The event will see teams from Queensland’s six regions – South Queensland and Border Districts, Brisbane, South West Queensland, North Queensland, Sunshine Coast and Central Queensland – compete at the championships. After a successful introduction in 2010, the under 12’s Boys and Girls divisions will again be contested at the championships, along with the under 14’s and under 16’s Boys and Girls divisions. The event will commence at 9.00am on Saturday, with the last round of games at 6.10pm. Games will recommence at 7.30am on Sunday, with the Under 12’s and Under 14’s Boys and Girls finals to be played at 1.00pm, while the Under 16’s Boys and Girls finals will be played at 2.00pm. The event will be used to select Queensland’s under 14’s and 16’s Boys and Girls sides that will compete against New Zealand in December this year. Under 12’s Queensland Merit sides will also be selected. For more information, or to keep up-to-date throughout the 2011 Queensland Junior State Championships, please click on the following link:http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=14-7413-0-0-0&sID=147311
SEATTLE – Starbucks, citing the environment threat to oceans, will ban plastic straws from all of its stores globally in less than two years.The company becomes the largest food and beverage company operating globally to do so.Starbucks said Monday that it is making available a strawless lid at 8,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada for certain drinks.Starbucks Coffee Co. estimates the switch will eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws a year.The company’s announcement comes a week after it’s hometown, Seattle, banned single-use plastic straws and utensils at businesses that sell food or drinks in the city.Starbucks said cold beverages in which a straw is typically included make up 50 per cent of the drinks its sells, up from just 37 per cent five years ago.
New York: US oil giant Chevron announced Friday it had agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Anadarko in a stock and cash transaction valued at $33 billion, or $65 per share. Based on Chevron’s Thursday closing price, Anadarko shareholders will receive 0.39 shares of Chevron and USD16.25 in cash for each Anadarko share held, the company said in a statement. The total enterprise value of the transaction is USD50 billion. “The acquisition of Anadarko will significantly enhance Chevron’s already advantaged Upstream portfolio and further strengthen its leading positions in large, attractive shale, deepwater and natural gas resource basins,” the company said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”The combination of Anadarko’s premier, high-quality assets with our advantaged portfolio strengthens our leading position in the Permian, builds on our deepwater Gulf of Mexico capabilities and will grow our LNG business. “It creates attractive growth opportunities in areas that play to Chevron’s operational strengths and underscores our commitment to short-cycle, higher-return investments.” Anadarko Chairman and CEO Al Walker added: “The strategic combination of Chevron and Anadarko will form a stronger and better company with world-class assets, people and opportunities.” Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe deal is the oil industry’s largest since Royal Dutch Shell bought BG Group in 2016, and it sparked speculation that other shale producers are in play. Shares of Apache Corp, which also has extensive acreage in the Permian Basin, jumped 7 percent in premarket trading, while Pioneer Natural Resources Co rose 6 per cent. US crude oil production now surpasses 12 million barrels a day (bpd), and the nation is the third-largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the super-cooled fuel that is seeing record demand as a cheaper, cleaner alternative for countries that still rely heavily on coal for power generation. Chevron, which already has 2.3 million acres in the Permian Basin, said the deal to buy Anadarko would give the combined company a 75-mile (120-km)-wide corridor across the Permian’s Delaware basin, on the Texas-New Mexico border. Anadarko also has a Mozambique LNG project, part of one of the industry’s largest planned current investments. Chevron Chief Executive Michael Wirth will lead the combined company after the deal closes. Chevron will remain headquartered in San Ramon, California. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC is Chevron’s financial adviser, while Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is its legal adviser.
Mohamed Ouhemou, Casablanca- The man whose invention has killed more people than nuclear weapons, HIV and many other diseases all together is dead. Mikhail Kalashnikov, famous for his invention, the fully automatic assault rifle, the AK-47, known also as the Kalashnikov, died Monday at age 94. Mikhail Kalashnikov was born on 10 November 1919 in western Siberia. In 1938, he was called up for service in the Soviet Red Army, where he took advantage of his designing skills and employed them to improve the effectiveness of weapons and equipment used by the Soviet tank regiments he served in. He started seriously considering designing an assault machine gun when one of his friends in the army asked him why he could not make a gun that matched the power and efficiency of the guns used by the Germans. In 1947 Mikhail Kalashnikov completed the design of his legendary weapon whose simplicity made it both reliable and easy to use and maintain, but, most importantly, cheap to manufacture. One can only admire his great invention. Unlike its American counterpart the M16, which has always been criticized for being hard to maintain, the Kalashnikov can fire in all conditions, rain or shine, and it even if it gets wet or severely damaged, it will still fire. Hence when it was first distributed in 1963 to the American soldiers positioned in Vietnam, many soldiers refused to carry the weapon, saying that they would not put their lives into the hands of a children’s toy. Later, the M16 was modified and all the plastic parts were reinforced with steel, for instance the plastic bullet magazine was reinforced with steel.Besides the technical aspects as to which the Kalashnikov certainly stands superior, the Kalashnikov also has its romantic appeal. It is the weapon that liberated many African nations form colonial rule and put and end to colonial arrogance and military superiority. It seems that the Kalashnikov, when put in the hands of a well determined freedom fighter can achieve great miracles. Therefore it is employed by the armies of dozens of countries. Mozambiquehas even incorporated it into its national flags. Likewise for other national liberation movements such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, or the Irish National Liberation Army.American media has always tried to associate this weapon with terrorism and organized crime, and therefore it is rare to see any American action movies without having ugly and evil looking men carrying the Kalashnikov. Those ugly men are in most cases Arabs or Africans. While on the other side, you would see a group, of kind and good looking white fellows carrying the M-16, and getting rid of those evil men. The Kalashnikov, will always have its appeal and pertinence, though writing such as statement might seem callous, but the role of war above all is to kill as many as you can.Tough Mikhail Kalashnikov was honored by the government, he made almost no money from his invention. He is also said to have expressed his unhappiness about his invention, “It would have been better if I had designed a more useful and productive machine which farmers and workers could use,”he once said.Edited by Elisabeth Myers© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The KSRM News Department compiled some of the top stories from this past week. Tuesday 6/4Audio PlayerTuesday-0604.mp3VmTuesday-0604.mp300:00RPdAlaska Senate Votes Down Full Dividend Proposal, Paving Expected To Begin On Kenai Spur By The End Of June, Alaska Salt Co. Is Open For Business Monday 6/3Audio PlayerMonday-0603.mp3VmMonday-0603.mp300:00RPdRetiring Superintendent Reflects On Time With The District, Residents Talk Need For Boat Ramp On Funny River Road, Multi Agency Drills Prepare Local Responders For Wildfire Season Wednesday 6/5Audio PlayerWednesdaty-0605.mp3VmWednesdaty-0605.mp300:00RPdBorough Assembly Adopts FY20 Budget, With Amendments, Fire Danger Remains ‘High’ Going Into The Weekend, Officials Say LNG Project’s Steel Pipeline Could Withstand Cook Inlet’s Currents Thursday 6/6Audio PlayerThursday-0606.mp3VmThursday-0606.mp300:00RPdKPBSD Contract Negotiations Set To Reconvene On Tuesday, Micciche Expects Revote On PFD Bill This Friday, Russian River Scheduled To Open June 11th For The Season Friday 6/7Audio PlayerFriday-0607..mp3VmFriday-0607..mp300:00RPdUPDATE: Lightning Ignites Multiple Wildfires On Kenai Peninsula, Senate Vote Postponed, While Governor Rallies For Full PFD
