is 100% a computer simulation.Esports, on the other hand, is humans playing video games. People bet on them winning video games like they’d bet on a regular sports game.Chris: So help me picture what an esports tournament might be like.E.B.: Imagine a video game arcade with room for about 75 people. They’re all paying $10 an hour to sit at a computer terminal and play a game such as Fortnite or Overwatch.One of the players in the room is Billy, who’s 16 years old and a great player. So you could bet $100 that Billy’s going to slay the dragon and capture the princess.That’s the distinction. In esports, you’re betting on a person winning a video game. With virtual sports, you’re betting on outcomes in a computer-simulated version of a sports game. The “game” then plays out on a screen.Chris: Betting on computer-simulated sports games sounds bizarre. Where’s the fun in that?E.B.: I know what you mean. When I first read about the virtual sports betting phenomenon, I felt I needed to see it in action firsthand.Pennsylvania was one of the first states in the U.S. to offer virtual sports betting through its state lottery commission. So I flew to Pittsburgh, and I picked a place on the south side of the city called Smokin’ Joe’s Saloon. The state lottery commission website said it offered this type of betting.I walked into Smokin’ Joe’s and asked if they had a virtual sports betting machine. They didn’t really know what I was talking about. But they said, “Well, we have this machine over there from the lottery.” Virtual sports betting machine in Smokin’ Joe’sIt’s this yellow terminal with slots for your money and a screen. There’s even a card reader so you can pay with a debit or credit card. It gives me the option to play the state lottery games. It also has Xpress Football, a virtual sports betting game. E.B. bet $1 each on five random outcomes in a virtual football gameI take a pencil. And I cross through some options on one of the cards beside the machine. They’re like the cards from the Powerball lotto.The options it gives you are all “prop” bets. That’s gambling parlance for proposition bets. These are side bets on anything other than the final outcome of the game. For instance, a touchdown, a field goal, an extra point, or a turnover. I bet $5 – five separate $1 bets on five different outcomes.Chris: Walk me through how the game simulation works. Like I said, it sounds bizarre to me.E.B.: Every five minutes, a new simulated football “game” starts. These have randomly generated outcomes. Each game starts with the ball on the 20-yard line. They go four downs to the end zone. You bet on what’s going to happen in that period.For one of my $1 bets – you can bet up to $20 on each – I bet that there would be a turnover on the second play. Turns out there was a turnover on the second play.Chris: How did you do?E.B.: My $1 bet paid out $175.Chris: That’s not a bad result. Did you keep playing?E.B.: No. I’m a seasoned speculator. When I win at a game I don’t understand on odds of 175-1… I walk. I promptly cashed out and took the money.Chris: Where is this all going over the next several years?E.B.: Just like any type of betting sanctioned by the state lottery commission, the state takes a big cut of every dollar bet. While I won, the odds are not good for players. Lotteries and games of chance are big revenue generators for state budgets.Michigan is also getting in on virtual sports through its lottery. States tend to follow each other when it comes to new sources of tax revenue. It won’t be long before most states offer virtual sports betting. It’s going to be hugely popular.Chris: You don’t think there’ll be resistance to this new kind of gambling? Sounds like you could lose a lot of money, if you’re not as careful as you were.E.B.: I don’t think so. I was living in South Carolina in 2002 when they launched the state lottery there. Everybody I talked to about it at the time was convinced it was a bad idea.So they called it the “South Carolina Education Lottery.” And they sent a chunk of the profits to South Carolinian schools. This lowered the level of opposition considerably. Last year, the South Carolina state lottery generated $1.7 billion in sales. And $430 million of this went into state education programs.It’s the state lottery commissions that are rolling out these virtual sports betting machines. And state lottery commissions are huge revenue generators. Once lawmakers get used to that money pouring into state coffers, there’s no turning back.It’s the same for sports betting in general. Once the state coffers start filling up, any opposition will quickly disappear.Chris: Do we have any idea yet how large this market could get in dollar terms?E.B.: We don’t know exactly. What we do know is that Greece introduced virtual sports betting in 2017. In the first 12 months, players bet $600 million.Pennsylvania has a population just slightly larger than Greece’s. But Pennsylvania’s GDP is three times higher. So let’s say the same number of people in Pennsylvania bet about three times the amount they bet in Greece. That works out to $1.8 billion.Now, multiply this by the 50 states in the country. We’re talking roughly $100 billion in bets a year in the U.S. on