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina speaks to reporters after casting her vote in parliamentary elections in Dhaka, on Sunday.—Photo: APBangladesh Awami League’s election victory with a margin of victory at 96 per cent “was a result one might expect in a place like North Korea, not a democratic nation such as Bangladesh”, writes The Washington Post.That is, according to the US newspaper, exactly the problem: prime minister Sheikh Hasina “consolidated her grip on power but at the cost of her own electoral legitimacy.”Her party and its allies secured 288 out of 299 contested seats. The opposition BNP, which won only seven, has called the election “farcical” and demanded a do-over, TIME magazine mentioned in an article ‘They Threaten Everyone’, adding that Sheikh Hasina’s “landslide win in Bangladesh marred by voter suppression”.The Economist wrote, “… the embarrassingly skewed tally suggested that the BNP was not really the biggest loser. The biggest loss was for democracy itself.”It observed that the flawed general election of 30 December represented a sharp reversion to the less democratic end of the spectrum. “The Awami League, which has been in power continuously for 10 years, flagrantly wielded the full power of state institutions,” the British magazine said in a piece “By hook, crook and ballot”.TIME magazine cited an example of voting in Dhaka on 30 December, quoting a polls worker who tried to defend disruption in voting as “Lunch break”. But by 3.10pm, the explanation had changed. “We’ve already started to count,” a policeman was quoted to have said. The polls had been supposed to close at 4pm.It also pointed out that the result of AL’s landslide victory has been clouded by pre-election violence and allegations of a crackdown on the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), as well as widespread reports of vote-rigging and intimidation on election day, some of which was observed by TIME on the ground.The Washington Post reported that there were scattered reports of irregularities at polling stations, including possible vote tampering, “but observers said Hasina had used other means to tilt the field in her favour long before Sunday.”Nazrul Islam Khan, a standing committee leader of the BNP, told TIME that “the extent to which the government has rigged these elections is beyond imagination.”The AL chief, Hasina, rejected all allegations of impropriety, at a briefing with journalists and election observers on Monday evening. Her advisor HT Imam was said to have called it “one of the best elections held ever.”Evidence of voter disruption was widespread, said TIME. At one polling station at Kabi Nazrul Islam College in Old Dhaka, TIME was reportedly harassed by dozens of government supporters and forced to delete a video showing a woman who got into a fight with poll workers.It wasn’t just BNP supporters who claimed they were prevented from voting. “I wanted to vote for the Awami League anyway, but when I reached the polling station they told me my vote had already been cast,” said one woman who asked TIME not to publish her name for fear of reprisals.The Economist said the sweeping nature of the repression meant that on voting day, few of the BNP’s electoral agents — who guide voters and monitor the process — dared show up at the 40,000 polling stations. By contrast, the Awami League fielded 120,000 agents. In Dhaka, the capital, it was hard to find a single poster for the BNP among the tens of thousands boosting the Awami League, the magazine said.The sweeping nature of Hasina’s victory raises “serious doubt” about the fairness of the election, the Post quoted Ataur Rahman, president of the Bangladesh Political Scientist Association, as saying. He added that the opposition’s tiny number of seats also means there will be no mechanism for political accountability.Hasina, according to the newspaper, is also viewed by some — including in neighbouring India — as an ally against the potential spread of Islamist extremism in Bangladesh.After Sunday’s election, Bangladesh has become a “one-party democracy,” Kanchan Gupta, a political commentator in New Delhi, was quoted to have written. Hasina “faces no opposition worth its name.”“Why should Sheikh Hasina pull out so many stops to ensure a victory that most observers had assumed was in the bag in any case?” wrote The Economist, adding that opinion polls had universally shown a solid advantage for the Awami League.The magazine observed that Sheikh Hasina seems to bear a personal grudge against perceived enemies, which springs both from the murder of her family members including Bangabandhu Sheikh Mijibur Rahman in 1975 and from an attempt on her own life that has allegedly been tied to figures in the BNP.Some of the ruling party’s rivals were quoted to have suggested that the AL needs to cling to power to cover its own corruption.TIME quoted Bangladeshi editors and journalists as saying that it’s increasingly difficult to publish news that embarrasses the government. Some estimate they self-censor at least two-thirds of their stories. “I am not sure if I want to stay in this country now that the Awami League will feel even more entitled to stifle dissent,” one TV journalist, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, was quoted to have said.And on social media, it reported, criticism of the government is carefully shrouded in irony. “Can someone please tell me if my vote was already cast? Then I don’t have to get out of bed this morning,” a law student posted on Facebook on election day.TIME referred to a BNP activist, Mozammal Hossain, one of a dozen BNP activists who were documenting fraud, arrests, voter harassment and violence during these elections, as saying that his parents were recently harassed by police for their son’s work. “They threaten everyone,” he was quoted to have said.
By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, firstname.lastname@example.orgAlthough White residents may now make up 44 percent of the District’s population, Washington, D.C., once coined “Chocolate City,” is still majority African American with 47.7 percent of residents identifying as Black, according to the U.S. Census.Washingtonian Magazine completely disregarded the District’s majority population in a recently launched social media campaign. In a series of photos located in various places around the city, people are seen wearing shirts that read, “I’M NOT A TOURIST. I LIVE HERE.” Every single person featured in the campaign- a campaign about living in a predominantly Black city- is White.A screenshot of the from Tony Lewis Jr.’s Instagram account admonishing the Washingtonian Magazine campaign “I am Not A Tourist.” (Screenshot)As soon as the campaign dropped, Black Twitter and Washingtonians immediately chastised the magazine and its tone deaf marketing.“PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT [Washingtonian Magazine’s] DEPICTION OF WHO ‘LIVES HERE’… NOT ONE BLACK FACE IN THE ENTIRE PIECE,” social media influencer and community activist, Tony Lewis Jr. wrote on Instagram and Twitter. Lewis wrote in all capital letters similarly to the campaign t-shirts.“BLACK PEOPLE STILL MAKE UP [47 percent] OF THIS CITY. THIS IS DISRESPECTFUL, CARELESS, AND RACIST (YEAH I SAID IT, RACIST). THIS IS VERY REPRESENATIVE OF HOW WE FEEL IN OUR OWN CITY, THAT WE ARE INVISIBLE, THAT WE DON’T EXIST. THAT PEOPLE MOVE HERE HAVE MORE VALUE THAN THOSE BORN HERE. THAT WHEN WE DIE IN THE STREETS IT ISN’T IMPORTANT, THAT THE NEW RESTAURANT OR CONDO SUPERCEDES OUR EXISTENCE,” Lewis wrote.He then encouraged Washingtonians to not support the magazine.The controversy surrounding the shirts and campaign quickly escalated, prompting Washingtonian to delete the campaign and apologize.“As a native Washingtonian, I am very sorry that our latest ‘I Am Not A Tourist’ marketing campaign did not represent the wonderfully diverse city in which we live,” Washingtonian Magazine CEO and president Catherine Merrill Williams wrote in a statement.“This was the very beginning of a campaign in which all intentions are to include the many communities that make up our city. We solicited pictures from a diverse group of people and put the pictures up in the order they came in. People who saw the initial gallery of pictures had no way of knowing that it was not, in fact, the entirety of the marketing campaign. We took down the initial post because it created an impression that was inconsistent with our values and standards. We’re confident that when the campaign is complete it will reflect the diversity of the readership that we serve,” she wrote.Despite the apology some Washingtonians are still outraged.In response to Washingtonian’s campaign, Lewis is putting together a photoshoot on May 20 at Union Market for residents “born, raised and educated” in D.C.“We will provide a counter narrative that there are still folks who were born, raised, and educated in this city still here. We will provide a counter image that not every person living in the city is a [White] millennial,” Lewis wrote on Instagram.The dress code for the photo shoot is all black.
Story Links Watch LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After beginning the season with three tough road games, University of Louisville women’s lacrosse (0-3) opens its home schedule against Mercer (0-2) on Saturday at noon. ABOUT THE BEARSMercer opened their season with a 13-6 loss to Oregon on the road before falling to UC Davis 16-13 in Jacksonville, Fla. just over one week later. Game Notes Last season, the Bears earned their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth by winning the inaugural Southern Conference Championship. Returners Audrey Robertson and Michaela Lucas were named to the preseason all-conference team after earning All-SoCon First and Second Team honors a year ago.Series History – UofL is 1-0 all-time against Mercer and has yet to play the Bears at UofL Lacrosse Stadium. The last meeting was a 21-14 win for Louisville in Macon, Ga. on March 14, 2018. The Cardinals’ road trip to open the year was no easy task as they faced two top 20 teams, falling at No. 7 Northwestern and at No. 19 Denver.”It was two tough trips for us and we took some lumps,” said head coach Scott Teeter. “We’re searching for our team identity and we need to refocus. We’re excited to get home to play Mercer.” The 21-goal performance tied for the third most ever scored by a Cardinals team. Date: Saturday, Feb. 23Time: 12:00 p.m. ETSite: Louisville, Ky.Video: ACC Digital NetworkLast Meeting: Louisville 21, Mercer 14 (3/14/18 at Mercer)Series History: Louisville leads 1-0 (1-0 on road)UofL National Ranking: –For the latest information on Louisville lacrosse, visit GoCards.com, or follow the team’s Twitter account at @LouisvilleLax or on Facebook at facebook.com/UofLLacrosse. Print Friendly Version Live Stats Two Bears have recorded hat tricks so far this season, including Kelly Hagerty with three goals against Oregon and Hailey Rhatigan with four against UC Davis. The pair leads Mercer with five goals apiece through two games. In goal, Iseabal Cryne has tallied 23 saves for a save percentage of .442. Last season at Mercer, the Cardinals fell behind 7-1 with just over 18 minutes left in the first half. The Cards then went on a 13-0 scoring run that lasted until the 26:35 mark in the second half. Tessa Chad and Caroline Blalock each recorded hat tricks, igniting the Cards’ to a 21-14 win over the Bears. Like the Mercer game a year ago, Louisville has had issues with slow starts this season. They fell behind 15-4 at Northwestern and 7-2 at Marquette before mounting rallies late.
Categories: Afendoulis News No appointments are necessary. In an effort to serve all who come to office hours, Rep. Afendoulis asks residents to be prepared to keep their meeting to ten minutes in length. If residents are unable to attend, or may have an issue that could take longer to discuss, they may contact Rep. Afendoulis’ office to schedule a separate meeting. Rep. Afendoulis may be reached at (517) 373-0218 or by email at email@example.com. State Rep. Chris Afendoulis announced his upcoming office hours for the months of February and March.“It is important for me to meet with my constituents to hear the questions and concerns they may have regarding state government,” Afendoulis said. “I invite all residents to join me for office hours.”Rep. Afendoulis will be available at the following times and locations:Friday, Feb. 167:30 to 9 a.m. at the Red Hot Inn, 3175 Leonard St. NE in Grand Rapids. Friday, Mar. 27:30 to 9 a.m. at Mr. Burger, 5181 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids. 31Jan Rep. Afendoulis invites residents to upcoming office hours
Netflix has raised the price of its service in Europe for new subscribers, upping the Eurozone price of the standard service from €8.99 to €9.99 as of yesterday.The standard offer allows subscriber to access HD content and view it on two devices. Netflix’s other two offers, the more basic ‘Essential’ tier, offering access via one device without HD, and its ‘Premium’ offering, providing content including 4K video on up to four devices, remain unchanged, at €7.99 and €11.99 respectively.The increase currently only affects new customers, and the company guaranteed that its offer to existing subscribers will remain unchanged for a year.In Switzerland, the company raised the price of its standard service from CHF12.90 (€11.93) to CHF14.90.In an email to subscribers, the company said that the price hike was necessary to ensure that the company was able to continue to add more new TV series and films to its offering. Netflix faces intense competition from domestic SVoD services such as CanalPlay and Maxdome in Europe for local content rights.Join the discussion on LinkedIn.
UKTV’s on demand and catch-up TV app is to be made available on all Samsung TVs sold from 2015 onwards.Featuring content from channel Dave, Drama, Really and Yesterday, the free UKTV Play app offers anytime viewing, access to box-sets, previews of new shows, exclusive content and personalisation with a dedicated ‘my shows’ section.Highlights this month include the full series of brand-new Judge Romesh and premieres of Dr Christian Will See You Now and Inside the Ambulance, which, until now, have only been available to pay TV customers. Episodes from the newest series of Taskmaster are also being previewed on UKTV Play seven days before they premiere on Dave.UKTV says that UKTV Play has grown significantly year-on-year since launching in 2014. Last year, it was the company’s fastest growing brand with direct-to-consumer views up 75% compared with 2016.