completely simulated virtual sports.Remember, you can bet on simulated games 365 days a year. There’s no football season… or basketball season. You just walk into a bar and place a couple of bets while you’re drinking a beer. You may well stay there for hours. In fact, with a new “game” every five minutes, you could potentially play up to 12 times an hour.Chris: How do you get exposure to this trend?E.B.: What my chief analyst, John Pangere, and I are looking into for our Strategic Trader readers are the companies making the software and providing the services that make virtual sports betting happen.We’re looking to play it with something called stock warrants.Without getting too far into the weeds, a stock warrant is a security that gives you the right, but not the obligation, to buy shares in a company at a fixed price at any time during a pre-determined period.In simple terms, warrants are a way to make more money than just buying a stock outright. They’re also a much cheaper way to get in. They’re as easy to trade as common stock. And they offer better returns than common stock because of the leverage they give you to a rising stock price.I also recommend taking aim at the legal sports betting business in general.It’s hard to know for sure how big the sports betting market will become. But research from the American Gaming Association estimates that illegal sports betting is worth $150 billion a year.The legal sports betting market will be even bigger. You see, markets the government has outlawed always grow when they become legal again. This makes sense if you think about it.Up to now, if you wanted to bet on a game outside of Nevada, you had to find a “bookie” – someone who would illegally take a bet for you.If you lost the bet… and didn’t pay up… your bookie might have someone go over to your home and break your legs. Because you were betting illegally, you probably felt like you didn’t have any legal recourse.But even with those considerable hurdles, illegal sports betting was a $150 billion business. Now that you can bet in the open, I expect the industry to hit $250 billion in the next few years.Chris: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, E.B.E.B.: My pleasure.Editor’s note: As we mentioned earlier, E.B.’s found two of the best ways to take advantage of the electronic gaming industry. One of his picks is up 291% since April 18. The other has soared 167% since May 16.Both of these picks are still buys today… as E.B. sees much bigger gains ahead.Remember, this is a long-term play… a multibillion-dollar industry that’s finally stepping out of the shadows and going mainstream.You don’t want to let this opportunity slip. You can access these specific plays – and all of E.B.’s research in the sector – with a subscription to Strategic Trader. Click here to sign up today.Chart of the Day: This Key Indicator Is Bullish for CryptosBy Houston Molnar, analyst, Casey ResearchCryptos are up more than 133% over the last three months… And as we showed you last week, we believe this is just the beginning.Today, we have another bullish sign… For more, we turn to our in-house crypto and blockchain expert Marco Wutzer.Marco is the senior analyst of Disruptive Profits. He’s also a true crypto pioneer. He’s been involved with digital currencies since the late 1990s… and made so much money speculating on them that he dropped everything a few years ago to travel the world.In other words, when he talks, it pays to listen. I recently asked him about what he’s seeing in the sector…There are a ton of positive developments, but one stat stood out: the explosive growth in blockchain wallets. (Think of blockchain wallets as a brokerage account which stores your investments, but for cryptos.)The chart below shows the total number of blockchain wallets since 2012.As you can see, the number of people who believe in blockchain technology is rapidly growing. Over 7 million blockchain wallets have been created so far this year. That’s a 24% increase year-to-date.It’s also important to highlight that the growth rate hardly budged in 2018 as the crypto market lost more than 85% of its value. The increase in wallets over a brutal bear market shows that something groundbreaking is happening with blockchain technology.This is huge. Think about it… More blockchain wallets mean more people are excited about the space.This is just the latest reason to have exposure to cryptos today. More people today have wallets than ever before. And as cryptos break out into the mainstream, that number will continue to go higher…If you haven’t yet, consider investing in bitcoin. Bitcoin is considered the reserve currency of the crypto world and is a great place to start.Marco says:Bitcoin can improve any portfolio because it has a low correlation to other common asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, commodities, and real estate. Having even just a small percentage in bitcoin can reduce the volatility of the portfolio.Even more importantly, Marco points out that we are still at the beginning of a new financial system based on blockchain technology. And the biggest rewards go to those investors who get familiar with this new asset class the earliest. So now is a good time to get familiar with bitcoin.– Houston Molnar P.S. Bitcoin isn’t the only way to profit in the crypto space… Marco specializes in finding blockchain projects with massive upside potential. We’re talking 100x, 200x, even 300x. One of Marco’s recent picks is up 153% since he made the recommendation back in January. And good news for those who have yet to jump on board: The recommendation is still under its buy-up-to price.You can access the name of this project – and all of Marco’s extensive research on cryptos – with a subscription to Disruptive Profits. Go here to sign up today.