Darren ChildsUKTV boss Darren Childs is to step down from his role as CEO of the British multichannel broadcaster. The exec will remain until 1 July while the board explores new leadership options. He is believed to be a top contender for the role of Premier League CEO – a role recently turned down by BBC Studios boss Tim Davie and Animal Planet chief Susanna Dinnage.Childs’ departure comes as the ownership of the Taskmaster broadcaster – which is jointly owned by the BBC and Discovery Communications – remains in question, with a channels break-up believed to be imminent. It is expected for the BBC to take 60% of UKTV, including channels Dave, Gold and Drama, with Discovery coming away with lifestyle channels such as Good Food.During Childs’ eight years at the helm of the broadcaster, whose channels portfolio also includes Really and W, the business has grown its commercial share of viewing by 42%, and driven a 66% increase in revenues.During his tenure, the company also launched UKTV Play, its direct-to-consumer VOD service and fastest-growing brand with 2m registered users. The network reaches 40m people every month, according to the business.Under Childs, UKTV has launched originals such as Taskmaster, Dynamo: Magician Impossible and live events including Monty Python Live: One Down Five To Go and David Haye Boxing. The broadcaster also recently expanded into original drama, with dark comedy Flack airing later this month.Childs said: “It’s been the greatest honour to work with this fantastically talented group of people, I’m incredibly proud of what this team has created, and the successes they’ve built: growing audiences, working with our producer partners to create a collection of award-winning programmes; and making bold entertainment brands that stand out from the crowd. We’ve created a huge amount of value and had a lot of fun. I want to give my sincere thanks and appreciation for the support the team has given me and look forward to continuing to work with our group over the coming months to ensure I pass the baton in a seamless fashion. I wish the company every success for the future.”JB Perrette, UKTV board member and president and CEO of Discovery International, said: “Darren is a fantastic executive who has helped build market leading brands and content, and a terrific team during his tenure at UKTV. He has made an invaluable contribution to the business and on behalf of Discovery and the UKTV Board, I want to thank him for his commitment, creativity and resourcefulness at the helm of UKTV.”Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Studios, added: “Darren deserves our thanks for his many achievements in eight years as an excellent CEO of UKTV. His leadership of the company has created significant value for UKTV’s shareholders: overseeing a vibrant portfolio of channel brands, bringing in successful new commissions complementary to UKTV’s BBC content, and delivering consistently strong impacts and financial performance. He will leave UKTV in extremely good health, with a great team at all levels and he will take our very best wishes this summer for his own next move.”
By Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment StrategistHugo Chàvez is undoubtedly one of the most polarizing politicians in the world today. The man who has led Venezuela for 14 years is vehemently anti-American, a proud voice for Venezuela’s poor, a patriot and a poet, and a firm believer that national resources belong to the nation and no one or nothing else.That final Chàvez mainstay – that resources are best and most appropriately managed by the people for the people – has positioned Venezuela at the head of a group of Central and South American nations that are trying resource nationalization on for size as they struggle to make the most out of their oil and gas bounties. Venezuela is a global oil heavyweight – its 211-billion-barrel reserve is one of the top three national oil reserves worldwide – so Chàvez’s moves to nationalize his country’s massive oil machine gave neighboring countries the confidence to follow suit.Sometimes national control over oil and gas resources can work well. Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Kuwait are all prime examples of well-functioning, state-controlled oil sectors. However, resource nationalization is a tricky business, and more often than not the process goes awry.Venezuela is no exception. Chàvez’s efforts to kick foreign firms out of Venezuela and use oil and gas revenues to fund social programs worked pretty well initially, but despite rising oil prices that early success has slipped away. In recent years Chàvez has demanded too much from the oil and gas sector, expecting ever-increasing revenues despite his reluctance to fund infrastructure and exploration programs. The result has been declining production, an exodus of technical expertise, and a pariah reputation in the international oil and gas industry.Now, with a presidential election looming and Chàvez struggling with a cancer that it’s rumored will take his life within months, the path forward for the country that has been a firebrand for South American resource nationalization is far from clear.Venezuela’s Love-Hate Relationship with Resource NationalizationVenezuela nationalized its oil industry in 1976, at a time when many countries in the southern hemisphere were asserting sovereignty over their natural resources. The transformation of Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) into a state-owned company was hailed as a national victory. However, it did not take long for trouble to begin.In the 1990s global oil prices plunged and Venezuela, having based its budget on a certain level of oil income, found itself in deep economic trouble. PDVSA had 900 to 1,300 billion barrels of oil on its reserve books, but the company didn’t have the money or the technological know-how to tap into these reserves, most of which sat trapped in the geologically challenging Orinoco Belt. Seeing few other options, the country opened its oil sector to foreign investors: PDVSA started seeking out international partners willing to provide expertise and funding in exchange for a share of the profits. Big Oil arrived and started spending billions of dollars to unlock the heavy oil of the Orinoco.Then Mr. Chàvez won the 1998 presidential election on a populist ticket that promised to use the country’s vast oil wealth to benefit the poor. Venezuela’s experiment with foreign involvement in its oil sector slowly came to a halt. Despite initially adopting “orthodox” economic policies, Chàvez soon started making good on his promise to his people – he gradually closed the door on international investment, raised rents, and changed fiscal agreements to retain ever more oil revenue for Venezuela. Imagine this: at one point the government take on oil contracts was more than 100% – foreign producers would have had to pay Chàvez for the privilege of producing oil in his country.Chàvez brought a new form of politics to Venezuela. He identified with his supporters because he was one of them, having grown up poor, and he used language they understood, caring not that the elites saw such language as one of many signs that he was a buffoon with limited education and experience. His style stuck and the people grew to love him.As he gained in popularity and confidence, Chàvez grew bolder in his moves to control Venezuelan oil in its entirety. In 2002 a group of PDVSA executives kick-started a general strike aimed at ousting Chàvez that lasted for a month and cut oil production to about 30% of normal levels; in response Chàvez fired nearly half of the company’s employees – 18,000 people in all – erasing large swaths of technical know-how in one fell swoop but sending a clear message that he would not tolerate dissent against his control over Venezuela’s oil.By 2007 Chàvez had gained enough confidence to essentially complete his oil renationalization campaign – he expropriated oil assets in the Orinoco by issuing a decree that PDVSA hold at least 60% ownership in all international partnerships. What little was left of Big Oil pretty much packed up and left Venezuela. National oil production immediately fell by 25%.You could say that was the beginning of the end, or the end of what had been a great beginning. That great beginning was undoubtedly aided by rising global oil prices: when Chàvez came to power, oil prices were sitting near $12 per barrel. By 2006 prices were averaging almost $60 a barrel, Venezuela’s coffers were overflowing, and the Venezuelan president felt unstoppable.Those rising prices created such a sense of success around Chàvez’s experiment with renationalizing Venezuela’s oil and gas sector that Chàvez was able to convince his compatriot leaders in South America to follow in his footsteps. And it worked – Bolivia and Ecuador renationalized their oil sectors, and the concept of resource nationalization took hold in Argentina. As his geopolitical influence grew, Chàvez also devoted attention to the oil-needy nations in his neighborhood, implementing an oil-transfer program to energy-needy Central American and Caribbean countries. With his oil sector seemingly able to provide for so many, resource nationalization took on new life across South America, and Chavez was the movement’s proudest spokesman.But here the word “seemingly” is key. As oil prices rose, PDVSA profits also rose, and it seemed that nationalization had been a boon to Venezuelan oil. But the increased profitability stemmed only from rising prices; the company itself was being strangled by a lack of investment – Chàvez spent all of PDVSA’s profits on his domestic fuel subsidies and social programs – and its dearth of technical expertise.In short, a sector can only provide profits if it is also supplied with investment; and that is where Chàvez went wrong. Like so many other socialist leaders who nationalized resource sectors with great fanfare only to see the sectors wither away because of insufficient TLC, Chàvez failed to put money back into PDVSA.Now the country’s once-proud oil and gas sector is in disarray. Infrastructure is old and insufficient, and production volumes are declining instead of climbing. In 2005 the company launched a new six-year plan calling for investment of US$239 billion to boost oil production to 5.8 million bpd by 2012. Instead, output has fallen from 2.9 million barrels per day (bpd) to 2.5 million bpd. Things are even worse when you look at Chàvez’s tenure as a whole: from 1998 to today, production has fallen from 3.5 million bpd to 2.5 million bpd, a decline of almost 30%:(Click on image to enlarge)Global oil production is declining to such an extent that the US Department of Energy is warning the world has crossed a critical oil threshold.Not only has production declined, but PDVSA’s financials have also deteriorated dramatically, its debt increasing from US$2.7 billion in 2005 to some US$33 billion now. Yet PDVSA continues to borrow money at an incredible rate, in large part to fund those domestic oil subsidies that are so very popular among Chàvez supporters. These subsidies cost the company US$15 billion a year.The view forward is unclear. PDVSA lacks the technical expertise to take advantage of the heavy oil in the Orinoco. With foreign investment – and therefore involvement – in the oil sector banned and PDVSA drowning in debt, the prospects for turning Venezuela’s fading oil sector around are pretty dim.Unless, of course, the sector is opened up to outside investment… which could well happen if Chàvez ceases to be part of the picture.The CancerOver the last 12 months Chàvez has made regular trips to Havana for cancer treatments. The only official information about these treatments is that two malignant tumours were removed from his pelvic region. The secrecy surrounding Chàvez’s cancer and the fact that Chàvez, who rarely goes a few days without speaking directly to his people, enters radio silence during his trips to Cuba have fueled rumors of his declining health. Several times already these have ballooned into claims that the Venezuelan president had died.The latest twist in the Chàvez cancer drama came from venerated journalist Dan Rather, the former CBS anchor who now hosts and directs Dan Rather Reports, a weekly news television show on HDNet. In a report he labeled as “exclusive,” Rather revealed on May 30 that he had been told that Chàvez is suffering from metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer that has “entered the end stage.” Rather said the information came from a highly respected source who is close to Chàvez and in a position to know his medical condition and history. This source says the prognosis is dire and that Chàvez is not expected to live “more than a couple of months at most.”This is not the first time rumors of Chàvez’s pending death have surfaced. However, with his treatment having dragged on for a year already, with his uncharacteristic disappearances to Cuba growing longer and more frequent, and with Rather’s reputation for accuracy lending credence to this new information, it is time to ponder Venezuela – and South America – without Hugo Chàvez.Chàvez would be incredibly difficult to replace. His rags-to-riches story line, bold governing style, and idiosyncratic mannerisms have earned adoration from the Venezuelan population, especially the poor and working class masses who constitute his prime electoral base. He also enjoys broad support from Venezuela’s military members.This is a president who announces executive orders between readings of poetry, regularly draws families around their televisions to listen to his lengthy and often fiery speeches, and sings Venezuelan folk songs on a weekly show called Hello President. There are few people in the world who could match his charisma and earn such allegiance from a national population. That is why, even though others from Chàvez’s inner circle bear similar political views, most observers think any Chàvez successor would have a very difficult time maintaining the Chavista movement.So when Chàvez dies, what might become of Venezuela? In the immediate aftermath, Vice President Elías Jaua would take power, according to the Constitution. In fact, Chàvez recently formed a nine-member State Council headed by Jaua to assist him with executive duties, a move many interpreted as a preparation for his impending demise.In the longer term, Venezuelan political observers see five potential successors within Chàvez’s Socialist Party. All hold similar views, but none enjoy anything close to Chàvez’s recognition and support. The Party would have to hope that Chàvez’s reputation can carry one of these candidates to the presidency, but such a succession is far from assured.If Chàvez dies before the October presidential election, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles would suddenly see his odds of winning jump dramatically. Polls show Capriles currently lagging behind Chàvez by roughly 5%, but the same polls found that Capriles would win the race by double-digit margins if he were to face a Chàvez successor instead of facing Hugo himself… unless, of course, the Socialists rig the election. Given that Chàvez has proven that a high regard for democracy is not a required characteristic for someone holding the Venezuelan presidency, this is not unlikely.Capriles is a veteran politician, having previously served as governor of the state of Miranda despite being just 39 years old. He is a center-left politician who has cleverly focused on issues close to the day-to-day lives of Venezuelans: crime, corruption, declining services, inflation, and jobs. Capriles’ petroleum policies are less clear, but his rare comments on the matter indicate he would keep PDVSA as a national entity while allowing the company to engage in investment partnerships with foreign firms, much like the Brazilian national oil firm Petrobras.If Chàvez is healthy enough to run, he will almost certainly win the election in October. If he is not, we see two possible paths. The first is that Capriles finds himself president of Venezuela, and South America loses its resource nationalization ringleader. However, a desire to change how Venezuela’s oil sector operates is very different from the actual ability to do so. The biggest obstacle to change: those domestic oil subsidies. If Capriles wants to revitalize PDVSA – indeed, if he simply wants to give PDVSA a chance at economic survival – he would have to significantly reduce the domestic oil subsidies, and likely also reduce social spending to free up some oil revenues for reinvestment into the country’s oil fields. And that would cause riots. We have seen it before, most recently in Nigeria: populations that are accustomed to having access to cheap oil are highly unwilling to let go of that benefit and will riot, often violently and for extended periods, at the mere suggestion that gas prices need to increase.Oil-related riots in one of the world’s top-ten oil-producing nations would undoubtedly push global oil prices higher.The other potential path for a post-Chàvez Venezuela is that his successor within the Socialist Party wins the presidency, legitimately or with the aid of electoral fraud. This Chàvez clone would then be stuck trying to fill Hugo’s shoes, a near-impossible task in which he would only have a chance at success by promising even more in the way of social spending. These expensive programs would put even greater strain on Venezuela’s budget, which is funded in large part by revenues from PDVSA. There would continue to be no money available to finance PDVSA’s spending needs, and production would continue to decline.Guess what? This scenario – of continued production decline in a major world supplier – would also push global oil prices higher. The bottom line is that Chàvez has created a lose-lose scenario