A study published Monday is pushing back against the notion that up to 40 percent of Americans should be taking statin drugs to reduce the risk of heart disease. The study, in the Annals of Internal Medicine, argues that current medical guidelines haven’t adequately considered the risks from these widely used drugs.”Some harms are mentioned, but it’s entirely unclear how they were considered when coming up with the recommendations,” says Milo Puhan, a physician and epidemiologist at the University of Zurich and senior author of the new study. “In our approach we very explicitly considered the harms.”It’s important to note that statin drugs are generally safe, and harms are uncommon. On the other hand, the benefits aren’t that great, either. Anywhere from 50 to 200 healthy people need to take a statin daily to prevent a single heart attack for five years, so even small harms may outweigh the potential benefits, the Swiss scientists say.The most common side effect of these drugs is muscle pain, which usually goes away if patients stop taking the medicines. People taking statins are also at a higher risk of developing diabetes, which is harder to reverse.Puhan also found that some statins were more effective than others, with atorvastatin (the generic name for Lipitor) being the best of the bunch. He notes that physician guidelines don’t generally compare the relative value of these drugs, which are all available as inexpensive generics.He also finds that benefits fade compared with harms as people get older. “The elderly do not benefit as much as previous studies might have thought,” he says.”One size doesn’t fit it all,” he concludes. “That’s a very important message.”Puhan says, based on his assessment, perhaps 15 to 20 percent of older adults should be taking statins – far less than the 30 or 40 percent suggested by current medical guidelines.”I think for me, as a physician,” says Ilana Richman, an internist at the Yale School of Medicine, “this kind of data suggests that if we give more weight to the potential for adverse events, then maybe it’s reasonable to hold off for lower-risk patients.”She co-wrote an editorial about the paper and came away from it thinking that doctors need to spend more time talking about the plusses and minuses of statin treatment, personalizing their recommendations more than they do now. She says it’s a challenge to convey these sophisticated concepts in the short amount of time doctors have to spend with their patients.Yet that kind of dialog is increasingly the expectation. In mid-November, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology published new guidelines calling for more nuanced conversations around who would most benefit from statins.Scott Grundy, a physician at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center who chaired the guidelines committee, says the new recommendations urge people in this gray area to get a special kind of CT scan that looks for calcium deposits in heart arteries, a signal for clogs that could cause trouble.”If you have no coronary calcium, then your chances of having a heart attack over the next 10 years are very low,” he says.And it turns out that perhaps 40 percent of people who are identified as candidates based on their risk factors such as cholesterol levels and age actually have clear heart arteries, Grundy says. “That means a lot of people are going to be treated unnecessarily if they don’t have the calcium scan.”But that test, which Grundy says is available for about $100, is controversial among some physicians. They worry that it will trigger overtreatment of conditions that the scan will pick up, but which don’t require urgent attention.And it is only useful as a screening test for people who haven’t had heart disease. Statins are routinely prescribed for people who have already had a heart attack or stroke. For those patients (who weren’t included in the Swiss analysis), the benefits are so clear “it’s almost mandatory to be on a statin drug,” Grundy says.He disagrees with a lot of the particulars in the Swiss study. So does cardiologist Roger Blumenthal, who heads the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease at Johns Hopkins. “The harms [analyzed in the paper] can be dealt with by a smart clinician,” he says.Yet both the new guidelines and the latest study agree on an important point: Doctors and patients should spend more time reviewing the benefits and risks of statins, with attention paid to each person’s particular circumstances.You can contact NPR science correspondent Richard Harris at [email protected] Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.