for Venezuelan oil. The country has become reliant on a one-way flow of money and cheap oil from PDVSA to society, but after a decade of neglect PDVSA is withering away and the flows are drying up. Even if Chàvez dies and a left-leaning leader like Capriles comes to power, Venezuela will have to convulse through many ugly years before a functional relationship can be reestablished between its oil riches and its social demands. In the meantime, Venezuelans and the world will have to do with only limited access to Venezuelan oil.So, for those of us positioned to gain from a long-term rising oil price, it’s heads we win, tails we win. Additional Links and ReadsOil Prices to Ease Further This Year (Reuters)The CEO of Royal Dutch Shell expects oil prices to continue easing through the rest of the year, as demand reacts to a slowing global economy and international tensions ease. Peter Voser’s statement came just as Brent crude dropped to a 16-month low – below US$96 per barrel – on the heels of further weak economic news from the US and China. In addition, concerns over the state of the European economy have taken the spotlight away from the lingering tensions between Iran and Western powers, which just three months ago helped to push Brent above US$128 a barrel.Global Gas Demand to Grow by 2.7% Annually to 2017 (Platts)Global demand for natural gas will rise by 2.7% annually for the next five years, a faster growth rate than previously expected. China and the United States are driving the additional demand by switching from coal to gas to generate electricity. In China alone consumption is expected to double to 273 billion cubic meters in 2017 from 130 billion cubic meters today, representing an average growth rate of 13% per year.King Coal Still Reigns Despite Drop in Prices (Vancouver Sun)Canadian coal companies are not slowing down exploration nor development programs despite a drop in prices in China, their main export market. Companies are generally viewing depressed prices as a transient problem and see demand from Asia remaining strong in the medium term, especially for British Columbia’s high-quality metallurgical coal.South Sudan’s $4-Billion Question Answered: Oil Revenue Stolen by Corrupt Officials (The Globe and Mail)It has been a mystery for years: how does South Sudan remain so poor and hungry when it receives billions of dollars in oil revenues every year? The answer is now clear: South Sudan’s president says corrupt officials have stolen $4 billion in oil revenues since 2005. He is asking those officials to return the stolen funds. Any returned funds would be especially useful at the moment, because a dispute with Sudan has shut in South Sudan’s oil production and thereby eliminated about 98% of the government’s official revenue.Oil Rush in the Arctic Gambles with Nature and Diplomacy (The Guardian)A small group of international scientists, politicians, and business leaders are gathered in the Ny-Alesund research station on the Norwegian island of Svalbard to discuss the path to a global low-carbon economy. Meanwhile, just outside the station an oil rush looms – one that threatens to spark territorial disputes and saber-rattling as a host of nations compete to claim rights to the Arctic seabed.Germany Plans Massive Wind Power Grid (The Globe and Mail)Germany’s utilities have tabled plans to build four high-voltage electricity lines to link wind turbines off the north coast with manufacturing centers in the south. The plan is a boost for Angela Merkel, who has been criticized for announcing an accelerated nuclear-power phase-out a year ago without producing an alternative plan. The lines are expected to cost around €20 billion
I note that gold made it all the way to it’s 50-day moving average before it got sold down.Both gold and silver blasted off the moment that Comex trading began in New York at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday evening…and JPMorgan Chase et al threw tonnes of paper at these rallies to prevent them from getting out of hand. Volumes by noon in Hong Kong were enormous in both metals.The gold price peaked in Far East trading at exactly 2:00 p.m. Hong Kong time…and then slid a bit until the London a.m. gold fix was in at 10:30 a.m. BST.The subsequent rally didn’t do much until around 1:00 p.m. in London…twenty minutes before the Comex open…when the rally gained more strength. From there, the gold price rose to its high of the day…$1,341.10 according to Kitco…which came shortly before the 1:30 p.m. Comex close. It got sold down to the $1,335 spot price mark from that point…and then traded in a very tight range around that price right into the 5:15 p.m. EDT close of electronic trading in New York.Gold closed at $1,335.20 spot…up $38.50 on the day. Net volume was around the 140,000 contract mark, with a big chunk of that coming in Far East trading.It was very much the same story in silver, except the high tick…$20.72 spot…came at 12:30 EDT in New York. Other than that, the price pattern was the same.Silver closed at $20.54 spot…up $1.01 on the day. Gross volume was a very hefty 53,000 contracts…net of July and August numbers.It was pretty much the same story in platinum, but it’s high came around 11:45 a.m. in New York. Palladium‘s rally attempt ran into opposition at the Comex open. Here are the charts… The dollar index closed at 82.62 late Friday afternoon in New York…and it was pretty much all down hill to its low of the day [82.10] which came shortly after 10:30 a.m. in New York. After that, the index rallied a bit into the close…finishing the Monday trading session at 82.22…off 40 basis points from Friday.The gold stocks gapped up five percent at the open…and hit their zenith when gold did, just before the 1:30 p.m. Comex close…and then sold down a bit along with the metal itself. At its high, the HUI was up well over 7 percent…but still finished up a respectable 6.08%.The silver stocks did very well for themselves…but considering the metal was up about 5 percent on the day, one would have thought that the stocks would have done better. As it was, Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 5.49%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 3 gold and 57 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday. In silver, 40 of those contracts were issued by JPMorgan out of its client account…and JPMorgan stopped 41 contracts out of its in-house [proprietary] trading account. The beat goes on…and the link to Monday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.It was another down day for GLD yesterday. This time it was only 38,646 troy ounces, but a decline nonetheless. And as of 9:43 a.m. EDT, there were no reported changes in SLV.Joshua Gibbons, the Guru of the SLV Bar List posted an update on this website for SLV activity as of the close of trading on Wednesday, July 17th…and this, in part, is what he had to say… “Analysis of the 17 July bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list: 5,524,756.4 oz. were added…4.8M oz. to Brinks London…0.8M o.z to Via Mat. No bars were removed or had a serial number change.” The link to his website is here.There was sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday. They only sold 4,000 ounces of gold eagles…and no one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes. But they did sell a very decent 925,000 silver eagles. Month-to-date the mint has sold 3,456,500 silver eagles, so they should break through the 4 million mark with ease, unless they hold back some July sales and stick them in August…just like they did for some silver eagles sales for June…the held them back until the first day of July. The games children play!It was a very busy day over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday. In silver, they reported receiving 599,622 troy ounces…all of it into JPMorgan Chase. But they also reported shipping out a whopping 2,215,278 troy ounces to parts unknown as well, with half of that coming from the Brink’s, Inc. depository. Here’s the link to all the action…and it’s worth a peek.There was a decent amount of gold shipped out of these same warehouses on Friday. All of it…103,484 troy ounces…came out of the HSBC USA depository. The link to that activity is here.Here are a couple of charts that Nick Laird over at sharelynx.com sent me…and if you have any questions or comments, all of them should be sent to him, not me! The first is for silver futures spreads going back to 1975. Nick notes the times that silver has been in backwardation on these charts.(Click on image to enlarge)Here’s the one for gold, but it only goes back to the year 2000…as Nick is still working on these charts. It shows that gold has never been in backwardation over the last thirteen years…at least not the way he describes it.(Click on image to enlarge)I asked Nick this question after I had looked at the above gold chart… “So the fact that the current cash price in gold is higher that the near futures, doesn’t mean a thing? That’s what you’re saying.” Nick’s reply…”Yes – that’s not real backwardation.”Let you and him fight!Being a Tuesday, I have a decent number of stories for you today, so I hope you can find the time to wade through them all.But I do acknowledge that with JPMorgan so massively positioned on the long side of gold, anything can happen that JPMorgan wishes or desires. If JPMorgan wants to put it to the shorts, the shorts will have it put to them. If JPMorgan desires for there to be a large demand for delivery difficult to fulfill by those required to make delivery, there will be a large delivery demand. If JPMorgan wishes for gold to jump many hundreds of dollars per ounce, thereby enriching the bank, gold (and silver) will jump as high as that enrichment requires. Conversely, if JPMorgan desires none of these things, then the odds of any occurring, at least in the short term, are much longer. My point is that JPMorgan has…and has had…an unnatural dominance of the gold and silver market; the bank is the sole determinant for gold and silver pricing. In terms of a rational and free financial market, that is absolutely absurd. – Silver analyst Ted Butler…20 July 2013I was happy to see gold and silver prices blast off at the New York open on Sunday night…but wasn’t happy to see the heavy artillery show up and crush the rallies in very short order…and it’s hard to tell whether they were new longs coming into the market, or whether it was short covering. Volume was way up there, but since it occurred on Monday, all the volume data should be in Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report.After the initial price spikes, things settled down quite a bit and became far more orderly…and I’m sure that JPMorgan’s high-frequency traders had something to do with that, as gold volumes were more ‘normal’ for a summer trading day once London began to trade…although silver volumes were pretty chunky.We’ll have to wait until Friday to find out for sure.I note that gold made it all the way to it’s 50-day moving average before it got sold down just before the Comex close yesterday. Silver still has a way to go in that department. Here are their respective 6-month charts.(Click on image to enlarge)(Click on image to enlarge)It will be interesting to see what JPMorgan Chase allows to develop from here.The meetings on commodities…and the bullion banks involvement in them…is the subject de jour in Washington today, so we’ll see what comes out of that, if anything.There was absolutely no follow-through in the Far East or early London trading to yesterday price action in New York, which certainly surprised me a bit. As I hit the ‘send’ button on today’s column at 5:15 p.m. EDT, gold is down about five bucks…and silver is down about 30 cents. Volumes are already pretty heavy in both metals, but I can tell that it’s mostly of the HFT variety…and the dollar index isn’t doing much, not that it matters greatly.I have no idea what might happen during the New York trading session today…and nothing will surprise me when I switch my computer on later this morning.That’s more than enough for today…and I’ll see you here tomorrow.
Advertisement Make a racist or Anti-Muslim statement and you could get yourself a free spot in jail. Three men have so far been taken into custody for using Twitter and Facebook to criticize Muslims.British police are arresting people in the middle of the night if they have made racist or anti-Muslim comments on Twitter following the murder of a soldier by two Muslims in Woolwich, London.In the Woolwich attack, Lee Rigby, a drummer in the Royal Regiment of Fusliers, was run down in a car and then hacked and stabbed to death by two men with knives and a cleaver. They told a man video recording the scene that it was vengeance for the killings of Muslims by the British Army. – Advertisement – One man has been charged with “malicious communications” on Facebook, two others have been arrested under the Public Order Act on suspicion of inciting racial or religious hatred. The police are now arresting people based on mere speech in social media, a detective said in a statement to the press:The men were arrested under the Public Order Act on suspicion of inciting racial or religious hatred. Our inquiries into these comments continue.These comments were directed against a section of our community. Comments such as these are completely unacceptable and only cause more harm to our community in Bristol.People should stop and think about what they say on social media before making statements as the consequences could be serious.This comes at the behest of British Muslims, who fear a backlash against them following the death of Rigby.The police and Muslim groups have said that there have been anti-Muslim episodes in many parts of the country, the most common involving derogatory messages on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.A number of arrests have been made, with criminal charges being leveled in some cases under laws against inciting racial or religious hatred, and Muslim community leaders have reported rising concern among the estimated 2.5 million Muslims in Britain.Two men were detained in the middle of the night after they expressed anger at Muslims on Twitter.“We began inquiries into the comments and at around 3.20am two men, aged 23 and 22, were detained at two addresses in Bristol. The men were arrested under the Public Order Act on suspicion of inciting racial or religious hatred. Our inquiries into these comments continue.” The poloce said.Credit: Business Insider
Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Documents suggest that Alfonso Ribeiro can’t copyright his signature move, the ‘Carlton Dance.’ Next Article The ‘Fortnite’ Dance Lawsuits Are Close to Falling Apart Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 3 min read Epic Games has found itself slapped with a flurry of lawsuits, all alleging the company of stealing people’s dance moves and selling them on for a profit. These dances are incorporated into its world-conquering game Fortnite, which are bought by players for a quantity of in-game currency (costing real money). That’s angered a number of musicians and viral video stars, who feel that they’ve been ripped off, but in one high-profile case, the law might be on Epic’s side.Alfonso Ribeiro, star of early ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, was one of the plaintiffs arguing for a slice of Epic’s cash. Ribeiro claimed to be the creator of the “Carlton Dance,” a goofy routine that Epic sold as a Fortnite emote — unsubtly named “Fresh” — inside the game. Sadly, documents uncovered by The Hollywood Reporter reveal that Ribeiro’s application to copyright his sway has been denied.According to the US Copyright Office, Ribeiro’s claim to copyright the “Carlton Dance” has failed because it is just a “simple dance routine.” That puts it beyond the protections of s102(4) Copyright Act 1976, which requires dances to be “a related series of dance movements and patterns organized into a coherent whole.” Not to mention that, if basic motions were copyrightable, nobody would be able to walk down the street without facing a potential lawsuit.Ribeiro was always on shaky legal ground to begin with, given that he often admitted that the “Carlton Dance” was inspired by others. In 2015, he told HuffPost Live (amongst other news outlets) that he was inspired by both Eddie Murphy and Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark video. Specifically, the moment when a pre-fame Courtney Cox is invited on stage to dance, which Ribiero says he adopted.There was also the more nuanced legal fact that Ribeiro initially performed on a televised sitcom, his employer at the time. Which meant that, if the dance had been copyrightable (which it isn’t), NBC, rather than Ribiero, would be the owner. Now, while the lawsuit hasn’t been thrown out (yet), it doesn’t sound too good for the actor, or anyone else who’s trying to get a cut of Epic’s epic windfall.This week has also seen Epic Games request for another lawsuit, brought by rapper 2 Milly, to be thrown out. Kotaku reports that the company says that the allegedly infringing emote is too short to be copyrighted, as above. And Epic adds that the Swipe It dance is different enough from the Milly Rock to avoid infringement, even though fans have said that they’re pretty similar. It remains for the courts to determine the validity of that position, but it’s interesting to see what new precedent will be created. Add to Queue Daniel Cooper –shares This story originally appeared on Engadget February 15, 2019 fortnite Alfonso Ribeiro Image credit: Chris Trotman | Getty Images via engadget Register Now »
March 3, 2015 –shares Andy Hunt and Jeremiah Daly have stepped down as partners with Highland Capital Partners, in order to launch their own growth equity firm, Fortune has learned.Hunt is a co-founder and director with eyeglass upstart Warby Parker, and joined HCP back in 2011. He currently serves on the board of Scopely, and has been involved with such HCP portfolio companies as Gemvara, Harry’s and SessionM.Daly joined HCP in early 2012 as a principal, after having spent three years with Accel Partners. He was promoted to partner the following year, and serves on the board of Malwarebytes.News of Hunt and Daly’s pending departure first came earlier today in a letter sent to HCP’s limited partners. It was confirmed by HCP partner Sean Dalton in a phone call with Fortune. Both of their board seats are expected to be filled by other HCP staffers.Neither Hunt nor Daily has yet responded to requests for comment.In other HCP news, longtime chief financial officer Kathy Barry is expected to transition into an advisory role this May, while director of finance Jessica Pelletier will be promoted to senior vice president of finance. Dan Primack Add to Queue Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Next Article 1 min read This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine Warby Parker Co-Founder Launching Growth Equity Firm Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » Warby Parker
Marketing Tom Morse knows something about launching products that explode into national best-sellers. The savvy marketer is the co-founder and former president of Living Essentials, the company that put 5-Hour Energy on store shelves everywhere.Before helping to springboard the popular pocket-sized caffeine jolt to a staggering $1.25 billion in estimated yearly sales, Morse worked his product marketing magic on a different kind of pick me up — Chaser, a homeopathic hangover-helper. It, too, sold exceptionally well. Tom Morse, CEO of InstavitImage credit: InstavitNow the Detroit native is the CEO of Instavit, maker of a new line of oral spray health supplements. The flavored supplements, priced at $15.99 per bottle, are designed to enhance sleep, boost energy and fulfill daily multivitamin needs.Related: 3 Essential Stories You Need on Your Website to Attract CustomersMorse says the products are off to a promising start. Launched in the U.S. this past January, he says sales of the supplements at national drugstore chains were up 51 percent during the first two months of this year, month over month in same-store sales. He did not, however, provide specific sales dollar amounts. Here are the veteran marketing wizard’s four top tips for successfully launching a new product:1. Schmooze with retail product buyers at industry trade shows.The first step to getting your product in front of consumers is to put it directly in the hands of retailers’ buyers. They’re typically the people who have the power to sell it at big-box stores throughout the country. One of the best ways to chat your wares up with these key players is to exhibit your product at leading merchandising industry trade shows.“It’s always worth it because you never know who you’re going to meet pacing the expo aisles,” he says. “Talk to everyone because, soon enough, you’ll connect with the right people.”He should know. Soon after 5-Hour Energy’s launch, Morse attracted buyers for the buzzy drink from Walmart and a host of other major multinational retailers while rubbing elbows at back-to-back industry conferences.To find an expo that best fits your product, check out the World Alliance For Retail Excellence and Standards’ list of annual international retail trade shows.Related: 7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Exhibiting at a Trade Show2. Be sure your product solves a common, highly relatable problem.Generally speaking, products that sell like gangbusters simply make consumers’ lives easier. “To create a sales phenomenon, make sure your product fits easily into people’s lives and fixes a problem that a lot of us have,” Morse says. “Make a connection that runs deep with them.”As an example, he points to the original inspiration for Instavit. British surgeon Dr. Jatin Joshi created the product line after he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. To combat the digestive tract disorder, Joshi had a large portion of his colon removed. Unable to absorb nutrients from food properly post-surgery and fast losing feeling in his fingertips, the doctor was forced to endure routine vitamin injections.Fed up with his painful needle regiment and sick of popping vitamin pills, he invented the micronutrient spray as an alternative. A common problem was solved and a highly marketable product was born.Image credit: InstavitRelated: The 5 Best Pitch Tactics I Heard as an Angel Investor3. Publicize your product’s inspiration story for free. Joshi’s real-life product creation backstory is something his target customers — anyone who takes vitamin supplements but doesn’t like swallowing them — can easily relate to. One way the doctor strategically shared that highly relatable story with potential customers, Morse says, was to strategically broadcast it through a myriad of publications they likely read.“The most brilliant entrepreneurs seek out ways to create demand for product,” he says, “and the most efficient and cost-effective way is to earn coverage from premiere magazines and media outlets. You don’t have to spend any money like you would on ads, yet you’ll still have a big impact.”Related: 4 Ways to Get Publicity on a Budget4. Be ready for sales to take off. It’s not enough to just create a big buzz around your product, in the media and amongst potential retailers and customers. When that buzz catches fire and your product takes off, you have to be prepared to start selling to the masses and hard.“When you have the opportunity to go big, you have to be able to act on it right away,” Morse says. “That means having the resources and know-how to scale up production and having the team to execute.” That way you can hit the ground running and sell, sell, sell. 4 Tips for Successfully Launching a New Product From the Co-Founder of 5-Hour Energy Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Image credit: Spencer Platt / Staff | Getty Images Register Now » –shares 5 min read Next Article Add to Queue Kim Lachance Shandrow Former West Coast Editor March 22, 2016
2 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Environment Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Add to Queue Image credit: Reuters | Issei Kato Nissan Motor Co. said on Tuesday it was developing fuel cell vehicle (FCV) technology using ethanol as a hydrogen source in what would be an industry first, and planned to commercialize its system in 2020 as part of efforts to develop cleaner cars.The Japanese company said using ethanol, produced from crops including sugar cane and corn, to generate hydrogen-based electricity inside vehicles would be cheaper than fuel cell technology developed separately by rivals Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co.”The cost and energy required to produce hydrogen can be very high, and it also requires significant investment in (fuelling and storing) infrastructure,” Nissan Executive Vice President Hideyuki Sakamoto told a media briefing. “Compared with that, ethanol is very easy to procure, it is safer to store and lower cost. These are its merits.”Nissan said its technology would be ready for use in vehicles in 2020, adding it could be used to extend the range of larger, electric vehicles such as delivery vans.It would target a cruising range of around 800 kilometers per fueling, more than the range for gasoline-powered vehicles of just over 600 kilometers.The automaker said running costs for the FCVs would be roughly similar to those of electric vehicles, while declining to give details on vehicle pricing.Ethanol is used as a fuel source for vehicles in countries including Brazil, but Nissan is planning to use it to generate electricity in fuel cell stacks to charge batteries which would power vehicle motors.In developing its FCV technology, Nissan joins Toyota and Honda in a national, government-backed drive to develop a “hydrogen society”, in which the zero-emission fuel would be used to power homes and vehicles, and reducing Japan’s reliance on imported fuel sources and nuclear power.Toyota began marketing the Mirai, its hydrogen FCV, in late 2014, while Honda earlier this year began sales of its Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle. Initial production for both models has been limited due to their relatively high cost and limited fueling infrastructure.Unlike its rivals’ offerings, Nissan’s technology does not require hydrogen to be stored in vehicles, reducing the need for expensive bulky hydrogen tanks, and would not require fueling stations, which have been slow to spread globally.(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Mark Potter) June 14, 2016 Register Now » Next Article Nissan to Develop Ethanol-Based Fuel Cell Technology by 2020 Reuters This story originally appeared on Reuters 67shares